OnePlus has built its reputation on value-for-money mid-range and flagship-class smartphones, and last year I was impressed with the OnePlus Nord 2 5G, which costs in the UK at from £369 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. We now have an updated version in the form of the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G. Will we be impressed in the same way?
There are two variants of the Nord 2T 5G. The entry-level 8GB/128GB model costs £369/€399, while the top-end 12GB/256GB model – which I was sent in for review – costs £469/€499. Like its predecessor, the Nord 2T 5G is not officially available in the US, although you can find the 8GB/128GB version on line for $499.
My review handset had a deep slate gray back that OnePlus calls Gray Shadow. The matte finish is smooth but not as slippery as many, and the glass back stayed admirably fingerprint-free. This color is available in 8GB/128GB and 12GB/256GB configurations.
There’s also a pale green option, which OnePlus calls Jade Fog. Although I haven’t seen this model, it appears to have a more reflective and possibly more slippery glass finish. If you prefer this color, you’ll have to settle for the entry-level configuration.
The rectangular camera bump protrudes considerably from the back, meaning the phone isn’t particularly stable on a desk when the screen is pushed. You can use the supplied bumper box to fix this, but it will hide the color and texture of the back plate.
There are two large circles in the camera bump, with a single lens in the top one and two in the bottom one. I found the mix of symmetry and compensation quite appealing. On the front, there’s a single punch-hole camera on the top left of the screen. The screen itself sits in small bezels that provide a screen to body ratio 85.8%.
OnePlus’ helpful alert slider, which lets you switch between silent, vibrate and ring modes, sits on the top right edge of the handset. The alert slider has a dotted finish, making it easy to find by touch alone and hard to confuse with the slick power button just below. There’s a volume rocker on the left edge, while the bottom houses the USB-C charging/connection port, a speaker grill, and a SIM caddy that can accommodate two SIM cards.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a mid-range handset, there’s no IP Rating for dust and water resistance.
The AMOLED display has changed little from last year’s specs. It measures 6.43 inches on the diagonal, has a resolution of 2,400 by 1,080 pixels (20:9, 409ppi), a refresh rate of 90Hz, and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. Last year’s OnePlus Nord 2 had the same size AMOLED display with the same resolution and refresh rate. I loved him then, and I love him now.
OnePlus says the display now has two ambient light sensors to ensure automatic brightness changes are better calibrated. It’s one of those little usability tweaks that can make a big difference in day-to-day use.
I’ve lamented the loss of Reading Mode in previous reviews of OnePlus handsets, and I do so again here. It’s a real shame that there’s no monochrome setting that can automatically start when e-book readers – or, indeed, any other application – are started. But it was gone in the previous version of this handset, and it’s still gone.
There’s a grayscale setting tucked away in Bedtime mode, which can be scheduled to turn on at set times or manually activated via a Quick Settings menu icon. This is also an option in Eye Comfort mode. It’s a start, but if grayscale is available, it would be nice to be able to enable it when specific apps are open.
Other screen tweaks include the ability to set the refresh rate to 90Hz or 60Hz and apply “Video color boost”. The higher refresh rate and improved colors will both result in higher battery usage.
The stereo loudspeakers broadcast the sound via the grille located on the lower edge of the chassis and the earpiece of the handset above the screen. There’s a lot of volume, but the audio quality is among the worst I’ve heard in a long time. There’s no bass to speak of, the highs are harsh, and the overall sound is fuzzy. This isn’t the handset to buy if you like listening to audio from your phone rather than using headphones.
According to OnePlus, the Nord 2T 5G is first to market with the new MediaTek Dimension 1300 chipset. This offers a decent 458 (single core) and 2700 (multi core). The multi-core result is in the same range as the Honor 50 (2885) and last year’s Nord 2 (2518), although the single-core result lags behind (458, compared to 775 and 733 for the Honor 50 and the North 2 respectively).
My review handset’s 256GB of storage had 233GB of free space after Android 12 and OxygenOS 12.1 took their part. There is no MicroSD card to add external storage. Now that OnePlus is firmly integrated into the Oppo stable, there are many similarities in handset features across brands, and OxygenOS shares a lot with Oppo’s. ColorOSso OnePlus has lost a good part of what made it unique.
