Yes, the Nord CE is a cheaper phone from both, so it still makes a few trade-offs, but as a OnePlus feature, it also has a few benefits, such as a clean interface with fast performance and very fast charging. How does it compare to the galaxy?
The Snapdragon 750G chip inside both is just as fast, but Samsung’s interface slows it down. Both also have nearly identical AMOLED displays with bright colors and fast refresh rates. On the front of the camera, the Galaxy is usually the one that took on better colors, while OnePlus photos have slightly muted colors. And on the battery side, there’s a fight that’s too close to a call.
Design, display and biometrics
We like Nord’s lighter and smaller structure better
Both Nord CE and Galaxy have the same screen size, but the actual physical size of the two is significantly different. The Nord is also much narrower, thinner and much lighter, making it much more comfortable to hold and carry in your pocket, while the Galaxy, with larger frames around the screen and a slightly thick design, is very … not giant, but certainly not as comfortable.
The difference in screen size is small: you have a 6.4-inch screen in Nord and a 6.5-inch galaxy. Both have only a small hole in the front camera and no other interruptions, and we should say that both monitors look good. The colors are vibrant, the contrast is excellent, the blacks are deep and the viewing angles are good. Add to that the fact that both phones support a fast refresh rate (90 Hz on the OnePlus and 120 Hz on the Galaxy), and today you have two of the best screens for budget phones.
In terms of biometrics, the northern fingerprint reader certainly felt faster in everyday use, while the Galaxy is also a screen fingerprint reader, but it feels a bit slow and sometimes requires another attempt, which rarely happens at Nord. It’s a little weird considering that both use the same optical fingerprint reading technique, but you still have these differences. If you constantly check your phone like most of us, OnePlus definitely feels faster to open.
Performance and gaming
Galaxy software slows it down
In terms of performance, you can’t expect quite top speed from these budget phones, but they have a higher-end Epselon Snapdragon 750G processor. Both also have the same 6GB of RAM in the base model (OnePlus is also available in an 8GB / 128GB storage version and an even more powerful 12GB / 256GB version).
We found this to be a great combination that has enough power to achieve smooth daily use and that only starts to show its weakness when pressed with gaming and other more intense tasks.
Has OnePlus finally built a great budget camera phone?
But what about real photos?
In the image above, the greenery is much more saturated, and the whole image looks alive on the Galaxy compared to the much darker and darker colors on the OnePlus. Yes, this really wasn’t the brightest day and the Galaxy might be a little less realistic, but it’s a picture that looks better and that you want to share with friends.
The same goes for the next photo, where the sand has an unsatisfactory pink look, while the Galaxy paints it in these much happier shades that just make the image more vibrant and vibrant.
In terms of portrait mode, it was especially difficult to make it work with OnePlus. It takes a few attempts to get the impact off, while the Galaxy was much more effortless.
Both phones can only use the main camera to capture portraits, and it’s really a bummer, cropped view or 2X zoom would have been perfect here, as it’s really impossible to get a good-looking close-up with a wide lens. Again, the Galaxy colors looked more pleasing, while the OnePlus looks a little unsatisfied and isn’t quite as good.
In the twilight, both phones show that they are not the flagship, and the images often look a little blurry and not quite as impressive as on the more expensive phones. Here are a few examples:
Interestingly, when you use Nightscape mode in OnePlus, the image is cropped a bit, so you get a slightly different perspective, but the Galaxy colors also stand out a little more pleasing and catchy. Nord also lacks a little detail, not quite great.
Photos taken with the front camera only look better on the Galaxy. In the selfie above, it’s amazingly obvious how the colors just pop up a lot more and look more pleasing to the Galaxy, and that’s the one that describes in more detail in this picture. There doesn’t seem to be any contrast or saturation in the OnePlus image, and this makes the photo look ghostly and just not great. Add a cooler tone to this, and it’s definitely not a great shot.
While both phones record 4K video, we’ve noticed significant quality differences and some weird limitations in the north. The biggest must have been that you can’t use an ultra-wide camera to record 4K video, it can only be used for 1080p videos, which is a bit disappointing.
Just recording from your hand means that the videos turn out to be quite nervous, as there is no proper video stability on both phones. The Galaxy is actually much more shaky (see video below) unless you turn on Super Steady mode, which helps with that, but then it uses a very wide camera and the quality isn’t as good as the main camera. On the other hand, the OnePlus doesn’t have special stabilization modes: it’s a little unstable at 4K, but pretty stable at 1080p.
Here’s a comparison of the videos between the two:
The Galaxy will no doubt filter wind noise much better, while OnePlus ’microphones will pick up a really annoying wind whistle.
However, the bigger problem that OnePlus has is definitely the lack of dynamic range and colors, while the Galaxy has a much richer picture, with more saturated and pleasing colors, making it definitely a better phone for recording videos.
Both the Nord and A52 have a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is great news for people who still use their wired headphones, but there is an important difference in the sound quality of the speakers.
Or we should say the speaker in the case of Nord, because it has only one speaker at the bottom that gets a lot of sound, but definitely not very clear or impressive in any way, even if our expectations for a budget phone are lower. The A52 is here miles ahead: it has two speakers, one at the bottom and one at the headset, and has a much richer sound profile, a cleaner, less distorted output and also a little bass. If it’s important to you, you’ll notice the difference.
Both budget warriors have decent battery sizes and battery life from which flagships can learn.
You have a 4500 mAh battery capacity on the Nord CE 5G and … the same size battery on your Galaxy device. Not only that, but the Galaxy also delivers Samsung’s promise of “2 days of battery life”.
So yes, these are some bold claims, and we’ve used both, and we can say that these phones really last a lot longer than the average smartphone. Are they 2 day phones? Not quite in our experience, but on average use, you can definitely get about 36 hours or a day and a half before the battery drops below 20%. So you can probably risk it and go until the afternoon, but we think it’s safer to give phones a fast charge at that time.
For example, in our YouTube battery test, the OnePlus had a slight advantage, with excellent scores of 9 hours and 50 minutes compared to 8 and a half hours on the Galaxy device.
OnePlus is the one that gives you a faster charge: it goes from 0 to 70% in just half an hour, while the Galaxy takes more than an hour to do so. This is made possible by the 30W charger that comes with OnePlus, while the Galaxy comes with a 15W charger. Interestingly, the Galaxy supports faster charging speeds, but you need to buy a 25W Samsung charger to take advantage of them.
So which one should you choose at the end of the day? This usually comes most to your budget: $ 400, the A52 5G is more expensive and has a better camera with a higher price, but interestingly, it feels slower and the fingerprint sensor isn’t quite as fast either. At € 330, Nord CE makes considerable compromises on camera quality, so it’s hard to recommend it to people who appreciate great photos and videos, but for everything else, it’s great. From the quality of the screen, but mostly if you want a fast phone with a clean interface and fast charging, and you’re ready to forget about the camera, it’s not quite the best, Nord CE is a safe bet at a great price.