OnePlus has released two new models in the Nord series – the Nord N10 5G and the Nord N100 – and there’s a lot to say. The main takeaway from the announcement is that OnePlus is focusing its attention on the budget and entry-level segments with the new devices, with the Nord N10 5G being one of the more affordable 5G-enabled devices to date, and the Nord N100 debuting for less than $ 200.
Unlike the Snapdragon-powered Nord 765G, the Nord N10 5G and the Nord N100 will be available in the U.S. This should be good news for anyone looking to buy a budget phone, especially as both phones will be sold. via T-Mobile.
The Nord N10 5G features a Snapdragon 690, a 6.49-inch 90Hz panel, a 64 MP camera, and a 4300mAh battery with 30W fast charging. The Nord N100 has more modest specs in the form of a 6.52-inch HD + display, 13MP camera, and Snapdragon 460 chipset, but you get a massive 5000mAh battery with a fast charge of 18 W.
There is no excuse for OnePlus not to launch these phones with OxygenOS 11.
The phones also offer microSD card slots and rear-mounted fingerprint sensors, and while there are a few standout features, they end up feeling derived. This is because OnePlus basically reuses existing OPPO designs and replaces the brand, but my main issue is with the software.
The Nord N10 5G and N100 run OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 11 and not the newer OxygenOS 11, based on Android 11.
Android 11 was released over a month ago, and OnePlus was the only third-party manufacturer to roll out a public beta. The beta also introduced OxygenOS 11, the latest version of OnePlus’ custom skin. OnePlus drastically changed the look and feel of its user interface with OxygenOS 11, moving to a bold style and a design paradigm that made the interface look a lot like Samsung’s One UI.
OnePlus rolled out the stable version of OxygenOS 11 in the OnePlus 8 series earlier this month, and its latest flagship – the OnePlus 8T – runs Android 11-based OxygenOS 11. But that’s not the case on Android 11s. Nord N10 5G and N100, which have been announced for two weeks after the introduction of the 8T. Since these phones run Android 10 out of the box, they won’t update to Android 13 – unlike the OnePlus 8T.
This is classic Samsung territory: the South Korean manufacturer is known to prioritize software updates on its flagships, leaving its mid-range and budget phones in a mess. Samsung has released hundreds of budget phones over the years that run outdated versions of Android, with many of these phones failing to get regular software updates (if any).
In fact, Samsung’s software gap has allowed OnePlus to gain momentum over the past five years. OnePlus differentiated itself in two key areas: a clean software interface, devoid of overt customization and timely updates. The former changed with OxygenOS 11 as OnePlus began to exercise more control over visual aesthetics. With the Nord N10 5G and N100, the company seems to be showing that it doesn’t care about delivering the latest software either.
OnePlus emulates the worst aspects of Samsung’s strategy.
It’s inexcusable for OnePlus to roll out phones powered by last year’s version of Android, especially when it made such a big deal about software being a key differentiator. OnePlus even says the Nord N10 5G and N100 deliver “flagship level software” in its press release, which it just doesn’t.
The fact that OnePlus has a stable version of OxygenOS 11 available on the 8T, 8, and 8 Pro, but has deliberately chosen to release phones running the old Android 10-based OxygenOS 10.5, shows its priorities are no longer on the line. of the main community. Low-budget devices are already at a disadvantage because they receive fewer updates, and the last thing this segment needs is for OnePlus to follow in Samsung’s footsteps.
OnePlus could have led the way here by offering Android 11 out of the box and maintaining a consistent software strategy across its portfolio, but it took the easy route. No wonder Carl Pei is gone.
OnePlus says its fans are louder than most, and it’s true. Many avid users switch to OnePlus devices from Samsung or other brands due to the value on offer and the software experience. In 2020, OnePlus managed to refute both notions: the OnePlus 8T is losing value against the Pixel 5 and Galaxy S20 FE, and with the Nord N10 5G and N100, it shows that it does not offer the best experience. software available. The transformation of OnePlus is now complete.
Another good deal
This mid-range phone has it all
The Nord continues to be a solid option, offering a vibrant 90Hz AMOLED panel, reliable hardware with 5G connectivity, all-day battery life, and a 48MP camera that takes great photos. Combine that with regular updates and you have a great overall package.