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OnePlus Nord 2 – Affordable 5G Phone

OnePlus Nord 2 Grey Sierra

OnePlus Nord 2 is the second phone released by the company under its Nore lineup. It’s the successor of OnePlus Nord and launched in July 2021.

OnePlus made the Nord for the affordable market. it’s a good move from them because all the past phones are quite expensive. So to capture the mid-range market and increase the sale, they created a new Oneplus Nord 2.

Oneplus Nord 2 offers a powerful processor, good rear and front camera, good battery with fast charging support, great multimedia experience, and much more in a very comparative price range.

Although Oneplus calls it a “Flagship Killer” and in this post, we are trying to find out whether it justifies its name or not. So let’s dig deeper to find out…

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Specification:

Display, Resolution 6.43-inch AMOLED, FHD+ (2,400×1,080 pixels), 90Hz
Pixel density 410ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.25×2.88×0.32 in.
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.9×73.2×8.25 mm
Weight (Grams) 6.66 oz; 189g
Software Android 11
Camera 50MP (main), 8MP (wide-angle), 2MP (mono)
Front camera 32-megapixel
Video 4K @30 FPS
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI processor
Storage 128/256GB UFS 3.1
RAM 8/12GB RAM
Fingerprint reader No
Battery 4,500 mAh
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6 dual-band, Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE, apt-X HD
Connector USB-type C 2.0
Headphone Jack No
Special features 5G-enabled, 65W fast charging, 90Hz, dual stereo speaker, face unlock
Price (USD) Approximately $540 and $650 (converted from UK price)
Price (GBP) £399 and £469
Price (AUD) Approximately AU$740 and AU$880

 

The Display and Design:

Front Look

At the front, there is a 6.43 inches Full HD+ AMOLED screen having 2,400×1,080 pixels resolution and ~85.8% screen-to-body ratio. The quality of the screen is sharp and the text and pictures look crispy with punchier colors.

The Picture, Videos, and gaming experience are great with a super vivid AMOLED screen and a tiny punch hole selfie camera. The front camera alignment is at the top left corner rather than in the middle, and I liked this position personally.

It has a 90Hz refresh rate which is slightly slower than the 120Hz of the OnePlus 9 series, and if you are using a 120Hz device then definitely you miss the fluidness but otherwise, for most of us it’s hardly noticeable.

Most of the time, it gives me a smooth experience when scrolling down into the interface and I never noticed any issue. And you can lower down the refresh rate to 60 Hz if you want to save more battery.

The phone looks good with the glass body and rounded edges and gives you a premium fill altogether. There are three color options available Gray Sierra, Blue haze, and Green-Wood and I must admit all the models look great.

The weight is on the higher side and fills bulky and slippery because of glass. But it’s not a big deal because almost all-glass body phones are similar and most of us are familiar with it. The in-hand feel is good.

The Iconic Alert Slider is on the right side with the power key and the volume rocker is on the right side. All the buttons feel nice and very responsive.

Nord 2 comes with dual stereo speakers one at the bottom and another one is in the earpiece. Both of them produce good quality sound not the loudest but sufficient enough.

At the bottom, we have a sim tray and USB type-c charging port but it misses the 3.5 mm headphone jack. The in-display fingerprint sensor is at the front, and the optical sensor works very well – it’s fast and accurate.

Rear and Front Camera:

oneplus_nord_2_back
Nord rear camera Module

Oneplus phones always have good cameras and produce natural-looking photos. Oneplus Nord 2 also carries on the same legacy with good pair of lenses.

This time with Nord 2 one plus changes the camera module. It has a Sony IMX766 50 megapixel primary lens (Pixel Size: 1.0 µm, Lens Quantity: 6P, Optical Image Stabilization: Yes, Aperture: f/1.88).

An 8 Megapixel Ultra Wide Camera with 119.7° field of view with Electronic Image stabilization and f/2.25 aperture. Also a 2 MP monochrome lens with f/2.4 aperture.

In front, there is a 32 MP Sony IMX615 sensor present as well as having EIS and f/2.45 aperture. There is Dual LED Flash and the rear camera supports 10x zoom and Multi Autofocus (PDAF+CAF).

Nord 2 cameras have exceeded my expectations. I’m actually impressed! The 50MP primary sensor comes with OIS. When you click low light photos, you can see the OIS working as the photos are not blurred. Outdoor images look well-exposed, with plenty of detail and natural-looking colors.

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One big improvement in this camera is its dynamic range because most phones are lacking in this area. Many times high contrast blew out the cloudy backgrounds but this time every picture has lots of details and the same thing applies to the low light images too.

The 50MP primary sensor is sharp & the color shift from primary to the 8MP secondary sensor is less. The ultrawide photos are a little soft, it’s expected but still, because of the 120-degree field of view photos are looking good, wide & dynamic.

Talking about the 32MP selfie sensor, it’s good! The pictures look a little soft but most of the time the selfies turned out good!

So on the camera front, the OnePlus Nord 2 has exceeded my expectations.

But in this price range, it doesn’t have the support for 4K 60 FPS videos. Whether The previous OnePlus Nord had supported 4K@60FPS on both front and back cameras.

Most of us these days shoot quality videos from our phones So it’s an important feature that you don’t get in the OnePlus Nord 2, which is a disappointment.

Talking about camera features, there are a lot of features are available like AI Highlight Enhancement mode, Bokeh Flare Portrait Video Mode, etc. They haven’t mentioned but it’s available in the camera app.

Here are some camera samples for you…

Ram, Storage, and Performance:

Oneplus Nord 2 comes with three different RAM variants 6/8/12 GB and two storage variants 128 and 256 GB onboard storage. The RAM is LPDDR4 which means it’s more power-efficient and also gives you maximum speeds when you need it most.

