OnePlus Nord 2 5G First Impressions: Still Finding North

OnePlus Nord was launched in July last year with a focus on the sub-Rs. 25,000 price segment. As the OnePlus flagships become more and more expensive, OnePlus Nord promises decent performance at a somewhat more affordable price. Now, that has been discontinued, clearing the way for an even more affordable model, the Nord CE 5G, and its true successor, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G. This new smartphone of OnePlus has a better camera setup and MediaTek Dimension processor. Does it still offer the OnePlus experience? I got my hands on the OnePlus Nord 2 5G and here is my first impression about the device.

OnePlus Nord 2 price in India

The OnePlus Nord 2 starts at Rs. 27,999 in India for the base variant, which has 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. There are two more variants of the OnePlus Nord 2, one with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, and finally with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. Their price is Rs. 29,999 and Rs. 34,999 respectively. I had the top-of-the-line version with me to review.

The OnePlus Nord 2 looks familiar and seems to be in place with the OnePlus 9 series and OnePlus Nord CE 5G (Review). Picking up the OnePlus Nord 2, it immediately feels premium to the touch. It houses a 6.43-inch display with a camera hole in the top left corner for its 32-megapixel selfie shooter. OnePlus Nord 2 5G sports an AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate and full-HD+ resolution. It also has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to protect the display as well as the back.

The mid-frame of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G is made of plastic. On the right side, it houses the power button and alert slider (which is not present in the OnePlus Nord CE 5G), and on the left side there are volume buttons. I found the button placement to be quite good, and reaching them was not a problem during one-handed use. The USB Type-C port, loudspeaker, SIM tray and primary mic are at the bottom, while the secondary mic is at the top. The OnePlus Nord 2 5G has dual speakers – the earpiece doubles as a secondary speaker for stereo sound.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back

At the back, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G sports a triple camera setup and the camera module is somewhat similar to the OnePlus 9R (Review). The camera module consists of a 50-megapixel primary camera with f/1.88 aperture and OIS. There is also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera with EIS and f/2.25 aperture. These two sensors look like they have large lenses while the 2-megapixel mono camera is smaller and sits next to the flash. The OnePlus logo is a slap bang in the middle of the rear panel.

OnePlus offers Nord 2 5G in three color options Gray Sierra, Blue Hedge and India Exclusive Green Wood. I had a Blue Haze unit, and it didn’t pick up mist easily. OnePlus also offers a case in the box. The phone weighs 189g and is 8.25mm thick. It doesn’t feel too heavy, and one-handed use is possible.

oneplus nord 2 5g camera module oneplus nord 2 5g first impressions

OnePlus Nord 2’s triple camera setup houses a 50-megapixel primary camera

OnePlus has opted for a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 processor which according to both the companies has been optimized to some extent with additional AI processing power to make the Dimension 1200-AI. This is also a bit surprising as so far other OnePlus devices are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. There are 6GB, 8GB and 12GB RAM options, with 128GB of storage for the lower two and 256GB on the highest. Storage is non-expandable and the Nord 2 5G only has two nano-SIM slots with support for dual 5G. There is also support for WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and five satellite navigation systems. The Nord 2 5G packs a 4,500mAh battery and comes with a Warp Charge 65W charger in the box.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G runs on OxygenOS 11.3 based on Android 11. My unit had the June Android security patch. The UI is clean and only a few Google and OnePlus apps, as well as Netflix, were preinstalled. I had no problem navigating through the UI and found it comfortable to use.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G Alert Slider OnePlus Nord 2 5G First Impressions

Alert slider on OnePlus Nord 2 5G lets you quickly change the position of the ringer

The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is quick to unlock the device, and considering the 12GB of RAM in my review unit, I didn’t face any hiccups while multitasking. The “enhanced” MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI showed a lot of promise and it would be interesting to test OnePlus’ claims that there are additional camera, gaming and display features enabled by AI enhancements. The Realme X7 Max 5G (Review) and the upcoming Poco F3 GT are two smartphones with the same SoC, minus the customization of OnePlus, so it will be interesting to see how the OnePlus Nord 2 5G fares.

Overall, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G, based on the specs, feels like an upgrade to the original Nord. However, it has gone up in price as well, so it will be interesting to see if this new smartphone still offers good value for money, or will you be better off with the Nord CE 5G. I’ll be putting the Nord 2 5G through benchmarks and camera tests, so stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a full review, coming soon.

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