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OnePlus Nord vs Google Pixel 5 in 2021: The Mid-Range Battle

author Luis Silva (November 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

The Pixel 5 is more expensive than the Nord, but considering its features, it is the one you should pick.

It features better glass protection, water-resistance, and more OS updates (2 additional years). But the Nord brings a glass back.

What else do they have to offer?

The Pixel 5 also features a cleaner user interface, a lightweight body (33 g./1.16 oz less), wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging. But the Nord also features a larger (+0.4") display, more cameras, faster-charging speeds (30w vs. 18w), and Bluetooth 5.1.

How much more will the Pixel 5 cost me?

If you're considering a new and unlocked smartphone, it should be about $272 more expensive.

Is it worth buying the Nord in 2021?

The OnePlus Nord isn't the most cutting-edge device in 2021, but it's still a powerful phone. Sure there are other devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10, but we should acknowledge this device, as it has good cameras, good battery life, tons of storage, and fast charging.

Is the Pixel 5 still worth buying in 2021?

Just because the Pixel 5 was released last year doesn't mean I won't recommend it. That's mainly because of its good cameras, good battery life, and excellent glass protection. But don't just ignore the Apple iPhone 12.

Keep reading for answers to all your questions about their differences, how they fare against their competition, and you'll know how the tech experts evaluate their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

OnePlus Nord, Google Pixel 5

Photo by Timothy Rubby on Unsplash

CONTENTS

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Introduction

While Google's Pixel 5 hit stores in October 2020, OnePlus's Nord went on sale in August 2020.

With this article, you'll be able to compare every feature of the Nord and the Pixel 5. Then, you can decide what model better suits your needs. Let's start.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device Nord Pixel 5
Release Date 2020, August 2020, October 0y.
OS Updates 1 year 3 years 2y.
Security Updates 2 years 3 years 1y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

On the multicore portion of Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the Nord was, on average, 19% quicker while finishing its tests. On a day-to-day basis, it won't be that noticeable.

When it comes to performance, the Pixel 5 is way under the average by comparing it with other smartphones from this price range. About 66% below.

We can classify the Nord as an upper mid-range and the Pixel 5 as mid-range.

PS: The Pixel 5 got a very low multi-core performance score compared to other smartphones with the same SoC, according to Gsmarena. Antutu 8 tests are "blaming" the GPU for that, placing it very close to the Pixel 4a, with the Snapdragon 730.

Performance*
vs.
Features Nord Pixel 5
SoC Snapdragon 765 Snapdragon 765
Graphics Adreno 620 Adreno 620
Geekbench 5 Score 1953
1647
-306
OS Android 10 and OxygenOS 10 Android 11
Tek-Score
5.3
4.7
-0.5

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

OnePlus Nord front transparent png Google Pixel 5 front transparent png

There isn't a winner here, so don't worry about it.

If you're into small displays, the Pixel 5 is the one. Most phones from its price range don't even come close.

If you're leaning towards the Nord, just know that 80% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 93% have an AMOLED screen. But only 23% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.

Considering the Pixel 5, I should say that 88% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 96% have an AMOLED screen.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features Nord Pixel 5
Size 6.4
6.0
-0.4
Screen Type AMOLED AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2400
1080x2340
-64800
Refresh Rate 90hz 90hz 0
Dots per Inch 411.22
429.53
18.32
Always-On-Display Yes Yes
Notch Hole Hole
Peak Brightness 756 nits
699 nits
-57
HDR HDR10+ HDR10+
Sub Tek-Score
8.7
8.7
0.1
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Tek-Score
6.7
7.9
1.2

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

OnePlus Nord back transparent png Google Pixel 5 back transparent png

By DXOMARK's standards, the Pixel 5 is also roughly 48% above its adversaries in its class. And that's enough to beat the Nord too.

About the Nord: DXOMARK has rated this camera with a score of 117. And if you take into account its digital zoom abilities, the final score goes up to 126 points. If you want to know more about it, click here.

I hope this helps: all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens.

About the Pixel 5: On DXOMARK's reviewing article, they gave this shooter 129 points. By considering its wide-angle lens, we end up with a score of 138 points. For an out-and-out review, check their article.

Finally, just to let you know, just like the other device, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 92% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Still, only 19% of them feature a macro lens.

If you prefer, we can grade the Nord as a lower high-end while the Pixel 5 leans towards the high-end.

If you're a snapper addict, you'll miss a telephoto lens, so just ignore these two and check the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 or the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus instead.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera Nord Pixel 5
Megapixels 48
12
-36
Aperture 1.8
1.7
-0.1
Lens 26mm
27mm
1
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 2 1 -1
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 2160 0
Score 126
138
12

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) Nord Pixel 5 vs.
Megapixels 8
16
8
Aperture 2.3
2.2
-0.1
Lens - 17mm
Lens Type - Wide-Angle
Megapixels 5 -
Aperture 2.4 -
Megapixels 2 -
Aperture 2.4 -
Lens Type Macro -
Score 9 9 0
Selfie Camera Nord Pixel 5 vs.
Megapixels 32
8
-24
Aperture 2.5
2.0
-0.5
Lens - 24mm
Nord Pixel 5 vs.
Tek-Score
7.4
8.1
0.7

Who has the best frame?

The Pixel 5 does stand out because of its weight and water resistance.

Remember that the Pixel 5 is (about 12%) also smaller than other devices at this price level.

