A few years ago, buying a mid-range smartphone meant settling for unconvincing specs and performance. Today, you find phones with powerful features and at a very affordable price, both until they make you wonder if it is worth spending a fortune on a high-end one. Apple and OnePlus do not want to be without their piece of cake in this segment and continue to bet on cheap but very powerful phones. In the comparison OnePlus Nord vs. iPhone SE (2020) we review these affordable models to help you decide.
|OnePlus Nord||Apple iPhone SE (2020)|
|Size||158.3 x 73.3 x 8. 2mm||138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm|
|Weight||184 grams||148 grams|
|6.44 inch Fluid AMOLED||4.7 inch Retina IPS LCD|
|Screen resolution||2,400 x 1,080, 20: 9 ratio (516 pixels per inch)||1,334 x 750 pixels (326 pixels per inch)|
|Operating system||Android 10 (under OxygenOS)||iOS 13|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|MicroSD card slot||Not||Not|
|Tap-to-pay service||Google Pay||Apple pay|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G||Apple A13 Bionic|
|RAM||6GB, 8GB, 12GB||3GB|
|Camera||Back : 48-megapixel quad-lens; 8MP Ultra Wide Angle; 5MP depth lens; 2MP macro|
Front : Dual 2MP lens; 8MP Ultra Wide Angle
|Back : 12MP lens|
Front : 7MP lens
|Video||4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 60 fps||4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes on the screen||Yes on the front|
Warp Charge 30T (up to 70% in 30 minutes)
18W fast charge (18W charger sold separately)
Qi wireless charging
|App store||Google Play Store||Apple App Store|
|Network support||It does not have official support in the US, but it does in Europe||In all the major companies|
|Colors||Gray Onyx, Blue Marble||Black, white and red|
|Price||About $ 480 dollars / € 399 euros||From $ 399 dollars|
Design, display and durability
Although both devices were released in the same year, OnePlus Nord is more like a 2020 smartphone than the iPhone SE. It features a 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 pixels for vibrant, sharp images. The Nord is a colossus compared to the iPhone SE, and many will find its size more enjoyable, especially for multimedia. Durability is affected by the use of a plastic frame instead of metal, although it doesn’t look cheap, it can easily be mistaken for stainless steel. The lack of resistance to water and dust in the Nord also raises some questions about how it will resist in the long term.
If you’ve used iPhone 6, 7, or 8, then you might find iPhone SE 2020 very familiar. This model is more than a throwback to when iPhones had home buttons – it shows the latest Apple software and camera technology. It’s smaller than most, with a 4.7-inch IPS screen, and it’s very manageable. You won’t need to stretch your fingers like with the Nord, but it can also be awkward to handle for those with larger hands.
We give OnePlus Nord the victory in this round as it offers a premium build that dwarfs the outdated design of the iPhone SE.
Winner: OnePlus Nord
Performance, battery life and charge
The performance of these low-budget gadgets won’t disappoint, but don’t set your expectations too high. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G chip on the OnePlus Nord can work in most everyday applications, but you will run into some difficulties when playing games that require a lot of graphics capabilities. The iPhone SE handles apps and games much more consistently thanks to Apple’s secret weapon, the A13 Bionic chip. You will not have problems going from one application to another, but do not expect that the ones you used hours ago will continue to work in the background.
With a 4,115 mAh battery, the Nord will comfortably last you a day and a little longer. A much smaller 1,821 mAh cell resides in the iPhone SE, but don’t let the difference fool you. This cell powers a much more compact device with a lower refresh rate, and like all iPhones the standby time is exceptional. In terms of charging speed, Warp Charge 30T (30 watts) in the Nord outperforms the 18-watt iPhone.
With all-day battery life and faster charging speeds, the OnePlus Nord is better than the iPhone SE in this round. The iPhone’s performance is higher, but only by a small margin.
Winner: OnePlus Nord
The OnePlus Nord sparked a lot of interest when it was touted for having a four-camera setup, which competed with flagships. If the Google Pixel 3a has taught us anything, it’s that it only takes a good camera to take great pictures. Even with a 48MP primary lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens, we find that photos taken with the Nord fade and underexpose.
On the other hand, the iPhone SE only has a single 12 MP lens on the back. At first glance, you don’t expect much from the camera, but you’ll be amazed at how natural and balanced photos come out. Thanks in large part to the A13 Bionic’s neural engine, iPhone image processing is innovative.
Both devices can shoot 4K at 60fps, but the iPhone SE’s camera performance is above the OnePlus Nord.
Winner: iPhone SE (2020)
Software and updates
If you have a preference for operating systems, then the choice between the two should be fairly straightforward. The Nord operates with OxygenOS layered on Android 10. It is one of the cleanest layers that exist and has a lot of customization possibilities. IPhone SE brings the latest features of iOS 13 to the budget market, including dark mode, swipe-typing mode, and new camera modes, among others. Even with the recycled body, the iPhone SE software experience is fast and intuitive.
Because users update less frequently, it is crucial that phones receive timely and consistent updates for software stability. You can expect at least two years of Android updates and three years of security updates on OnePlus Nord. They are excellent numbers, especially for a manufacturer that is not called Google. Even so, the update cycle of iPhones is unmatched. You can upgrade to the latest version of iOS as soon as it is released, even if your iPhone is three or four years old. If you can’t wait, beta programs are available for you to join at your own risk.
Winner: iPhone SE (2020)
The OnePlus Nord offers standout features not found on even the most expensive iPhones. One notable one is 5G support. Although the next generation network is not fully available, it is comforting to have this technology on the phone as it is future proof. The Nord also offers a 90Hz refresh rate display and an in-display fingerprint scanner so you can unlock the phone with a tap. The iPhone SE does not have as much brightness and shine, but it remains one of the best compact smartphones on the market. At a time when smartphones are getting bigger, iPhone SE fills the gap for those with smaller hands. It is also the only iPhone released in the past two years with Touch ID .
However, if you put the two phones side by side, there is no competition. The OnePlus Nord has a better set of special features.
Winner: OnePlus Nord
Price and availability
The OnePlus Nord will be available in Europe from August 4. You can buy it from 399 euros. If you reside in the United States, an import service is your best bet, although OnePlus plans to launch a Nord device for the US in the future. The iPhone SE is available from Apple and from major phone operators. Prices start at 489 euros ($ 399 US dollars).
The OnePlus Nord is an exceptional device worth considering if you are looking for a smartphone for less than 500 euros or dollars. It offers all-day battery life, versatile cameras, a butter-smooth screen, and all the elements that make the OnePlus experience real. The phone marks the beginning of the company’s initiative to again produce affordable smartphones, and we are excited to see what’s to come.
However, even though OnePlus has won in more categories, we believe that the iPhone SE (2020) is the better phone of the two. Despite the outdated design and single-lens camera, it’s still a great phone, and one of the best phones that can be bought for less than 500 euros. The unavailability of the OnePlus Nord, most likely leaves you no choice but the Apple model. OnePlus Nord will be your choice if you prefer Android phones, but if you are unsure which of the two to buy, then buy the iPhone SE (2020).