OnePlus Nord 2 buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

OnePlus Nord 2 5G lying on table face down

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

OnePlus started out as the “flagship killer” company. However, over the years the brand has put less emphasis on the “killer” aspect and instead just delivered premium flagships — complete with premium prices. The Nord line — and the 2021 OnePlus Nord 2, in particular — see the company wading into once-familiar waters.

To be clear, the Nord 2 is definitely not going to be an adequate replacement for a OnePlus 9 Pro. However, the specs, design, and features should satiate budget-conscious buyers who don’t want to make too many spec sacrifices.

Below, you’ll find everything we know about the OnePlus Nord 2! Be sure to bookmark this page, as we will update it with new information as it comes.

See also: A history of every OnePlus phone so far


OnePlus Nord 2 at a glance

OnePlus Nord 2 5G in hand back

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

OnePlus officially revealed the OnePlus Nord 2 on July 22, 2021. It became the third Nord-branded phone of 2021, behind the OnePlus Nord N200 and OnePlus Nord CE.

This is the first-ever OnePlus phone without a Qualcomm chipset. Instead, the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 powers the phone. This will give it some higher processing power than some mid-range Qualcomm SoCs without necessitating a huge price increase.

See also: The Android Authority review of the OnePlus Nord 2

Like the original Nord, the Nord 2 will not land in all of OnePlus’ usual markets. Instead, the phone will only be available in the United Kingdom, Europe, and India. OnePlus fans in the United States will be left without a premium mid-ranger for the time being. Buyers in that market will need to make a tough choice between the flagship OnePlus 9 or the budget Nord N200.

The Nord 2 will be available from OnePlus.com on July 28 and will start at £399 (~$543) in the UK and €419 ($494) in Europe. That would be for the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. A more premium 12/256GB version will cost you £469 (~$639) or €519 (~$611). In India, the phone starts at Rs. 27,999 (~$375) for an India-exclusive model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage. Stepping up to the 8/128GB variant will cost you Rs. 29,999 (~$402), while the top-of-the-line 12/256GB version will be available for Rs. 34,999 (~$470). 

OnePlus Nord 2
The OnePlus Nord 2 follows up the company’s mid-range debut from 2020. The phone builds on a quality base with a serious improvement in performance and the 50MP camera sensor from the higher-end OnePlus 9 series.


Is the OnePlus Nord 2 worth buying?

OnePlus Nord 2 5G display facing in hand

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The standout feature of the Nord 2 is the processor. The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 is a powerful chip, on par with something like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870. It has AI smarts, powerful imaging capabilities, and will be good for gaming. However, when put into performance mode, the chip will turn the phone quite hot.

See also: Is it still worth buying the OnePlus Nord one year later?

The rest of the specs are all pretty good for a phone in this price range. It has a decent camera system, plenty of RAM and internal storage, Wi-Fi 6 support, a large battery, and a crisp 90Hz AMOLED display. It also has the usual OnePlus design elements and its popular Oxygen OS 11 skin.

However, the Nord 2 will face a lot of competition in its price bracket. Buyers who aren’t already locked to OnePlus will have plenty of options that could deliver great specs at equal or even lower pricing. See our “Alternatives” section further down for more.


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OnePlus Nord 2 specs

OnePlus Nord 2 5G side on lying against a tree

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Raw specs aren’t everything when it comes to a great phone. However, they are a very important piece of the puzzle. Check out the OnePlus Nord 2 specs below.

  OnePlus Nord 2 Specs
Display 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 resolution at 410ppi
20:9 aspect ratio
90Hz display refresh rate
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 1200
GPU Arm G77 MC9
RAM 6GB (India only), 8GB, or 12GB
LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB or 256GB
UFS 3.1
Power 4,500mAh battery
Warp Charge 65 (65W wired charging)
No wireless charging
Cameras Rear:

– 50MP main (1.0µm, ƒ/2.55, OIS)
– 8MP ultra-wide (119.7-degree FoV, ƒ/2.25, EIS)
– 2MP monochrome (ƒ/2.5)

Front:

– 32MP single (0.8µm, ƒ/2.45, EIS)

Video 4K at 60FPS recording
1080p at 30/60FPS recording
720p at 30/60FPS recording

Slow-motion/time-lapse: 1080p/120FPS and 720p/240FPS

Audio Dual stereo speaker
No 3.5mm headphone port
Bluetooth 5.2
Support for aptX & aptX HD & LDAC & AAC
Connectivity (India) Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2.4G/5G, 2×2 MIMO

Bluetooth: 5.2

NFC: Supported

LTE: 4×4 MIMO, support up to DL Cat 18/UL Cat 13
(1.2Gbps / 150Mbps), depending on carrier support

GSM: GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900
WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/8/19
LTE-B: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/34/38/39/40/41
NR NSA: N41, N78, N40, N79
NR SA: N41, N78, N28A, N1, N3, N79, N40

Connectivity (UK/Europe) Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2.4G/5G, 2×2 MIMO

