OnePlus Nord N10 5G Review: A Solid Phone If You'll Settle
OnePlus Nord N10 5G: Affordable 5G Phone, New Chapter For OnePlus
Behold the €349 ($415) OnePlus Nord N10 5G. It’s a completely different 5G handset from the original Nord that swaps the Snapdragon 765G for a Snapdragon 690, and the 6.44-inch AMOLED screen for a 6.49-inch IPS display. OnePlus sent us a European review unit ahead of the US release, and we have our takeaways posted on the pages ahead. So, how low can OnePlus go before it loses its mojo? Is “Never Settle” still relevant? Read on to find out...
OnePlus Nord N10 5G Hardware And Design
But that’s where the similarities end. Switching from OLED to IPS means no optical in-display fingerprint sensor and larger bezels. As such, the N10 5G comes with a classic rear-mounted capacitive fingerprint scanner and a rather unsightly chin below the screen. This, along with the plastic mid-frame and rear panel, make the N10 5G look and feel lower-end than the 8T -- or even the original Nord. It’s a bit of a letdown, unfortunately.
While the N10 5G comes in a single dark color (Midnight Ice) that’s shimmery and attractive, the slick faux-glass back is quite the fingerprint magnet, and it is hard to keep clean. But despite all the plastic, this phone is well made and comfortable to hold. After all, it’s just marginally larger (163 x 74.7 x 9mm) and heavier (190g) than the Nord. Overall, though, the N10 5G just lacks that modern, premium, OnePlus vibe typical of its other devices.
The erosion of common OnePlus values don't stop there. Gone are the alert slider (a staple of the company’s handsets since the OnePlus 2), high quality vibration motor, and gasket around the SIM tray (for water and dust protection). On the plus side, the N10 5G includes a headphone jack, stereo speakers, and microSD expansion support, which are all missing from the Nord. The battery is also larger at 4300mAh (vs. 4115mAh).
Besides the capacitive fingerprint sensor and four cameras (64MP main sensor, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, and 2MP monochrome lens), the rear features the usual OnePlus branding. Without it, the N10 5G might easily be mistaken for a generic phone from Oppo, Xiaomi, or even Huawei. In front, there’s an earpiece above the 6.49-inch 1080p IPS display which also doubles as one of the stereo speakers.
You’ll find the other speaker on the bottom edge, alongside the USB Type-C port, primary mic, and headphone jack. There’s a secondary mic on top, power/lock key on the right side, and volume rocker on the left next to the dual SIM/micro SD tray. Overall, the N10 5G’s design is fine. Nothing really stands out besides the oddly large chin, which OnePlus tried to subdue by tapering the glass along the bottom edge.
|Processing and 5G Platform||Qualcomm
|Display||6.49" FHD+ IPS, 2400x1080 resolution, 90Hz|
|Storage||128GB UFS 2.1 + microSD
f/1.8 Main PDAF - 8MP f/2.3 119º Ultra-Wide - 2MP f/2.4
Macro - 2MP f/2.4 Monochrome
|Front-Facing Cameras||16MP f/2.1
|Video Recording||Up to 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 1080p slow-mo|
10 With OxygenOS 10.5
|Dimensions||163 x 74.7 x 9mm|
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1+LE,
NFC, USB-C, LTE, 5G
|Pricing||Find the OnePlus Nord N10 5G @ Amazon, Starting at €349
OnePlus Nord N10 5G Display Quality
It’s also completely flat (which we prefer) and the only thing that interrupts the screen is the punch hole in the top left corner. Bezels are reasonably narrow on the top and sides, but again, that chin is just massive. We understand that IPS displays need more space at the bottom for connectors and electronics, but it seems more pronounced than on other handsets we’ve tested, like the Moto One 5G.
OnePlus Nord N10 5G Camera, Software, Performance And Image Quality
Beyond the main lens, the N10 5G mixes the Nord’s 8MP f/2.3 1.12-micron 119-degree ultrawide and 2MP f/2.4 1.75-micron macro (without AF) with the OnePlus 8T’s 2MP f/2.4 1.75-micron monochrome lens. In front, you’ll find a 16MP f/2.1 1.0-micron selfie camera. Other than the lack of OIS, these are competitive imaging specs for a mid-ranger, but compared to the original Nord, this is clearly a downgrade.
The N10 5G captures stabilized video (with stereo audio) at up to 4k 30fps and 1080p 60fps with both the main and ultrawide shooters, and up to 1080p 60fps with the selfie camera. While it lacks the original Nord’s Super Stable mode, it offers time lapse and slow motion (1080p 120fps and 720p 240fps). Other modes include panorama, portrait, Nightscape (night), pro (manual), macro, and monochrome.
While the N10 5G shoots decent pictures in daylight, low-light performance is a miss -- particularly with the ultrawide. Color balance, exposure, and dynamic range are quite good given enough light. In the dark, though, the main shooter quickly loses detail, and the ultrawide often takes blurry shots. Night mode obviously helps in low light -- basically turning lackluster photos into acceptable ones.
Unfortunately, this comes with some compromises. On the main camera, Nightscape disables zooming and crops the sensor slightly for better electronic stabilization. This means the FoV is narrower when shooting in night mode. As for zooming, results are okay up to about 3-4x before image quality suffers -- as long as there’s enough light. Selfies are pretty nice, but the macro is all but useless since there’s no AF.