OnePlus Nord 2 5G Review | Above average premium intermediary

The long-awaited OnePlus Nord 2 5G was released in July this year with the difficult mission of continuing the legacy of the first generation, very popular due to its interesting intermediate configurations and competitive price. To do this, the Chinese changed the Qualcomm chipset for a premium model from MediaTek, brought a look inspired by the top-of-the-line OnePlus 9 and included a main camera from Sony 30 MP.

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  • But, after all, does it deliver an experience as good as the first OnePlus Nord? The

    Canaltech

    team imported the OnePlus Nord 2 5G from the gringa, and I’ll tell you in the next few paragraphs if it’s worth buying !

    Before we begin, I always let you know that if you are interested in the OnePlus Nord 2 5G at the end of this review, we will leave reliable purchase links for you to purchase. Here we go?

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    Pros

  • Visual inspired by OnePlus 9;
  • Quality AMOLED screen;
  • Excellent performance for an intermediary;
  • Decent cameras;
  • Good battery life.

    Cons

  • OxygenOS has many flaws.
  • Check the current price of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G

    Construction and design

    Inspired by the high-end OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, the Nord 2 5G has a very elegant look and it doesn’t it feels like an intermediate device. The back cover appears to be made of aluminum due to its matte finish, but we’re talking Gorilla Glass 5 anyway. The frame, on the other hand, is made of plastic, which “balances” manufacturing costs and does not make its final price high.

    Despite the matte finish, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G slips easily in the hands . Therefore, I would be careful when using it with only one hand, mainly because of yours 189 grams and 8.4 mm thick — fortunately, the Chinese brand sends a simple and robust cover in the box.

  • Dimensions:

    83.9 x 69.2 x 8.3 mm

  • Weight: 189 grams

  • (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    The model we tested came in the color called “Gray Sierra”, a very beautiful matte gray. The device can also be found in bright blue (Blue Haze) and textured green (Green Woods).

    Still on the back of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G, we have a rectangular camera module ‘ difference’ with two sensors highlighted at the top, while the third sensor and the LED flash are located just below, side by side. The piece takes the same color as the smartphone’s body and is slightly jumped from the device, similar to the shape of the Galaxy A47, for example.

    The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is quite inspired by the high-end OnePlus 9. The back cover has a very elegant and durable frosted glass, while the Fluid AMOLED screen features a circular cutout for the front camera.

    Connections and slots

    The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is quite complete when it comes to ports and connections. Like most newer smartphones, we support 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC for pay-as-you-go.

    (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    On the bottom side there is a USB-C 2.0 port for charging and data transfer next to your carrier chip drawer. The slot only supports two SIMs, so we don’t support memory expansion via microSD card. Another absence is the 3.5 mm connector (P2) for headphones.

    Screen

    The OnePlus Nord 2 5G uses the same screen with Fluid AMOLED technology as the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro models. The mid-range has a slightly smaller panel than the high-end brothers, with 6,30 inches, and brings Full HD+ resolution (2.400 by 1.69 pixels), resulting in a pixel density of 410 ppi.

    Unsurprisingly, this is one of the best screens I’ve ever seen on an intermediate smartphone, second only to the present panels on Samsung models. Here we have intense brightness, vibrant colors, excellent dark tone fidelity and wide coverage in the color spectrum.

    (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    By default, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G display shows a warmer temperature, but it is possible to change to cooler tones in the device settings. In addition, you can set the screen color mode between two options: “Vivid” uses P3 mode for better color display, while “Gentle” uses sRGB mode for more natural coloration.

    Another plus point of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G Fluid AMOLED screen is the refresh rate of 100 Hz, offering smoother navigation and smoother compatible games. Unfortunately, the technology is not adaptive, meaning it keeps the display up-to-date quickly even in scenarios where it’s not required — such as web reads — thus consuming more battery power.

    In the upper left region of the screen there is a circular cutout for the front camera. The solution is currently used a lot in both intermediate and premium models, but I noticed that the circle present around here is a little thicker than in other models in the category such as the Galaxy A60, leaving a more visible black border.

