Andrew Hoyle/CNET

OnePlus calls its model new Nord 2 the “flagship killer” and I get why. This phone has some spectacular specs and performs properly all spherical, and it is paired with an inexpensive beginning value of solely £399 right here within the UK. It’s designed to supply all the pieces you’d want from a phone with out emptying your checking account. A strong processor, a strong twin rear digital camera setup, 5G connectivity, tremendous quick charging — and it isn’t dangerous to take a look at both. 

Like the earlier Nord — and the cheaper Nord CE, launched only a few weeks again — the Nord 2 is not going to be on sale within the US. It’s destined for the UK and wider Europe, the place it will value £399 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or £469 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. For reference, £399 converts to about $540 or AU$740.

But no, it would not actually “kill” any flagships. It’s not as highly effective as a “true” flagship just like the iPhone 12 Pro Max or S21 Ultra, nor will its digital camera abilities appeal to the world’s most demanding photographers. The flagship that I really feel is most in danger is OnePlus’s personal 9 collection, which shares many options with the Nord 2, but has a a lot larger beginning value of £629 ($729). 

I’ve spent a brief period of time with the Nord 2 forward of its unveiling and listed below are the 5 issues I like most about this new handset.

A strong MediaTek processor 

OnePlus has sometimes used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line of processors for its telephones nevertheless it went with MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200-AI chip for the Nord 2. You’ll discover completely no distinction in use — it is nonetheless the identical as every other Android phone — however you’ll discover that it is surprisingly highly effective for the worth. 

While it isn’t up there with the iPhone 12 Pro Max by way of benchmarks, it did beat the Pixel 5 and wasn’t far under the dearer OnePlus 9. It’s definitely highly effective sufficient for gaming, picture enhancing and video streaming and navigating across the Android 11 interface is {smooth} and stutter free.

Which brings me neatly on to 5 reasons the Nord 2 is great.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Android 11 software program

The Nord 2 runs Android 11 at its core, over which OnePlus has slapped its traditional Oxygen software program. I actually like OnePlus’s software program because it’s neat, straightforward to make use of and would not attempt to load the phone up with too many bundled providers and bloatware. As a consequence, the phone stays nippy and trouble-free for longer.

It’s notably essential on decrease and midrange telephones that may not cope as properly with being slowed down with providers. The consequence right here is a smooth-performing phone that I anticipate to stay as such for a while to come back. 

OnePlus says it is assured to get at the very least two years of Android upgrades — so an replace to Android 12 this fall and Android 13 subsequent yr is a given — with a further yr of safety updates after that. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Incredible quick charging

The Nord 2 has the identical 65-watt quick charging seen on the OnePlus 9 collection and it is superb. It’ll take the phone from empty to full in solely about half-hour, which makes it superb for giving it a fast enhance earlier than you head out from residence. The 4,500-mAh battery ought to nonetheless provide you with a day of use from a cost, however when you possibly can recharge so shortly, battery life turns into considerably much less of a problem.

Even higher is {that a} 65-watt quick charger comes within the field, so you do not even must scour Amazon to attempt to discover one which’ll put out sufficient energy. What the phone would not have is wi-fi charging, however personally I do not see that as a selected drawback. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Vibrant, sharp show

The Nord 2’s show measures 6.43 inches and boasts a decision of two,400×1,080 pixels, which is enough to make even tiny textual content look good and sharp. It’s an AMOLED panel, making it extraordinarily vibrant too, which is great for movies, pictures or enjoying no matter colourful recreation is presently doing the rounds on the Google Play Store.

It has a 90Hz refresh fee which is a contact decrease than the 120Hz of the OnePlus 9 collection, however I doubt you’d be capable to inform any actual distinction in day-to-day use. It’s silky {smooth} when scrolling across the interface, however you may also flip it right down to a extra common 60Hz, which can apparently assist save battery life. 


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Decent rear cameras

We have not completed our full suite of digital camera assessments but, however what we have seen from the cameras thus far appears good. The foremost sensor is a 50-megapixel affair — the identical one seen within the OnePlus 9’s ultrawide digital camera. Outdoor photographs look well-exposed, with loads of element and natural-looking colours. 


OnePlus Nord 2 out of doors digital camera check, customary lens.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET


OnePlus Nord 2 out of doors digital camera check, customary lens.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET


OnePlus Nord 2 out of doors digital camera check, super-wide lens.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET


OnePlus Nord 2 out of doors digital camera check, customary lens with 2x digital zoom.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The 8-megapixel super-wide lens is noticeably much less detailed, nevertheless it too appears able to capturing handsome out of doors photographs. There’s an on-screen choice for 2x zoom, however there is not really a zoom lens, in order that 2x is primarily based on digitally cropping in to the shot. Results nonetheless look good, nevertheless it’s price conserving in thoughts that you just will not get the utmost high quality doing this. 

There’s additionally technically a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor, which, in my view as a photographer, is completely pointless. If you need handsome black and white photographs, use the common digital camera and apps like Adobe Lightroom or Snapseed to have full management over changing to mono. Frankly I really feel OnePlus may have pulled this out and lopped one other 20 quid or so off the worth. 

OnePlus Nord 2 specs

Display measurement, decision, refresh fee 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 50-megapixel (foremost),  8-megapixel (wide-angle),  2-megapixel (mono)
Front digital camera 32-megapixel
Video 4K
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI processor
Storage 128/256GB
Fingerprint reader No
Battery 4,500 mAh
Price In-display
Connector USB-C
Headphone Jack No
Special options 5G-enabled, 65W quick charging, 90Hz, twin stereo speaker, face unlock
Price (USD) Approximately $540 (transformed from UK value)
Price (GBP) £399
Price (AUD) Approximately AU$740

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