Hello, everybody! I’m going to compare two smartphones – the new pre-flagship OnePlus Nord and the 2019 bestseller OnePlus 7T. Let’s try to figure out which is better – the ambitious mid-budget smartphone or the time-tested flagship.
Let’s start with the design. Both smartphones have approximately the same dimensions, a streamlined body and some common corporate features, but there are also some differences. They are strong and immediately catch your eye. The visual uniqueness of the OnePlus 7T primarily lies in the impressive main camera block, which is designed in the style of a DSLR lens. The Nord model’s back panel looks more traditional, closer to the new generation smartphones like the OnePlus 8 and the 8 Pro.
Also, last year’s 7T boasts a solid metal frame, while the Nord has a budget chrome plated plastic to imitate noble aluminum. Of course, this was a forced decision for the OnePlus to reduce the cost of the sub-flagship.
Although the back panels of both smartphones are made of glass, the difference in price is quite clear. The OnePlus 7T offers a delightful matte texture, while the Nord has a glossy one. It is clear that many users immediately hide a fragile glass smartphone in a case, but nevertheless.
On the front, the OnePlus Nord features a wide screen opening for a dual front camera. The 7T has a neat, almost invisible keyhole.
As usual, the OnePlus smartphones do not have a 3.5mm audio jack or a memory card slot. The proprietary mechanical slider for sound modes is located on the right, next to the power button. An optical fingerprint scanner is built into the screen. The SIM card tray slides out from below. There is also a USB-C connector for charging and a main speaker grill. Moreover, stereo sound through the speakers is provided only by the OnePlus 7T.
The OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus 7T have completely identical Fluid AMOLED displays with 1080 × 2400 pixels, 90Hz refresh rate and dynamic range expansion. Even diagonally, the 7T’s screen is only 11/100 inches larger than the Nord’s. The difference is minimum if you do not take into account the cutouts for the front-end, but you quickly get used to each of them.
The pixel density is quite high – over 400 per inch. The viewing angle is very good. There is oleophobic, polarization and Corning Gorilla protective glass. The brightness of the display is sufficient for normal perception of the picture even on a clear, sunny day. There are several options for calibrating color rendition, flexible settings for the design and operation of the screen. For example, in reading mode, not only the color temperature changes, but notifications are also hidden.
I recommend that you definitely try different modes to experience the full potential of the Fluid AMOLED matrix.
As always, the OnePlus smartphones have an extremely clean OxygenOS interface without unnecessary “junk” applications. Both models offer the same feature set specifically optimized for a 90Hz display.
Out of the box, the OnePlus Nord and the 7T run Android 10. Most importantly, they will receive two major firmware updates all the way to Android 12 next year.
The OxygenOS interface has everything a modern user needs: a gesture control feature, an extended notification center, a game mode, a built-in screen recording function, and much much more. You can customize them to your liking to personalize your smartphone as much as possible.
The OxygenOS shell behaves smoothly, quickly opens programs and bulky games. Nothing slows down and does not restart in the background.
The main camera module of the OnePlus Nord, the OnePlus 7T and even the OnePlus 8 smartphones uses the same 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor. Technically the shooting quality will be approximately equal, but the Nord does not support 4K / 60fps video recording. And although the Nord is equipped with four cameras on the back, in practice only two of them will be useful. They are the main one with 48 megapixels and the ultra-wide-angle one with 8 megapixels. The macro camera with a resolution of 2 megapixels is unlikely to allow you to take decent photos. The 5 megapixel portrait lens has a narrow scope and it is not intended for shooting by itself.
The OnePlus 7T comes with just three main cameras, but you really need each of them. The master module produces great pictures in almost any light. The 16MP ultra-wide-angle camera also performs well and even reproduces colors correctly. And the third 12MP telephoto camera provides 2x optical zoom without loss of quality. High-speed shooting is possible with frame rates up to 960 per second (it is 4 times faster than available in the Nord camera settings).
