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OnePlus Nord N10 5G review: swallowed up by the first Nord smartphone

The Nord was OnePlus’ first mid-range smartphone in years. Now there is also the Nord N10 5G, a device that costs five tens less. How the smartphone is and performs compared to the normal Nord? You can read it in this review.

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Read the OnePlus Nord N10 5G review

The OnePlus Nord family now consists of three devices, including the Nord N10 5G that we discuss in this review. The device has a suggested retail price of 349 euros and falls between the Nord N100 of 199 euros and the previously presented OnePlus Nord. It is available from 399 euros and is therefore 50 euros more expensive than its N10 brother.

Design feels a bit simple

The N10 is available in only one color variant: dark blue. The device is made of plastic, just like the normal Nord. Still, the whole looks and feels a bit less luxurious, also because the housing is very fingerprint sensitive. Big plus points are the headphone jack and the memory card slot.

However, a core brand of OnePlus smartphones is no longer on board: the Alert Slider. With this physical slider you can quickly switch between sound profiles. At the bottom you will find the speaker, headphone jack and USB-C port. The back offers space for the fingerprint scanner and the camera island. It protrudes minimally, which ensures that it stands out a lot less.

However, the module ensures that the device does not lie flat on a surface and therefore wobbles a bit. OnePlus does not include a case in the box, probably to cut costs. A fast charger is included, more about that later.

Great screen, but no amoled

The screen is 6.5 inches in size and has an excellent resolution of 2400 by 1080 pixels, which makes everything look sharp. Text is easy to read, but also playing a game or watching a movie looks nice. However, it is an LCD panel and that is something that certainly stands out. Colors do not look as spectacular as with the normal OnePlus Nord with its OLED screen.

However, the viewing angles are fine and the brightness is also enough for an autumn sun. What also scores points is the refresh rate, which is 90Hz. As a result, the screen refreshes more often than a normal screen, which benefits the smoothness.

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

Hardware: noticeably less than normal OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

Under the hood of the OnePlus Nord N10 5G is a Snapdragon 690 processor and 6GB of RAM. That is a chip for devices in a price range of about 250 to 400 euros. With this processor, manufacturer Qualcomm is also bringing 5G to the affordable Nord N10.

In practice, the device is fast enough for any task and multitasking, but sometimes you see some glitches. The normal Nord costs five tens more, but the processor and amount of RAM are also a bit better.

The Nord N10 does have a function that we would like to see with every OnePlus smartphone: a micro-SD card slot. This way you can expand the internal memory of 128GB easily and relatively cheaply. You do not have that option with more expensive OnePlus models, but you can of course choose between multiple storage variants. You pay a lot for that.

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

Software is nice, update policy is not

OnePlus supplies the Nord N10 with Android 10 and its own OyxgenOS shell. That layer over Android ensures that you can adjust the software as desired. Think of the shape of the icons, the accent color that appears everywhere in the software or, for example, the clock style, or the shape and type of the clock on your lock screen.

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

The recently presented OnePlus 8T comes standard with Android 11, “but that is also a premium device”, according to OnePlus. The N10 5G will get that update, but when exactly is unknown. It is also the only Android update for the device, with two years of security updates.

The normal OnePlus Nord is the better choice for that reason alone, despite the fact that it is slightly more expensive. That device also runs standard on Android 10, but will receive two major updates and three years of security patches. It is unclear how often and quickly the Nord N10 5G gets those smaller (but important) updates.

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