OnePlus Nord 3 5G review: Premium OnePlus experience in midrange smartphone

Premium OnePlus experience together with value-added features such as IR blaster for wireless remote function makes the Nord 3 5G a feature-packed smartphone with something in store for everyone

OnePlus Nord 3 5G

OnePlus Nord 3 5G

Khalid Anzar New Delhi
After refreshing its premium and entry-level smartphones line-up, Chinese electronics maker OnePlus has returned to India’s price conscious smartphone market with its flagship device in the midrange segment. Named the Nord 3 5G, the smartphone packs HDR10+ certified AMOLED display of 120Hz refresh rate, stereo speakers with support for Dolby Atmos, triple-camera array on the back with 50-megapixel main camera supported by optical image stabilisation, and 5,000 mAh battery with support for 80W fast wired charging. On paper, the OnePlus Nord 3 5G has everything that one expects in a mid-premium smartphone.
The Nord 3 5G takes design cues from its younger sibling, the Nord CE 3 Lite. It has a boxy construction with flat plastic frame sandwiched between the front and the back glasses. The phone comes in two colour themes with each wearing different finishes. The misty green colour variant (review unit) has a glossy glass panel on the back cover that looks premium but attracts fingerprints and smudges. It is, however, resistant to scratches – thanks to Gorilla Glass 5 protection. The back cover has twin-ring camera layout complemented by twin-ring LED flashlights. Of the two, however, it is just the top one that works and the other one is purely for aesthetic purposes only.
Coming to the sides, the flat frame makes the phone look thick but offers secure in-hand grip. The frame is painted in a matching colour theme, but is scratched easily and those scars expose the actual black colour of the plastic. The frame has power button and the alert slide on the right side, volume rocker buttons on the left side, IR blaster and second microphone on the top side, and USB-C port together with removable SIM tray, primary microphone opening, and main speaker cavity on the bottom side.
The phone’s front profile is dominated by its display, which stretches across all sides. There is no plastic bracket here around the display and the bezels are minimal. Both of these improve the screen-to-body ratio of the smartphone.
Display and audio
The OnePlus Nord 3 5G sports a HDR10+ certified 6.74-inch 10-bit fullHD+ AMOLED display of 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. The display is bright, vivid, and responsive. It is good for multimedia experiences, including gaming. However, there is something wrong with the refresh rate optimisation. The display is set to adaptive refresh rate by default to save on some battery power. However, the adaptive refresh rate profile is not optimised. The display sticks with 120Hz refresh rate across the user interface, and shifts down to 60Hz in apps with vertical content feed resulting in jarring visuals. There is an option in display setting to force high refresh rate for smoother animations and transitions, but the display never really hits 120Hz even in places where it should.
Lifting the visual experience is the audio experience. The OnePlus Nord 3 5G boasts dual stereo speakers, which are load and clear. The speakers are Hi-Res audio certified and support Dolby Atmos. It essentially results in good detailing and a wide soundstage.
The OnePlus Nord 3 5G incorporates a triple-camera arrangement on its rear, comprising a 50-megapixel primary camera sensor equipped with optical image stabilisation. This primary sensor consistently delivers commendable performance across diverse lighting conditions. The inclusion of a larger sensor facilitates the capture of natural shallow depth-of-field, thereby enhancing the appeal of regular photographs. Additionally, the camera demonstrates swift and accurate autofocus capabilities, ensuring precise focus acquisition in most instances.
In comparison to the primary camera sensor, the performance of the ultra-wide-angle sensor, which offers a 112-degree field-of-view, is relatively weaker – especially in low-light conditions. The sensor lacks colour consistency and tends to soften the image during post-processing, resulting in the loss of vital details such as shadows, highlights, and contrast. The sensor works well for cityscape shots, but seems inapt for landscapes due to narrow FoV. The macro lens, while serving as a novelty feature, is limited in its utility and performs optimally only under favourable lighting conditions.
On the front side, the Nord 3 5G has a 16MP camera sensor. While this sensor produces satisfactory results, it does not surpass the highest standards set by other devices in the same category.

Also Read: Galaxy Unpacked 2023 Seoul: Samsung to announce 2023 foldables on July 26
Powered by MediaTek Dimensity 9000 system-on-chip, the OnePlus Nord 3 5G seamlessly handles day-to-day operations and exhibits no hindrance in executing resource-intensive tasks. Notably, the device faces no thermal issues and consistently delivers optimal performance even during prolonged usage. Gaming performance is also on par, and the phone is capable of running popular graphics-intensive gaming titles at peak settings without any noticeable drawbacks.
Complementing its performance is the solid on-battery time. Powered by a 5,000 mAh battery, the device comfortably sustains a full day of mixed usage. Additionally, the supplied 80W wired charger facilitates swift charging, capable of replenishing the battery from 10 percent to 100 percent in under 40 minutes.
The Nord 3 5G is a mid-premium smartphone packed with premium OnePlus experience. It boasts a modern design, smooth display, capable camera system, smooth performance, and full day battery life. It has the OnePlus essentials, including alert slider and clutter free OxygenOS 13.1 interface (based on Android 13). On top of that, the Nord 3 5G brings features such as an IR blaster for wireless remote function. Together, the Nord 3 5G makes a feature-packed smartphone with something in store for everyone.
Price: Rs 33,999 onwards

First Published: Jul 06 2023 | 08:58 AM IST

Explore News