Still, the OnePlus shelf – accessible by swiping down from the top right of the screen – is distinctive and brings you to a configurable set of apps. Unfortunately, this is more of a hindrance than a help for those like me who just want to swipe anywhere and get the standard Android menu. The shelf can be disabled if you don’t like it, and the OnePlus Nord 2T largely avoids excessive bloatware.
Although there are three rear cameras, only two – 50MP f/1.8 wide angle and 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle (120°) – really matter. The third member of the trio is a 2MP f/2.2 mono camera which is used to enhance black and white photos taken with the wide and ultra-wide units. The front camera is a 32MP f/2.4 wide-angle shooter.
It’s pretty much the same camera setup as on the year-old OnePlus Nord 2. Still, the Nord 2T takes perfectly acceptable photos, and OnePlus has increased low-light shooting via software to make night shots brighter. That said, OnePlus would do well to replace the mono camera with something else. 4K video shooting is limited to 30 fps and 1080p slow motion video is shot at 120/480 fps, 720p video at 240/960 fps.
OnePlus has equipped the Nord 2T with a 4500mAh battery. Despite numerous attempts, he completely refused to perform the PC Mark for Android Work 3.0 battery life test for me. However, my three-hour YouTube test saw it drop 18% from a full charge, suggesting total battery life of just under 17 hours. In the real world, I easily went a full 24 hours without needing to recharge.
When a charge was needed, the 80W SuperVOOC charger was excellent. On one occasion I started charging with the handset at 12% and it went to 39% in five minutes, 60% in 10 minutes, 76% in 15 minutes, 91% in 20 minutes and 100 % after 25 minutes.
The OnePlus Nord 2T is a frustrating handset in that it shares some of its key screen and camera features with a year-old phone, while pairing them with fast charging and an updated chipset. day. And while the speakers are really awful, the alert slider is awesome.
Future buyers must clearly weigh the pros and cons, but it is clear that, for the price, the OnePlus Nord 2T remains an attractive mid-range contender.
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Specifications
|Dimensions||73.2mm x 159.1mm x 8.2mm|
|Display size/type||6.43-inch AMOLED|
|Resolution||2400×1080 (20:9, 409ppi)|
|Color gamut support||sRGB, DCI-P3|
|protection||Gorilla Glass 5|
|SE||Android 12, OxygenOS 12.1|
|chipset||MediaTek Dimension 1300|
|RAM||8 GB, 12 GB|
|Storage||128 GB, 256 GB|
|microSD card slot||Nope|
|Battery charging||80W SuperVOOC (1-100% in 27 mins)|
|Rear cameras||50MP f/1.8 wide angle (OIS), 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle (120°, EIS), 2MP f/2.2 monochrome|
|Video (rear cameras)||4K at 30 fps, 1080p at 30/60/120/480 fps, 720p at 30/60/240/960 fps|
|Front camera||32MP f/2.4 wide-angle (EIS)|
|Video (front camera)||1080p and 720p @ 30fps, time lapse|
|Networks||5G (SA, NSA), 4G LTE, WCDMA, GSM|
|Wireless||WiFi 6 (802.11ax)|
|Positioning||GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, NavIC|
|Sensors||in-display fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, e-compass, gyroscope, ambient light, SAR, proximity, sensor core|
|Ports and locations||USB-C, dual Nano-SIM|
|Buttons||support for screen gestures and navigation, volume (left), power (right), alert slider (right)|
|3.5mm audio jack||Nope|
|In the box||OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, SUPERVOOC 80W power adapter, USB-C (USB 2.0) cable, phone case, screen protector (pre-applied), SIM tray ejector, welcome letter, quick start guide, service information security and warranty card|
|Price||£369/€399 (8GB/128GB) • £469/€256 (12GB/256GB)|
Alternatives to consider
The mid-range 5G smartphone market is an increasingly crowded place, and there’s plenty to choose from around the $400 mark. We’ve highlighted three phones here – for US buyers looking for maximum affordability, we suggest the OnePlus Nord N20 5G instead of the Nord CE 2 5G, which is not officially available in the US.
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