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OnePlus Nord Gray Ash Special Edition: The New, Elegant Matte-Finished Nord

You might have missed the Nord Special Edition that OnePlus unveiled along with the OnePlus 8T. Naturally, the focus was on the all-new ‘T’ edition, that typically lands in the last quarter of each year with key hardware improvements. More so because the new Gray Ash Special Edition is a device that you will appreciate […]

You might have missed the Nord Special Edition that OnePlus unveiled along with the OnePlus 8T. Naturally, the focus was on the all-new ‘T’ edition, that typically lands in the last quarter of each year with key hardware improvements. More so because the new Gray Ash Special Edition is a device that you will appreciate only if you see it in the flesh. It all begins with the matte finish.

This one’s not for attention seekers. It’s almost the colour of a dark grey business suit and feels great in your hand with its classy matte demeanour. This is not a device you want to slip under a back cover (there’s a silicon cover bundled in the box). It doesn’t attract fingerprints and won’t slip easily out of those sweaty palms. At 180-odd gms – almost the same footprint as the 8T, this doesn’t feel too clunky. Like the 8T, there’s no water or dust resistance; you’ll have to be extra careful if you use it without a protective case.

The OnePlus Nord is an interesting subplot in the OnePlus saga. Just when we thought the brand was upping the price ante, it went back to the OnePlus of old with a sub Rs 30,000 device. If you’re in the market for an Android or more specifically a OnePlus device, the Nord vs 8T conundrum is not an easy one to crack. The answer as always might lie in your usage case scenarios and the stuff that really matters to you.

First, let’s get that spec sheet out of the way. The Nord is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor (the same that Google is betting on for its 2020 flagship – the Pixel 5). The Gray Ash Special edition comes with 12GB of RAM and 256 GB of Internal storage. It’s certainly enough firepower for most users – even many power users. Asphalt 9 was a smooth ride on this device and it notched up 1934 in our Geekbench (multi-core) benchmark test. It’s significantly lower than our numbers for the OnePlus 8 Pro. Numbers don’t always tell the story, I found the Nord aced everyday usage and intense gaming effortlessly.

The 90Hz refresh rate of the 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED display (1080 x 2400 pixels / 408 PPI) is one of the big talking points of this device; it’s buttery smooth. The camera experience is similar to the OnePlus 8 with the same 48MP primary lens. You might notice a slight dip in the ultra-wide lens, we would have also liked a better macro sensor. The Nord shoots good images in optimal light and OnePlus’ Night Scape mode kicks in lowlight. Lowlight images are good and the dual selfie cam goes one up on the OnePlus 8 with better video capture capabilities.

 

 

Battery life (there’s a 4115 mAh battery under the hood) is solid. The Snapdragon 765G processor offers better energy efficiency and the 30W charger in the box with OnePlus’ proprietary Warp charging tech should take your device from 0 to 70% in 30 minutes flat. So, we’re back to the 8T vs Nord question. The 8T comes with a much better processor, a 120Hz refresh rate and also the monster 65W Warp charger (0-100% in 39 minutes). If these add-ons don’t make a difference to your daily usage patterns, then the Nord might be all the OnePlus you need. And if you’ve played the waiting game on the Nord, the matte finish on the Gray Ash Special Edition could be that excuse you need.

The OnePlus Nord Gray Ash Special Edition(12GB/256GB) costs Rs 29,999