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OnePlus Nord review: a mid-range master

The OnePlus Nord is a fantastic addition to the mid range.

OnePlus Nord review: a mid-range master

What's this? A new OnePlus phone already? We hear your cries - and for good reason, OnePlus is well known for only releasing a few phone variants in a year and it's already hit that number with its 'affordable' flagships, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro - two fine phones that launched only in April.

There's a new phone, though, and that's the OnePlus Nord - the third handset we've seen from them while in lockdown.

This OnePlus is more of a mid-range general, with some smart specs and little in the way of compromise.

Here's 5 things to know about a device we've been playing with for some time now...

1. The OnePlus Nord is straight to the point

Hands on: OnePlus Nord review: 5 things to know

There is a nice no-nonsense attitude about the OnePlus Nord. This starts with the screen. While the back of the device has a curve, the screen doesn't have the curve that you might be used to on other OnePlus phones.

It's a flat AMOLED, 6.44 inch screen that packs a 90Hz refresh rate. In short this means super-smooth scrolling and it's decent for playing games, as there's less judder. The downside is you can no longer blame your handset for your terrible Fortnite playing.

2. It's 5G Ready

Hands on: OnePlus Nord review: 5 things to know

It might be fighting at a more mid-range price point but this is a phone that's 5G ready. It has done this by using a rather fancy (yet affordable) chipset. A Snapdragon 765 is under the hood and this is one of the few chips that can offer 5G gubbins for a price that won't make your eyes water.

3. The phone won't make your eyes water, either

Hands on: OnePlus Nord review: 5 things to know

There's some great screen tech on board that is kinder to your eyes. Given the world right now is pretty much doom scrolling all of the time, there are some decent options on board to help save on eye strain. There's a blue filter option (essential) and you can also drain the colour out of the screen and pretend you are in a fancy 60s French movie.

4.There are SIX cameras on board

Hands on: OnePlus Nord review: 5 things to know

Now, this is just greedy. On the front of the OnePlus Nord are two selfie cameras. One is an 8MP Ultra-wide lens which should do away with the need of a bloody selfie stick. The main front camera is 32MP.

On the back, four cameras comprise: a 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide angle, 2MP Macro camera and a 5MP depth sensor. Video wise, you'll be able to shoot your TikToks in 4K at 30fps.

What is missing is an optical zoom, which does start to show if you go and zoom on anything beyond the normal 2x. Even though you can shoot up to 48MP, the default is 12MP. When it comes to low light shooting, the Nightscape mode is a bit of a blessing - and really nice to see this tech in a mid-range device.

5. Warp Charging is here, wireless is not

Hands on: OnePlus Nord review: 5 things to know

The OnePlus Nord supports WarpCharge 30T fast charging which does exactly what it says: it charges your phone in a super-fast time. You don't get wireless charging, though, but this is a mid-range phone so set your feature expectations that little bit lower, please.

In our tests we got well over a day out of the battery. There are a number of things you can do to save on battery, too, but we were impressed with not having to charge it overnight. If you were to charge it overnight, though, optimised charging does mean that it will cut off once charging is complete - it's a neat feature that can also be found on the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.

OnePlus Nord: Final Verdict

Hands on: OnePlus Nord review: 5 things to know

The OnePlus Nord sees OnePlus back in familiar territory and it's a much welcomed return to the mid-range. For the money the OnePlue Nord is one the best-looking, feature-rich handsets around.

The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are two phones we are big fans of. But their price will certainly have put some people off - even if they were badged as 'affordable flagships'.

The OnePlus Nord's prices shouldn't put anyone off: it's available in both blue and grey with 8GB/128GB for £379 or 12GB/256GB of storage for £469.

This is impressive given no corners of not have been cut - except the smooth corners of the screen, obviously - to slim down to this price.

Yes, the chipset inside is lower but we must not have been paying attention as it didn't feel like it made a difference to us. The phone never struggled, even when pushing it on the gaming side. We had myriad windows up and didn't notice any slowdown.

What you do notice is the features you get at this price: a 90Hz screen, 5G, decent RAM and a great-looking, well-built phone which will be more-than desirable for many right now.