The Nord is 33 g. (1.16 oz) heavier than the other, weighing about 151 g. (5.33 oz). But because this is a bit relative, I've created an adapted score for a "weight to display size" ratio. The Nord got 5.4, meaning it has an acceptable score for its display size. The Pixel 5, on the other hand, has 8.4, which suggests exceptional work from Google.

The Pixel 5 truly is water-resistant. It can be submerged 1 to 3 meters deep. That should be for up to 30 minutes, and it's in standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Looks*
vs.
Body Nord Pixel 5
Size 158 x 73 x 8 mm
(5.57 x 2.58 x 0.28 in)
144 x 70 x 8 mm
(5.08 x 2.47 x 0.28 in)
-11632
Weight 184 g. (6.49 oz)
151 g. (5.33 oz)
-33
Build Front and back glass Front glass and aluminum back
Colors Blue Marble and Gray Onyx Just Black and Sorta Sage
Screen To Body Ratio 85.74%
87.67%
1.93
Disp.Size To Weight Score 5.4 8.4 3.0
Looks 8.8/10
9.1/10
0.3
Waterproof - IP68
Biometrics Under Display Fingerprint Fingerprint
Tek-Score
2.5
9.1
6.5

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

Both have about 4115 mAh. And according to GSMArena's tests, both should theoretically get the same battery life.

OK, the Pixel 5 isn't winning any battery contest, but Google just showed us how good they can be. Its "battery to device size" rate is 7.9.

If you fancy quick charges, you can count on the Nord. Its competitors frequently max out at about 24w.

Battery*
vs.
Features Nord Pixel 5
Capacity (mAh) 4115 4080 -35
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 83% left
82% left
-1
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 68% left
66% left
-2
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 72% left
69% left
-3
Bat. To Phone Size Score 5.0 7.9 2.9
Sub Tek-Score
7.4
7.2
-0.2
Fast Charging 30w
18w
-12
Wireless Charging No 12w
12
Reverse Charging No 5w
5
Tek-Score
6.5
6.9
0.4

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

None of them has.

Storage*
vs.
Features Nord Pixel 5
RAM (GB) 8GB
8GB
0
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD No No
Tek-Score
6.0
6.0
0.0

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The Nord for sure, as it has Bluetooth 5.1.

If you got used to counting on the good-old 3.5mm headphone jack, forget about it. You can try an adapter if you want, but the wireless buds are the way to go here. Luckily, you can still get it on other phones if you don't mind searching for them. You can get that with either the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Oppo Find X3 Lite.

They both run on (LTE and) 5G networks.

Connectivity
vs.
Features Nord Pixel 5
Network 5G 5G
Bluetooth 5.1
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
5.1
4.6
-0.5

Which is more affordable?

Here are their recently updated prices:

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money Nord Pixel 5 VS
Amazon - - -
eBay 1.13 1.17 0.04
Best Buy - - -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

So, what about that global score? We'll get there. For reference purposes, I'll tell you where most of its rivals average. They usually sit close to 6.3 (for the Nord) and 6.9 (for the Pixel 5).

Verdict: What Makes the Google Pixel 5 Stand Out?

Clearly, these are two fantastic premium mid-rangers. If you're considering them, you're already past the "Should I pay this much for such low performance?" But, hey, not that long ago, flagships did offer similar speeds, and Android is far more optimized, so, perhaps these phones do make some sense.

But what does the Nord has to offer that's better than the Pixel 5?

For starters, it has more cameras, but I'd prefer the picture quality of the Pixel 5. It also has a full glass body, but the other has an aluminum black, which isn't that bad. It also has faster charging speeds and Bluetooth 5.1, if that's your thing.

The Pixel 5 has better glass protection, is a bit lighter, and is water-resistant. It has faster wireless charging speeds and it also does reverse charging.

Pros Nord Pixel 5
#1 AMOLED AMOLED
#2 Always-On-Display Always-On-Display
#3 Cameras Cameras
#4 Battery Life Fast Charging
#5 Fast Charging Wireless Charging
#6 Glass Protection
Cons Nord Pixel 5
#1 Wireless Charging MicroSD Slot
#2 MicroSD Slot 3.5mm Jack
#3 Weight Price
#4 3.5mm Jack
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score Nord Pixel 5
Gaming Score
6.7
6.6
-0.1
Tek-Score
6.06
6.78
0.72
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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OnePlus Nord Related Comparisons


Google Pixel 5 Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 OnePlus Nord 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8
    $370
  • ApplerivaliPhone XR
    $344
  • OnePlusrival7
    $388
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T Pro
    $385
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $419
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8 Plus
    $390
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e
    $428
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS
    $410
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $398
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e EX
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $359
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ EX
    $329
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $429
  • OnePlusrival7T
    $329
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • HuaweirivalP30
    $400
  • GooglerivalPixel 4
    $386
  • HuaweirivalMate 20 Pro
    $436
  • XiaomirivalMi 9
    $400
  • ApplerivaliPhone SE 2
    $380
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A71
    $400
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $425
  • GooglerivalPixel 4a
    $350
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE
    $359
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $463
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 5G
    $359
  • OpporivalFind X2 Neo
    $398
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M51
    $396
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Lite
    $399
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Lite
    $349
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A52
    $380
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A72
    $445
  • XiaomirivalMi 9t Pro
    $385

 Google Pixel 5 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $689
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $565
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $575
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $503
  • HuaweirivalP30 Pro
    $599
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $549
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • OnePlusrival9
    $551
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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