OnePlus Nord Vs iPhone SE 2020: we’re going to be doing a detailed hands-on comparison between the OnePlus Nord and the iPhone SE 2020.
Both of these devices are coming in at around a 400-pound mark.
Let’s see what they offer for that price point and what all the key differences are too.
So initially, let’s look at the differences in size.
The OnePlus Nord, clearly the larger device.
It’s taller, wider, thicker, and it also weighs more compared to the iPhone SE.
So the iPhone SE, definitely the more compact device.
If you are after something that’s a little bit smaller, you want something easy to use in one hand, then you may lean towards the iPhone SE.
But when we turn the devices around, you’ll notice why the OnePlus Nord is larger, and that’s because it’s got a much larger display.
The iPhone SE, it’s got a 4.7 inch LCD display, which has around 326 PPI pixel density.
And we do also have these very thick top and bottom bezels.
This is a display that was on the iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 8, so it is quite an old display that has been refreshed for 2020.
And looking at it side-by-side to the OnePlus Nord, it looks very outdated.
The OnePlus Nord, it lined with 2020 flagship devices actually, even though this is coming in at mid-range.
We’ve got very small bezels with a pill punch out for the front-facing cameras.
It’s an AMOLED display as well, so we’ve got deeper blacks and high contrast ratios.
We’ve got a high resolution with a higher pixel density on the OnePlus Nord, around 408 PPI, which makes things sharper.
But I’d say one of the most important things is that OnePlus Nord does have a 90 Hertz refresh rate, which is very impressive at this price point.
And that means animations are much smoother when you’re scrolling through when you’re watching content, the experience is just
superior on the OnePlus Nord.
I think it’s safe to say that this is a clear win in this category for the OnePlus Nord compared to the iPhone SE.
Now, believe it or not, there are a few advantages that you do get because of these bezels on the iPhone SE
compared to the OnePlus Nord.
Firstly, there is a physical fingerprint scanner in the form of Touch ID on the bottom bezel.
Because this is a physical fingerprint scanner, it does make it somewhat easier to unlock the iPhone SE.
You can have it in your pocket, and you can already have it unlocked as soon as it’s out of your pockets.
With the OnePlus Nord, you’ve got an in-display fingerprint scanner, which works really well.
It’s very, very fast.
The only thing is it does take an extra step, so you do need to wake the device before you can use it.
You can do that by tapping the Power button or tapping the display twice to wake it.
No big deal by any means, but you do get a slight advantage with a physical fingerprint scanner on the iPhone SE.
Now another advantage that you have on the iPhone SE is that the earpiece here also doubles up as a speaker.
So we’ve got one bottom-firing and one here, and that gives us stereo speakers.
On the OnePlus Nord, there is just a single bottom-firing speaker.
If we take a look at the building design, the iPhone is actually the more premium overall.
So we’ve got a glass back on both of these, but the iPhone does have a metal frame with a matte finish, whereas OnePlus Nord has a plastic frame with a glossy finish.
Now the buttons are metal, but the frame itself is plastic.
The iPhone also has official IP67 water and dust-resistant rating.
The OnePlus Nord OnePlus does say it is watertight and it should be fine for splashes and using in the rain, but it does not have
an official IP rating.
The iPhone is also available in three colors, red, black, as well as a white.
Whereas the OnePlus Nord is available in two colors, gray as well as this blue.
Now a couple of things I do have to mention about the OnePlus Nord is that it does firstly come with a case out of the box, so this is included.
It’s a very simple case, but definitely nice to have.
And it also has a pre-applied plastic screen protector.
These are the things you’re going to have to get separately with the iPhone SE.
Now in either case,
I generally do tend to have skin on my devices from our channel sponsor brand.
Personally, my favorite is the Teardown series that’s being made in partnership with my friend, Zach, from JerryRigEverything.
Gives you a nice preview into the internals of the device without actually having to open it up yourself.
