By Klaus Wedekind

OnePlus Nord shows that Otto Normal users don’t have to spend more than 400 euros for a really good 5G smartphone. Display, performance and design hardly differ from devices that are twice as expensive and even with the camera equipment, buyers hardly have to cut corners.

Top smartphones are now ridiculously expensive, prices beyond the 1000 euros are now almost normal. For this, buyers get devices with the latest technical finesse, but they rarely or not need them in everyday life. OnePlus, which is known for its price-performance cracks, recently sailed with its flagships in quite high-priced waters. But with the OnePlus Nord, the Chinese are returning to their old strength.

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The OnePlus Nord has a luxury class display.

(Photo: kwe)

Visually, the smartphone is indistinguishable from the sinfully expensive top devices. Even if the smartphone is not waterproof, the workmanship is high quality. The design of the OnePlus Nord differs with its flat display from the broad mass, which pretends to have narrower edges with curved sides than the screens actually have. Especially when you navigate with your thumb, it is much more pleasant and content is not distorted in the edge area. The fingerprint sensor integrated in the display works quickly and precisely.

OLED-Display mit 90 Hz

In general, the 6.44 inch OLED panel of the OnePlus Nord is a gem that is anything but middle class. With a pixel density of 408 ppi, it is very sharp and delivers crisp contrasts as well as bright but realistic colors. The screen can shine brightly enough for sunny daylight and offers a refresh rate of 90 Hertz (Hz), which is by no means a matter of course in this price range.

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The device has a practical button above the switch that can be used to switch notifications silently or to vibrate.

(Photo: kwe)

The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765. This makes the OnePlus Nord 5G-compatible and high-performance mid-range. In addition, there are a whopping 8 gigabytes (GB) of working memory and 128 GB of flash memory in the 400-euro variant. Neither of them belong to the youngest generations, but they work very well. There is 12 and 256 GB for one more Hunni, but you can really save the money as long as you don’t want to archive huge amounts of photos and videos on it – which you shouldn’t.

Also worthy of praise is the Oxygen operating system, which does not change much of Android 10 and underlines the brisk impression that the device makes. OnePlus also guarantees two years of system updates and three years of security patches, which, apart from Nokia in the 400-euro class, hardly any Android manufacturer does.

Strong main camera

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The main camera delivers detailed photos with natural colors.

(Photo: kwe)

Weak camera equipment is often the Achilles’ heel of mid-range smartphones. This is not the case with the OnePlus Nord, the snaps are almost top class. On the back are the main, super wide-angle and macro camera as well as a depth sensor. The display has a hole in the front for two selfie cameras.

Photos and videos of the main camera, which is optically stabilized, has a large aperture (f / 1.75) and has a resolution of up to 48 megapixels (MP). It delivers many details, realistic colors and strong contrasts in almost every situation. It can still be used well at night.

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The sides of the super wide-angle camera are somewhat blurred.

(Photo: kwe)

The super wide-angle camera also produces good photos with 8 MP and aperture f / 2.25, which, however, lose sharpness to the sides. The macro snaps surprised us during the test shots. Because with only two MP and aperture f / 2.4 you can take very good close-ups with it, even if it is not useful for very short distances under ten centimeters.

Selfie lovers will be very happy with the front cameras. Here the main snapshot with 32 MP and f / 2.45 produces sharper images than one would like in some situations. The ultra wide-angle camera with 8 MP and f / 2.45 is always sufficient for group selfies.

Enduring price-performance winner

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With just 2 MP, the macro snapshot makes pretty good close-ups.

(Photo: kwe)

Although the smartphone is only 8.2 millimeters thick, OnePlus has installed a battery with 4115 milliamperes. This means that the OnePlus Nord can easily get through the day, even if you ignore or deactivate the various ways to save electricity. With the clever quick charging technology of the Chinese, an empty battery is filled to 70 percent after 30 minutes on the power supply. With Bluetooth 5.1 and WLAN AC, the OnePlus Nord also has no connection problems. However, some users will miss a jack socket.

The bottom line is that the OnePlus Nord offers a total package for just 400 euros, with which it currently takes on the top price / performance ratio in the middle class. Most users would not notice the difference to more than twice as expensive devices if they were not pointed out. So why spend more money?

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