OnePlus has already introduced the second generation in its mid-budget Nord line of smartphones. As you might have guessed from the title, today we will focus on the device model OnePlus Nord 2.
I can’t say with confidence that the second generation of the smartphone in the Nord line from the OnePlus brand is a mid-budget device. Since the price tag at the beginning of sales on the official website of the manufacturer was quite high.
For example, the price for the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone model for the most basic version was about $440. At the same time, I note that the previous generation can now be purchased for $390. Do you think this price is an average budget? I think a smartphone that costs over $400 can be attributed to a flagship device, and not to the mid-budget class.
Ok, now let’s take a quick look at the technical features of this smartphone model from OnePlus. First of all, the device is distinguished by a powerful Dimensity 1200 processor with support for 5G network. In addition, on the front of the smartphone, I found a 6.43-inch screen with a Fluid AMOLED matrix.
Among other features, I can single out – this is a good sensor of the main camera with a resolution of 50 megapixels. In addition, there was a good value for the capacity of the built-in battery at 4500 mAh and with the possibility of fast charging at 65W of power. Well, the smartphone was not only packed with modern features, but also looked like a real flagship.
Thus, I propose to talk in more detail about the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone model and find out its strengths and weaknesses. Classically, I plan to start my test by unpacking.
OnePlus Nord 2: Specifications
|OnePlus Nord 2 5G:||Specs|
|Display:||6.43 inches Fluid AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 pixels, 90Hz|
|CPU:||Dimensity 1200 5G Octa Core 3.0 GHz|
|RAM:||8 or 12GB|
|Internal memory:||128 or 256GB|
|Cameras:||50MP + 8MP + 2MP main camera and 32MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,3G, 4G, 5G, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and GPS|
|OS:||Android 11 (OxygenOS 11.3)|
|Dimensions:||158.9 x 73.2 x 8.3 mm|
Unboxing and packaging
The OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone comes in typical packaging, as for the Nord line of devices. This is a standard-sized box, where on the front I found the name of the smartphone line with the company logo. At the same time, on the back of the package, I was able to find a list of the main technical features of the smartphone.
Meanwhile, inside the package, I found the mobile device itself, which was sealed in a protective shipping film. Also in a separate box, there was a protective transparent silicone case with documentation and a needle for the SIM tray.
In addition, the package included a 65W power adapter with a branded red charging cable. It is also worth highlighting that the packaging itself was made of rather thick cardboard. Therefore, during transportation, I did not have any problems with the quality of the device itself. Okay, now let’s take a closer look at the smartphone and analyze its main design features.
Design, build quality and materials
If we talk about the appearance of the second generation of the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone, then it does not stand out much from the line of devices from the OnePlus brand. But I cannot say that a mobile device looks simple, but quite the opposite. That is, rather premium materials are used here and let’s talk about them in more detail.
The back of the smartphone was made of matte or even rough treated protective glass Corning Gorilla Glass 5. I really liked not only how this glass looks, but also how it showed itself in practice. For example, I will note that the back of the smartphone did not collect fingerprints on itself. Therefore, this material will definitely delight me during my testing.
But if you look at the side frames, they were already made of glossy plastic. It reminded me a little of chrome, but I think it’s not the most wear-resistant material. Over time, this frame will climb if you use the device without a protective case.
As for the workmanship, I did not find any particular complaints during my testing of the Nord 2. All the components were located in the right place and I did not find any particular problems during use. In addition, all the buttons worked without a strong backlash and this may not please me. But I did not find protection against splashes and water on this smartphone model.
If you look at the right side of the smartphone, then here I saw a power button with a mode switch. I want to say that the mode switch has three positions – this is standard, vibration and silent mode. At the same time, all these modes are switched with little effort, so that there is no accidental activation of the mode.
But on the left side of the smartphone, there is a volume rocker. The upper end of the smartphone has a hole for an additional microphone. At the bottom, I found a Type-C charging connection, a slot for dual nano-SIM cards, a speaker and a main microphone hole.
