The OnePlus Nord 3 is a bigger deal than its predecessor – literally, because that 6.74” AMOLED display towers over the 6.43” panel of the old model, but also figuratively in that this is the closest that the mid-range Nord series has come to flagship specs.
Let’s stick with the screen for a moment – it has 1,240 x 2,772px resolution, up from FHD+ on the Nord 2, so the pixel density is nearly the same. Also, this runs at 120Hz (up from 90Hz) with 10-bit colors.
The Dimensity 9000 chipset was a flagship chip two years ago. It’s no match for the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 inside the likes of the OnePlus 11R and 10T, but it holds its own considering the price difference – the 10T was €730 in France (now down to €580) for an 8/128GB model, the Nord is €500/₹34,000 with the same memory or €550/₹38,000 if you want a 16/256GB unit.
The Dimensity is a 4nm chip with a Cortex-X2 (3.05GHz), three Cortex-A710 (2.85GHz) and four A510 (1.80GHz), plus a Mali-G710 MC10. This is comparable to the Tensor G2 in the Pixel 7/7a phones (though the Dimensity is the clear winner in the GPU benchmarks).
OnePlus also increased the battery capacity to 5,000mAh (up from 4500mAh), which was enough to offset the higher power draw of the bigger screen and kept the endurance rating at just over 100h – check out our review for more (we also have a video review). The charging is done at 80W (same as on the Nord 2T) and in our testing it achieved 61% in 15 minutes and got all the way to 98% in 30 minutes.
Things that remain the same are the 50MP camera (it has a new 1/1.56” IMX890 sensor with 1.0µm pixels and f/1.9 lens with OIS, but isn't all that different from the IMX766) and 8MP 112° ultra wide. The selfie camera inexplicably drops to 16MP, though.
While the Nord 3 didn’t get upgraded to a metal frame, it does gain an IP54 rating. And it has an alert slider on the side. Even better, OnePlus is promising 3 OS updates, the same number as Google.
Okay, let’s look at some competitors. We already mentioned the OnePlus 10T and 11R. Both are quite similar with faster Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chips. The 10T has a 6.7” 1080p-class display, the 11R a 6.74” 1240p-class, both 10-bit 120Hz panels. The 10T has a 4,800mAh battery with 150W wired charging, while the 11R has a 5,000mAh battery with 100W charging. The cameras are basically the same as on the Nord.
It’s important to note that the 10T is available in Europe, starting at €580 for an 8/128GB model as we mentioned already. The 11R can be found in India for ₹40,000 with the same memory configuration – both are more expensive than the Nord 3.
There’s the Galaxy A54, but that’s smaller with a 6.4” display (FHD+ 120Hz) and the Exynos 1380 can’t compete with the Dimensity 9000. The 50MP 1/1.56” camera with OIS is comparable, the 12MP 123° ultra wide is better. The 5,000mAh battery on the Samsung may have the same capacity, but the 25W charging feels glacially slow in comparison. An 8/128GB A54 can be had for €460/₹39,000.
There is also the Pixel 7a with an even smaller 6.1” display (a 90Hz OLED at that). The 64MP main and 13MP ultra wide cameras rely on Google magic as the hardware isn’t too different, the 4,385mAh battery with 18W wired charging is smaller and slower. It does have 7.5W wireless charging, though. The Pixel 7a goes for €510 (or just under €500, depending on the store), it’s ₹44,000 in India. Both the Galaxy and the Pixel have IP67 ratings and will get 4 and 3 OS updates, respectively.
Then there’s the Realme 11 Pro+ with a 6.7” FHD+ 120Hz display (10-bit). While the 8MP 112° ultra wide camera is fairly basic, the 200MP main (f/1.7, OIS) offers a lot of lossless zoom. The Dimensity 7050 is well behind its flagship sibling, though, but the 5,000mAh battery with 100W charging is fast. The Pro+ can be found for just over €500 in Europe and this is with a generous 12/512GB configuration. In India, the 8/256GB phone is ₹28,000, the 12/256GB one is ₹30,000.
The Poco F5 is a fraction smaller with its 6.67” FHD+ 120Hz display (12-bit), but it is powered by the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2. That chip beats the Dimensity 9000 in CPU benchmarks and is competitive in GPU tests. The 64MP main camera (1/2”, OIS) and 8MP 120° ultra wide are not much to write home about, but the 5,000mAh 67W battery comes close. The F5 with 8/256GB memory is €430 or so in Europe, ₹31,000 in India.
There is also the Poco F5 Pro with a 6.67” display, a QHD+ panel this time, and a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The camera is the same, but the 5,160mAh battery supports 67W wired and 30W wireless charging. The 12/256GB model is €550 right now. Both Pocos are rated IP53.
Time to vote – is the OnePlus Nord 3 the flagship killer we have been waiting for?
And while we’re here, let’s also talk about the OnePlus Nord CE 3 – right now this is exclusive to India, so it’s not an option in most regions. Still, an 8/128GB model is ₹27,000, ₹7,000 less than the regular Nord 3.
What we’re looking at here is a 6.7” FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display with a Snapdragon 782G chipset and basically the same 50+8MP camera and 5,000mAh 80W battery. Would you pick this one over the Nord 3?
Bought the 16/256 last week. It came without the cover in the box. The back glass is matt anand slippery. So couldn't use it yet much. The ali express orders yet to come. Overall phone is slim and feels good and fast. Front camera is slightly ov...
It's not a brick, used to have a 6.8 with tall aspect ratio and it was more than fine