The OnePlus Nord is probably one of the most affordable 5G phones in the market today, that was until Samsung launched the Galaxy A51 5G in the US where the Nord has yet to set foot in. The latest from the flagship killer still has some appeal to it, especially for those who have no love for Samsung’s One UI experience and relatively slower updates. That said, OnePlus did cut some corners when it came to the phone’s durability but that may have ironically made the OnePlus Nord easier to repair.
The OnePlus Nord has a glass-plastic-glass sandwich instead of the usual glass-metal-glass found on most phones. That may have made it yield to JerryRigEverything’s mighty hands but there might be an upside to that. That glass back is also easy to pry off for repairs, requiring no application of rather dangerous heat to loosen the adhesive.
Inside, iFixit found quite a good number of screws, all of them of the same length and kind, requiring a single Philips screwdriver to remove. As the teardown experts noted, almost everything is modular and easy to replace. Even the battery has easy to use pull tabs, though the same safety warnings apply nonetheless.
One rather interesting and reassuring discovery is the generous use of rubber gaskets around connectors for waterproofing, despite having no IP rating. As OnePlus’ Carl Pei explained, getting that certification is exponentially more expensive than the almost negligible costs of those gaskets. In other words, the OnePlus Nord will do just fine, even without that pair of numbers.
Despite that mostly unexciting teardown process, iFixit still gives the OnePlus Nord a 6 out of 10. That’s mostly down to how the display is still glued down hard and how battery replacements can still be a chore. Other than that, the OnePlus Nord proves once again that you don’t need to be expensive to be a good phone. All that’s left now is for OnePlus to bring it to the US in one form or another.