OnePlus Nord N10 (5G) review: flavorless efficiency

After having (re) attacked the mid-range with the OnePlus Nord, OnePlus is now aiming a little more at the entry level with its Nord N10. Compromises were necessarily made to lower the price to less than 350 dollars and we wanted to know what the OnePlus Nord N10 is worth on a daily basis. Answer in our full test.

OnePlus Nord N10

In July 2020, OnePlus reinvests the mid-range with the excellent OnePlus Nord, a very complete phone for 399 dollars and which won the score of 9/10 in our test. The brand continued this strategy and launched two entry-level smartphones three months later: the Nord N100 and the Nord N10, offered when they were released at 349 dollars and 199 dollars respectively.

Today we are focusing on the Nord N10, which offers for less than 350 dollars a 6.49-inch screen with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, a 5G Snapdragon 690 chip supported by 6 GB of RAM and a 4300 mAh battery. With the launch of this model, we questioned the potential for OnePlus’s brand image to erode, but now it will be a question of whether the Nord N10 is a good phone or not.

OnePlus Nord N10 5G Data Sheet :

ModeleOnePlus Nord N10
OS VersionAndroid 10 Q
Manufacturer interfaceOxygenOS
Screen Size6.49 inch
Definition2400 x 1080 pixels
pixel density405 ppp
TechnologyLCD
SoCSnapdragon 690
Graphics Chip (GPU)Adreno 619
RAM6 GB
Stockage128 GB
Camera (back)Sensor 1 : 64 Mp
Sensor 2 : 8 Mp
Sensor 3 : 2 Mp
Sensor4 : 2 Mp
Camera (front)16 Mp
Video recording4K
Wi-FiWi-Fi 5 (ac)
Bluetooth5.1
Supports bands2100 MHz (B1), 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3), 2600 MHz (B7), 700 MHz (B28)
5GYES
NFCYes
Fingerprint sensorYes
Ports (Inputs/outputs)USB Type-C
Battery4300 mAh
Dimensions74.7 x 163 x 8.95mm
Weigh190 grams
ColorsBleu
Price299 $


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Design: The OnePlus Identity Has Taken A Bit :

The design of the OnePlus Nord N10 unsurprisingly echoes the current market codes, namely a large screen around 6.5 inches, a selfie hole in the front, several photo sensors on the back and a plastic back. The 190 grams of the phone and 6.49 inches of its screen make it relatively imposing, but the edges and rounded angles of the back make it easier to grip. For comparison, the massive iPhone 12 Pro Max remains thinner and shorter, but is wider and much heavier.

The slightly domed back of the Nord N10 makes it less comfortable in the hand than its big brother the OnePlus Nord, which also benefits from a glass back and not plastic. In short, the Nord N10 is not for those who want to use their phone with one hand, just like all phones with screens larger than 6.5 inches.

The OnePlus Nord N10 is relatively imposing The OnePlus Nord N10 is relatively imposing

The OnePlus Nord N10’s non-curved screen is framed by a fairly noticeable black frame, especially at the chin. The latter is much thicker than that of the North and does not go unnoticed, but this is common for an entry-level phone. Screen immersion is also curbed by the selfie sensor embedded in a bubble at the top left – again not surprising for a phone released in 2020.

The chin and the North bubble N10 / The chin and the North bubble N10 /

On the back, the shiny plastic used gives a nice appearance to the phone, but unfortunately shows a particular attraction for fingerprints. Pity. Also on the back, we find the inscription “OnePlus” at the bottom as well as the logo of the brand in the center. Above all, we notice a physical fingerprint reader, an element abandoned several years ago by OnePlus. In this regard, note that we much prefer a classic physical reader that works every time rather than a reader placed under the screen which sometimes requires several tries and finger positioning. Without being the fastest ever tested, the physical reader of the Nord N10 performs very well, even with fingers frozen in the temperatures this year earlier. Located on the back, the sensor fits perfectly under the finger, but will not appeal to those who often use their phone on a table or desk.

