OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE: which cheaper alternative should you go for?

After weeks of teasers and mini announcements the OnePlus Nord has finally been unveiled in full. This upper mid-range handset has a lot going for it, from six cameras in total to a 90Hz refresh rate, 5G support, and more. But it’s also got some tough competition, most notably from the iPhone SE (2020).

That’s Apple’s first real mid-range handset in a long time, and with the Apple name behind it, plus a lot of things to recommend about it – including a truly top-end chipset and a lightweight design – it’s a major rival to the OnePlus Nord.

But while these can both be seen as budget alternatives to big-name flagships, they’re also very different to each other in a lot of ways. Below you’ll find a rundown of all the key similarities and differences, so you can make a decision as to which is right for you.

OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE (2020) price and availability

The OnePlus Nord is out properly in the UK on August 4 (though before that there is a pop-up sale event on July 31). It costs £379 for a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while a version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will set you back £469. It’s worth noting however that there’s currently no availability in Australia or the US.

The iPhone SE (2020) on the other hand is out already and starts at $399 / £419 / AU$749. That’s for a model with 64GB of storage and as those prices suggest, it’s available in the US, the UK, and Australia.

If you want more storage, you can also get the iPhone SE (2020) with 128GB for $449 / £469 / AU$829, or with 256GB for $549 / £569 / AU$999.

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So the OnePlus Nord starts a chunk lower than the iPhone SE (2020), at least in the UK, where they’re both available.

OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE (2020) design

The OnePlus Nord has a glass back in Blue Marble or Grey Onyx shades, with a camera block running down the top left edge. Flip it over and you’re greeted with basically nothing but screen – the bezels are small, and the dual-lens front-facing camera is housed in a cut-out in the top left corner.

The iPhone SE (2020) meanwhile has a glass back in black, white, or red, with a much smaller single-lens camera in the top left corner of the rear.

The front has large bezels above and below the screen, with the front-facing camera housed in the upper bezel, and a home button (which doubles as a fingerprint scanner) in the lower one.

It’s an altogether less modern design than the OnePlus Nord’s, but one thing the iPhone SE (2020) does have going for it is a much smaller, lighter shell. The SE (2020) is just 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm and 148g, while the OnePlus Nord is 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm and 184g. So the Nord is bigger in every dimension, as well as being heavier.

OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE (2020) display

The main reason the OnePlus Nord is larger than the iPhone SE (2020) is its screen, as the OnePlus Nord has a 6.44-inch one, while the iPhone SE (2020) has just a 4.7-inch one.

The Nord’s display is a 1080 x 2400 Fluid AMOLED one with a pixel density of 408 pixels per inch, a 20:9 aspect ratio, and a 90Hz refresh rate.

The iPhone SE (2020) on the other hand has a 750 x 1334 IPS LCD screen with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and a 60Hz refresh rate. So as well as being smaller it’s less crisp and likely to feel less smooth in operation, due to the lower refresh rate.

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That smaller size however is likely to appeal to anyone who wants to easily be able to operate their phone with one hand, or fit it in a small pocket.

OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE (2020) camera

There are big differences between the cameras of these two phones, not least because you get a whole lot more lenses with the OnePlus Nord. In fact, it has six in total – four on the back, and two on the front.

Starting with those rear lenses, there’s a 48MP f/1.75 main camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), and that’s joined by an 8MP f/2.25 ultra-wide one, a 2MP f/2.4 macro one, and a 5MP f/2.4 depth one. So there’s no telephoto camera, but otherwise this has the main lens types accounted for.

On the front meanwhile, the OnePlus Nord has a 32MP f/2.45 main camera and an 8MP f./2.45 ultra-wide one.

The iPhone SE (2020) on the other hand has just a 12MP f/1.8 snapper with OIS on the back, and a 7MP f/2.2 camera on the front. But while it lacks the Nord’s versatility, we were fairly happy with the snaps it took in our review, so it remains to be seen how the OnePlus Nord will compare in practice.

OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE (2020) battery

The OnePlus Nord has a 4,115mAh battery with support for 30W fast charging, which the company promises will get it from empty to 70% full in half an hour. The company hasn’t said how long it will last between charges, but it’s a reasonable size.

The iPhone SE (2020) meanwhile has a much smaller 1,821mAh battery. This supports 18W charging and also wireless charging, the latter of which you don’t get on the Nord, and while it’s a lot smaller, it’s also powering a much smaller phone. In our tests we found it lasted around a day, which is fairly average.

OnePlus Nord vs iPhone SE (2020) specs and features

The core specs of the OnePlus Nord include an upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset (with 5G support), 8GB or 12GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage, and an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

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The iPhone SE (2020) has a higher end A13 Bionic chipset (the same as you’ll find in the iPhone 11 Pro Max), but no 5G support, and just 3GB of RAM. Storage meanwhile comes in at 64GB, 128GB or 256GB, and while there’s a fingerprint scanner it’s in a button rather than the screen.

It’s hard to say which will perform better, though in our tests the iPhone SE (2020) certainly did very well for what it costs. Of course, for some buyers the lack of 5G on Apple’s phone will push them towards the Nord.

Another big difference between the two is their operating systems, as while the OnePlus Nord runs Android 10 (with the company’s OxygenOS overlay on top), the iPhone SE (2020) runs iOS 13. So if you have a strong preference for one operating system or the other, then you already know which you’ll prefer on that front.

Takeaway

The OnePlus Nord looks set to be one of the most exciting mid-range phones of 2020. Its starting price is very low for what’s on offer, and there’s a lot on offer – from a quad-lens rear camera, to a dual-lens front-facing one, 5G, a big battery, lots of RAM and a large screen.

The iPhone SE (2020) though will appeal to fans of compact phones, fans of iOS, and those who want a top-tier chipset.

We’ll have to put the OnePlus Nord through a full review before we can say definitively how good it is, but on paper it sounds very promising, and we already know that the iPhone SE (2020) is great.

Originally published at : Techradar

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