The Tenty Lite: OnePlus Nord 3 5G REVIEW! [PART 4]


And no, it’s not like Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1

The fourth and final season of this quadrilogy series! It has been a long ride and it was fun while doing it. While we’re not 100% done with the Nord 3 (mind you, we still have to execute a video for it), it’s nice to see that we said a lot of good things about it, as well as some things we didn’t like.

For this final parter with no additional cuts, we would be focusing on what’s left: Sound/Speaker Quality, Biometrics, Connectivity, and Conclusion. Don’t worry, we know about the “Special Features” part and we believe that alone deserves its own article because there is a lot to explore.

SOUND QUALITY:

The OnePlus Nord 3 has stereo speakers. One set at the bottom and the other at the top so you get this immersive feel. It is also equipped with Hi-Res Audio for both wired and wireless sound devices. While it does not have a headphone jack (still disappointing even after 2016), you can use a compatible dongle to make the magic happen.

We downloaded Spotify since that has Hi-Res Audio support. Another music player that does have it is PowerAmp but you do need to pay to unlock the full version. There is a free version with fewer features.

The speakers sounded great. It has a rich and powerful sound. We were honestly stunned when we first tested it, it really does feel like having a mobile theatre. It’s pretty loud and going at higher volumes does not depreciate sound quality, unlike other phones we’ve tested. In other words, the sound is consistent at any level of volume. There is also a good mixture of bass, mids, and highs. Voices are very clear too.

BIOMETRICS:

The phone has support for both fingerprint and facial scanning. Of course, to enroll your face or fingerprints, you need to create a password first.

When we first heard of in-display fingerprint scanners, we were somewhat skeptical about them because we thought that they are slower and far less accurate. It has been five years since then and in-display fingerprint scanners have matured.

For the Nord 3, the fingerprint scanner performance is “alright” at best. Sure, it is fast and consistent most of the time but there are times it may not catch or recognize my fingerprints. When it does, it unlocks the screen in a flash. Maybe slower than a blink but it’s still pretty fast nonetheless. It is also well-placed and does not obstruct.

Next is facial scanning. It uses AI algorithms and the 16MP front camera to capture data and scan your face. We’re honestly surprised to see it work better than expected. It recognizes your face faster than the fingerprint sensor recognizes your thumbs. It also does not get fooled by pictures. In addition, it can even recognize your face while wearing a mask! It feels much more convenient than the fingerprint sensor but having both is essential and ideal.

CONNECTIVITY:

As a phone with the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset, the OnePlus Nord 3 5G has 5G connectivity and Wi-Fi 6. It also has access to Bluetooth 5.2 which, in theory, should make data transfers nearly instant. Initially, the problem is that the phone is intended for the European market and The Philippines isn’t clearly in Europe. So we got a software update that makes the phone’s connectivity compatible for global bands, including the Philippines.

When we play games or watch videos, We have not encountered any issues regarding Wi-Fi connectivity. In Mobile Legends, for example. We maintained a steady ping of 5ms without it hiccuping once. Take note this is with Network Boost deactivated. We also used it to play Farlight 84 and we have experienced no stuttering and lag there.

We’re not talking about games only either. We downloaded several 1080p movie files here and they downloaded pretty fast. The slowest was one hour and that was because of congested internet traffic, not our device. YouTube and Facebook videos load up almost instantly and streamed content played on without automatically and drastically toning down video quality and bitrate.

Our Wi-Fi and LTE bars remained consistently high so it picks up signals rather quickly and strongly. So this nearly flagship phone is even more ideal for competitive gaming. Both data (DITO 5G) and Wi-Fi connectivity are fast and consistent in our area. Although, that may depend on several factors, like the games you play, the number of devices connected to your WI-FI router (there are about 7 connected here), internet speed, ISP reliability, and of course, your own area.

CONCLUSION:

The OnePlus Nord 3 lives up to its “everything you could ask for” slogan and it is a true successor to the Nord 2T. It seems like OnePlus learned its lesson from the 10T and has built a phone that a mainstream user needs. Particularly, a vibrant and bright display, high-quality cameras, smooth and fluid performance, and long-lasting batteries that nearly instantly charge. We also like the inclusion of the IR Blaster and most importantly, the Alert Slider which has been a fan favourite since the early days of OnePlus.

We like the design and construction too. Yes, both the frames and back panel are made of plastic but its matte coating makes it look premium. It is also lightweight and comfortable to carry mostly due to the slightly non-curved edges.

It does feel like a sidegrade to the OnePlus 10T. That phone has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset and a faster 150W fast charging but also a glossy plastic build and lacks the Alert Slider. It’s also more expensive and has slightly less RAM at 12GB. If you’re not a fan of MediaTek, then that phone is an ideal choice. This is why the Nord 3 is like a “OnePlus 10T Lite” in our books.

If there’s negative to say about it, it’s most obviously the 2MP Macro camera. It simply should not exist. The phone also tends to warm pretty fast and throttles easily. Thanks to the dissipation unit, you can only feel warmth, not fire. It maintained an internal temperature of 39┬░C in our gameplay tests

In the Philippines, the phone costs PHP 29,990 (16/256) with only one colour: Misty Green. This makes our phone pretty unique as only the European version has Tempest Grey. The Misty Green phone is made using glossy plastic.

PROS:

  • Very bright and colour-accurate 120Hz AMOLED screen
  • Alert Slider and IR Blaster are nice and convenient additions
  • Premium Design. It is easy to hold and is lightweight at 192 grams.
  • OxygenOS is nearly bloat-free and runs smoothly
  • Excellent primary and ultrawide camera performance
  • Long-lasting 13hr battery according to PCMark 3.0. Lasts longer in actuality.
  • Very fast charging speeds but slightly slower than advertised at 42 minutes from 0-100%
  • Rich, clear, and immersive stereo speakers
  • Super fast facial recognition system that could also recognize faces covered with masks
  • Pricing is competitive for its spec sheet

CONS:

  • That 2MP Macro Camera should not exist and feels like an aesthetic choice
  • Subpar 16MP front camera performance
  • Prone to throttling
  • No EIS on 4K videos

You can read our first impressions by clicking the link.