OnePlus Nord N10 5G analysis: beauty is inside

OnePlus has possibly changed its focus in 2020. We have lived this especially in countries like Spain where we can buy all the models presented this year, and there are few.

At the beginning of the year, the company brought us the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro and just before its successors we saw the OnePlus Nord. These three models were added to the OnePlus 8T later and only a few weeks ago the firm announced the cheapest terminals in its catalogue, the OnePlus N10 and N100.

We have been able to spend just over a week with the OnePlus N10 5G, the company's most economical 5G model, and these are our conclusions.

Throughout this analysis, we will make more than one direct comparison with the OnePlus Nord. The reason is that they are terminals that look a lot alike, have almost identical prices, and compete with each other.

However, it should be noted that there are countries that will be reached by one of these models but not the other.

OnePlus Nord N10 design loses the distinctive element

OnePlus has always been a firm that has taken great care of the aesthetic aspect of its mobiles. The OnePlus 7, 7T, 8 and 8T were or are high-end mobiles that have kept the weight and size of their bodies at bay.

This is not the feeling that the N10 gives us, a mobile that in the hand feels denser, which helps the warmer touch of the plastic since its back is not made of glass.

The weight also seems a little higher than we expected, and we feel it more like a Motorola or Samsung model, although it doesn't have a particularly large battery.

If we put them side by side we will see that those differences are not such, that the thickness of the frames, weight or dimensions are almost identical, but the feeling in the hand is not.

One of the omissions we see on the N10 is the Alert Slider, the characteristic button of OnePlus models that allows you to switch between mute, sound or vibration mode.

On the positive side, we have to highlight the presence of a double speaker, although that of the top is not as powerful as the other, and the existence of a headphone jack.

On the back, we have a camera module that reminds us of that of the OnePlus 8T, with a larger width and two rows to place the elements. This makes it's aesthetic much more conventional than that of the Nord, which was already more conventional than that of the OnePlus 8.

In this same area, we have the fingerprint sensor, something that we like since the alternative was to put it on the side, and this is more uncomfortable for many users, among which I include.

Power and performance are not bad at all

One of the things I least liked about Vivo Y7o was its processor, the Snapdragon 660. It fell short when it was used in demanding games. Having tried several mobiles with the Snapdragon 765G, which was up to the task, I wanted to try one with the new Snapdragon 690.

This chipset is the one used by the OnePlus Nord N10, and although I thought it was going to be closer to the 660 than the 765G in performance, I'm glad it wasn't.

For several days I have been using games like Honkai Impact Third or Genshin Impact to be able to squeeze the terminal, and at no point has it given me the feeling that the terminal was slow or even that it opened the apps slowly.

I haven't set up apps to use maximum graphics quality, of course, this isn't a high-end mobile. But, still, the experience has been much more satisfying than I expected, with virtually no difference between this processor and Qualcomm's 700 series.

As for memory, the 6 GB of RAM performs well and allows us to handle multitasking correctly. The same goes for 128GB storage, which we can expand with micro SD cards.

The presence of a memory card slot is accompanied by a headphone jack, two elements that are absent in the original Nord. We still don't have FM radio but NFC does.

Lowering the screen quality

We haven't seen an OnePlus mobile with an LCD panel in a long time. This OnePlus Nord N10 uses it, which explains why the fingerprint sensor is not under it.

Using such screens is not a problem per se, although it crashes since we have seen Xiaomi or Vivo models with lower prices that do use organic screens.

Here the refresh rate of 90 Hz is maintained, something normal in this price range although we have also seen models with LCD panels and 120 Hz, such as the Little X3. Colours, response or viewing angles are what you expect, and this is not a bad screen, even if we criticize it for technology.

The diagonal is 6.49 inches, and its maximum resolution is FHD+, specifically, we have 2400 x 1080 pixels. The screen ratio is normal in OnePlus 20:9, and Gorilla Glass 3 is used instead of the Nord 5.

Four cameras, two of them useful

2020 is possibly the year in which more mobile phones have been released with 4 rear cameras.

The OnePlus Nord N10 is no exception and, as we almost always do, we have two users and two others that are not as useful.

The main sensor is 64 Mpx, increasing the resolution compared to what we had in the original Nord. The wide-angle remains at 8 Mpx. And then we have two 2 Mpx sensors, a macro and a black and white sensor.

As I say lately, it would have been better to reverse the cost of the two in putting a higher resolution wide-angle.

The main sensor is normal in this range, with day photos with correct quality but with a descent of the same at night. At least we can activate the night mode, which can recover certain areas and definitely improves the shots.

The wide-angle works well by day, although we don't have much scope for enlargement. In photos where the sky comes out you can see the improved quality, partly because of the dynamic range. It's the same thing that happens at night, with images losing sharpness and lights that aren't nuanced enough.

Where we especially liked it is in portrait mode, with good tones and a good trimming.

As for the video, because by not having an optically stabilized sensor we can see that the trepidation, especially at night but also in the daytime, leaves to be desired.

The same goes for the camera, front, which gives us some good selfies with light but that at night it is better not to use.

Good autonomy and fast charging

The battery of this new smartphone is somewhat larger than what we have seen in other models of the firm. However, although the 4300 mAh does not position it as a mobile that can openly stand out for this, the reality is another.

In the first battery test, we used the mobile exclusively indoors, Wifi garlic. We have played, using social apps and talked for almost an hour on the phone. And with the display at 90 Hz refresh rate. We have exceeded 7 hours of the screen with 25 hours of autonomy.

In the second battery test we have used the mobile indoors and outdoors, we have played less but we have talked, using social apps and taken photos, all keeping the 90 Hz. We have exceeded 5 hours of the screen with 42 hours of autonomy.

In the third battery test, we lowered the Hz to 60 and made a mixed-use again, although we played more than in the previous test. We have exceeded 6 and a half hours of the screen with 40 hours of autonomy.

It includes a fast charger capable of using up to 30W, which puts it up to the expected level in the mid-range, although we already started to see models with 65W.

Where is Android 11 located?

When we analyzed the OnePlus 8T we very positively value that the company would have worked so hard to launch it with Android 11. We assumed that, given the importance of signing this issue, all subsequent mobiles would take it.

It wasn't like that. The OnePlus N10, and also the N100, use Android 10 with Oxygen OS 10.5, which makes us wonder if the company is going to change the policy regarding the software.

It would be a mistake because this is where you can best compete with brands like realme and Xiaomi, which in brand image and value for money have the most impact.

As for Oxygen OS, there are not many novelties as it is the same version that we have been watching for a while, with absences like the permanent ambient screen. This was a problem on OLED screens, although here it works well as it only briefly displays notifications when they arrive and turns on when lifting the mobile.

The interface moves well, fluently, as OnePlus has accustomed us, and customization and simplicity remain one of the factors by which to choose this mobile.

The OnePlus Nord N10 has deceived me

It is always said that you do not have to keep the outside aspect, that the important thing is the interior. This is also applicable to this terminal, a mobile phone that when I started analyzing I saw as a strange alternative to the Nord, without much sense, but that has gradually convinced me.

The OnePlus Nord N10 is better than the original Nord in some respects, such as the presence of the headphone jack, a larger battery, or having two speakers.

Lose in aspects like screen, RAM, second front camera or design.

Many other things are the same, such as form factor, camera, connectivity, or fast charging. And also in the processor, even if they don't use the same chipset.

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