The Nord is the most disruptive phone from OnePlus yet. It’s undoubtedly selling like hotcakes and is one of the top recommendations of tech bros these days. That, however, doesn’t mean it is the best phone for everyone’s needs. You might very well have different priorities or the Nord might not sit well with your taste.
While we have covered reasons to buy and to not buy OnePlus Nord separately in detail, here are a few probable reasons for why you’d want to side with the alternatives.
Reasons why you’d want to skip OnePlus Nord and look for alternatives
- Oxygen OS is no longer as light and clean as it used to be. Pre-installed Facebook services running in the background raise another red flag.
- OnePlus Nord is missing auto call recording (manual call recording starts with a warning that plays on both ends).
- The handset has a plastic side frame and failed Jerryrigeverything’s durability test.
- Camera performance indoors is a tad underwhelming.
- The battery backup is quite average
- For hardcore gaming, available phones with SD855+ have an edge.
- Or if you necessarily need the audio jack or microSD card slot.
Best OnePlus Nord Alternatives to buy in India in 2021
In this list, we have included competent phones that cost between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 35,000.
1. iQOO 7
iQOO 7 (review) is an excellent choice for gamers restricted by a budget of around Rs. 30,000. It’s powered by a capable Snapdragon 870 chipset and also has a very smart game mode that also has an option for MEMC to add extra frames, resulting in smoother gameplay.
The iQOO 7 further brandishes a 120Hz AMOLED display, stereo speakers, in-display fingerprint reader, and has a 4400mAh battery with 66W fast charging.
iQOO 7 Specs
Display: 6.62 inches AMOLED FHD+, 120Hz| Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 octa-core CPU | RAM: up to 12GB| Storage: 256GB | Software: Android 11 Rear camera: 48MP + 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP | Weight: 196g | Dimensions: 163.3 x 76.4 x 8.4 mm |Battery: 4400mAh, 66W fast charging
2. Xiaomi Mi 11x
Mi 11x is another aggressively specced and priced offering from Xiaomi. This one is powered by Snapdragon 870 octa-core chipset assisted by LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage.
The Mi 11x runs Android 11-based MIUI 12 software and makes room for a 4520mAh battery with 33W fast charging support.
Display: 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED, 120Hz | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 octa-core CPU | RAM: up to 8GB| Storage: 128GB | Software: Android 11 | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP| Front camera: 20MP | Weight: 196 grams | Dimensions: 163.7x 76.4 x 7.8mm|Battery: 4520mAh
3. Google Pixel 4a
Google Pixel 4a has launched in India for INR 29,999 and that’s a lot better pricing than we had for the Pixel 3a last year. The handset promises a clean Android experience and hands down the best camera you could ask for in this price range.
It’s also an extremely light and compact phone and comes with stereo speakers.
Display: 5.81-inch Full HD+ AMOLED HDR| Processor: Snapdragon 730G SoC | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Software: Android 11 | Rear camera: 12.2MP | Front camera: 8MP | Battery: 3140mAh | Weight: 143g | Dimensions:144 x 69.4 x 8.2 mm
4. Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i (review) is Xiaomi’s answer to OnePlus Nord. It is powered by Snapdragon 750G that has an integrated 5G modem and can match up to Snapdragon 765G in terms of performance.
The phone has an IPS LCD display that supports 120Hz adaptive sync, stereo speakers, and fast charging support. However, what really gives it an edge is its 108MP camera that’s really impressive considering the under INR 25k price.
Display: 6.67-inch Full HD+ 120Hz | Processor: Snapdragon 750G SoC | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: up to 128GB | Software: Android 10 – MIUI 12 | Rear camera: 108MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP | Battery: 4180mAh | Weight: 214.5g | Thickness: 9mm
5. Vivo V20 Pro and Vivo V20
Vivo V20 Pro 5G (review) is a slim and compact phone with 44MP front camera and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G octa-core chipset. It also runs the FuntouchOS 11 which is closer to stock Android than ever before. The base Vivo V20 (review), which unlike the pro retains 3.5mm audio jack and SD card slot, is similar in terms of features and hardware but is powered by Snapdragon 720G.
The handset has a 6.44-inch AMOLED display, triple rear cameras, and a 4000mAh battery with 33W fast charging.
Vivo V20 Pro Specs
Display: 6.44-inch, FHD+ AMOLED, 60Hz | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G | RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: 128GB | Software: Android 10| Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 44MP +8MP | Weight: 171g | Battery: 4000mAh, 33W charging
6. Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom (review) is the closest existing competition to the OnePlus Nord. It’s powered by Snapdragon 855+ that’s assisted by LPDDR4x RAM and faster UFS 3.1 storage. It also has a more engaging camera system that includes a zoom camera.
