A year ago OnePlus surprised with the OnePlus Nord. The company was betting on one of the most demanded markets in Spain: the mid-range. The company’s commitment to offer a phone, that “OnePlus seal”, to a lower-priced smartphone without making too many sacrifices. And it was a success.
The first Nord has been one of the most sought-after mobiles in Spain, and the Nord family has managed to penetrate the European market, representing 35% of the company’s income on the continent. The bet is clear and it is the way to go, and more after the integration with Oppo. So today the OnePlus Nord 2 was presented, the update of the most advanced model in this range.
The OnePlus Nord 2 arrives with a price that starts at 399 eurosHowever, it has not been the only announcement of the company. The company led by Pete Lau has also launched the OnePlus Buds Pro (149 euros), wireless headphones with noise cancellation with which it also wants to compete in a growing market and where there are more and more alternatives.
During the last week at OMICRONO we have tested the OnePlus Nord 2, a complete update of the original model, which comes for the first time with a MediaTek chip, a renewed design and focusing the bet on the user experience through camera, battery and that OnePlus seal that is expected from a mobile of the brand.
Looking at the OnePlus 9
The OnePlus Nord 2 breaks with the design line that began with the OnePlus Nord and was later continued by the OnePlus Nord CE 5G to thus bet on a design that inevitably recalls the OnePlus 9 launched in March this year.
We have a mobile with a 6.43-inch flat screen perforated in the upper left corner, with dimensions of 158.9 mm high, 73.2 mm wide, 8.25 mm thick and a weight of 189 grams. It thus preserves the proportion of the original Nord, being comfortable to use.
In appearance it is almost traced to the OnePlus 9. It lacks the Hasselblad seal, which is reserved for the high-end range and that the finish is different, having a glass finish without a mirror effect as well as sides finished in plastic that imitate metal well.
The Nord 2 keeps the Alert Slider for notifications on the right side next to the off button, the volume on the other side, dual speakers, USB-C connection and double space for the nano-SIM card, which this time both can be 5G.
Performance: hello MediaTek
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the new Nord 2 is the chip it equips. Not unexpectedly, since the company announced weeks ago with which processor it was going to come, but because it was the first time that OnePlus opted for a MediaTek chip instead of continuing to use one from Qualcomm.
Company sources explain that this does not mean that they will not continue to collaborate with the North American company, but that they saw the opportunity to improve the user experience with respect to the previous generation in this price range, have 5G, and enhance management of the cameras. Something in which they have put special effort.
The truth is that the MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI of 6 nanometers, moves very well and has a performance according to what you would expect from the best OnePlus Nord of the year. In the tests that we have carried out this week we have played with it, used many applications and taken quite a few photos and it has moved freely and without getting hot. You really notice a leap in agility over the previous generation.
Oxygen OS moves well and smoothly and, despite intensive use with games, does not get hot. From OnePlus they explain that with this chip they have achieved 65% faster CPU performance and 125% higher GPU performance compared to the performance in the OnePlus Nord of July 2020, which equipped the Snapdragon 750G processor of Qualcomm.
The MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI is accompanied by an 8 or 12 GB LPDDR4X RAM, which will go pairs to 128 and 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage, as well as an ARM G77 MC9 GPU. The unit that we have tested is the one with the largest capacity and is enough for what the vast majority of people, even high-level ones, look for in a phone.
The chip footprint is also noticeable on the screen. The Nord 2 has an AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels (410 dpi) that maintains the refresh rate of 90 hz and the HDR10 + certification, but has also now gained improvements in image performance in applications such as Instagram or YouTube. and enables real-time HDR to HDR10 + remapping.
The performance is accompanied by a good autonomy response. OnePlus continues to bet on a 4,500 mAh dual-cell battery that allows to maintain temperature and charge the phone faster. Making daily use of the phone we have finished the day without problems, although the days that we have made really intensive use we have had to recharge it before going to sleep. Something common if we spend hours with games like Asphalt 9 O PUBG.