    The fingerprint reader is also positioned on the screen. The unlocking speed is slightly faster than other models in the category, and the accuracy is great. It is also interesting that OnePlus allows you to change the unlock animation style, an unusual feature.

    The OnePlus Nord 2 5G Fluid AMOLED screen is one of the best I’ve tested on a mid-range phone, bringing intense brightness, vibrant colors, excellent dark tone fidelity and wide coverage in the color spectrum.

    Configuration and performance

    The OnePlus Nord line is known for its good mid-range configurations, but the Nord 2 goes a step further by including MediaTek’s top-of-the-line processor, the Dimensity 1200-THERE. The chipset is a custom version of Dimensity 507356 traditional with more focus on artificial intelligence, but keeps the eight processing cores running at up to 3 GHz.

    (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    Although the Taiwanese company’s chipset is not as powerful as the Snapdragon 500, I had no performance issues with Dimensity 1200-AI, which only reinforced that MediaTek learned with the mistakes of the past — no wonder, it has become the largest manufacturer in the segment this year.

    I played 11 Minutes of

    Dead By Daylight, one of the heaviest games on the Play Store, with the graphics in the maximum and frame rate set to 50 fps, and the OnePlus Nord 2 5G kept the performance stable, only warming up a bit in the camera region. Other titles, such as

    Asphalt 9 and

    Call of Duty: Mobile, also performed very well.

    The model we purchased came with a combination of GB of RAM and 400 GB of internal storage, more than enough to keep more than ten apps open simultaneously with no signs of choking or crashing. My only problem regarding OnePlus Nord 2 5G performance was OxygenOS, OnePlus customization for Android, which I’ll talk about below.

    For an intermediate, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G has an amazing performance due to the Dimensity chipset 448041-AI from MediaTek. During the tests, I had no problem with practically no activity.

    For those who like numbers and comparisons, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G surprised with 4.189 points in one of the 3D Mark tests, a benchmark platform that tests the processor’s ability to render 3D graphics. The score is excellent for an “intermediate”, just below tops of the line like Galaxy S18 (Exynos ), Motorola Edge 20 Pro and Lenovo Legion Phone Duel.

    Operating system

    A skin from OnePlus was one of the best Android-based customizations, but newer versions have shown otherwise. OxygenOS 10.3 maintains a closeness to what Google imagines your OS, with rounded icons and screens more sober, but I noticed many errors in the translation to Brazilian Portuguese and incorrect line breaks that bothered me a little.

    For example, in the application menu line breaks occur in middle of a big name, like “Settings”, “Communi-ty”, “Instagra-m”, “Documents” and “1Passwor-d”. Also, in the device settings there is an option called “ambient screen” which becomes “ambient screen” when you click on it.

    I also noticed that the configuration options are very confusing. For example, there’s a tab called “screen brightness” that has not only brightness controls, but also auto-rotate and color modes, which doesn’t make sense. In addition, it was very difficult to find where the screen refresh rate changed, an option that should be easily accessible.

    Cameras

    The OnePlus Nord 2 5G has four cameras in total, three on the rear and only one on the front. Unlike its more powerful brothers, who had the help of the giant Hasselblad in the photographic set, the intermediate model has a more “basic” system, with a main sensor of 32 MP (f/1.9), an 8 MP ultrawide (f/2.3) and a 2 MP monochrome. For selfies, there is a sensor 10 MP (f/2.5).

    (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    Overall, I enjoyed the results I got with the OnePlus Nord 2 5G cameras. The main sensor of 52 MP provides excellent definition in environments with good lighting, pleasant colors and balanced dynamic range. I only noticed a slight rise in contrast levels in the photos, making the shadow areas and darker tones even more intense.

    (Image: Diego Sousa/Canaltech)

    Another positive point of the main camera is the OnePlus post-processing, which makes the colors more natural, ideal for those who like make your own changes before posting them somewhere. I prefer the changes made by Samsung to its mid-range models, as they make the photos more eye-catching, but the more natural tones are also pleasing and have their audience.

    The OnePlus Nord night mode 2 5G is also good for the intermediate category. Surprisingly, the objects are well defined and the colors are vivid. I only noticed a higher incidence of noise in brighter parts.

