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The New, Elegant Matte-Finished Nord

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You might have missed the special North edition that OnePlus unveiled with the OnePlus 8T. Naturally, the focus has been on the all-new “T” edition, which typically arrives in the last quarter of each year with key hardware improvements. Especially since the new Gray Ash Special Edition is a device you will only appreciate if you see it in the flesh. It all starts with the matte finish.

This one is not for attention seekers. It is almost the color of a dark gray suit and feels great in your hand with its sleek matte look. This is not a device that you want to slip under a back cover (a silicone cover is included in the box). It doesn’t attract fingerprints or slip easily from those sweaty palms. At around 180g – almost the same footprint as the 8T, it doesn’t feel too clunky. Like the 8T, there is no resistance to water or dust; you will need to be very careful if you are using it without a protective case.

The OnePlus North is an interesting subplot of the OnePlus saga. Just when we thought the brand was raising the price, it reverted to the old OnePlus with a device below Rs 30,000. If you are looking for an Android device or more specifically a OnePlus device, the he North vs 8T riddle is not easy to solve. The answer, as always, could lie in your use cases and what really matters to you.

Let’s start by eliminating this datasheet. The North is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor (the same that Google is betting on for its 2020 flagship – the Pixel 5). The Gray Ash Special Edition comes with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. That’s certainly enough firepower for most users, even many experienced users. Asphalt 9 ran smoothly on this device, and it hit 1934 in our Geekbench (multi-core) benchmark test. It’s significantly lower than our figures for the OnePlus 8 Pro. The numbers don’t always tell the story, I found the North to be used every day and the game effortlessly intense.

One of the big talking points of this device is the 90Hz refresh rate of the 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED display (1080 x 2400 pixels / 408 PPI); it is smooth. The camera experience is similar to that of the OnePlus 8 with the same 48MP primary lens. You might notice a slight dip in the ultra-wide lens, we would have liked a better macro sensor as well. The North takes good images in optimal light and OnePlus’ Night Scape mode starts in low light. Low light images are good and the dual selfie camera mounts on the OnePlus 8 with better video capture capabilities.

The battery life (there’s a 4,115mAh battery under the hood) is solid. The Snapdragon 765G processor offers better power efficiency and the 30W charger in the box with OnePlus exclusive Warp charging technology should take your device from 0 to 70% in 30 minutes flat. So we come back to the 8T vs North question. The 8T comes with a much better processor, 120Hz refresh rate and also the Monster 65W Warp charger (0-100% in 39 minutes). If those add-ons don’t make a difference in your daily usage patterns, the North might be all the OnePlus you need. And if you’ve played the hold game on the North, the matte finish of the Gray Ash Special Edition might be that excuse you need.

the OnePlus Nord Gray Ash Special Edition(12 GB / 256 GB) costs Rs 29,999

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