Nord vs OnePlus 8: Why the price difference?

  1. Bhargavesque
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    Bhargavesque , Jul 22, 2020 :


    After yesterday's launch I'm seeing a lot of forum members creating threads asking "Why the price difference? How are you justifying it?" and so forth. Some have even gone ahead and demanded "refunds" for their OnePlus 8.

    This is my attempt at explaining why the Nord and OnePlus 8 have such a price difference, even with seemingly similar specs on paper. I guess this could also serve as a comparison of the two devices so I'll also skim through some of the similarities/dissimilarities. I'll be breaking up my writing into the following parts:

    The Same

    The Different

    The Corner-Cuts

    Conclusion (Should OnePlus 8 owners regret?)

    If you're a member of the TL;DR club, I'd suggest you skip forward to the Corner Cuts and Conclusion for a shorter read.

    Before I proceed further, I'd like to remind some of my fellow users here to keep in mind I am not a OnePlus employee, I'm just a user like most of us here. So no, I can't give you a refund, and I also can't give you a software update to make your OnePlus X 5G compatible.

    What's the Same

    These are the features that are throwing people off, the most. These features are either the exact same, or very similar in both the 8 and the Nord.

    Main Camera: Starting with the most obvious, they literally marketed it saying "We stole the camera from the OnePlus 8". And so they did. The main camera hardware is the same as the OnePlus 8 (with the exception of the depth sensor, which in my opinion, is redundant. It's almost a gimmick, so no loss there for OP8 owners.) On the video front however, the Nord is capable of upto 4K 30FPS while the the OnePlus 8 supports upto 4K 60FPS.

    Oxygen OS: The fast, smooth, clean OS we all know and love? Well, for the most part. I'll get back to this later.

    90Hz Refresh Rate

    5G Support

    There's really not much else where they haven't cut corners to be honest, other than the standard features like NFC, 8 GB and 12 GB RAM, In-Display Fingerprint sensor and the like.

    What's Different

    These are the most noticeable features that differentiate the Nord from the OnePlus 8.

    Front Camera: The front camera would be the first (and so far, the only) point in Nord's favor, if this was a competition. It has a higher megapixel count, and there's an extra wide-angle lens too.

    The Processor: The Nord settles (pun not intended) for the less powerful (and cheaper) Snapdragon 765G, compared to the flagship SD865 on the OnePlus 8.

    The Battery: The Nord cuts a corner here with the 4115 mAh as opposed to 4300 mAh battery in the 8. Doesn't look like much of a difference, but you'll be thankful when that last drop of power-juice becomes the difference between being stranded and being able to call a friend or an Uber.

    The 6GB/64GB variant: This one is only launching in my country India, as far as I know, but my country is also where most of the complaints are coming from. The starting variant priced at ₹24,999 has 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM, a combination that is mostly seen in budget phone specs.

    The Corner-Cuts

    With all the major on-paper specs and features out of the way, lets talk about what makes the Nord a mid-ranger, and the OnePlus 8 a flagship.

    Display: "But wait they're both 1080p displays with 90Hz refresh rate!" Yes. They are. But they're not the same. The OnePus 8 has an edge to edge 'seamless' display with a nice fat curve on it, which feels amazing to hold. The Nord has a more 'traditional' display, with a (very small) bezel on either side of the display.

    The Build: "But the Nord uses the same major components (Glass and Aluminium) as the 8," you say. But you don't see that it is not as polished and refined as the OnePlus 8 series. The 8 series simply looks and feels much more premium.
    EDIT: Correction. it has now come to notice that the frame of the Nord is not Aluminium. It's polycarbonate plastic.

    Storage: "Oh come on. They both have upto 256GB!" The Nord has UFS 2.1 storage. The 8 has UFS 3.0. What does that mean? Faster transfer speeds. Better user experience. That's what it means.

    Haptics: Remember when we all complained about the haptic/vibration motor on previous OnePlus devices? Yeah. The Nord has a motor similar to those. Not really a 'problem'. But a downgrade for sure.

    Speaker: The Nord has a single, bottom firing speaker as opposed to the 8's stereo speaker set-up.

    Oxygen OS: "What? They both have Oxygen OS, what about it?" Well, it appears OOS on the Nord doesn't include the Oxygen Phone and Messaging apps. It includes Google's stock apps instead. This one's a bit far-fetched and take this one with a big pinch of salt because I might be wrong, but I'm guessing that's so that they don't have to spend time (and money) developing and optimising these apps for the Nord, since Google will take care of it.

    Marketing/Development: If you've watched the New Beginnings Docu-series, you'd know that the Nord was developed on a very tight timeline and the budget for marketing was also greatly reduced (hence the epic social media marketing with memes and Instagram teasers and partnerships with YouTubers). This reduced cost reflects in the phone's price.