And I really do like the blue battery of the OnePlus Nord, which goes in theme with the blue design.
If you’d like to pick up skin from the brand, then there’s going to be a link in the description below.
Now let’s move over to the cameras, and this is where things are very interesting because we’ve got two total cameras on the iPhone SE.
On the OnePlus Nord, we have a total of six cameras.
So let’s break all of these down.
So rear-facing cameras, the iPhone SE has a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera.
It’s a very good camera at this price point, and along with Apple’s processing and the ISP, it does produce really good results.
And it really did go head-to-head with the iPhone 11 in my comparison, which I’ll link in the cards and in the description.
The OnePlus Nord has four rear-facing cameras.
The primary camera is a 48-megapixel sensor, although you will be shooting at around 12 megapixels pretty much all of the time.
And that’s going to allow you to get the best out of the sensor, which is the same sensor that you’ve got on the OnePlus 8.
But in addition to that, you also get an eight-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and this gives you a different perspective, which you’re just not going to be able to get
on the iPhone SE.
As well as that, you do get a two-megapixel macro camera, which is going to allow you to get in super close to things.
Now it is just two megapixels, so it’s not something that I would personally use much.
And then you get a five-megapixel dedicated depth sensor.
Now I know, I know you guys want to see a SuperSaf style camera comparison of the OnePlus Nord versus the iPhone SE.
I’ve not got the final software on the OnePlus Nord as yet, so I can’t do it as yet, but it is going to be coming in a week’s time.
So if you want to see that detailed camera comparison.
Now, this camera comparison is going to be very exciting because the OnePlus Nord also has a nightscape for low-light photography as well, something that we don’t have on the iPhone SE.
And when it does come down to the video, the OnePlus Nord can film at up to 4K 30 frames a second.
The iPhone SE can film at up to 4K 60 frames a second.
So you do get this additional frame rate here on the iPhone SE.
Now, when we flip things around,
things get even more interesting.
And that is because the iPhone SE just has a single front-facing camera, whereas the OnePlus Nord has two front-facing cameras.
The iPhone SE has a seven-megapixel front-facing camera.
This can film at up to 1080p HD, so you don’t have 4K from the front-facing camera of the iPhone SE.
The OnePlus Nord has this pill cutout.
The primary camera is 32 megapixels, but then you also get an ultra-wide camera, which is going to be very useful for group selfies and even situations where you want to get more of your background into your shots from the front-facing camera.
There’s also some software here at play, which is going to prevent distortion so you don’t get too much distortion on the sides.
And what’s really interesting is that the OnePlus Nord can film at up to 4K from the primary front-facing camera.
And not only that, but it can also film at up to 4K 60 frames a second from that front-facing camera.
You can’t do 4K 60 from the rear-facing cameras, but you can do 4K 60 from the front-facing cameras.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that the OnePlus 8 Pro does not have 4K from the front-facing camera.
It’s something that I feedback in my review.
It looks like OnePlus has taken that feedback on board, and then given us 4K at this price range from the front-facing camera.
I cannot wait to put these two head-to-head for that detailed camera comparison, but just straight off the bat, you can see that the OnePlus Nord does have a lot more versatility for the cameras compared to the iPhone SE.
Now, one of the things that will be interesting to see in that camera comparison will be how everything is processed.
And one of the things that go into processing images is the image signal processor that is linked to the chipset.
The iPhone SE is powered by Apple’s A13 Bionic chip.
This is the same chipset that we’ve got in the likes of the iPhone 11 as well as the iPhone 11 Pros.
The OnePlus Nord is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 G chipset.
Now, this isn’t the 8 series, the flagship series, but it’s still a very capable chipset, and it does come with a base of eight gigabytes of RAM compared to three gigabytes of RAM on the iPhone SE.
Now in terms of actual performance, obviously a lot of factors are going to come into play, but generally speaking, the A13 is going to be more superior when it comes to intense gaming and things like that.
