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OnePlus Nord 3 5G Smartphone Review: Premium Midrange Performance Powerhouse

While the hardware in the OnePlus Nord 3 5G easily outperforms its peers, its mediocre camera limits its appeal to people who only cares about performance.

OnePlus Nord 3 5G Review

The midrange Android phone segment is heating up with a slew of recent device announcements. One contender for the midrange crown is the OnePlus Nord 3 5G, a smartphone packed with a powerful and efficient Mediatek Dimensity 9000 chipset and a whopping 16GB RAM, for an RRP of RM2,199.

OnePlus Nord 3 5G – Specifications

ModelOnePlus Nord 3 5G
Dimensions162.6 x 75.1 x 8.1mm
Weight193.5g
ProcessorCPU: Mediatek Dimensity 9000
GPU: Arm Mali G710 MC10
RAM16GB LPDDR5X
Storage256GB UFS 3.1
Display6.74″ AMOLED
1240 x 2772 pixels
120Hz
1,450 nits (peak)
Camera (Front)16 MP, f/2.0
Camera (Rear)Main Camera: 50 MP, f/1.9, PDAF, OIS
Ultrawide Camera: 8 MP, f/2.3
Macro Camera: 2 MP, f/2.4
Operating SystemOxygenOS 13, Android 13
Battery and Charging5,000 mAh
80W wired charging
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
Bluetooth 5.2
NFC
GPS
IR Blaster
BiometricsUnder display fingerprint reader
Face unlock
Water/Dust ResistanceIP54

What’s In The Box?

  • OnePlus Nord 3 5G
  • Screen protector (pre-applied)
  • 80W SUPERVOOC charger
  • USB Type-C cable
  • SIM tray ejector
  • Documentation

Design

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The OnePlus Nord 3 5G is only available in one colour option: Misty Green. The back features a glass back for a smooth finish, albeit at the cost of being a fingerprint magnet. It also has chamfered metal running along the enter edge of the device. Completing the rear is a triple camera array, arranged in a twin circle layout, with the camera flash and ambient light sensor right beside them.

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One notable feature of the OnePlus Nord 3 5G is the inclusion of a notification slider, allowing users to toggle between silent, vibration, or turning the ringtone on. The power button is also located at the same side as the notification slider. On the left, you will find the volume rocker and nothing else.

The bottom houses a speaker, the SIM tray, and the USB charging port. You also get an IR blaster at the top, allowing the phone to double as a remote controller for your home appliances. At the front is a 6.74″ AMOLED display with rounded-off corners and a punch-hole style selfie camera located near the earpiece.

Display

The display has a resolution of 1240 x 2772 pixels and a refresh rate of 120Hz. Smartphones at this price segment tend to offer a FHD+ display, and I am glad OnePlus took it up a notch to offer a slightly higher resolution to compensate for the large screen size.

At its default vivid setting, the colours look great out of the box, but if you want a more natural look, I would suggest changing the screen colour mode to cinematic for more true to life colour tones.

Working in tandem with the fast refresh rate is a 1,000Hz touch sampling rate. This allows the display to feel smooth and responsive to use, and animations look blur-free.

Camera

The camera on the Nord 3, while capable, didn’t really set it apart from the competition. It has 50 megapixels, with pixel binning to a 12.5 megapixel file. While the images are quite detailed and colours are pleasant, I find the portrait mode to be lacking in versatility.

Other smartphones allow users to use either the secondary telephoto camera or a digital crop for portraits, but the OnePlus Nord 3 neither has a telephoto, nor a digital crop in this mode. This in turn limits my framing options, resulting in images with unnatural looking background blur in certain situations.

The ultrawide is useable, but tends to struggle under low light. The 2MP macro camera is just there if you need to focus on a subject that is very close to the camera.

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Video Recording

The OnePlus Nord 3 features up to 4K30 video capture, with some caveats. Shooting in 4K will disable Ultra Steady, and the resulting video tends to look soft especially in less than ideal lighting conditions.

1080p video recording is the sweet spot to me, offering an adequate balance between video quality and resolution.

Performance

Geekbench 6CPU:
Single Core – 1,076
Multi Core – 3,406
GPU:

OpenCL – 5,840
PCMark Work 3.010,284
3DMark Wild Life7,253

Powering the OnePlus Nord 3 5G is a flagship level MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset. It also boasts 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. While the Dimensity 9000 is not the latest flagship chip, it is still quite capable especially when compared to its midrange peers in this generation.

It easily outperforms most of the midrange smartphones in the market today, and even comes close to 2022 flagships.

Gaming

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Gaming on the OnePlus Nord 3 5G is largely a pleasant experience. The Mali G710 MC10 can easily run most titles at high or highest settings. On Genshin Impact in particular, it can easily hit above 50 fps on the highest setting, but I find the sweet spot to be capping the frame rate to 45 fps.

Audio

The audio quality is just alright and performs within my expectations. The soundstage is decent thanks to its dual speakers, and there is quite a bit of warmth to the sound signature.

At maximum volume however, I notice the mids tend to drown out the treble quite a bit, and the mid-bass starts to sound muddy. Reducing the volume by a notch does yield tremendous improvement though.

Battery Life

Battery life on the OnePlus Nord 3 is quite alright. The Mediatek Dimensity 9000 is a power-efficient chip, easily allowing the 5,000mAh battery to last more than a day. On PCMark Work 3.0 Battery Test, it managed about 12 hours and 47 minutes, which while not stellar, is still quite respectable considering there are other smartphones with less power struggling to get beyond 12 hours.

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Of course, the 80W fast charging is a boon to many, as it allows the phone to fully charge in a little over 30 minutes.

OS Upgrades

OnePlus has pledged to provide 3 years of OS upgrades along with security updates for the 4th year, which is the longest ever support given to a OnePlus Nord device.

Final Verdict

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3 / 5While the hardware in the OnePlus Nord 3 5G easily outperforms its peers, its mediocre camera limits its appeal to people who only cares about performance.

The OnePlus Nord 3 5G’s value proposition is an interesting conundrum to say the least.

On one hand, it has one of the best chipsets in the previous generation that is still potent to this day; coupled with the large 16GB RAM and decent storage size, it is one of the most high performing midrange devices in the market. On the flipside, its camera system has some limitations, and video capture in 4K looks soft in comparison to even low-midrange devices.

If you lean more toward getting a smartphone with one of the fastest chipset in the midrange segment; and you can accept using a “good enough” camera, then the OnePlus Nord 3 5G could be the right device for you.

For more information regarding the OnePlus Nord 3 5G, please visit the official product page here.

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Written By

Part-time gamer, writer, & full time weird coffee person.

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