It is worth saying here that the OnePlus Nord 2 device did not receive a headphone jack and an additional slot for a microSD memory card in its design. And that upset me a little, but you? Although I understand that most users are currently using TWS earbuds. But a separate slot for a memory card would definitely not hurt anyone.
Now let’s talk about the back of the device. The Nord 2 smartphone has a main camera with three modules and an LED flash. In addition, the device received a corporate logo in the central part of the smartphone. I can also say that the design of the main camera module is very similar in design to the camera module of the flagship OnePlus 9 device.
A fairly high-quality screen is located on the front. But in this section I want to talk not about the quality of the screen, but about its frame. In general, the frames were not very large, but the lower frame had a rather large chin. But in the upper left corner of the screen, there is a round cutout for a selfie camera. The upper part also uses the earpiece, which serves as an additional speaker while listening to music or watching movies.
Therefore, the device received stereo sound, and in fact, the sound quality was very solid, as for its class of devices. That is, there was enough volume reserve, and the amount of low frequencies, including bass, sounded very rich.
Also I can’t get past the fingerprint scanner that was built into the screen. During my testing, the scanner worked well and I did not have any special problems with unlocking. The device also received face recognition protection and this function also worked adequately and correctly, even in the dark.
The last thing I want to talk about in this section is the dimensions and weight of the device. For example, the smartphone received the following dimensions – 158.9 x 73.2 x 8.3 mm, and the weight was only 188 grams. Thus, it is a small device that could be used comfortably throughout my test.
Screen and image quality
As I mentioned earlier, the new OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone uses a 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED screen. This display received a Full HD + resolution or 2400 x 1080 pixels with an aspect ratio of 20: 9. The pixel density was 409 PPI.
Of the interesting features of the Nord 2 smartphone screen, I can single out the presence of a 90 Hz refresh rate. Also in the settings you can select the operating mode with 60 Hz refresh rate. The latter mode will be useful if your battery power drops sharply to zero. In practice, the 90Hz refresh rate worked pretty fast and I liked the responsiveness of the touchpad.
If we talk about the value of the maximum brightness, then it was about 700 lux. It may not be the brightest screen like the flagship devices. But they were comfortable to use outdoors in bright sunny weather. Therefore, you will definitely not have problems with brightness.
In general, I can say that the screen on the Nord 2 model is used exactly the same as on the Nord CE smartphone model, which I tested earlier. There is an Always-On Display function in the display settings, which will be useful for most users. Okay, we’ve got the screen sorted out, now let’s check some benchmark tests and play some games.
Performance, benchmark tests, games and OS
A rather powerful Dimensity 1200 processor is responsible for the performance of the OnePlus Nord 2 device. It was built using 6 nanometer technology and has eight cores in its execution. Where one core is the most powerful Cortex-A78 with a clock frequency of 3.0 GHz, three Cortex-A78 cores with a frequency of 2.6 GHz and the other four cores are energy-saving Cortex-A55 with a frequency of 2.0 GHz.
As shown in the benchmark test results, the smartphone scored slightly less points in the AnTuTu test than the Realme GT Neo device. For example, the OnePlus smartphone received about 594 thousand points, but the smartphone from the Realme company scored 703 thousand points in the same test.
I have an answer to this, as the manufacturer OnePlus has slightly optimized the chipset processes so that the smartphone does not get too hot during heavy tasks and processes. Therefore, it turns out that some benchmark tests will differ from their competitors. I think that the differences are not very significant, the main thing is that the device did not get very hot during my tests.
A rather powerful graphics accelerator Mali-G77 MC9 is responsible for the graphics on the Nord 2 smartphone. It showed itself from a worthy side, both in heavy and demanding games, and in simple and minor games. For example, I’ve been able to play games like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty, and even Genshin Impact. All the games were launched without any particular complaints and I did not notice any glitches or freezes.
