The OnePlus Nord marks the company’s return to an underserved mid-tier smartphone market. By using a different name, OnePlus is ensuring that it won’t be confused for its higher-end models and that consumers will be able to set their expectations right. Those expectations shouldn’t be high, to begin with, but it would also be a disservice to write it off completely. As DxOMark found out, the OnePlus Nord does decently when it comes to taking photos and recording videos, as long as you don’t expect to produce award-winning pieces from it.
Despite their differences, this is where the OnePlus Nord borrows at least one thing from its more expensive cousin. Leading its camera array is the same 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, this time with a smaller f/1.75 aperture lens. But while that does mean the OnePlus Nord shares the OnePlus 8’s main camera, it, unfortunately, means it also shares in its flaws and adds its own.
The OnePlus Nord has generally good exposure and color especially in bright, outdoor scenes though clipping and a narrow dynamic range knocks a few points off its score. Its biggest faults, however, are in specialized cases, like the lack of a dedicated telephoto camera or noisy edges in ultra-wide shots. The phone’s camera app fails to sufficiently handle distortion in bokeh or portrait mode and its nighttime performance was noted to be extremely disappointing.
The same theme carries over to the video benchmark where vivid colors and stabilization made up for its weaknesses. Autofocus was regarded to be slow, even if accurate, and stabilization when walking left much to be desired.
With an average score of 108, the OnePlus Nord is just as average in DxOMark’s eyes. Given its price tag, however, it could still be a viable option for those who just want the basics but also need to step above entry-level handsets. US consumers will have to, unfortunately, settle for the even less powerful OnePlus Nord N10 and N100 and we still have to see how their cameras perform in the wild.