Realme uses an IPS LCD panel that supports a 120Hz refresh rate and there is a reliable and snappy side-mounted fingerprint sensor. The powerful chipset driving the X3 Zoom is duly assisted by ample LPDDR4x RAM and fast UFS 3.0 storage, thus making this a great choice for gaming. The handset has a 4200mAh battery with 30W fast charging.
Realme X3 SuperZoom Specs
Display: 6.6-inch, FHD+ IPS LCD, 120Hz | Processor: 2.96 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 855+ | RAM: up to 12GB | Storage: up to 256GB, expandable up to 512GB | Software: Realme UI -Android 10| Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP | Front camera: 32MP + 8MP | Weight: 202g| Dimensions: 163.8 x 75.8 x 8.9 mm | Battery: 4200mAh,30W charging
7. Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62 (review) comes with a monstrous 7000mAh battery and is yet surprisingly handy. This is a phone where all Samsung strengths aligns at a mid-range price.
The Exynos 9825 is a powerful chipset comparable to the Snapdragon 765 used on the Nord, and it can ably drive Samsung’s feature-rich and tasteful OneUI (which, by the way, also integrates option for auto call recording). If you dearly value battery backup, you could choose the Galaxy M51 over the Nord.
Display: 6.7-inch, FHD+ AMOLED, 60Hz | Processor: octa-core Exynos 9825| RAM: up to 8GB | Storage: up to 128GB, expandable up to 512GB | Software: OneUI -Android 11| Rear camera: 64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP | Front camera: 32MP | Weight: 218g | Battery: 7000mAh, 25W charging
8. Vivo X50
Vivo X50 is remarkably handy and looks awesome. It’s powered by Snapdragon 730 octa-core chipset and has a full HD+ AMOLED display.
The handset is extremely light and has a decent set of cameras and weighs just 174.5 grams. In India, the Vivo X50 starts at Rs. 34,999 and is available at both online and offline stores with discounted offers.
Vivo X50 specs
Display: 6.56-inch FHD+ AMOLED | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 octa-core | RAM: 8GB| Storage: up to 256GB | Software: Android 10 | Rear camera: 48MP + 13MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 16MP | Weight: 174.5g | Dimensions: 159.5 x 75.4 x 7.6 mm |Battery: 4200mAh, 33W fast charging.
9. Realme X2 Pro
The Realme X2 Pro (review) continues to be a relevant option that includes a 90Hz AMOLED display and a snappy in-display fingerprint reader. It’s powered by Snapdragon 855+, has a 64MP Quad Rear Camera, up to 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, and UFS 3.0 storage.
Realme retains the headphone jack and adds 50W fast charging. Other highlights include Dual Stereo Speakers and 4D game vibration.
Realme X2 Pro Specs
Display: 6.55-inch 2400 x 1080 pixels, 90Hz | Processor: 2.96 GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 855+ | RAM: up to 12GB | Storage: upto 256GB | Software: Android 10 | Rear camera: 64MP+8MP+13MP+2MP | Front camera: 16MP | Weight: 199g| Dimensions: 161 x 75.7 x 8.7 mm | Battery: 4000mAh, 50W fast charging
10. iQOO 3
iQOO 3 (review) starts at Rs. 34,999 and is the most affordable phone to include Snapdragon 865 octa-core chipset. The flagship chipset is further assisted by up to LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. The handset also has ROG Phone-like air triggers which should make it very appealing for FPS gamers.
Other highlights include AMOLED display, 4400mAh battery with 55W charging, and decent performing quad-rear cameras.
iQOO 3 Specs
Display: 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED, HDR10+ (60Hz) | Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core CPU | RAM: up to 12GB| Storage: up to 256GB | Software: Android 10 | Rear camera: 48MP + 13MP + 13MP + 2MP | Front camera: 16MP | Weight: 208g | Dimensions: 158.5 x 74.9 x 9.2 mm |Battery: 4400mAh, 55W charging
10 OnePlus Nord Challengers
OnePlus Nord now has several viable challengers and more shall follow as the year progresses. We will update this list as more options surface.
Best OnePlus Nord alternatives to buy in India in 2020
|iQOO 7||INR 31,990|
|Xiaomi Mi 11x||INR 29,990|
|Google Pixel 4a||INR 29,999|
|Realme X3 SuperZoom||INR 27,999|
|Samsung Galaxy F62||INR 23,999|
|Vivo V20||INR 24,999|
|Xiaomi Mi 10i||INR 20,999|
|Vivo X50||INR 34,999|
|Realme X20 Pro||INR 28,500|
|iQOO 3||INR 34,999|