Realme X7 Pro vs OnePlus Nord: a real-life comparison

Here's how the two stack up against each other based on real-life usage

They are both priced in the Rs 25,000 – 30,000 “mid-segment premium” part of the Indian market, one towards the higher end, and one with options from low to high. One is looking to take on the budget flagship crowd with a new chip, the other can claim to have created the “premium mid-segment”. And yes, they are about as similar as chalk and cheese. So which one should you be going for if you have a budget in the vicinity of about Rs 30,000 – the newly launched Realme X7 Pro or the slightly older but still insanely popular OnePlus Nord? Let me try to figure that out for you.

Design: Routine meets class

90Hz display phone OnePlus Nord

In terms of appearance and design, the OnePlus Nord (pictured above) has a clear edge over the Realme X7 Pro (below). This is not because the X7 Pro looks bad. Far from it. It is a rather smart-looking device, but the Nord is just so much more elegant. Giving the edge to the Nord are its striking shades with the bright Blue Marble and the quietly classy Gray Ash really standing out as compared to the Fantasy and Mystic Black on the X7 Pro. The Nord is also slightly more compact than the X7 Pro, although it weighs exactly the same. I am giving this one to the Nord. It is way more classy in the design department.

Winner: OnePlus Nord

Display: A tale of fast and faster refresh rates

The force would seem to be with the X7 Pro here. The Realme device has a 6.55-inch full HD+ Super AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the OnePlus Nord has a 6.44-inch full HD+ fluid AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Truth be told, the difference between them is not that obvious – even the 0.11-inch difference in size is not very apparent and honestly, the refresh rate difference also does not exactly jump out at one, even while scrolling. Which one you prefer depends on your taste – I felt that the Nord’s display was a little less “punchy” in terms of colours, although it was closer to reality. All said and done, I would vote for the X7 Pro in this display because of its technical superiority in terms of refresh rate and also its more pleasant colour handling, but this is a close thing – I can see people going the other way on this.

Winner: Realme X7 Pro

Processor: A golden oldie and a new pretender

In terms of processor, the two phones throw up an interesting contrast. The OnePlus Nord is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, which at its time of release was considered just a level below the likes of the Snapdragon 855 series. On the other hand, the Realme X7 Pro rides on a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+, which takes on the Snapdragon 865 series. The 765G is a great processor in its own right, but there is no doubting which one is the champ here – round to Realme.

Winner: Realme X7 Pro

Memory and storage: No cards on the table

5G mobile phone OnePlus Nord

Both phones come with fixed storage and no memory card slots. The Realme X7 Pro has a single variant: 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. And that should suffice for most users. However, the Nord has much more variety up its sleeve – it comes with (a rarely available) 6GB / 64GB, 8GB / 128GB and 12GB / 256GB variants. This is way more than the X7 Pro can offer. If you are a RAM and storage gigabyte counter, you need to head to the Nord.

Winner: OnePlus Nord

Rear Cameras: Not as clear cut as we thought

On paper, this would seem a no-contest. The Realme X7 Pro, after all, comes with a Sony IMX686 64-megapixel sensor as its main camera, while the Nord has the now-oldish 48-megapixel Sony IMX 586 sensor. Both phones also have 8-megapixel ultrawide sensors and a macro and depth sensors (which is also a black and white sensor in the X7 Pro) of lower megapixel counts. This would seem to make it a walkover for the Realme, right? Well, actually the Nord gives the X7 Pro a good run for its money. Whether it is because of regular updates or the fact that it comes with OIS, the Nord actually held its own against the X7 Pro on many occasions, and there were times when we felt it did better as well. While the X7 Pro often delivered more punchy colours in both images and videos, the Nord surprised us with its handling of detail and its low light performance. There’s no denying that in most cases the X7 Pro came out on top, but the interesting part was that the Nord came across as a very competent performer and was not steamrollered.

Winner: Realme X7 Pro

Selfie cameras: One plus one camera against one!

The camera tussle between these two phones is fascinating. We had expected the X7 Pro to win the rear camera battle easily, but the Nord ran it close. Exactly the opposite happens in the selfie camera department. Some might not like the dual punch hole notch on the Nord, but when it comes to selfies, it gives the Nord two cameras (32-megapixel and an 8-megapixel ultrawide) as compared to the single 32-megapixel one on the X7 Pro. That would seem to incline the scales towards the Nord, but in terms of performance, we often found the X7 Pro beating the Nord with more vivid colours and even with better portrait snaps. Yes, the Nord’s wide-angle
gives it more variety and it seemed to deliver more detail, but the difference is a surprisingly slim one. I am voting for the Nord on this one, but as in the case of the display, the difference is so small that I expect many to vote the other way.

