Can it run Doom? Yes, if Doom is a thing on phones.
Part 3! Here we go. This section will tackle more into the performance sector of the phone. The original concept of a flagship killer is that they have a flagship chipset or similar while also being affordable and do not compromise on other important aspects, such as display and camera.
Well, in our first two reviews, we know that OnePlus did not sacrifice these parts (except for the macro camera, that’s definitely a cost-cutting measure) and so we expect that OnePlus did not also water down the performance. Looks like they did not considering that the Nord 3 has a flagship MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset inside, fabricated using a 4nm TSMC process.
BENCHMARKS and ACTUAL PERFORMANCE:
For our benchmarks, we asked our two best friends AnTuTu and Geekbench to help us determine how good the performance is, in theory, for the OnePlus Nord 3. And the results are in! The OnePlus Nord 3 has a score of 900,109 points in AnTuTu which isn’t terrible but we expected a slightly better score than that. Since this score has not been verified yet, there would be instances where this score will change depending on the environment, optimization, features enabled/disabled, throttling, and internal temperature. We’ve seen the score of the phone from our colleagues and frankly, the difference isn’t that high or significant. This is still a decent score, after all.
As for Geekbench 6, which is more demanding than the previous version, the score is still pretty great. 3714 points on GPU alone makes this phone really tempting to game on.
However, benchmarks only test the phone’s performance in theory. The only way to determine how well the Nord really runs is by torture-testing it. So we did. We played a couple of games like Diablo Immortal and Genshin Impact, two of the most demanding games available for download on Android.
To make it simple, we ran Genshin Impact since that game is pretty heavy already (27GB on Android is no joke). By default, the game’s settings are set to Medium at 30fps. We kept everything intact but we increased the FPS to 60, to push the phone’s limits even further. With this enabled, the game is “overclocked” and performance stutters are expected.
Despite that warning, the game did not stutter and every bit is smoothly flowing. We are able to play the games without technical issues and the higher frame rate just makes it better and more satisfying to play. The phone did warm up after a few hours of play, which is acceptable. It gets warmer even faster when you record OIS videos. The phone has a 4129mm2 dissipation system which helps it cool down. Even with that, the phone is prone to throttling.
Other games we tested include Modern Warships, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Diablo Immortal, World of Warships: Legends, PPSSPP Emulator with Gran Turismo, Mobile Legends, Honkai Star Rail, and Farlight 84.
Diablo Immortal had some slight stuttering. It is set to Very High graphics with a 30fps frame rate. When we played with the phone, the battery surprisingly did not drain significantly. Diablo Immortal consumed 13.51% battery while it was running but we were able to play every game we have while screen recording and from full, we have at least 15% left.
As with every Android skin nowadays, OxygenOS has a game assistant called GameTurbo that gives you all sorts of important information like internal temperature and FPS. When we played Genshin, the game is at a stable 59fps and a steady 39°C temperature. Isn’t that great?
On casual usage, like taking pictures, browsing social media, playing music, and opening different apps, the phone is very smooth and fluid. OxygenOS is pretty stable since its inception and the same is true, even after the Oppo takeover. When we got the June 2023 patch, the OS felt more optimized.
Also, unlike its Oppo counterpart, ColorOS, OxygenOS is clean and simple, and very easy to adapt. The interface did feel closer to ColorOS but its overall feel is still like the old OxygenOS with zero bloats and ads. Another great thing about OxygenOS is that it supports up to four years of security patches and three years of Android upgrades so your phone won’t easily feel outdated.
The phone comes with an 80W charging brick (European plug) and a complementary red USB-C cable. OnePlus did supply us with a US-standard 80W brick since that’s what we use here in the Philippines. It’s not necessary but we appreciate the extra effort. The phone is powered by a 5000mAh Lithium Polymer battery which is an industry-standard.
Anyway, we emptied the battery and then recharged it using the supplied charger. OnePlus claims it can fully charge the Nord 3 from empty to full in just 30 minutes. Well, our record says 42 minutes which is slightly off. Although this will fluctuate depending on the environment, and ours is pretty humid. 42 minutes is still really fast and pretty close to the advertised charging speed.
We originally ran PCMark 3.0 for the benchmarking test but unfortunately, the test was cut short for unknown reasons. However, it’s not all failure as the battery settings allowed us to see how much time the app consumed when it drained the battery down to 20%. 8 hours and 35 minutes is an impressive feat from a record of 100-20% drain. Emptying it took another 4 hours before needing to charge. That’s a total of 12 hours! We also only need to charge this phone up to 3 times a day, further proving how strong the battery is inside the Nord 3.
Battery drain is normal. We were able to shoot videos, play games for a couple of hours, and watch a movie and still, there was about 30% left. There was also a time when we used it to shoot several pictures as sample shots starting at 1 PM in the afternoon. We stopped our shoot at 7 PM and from full, there’s still 56% battery left. That’s more than half.
We are overall satisfied with the Nord 3’s performance and how surprisingly smooth the phone is despite being completely new. It will be optimized with future updates but so far we ran the phone without any issues. Stay tuned for Part 4 where we test the speakers, the security features, unique features, and finally we wrap everything up, including a Pros and Cons section!