In any case, one of the strengths of this Nord is in the improvement of fast charging compared to the previous generation. Now it has Warp Charge 65, the same technology as the OnePlus 9, thus going from last year’s 30W to 65W. This translates into being able to load from 0 to 70% the phone in 15 minutes and completely in about 15 more minutes. Everything, without raising the temperature.
Camera: better than the Nord
One of the fundamental points that the company has made to opt for the MediaTek processor is for photographic management. The chip has new environmental recognition algorithms that allow it to detect more scenarios than before and in a more realistic way. Thus being able to compensate lights and tones in night shots or with strong lights.
However, beyond the magic of the software, the camera muscle of this Nord 2 is in its main lens of 50 megapixels with an aperture of f / 1.88 and mounting the Sony IMX766 sensor that the OnePlus 9 Pro carried in the wide angle. The difference with the main camera of the first generation Nord is palpable, and is that this sensor is capable of capturing 56% more light than the previous model.
The main lens also features an Optical Stabilization System (OIS) that allows photos to be less shaky, as well as improved video recording. It is capable of recording 4K video at 30 fps but now includes DOL-HDR technology with which the sensor takes different exposures to combine them in the video, where MediaTek management is key.
Beyond this main sensor, the OnePlus Nord 2 also features an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens with a 119.7-degree field of view and an aperture of f / 2.25, and a 2-megapixel monochrome lens with an aperture of f / 2.5. Both are noticeable far from the main one.
In practice, the OnePlus Nord 2 invites you to use mostly the 50 megapixel main lens, which is the one with which we will have better results. The wide-angle camera is competent in good light conditions but you can still see differences in definition with the main sensor (something that will probably be adjusted in future Oxygen updates). The monochrome lens for its part is still dispensable, since its use is restricted to improving photos taken directly in black and white, a specific case among users.
Quite more interesting is the front camera. OnePlus has chosen to mount a 32 megapixel lens with the Sony IMX615 sensor on the Nord 2, with an aperture of f / 2.45. This is the largest sensor OnePlus has ever put in a front camera.
It is clear that OnePlus’ ambition with this phone is to captivate the TikTok generation and there it cannot fail. The truth is that it performs well in selfies with good processing despite aggressive lights or low lighting (which it supports through the camera app with light to the
Another improvement of the front camera is the possibility of taking a group selfie of up to five people with face recognition of all of them. A functionality that not only allows the focus of these to be better, but also allows to apply additional software to the faces.
I buy it?
The OnePlus Nord 2 hits the market under the label of favorite. With the challenge of surpassing the success achieved by its predecessor last year and with the arguments to do so. It moves smoothly, has improved the cameras and battery and has refined the design. There is no weak point compared to the previous generation where this OnePlus Nord 2 can lose.
The Nord 2 also maintains the price, 399 and 499 euros for the two storage versions. With which, the question is clear: do I buy it? The quick answer is yes, a resounding yes. If you are looking to renew your mobile for around 400 euros, the OnePlus Nord 2 has almost everything you could want from a high-end phone at a contained price. Wireless charging or greater camera versatility is missing, but it is understandable because that would inevitably affect the price.
It makes less sense to switch from last year’s OnePlus Nord to this one. The improvements in performance, battery or cameras are noticeable, but they are not so radical as to have the need to renew the Nord round of 2020 for the new version of 2021. It would make sense for the most enthusiastic of the firm, but in the end it is not you are going to appreciate an abysmal jump.
Almost the biggest rival to the OnePlus Nord 2 are not just Realme, Poco or Oppo, but OnePlus’ own offering. The user experience of Oxygen OS is one of those that loyalty to the user and the Nord 2 will also have to face the recent OnePlus Nord CE 5G and the OnePlus 8T, phones that move in the same price range and with which OnePlus starts to show variety of options.
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