Winner: OnePlus Nord

Gaming and multimedia: Cashing on the chips, real(me)ly!

When it comes to gaming and multimedia, the Nord is no pushover. It will handle most things that you will throw at it. However, it is not really a high-end gaming phone, and lags do creep in as frame rates and settings get pumped up. That is not the case with the X7 Pro which pretty much hits a OnePlus 8T kind of level in gaming and handles everything from Call of Duty to Asphalt to Alto’s Odyssey without breaking into a sweat. Gaming and multimedia are also where the very good speakers of the Realme X7 Pro come into play – the Nord’s single speaker is good, but the speakers on the X7 Pro add more depth and totally change the experience. If you are into gaming and multimedia, the X7 Pro wins this one. Easily.

Winner: Realme X7 Pro

Software: Can less be more?

Although both run on Android 10 at the time of writing, things are starkly different on the two devices when it comes to interface. The OnePlus Nord comes with the very clean Oxygen UI that is close to stock Android and has very little bloatware, whereas the Realme X7 Pro, which comes with a number of additional features and applications. Both have their plus points – Oxygen is relatively uncluttered, but Realme UI comes laden with additional features. The differences between the two UI become most apparent when you are using the camera, where the Nord seems a little bare in comparison to the host of options on the X7 Pro. Which interface
works better for you depends on your own tastes. I would however, right now vote for the Nord, given OnePlus’ better update record.

Winner: OnePlus Nord

Battery: Long-lasting and fast charging clash

In terms of battery, the Realme X7 Pro seems to hold both the capacity and fast charging aces. It has a 4,500mAh battery and also comes with a 65W fast charger that can charge the entire phone in a little more than half an hour. The Nord on the other hand has a 4,115mAh battery and a 30W charger, which charges the phone in about an hour. However, as in the case of the camera, the reality was a little different from what the on-paper stats indicated. Although both phones lasted about a day on a single charge, the Nord often gave me a few hours more. Perhaps the smaller display and lower refresh rate had a role to play in this but once again,
while the X7 Pro registered a win, it was by no means by the sort of thumping margin that the specs suggested.

Winner: Realme X7 Pro

General Performance: Beyond the smarts

In general performance terms, I felt each phone had its strengths. The Nord seemed to handle calls a little better than the X7 Pro, but then the dual speakers on the X7 Pro did make for a much better audio experience. The below display fingerprint sensor on the X7 Pro also seemed to work just a little more swiftly than the one on the Nord. Both phones were reasonably snappy in handling routine tasks, like messaging and mail and social networking, and both had very good displays. Both also come with 5G support and the usual connectivity options, although neither has a 3.5mm audio jack. I am going to call this one a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price: One price against many

There is only a single RAM/storage variant of the Realme X7 Pro – 8GB / 128GB – and it is available at Rs 29,999. The OnePlus Nord, on the other hand, comes with three variants and three price points – 6GB / 64GB (which as we stated earlier, is difficult to find) at Rs 24,999, 8GB / 128GB at Rs 27,999 and 12GB / 256GB at Rs 29,999. The Nord wins this one with ease.

Winner: OnePlus Nord

Which is the Real (me) choice or the One(Plus) for you?

So at the end of it all, which phone works best for you? If you are looking at a modern flagship-level performance in gaming and high-end apps, then the answer is a no-brainer – the Realme X7 Pro’s Dimensity 1000+ chip gives it a clear edge. However, if all that you are looking for is a very good phone that is capable of doing most tasks well, the equation changes. The Nord’s cleaner UI and wider price range and variants make it a very good option for many users, and well, I do think it enjoys a design edge as well. If you are not headed into heavy gaming territory, I would recommend the Nord. Yes, the X7 Pro has better cameras and sound, but the difference is not a deal-breaking one – the Nord does well in both departments as well, and it being available at different price points certainly makes it a great option for a person on a tight budget.

It is a good dilemma to have, but I will simplify it:

If high-end gaming and hefty app usage matter: Realme X7 Pro
If they do not matter that much (and your budget is tight): OnePlus Nord