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In 2020, OnePlus has turned a new leaf in the company's history. With the recent departure of the company's co-founder Carl Pei, a shift in strategy is apparent. OnePlus had suddenly expanded its portfolio with the announcement of the Nord, and the N10 5G is a continuation of the Nord lineup. It's just one step below the Nord and the N10 ships with a brand-new Qualcomm chip that's the first of the 600-series to support 5G.
The Nord, however, isn't available in the US, a large price gap will sit between the N10 5G and the OnePlus 8 5G in OnePlus' North American portfolio. OnePlus is one of the only (somewhat) recognizable brands in the US. A brand that already has rapport with major two major US carriers. If the company can compete in the mid-range price bracket, it might be able to make a mark on budget-phone territory in one of the toughest smartphone markets in the world.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G specs at a glance:
- Body: 163 x 74.7 x 8.95 mm; 405 ppi; "Midnight Ice" iridescent plastic build
- Display: 6.49" IPS LCD display; FHD+ 1080 x 2400 px, 20:9 aspect ratio; 405 ppi; 90Hz refresh rate; 16M colors sRGB; 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM6350 Snapdragon 690; Octa-core (2×2.0 GHz Kryo 560 Gold & 6×1.7 GHz Kryo 560 Silver); X51 5G modem (support for sub-5GHz 5G networks); Adreno 619L
- Memory: 6GB LPDDR4x RAM + 128GB UFS 2.1 (expandable up to 512GB via microSD card or 2nd SIM hybrid slot in EU variant)
- Rear cameras: 64MP (main) f/1.7 aperture, 0.7µm pixels with AF + 8MP (ultra wide) f/2.25 aperture, 119-degree FOV + 2MP (macro) f/2.4 aperture, 1.75µm pixels + 2MP (monochrome) f/2.4 aperture, 1.75µm pixels; LED flash; support for RAW images w/ main camera
- Front camera: 16MP, f/2.05 aperture, 1 µm pixels
- Video capture: Rear: 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 120fps, 720p @ 240fps, 4K timelapse; Front: 1080p @ 60fps
- Battery and charging: 4300 mAh; supports OnePlus Warp Charge 30T (5V @ 6A)
- Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner; NFC; Bluetooth 5.1; 3.5mm headphone jack;
OnePlus aims to release the Nord N10 5G in the US as well, and it will have to compete with Samsung, LG, and Motorola's budget phones – brands which dominate in the pre-paid segment. The company's launch of the N10 5G in European markets is a bit puzzling considering the amount of competition that already exists among Chinese brands. This is untrue in the US, however, where high value/low-price smartphones from Xiaomi, vivo, and Oppo are nowhere on the map.
OnePlus' phones have always had some element of surprise, or a feature that really made it stand out amongst competitors, but the Nord N10 5G doesn't feel like that at all; it feels like a run of the mill smartphone that's meant to fill a gap in the company's rapidly expanding portfolio. It sounds a lot like the opposite of "Never Settle" to us.
The N10 5G's main story will take place in the US, where OnePlus pushes 5G access to the sub-$400 mark. The current entry-level 5G phones sit at $399 so let's see if OnePlus has what it takes to steal some market share from LG, Samsung, and Motorola.
We always praise OnePlus for its high-quality packaging on its flagships, but you won't find that with the Nord phones. The Nord lineup's packaging is black and blue, and inside the box is the phone itself, the Warp Charge 30T charger, and a bright red USB-A to USB-C charging cable.
There's also a SIM-ejector tool, and some documentation. There was no freebie clear case that normally comes with other OnePlus phones. We were also a bit bummed out there were no OnePlus stickers in the box.
Next let's get a closer look at the design of the N10 5G.