OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Value Champs!

It’s been a transformative year for OnePlus. While the OnePlus 8T is a glimpse of the company’s past in a flagship killer style phone, the OnePlus Nord is the first phone of a brand new budget lineup and strategy from OnePlus. Of course, the OnePlus 8T is better if we don’t look at the price. But we do look at the price, and let’s find out whether the OnePlus 8T is worth the extra money over the OnePlus Nord.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Design & Build Quality

From first glance, it’s hard to tell a difference between both these phones purely by their appearance. Both of them have a glossy glass back, a quad camera module to the top left and OnePlus branding. I much prefer the matte sides on the OnePlus 8T over the OnePlus Nord’s glossy finish but apart from that, both of these phones are extremely similar lookwise. 

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord Design & Build Quality Comparison

But when you pick the phones up, the differences start to show themselves. For starters, thanks to the aluminium frame on the OnePlus 8T, it feels more refined and dense in the hand. While the plastic frame on the OnePlus Nord does not feel cheap at all, it also does not feel premium. It does make the OnePlus Nord considerably lighter.


Another difference that stood out to me is that the buttons on the OnePlus 8T are noticeably more clickier and tactile compared to the Nord. Even the mute slider moves more smoothly on the 8T while the one on the Nord feels rough in comparison. All in all, while the OnePlus Nord is not bad in the design and looks department, the OnePlus 8T clearly feels like it is a segment above the OnePlus Nord in refinement and construction.

Also read: Best Accessories for OnePlus 8T

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Display 

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord Display Comparison

Flipping over to the displays now, things are actually pretty good here since both these phones pack excellent displays. The only difference on paper is that the OnePlus 8T has a higher refresh rate at 120 Hz compared to 90 Hz on the Nord and a slightly larger size. The difference between 90 and 120 Hz is not really noticeable in day to day usage. The difference between the bigger dual selfie camera cutout on the Nord and the smaller punch hole cutout on the 8T is frankly more significant for me. In real life, even though both displays are AMOLED with the same resolution, I have to admit that the OnePlus 8T’s display looks better in terms of saturation, vibrance and colour reproduction. 

But since pricing is the factor to consider here, I will say that even though the OnePlus 8T’s display is better, that does not change the fact that the OnePlus Nord carries an excellent display on it’s own. So much so that I personally would not pay more for the OnePlus 8T over the OnePlus Nord just because of the display.


Also read: Best Accessories for OnePlus Nord

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Performance

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord Performance Comparison

Moving on to the performance, things get very interesting here. The OnePlus 8T is basically the most powerful Android phone you can buy today with the top of the line Snapdragon 865 Processor. If you are into gaming or video editing or just like having maximum power under the hood, the OnePlus 8T is the phone to get as the performance gains are significant. Since it is more powerful, it will also tend to be smoother in the long run.

However, if you’re a general user, someone whose usage curtails Social Media, Texting, some movie watching and other non power intensive tasks, the OnePlus Nord is pretty good too. The Snapdragon 765G processor is a mid range processor but that does not mean it is a slouch, especially in 2020, when even entry level phones pack decent performance. The OnePlus Nord might be having the less powerful processor in the comparison but in a vacuum, this phone is sufficiently powerful for day to day use and even casual gaming.


OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: OxygenOS

Of course, I won’t dive too deep into the software experience since they are both powered by Oxygen OS. One thing that I speculate, and I could be wrong here, is that the OnePlus 8T might get software updates earlier than the Nord since it is the more premium phone. But since the Nord is a whole new lineup, only time will tell how OnePlus performs when it comes to delivering new software.

Also read: Best Cases for OnePlus 8T

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Camera Comparison

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord Camera Comparison

Moving on, let’s talk about the cameras. In terms of optics, both smartphones sport a quad-camera setup on the rear with the same primary camera and a similar macro and depth camera setup. The 8T has an upgraded 16MP ultra-wide-angle camera compared to the Nord’s 8MP shooter. On the front, OnePlus Nord sports a dual selfie camera compared to the single 16MP snapper on the 8T. Let’s find out how these perform in real life. 


