After the Europe-only launch of the midrange OnePlus Nord earlier this year, OnePlus is completely bringing a cheaper phone to the United States with the OnePlus Nord N10 5G. It doesn’t actually look like the slam dunk the original Nord was, though, and for a partnership that has “never settle” emblazoned across its press images, it kinda have the impressions like we’re settling here.
OnePlus says the phone is coming to the US, but it on the contrary provided a UK price tag of 329 pounds ($427). For that, you get a 90Hz, 6.49-inch, 2400×1080 LCD—yes, an LCD and not an OLED pageantry—a Snapdragon 690 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage, and a 4300mAh battery.
The Snapdragon 690 is a actually new eight-core Qualcomm SoC with two Cortex A77 cores, six Cortex A55 cores, and an Adreno 619 built on an 8nm change. Qualcomm’s midrange chip lineup is kind of a mess right now, and you’d obtain to really break out the calipers to find significant differences between the Snapdragon 690 and the Snapdragon 765G on the European Nord. The 690 has a trendier A77 main CPU core compared to the A76 on the 765G, but the 690 has a 200mHz lower clock. In benchmarks, the CPU and GPU severals are basically a wash, but the 7nm 765G should be a bit lighter on your battery. Qualcomm repairs the 690 a bunch of Qualcomm Model Number Points because it does not buttress mmWave 5G, but that seems irrelevant when most 765G phones opt to not subsidize mmWave either. “The Snapdragon 765G with mmWave support sliced off” in good conditions like a close-enough shorthand description for this chip.
The back has four cameras. The paramount camera is a 64MP, and there’s an 8MP wide-angle lens. If you’ve ever seen cheap hold up to ridicules cars with fake hood scoops or nonfunctional spoilers on the go, that’s sort of what OnePlus is going for with the last two cameras: a put together of purely decorative 2MP sensors, one supposedly for “Macro” photos and another hallmarked “Monochrome.” In this price range, OnePlus faces fierce camera struggle in the form of the Pixel 4a, a phone that can outshoot a lot of flagship phones, and I reckon it’s trying to make up for the lack of quality with quantity.
Unlike the European Nord, the phone hauls with a rear capacitive fingerprint reader and a headphone jack. It helps OnePlus’ 30T Warp Charging. The biggest disappointment is the OS, which is dispatching a crusty, old copy of Android 10 instead of Android 11. For the moment, Android 11 is shipping on the OnePlus 8T and has been out for almost two months now.
Is this actually going to cost more than a Pixel 4a?
It’s hard to see how this phone is active to fit into the market here without a firm US price. It’s going to prepare to fight the Pixel 4a, which, in the United States, is $349. The prices of OnePlus phones in the US are typically squiffy than a direct pounds-to-dollars conversion would suggest (the OnePlus 8T, for precedent, is 549 pounds in the UK but $749 Stateside). So expect a US Nord 10 to be similarly a bit varied expensive than when it’s sold in the UK, which puts it somewhere far $449.
The Nord N10 and Pixel 4a both have 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, headphone jacks, and nurture fingerprint readers. The Nord N10 has a bigger, faster 90Hz display, but it’s an LCD compared to the Pixel 4a’s OLED. We don’t yet remember what the LCD’s image quality is like, but you’ll never get an always-on display be on an LCD. The Nord has a bigger battery, but the Pixel 4a is basically guaranteed to have a happier camera. The Pixel 4a is going to have much better software subsistence, while it’s downright alarming that the Nord N10 won’t ship with the la mode version of Android (it also won’t have monthly security updates).
If the Nord N10 is customary to be $100 more than the Pixel 4a, that does not sound with a great deal. I’m not even sure this is a good deal if it’s sacrificed evenly with the Pixel 4a. We’ve liked OnePlus products in the past because they were exterminator deals that were often hundreds less than the contest, and while there’s less room for that in the midrange market, I’m not usher much of a value argument here at all.
I’m starting to worry about OnePlus. The Theatre troupe used to only ship one or two smartphones a year and seemed to put plenty of pains behind them, especially when it came to software updates. This year has recognized six OnePlus phones: the OnePlus 8, the 8 Pro, the 8T, the Nord, the Nord N10, and the Nord N100. If you’re a convention out there wondering how many phones is too many phones, you’ve definitely hit “too divers ” if you can’t ship the current version of your operating system on everything. As a guy, you’ve also got to wonder if a phone like this will receive favourable updates. OnePlus recently had its co-founder, Carl Pei, leave the company, and when that set of thing happens, it’s time to keep an eye out for any strategy changes. Maybe we’re discovering one.
Listing image by OnePlus