The Nord series has been a roaring success for OnePlus, offering those looking for a mid-range phone a handset that does more than many at its price point, thanks to a raft of premium features.
OnePlus’ savvy stripped-down approach to the specs it offers in the Nord has done it well so far, so much that its latest version of the Nord, the OnePlus Nord 2T, kind of bucks this trend - offering feature upgrades that give the handset a premium feel, while still managing to keep the price, well, manageable.
We’ve been using the OnePlus Nord 2T for a while now: here are 5 things you need to know about OnePlus’ latest handset...
1 Design is decent, with the most original camera bump yet
From the front and sides, the OnePlus Nord 2T looks a lot like the OnePlus 10 Pro (read our OnePlus 10 Pro review). It’s a touch smaller in length, measuring 159.1mm, compared to the 10 Pro at 163mm. On the left side is the same volume rocker, on the right is the same power button and ring/vibrate/silence switch.
Flip it over, though, and that’s where things get a little different. There’s a Gorilla Glass back, like the front, which is great to see (and it has a lovely sand-blasted look and feel), with a plastic trim around the side of the device.
We would have preferred this to be aluminium but it’s the same trim that was found on the Nord 2 (read our OnePlus Nord 2 review) and that one has lasted well in our tests.
The colour of our review unit was Gray Shadow but there are other versions available, including a glossy Jade Fog finish.
The biggest change of all is with the camera bump. It’s… different, but in a good way. Even though there is a triple-camera system on the back, this is actually housed in two big round circles that are in a lozenge frame. It is the most unique-looking camera bump we have seen and we are really impressed with it.
2 The display is punchy and bright
When it comes to the display on the OnePlus Nord 2T, as you would expect it’s bright and punchy. It’s a large, 6.43 inch FHD+ AMOLED display that comes with HDR10+ support for video watching. While scrolling and the like is pretty seamless it is worth noting that it’s a 90Hz screen.
If you are a gamer and looking for the full 120Hz, then you would have to consider the OnePlus 10 Pro. Now, 90Hz isn’t a huge compromise but it is one place where the specs have been streamlined.
Watching Netflix’s Love, Death & Robots was a lot of fun on the Nord 2T, thanks to the HDR10 compatibility. It showcased the brightness of the screen brilliantly.
3 It borrows the OnePlus 10 Pro’s best features
OnePlus has already been busy this year, releasing both the budget-friendly OnePlus Nord CE2 and its latest flagship, the OnePlus 10 Pro. On the latter, one of the highlights of the handset was just how speedy you could charge the thing.
This was all down to something called 80W SUPERVOOC. It might sound like a wrestler but it's new charging tech that allows that phone to get a full day’s worth of power in just 15 minutes.
It’s fantastic to see this technology also available in the OnePlus Nord 2T. While the 4,500 mAh dual-cell battery lasted more than a day in our tests, it’s utterly convenient that you can charge it up in just 15 mins - to get to a full 100% then it’s around 30 minutes (this is some 120% faster than the original Nord).
4 An upgraded chipset means smoother performance
Now, this is interesting. The OnePlus Nord 2T has a new chipset and it’s the MediaTek Dimensity 1300. This is one of the first phones to use the chip and OnePlus promises myriad AI features that take advantage of the power of the thing.
We will talk about the camera flourishes this offers below, but from a pure performance point of view we are impressed. Flitting from games to social media, YouTube to Google Docs showed no lag and OnePlus has made it easy to swipe away any apps you don’t want to use.
The handset uses OxygenOS 12.1 based on Android 12 and, as Android skins go, it is definitely one of the best. We’re also a fan of the dark mode on offer and OnePlus has also tweaked power consumption when using the phone.
While the OnePlus 10 Pro is more powerful, thanks to its Snapdragon 8 chip, when it comes to the midrange, the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 looks like the one to beat.
5 Its camera tech is similar to the Nord 2 but is upgraded by AI
We have written about the camera bump but what about the camera tech? Well, if you are already a OnePlus user then you will be familiar with it.
For a start is the ‘third lens’. Yep, it’s that mono lens again. Now we like the idea of a dedicated B&W lens but are a little confused as to why OnePlus keeps taking it off and adding it to its lens line-up.
Cynics would say that the lens is only on there to get that ‘triple camera’ headline but the black-and-white images you can take on the phone are decent.
We just wish there was a dedicated section to mono in the camera app - as at the moment, you have to flip to the end of the filter section to find the three mono modes available. Again, the mono camera works well in portrait and you can tell it isn’t just a filter as if you put your finger over the lens, it reverts back to a colour image.
The rest of the cameras are also OnePlus veterans. The main camera uses the still brilliant 50 MP Sony IMX766, which is a large sensor and brings in a whole load of light. While the second lens is an 8MP ultra-wide camera which has a 120-degree field of view. Great, then, for those group shots.
OnePlus has also borrowed the front-facing camera from the OnePlus 10 Pro - it’s a 32MP lens.
The new chip in the phone comes into its own with the camera, particularly in the night shots. Low light shooting works really well (although we didn’t get up early enough to catch the super moon) and there’s a decent slow-mo on the video side of things. Couple this with 4K shooting, some AI colour processing and there’s a decent camera suite on board the Nord 2T.
OnePlus Nord 2T: Final Verdict
The OnePlus Nord 2T is another smart launch from OnePlus. While the OnePlus Nord CE2 - read our OnePlus Nord CE2 review - hit the lower mid-range end of the market, this is a stepping stone for those who want a premium phone at mid-range prices.
While we would have liked to have seen an 120Hz screen on the device and this current triple camera setup feels like it’s the last time it will be used in a OnePlus device, the specs on show are impressive - as is the brand-new chip inside.
Couple this with a price that starts at £369 for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant and what you have is another affordable powerhouse.
The OnePlus Nord 2T will be available from OnePlus from 24 May.