OnePlus Nord 2 evaluate: close to high efficiency at a mid-range worth | Smartphones

The Nord 2 is the most recent mid-range smartphone from OnePlus that gives close to top-level efficiency however at half the worth of its flagship units.

Priced from £399, it sits under the £629 OnePlus 9 and £829 9 Professional and follows on from the profitable first Nord.

Being decrease in price doesn’t make the Nord 2 small, nonetheless. It’s a giant smartphone with a 6.43in 90Hz OLED display that appears good for the cash. The back and front are manufactured from the older scratch resistant Gorilla Glass 5, not the most recent considerably harder Victus, and the perimeters are plastic with a metallic end.

The system appears to be like easy and understated, and feels stable and effectively made regardless of the plastic sides. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Nord 2 is without doubt one of the first units from the Chinese language smartphone model because it merged operations with its bigger sibling Oppo, sharing growth assets for each {hardware} and software program. Each manufacturers are owned by Chinese language conglomerate BBK Electronics, which additionally owns the Vivo, Realme and iQOO manufacturers. Mixed, the 5 manufacturers make BBK the world’s largest smartphone producer by quantity.


  • Display: 6.43in 90Hz FHD+ AMOLED (410ppi)

  • Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI

  • RAM: 8 or 12GB of RAM

  • Storage: 128 or 256GB

  • Working system: OxygenOS 11.3 (Android 11/Colour OS 11.3)

  • Digital camera: triple rear digital camera: 50MP fundamental, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP mono; 32MP selfie digital camera

  • Connectivity: 5G, twin sim, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and site

  • Water resistance: no score

  • Dimensions: 158.9 x 73.2 x 8.3 mm

  • Weight: 189g

Nearly top-flight efficiency

oneplus nord 2 review
Totally charging the telephone with the included USB-A to USB-C 65W energy adaptor took about 40 minutes. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Nord 2 is without doubt one of the first mainstream smartphones to make use of MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity 1200 processor, as a substitute of 1 made by the dominant Qualcomm. MediaTek has hitherto been identified for creating cheaper, lower-power chips for price range units, however has not too long ago upped its recreation, making an attempt to compete on an equal footing with Qualcomm.

On paper the Dimensity 1200 has comparable efficiency to final yr’s high Qualcomm telephone chip, which suggests the mid-range Nord 2 is about as fast as final yr’s high Android smartphones and considerably sooner than final yr’s Nord. The result’s a really fast-feeling smartphone that handles video games and different intensive duties higher than most mid-range rivals.

Battery life is barely under common lasting 34 hours between prices, which means it retains going from 9am on day one till 7pm on day two, with the display used for underneath 5 hours between prices. Be aware that lively use of knowledge providers over 5G had a larger impression on battery life than competitor telephones with Qualcomm chips.


OnePlus says the battery within the Nord 2 ought to preserve no less than 80% of its capability for 1,000 full-charge cycles. Longevity is aided by the optimised charging system. The battery might be changed (£12 plus tax and labour) and the smartphone is usually repairable by OnePlus within the UK.

The corporate provides a trade-in programme for its personal telephones and fashions from rivals. It didn’t touch upon the usage of recycled supplies in its smartphones. OnePlus doesn’t publish environmental impression assessments however did publish a sustainability report for 2020.

OxygenOS 11.3

oneplus nord 2 review
The software program has loads of customisation choices however is pretty refined straight out of the field. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The Nord 2 is without doubt one of the first OnePlus smartphones to run a brand new model of the corporate’s OxygenOS software program – now a personalized model of Oppo’s ColorOS, which is predicated on Android 11 with Google providers. It’s nonetheless one of many quickest and finest variations of Android accessible.

OnePlus provides software program help for 3 years from launch for the Nord 2, together with two years of Android model updates plus an extra yr of bimonthly safety updates. Samsung provides 4 years and Apple provides 5 for his or her respective telephones, so OnePlus nonetheless has work to do.

Digital camera

oneplus nord 2 review
The principle point-and-shoot digital camera on the again is nice, the opposite two aren’t nice. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The again of the telephone has three cameras: a 50-megapixel fundamental, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP mono, the final of which might be safely ignored.

The principle digital camera shoots photographs at 12.6MP as customary and could be very succesful, producing crisp and well-balanced photos in good gentle with HDR enabled. Low gentle efficiency is equally good with the devoted Nightscape mode producing usable photographs in very darkish scenes and marking a big step up from final yr’s Nord. Video seize was nothing to jot down dwelling about however completely stable.

The ultrawide digital camera is decidedly common, nonetheless; tender on element even in good gentle and struggling in low gentle. There is no such thing as a optical zoom digital camera on the Nord 2, however the 2x digital zoom was surprisingly serviceable. There’s no macro mode both, and the digital camera struggles to focus for close-up photographs.

The front-facing 32MP digital camera is superb, capturing an virtually scary quantity of element within the face in good gentle. I like to recommend enabling one of many numerous magnificence modes if you happen to don’t need to see each wrinkle and blemish.


OnePlus Nord 2 review
There’s a quick and correct fingerprint scanner underneath the display for unlocking the system. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian
  • The telephone comes with a pre-installed display protector and good clear rubber case.

  • The 65W energy adaptor doesn’t help USB-PD and so can’t quick cost different units equivalent to laptops or tablets.

  • Bluetooth efficiency wasn’t as robust as some rivals, which means I bought some interference with some weaker true wi-fi earbuds when utilized in congested areas.


The OnePlus Nord 2 prices £399 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage or £469 with 12GB/256GB.

For comparability, the OnePlus 9 prices £629, the 9 Professional prices £829, the Xiaomi Mi 11 prices £649, the Google Pixel 4a prices £349 and the iPhone SE prices £399.


The Nord 2 strikes an excellent steadiness between price and high-end options within the mid-range.

It appears to be like dearer than it’s, is effectively made, performs effectively, has a quick OLED display and a fantastic fingerprint scanner. The battery life is stable if not unbelievable and the plastic physique will mark extra if you happen to drop it, however most will put it in a case anyway.

The principle and selfie cameras are good, however the remaining aren’t, and there’s no formal water resistance score. You additionally solely get a disappointing three years value of software program help shedding it a star.

Professionals: slick, good efficiency, good 90Hz display, good software program, quick charging, quick fingerprint scanner, alert slider, affordable digital camera, decrease price.

Cons: solely three years of software program help, no optical zoom, display glass not the hardest accessible, no water-resistance score, plastic body, USB-A charger.

OnePlus Nord 2 review
OnePlus’s signature alert slider within the facet is helpful for rapidly silencing the telephone. {Photograph}: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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