Bluetooth: 5.2

NFC: Supported

LTE: 4×4 MIMO, support up to DL Cat 18/UL Cat 13
(1.2Gbps / 150Mbps), depending on carrier support

GSM: GSM850, GSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900
WCDMA: B1/2/4/5/8/19
LTE-FDD: B1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/26/28/38/32
/34/39/40/41/66
NR NSA: N1, N3, N7, N8, N20, N28, N38, N41, N78
NR SA: N1, N3, N7, N20, N28, N78, N41, N8

Ports USB-C port (2.0)
Dual nano-SIM slot
No 3.5mm headphone port
No microSD card slot
Software Android 11
Skinned with Oxygen OS 11
Dimensions and weight 158.9 x 73.2 x 8.25mm
189g
Colors Gray Sierra, Blue Haze, Green Wood
In the box – Phone
– Warp Charge 65 wall adapter
– Warp USB-C cable
– Phone case
– Screen protector (pre-applied)
– SIM tray ejector

*France will also include earphones
*India will also include a sticker and Red Cable Club card


Is the OnePlus Nord 2 camera any good?

OnePlus Nord 2 5G cameras

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The main imaging sensor is a 50MP Sony IMX766. That’s the same sensor you’ll find underneath the wide-angle lens of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro. That results in some decent imagery, although not as good as what we’ve seen in those more premium phones.

Flanking that camera, you’ll find an ultra-wide and a monochrome sensor. The former will help you capture more scenery without you needing to physically move backward, while the latter will bring more detail into your photos.

See also: From OnePlus One to OnePlus 9 Pro, how much have cameras improved?

On the front, you’ll find a 32MP Sony IMX615 sensor. The original Nord had two cameras up front, so this might seem like a downgrade, but this one sensor is much better than either of those in the original Nord. Interestingly, this is the largest-ever selfie sensor in a OnePlus device.

Outside of hardware, there are some highlights to note. The rear and front cameras support Nightscape which should allow some decent low-light performance. The rear main sensor also supports optical image stabilization which will be a boon to folks who like to shoot video.


How is the battery life and what are the power options?

OnePlus Nord 2 5G ports

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There’s a 4,500mAh battery inside the OnePlus Nord 2. That’s the same capacity battery in the more expensive OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.

During our time with the Nord 2, we saw good battery life. However, we only saw it when we didn’t have the high-performance mode active. With that turned on, the Dimensity 1200 chewed through the battery with little abandon. If you want even somewhat decent battery life, you should avoid turning the performance mode on.

See also: OnePlus’ Warp Charge 65 is how to do proprietary charging in 2021

Thankfully, you’ll find a 65W charging brick in the box with the OnePlus Nord 2. That’s a fast enough charger to bring your phone from empty to full in just over 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, there is no wireless charging support with the Nord 2. You’ll need to bump up to at least the OnePlus 9 for that feature. In India, however, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the only model equipped with wireless charging support.


How is the performance?

OnePlus Nord 2 5G in hand

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 inside the Nord 2 is not an off-the-shelf model. Instead, OnePlus and MediaTek worked together to incorporate additional AI technology into the chipset. That means it should do all the things you expect from a D1200, but also more.

In our benchmark tests, we found the Nord 2 handily beat out the original Nord when it comes to raw processing power:

Keep in mind, though, that processing power isn’t the be-all-end-all for smartphones. For example, the D1200 is great at power efficiency, but when you turn on the phone’s high-performance mode, battery life suffers considerably. In other words, the processor is capable of great feats, but it won’t last you very long if you push it.

Additionally, we found the OnePlus Nord 2 gets quite hot when performing processor-intensive tasks. Once again, this was incredibly apparent with high-performance mode active. With that on, the phone gets hot enough that it’s uncomfortable to hold.

The bottom line here is that the phone is capable of being a performance beast, but its power is unsustainable in real-world applications.


OnePlus Nord 2 software and updates

OnePlus Nord 2 5G OS version

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

When you take the OnePlus Nord 2 out of the box, you’ll find Android 11 powering the phone. That OS is, of course, skinned with Oxygen OS, OnePlus’ proprietary Android platform.

See also: Everything you need to know about Oxygen OS 11

Although OnePlus hasn’t confirmed as much, its past statements heavily suggest that this phone is the first to incorporate Oppo’s Color OS as a codebase. This is something that will come to all current OnePlus phones when Android 12 launches. OnePlus contends that this will make updates faster and more stable.

However, that doesn’t seem to have affected OnePlus’ update promise for this device. The OnePlus Nord 2 will get the standard two years of Android upgrades (Android 12 and Android 13) and three years of security patches. This fails to match Samsung’s promise for its own mid-rangers.


Nord 2 vs the original Nord: What’s new?

OnePlus Nord back side hero shot lit

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

There are some notable differences between the original OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus Nord 2. However, the phones are still quite similar in a lot of ways. With that in mind, OnePlus Nord owners might want to think a while before upgrading.