However, the OnePlus Nord users have a cooler 32MP selfie camera, which is complemented by an 8MP ultra-wide camera for group photos. By the way, it is curious that the front camera Nord can record 4K / 60 frames per second.
The OnePlus 7T has a regular, single 16MP front camera.
When you buy a OnePlus smartphone, you are making the right choice anyway. The OnePlus Nord has the Snapdragon 765G processor, which is comparable in power to the Snapdragon 855+ in the 7T model. In everyday tasks, these smartphones work equally. You can see the difference only during long gaming sessions. In this regard, it is difficult to compete with the 855th “dragon”. This processor guarantees excellent performance and does not know what “throttling” is.
The Snapdragon 765G is definitely strong, but if you’re looking for a gaming smartphone, then the OnePlus 7T is definitely worth choosing. In addition, it has a more modern type of permanent memory. It uses UFS 3.0, and the Nord version uses UFS 2.1.
The OnePlus Nord has the advantage of storage capacity. In the maximum version, 12/256 GB is available, while the memory of the OnePlus 7T is limited to 8/128 GB. You need to seriously try to fully use up such limits.
Let me remind you that the comparison involves the official Russian modifications of smartphones, but you can find others for sale.
The OnePlus 7T supports all LTE frequencies operating in Russia. In ideal conditions, download speeds reach 1.2 Gbps. The quality of the connection does not cause any complaints. The set of wireless modules also includes Bluetooth version 5, 2-band Wi-Fi and NFC. The navigation is carried out using satellite systems GPS, Glonass, Galileo and Beidou.
The OnePlus Nord has similar communications and geo-location capabilities, but additionally offers a 5G modem. If you are looking for a 5th generation mobile phone, then of course you should buy the Nord.
Both smartphones support fast charging up to 30W. The battery capacity is larger in the OnePlus Nord model – and it is 4115 mAh. It can be charged 70% in half an hour. But the battery life is not impressive – it lasts only one day.
The OnePlus 7T 3800 mAh battery needs to be recharged generally 2 times a day if you actively use your smartphone at a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Although, if you run an HD video online at maximum brightness and hertz cycle, the battery runs out rather slowly – more than 14 hours.
Unfortunately, neither the Nord nor the 7T can be charged without a wire.
Next, let’s look at the positive and negative customer reviews. What do regular users say about the OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus 7T smartphones?
The OnePlus nord
- Its video quality degrades in applications.
- When recording a call, both you and the interlocutor hear a warning sounds. In my opinion, this should not be like this.
- The autonomy could have been improved, but all characteristics are good.
The OnePlus 7T
- The only drawback is the ugly circle with cameras in the back.
- There are microlags when switching applications, but they happen very rarely.
- The camera performs slightly worse indoors than outdoors.
The OnePlus Nord
- You can use it for 8 hours of screen time with heavy use. This is great for me.
- The OxygenOS is much better than others. It is smoother and it gets updates faster.
- The camera is great for the average budget.
There is a lovely AMOLED display. Scrolling at 90Hz is quite even.
The OnePlus 7T
- It’s good to see that the OnePlus smartphone has a dialer from Google.
- It’s the best phone in my life. You can run several applications: in split screen mode and in parallel with YouTube somewhere in the corner and nothing will slow down!
- The internal storage of 128GB is more than enough for me, despite the lack of support for memory cards.
- The performance is superb. You can take it without looking. Any games fly at maximum settings.
As I mentioned earlier, when buying a OnePlus smartphone, every choice will be right. The Nord offers near-flagship performance for its price tag. The 7T is more expensive but it delivers fantastic performance. And these smartphones have a lot in common like a bright, flat AMOLED screen, 90 Hz, fast 30-watt charging, flawless interface, upgradeable to 12th Android. However, the OnePlus 7T pulls ahead with stereo speakers, a metal frame, a powerful processor and a practical set of cameras. The OnePlus Nord is the “king” of the middle class. The smartphone is literally one step away from the flagships and allows you to save a decent budget.
The detailed specifications and current prices of the OnePlus Nord and the 7T can be checked from the links in the description.