Whereas although the 765 is a very capable chipset, it is not at that flagship level.
So this is an advantage that we get on the iPhone SE, but the OnePlus Nord does have support for 5G.
This is something that we don’t have on any Apple device as yet.
So if you are in a 5G enabled area, then this is going to be something very useful, again, at that very competitive price point.
5G at this price point, very, very impressive.
Now a lot of the performance is also going to come down the software.
We do have two completely different operating systems.
I think this is going to be a deciding factor for a lot of people.
The iPhone SE, of course, is running iOS.
It’s the latest version of iOS.
The OnePlus Nord is running android with Oxygen OS on top.
Now oxygen OS, I’ve said this many times before, but it’s one of my favorite skins on Android.
It’s very clean, it’s very smooth, and OnePlus is also really good with updates.
They have also promised two years of updates on the OnePlus Nord, and three years of security updates.
The iPhone SE, well Apple is very much known for how long they support their devices for many, many years, so the iPhone SE looks like it will be getting software updates and support longer than the OnePlus Nord.
And, obviously, if you are tied into that Apple ecosystem, if you use things like iMessage, AirDrop, then these things are going to work very well here on the iPhone SE along with all of your other Apple devices.
Now let’s move on to the batteries.
The OnePlus Nord has a much, much larger battery compared to the iPhone SE.
It’s actually more than twice as large.
Now, battery life is obviously going to vary and depend on your personal usage, and you do have different operating systems here.
The iPhone SE is pushing out fewer pixels, it’s a smaller display, and the OnePlus Nord also has that higher refresh rate.
The iPhone SE, in my experience so far, has been okay, but it’s not brilliant in terms of battery life.
The OnePlus Nord, again, I am going to have to wait for those software updates to give you something a little bit more conclusive, but much, the much bigger battery here on the OnePlus Nord.
Both devices do support fast charging as well.
However, the iPhone SE does not come with a fast charger out of the box.
You do have to buy that separately.
It comes with a five-watt charger out of the box.
The OnePlus Nord comes with a 30-watt charger out of the box, so you are getting that fast charger straight away included in that experience, which is really, really good.
However, the iPhone SE does support wireless charging.
This is something that the OnePlus Nord does not support.
Wireless charging, it’s more about convenience than speed.
You can just drop your smartphone on a wireless charger whenever you need it to top up.
And it’s something that I personally do use a lot.
Now, finally, let’s look at the price.
The iPhone SE does start at around 420 pounds.
That is for the 64-gigabyte version.
If you do want the 128-gigabyte version, you are going to be paying around 470 pounds.
The OnePlus Nord is coming in at a very, very competitive 380 pounds.
That is for the 128-gigabyte version.
If you do want the 256-gigabyte version, you will be looking at around 470 pounds.
So if we do a compare the like-for-like, 128 gigs versus 128 gigs, then the OnePlus Nord is coming in at about 90 pounds cheaper compared to the iPhone SE, and that’s a very, very competitive pricing strategy here from OnePlus.
I’m genuinely impressed at how much OnePlus has been able to pack into the Nord for this price.
And if you are a OnePlus fan, especially from day one, then this does bring the OnePlus kind of back to its roots of providing really impressive smartphones at very, very competitive price points.
So to conclude, the OnePlus Nord, obviously the more feature-packed device with all of those cameras, has a superior display.
The iPhone SE, still a very good device in my opinion for this price point, especially if you’re within the Apple ecosystem, you are getting the flagship A13 bionic chip in here, which means this is going to last you a good amount of time.
And you do get certain features on the iPhone SE which you do not get on the OnePlus Nord such as the more premium build, the stereo speakers, as well as wireless charging.
What do you think of the OnePlus Nord and the iPhone SE?
Which one would you pick up?
Definitely let me know in the comments below.
As mentioned, there is going to be more coverage with the OnePlus Nord.
I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful.