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The best OnePlus Nord alternatives you can buy in India

OnePlus Nord
(Image credit: TechRadar)

As Spidey’s uncle Ben said, “With great power comes great responsibility,” Nord is one such product that the users had a lot of expectations seeing OnePlus’s track record. It was probably the most hyped tech launches this year. And while the smartphone is extremely good on paper as well as in real-life performance, it may not have lived up to the expectation of users who were expecting OnePlus to create yet another OnePlus One-like epic device.

It does come in with some of the best in class features like an AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, a fast fingerprint scanner, Oxygen OS, fast charging, ample amount of memory and storage coupled with near-perfect pricing. While OnePlus has placed its bet on offering a flagship experience at a mid-segment price, it surely has not been able to impress everyone. 

Users have complained about the plastic build, pricing, and the lack of a flagship SoC. The average camera performance on the device has been another grievance shared by many users. This is although OnePlus has crammed not one or two but six different cameras and the company has stated that the primary sensor is the same that’s present on the OnePlus 8.

While no device is perfect, some users do like the above pros of the OnePlus Nord, while for the rest, cons weigh higher. For all those people who were waiting for the OnePlus Nord and now are looking for an alternative, here are a few options to choose from:

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Redmi K20 Pro 

Xiaomi’s bid towards offering premium devices at an affordable device in India started with the Redmi K20 Pro, and yes, we aren’t talking about the Diamond studded K 20 Pro that was priced at around Rs. 500,000.

While at the launch, a lot of people wrote off the K20 Pro due to its pop-camera and its price tag, the fact that we even after a year, are still discussing the device shows the worth of this phone. It comes with a large 6.3-inches AMOLED near-bezel less display with a Full HD+ resolution, a flagship Snapdragon 855 SoC, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 256 GB of storage, in-display fingerprint sensor, a triple rear camera setup with the primary 48-megapixel sensor and a pop selfie camera.

With a 4,000 mAh battery with fast charging and the 3.5 mm headphone jack (yep it's still there), this phone was launched at a starting price of Rs. 27,999 with the top-end variant with 8GB/256GB storage priced at Rs. 30,999.

Among the key things that it misses out are the 90Hz refresh rate and the pop-up selfie camera isn’t the best performing camera. Also, there is no 5G connectivity on the phone, well that is not even present in India so why bother.

Cut to present the K20 Pro has seen a price dip over the year and the 6GB/128GB variant is available on Flipkart for Rs. 22,999. While the next-generation SoCs like the Snapdragon 855+, 865 or 865 Plus have already been launched, the K20 Pro is still one of the best devices you can get at this price point.

Check out the Redmi K20 Pro on Flipkart

(Image credit: TechRadar)

 Realme X2 Pro 

The Realme X2 Pro was launched less than a year back as Realme’s response to the Redmi K20 Pro. To date, it is one of the best devices ever introduced in India by Realme, however, due to the company’s policy of launching way too many devices, it soon faded out of the focus.

The Realme X2 Pro comes with a 6.5-inch Full HD+ display and makes use of a Samsung’s super AMOLED panel. This near bezel-less phone comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, a 90Hz refresh rate and an in-display fingerprint sensor. It has a quad-camera setup with the primary sensor being the 64-megapixel snapper and a telephoto lens that offers 20x digital zoom. On the front, it has a 16-megapixel selfie snapper.

In terms of storage and memory, it has a couple of variants with the base variant starting at 8GB/128GB and the premium one with 12GB/256GB. While the phone comes with a 4000 mAh battery, its 50W fast charging brick tops up the phone from 0 to 100 in just about half an hour, a feat that even many flagship phones have not been able to achieve till date. The Realme X2 Pro was launched at Rs. 32,999 for the base variant while the 12GB RAM variant was priced at Rs. 33,999. There was a Master edition with the fancy rear panel and was introduced at a couple of thousand extra.

Among the cons, one can count the average camera performance and the Realme UI that at times feels kiddish apart from the oddly placed logo at the rear panel.

The Realme X2 Pro is a worthy Nord alternative and can be bought at a starting price of Rs. 29,999, though you get the 6GB 64 GB variant at this price. The 6GB/128GB variant is priced just a tad higher than the Rs. 30,000 mark but watch out for offers and deals and you can get this one at a steal deal price.

Checkout the Realme X2 Pro on Flipkart

(Image credit: Realme)

 Realme X3 

Yet another Realme device in the list shows that the company has been offering value for money devices, however, all it needs to offer is breathing space and time for each phone to prove their worth. This is the latest one from the list and was launched around the end of June 2020. It comes with a 6.6-inch LCD panel with a Full HD+ resolution (2400 x 1080) boasting 120Hz refresh rate, a physical fingerprint sensor housed under the power button, Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage.

Aside, it also has a 4200 mAh battery supported by a 30W Dart charge, Quad rear camera setup with the primary snapper being a 64-megapixel sensor and a 12-megapixel shooter with 12X telephoto lens. While on the front, it has a dual-camera setup used in a pill-shaped punch hole.

A boring design, an LCD panel and inconsistent camera performance and the missing headphone jack (in case it matters) are some of the cons that you must keep in mind before buying the Realme X3.

The phone was launched at Rs 24,999 for the 6GB/128GB model and goes up to Rs 25,999 for the 8GB/128GB variant.

Check out the Realme X3 on Flipkart

 Worthy mentions 

While we’ve tried to keep the list with phones that are available strictly under a budget of Rs. 30,000 and boast flagship-grade hardware, some phones can be worthy options in your bid to get a perfect OnePlus Nord alternative but are placed on the other side of the price barrier. These phones are Google Pixel 3A and iQoo 3. If you keep a close eye on the deals and discounts, you can get them within the budget.

(Image credit: Future)

The iQoo 3 is a gaming phone that comes with the most powerful chipset – Snapdragon 865 of all the phones listed here. The 8GB/128GB variant is priced at Rs. 34,990 and the 8GB/256GB variant sets you back with Rs. 37,990.

Check out the iQoo 3 on Flipkart

(Image credit: Future)

The Pixel 3A, on the other hand, is a photographer’s delight and offers vanilla Android experience. It has the least powerful processor and a plastic body however; this is not Pixel’s forte anyways. These phones sell purely for Google’s software experience. The Pixel 3A 4GB/64GB variant is available for Rs. 30,999 on Flipkart.

Check out the Google Pixel 3A on Flipkart

Jitendra Soni

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.