OnePlus Nord 2 has been launched as the successor to OnePlus Nord. OnePlus Nord is an important smartphone for OnePlus because it offers consumers an affordable option. It has high resolution cameras, more powerful SoC and stereo speakers with 5G connectivity. So will this new phone be a suitable successor to the OnePlus Nord, or will it fail to provide the same kind of value? I tested the OnePlus Nord 2 to find out.
OnePlus Nord 2 5G price in India
OnePlus Nord 2 5G starts at Rs. 27,999 in India for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. 8GB RAM, 128GB storage variant priced at Rs. 29,999, while the line option with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is priced at Rs. 34,999. There are three color options for the OnePlus Nord 2: Blue Haze, Gray Sierra and Greenwood, which are unique to India.
OnePlus Nord 2 5G design
The OnePlus Nord 2 has a 5G family look and looks similar to the OnePlus 9-Series smartphone. It has a large 6.43-inch display with a hole-punch camera in the upper left corner. The panel has thin beaks and the chin is only slightly thicker.
OnePlus went with a glass back for the Nord 2, which gives it a premium look and feel. You get Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and rear. The rear glass is curved to the sides, which joins the frame, which makes holding the device easier.
The mid-frame is made of plastic, but it does not look cheap. Button placement is great, there are power buttons on the right and volume buttons on the left side of the frame. These can be easily tapped while holding the device in one hand. The alarm slider, a common view on most OnePlus smartphones, is located on the top right of the power button. Easy to switch ringer modes.
Unlike the OnePlus Nord (Review), the Nord 2 does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack, although the OnePlus Nord CE5G (Review) has a more affordable one. If you are looking for a headphone jack, you may be disappointed, but the Nord 2 5G has stereo speakers, which are welcome. The USB Type-C port is located next to the dual-SIM tray at the bottom. There is only a secondary microphone at the top of the frame. You will not receive an IP rating on the OnePlus Nord 2, which includes other phones such as the Samsung Galaxy A52 (Review) and the Poco F3 GT.
On the back, the camera module is in the upper left corner and packs in three sensors. Like the OnePlus 9R (Review) the two lenses on them look very large. This module causes the smartphone to rock when placed on a flat surface.
The OnePlus Nord 2 weighs 189g and is packed with a 4,500 mAh battery. To quickly tap the battery, it comes with a warp charge 65W charger in the box. My review unit is Haze Blue One and did a good job of hiding the fingerprints. OnePlus also offers a case in the box to protect it.
OnePlus Nord 2 5G specifications
The OnePlus Nord 2 supports 90Hz refresh rate and HDR10 + with 5G Full-HD + AMOLED display. It has an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is well positioned and easy to use. The OnePlus MediaTek Dimensity 1200 processor was used to power the Nord 2, and the company claims to have worked with the MediaTek processor to improve its AI capabilities, hence the official name Dimension 1200-AI.
You get 6GB, 8GB and 12GB LPDDR4X RAM options and 128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1 storage with the OnePlus Nord2. For this review I have a top-end variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. Storage in Nord 2. cannot be expanded. Supports dual 5G, 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, NFC and five satellite navigation systems. OnePlus Nord2 is a dual SIM device with two nano-SIM slots.
OnePlus has a reputation for providing a pure user experience with its Oxygen OS software. However, OnePlus recently announced that Oxygen OS will be merging with Oppo Color OS to share a common code base. OnePlus Nord 2 runs Oxygen 11.3 on Android 11 and the effects of the merger can already be seen in the UI. I’m talking about settings and especially camera apps, now it has some color OS effect. Don’t worry, these changes are not drastic and the UI still feels like Oxygen OS.
You will find some OnePlus apps and Google Apps along with Netflix pre-installed on the device. OnePlus guarantees two years of software updates and three years of security updates with the device, which will help you age better. My OnePlus Nord 2 unit is running the July Android Security Patch, which is up to date.
OnePlus Nord 2 5G performance
OnePlus Nord 2 offers a smooth experience. If the default is set to 90Hz, you will notice a scroll from the right side of the box. You can adjust the color profile of the display to your liking. OnePlus AI enhancements for video are enabled from the settings. An example of a slightly boosted contrast and sharpness in videos using supported apps (it worked on YouTube). I found that the fingerprint scanner on the display is very responsive, requiring only a single attempt to unlock the device. Facial recognition also worked consistently.
I put the OnePlus Nord 2 through the benchmarks to see how this new Dimensity 1200-AI works. On AnTuTu, OnePlus Nord 2 managed 5,82,748 points. In PCMark Work 3.0, it managed 8,323 points. It scored 819 and 2,749 points respectively, in the single-core and multi-core tests of the Geekbench 5. Graphics benchmark scores with Nord2 are also good. In GFXBench’s T-Rex and car chase scenes, it maintained 74fps and 34fps, respectively.
I played Battlefield Mobile India (BGMI) on the OnePlus Nord 2 and it defaults to HD graphics and higher frame rate. In these settings the game can be played without delay or stuttering. I played for 20 minutes and noticed a 4 percent decrease in battery level. The phone became a little warm to the touch.
The OnePlus packs a 4,500mAh battery into the Nord 2 and can provide a day and a half worth of battery life without any problems. In our HD video loop test, the OnePlus Nord 2 was able to run for 19 hours and 46 minutes with the screen refresh rate set to 90Hz. The bundled 65W warp charger can charge the battery to 58 percent in 15 minutes and 98 percent in 30 minutes.
OnePlus Nord 2 cameras
The OnePlus Nord 2 5G has a triple camera setup with a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 primary camera, which is also present in the OnePlus 9. The primary camera has an f / 1.88 aperture and OIS. There is also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with 119.7-degree field of view and a 2-megapixel mono camera . The camera app UI is a little different compared to what we saw on previous OnePlus smartphones but I was able to find my way without any problems.
OnePlus Nord 2 locks 5G focus quickly and can quickly detect AI scenes. During the day, photos have good detail and precise colors. Photos look natural and even distant objects can be spotted. The ultra-wide angle camera has a wider viewing field, but there is a noticeable decrease in image quality.
Close-up shots are crisp with depth that looks natural to the background. OnePlus Nord also handled the 2 minute details nicely. Portrait mode allows you to set the blur level before taking a shot. The output has good edge detection and separation from the background.
OnePlus has introduced Nightscape Ultra Mode in Nord 2 to take better photos in low light. It can detect when the AI is very dark and enable it automatically. Photos taken in low light are good and the text in the distance is also clear. Nightscape Ultra Mode takes longer to capture a shot, but the results are brighter with better detail in the shadows.
Selfies taken with a 32-megapixel front camera look natural during the day as well as in low light. Selfie portraits also work with masks and the phone allowed me to set the portrait blur level before taking a shot.
OnePlus Nord 2
The OnePlus Nord 2 reminds me of older OnePlus smartphones, offering great value for money. With the price of the OnePlus flagship series rising every year, Nord 2 offers some relief for those who do not want to spend as much. It adheres to the core philosophy of the company and offers good performance and cameras for the price. The software experience is also good, I hope it does not change much by integrating Oxygen OS with Color OS. For those who are totally looking at performance and gaming, the Poco F3 GT is a viable alternative. However, if you are looking for a good all-rounder at this price level, the OnePlus Nord 2 should be your choice.
Value for Money