The fingerprint reader on the back of the North N10

Let’s finish the description of the back of the phone with the photo module. The four sensors and the flash are grouped together in a module at the top left, the rectangle arrangement of which is reminiscent of that of the OnePlus 8T. The protrusion of the module remains light: placed on a table, the phone will be especially wobbly when pressed at the top right of the screen.

The Nord N10 photo module

The lower edge of the Nord N10 houses the USB-C port as well as a holdover from the past for some: a 3.5mm jack. The power button is on the right of the phone, and the volume buttons on the left. Looking for the Alert Slider? Missed, there are none on the North 10. The absence of this element so characteristic of OnePlus phones is one more argument for those who criticize the brand for its recent entry-level strategy. For information, the OnePlus North benefited from this slider. Note, however, the presence of a hybrid SIM slot (nano SIM + nano SIM / microSD) on the Nord N10.

The color of the phone that you see in this test is the only one proposed for this model and takes the name of “Midnight Ice”. Finally, do not rely on a waterproof and dustproof certification, which is not present on the high-end models of OnePlus anyway.

A Mastered LCD Screen :

Fifty dollars separate the OnePlus Nord from the OnePlus Nord N10 tested here and one of the concessions concerns the screen technology used: we go from an Amoled technology to a classic IPS LCD. Good news, OnePlus still decided to keep the 90Hz refresh rate on the Nord N10’s FHD + display. This is very well managed and, as expected, gives a nice impression of speed by making the display of elements more fluid.

The Nord N10's LCD screen is under control

The measured contrast of 1539: 1 remains quite satisfactory for an LCD screen and the maximum brightness reaches 440 cd / m²: no problem in most situations, but you will have to squint under a bright sun. summer. The screen also displays good color management. Leaving the default settings, we measured an average temperature of 6677 K, which is a good score considering that the target ideal score is 6500 K. The plurality of colors is correct, with sRGB space covered at 117 % and a score of 79% on the DCI-P3 space, which is more complicated to manage. On this point, the Nord 10 does no better than the entry-level competition.

This graph shows the average Delta E of North N10 on the DCI-P3. The score of 3.06 is very good news when you know that you are ideally aiming for an index around 3. Understand that the screen offers faithful color rendering. Only whites and grays are less faithfully transcribed.

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The screen of the OnePlus Nord N10 is more than satisfactory for this range, with the bonus of a 90 Hz mode. Let us mention all the same the imperfect integration of the selfie sensor on the front: the pixel area around the bubble is not not as defined as the rest of the screen and sometimes seems to drool – nothing really annoying on a daily basis, we can see it especially on white backgrounds. Also, the night mode was sometimes its own: he twice decided on his own to switch back to the classic color temperature and especially to strong light – enough to damage his eyes for free at night on his phone. This is not related to the screen itself, but surely to a software problem. Exactly, let’s talk about the latter.

Oxygenos To The Rescue Of A Taste-Free OnePlus :

This is a point on which there is logically no risk of blaming OnePlus. In short, OxygenOS is still very fluid and above all customizable, at least much more than the stock version of Android installed on the Google Pixels. The settings are full of little features that can make all the difference. These include changing the name of applications and icons, customizing the system (font, color, dark mode, etc.), quick responses in landscape mode, not to mention the famous quick gestures that allow you to launch actions by drawing letters on the screen. ‘screen off. Also, we still appreciate the hiding space, which allows certain applications to disappear from everyone’s eyes, or simply to lighten one’s application drawer.

The interface is basically very fluid and the 90 Hz mode adds a layer. So even on an entry-level phone, OxygenOS continues to charm. Navigation is done by gesture, but OxygenOS has not forgotten the nostalgic buttons and therefore allows you to switch to the old version of navigation. The user even has the option of hiding the lower navigation bar – which is always displayed on Android. By default, a long press on the unlock key activates Google Assistant, but it is possible to replace this action with the classic display of the power menu. We regret the absence of Always on Display and the imprecision of the onboard haptic engine, which we preferred to deactivate on our model.

