OnePlus Nord 2T review

OnePlus has built up quite a loyal following. While there are still plenty of takers for a high-end OnePlus phone, many people want to check out the brand but don’t have the propensity to pay the top prices. That’s where the brand’s Nord series comes in, specifically the new OnePlus Nord 2T. It’s clear that the phone aims to be a cheaper alternative to the high-end OnePlus 10 Pro flagship. At the same time, it’s not a direct replacement for the 10 Pro or 9 Pro and sits somewhere below those two more expensive siblings. I’ve been using the Nord 2T for a few days, and here’s what I think of the top mid-range Android smartphone.

OnePlus Nord 2T review: Design and aesthetics

The curious thing about the new Nord 2T is that it reminds me of the original OnePlus One with a sandstone finish on the back and the iconic alert slider. I missed those of a mid-range OnePlus phone and I’m glad the brand brought back the classic elements that made OnePlus devices different from other smartphones. To me, the Nord 2T feels like stepping back in time, but it’s a smart thing to do in 2022.

The OnePlus Nord 2T reminds me of the original sandstone finish of the OnePlus One, although it’s a glass back and not quite the same. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Either way, the phone is very attractive and my review unit came in “Gray Shadow”. Instead of a grippy texture, the new phone uses smooth glass on the back. Otherwise, the rest of the phone is pretty standard for a mid-range smartphone in 2022. The Nord 2T has a plastic frame on the sides, Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, and a large camera module on one side.

Although I found it comfortable and easy to manage, it’s not exactly a size that suits all users. Someone coming from a small phone might find the Nord 2T’s 6.43-inch screen huge. A transition to this big-screen phone might be a challenge for some. There’s a USB-C port at the bottom but no headphone jack – something that’s becoming increasingly common on smartphones at all price points.

OnePlus Nord 2T review: Display and speakers

On the front, there’s a 6.43-inch 1080p display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen is flat, rather than curved at the sides, and a punch-hole 32MP selfie camera is cut out at the top to the left. The screen is exactly the same as the one we saw on the Nord 2, but it’s not bad. The screen (it’s an AMOLED panel, after all) is crisp enough to make your apps, photos, videos, and websites appear and look even crisper and easier to watch. However, it would have been great to see a slightly improved display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

OnePlus Nord 2T gets a 6.43-inch 1080p display with a 90Hz refresh rate. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

One thing I would really like to point out is the sound coming from the speakers. Although the Nord 2T uses stereo speakers (a down-firing speaker on one side and its earpiece on the other), the audio quality isn’t on the same level as you would find on Samsung’s Galaxy A series phones. The speakers are decent for listening to casual music but lack depth and richness.

OnePlus Nord 2T review: Performance and battery

The Nord 2T uses a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 processor, which is a step up from the Dimensity 1200 that powered the Nord 2. It comes with either 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, depending on the model. The Dimensity 1300 feels noticeably faster and will run apps and games smoothly on the device. There were no dizzying improvements in our testing.

During day-to-day use, launching apps and playing games like Oceanhorn and Sonic 2, browsing Chrome and switching between apps, the Nord 2T felt as fast as any smartphone that I have been using for the past few months. It handled graphics-intensive games like Genshin Impact, but that’s also where you could find a performance difference between the Nord 2T and the OnePlus 10 Pro.

The phone offers capable performance for the price. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The phone ships with OxygenOS 12.1 based on Android 12, and the company promises two major Android updates and three years of security updates. I like the OnePlus version of Android. The interface is clean and the current incarnation of OxygenOS can be heavily customized, something enthusiasts have come to expect from a OnePlus phone.

Battery life is good, a full day on a single charge. The main selling point of the OnePlus Nord 2T is support for 80W SuperVOOC wired charging – and that includes the charger in the box. I was able to fill the Nord 2T’s 4500mAh battery from zero to 65% in just under half an hour. I consider fast charging to be an important feature to consider when buying a new smartphone.

In addition to betting on 80W charging for the Nord 2T, the device also supports 5G, making it upgradable. However, the phone does not have an official IP rating for dust and water resistance.

The OnePlus Nord 2T has a 50MP primary camera. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

OnePlus Nord 2T review: Camera

You don’t get the premium camera performance of the OnePlus 10 Pro here, but unless you’re a pro user, you won’t notice the difference or necessarily need a phone that offers outstanding mobile photography experience. The Nord 2T has a triple camera system on the back: a 50MP main sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP monochrome sensor for black-and-white shots. The main camera captures very good photos in bright light but in low light the camera starts to suffer. OIS is a lifesaver but autofocus isn’t great, which I observed in my tests.

An example of a camera shot outdoors with the OnePlus Nord 2T’s ultra-wide mode. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
An example of the camera taken outdoors with the OnePlus Nord 2T. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
Another sample camera taken with the OnePlus Nord 2T. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)
The main camera performs well outdoors and in a well-lit environment. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The 8MP ultra-wide camera is pretty average but can produce some really good wide-angle shots depending on the subject and the bright light. Meanwhile, selfies taken using the 32MP front camera were bright and attractive, although lacking in fine detail. The video capture capability is quite good. The Nord 2T can shoot up to 4K at 30 fps or 1080p at 60 fps.

OnePlus Nord 2T review: should you buy it?

The Nord 2T isn’t reinventing how a mid-range smartphone should be in 2022, and that’s fine. That said, there’s a lot to like about the Nord 2T and what it brings to the table. It’s fast, the software is snappy and sleek, the screen is good, the battery life is great, and the cameras are reliable. Sure, the Nord 2T isn’t an exciting phone, but not all phones have to be made to feel special. I think OnePlus has nailed a good all-rounder. That’s the point.

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