With the Nord 3, OnePlus continues to supply plenty of cellphone for many who really feel that flagships value an excessive amount of. That is essentially the most premium Nord but although, and which means it’s not fairly nearly as good worth as earlier than.
The Nord sequence is OnePlus’s mid-range cellphone sequence, and the Nord 3 is the most recent within the line.
Like earlier numbered Nord entries this cellphone isn’t launching within the US, and surprisingly it additionally isn’t coming to the UK, nevertheless it has launched in Europe the place it has competitors from the likes of the Google Pixel 7a, Xiaomi 13 Lite, and Samsung Galaxy A54.
Not way back, we examined the primary Nord cellphone in era three, OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, an extended and complicated identify for a not-so reasonably priced cellphone with too many compromises to options, efficiency and design. Within the extra merely named Nord 3, OnePlus will get it extra proper.
It has a sublime design with a premium really feel, luxurious supplies, and a form that’s as fashionable as it’s sensible. With a 6.74in display screen, it’s something however small, however because of skinny display screen edges and flat sides on the cellphone’s aluminium body, it’s not too broad to grip. It’s a barely bigger display screen measurement than the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, however a millimetre smaller within the outer dimensions.
On the entrance, it doesn’t have Gorilla Glass however Dragontrail Glass from a competitor of Corning known as AGC. Whether or not it’s precisely as sturdy is tough to find out, nevertheless it ought to supply good safety towards a drop. The glass rounds off in a teardrop form alongside the sides immediately towards the matte aluminium body, and the again can also be glass, on this case Gorilla Glass 5 with a curved design in the direction of the sides. The Nord 3 is accessible in two types, with a matt grey-black again, or a inexperienced shiny end.
Similar to the flagship OnePlus 11 I’m a bit of upset that I can’t get the extra enticing inexperienced color with the snug matt again, but when like most individuals you place a protecting case over the cellphone, it doesn’t matter. The Nord 3 has an influence button and quantity management on reverse sides of the cell phone, and on the prime of the proper facet is OnePlus’s trademark slider that may shortly swap the cellphone to silent or don’t disturb mode. It was lacking from some earlier OnePlus fashions, so it’s a welcome sight.
Excessive mid-range efficiency
The Dimensity 9000 chipset from Mediatek delivers efficiency that’s roughly equal to final yr’s prime telephones. It delivers metrics according to Google’s Pixel 7 mobiles, and with 16GB of RAM within the prime mannequin, I skilled nearly no choppiness or lag. Solely when loading giant apps, the place it’s a bit of slower than one of the best of the most recent top-end mobiles. Not too dangerous for a mid-range cellphone.
With comparatively excessive graphics efficiency and good cooling, it’s a terrific cellphone for gaming. It runs a lot of the extra demanding Android video games at a excessive and clean body price on its 1080p display screen, and it manages to maintain the body price up for a very long time even at actually excessive hundreds.
Nevertheless, there may be an higher restrict, and the cellphone’s cooling is accountable. A radical stress take a look at reveals that it manages to take care of peak efficiency for 10 to fifteen minutes, then it shortly loses about 30 per cent of its computing energy. That needs to be sufficient in most conditions, apart from lengthy gaming classes.
Excessive class display screen
120Hz body price and as much as 1,000Hz contact sampling within the display screen makes the response pleasantly quick. The decision is a barely odd 1,240 x 2,772 pixels.
It’s not full LPTO expertise within the display screen, nevertheless it adjusts frequency in 5 fastened steps between 40 and 120Hz. In computerized mode, it’s seemingly seamless. But it surely doesn’t appear to be excellent at maintaining the frequency low, as I get nearly the identical battery life then as after I manually run the cellphone in 120Hz display screen mode.
The display screen is an AMOLED with wonderful color and excessive peak brightness for sunny days. 1,450 nits is the acknowledged most brightness, and utilizing the cellphone open air is rarely an issue. With help for HDR10+, and the proper certificates for HDR content material on Netflix and Prime Video, you possibly can have a terrific movie expertise.
Constructed-in stereo audio system present detailed sound, particularly within the mid-range,. Sadly, it lacks fairly a little bit of energy within the bass, so it may be a skinny sounding expertise. Dolby Atmos is enabled and may’t be switched off except you plug in headphones, and irrespective of which sound profile I select, I by no means get any actual fullness within the sound.
On the again are two spherical digicam pucks, which comprise three cameras. A 50Mp IMX890 sensor with optical picture stabilisation within the higher one, and a less complicated 8Mp ultrawide digicam with fastened focus and 2Mp macro within the different. Subsequent to every are white circles, however plainly solely certainly one of them is the LED flash, it’s the one one which prompts after I’m capturing. What the opposite does is open to conjecture. Mild sensor? Ornament? Who is aware of.
