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OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Buy It For The Experience
OnePlus' "T" series of smartphones are known for offering a refined experience with up-to-date specifications. The same can be said for the recently introduced OnePlus Nord 2T, powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 1300 SoC with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.
- Premium all-glass design
- Compact formfactor
- In-display fingerprint sensor
- Alert slider
- Cannot sustain peak performance
- 90Hz display
The Nord series delivers the "Core" OnePlus experience at a pocket-friendly price. Does the OnePlus Nord 2T has what it takes to be a OnePlus smartphone? Here is my full review of the OnePlus Nord 2T, which starts at Rs. 28,999 in India.
OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Design
The design of the OnePlus Nord 2T is a winner in my books. The OnePlus Nord 2T can be considered a medium-sized smartphone that is light and easy to carry around. There is a glass back panel (finally) with the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection just like the display. However, the frame is still made using plastic, which does take away a few points from the design.
The alert slider is one thing that we associated with a OnePlus smartphone, and the Nord 2T has one. While even more expensive smartphones like the OnePlus 10R miss out on the alert slider, the inclusion of the same on the OnePlus Nord 2T makes it a special offering, hence, the OnePlus Nord 2T can be considered a Nord flagship.
The overall fit and finish of the OnePlus Nord 2T make it look like one well-designed smartphone, including the dual circular camera setup at the back with a 50MP primary sensor with OIS. If you are someone who values look and feel over performance, then you will love the OnePlus Nord 2T.
OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Display
The OnePlus Nord 2T has a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. While this is nowhere near the cutting-edge technology, features like the in-display fingerprint sensor make it feel premium, especially when compared to the devices like the Poco F4 and the iQOO Neo 6 with a 120Hz AMOLED screen.
The Nord 2T has a punch hole on the left corner, and I personally prefer this setup over a centered punch hole. The device supports HDR10+ content streaming on YouTube, and Prime Video. However, unlike the Poco F4 (review), there is no Dolby Vision support here. The Nord 2T's screen also has a bit of a chin at the bottom, just like most mid-range smartphones.
While the 6.43-inch display makes the OnePlus Nord 2T a medium-sized smartphone, the device is easy to carry around. However, if you are a gamer (who spends over 3 hours a day) then we recommend you get something else with a 6.7-inch screen for a more immersive gaming experience.
OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Cameras
The OnePlus Nord 2T has a triple camera setup at the back with a 50MP primary wide-angle, 8MP ultra-wide angle, and a 2MP mono lens. The primary camera uses the Sony IMX766 sensor with OIS support and 4K video recording.
At the front, there is a 32MP camera with support for 1080p video recording capability. By default, the primary camera takes 12MP images and the selfie camera takes 8MP images using 4-in-1 pixel binning technology. The ultra-wide angle lens takes native 8MP shots.
The primary 50MP camera does an excellent job of capturing detailed and vivid pictures in most lighting situations. In fact, even when digitally zoomed, the pictures still retain a lot of details, and the OIS technology helps to capture shake-free images even in night mode with extended exposure time.
Here are some shots captured using the primary camera of the OnePlus Nord 2T. Meanwhile, you can also watch our full review on YouTube to get more information on the videography and photography capabilities of the OnePlus Nord 2T.
While I welcome the inclusion of a dedicated ultra-wide angle camera, I was not impressed with the output. The photos from the 8MP camera look good if there is plenty of lighting. In bad lighting conditions, the ultra-wide angle camera takes noisy photos that lack details and clarity. Even the color science of the ultra-wide angle camera does not match with the primary camera.
Just like most of the smartphones in this price range, the OnePlus Nord 2T has a good primary camera paired with an ultra-wide angle lens. If you are going to buy this phone, then we suggest using the primary 50MP camera in most cases to get good photos and videos.
OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Performance
The OnePlus Nord 2T is based on the new MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC. The only difference between the Mediatek Dimensity 1200 and the Dimensity 1300 is the fact that the newer model comes with an improved AI engine and the rest of the specifications are identical to each other.
The Mediatek Dimensity 1300 is a great chip for normal day-to-day usage. Using social media apps, chatting, watching a video, listing to music, or even playing light games, the Dimensity 1300 handles these tasks with ease.
While there is plenty of performance on the Dimensity 1300, the Nord 2T cannot sustain the peak performance for more than 10 minutes as per our CPU stress test. Within 10 minutes, the peak CPU performance throttled down to 60 percent, although the phone didn't get that hot.
If you are a heavy gamer, then we recommend you to get a phone with chips like the Snapdragon 870 which is not only more powerful, but the devices like the Poco F4 can also sustain peak performance for a much longer period.
OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Software And Connectivity
Another strong reason for us to recommend the OnePlus Nord 2T over any other smartphone is the fact that the OnPlus Nord 2T with OxygenOS 12.1 based on Android 12 OS offers a much cleaner software experience when compared to devices from Realme, Xiaomi, Poco, and iQOO.
While OxygenOS 12.1 isn't as clean as previous iterations, it is still better than the competition. Except for Spotify and Netflix (which can be uninstalled), the Nord 2T does not include any unnecessary apps whatsoever.
The OnePlus Nord 2T has dual nano-SIM card slots with support for a 5G network on both slots. I tested the Nord 2T with an Airtel SIM card and I had no issue when it comes to cellular reception or call quality. The Nord 2T also supports Wi-Fi 6 (802.11/ax) for faster download and upload speeds.
OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Battery Life
The OnePlus Nord 2T has a 4,500 dual-cell battery with support for 80W SuperVOOC fast charging, and the fast charger is included in the box. The smartphone takes less than 30 minutes to fully charge the battery, and the device delivers over 6 hours of screen on time on regular (non-gaming) usage.
When compared to devices like the Poco F4, the OnePlus Nord 2T definitely delivers better battery life, which could be due to the smaller 90Hz display. Being a much smaller phone than the Poco F4, the OnePlus Nord 2T has a similar-sized battery and supports much faster charging.
OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Verdict
The OnePlus Nord 2T in my opinion offers the same OnePlus experience as more premium devices like the OnePlus 10R and the OnePlus 10 Pro at a much lower price tag. The OnePlus Nord 2T delivers good camera performance, a clean software experience, and 80W fast charging is also something that makes the device a compelling package.
While 90Hz AMOLED display and the Dimensity 1300 processors are holding back the Nord 2T when it comes to performance. If you want a modern 5G Android phone with clean UI, good battery life, and a premium design, then get the OnePlus Nord 2T.