The Nord was a breakout phone for OnePlus. In a way, It was a return to form, a phone for a relatively low price that got you most of the flagship experience but for much less, the fluid AMOLED screen, in-screen fingerprint scanner, fast Warp Charging and more and it worked, the Nord quickly became one of OnePluses best selling phones ever. Earlier this year OnePlus launched the Nord CE 5G, a spiritual sidestep to that original Nord, and one that I have actually been using as my daily phone since I reviewed it, but the new Nord 2 is a full-on refresh.
Starting with the screen, it is the same size at 6.43”, 2400x1080p resolution at 90Hz for that nice and silky smooth navigation, likely with the same 2.5D semi-curved glass as the original Nord, Nice! The screen gets some new superpowers thanks to the new SoC inside, including AI Colour boost and AI resolution boost, meaning static images like in Instagram and Snapchat can be made to look higher resolution than they are, and videos can have their colours more vibrant.
But what is that new SoC? Unlike every OnePlus phone prior, the Nord 2 actually eschews a Snapdragon chip for a semi-custom, top of the line chip from MediaTek’s Dimensity line, the Dimensity 1200-AI is a custom version of the Dimensity 1200 made in partnership with MediaTek to amp up the AI performance of this chip, which they say is handily able to beat the Snapdragon 870. The Dimensity 1200 has 1x Cortex A78 core at 3Ghz, 3x Cortex A78 cores at 2.6Ghz and 4x Cortex A55 cores at 2Ghz, and a 9 core Mali-G77 GPU. The Dimensity line up is MediaTek’s dedicated 5G set of chips and they have practically every 5G spec you could ask for outside of mmWave, MediaTek decided to focus on the specs that people are going to use, and outside of the US, where MediaTek has next to no user base, Sub6 5G is the predominant standard, so fill out that.
Next is the camera, and I am pretty impressed with this. Instead of reusing the Nord’s camera, or getting whatever cheap 48MP or 64MP camera they can find, OnePlus went and took the IMX766 50MP sensor that was ultrawide in the OnePlus 9 Pro and made it the main camera here, huzzah! It likely doesn’t have the fancy lens technology used to reduce distortions that the 9 PRo has because this is the standard view, not an ultrawide, but I am impressed nevertheless. The Ultrawide on the Nord 2 is less inspiring, it’s a run of the mill 8MP unit, likely the same as the Nord CE, and the third lens is a 2MP monochrome lens, as in the Nord and the OnePlus 9 series, not my favourite lens, but hey, it’s a OnePlus thing. Upfront the selfie camera gets a bit of an upgrade, instead of the standard IMX471 16MP, the Nord 2 uses a 32MP Sony IMX615 sensor instead.
For battery, the Nord 2 has a familiar dual-cell 4500mAh pack and can be charged using its top of line Warp Charge 65T, the same as the OnePlus 9 Pro, once again, OnePlus trying to position this as high as it can. No Wireless charging here, but I can say that even though I have the 50w Warp Charge wireless stand, I mostly charge my OnePlus 9 Pro via the cable. There are two variants of the Nord 2, an 8GB/128GB variant for £399 and a 12GB/256GB variant for £469 and it comes in two Colours, Grey Sierra and Blue Haze, with Grey Sierra being both variants, but Blue Haze only being the 8GB model.
The 12GB/256GB model will be available from OnePlus themselves, Amazon UK and John Lewis in the UK, whereas the 8GB/128GB model adds carrier availability into the mix, with Three UK and O2 stepping up to carry them.
We look forward to getting our Nord 2 unit in for review, this should be a hit.