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Note also the integration of Google Discover on the left of the home screen as well as that of Google Messages and Google Phone: OnePlus no longer offers its in-house messaging and calling client and offers Google versions directly. The system occupies 20 GB of the 128 GB offered by the Nord N10. The storage offered is therefore more than sufficient for an average user, especially since it is possible to expand it via a microSD. This is not the case on the OnePlus Nord, which is to be noted.

At the time of writing, the last security patch installed on the OnePlus Nord N10 dates from February 2021. The phone is running Android 10 and OnePlus explains that only one major Android update will be offered: understand that you will not have access to the future Android 12. Once again, OnePlus prompts us to wonder about its choices and the possible degradation of its brand image: we clearly feel that the manufacturer is following the strategies of the entry market of range. OnePlus still promises two years of security updates.

  • Fingerprint reader and facial recognition :

The fingerprint reader on the back of the phone works fine, but when using the Nord N10, a quick swipe of your finger does not lower the notification bar. Too bad, we have just praised the options offered by OxygenOS and the absence of this classic feature is felt every day. This is an oversight/odd choice on OnePlus’s part.

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Whatever happens, this unlocking mode remains much more secure than the offered 2D facial recognition option, which works even when the user is wearing a surgical mask. Some would say it’s very convenient, but those who want real security are advised to use the fingerprint reader. The speed of facial recognition is still very appreciable on a daily basis.

A Double Speaker Mollasson :

On this point, OnePlus spoils its Nord N10 and offers a dual stereo speaker: the first is located under the lower edge of the phone and the second benefits from a successful integration (because very discreet) in the black border at the top of the phone. ‘screen. If the rendering and the power are sufficient for YouTube videos, we must point out a cruel lack of bass and a slightly different management of the voices between the two speakers.

As Many Good Sensors As Unnecessary Sensors :

The entry-level positioning of the Nord N10 does not prevent it from being touched by the current madness of quadruple photo sensors. We find, in addition to the main 64 megapixel sensor:

  • an 8 megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, 119 ° (f / 2.25).
  • a 2 megapixel macro sensor (f / 2.4).
  • a 2 megapixel monochrome sensor (f / 2.4).

During the day, the main sensor and its color dynamics offer very good results, which ranks the Nord N10 at the top of the range of entry-level phones. The HDR mode produces photos that are attractive if not flashy: the detail of the clouds, for example, is well developed artificially. The colors remain faithful, however, and the 64-megapixel mode (up from 16 by default) is really useful in that it captures much more detail – but only in very good light conditions.

In a backlit situation, the choices of the algorithm generally allow for beautiful photos, but sometimes show a strange colorimetry. This mode can be deactivated in the settings. We are still more than satisfied with the photos offered by the main sensor during the day.

The noise is quickly felt in low light and the night mode leaves us hungry: some photos gain detail, others lose some or only benefit from the removal of the yellowish effect created by street lighting. This is surely due to the surprising speed of the “long” exposure requested by the phone in night mode: in all our tests, the exposure never took more than a second – the night modes of the high-end references of the market often reach three seconds.

A Mid-Range Processor At The Service Of Classic Use :

The OnePlus Nord N10 is equipped with a Snapdragon 690. This very recent chip (June 2020) was designed for mid-range smartphones and allows them, among other things, 5G compatibility and 120 Hz display management. Note that the OnePlus Nord N10 is indeed 5G compatible, but is “content” with a 90 Hz display. The phone is also one of the very first to embed this chip, which is supported here by 6 GB of RAM. This combo offers a fluid experience on a daily basis with good multitasking management.

There are some slight slowdowns here and there, but the most classic tasks are not a problem. A little more disturbing, however: the screen sometimes takes an unusually long time to wake up. With facial recognition enabled, in these rare cases we find ourselves having to wait a second in front of a black screen before the home screen magically appears. No problem with heating up during regular activities, but a long session on Fortnite will unsurprisingly give the phone a hot shot. Precisely on Fortnite, the Nord N10 is capable of displaying between 30 and 40 frames per second in “Medium” mode. During action-packed scenes, the frame rate often drops to around 25, making the experience unpleasant.