    I believe I've touched most of the areas that matter, let me know if you think I've missed something or if I've made mistakes anywhere.
    So anyway, yeah - The reason the Nord costs less than your OnePlus 8 is because it is a 'lesser' phone than your OnePlus 8. Apart from the camera, nearly everything else on the OnePlus 8 is better/more premium. That is not to say that the Nord is bad phone. Make no mistake, it is one of the most well balanced device in a long time in terms of features and value for money. But it is, at its heart, a mid-range phone and not a flagship. The various corners that have been cut result in a less premium experience. Some might argue, "I don't care about premium. The Nord has most of the things we care about at a lesser price. I feel cheated." I request them to watch this video by MrWhoseTheBoss on YouTube, where he compares 2 year old flagship phones with current mid-range phones. He explains better than I ever could why in two years, most of you will be content with your OnePlus 8, while Nord would be on its last legs.

    I'm gonna wrap this up by saying, if you've already bought an 8, don't fret because you're a 100% getting a premium phone and experience, which will also probably last you longer than the Nord would have.
    To people planning to buy a new OnePlus, if you have the budget for a OnePlus 8 and you plan to use it for a long time, most definitely go for a OnePlus 8. If you're tight on budget and/or you think you'll probably want a new phone in about 1 or 2 (or 3) years, go for the Nord.

    Let me know about your thoughts on all of this. Also, while you're at it, check the signature below for discount coupon links.

    Never Settle.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020

  2. AbhilashSaikia
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Jul 22, 2020

    Bhargavesque likes this.
  3. Bhargavesque
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    Bhargavesque , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Thank You, brother. And thank you for the banner image too! :)

    AbhilashSaikia likes this.
  4. AbhilashSaikia
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Jul 22, 2020

    AbhilashSaikia , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Anytime bruh! ⚡💯

    G_plusone likes this.
  5. SJBoss
    Lollipop Jul 22, 2020

    SJBoss , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Which is way better than OnePlus's duplicate apps.
    Nope there's plenty of options in the market with better SoC at the same or even less price.

  6. Bhargavesque
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    Bhargavesque , via OnePlus 5T , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Both of those boil down to preference. Personally, even I prefer Google's Phone and messaging apps. However, the point of this post wasn't to determine which Messaging app is better. Nor was it to say "Nord is the best mid range phone ever, for everyone." But it is still a good balance of many of the right features.

    Anyway, I only tried to point out why Nord and 8 are in different price brackets.
    Cheers :)

    manuel19, akks and G_plusone like this.
  7. SJBoss
    Lollipop Jul 22, 2020

    SJBoss , Jul 22, 2020 :
    I think it's not, at least in the Indian market.
    It's funny why you even had to do this. people are stupid.

    akks, TibiTibi and G_plusone like this.
  8. Bhargavesque
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    Bhargavesque , via OnePlus 5T , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Time will tell.

    It's not like this post is going to change minds of a million people. Not even a dozen. We both know it. I just did this because I wanted to :)

  9. SJBoss
    Lollipop Jul 22, 2020

    SJBoss , Jul 22, 2020 :
    And that was a great post indeed. Good work.

  10. Bhargavesque
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    TibiTibi and G_plusone like this.
  11. G_plusone
    Nougat Jul 22, 2020

    G_plusone , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Well done @Bhargavesque especially the last part explaining how the flagship and midranger will age.
    The midrangers are catching up but it's still a long way before midrangers could offer the power of yesteryear flagships.
    Good read

  12. Ultra.Numan
    Gingerbread Jul 22, 2020

    Ultra.Numan , via OnePlus 6 , Jul 22, 2020 :
    I'm using the OnePlus 6 and as far as I can tell it's miles better. I don't know if the Snapdragon 845 (no 5G) is better than the Nord's 765G but being 5G shouldn't make a difference to me as pretty sure in the UK we don't get 5G on Pay & Go. Also I only use the phone as a phone and the odd web browsing, a little camera now and then when I've gone somewhere unplanned so haven't got my proper camera.
    Looking into it anyway as somehow I've damaged the charging port on my phone, it charges slowly but sometimes it's fine.

    Bhargavesque likes this.
  13. HalCapone
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    Bhargavesque likes this.
  14. S10
    Eclair Jul 22, 2020

    S10 , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Great post. Hopefully, the people demanding a refund on 8 because of Nord stop now.

  15. Bhargavesque
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    S10 likes this.
  16. HalCapone
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    HalCapone , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Yeah you done A good job here was just giving you heads up.Think maybe Oneplus has told people not to talk about it till they let them upload there reviews.

    Even gsmarena don't talk about the build

  17. HalCapone
    Honeycomb Jul 22, 2020

    HalCapone , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Yeah it's plastic


  18. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Jul 22, 2020

    Shubham_Ag. likes this.
  19. SeanPlus
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jul 22, 2020

    SeanPlus , Jul 22, 2020 :
    Very good review @Bhargavesque, thanks for taking the time to write it.

    In my humble opinion, the fact that the Nord doesn't have a curved screen is a plus point.

    iamelton likes this.