Here are the major differences between the two phones. Do note that these aren’t all the differences, but just the highlights:

  • Processor: The MediaTek Dimensity 1200 is a superior chipset to the original Nord’s Snapdragon 765G. However, that’s only when it comes to raw performance. The D1200 is more powerful, yes, but the SD765G is more stable and better at controlling heat and battery consumption.
  • Cameras: The original Nord had a quad-camera on the rear and a dual-cam selfie system. The Nord 2 drops lenses on both ends with three on the back and one upfront. However, the quality of those lenses/sensors goes up, which may allow it to deliver superior performance.
  • Power: The battery in the OnePlus Nord 2 is 385mAh larger than the one in the Nord. It also charges at 65W, which is more than twice as fast as the 30W of the original Nord.

Other than those items, last year’s Nord is very similar to this year’s. The phones are almost exactly the same size, have very similar displays, and have similar RAM/storage configurations. Even the Blue Marble color seen above is very close to the Blue Haze you see on this year’s Nord 2.


What are some good alternatives to the Nord 2?

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G on plate

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Check out a few OnePlus Nord 2 alternatives you should consider below.

  • Samsung Galaxy A52 5G (£399): Samsung’s 2021 mid-range offering is pretty great. It starts at the same price as the Nord 2 and surpasses it in a few areas, including a faster display refresh rate (120Hz), a superior primary camera sensor, and a far better update promise. However, you’ll lose out on 65W charging and the chipset performance will certainly be weaker.
  • Poco F3 (£339): If raw processing power is your core concern, the Poco F3 should be on your radar. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 inside could handily go up against the Nord 2’s Dimensity 1200. There are even a couple of other perks, including a 120Hz display refresh rate and a slightly bigger battery — not to mention a lower price. You’ll need to sacrifice some other perks though, such as 65W charging, the Nord 2’s superior camera system, and the in-display fingerprint sensor.
  • Google Pixel 4a 5G (£499): If you don’t care so much about processing power as you do about camera quality, you can’t go wrong with the Pixel 4a 5G. Even though it has fewer lenses on the back when compared to the OnePlus Nord 2, Google’s software smarts trump OnePlus’ any day of the week. Of course, you’ll lose out on a lot of specs in a trade-off — and pay more. But if you want a 5G-capable phone with great photography abilities, this is a good choice.
  • OnePlus Nord (£379): As we pointed out in the previous section, there’s not much separating the Nord 2 from its predecessor. If you can forego 65W charging and the Dimensity 1200, the Nord is basically the same phone for slightly less cash.

Where to buy the OnePlus Nord 2

OnePlus Nord 2 5G back side-on standing on tree stump

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • (India Only) OnePlus Nord 2 (6GB/128GB): Rs. 27,999
  • OnePlus Nord 2 (8GB/128GB):  £399 / €419 / Rs. 29,999
  • OnePlus Nord 2 (12GB/256GB): £469 / €519 / Rs. 34,999

OnePlus Nord 2
The OnePlus Nord 2 follows up the company’s mid-range debut from 2020. The phone builds on a quality base with a serious improvement in performance and the 50MP camera sensor from the higher-end OnePlus 9 series.

As mentioned earlier, the OnePlus Nord 2 is only available in the United Kingdom, Europe, and India. The models in each country can be slightly different as far as supported bands, colorways, and in-box contents. See the specs sheet earlier in this article for more info on that.

In the United Kingdom, you’ll be able to buy the Nord 2 from OnePlus directly starting July 28. It will also be available from Amazon and John Lewis. UK carriers Three and O2 will carry the phone as well, but only in its 8/128GB configuration.

European customers will be best served by going to your regional version of OnePlus.com.

Do note that India won’t see all models land at the same time. The India exclusive model with just 6GB of RAM arrives in August 2021. It only comes in one colorway, which is Blue Haze. The Blue Haze and Gray Sierra models for the 8GB and 12GB variants land on July 28, but the Green Woods model (an India-exclusive color) will land in August exclusively in the 12GB configuration.

It is very unlikely the OnePlus Nord 2 will land in other countries, including the US.


FAQs

OnePlus Nord 2 5G apps 1

Credit: Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Q: Does the OnePlus Nord 2 have a charger in the box?
A: Yes. No matter where you buy it, you’ll find a 65W charger in the box along with a USB-C cable.

Q: Does it have an official IP rating?
A: No. OnePlus says the device can handle a splash or two, but there is no rating against water or dust.

Q: What about wireless charging?
A: The OnePlus Nord 2 does not have wireless charging. The cheapest OnePlus phone with wireless charging is the OnePlus 9. In markets like India, only the Pro variant gets wireless charging support.

Q: Does it have a headphone port or microSD card slot?
A: No on both. The Nord 2 doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone port and does not have expandable storage.

Q: Does the OnePlus Nord 2 have the OnePlus hardware alert slider?
A: It does. The three-stop alert slider is on the right side of the phone above the volume rocker.

Author: C. Scott Brown

Source: C. Scott Brown.” OnePlus Nord 2 buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know”. Retrieved From https://www.androidauthority.com/oneplus-nord-2-1177400

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