The storage is also UFS 3.1 supported means you get a wonderful experience in terms of multitasking and gaming.

There is a big change in terms of chipset because this time one plus uses a MediaTek Chipset instead of a snapdragon.

ESET Software

For a long time they typically used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line of processors for its phones but this time they went with MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200-AI chip for the Nord 2.

It’s a 6 nm Flagship chip from MediaTek and integrated with ARM G77 MC9 GPU gives a fast and fluid experience out of the box. The chip is very power efficient and you don’t feel any major heating issue with this phone.

When you compare Dimensity 1200 with snapdragon 860 sometimes it performs even better than the latter. From my testing I found it performed in between the snapdragon 860 and 870. Look at the Antutu version 9 benchmark it will give you more clarity.

Antutu benchmark
From L-R OnePlus Nord 2, Mi 11X, and Realme X7 Max

While it’s not up there with the iPhone 12 Pro Max in terms of benchmarks, it did beat the Pixel 5 and wasn’t far below the more expensive OnePlus 9.

It’s certainly powerful enough for gaming, photo editing, and video streaming, and navigating around the Android 11 interface is smooth and stutter-free.

Oxygen OS 11.3 or Color OS :

oxygen OS look

There is some confusion created when one plus announced that they are going to merge its oxygen OS software with color OS.

Later OnePlus clarify in their forum “we are working on integrating the code base of oxygen os and color os this is a change that you’ll likely not even notice since it’s happening behind the scenes“.

Now after using the phone I must say their above statement is not true and you gonna see some menu and graphical changes in the camera app and settings menu.

I might exaggerate a little but I think they’ve applied OxygenUI on top of ColorOS base, that’s the experience I feel.

The camera app is from ColorOS & the rest of the other things are from OxygenUI. But, when we set the phone up, & the experience we get from realme/OPPO phones like privacy policies, etc. are all present in this.

It’s not that ColorOS is bad, it’s improved & I don’t mind it, but OxygenUI is a big deal when buying a OnePlus device. I’d also say that you get more ColorOS personalization features in OxygenUI, & I think it’ll grow well. ColorOS is known for customizations & I think the OxygenUI is going that way.

Although the Oxygen OS stills looks very clean and we don’t find any additional software or bloatware, and you get a clean Android 11 experience from the phone.

OnePlus says it’s guaranteed to get at least two years of Android upgrades — so an update to Android 12 this fall and Android 13 next year is a given — with an additional year of security updates after that.

Battery and Fast Charging:

wrap charge

 

The battery and the charger are also upgraded from the previous version. New Nord 2 has a 4500 mah battery with a super-fast 65 Watt wrap charger included in the box.

It’ll take the phone from empty to full in about 30 minutes, which makes it amazing for giving it a quick boost before you head out from home.

The 4,500-mAh battery should still give you a day of use from a charge, but when you can recharge so quickly, battery life becomes somewhat less of an issue.

The 90 Hz screen and MediaTek 6nm processor also help the battery to last longer. with moderate usage, at the end of the day, there’s still 30-35% battery remaining, meaning it can be carried the next day too.

The phone lacks Wireless charging and it’s ok if you consider the price point.

Other Important Features:

sim tray

The call and connectivity are good both indoors and outdoors and the sim card supports two nano sims. The phone supports 6 to 9 band 5G in the EU and other places. Still, 5G are not available here and right now I primarily test it with my 4G sim card.

OnePlus Nord 2 has Bluetooth 5.2 and supports aptX & aptX HD & LDAC & AAC codecs. It has Widevine L1 certified. You can stream HD quality content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

The OnePlus Nord 2 includes the following sensors – In-display fingerprint sensor, Accelerometer, E-compass, Gyroscope, Ambient light, SAR Sensor, Proximity sensor, and Sensor core.

The phone supports an Always-On display and you may find new features in future updates. it has the new Wifi version 6 support where you get downloading speed up to 1.2 Gbps.

It also includes NFC hardware. You can easily make wireless payments using the built-in NFC using apps such as Google Play. NaVIC navigation for maps along with GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou.

What are the Buying Options:

Right now the phone is available in the UK, India, and some parts of continental Europe. So my suggestion is first to check whether operators are giving support in your country or not then decide.

You can visit their Official website oneplus.com directly to buy or visit any E-commerce website like Amazon or Flipkart to buy the Oneplus Nord 2.

The phone is priced at £399 (GBP) for the 8+128 GB model and £469 for the 12+256 GB model. You can convert the price according to your currency. The £399 may be priced at USD 550 or AU$750 or 29999 INR.

Final Call, Should I go For It:

After explaining all the details finally I must say Nord 2 is a good choice but not great because of the price point. Because at this or even less price point the Xiaomi Poco F3 5G and Realme X3 Superzoom are available which provides more value for money.

But if you are a camera lover and used to take lots of photos from your smartphone don’t care about the other technical pieces of stuff then it’s a good choice for you.

With OnePlus Nord 2 you have ( vibrant screen, Indispaly fingerprint scanner, sufficient storage, superfast charger, Clean and fresh looking software, great pair of cameras, and lots more) all the ingredients in a package.

Just have to compromise on some areas like it don’t have a 3.5 mm jack, 4K 60FPS video recording that’s all.

Another last thought if you are a fan of Oxygen OS and likes its simplicity then you may don’t like the modified version of Oxygen OS, although it’s my personal view.

So that’s it for now and if you have already purchased one then feel free to share your views and tell us your experience with the phone.

 

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