The highly-anticipated OnePlus Nord 3 is here, a mid-range phone with well-balanced specs and a slim design to give you the best daily performance. Powered by the flagship-level MediaTek Dimensity 9000, this is a huge step up from the predecessor i.e. Nord 2T, though more expensive this time, starting at ₹33,999 most OnePlus fans will love the upgrades this phone is offering.
While borrowing a lot of specs from the OnePlus 11R, which starts at Rs.40k, like a 6.74-inch 1.5K display with a 120Hz refresh rate (not curved though), a Sony IMX890 primary sensor for better photography. Well, it looks similar to the previous Nord phones and considering the love people have given to this series, a lot of people will be interested to buy this one in the upcoming Prime Day sale.
We have been testing this phone for 2 days now and so here’s a quick first impressions article, so that we can give you an idea of how this OnePlus Nord 3 5G actually is and whether you should pre-order or buy this one:
What’s in the box
- OnePlus Nord 3 5G (16GB + 256GB variant)
- 80W SUPERVOOC Power Adapter
- Type-C Cable (supports USB 2.0)
- Protective Case
- Sim Ejector Tool
- User manual and warranty card
OnePlus Nord 3 Specifications
- 6.7-inch flat AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate
- MediaTek Dimensity 9000 processor
- Up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM
- Up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage
- 5000mAh battery with 80W fast charging
- 50MP main camera
- 8MP ultrawide sensor
- 2MP macro sensor
- 16MP front-facing camera
- Android 13
- Available in two colors: Tempest Gray and Misty Green
Design & Build Quality
The Tempest Gray variant we got has this matte textured finish (2.8D silk glass cover with a frosted texture) which looks subtle and clean, those who love matte can go for this one or if you want a stylish looking one, the glossy glass design on the Misty Green variant should be a must. The OnePlus Nord 3 has an incredible screen-to-body ratio of 93.5% with side bezels measuring just 1.46mm, the flat edges make holding the phone very easy and carrying it even easier.
In terms of build quality, the Nord 3 is decent enough and will do the job for most people, it’s good to know that this mid-range OnePlus phone will also feature an IP54 rating for dust and splash resistance.
The OnePlus Nord 3 features a flat 6.74-inch 1.5K AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a hole-punch camera cutout. The adaptive display can switch between different refresh rates, resulting in a smooth and immersive viewing experience. With a touch sampling rate of 1000Hz and 450 PPI, the display offers excellent responsiveness and crisp visuals, in my brief usage, I also found the display to be crisp and sharp.
The inclusion of HDR 10 support enhances your video streaming experience on popular platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video. So, if you love watching movies or web series you will love the display and its colors, I was watching YouTube or movies on this more often than not, and the quality is very good, I barely noticed the difference having used the flagship OnePlus 11 as my daily driver.
The AMOLED display can go bright up to 1,450 nits, which is enough even for a sunny outdoor. The phone’s ultra-narrow bezels and compact design make it comfortable to hold, watch or browse through everyday stuff, overall, I found the display very intriguing for the price point.
One of the biggest reasons why the new OnePlus Nord 3 is pricier is because OnePlus has used a flagship-grade MediaTek Dimensity 9000 SoC which makes the Nord 3 really powerful for daily usage. This paired with up to 16GB LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB UFS 3.1 storage gives this Nord 3 an edge over others with crappy performance, though the iQOO Neo 7 Pro has Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 or even the pricier OnePlus 11R has the same, I would say OnePlus wants to give users a rich yet balanced performance with the Dimensity 9000.
Here are some benchmarks of this OnePlus Nord 3 in normal mode:
In normal mode, the OnePlus Nord 3 5G gives a very well-balanced performance I would say with lesser throttles, though it’s not near to the peak performance but still good enough.
As you see in the Performance mode, the OnePlus Nord 3‘s Dimensity 9000 along with 16GB RAM fires all cylinders and gives some really impressive numbers, crossing the 1 million mark in AnTuTu whereas even in Geekbench 6 and Wild Life, you will see further improvement. However, the VC cooling system on the Nord 3 doesn’t help much in sustaining the peak performance as you see in the CPU benchmark with a huge 60% dip in performance when used in Performance mode.