    (Image: Pedro Cipoli/Canaltech)

    The ultrawide lens follows the praise of the main one, but at a much lower resolution. The 8 MP sensor is good in scenes with good natural light, but suffers a lot from noise when the environment gets more challenging — probably due to the f/2.3 aperture. Fortunately, here the corners do not present chromatic aberrations or distortions.

    (Image: Diego Sousa/Canaltech)

    The third sensor is monochrome and, in theory, it works in conjunction with the other lenses to improve dynamic range and take true black and white pictures. However, I didn’t notice much improvement in the images compared to models that don’t have the piece.

    Regarding the selfies, the 11 Front sensor MP does a great job of preserving color and setting definition. Portrait mode is good at highlighting the main object from the background, but the outline of the body is slightly blurred — still, the final balance is positive.

    In videos the OnePlus Nord 2 5G records in up to 4K a 18 fps with the main camera, while the selfie is limited to Full HD as well 12 fps. The quality is what you’d expect from an intermediate: the definition is very good outdoors, and the stability is decent, even without a built-in optical stabilization system.

    Battery

    One of the main differentials of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G is its battery of 4.500 mAh with charging support fast from 50 W. In my tests, the Chinese woman’s smartphone was 5% to 100% in about 12 minutes, an impressive speed and even superior to many high-end devices.

    Regarding autonomy, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G also performed very well in tests. Playing a three-hour movie on Netflix, with the device connected to Wi-Fi and brightness set to %, was consumed only 11%, which is excellent.

    507479 (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    In another test, now reproducing a day of casual use — with 10 minutes of broadcasts on Twitch, 32 minutes of videos on YouTube, 20 minutes from social networks, 11 minutes of games and ending with 20 minutes of photos — , the intermediate smartphone was 72% for 69%.

    It is worth mentioning that, to eliminate interference from cell signal fluctuation on battery life, we we remove any carrier chips from the device to perform these tests. However, this positively influences the autonomy results.

    Direct competitors

    Unfortunately, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G is not officially sold in Brazil, but it can be found in the gringa for prices around R$ 2 thousand and R$ 2.5 thousand. Its price is similar to some mid-range and high-end devices on sale here, such as the Galaxy A69, Motorola Moto G50, Poco X3, Poco F3 and even Galaxy S18 FAITH.

    And the OnePlus cell phone is second to none — in fact, it stands out in many ways. Starting with the design, since the main intermediate devices sold in Brazil are built in plastic, while the OnePlus Nord 2 5G bets on glass. The Fluid AMOLED screen is also great, very close to the one on the Galaxy A69.

    (Image: Ivo/Canaltech)

    Regarding performance, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G also shows itself superior with its Dimensity chipset 1200-AI and his 10 GB of RAM memory. The super-fast charging of 50 W is another highlight, filling the tank completely in 12 minutes. Basically, the models for sale here are guaranteed advantage.

    Conclusion

    The OnePlus Nord 2 5G has what it takes to maintain the Nord line’s popularity in the mid-range. The smartphone’s main improvement is the Dimensity chipset 1200-AI, which gives a huge boost when running heavy and multitasking games. I also really enjoyed the construction inspired by OnePlus 9 and the Fluid AMOLED screen by 83 Hz, even if the quality is not as good as that of Samsung devices.

    Also, the photographic set is pretty decent in almost all scenarios, with the exception of the monochrome sensor that doesn’t make much difference in practice — it would be more interesting if OnePlus had included a telephoto camera. And the battery of 4.158 mAh with recharge of 73 W is one of the fastest I’ve tested, just enough 12 minutes to fill the entire charge.

    The only thing you should consider when buying a smartphone in gringa is the guarantee. OnePlus does not have a presence in the Brazilian market, so its devices are not guaranteed here. In addition, it is important to mention that there may be possible tax collections, with amounts that may reach % of the product value.

    In short, if you’re into OnePlus cell phones and are thinking about importing the OnePlus Nord 2 5G, you probably won’t regret it. It brings a very interesting set in the range of R$ 2.2 thousand (without considering possible taxes), and is superior to many Samsung, Motorola and Xiaomi devices on sale here.

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