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The OnePlus Nord makes a few durability sacrifices in the name of price

There appear to be a few sacrifices in the OnePlus Nord's design, including its ability to bend under severe stress.

Published onJuly 27, 2020

  • JerryRigEverything has subjected the OnePlus Nord to a durability test.
  • There appear to be a few sacrifices in the design, including its ability to bend under severe stress.
  • The materials also aren’t quite as premium as they look.

The OnePlus Nord offers quite a lot of phone for the money, but there appear to have been a few sacrifices to design in the name of that coveted sub-$500 price.

JerryRigEverything (aka Zack Nelson) has put the Nord through a durability test that shows just where the device falls short. Most notably, the frame is a relative weak point. It’s plastic, despite the metallic look, and Nelson managed to not only snap the frame during his customary bending test, but break the phone outright.

That doesn’t happen with “most” tested phones, Nelson said, although he stressed that he was subjecting the phone to abnormal amounts of pressure. It shouldn’t snap in your pocket, then, but you’ll want to avoid particularly rough situations if you don’t have a hard phone case. OnePlus declined to comment.

There are a handful of other concerns. While the display glass held up reasonably well (it didn’t break even when the underlying screen did), it’s made from Gorilla Glass 5 and could scratch more easily than newer, stronger formulas. You’ll also want to avoid high sustained heat if you want to protect the AMOLED screen, much like you do with other phones.

Nelson maintained that the Nord is still a “good phone,” and that durability is just one factor to consider when you’re making a purchase. All the same, the test is a reminder that lower-cost handsets frequently involve a few design compromises. It’s just a matter of where those compromises are, and whether or not they affect everyday use. You’ll probably be fine with the Nord — just be aware of its limitations.

See also: The best rugged phones you can buy right now

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