The OnePlus Nord N10 5G (previously known as the Nord 2 or Nord Lite depending on the rumor) looks like like OnePlus' next budget or mid-range phone — especially now that OnePlus has announced the Nord N10 5G.
The OnePlus Nord caused a splash when it came out in July, but there were a few things about that phone that made it less than ideal. First off, it's not sold in the U.S. — and doesn't seem like it will be. And while the Nord's sub-$500 price is a steal for the specs, not everyone needs all of its features — from its 5G connectivity and 90Hz display to its six cameras.
That's why we expect the next Nord, which should be sold in the U.S., to be another step down in price. With OnePlus' normally excellent build quality and well-designed software, the Nord N10 5G could be another hit for the company and a more direct competitor to the $349 Google Pixel 4a and $399 iPhone SE.
With OnePlus unveiling the OnePlus Nord N10 5G we now know a little bit more about this phone. Here's a rundown of everything that's been announced so far and the OnePlus Nord N10 5G details we're still waiting to hear.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G: latest news (Updated October 26)
- OnePlus has announced both the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and the cheaper OnePlus Nord N100. Both phones are headed to the U.K. first, though it sounds like a North American launch is in the cards.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G price and release date
The OnePlus N10 5G will debut at £329, which converts to just under $500. That also happens to be less than the £379 starting price of the OnePlus Nord, which also comes in a £469 version. We're not sure what the N10 5G's U.S. price will be, but some rumors have suggested it will cost less than $400.
For context, the iPhone SE starts at $399 while the Google Pixel 4a goes for $349. A 5G version of the Pixel 4a starts at $499.
The OnePlus N10 5G is set to launch in November in the UK, some time after the Nov. 10 debut for the cheaper OnePlus N100. OnePlus says details on a North American launch will come later.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G specs
Screen size: 6.49 inches (FHD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate)
CPU: Snapdragon 690
Rear cameras: 64MP main, ultrawide angle, macro, monochrome
Front camera: 16MP
Battery size: 4,300 mAh
Back when the OnePlus N10 5G was a rumor, Code found within OnePlus' OxygenOS operating system pointed to a future device using a Snapdragon 690 chipset. That's exactly the system-on-chip that powers the OnePlus N10 5G.
Stepping down from a 7-series chip to a 6-series chip means there will be a performance gap between the original Nord and the N10, but crucially the 690 still offers 5G connectivity, a feature that will become increasingly important to smartphone buyers in the next few years.
The OnePlus N10 5G also features 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You're able to expand capacity via a card slot, the first time that's been available on a OnePlus device.
Don't confuse the OnePlus N10 5G with another unidentified OnePlus phone spotted on Geekbench that's been nicknamed "Clover". That phone has a Snapdragon 665, which is a less powerful chip than the 690, and 4GB of RAM.
This could signify a huge expansion of the Nord range, with multiple budget to mid-range phones being offered when it finally hits the US. (Indeed, the low-end OnePlus N100 promises that a $200-or-so phone with a big battery is coming to this country.) Equally, OnePlus may be still experimenting with different specs to figure out which works best for its plans.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G design and display
As it shares the same name, the Nord N10 5G will look like the original Nord. And that means a phone that looks a lot like the newly released OnePlus 8T, right down to the camera array in the upper left corner of the phone's back.
OnePlus equipped the Nord with a 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with a 90Hz refresh rate, a seriously good display for the price. And it looks like OnePlus isn't cutting down on the screen for the N10.
According to OnePlus, the N10 5G features a 6.49-inch display with FHD+ resolution. More importantly, the phone's display has a 90Hz refresh rate, which is fantastic news for customers. While the resolution isn't as good as a flagship 4K display, this could still end up being a class leader.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G: Cameras
The Nord had the most cameras ever seen on a OnePlus phone, with four on the back (main, ultrawide, depth and macro) and two on the front (main and ultrawide).
The OnePlus Nord N10 5G doesn't feature as many cameras, but you still get a wide variety of shooters. The 64MP main camera is joined by an ultrawide angle lens with a 119-degree field of view. You'll also find a macro lens and a monochrome lens on the back of the phone.
Up front, there's just a lone selfie cam, with OnePlus ditching the ultrawide lens found on the original Nord. Instead, the Nord N10 5G makes do with a 16MP front shooter.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G connectivity
As noted above, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G offers 5G connectivity. (It's right there in the name, after all.) But don't expect compatibility with all kinds of 5G networks.
The 5G modem included in the Snapdragon 690 system-on-chip works with sub-6GHz 5G networks. That means widespread coverage, as each of the three US carriers have built their nationwide 5G networks on lower spectrum. The modem can't connect to mmWave 5G, though, which means the super-fast speeds will be out of reach for this device.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G battery and charging
OnePlus phones tend to have fairly big batteries for their size. The Nord, for example, has a 4,115 mAh cell, which is far larger than the ones found in the Google Pixel 4a (3,140 mAh) or the iPhone SE (1,821 mAh).
The cheaper price on the OnePlus Nord N10 5G doesn't mean a smaller battery. OnePlus went with a 4,300 mAh power pack. More importantly, you'll be able to charge that battery quickly, as the N10 5G supports OnePlus' Warp Charge 30T fast-charging technology. That's not as fast as what you'll find in the OnePlus 8T, but it still should get the phone past 50% power after 30 minutes of charging.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G software
The OnePlus Nord runs on OxygenOS, as do the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. This is a particularly slick-looking version of Android, and the current version, OxygenOS 10.5, is what the OnePlus Nord N10 5G features.
That's a mild surprise considering the OnePlus 8T ships with a more modern version of OxygenOS built on Android 11. Then again, OnePlus has to make a distinction between its flagship device and its budget offerings in some way, and the software build seems like one way to do that.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G outlook
We're eager to see OnePlus introduce a cheaper handset into the U.S. after the Nord launched in Europe and India. While some users may want the hardware jam-packed into the Nord, a cheaper model could do very well.
The announced specs are intriguing, particularly the faster charging. We're also eager to see if there's a noticeable performance drop-off from the original Nord, given the slower processor OnePlus includes in the N10.
The true comparison will be with the iPhone SE and both LTE and 5G versions of the Pixel 4a. If the Nord N10 5G can take on both phones, OnePlus may have a winner on its hands.