OnePlus is once again launching some new devices to pad out its lower end portfolio, how much that’s needed is up for debate, but today OnePlus took the wraps off of the relatively well-kept secret (up until this week at least) Nord 2T 5G and Nord CE2 Lite 5G.
Starting with the Nord 2T 5G, this is an incredibly subtle mid-cycle refresh of the Nord 2 that I have been using as my primary device since I reviewed it. The Nord 2T has the same 6.43″ 1080p Fluid AMOLED Screen at 90Hz, with an impeccable in-display fingerprint scanner, the front-facing camera has been upgraded from a 16MP Sony unit to a Sony 32MP IMX615, in fact, its the same one that’s used in the OnePlus 10 Pro. Speaking of things that are in the 10 Pro being ported over, the 80w SuperVOOC charging is here, up from the 65w of my Nord 2, letting you go from 1% to 67% on the 4500mAh battery in just 15 minutes or 0-100% in 27 minutes, 5 minutes faster than the Nord 2, it doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you forgot to plug in overnight. You’re rushing in the morning brushing your teeth and getting ready, the quicker you can top up, the better. The rear cameras are unchanged, a 50MP Sony IMX766, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2mp depth camera that shouldn’t be there. The Nord 2T gets an upgraded chipset from the Dimensity 1200-AI from MediaTek to the Dimensity 1300, a mild clock speed refresh of an already fantastic chip, nothing to worry about here. Lastly, the Nord 2T software launches with OxygenOS 12.1 and Android 12, something the Nord 2 hasn’t gotten a whiff of yet and like all new OnePlus phones, 2 years of android platform updates and 3 years of security updates.
Next up is the Nord CE2 Lite 5G, as if the name couldn’t get any worse. the Nord CE2 Lite 5G is actually a pretty different device. First off the screen is a larger 6.59″ IPS LCD at 120Hz, instead of a 90Hz AMOLED, however, this does mean that the under-display fingerprint scanner (woo) has been changed to a side-mounted capacitive one (boo). The Dimensity 900 has been swapped for a Snapdragon 695, a chipset we haven’t really seen much of, but in specs, it’s a mild step down for performance going from Cortex A78 cores at 2.4Ghz to Cortex A77 at 2.2Ghz, but the Adreno GPU should be a tad stronger than the Mali G68 in the Dimensity 900, both are made on a 6nm process (one TSMC and the other Samsung) so should sip power. When it comes time to recharge however that 5000mAh cell is going to be juicing up from a 33w SuperVOOC plug, which is included in the box going from 1-50% in just 30 minutes, not quite as good as the Nord 2T, but with a more power-efficient chipset it should even it out I think. Camera-wise the main camera is a 64MP OmniVision OV64B, a pretty competent sensor used in a multitude of OnePlus and BBK brand phones, then there are 2 2MP cameras that should be ignored, a depth and a macro camera.
Next is an interesting one, the Nord Buds. These are OnePlus’ first Nord branded audio product and these look funky, I like the flat design with the metallic disc on the outside of the stem, they look very different and more modern than the OnePlus Buds Pro. specs-wise these have 12.4mm titanium-coated dynamic drivers, much like the Buds Z2, the Nord Buds support Dolby Atmos (if your device and media source support it). There are 4 mics on the Nord Buds, none of them are fully noise cancelling, but they do monitor some background noise and try to suppress it, along with the good seal that the silicone tips bring. OnePlus claims the Nord buds will run for 7 hours out of the case, and 30 hours when you include the case recharges, which is nice, what’s even cooler though is recharge time, a 10-minute juice in the case gets you 5 hours of use!. The Buds are IP55 resistant, so sweatproof, but I wouldn’t wear these in during monsoon season out on a walk. Lastly, the Buds support Bluetooth 5.2, and in their standard latency mode have just 94ms of lag, not too shabby. Of course, if you have a OnePlus device the fast pair dialogue shows you battery life when you open the case, this is very useful and inside the Bluetooth settings you can change device settings, on non-OnePlus devices this will need to be done through the HeyMelody app from the Play Store.
So what about price and availability? the Nord 2T comes in 2 colours, Jade Fog and Grey Shadow, and two capacities 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage for £369 and £469 respectively, thankfully unlike previous devices you can get either colour in either capacity, nice!. The Nord CE2 Lite 5G is only coming in one capacity, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but in two colours, Black Dust and Blue Tide. Lastly is the Nord buds, There only appears to be a black colour and they come in at £49, a rather good price if you ask me. All the devices will go on Sale on May 24th at varying locations. the Nord 2T and CE2 Lite 5G being OnePlus.com, Amazon and John Lewis, and the Nord Buds being on OnePlus.com initially with amazon later on.