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.
Hardware: noticeably less than normal OnePlus Nord
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.
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.
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.
We don’t need that many cameras
There are a total of five cameras on board, including the 16 megapixel selfie camera. There are four lenses on the back, but they are certainly not all equally useful. The main camera has a 64-megapixel sensor, the highest ever in a OnePlus smartphone. That does not automatically mean that you also shoot the best photos with it.
Photos look good in terms of detail, but are sometimes a bit pale. For example, blue skies are suppressed a bit and that is also the case with lawns or colored autumn trees.
There is also a night mode again, which squeezes excellent photos. So if you want to take a photo in the evenings, for example, it is certainly advisable to turn on this mode. More details can be seen and colors correspond better to reality. What is striking is that photos taken in that position are slightly zoomed in. In the examples below you see photos taken in normal mode on the left, with night mode on the right.
The second camera is the wide-angle lens with a resolution of 8 megapixels. Handy for wider photos of, for example, architecture, landscapes or a large group of people. However, the resolution is a bit too low for really beautiful pictures and that is a shame.
Then there are two cameras on board, but neither of them are high-fliers. One contains a monochrome lens and thus provides more contrast in photos. Do you want a close up then you use the fourth camera. However, it has a fairly unusable resolution of 2 megapixels.
So the same as with the original Nord, which we also wrote in our OnePlus Nord review. OnePlus has a hand in equipping devices with such ‘useless’ cameras, and that is a shame.
Battery life and charging is more than nice
The capacity of the battery is 4300 mAh and therefore a bit larger than that of the normal OnePlus Nord. The performance is therefore the same, or even slightly better. In practice, you can easily get through an intensive day. The N10 also stands its ground when using many social media, chat and navigation apps and, for example, streaming services or YouTube.
Do you still have to leave the house or have you forgotten to put the device on the charger? Thanks to its own fast charging technology, supplied charger and USB cable, the device charges very quickly. A full charge from 0 to 100 percent takes only 70 to 75 minutes.
Conclusion OnePlus Nord N10 5G review
The normal OnePlus Nord was a smart choice of the manufacturer and that device was very successful. We knew that more OnePlus Nord smartphones would come, but the existence of the Nord N10 5G is doubtful. The fact is that the regular Nord is the N10’s biggest competitor.
For only five bucks more you can buy a device with a nicer screen, faster hardware, better cameras and a much better update policy. The headphone jack and the memory card slot are great options, but the N10 can’t manage with that. All in all, it is better to save up for the ‘normal’ OnePlus Nord, because the N10 is not really recommended.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G buy and suggested retail price
You can buy the OnePlus Nord N10 5G from Friday, November 20. The suggested retail price of the device is 349 euros. From that moment on it is also possible to combine the N10 5G with a subscription. Are you going for a separate device? Check out our sim only price comparison for the best deals.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G
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