So, for most daily tasks like browsing, surfing YouTube or binge-watching or even gaming Normal mode will do the job and the phone’s performance is good enough, and for a mid-range phone, this kind of performance is really good. Though the thermals could have been better as with sustained load it can get a bit hot but still the OnePlus Nord 3 gets the job done easily in 2023.
Equipped with a powerful camera setup, the OnePlus Nord 3 delivers impressive photography performance. It features a 50MP rear camera with a 1/1.56″ Sony IMX890 sensor and an f/1.8 aperture, ensuring exceptional image quality and accurate color reproduction. The 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 120° field of view allows you to capture breathtaking panoramic shots.
Additionally, the 16MP front camera captures stunning selfies with its f/2.4 aperture. The phone’s camera UI offers various modes, including Pro mode, Extra HD, Panorama, Macro, Slo-mo, and Time-Lapse, giving you the flexibility to unleash your creativity. As we got very less time to play with the camera here are a few shots for your reference:
By the looks of the shots taken, the primary Sony IMX890 sensor does a very good job in sensing light and reproducing the colors, though the ISP of a Qualcomm chip would be better but still in most conditions the camera quality is good.
As you see even if you zoom in and take shots, they are sharp and detailed whereas the ultra-wide could have been better but still, it’s quite good. For more shots and a detailed camera test, wait for the complete review.
OS & Software
Running on OxygenOS 13.1 based on Android 13, the OnePlus Nord 3 offers a seamless and intuitive user experience. With an Aquamorphic design and intuitive iconography, the user interface is visually appealing and easy to navigate. OnePlus promises three Android updates and four years of security updates, ensuring that your phone remains up to date with the latest features and security patches.
So, most OnePlus lovers who want to use their smartphone for a few years down the line will definitely love the new Nord 3 and its reliability as well as overall usability.
Buttons, Port & Connectivity
One of the key things which is back is the OnePlus alert slider on the side, which I will say is very handy in our busy everyday schedule. Talking about buttons, you have the power button on the right-hand side along with the alert slide, you have a USB Type-C port at the bottom with the microphone. Then you have the volume rockers at the left-hand side along with the IR blaster and secondary microphone up at the top.
In terms of connectivity, you have the latest Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6, which works pretty well and you will have no issues connecting to the WiFi or even your various Bluetooth devices. For 5G band support, the OnePlus Nord 3 supports most of them including n1/n3/n5/n8/n28A/n40/n41/n77/n78 and also supports Carrier Aggregation. Also talking about haptics, the X-axis linear vibration motor does a good job I would say, the feel is almost like a mid-range phone, nothing extraordinary.
Audio, Earpiece and Microphone
OnePlus like last year has given dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos on the side for a better music/movie streaming experience and also for gamers who love to play games without headphones. The audio output is really great, so, for media consumption you will definitely love the new OnePlus Nord 3 5G.
Talking about both Earpiece and Microphone, which not many people talk about but is an important pointer honestly, if you are like me using the phone’s microphone as well as earpiece for calls, it needs to be good. Well, for the OnePlus Nord 3, the earpiece quality is great and the microphone is also good in picking up calls, very reliable in this regard.
Battery Life & Charging
This OnePlus Nord 3 comes with a big 5000mAh battery which is ample for a whole day of juice even with a Dimensity 9000 inside it and for most of the day it’s very efficient. Though you cannot get one and a half or two days but even for a heavy user like me getting 5-6 hours of screen on time is great, also coming in with an 80W SuperVOOC charger inside, you can charge the phone comfortably within half an hour to 40 minutes.
Should you buy it on sale?
To be honest with you, the new OnePlus Nord 3 5G is a feature-packed mid-range phone that excels in performance, display, camera capabilities, and software experience. With its powerful MediaTek Dimensity 9000 SoC, stunning AMOLED display, and versatile camera setup, it sets a new benchmark in its price range.
Whether you’re a photography enthusiast, a multitasker, or a gamer, the OnePlus Nord 3 provides an all-around exceptional experience. Don’t miss out on this fantastic device that combines affordability with impressive features, as per our first impressions, it’s promising and if you want a good overall experience this could be a great option.
Buy this new OnePlus Nord 3 from Amazon India: https://amzn.to/44c1FaC, also check out: OnePlus Nord Buds 2r review: Finally, a great & affordable TWS earbuds!