Tech reviews

OnePlus’s cheap new Nord phones will arrive in the US on January 15th


In case you missed the news the first time, the Nord N10 5G is the more capable of the company’s new budget phone, featuring Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 690 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. In addition to supporting sub-6 5G networks, the N10 5G also packs a 6.49-inch Full HD screen that refreshes at 90Hz like the original Nord and a quartet of rear cameras headlined by a 64-megapixel main shooter and an ultra-wide camera with a 119-degree field of view.

Rounding out the package are a 4,300mAh battery, stereo speakers, a fingerprint sensor and support for OnePlus’s Warp Charge 30T fast charging. All told, not too shabby for a properly cheap 5G phone, though we’re starting to see a lot of similarly spec’d models clamoring for shelf space.

And then there’s the Nord N100, a device whose standout features include a 6.52-inch HD+ display and a 5,000mAh battery, along with a 13-megapixel main rear camera, plus secondary portrait and macro cameras. Beyond that, the N100 seems fairly pedestrian: Qualcomm’s relatively new Snapdragon 460 chipset is ticking away inside, joined by 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot.

If we’re honest, neither phone seems poised to blow people away, but that was never really the point. With people continuing to shy away from premium smartphones — in other words, the kinds of devices with price tags OnePlus once steered clear of — claiming a piece of the mid-range market could be one of the company’s best chances at sustained growth. (Case in point: Motorola clawed its way back to profitability not long ago, thanks almost entirely to its bevy of cheap, functional smartphones.) Of course, that all hinges on how good these phones actually are, and we’re working on figuring that out right now — stay tuned for our full reviews.

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