Images in daylight are sharp and detailed, and with fast focus and AI help, it’s straightforward to drag the cellphone out of your pocket, level, click on, and get a reliably good image. I get pure colors in all my take a look at pictures, however the dynamics are a bit of unreliable. If the digicam has giant darkish areas in shadow, it needs to focus on them to get particulars, which suggests vivid areas are overexposed.
For essentially the most half, although, it appears to be like good, and the ultrawide and selfie digicam match the principle digicam in color and lightweight ranges. The small macro digicam has paler color saturation and a few fixed noise within the picture. In professional mode, you possibly can management publicity intimately and you’ll select to shoot in RAW format.
Evening images with a daytime really feel
OnePlus is eager to stress how good the Nord 3 is at night time images, with its giant sensor, optical picture stabilisation, and its personal multi-exposure expertise known as Turbo RAW. So I went out into the neighbourhood and tried some pictures. The outcomes present that OnePlus isn’t mendacity – you may get plenty of element and nuance with a pointy, nearly noise-free picture.
There’s only one downside: it’s too vivid. As a substitute of giving me nice colors, it pushes the sunshine compensation to the max, so it all of a sudden appears to be like like I’m capturing within the early night somewhat than the nighttime. The very best cameras I’ve seen handle to seize element and color however nonetheless preserve a practical sense of night time within the picture. It’s doable to tweak this within the app’s handbook professional mode, nevertheless it’s not straightforward.
As a video digicam, the Nord 3 is helpful. You get a gradual picture with a mix of optical and digital stabilisation, and may shoot at as much as 4K and 60fps, with easy however intuitive controls. In horizontal mode you even get a stereo microphone, which I believe sounds convincing, and with good filters towards noise and wind noise. If you wish to join an exterior microphone by way of USB or Bluetooth, that’s positive, however sadly it’s not doable to modify to it within the app; you’ll should dig into the system’s settings menu for that.
System and battery
The interface is OnePlus’s common OxygenOS, now in model 13.1, with just a few enhancements in comparison with the 13.0 that OnePlus 11 got here with, together with an prolonged Zen mode that you may activate to disconnect and chill out.
It’s in fact primarily based on Android 13, and OnePlus guarantees three years of Android updates and 4 years of safety updates. That’s not so good as the premium OnePlus 11, nevertheless it’s on par with what Google itself affords.
OxygenOS is, as all the time, elegant and well-tuned for a quick expertise, and can also be mentioned to assist with battery optimisation to assist preserve battery well being and maximise cost cycles. Which means that it has solely a marginal lack of capability after as much as 1,600 cost cycles. Says OnePlus. After all, it’s unattainable for me to check with out having used the cellphone for therefore lengthy that you may not purchase it and have to take a look at the Nord 6 or Nord 7 as a substitute.
A 5,000mAh battery powers the cellphone and is sufficient for a full day of lively use. The cellphone isn’t extraordinarily power environment friendly in some conditions the place others shine, similar to video streaming, however you possibly can nonetheless binge watch a season of your favorite present earlier than the battery runs out. Brightness and audio quantity have an effect on battery life greater than body price.
When it’s time to prime up, you get actual quick charging with the included 80W proprietary Supervooc charger. It takes simply over half an hour to recharge a full battery, so it’s straightforward to do together with your morning espresso.
The primary OnePlus Nord was a hit, and the Nord 2 was even higher. Now OnePlus has constructed on its good qualities and above all delivers the next sense of luxurious than earlier than – however at an elevated worth.
The Nord 3 begins from €499 for 8GB+128GB, rising to €549 for 16GB+256GB, a hefty hike from the earlier €399 begin worth for the Nord 2 and Nord 2T.
Product identify: OnePlus Nord 3 Producer: OnePlus Circuitry: Mediatek Dimensity 9000 Processor: Cortex-X2 3.05GHz, 3x Cortex-A710 2.85GHz, 4x Cortex-A510 1.8GHz Graphics: Mali-G710 MC10, 848MHz Reminiscence: 8/16 GB Storage: 128/256 GB Mannequin examined: 16/256 GB Show: 6.74 inch AMOLED, 1240 x 2772 pixels, 120Hz Cameras: 50Mp + 8MP ultrawide, 2Mp macro, 16Mp entrance Connections: USB 3 Sort C Communications: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, Galileo, NFC Working system: Android 13 with OxygenOS 13.1 Different: Twin SIM, in-screen fingerprint scanner, alert slider, splash resistant (IP54) Battery: 5000mAh, 16 hrs 40 min on-line video (Wi-Fi, excessive brightness, 60 Hz), about 15 hrs combined use (4G, low brightness, 120Hz), about 36 hrs calls Battery charging: 80W USB-C (SuperVooc), 30W USB charger included. Dimension: 16.2 x 7.5 x 0.82cm Weight: 194g