On my test, the version of the smartphone received 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory in UFS 3.1 format. You will definitely not have problems with the speed of reading and writing from the built-in memory. But the smartphone does not have an additional memory card slot, and this upsets me a little. The manufacturer also offers a choice of a smartphone version with 12 and 256 GB of memory.
When it comes to wireless connectivity, the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone also has no special remarks. For example, the device received a dual-band Wi-Fi module, fast operation of the GPS module, Bluetooth 5.2 version and, of course, there is an NFC module. Each of these modules worked reasonably well and I had no problems during my testing.
It’s also worth talking about the Android 11 operating system with the OxygenOS 11.3 user interface. Like most devices from OnePlus, the user interface is very fluid and smooth. They worked out all the functions and features without any complaints and performed their tasks well. Therefore, you will definitely not have problems with the operation of the operating system on the Nord 2 smartphone.
Camera and sample photos
The main camera on the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone received three modules, where the main sensor received a 50-megapixel resolution. The second sensor was created for ultra-wide shots and has an 8-megapixel resolution. But the very last third sensor received a 2-megapixel resolution and is needed for macro photography.
Now let’s talk a little more about each sensor. The main camera module received a sensor from Sony, namely IMX776. At the same time, the aperture was f/1.8 and, in addition, the module received optical stabilization. I want to note that earlier in smartphones such as Oppo Find X3 Pro and Reno6 Pro+ they had exactly the same sensor from Sony.
Examples of photos taken on the OnePlus Nord 2 can be seen in the album below. In general, after thoroughly testing the camera, I was completely satisfied with the results of the images. For example, at night when using the night mode, the photos were very bright and had pretty good detail.
If we talk about the ultra-high sensor, then I also liked the examples shot in the daytime in good light. But if you take pictures at night, then the quality drops quite significantly. As for the macro mode, it worked pretty well and I did not find any problems with its performance.
Well, if you look at the front of the device, there is a 32-megapixel selfie camera. It is able to take photos not only in good lighting, but also in bad light.
Battery and run time
Inside the body of the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone, I found a 4500mAh non-removable battery. This is the typical battery capacity for any modern device. But taking into account some features, such as a 90 Hz screen refresh rate, the battery life with active use will be about 1 working day.
You might say that this is not much, but there is one interesting feature in the Nord 2 model. What do you think? Yes, that’s support for 65W fast charging.
This means that the device can be charged from 0 to 100% in just half an hour, according to the manufacturer. But my practice showed a slightly different result for about 42 minutes.
Conclusion, reviews, pros and cons
After full testing of the OnePlus Nord 2 device, I was left under good emotions from its functionality and features.
Of course, I cannot call this smartphone model a mid-budget one, since the price tag at the time of this writing was about $440. Therefore, I can attribute this smartphone more to the simplified category of flagship devices. Isn’t it?
On the plus side, I liked the performance with a decent 6nm Dimensity 1200 processor and 5G network support. In addition, the device received a good graphics accelerator, a large amount of RAM and built-in memory.
I also have nothing bad to say about the screen of the Nord 2. It uses a good Fluid AMOLED matrix, 90 Hz refresh rate and good brightness value.
The camera is also a strong point for its class of devices. The 50-megapixel sensor takes very good pictures, both in the daytime and at night. The same goes for the 32 MP front camera.
Of the shortcomings, I can single out – this is the lack of a 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones. Also, there is no additional slot for a memory card and there is no water protection.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
If we talk about the cost, then at the time of writing the review, the price tag for the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone was $441.26 for the basic version. In this case, the version with memory 12 and 256 GB will cost you $523.54.
Thus, I can conclude that the new smartphone from OnePlus will be a good buy. But to call this model a mid-budget, I definitely will not turn my tongue. I think this is a full-fledged flagship, but with slight simplifications.