  • Even though both smartphones have the same primary camera module, the difference in picture quality is quite noticeable. The 8T takes stills with better colors, noise processing, and high dynamic range. On the other hand, pictures shot on the OnePlus Nord have OnePlus’s classic contrasty look. 
  • Both use hybrid zoom to create 2x zoomed-in stills. The performance is very similar on both devices.
  • OnePlus 8T has the widest ultra-wide lens on any OnePlus smartphone. Both smartphones take above average stills. However, the 8T takes slightly sharper pictures with low noise. 
  • Macro camera performance is a mixed bag. OnePlus 8T takes sharper pictures but the colors are washed out. On the other hand, Macros shot on the OnePlus Nord have accurate colors but lack details.
  • The Nord certainly has a better front camera setup than the 8T. Thanks to the dual-camera setup, the Nord takes sharper selfies and offers 2 different focal lengths.
  • Portrait mode works fine on both devices with decent subject separation. Sometimes the Nord tends to go overboard with the smoothening which results in pictures with inaccurate colors. 
  • Both smartphones have very good low light performance. Although, pictures shot on the 8T are slightly brighter compared to the ones shot on the Nord. One major difference lies in the processing speeds. The 8T is significantly faster than the Nord when it comes to processing low light images. 


  • The 8T wins the resolution and frame rates round when it comes to the rear camera. It can shoot videos in 4K up to 60fps with different focal lengths while the OnePlus Nord can only shoot in 4K@30fps, that too with several limitations.
  • Thanks to the dual front camera setup, the Nord can shoot videos in 4K up to 60fps while the 8T tops at FullHD@30fps.
  • The video quality is very similar on both devices. The 8T is slightly better than the Nord in terms of stabilization, AF speed, and significantly better low light performance.

Both smartphones have practically the same camera setup with minor differences. You do get a lot of small enhancements with the OnePlus 8T, the most noticeable of which is the processing speed. So, while you do get an overall better camera experience with the 8T, I cannot recommend you pick it over the Nord just because of the camera.  


OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Battery Life

Let’s talk about the battery life now. I have used both these phones extensively as my daily drivers and I can tell you that the battery life is very good on both the OnePlus 8T and Nord. You can easily get a day’s worth of use and even stretch it to a day and a half without much effort. We’re talking around 5 to 6 hours of SOT on both from a single charge.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord Battery Life Comparison

Charging however is a different situation. Both phones have no support for wireless charging while both of them support crazy fast wired charging. But the one on the OnePlus 8T is faster by a lot. It is the first phone to feature OnePlus’ new Warp Charge 65 which charges it from 0 to 100 in around 40-45 minutes. The OnePlus Nord supports Warp Charge 30T which is slower in comparison but is still faster than 99% of phones in the market. Again, in a vacuum, both these phones charge up really quickly but in this comparison, the OnePlus 8T takes the win.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Speakers

Another thing worth noting is that the stereo speaker setup on the OnePlus 8T is a big step up in experience compared to the mono speaker at the bottom on the OnePlus Nord. It is just very easy to block when you grip the phone in landscape mode. When watching movies, the earpiece speaker on the OnePlus 8T shoots audio directly in your direction which definitely enhances the overall experience. On that note, even the haptics on the OnePlus 8T are significantly better in comparison.


OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Call Quality

The phone call experience is a head scratcher though. Even though the earpiece on the OnePlus 8T is slightly better, I found that the OnePlus Nord was consistently better at catching a signal and holding on to it. Cellular coverage is very area specific so this could be an isolated incident but in my experience, the radios on the OnePlus Nord appear to be better than the ones on the OnePlus 8T.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord: Which one should you buy?

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord Which one should you buy

To conclude, should you buy the OnePlus Nord or spend more to go for the OnePlus 8T. It truly depends on the kind of the user that you are. While the OnePlus 8T provides a significant jump in performance and some other minor refinements, they would be useless to you if you are not going to use the extra power or not care about the incremental changes. If you are that kind of user, get the OnePlus Nord and save your money.

However, if you don’t mind spending the extra money over the Nord or if you are a power user, the OnePlus 8T provides a big step up in performance while also providing small but important improvements. Get it and I can promise you that you will fall in love.


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Rohan Bhateja
Rohan Bhateja

Vagabond who loves technology, ranting and brooding.