Performance on Call of Duty Mobile allows for a better experience: the game is better optimized and remains fluid as long as you do not seek the highest level of graphics.

ModèleOnePlus Nord N10OnePlus NordXiaomi Mi 10T LiteRealme 7 Pro
AnTuTu 8281754322107327083280377
AnTuTu CPU106811N/C113885100260
AnTuTu GPU62031N/C7818772383
AnTuTu MEM55003N/C6649352400
AnTuTu UX57907N/C6851855334
PC Mark 2.077509270753310383
3DMark Slingshot Extreme2167332427762540
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Graphics1972329226272388
3DMark Slingshot Extreme Physics3311344134643270
3DMark Wild Life810N/C1095N/C
3DMark Wild Life framerate moyen4.90 FPSN/C6.60 FPSN/C
GFXBench Aztec Vulkan/Metal high (onscreen / offscreen)8.7 / 5.8 FPS13 / 8.5 FPS11 / 7.6 FPS11 / 7 FPS
GFXBench Car Chase (onscreen / offscreen)13 / 14 FPS19 / 21 FPS16 / 19 FPS16 / 18 FPS
GFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (onscreen / offscreen)31 / 36 FPS50 / 56 FPS40 / 45 FPS38 / 41 FPS
Sequential read / write848 / 185 Mo/s960 / 475 Mo/s951 / 455 Mo/s512 / 201 Mo/s
Random read / write33700 / 34700 IOPS36400 / 33900 IOPS46120 / 44688 IOPS40623 / 35684 IOPS

 

We won’t be able to ask too much of this range of phones anyway, but the OnePlus Nord N10 faces stiff competition from the Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite and Realme 7 Pro.

A Day Of Autonomy Without Problems :

The autonomy of the Nord N10 is more than satisfactory and will be more than sufficient for the majority of users. The 4300 mAh hold up without too many problems over a day of classic use, which can be defined by sending a few emails, several calls and exchanges on messaging applications, frequent consultations of social networks, one to two hours of videos and some GPS navigation. For example, three hours of YouTube videos took the Nord N10 from 40% to 20%, with the screen brightness set to half.

We also tested the battery’s resistance to much more energy intensive use. Thus in connection sharing for a Teams videoconference of more than 3 hours, the Nord N10 has lost all battery 30% of battery. Note that in addition to tethering, we used the phone to hang out on social media for an hour. In another example register, know that the phone went from 47% to 31% after a 45-minute running session recorded by the Strava application and with the screen on at maximum brightness throughout the race. .

In the end, count without problem on a day of battery life for typical use, or even a day and a half for more restricted use. Above all, let’s not forget the famous OnePlus ‘Warp Charge’ fast charge, which can recover enough energy in a few minutes for a good part of the day. The 30W fast charger supplied in the box allows the phone to reach 60% in 30 minutes and provides a full charge in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Don’t rely on wireless charging on the Nord N10, but that’s not surprising for a OnePlus – even more entry-level.

So you don’t have to plug in the phone before going to sleep since it can recover enough energy in the morning during your breakfast and while in the shower: according to our tests, a 20-minute charge allows you to grab 38 % battery.

Of 5G On An Entry Of The Range :

The Nord N10 is compatible with the 5G network on the frequency bands n1, n3, n7, n28 (4G LTE bands reused for 5G), n41, n66, and n78. Used on the Orange 4G network during our test, the Nord 10 did not suffer from any connection problems. Also, our interlocutors could hear us perfectly during calls, loudspeaker or not. No problem to report with the GPS, which locates us with precision as one would expect from a phone today.

A Rapid Price Drop :

Launched at 349 dollars when it was released, the OnePlus Nord 10 is already on sale at 299 dollars on the manufacturer’s website – with currently, at the end of February 202, OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z Black headphones offered.

The Nord N10 is available in one version (6 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage) and one color.

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