The OnePlus Nord 2 review. The smartphone we’ve been waiting for

La recensione di OnePlus Nord 2. Lo smartphone che stavamo aspettando thumbnail

OnePlus Nord 2 it’s a bomb. Difficult to define it in any other way. OnePlus has unlined a mid-range smartphone with premium features which made us completely forget the top of the range. Nord 2 does it all and does it very well, in spite of even the skeptics who widen their eyes when they hear about MediaTek processors. And so the Chinese company – which has recently joined forces with Oppo – has brought to the market a product that takes us back to the first OnePlus that managed to shake the legs of even the giants of telephony.
But now it’s time to find out what the newcomer offers by delving into OnePlus Nord 2 review.

OnePlus Nord 2: the review

The latest effort by OnePlus immediately declares its intentions: to offer users a mid-range smartphone that has nothing to envy to the top of the range. In short, Nord 2 was born to be un flagship killer, an affordable alternative – off we go of €399 – but complete: it has a nice 90 Hz display, all the power you need (even for gaming) and a battery that takes you to the end of the day without too much difficulty.

Virtually perfect

OnePlus Nord 2 has the right size: with its 6.43-inch display it is quite simple to handle, even with one hand. The weight, on the other hand, is average: 189 grams which does not make it too heavy but not the lightest in its category. The materials are certainly engraved because yes, the frame is in plastic but the keys are in metal and the back instead is strictly in opaque glass. A combination that makes it very pleasant to the touch and which returns the premium feeling typical of more expensive smartphones.

The back also houses the camera module, slightly raised compared to the rest of the body. The solution adopted by OnePlus uniforms the aesthetics of its entire range but makes the device a bit “dancer” when placed on a flat surface. Nothing unusual however: it is a rather common solution and above all the problem is easily solved by applying a cover. Inside the package you will find the transparent one but nothing prevents you from buying another one. We loved the Quantum Bumper Case, very original and inspired by the world of graffiti.

On the sides, as anticipated, we find the metal keys: on the right the power switch and the switch to switch from ringtone to vibration to silent while on the left we have the volume rocker. The upper profile remains free with the lower one instead which houses the SIM slot, the USB-C connector and one of the speakers while the second is just above the display. Overall audio rendering is pretty good with surprisingly loud volume.

OnePlus Nord 2 display review

Let’s move to the front for the screen. It is about a fluid AMOLED with a 90 Hz refresh rate that makes the user experience even smoother, albeit consuming a little more on the battery front. Know that you can go to the settings and switch to 60 Hz if you want to gain a little bit in terms of autonomy.
The menu also allows you to customize the experience by changing the temperature and color mode, activating the sharpening effect and applying color enhancement to the videos.
The overall result is really good, with always vivid colors and convincing brightness.

OnePlus Nord 2 review: MediaTek does not disappoint

OnePlus Nord 2 performance review

One of the first questions you asked us just announced the smartphone was: “But this MediaTek?”.
OnePlus Nord 2 abandons Qualcomm chipsets this time in favor of a MediaTek Dimensity 1200, accompanied by 8/12 GB of RAM and 128/256 GB of internal memory. The Chinese company has done its best to optimize the hardware and performance, bringing it to the shelves a product that never disappoints. We used it to work, play, surf the web and watch multimedia – it never had any hesitation.

This is then associated with completeness on the connectivity front: there is everything from 5G to WiFi 6 passing through NFC and Bluetooth 5.2. Nord 2 is also dual SIM, so you can easily manage two different numbers.

Then we have the sensor for fingerprint recognition, very fast and positioned under the display, and the possibility of unlocking the smartphone even with face recognition.

Good autonomy and super recharge

The latest addition to the OnePlus house integrates a 4,500 mAh battery which, with average use, has allowed us to get to the end of the day without giving up. With heavy use, unplugging it at 6.30 am and facing a day of calls, emails, social media and messages, we arrived at 20:00 with 17% of charge remaining and 5h of active screen.

Once on the ground, you can return the smartphone 100% in just 30 minutes. OnePlus Nord 2 in fact uses Warp Charge 65 technology to get you back on track immediately.

The software is a guarantee

OnePlus Nord 2 is the first smartphone equipped with OxygenOS 11.3, born from the merger with Oppo. Don’t expect an upheaval, however: the software, based on Android 11, is extremely familiar.
The OxygenOS gives us everything we need and even a little more. In fact, we find the Zen Mode, the collector menu Shelf, the game space and much more.
All this for an experience similar to that of stock but definitely enhanced.

We also point out that the company guarantees 3 years of security updates and 2 operating system updates, which will take you up to Android 13.

OnePlus Nord 2 review: the camera

OnePlus Nord 2 camera review

The camera has always been the weak point of the mid-range. Over time, however, manufacturers have made enormous efforts to not disappoint users, proposing solutions derived from the top of the range. OnePlus has done something similar, taking it from its flagship the 50 megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor, flanked by an 8 megapixel ultra-wide angle lens and monochrome sensor; on the front instead we have the 32 megapixel selfie camera.

But how do they behave?
To find out we first tried to really test it using the Expert mode and snapping in RAW. Not the best RAW on the market but offers a certain freedom of intervention and allows you to play with a much wider dynamic range than jpg, recovering color and detail both in the highlights and in the shadows.

OnePlus Nord 2 raw editedRaw edited

The main sensor, with optical stabilization, also behaves quite well in autonomic, although it is very contrasted, while the wide angle does not present obvious distortions. But know that with this lens you lose something in terms of detail and in addition you will encounter occasional chromatic aberration problems.

We conclude with the portrait mode that convinced us despite having decided to cut a few too many hairs.

Overall, therefore, the photographic sector of OnePlus Nord 2 is promoted, especially considering that we are talking about a mid-range, not a flagship.

In low light

In low light

OnePlus Nord 2: passed with flying colors

That OnePlus Nord 2 was an excellent smartphone you had probably already understood from the incipit of this review. The new Chinese smartphone is performing and complete. You don’t have to give up anything as it really offers the complete package: fluid display, versatility, fast charging and a good photographic compartment. All this at € 399 for the 8/128 GB version or € 499 for the 12/256 GB version. Impossible to miss it.

PRO

  • Excellent build quality
  • Display a 90 Hz
  • Excellent performance
  • Fast charging at 65W
  • Excellent main sensor
  • Complete software

VERSUS

  • Non-expandable memory
  • Ultra wide angle can be improved