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OnePlus Nord 2 5G review: Great mid-ranger with no compromises

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The Nord 2 5G is the latest mid-range phone from OnePlus (brought to the Philippines by Digital Walker). The handset offers a top-notch experience you often find on flagships that are double its price tag.

Starting at Php 21,990, the Nord 2 5G features a large display with a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 at the helm, a 50MP main camera, stereo speakers, and a 4500mAh battery with 65W Warp Charge.

On paper, it’s all well and good. But as always, we ask — how is it in real life? Is it worth our hard-earned cash? We have completed our full review and we’re here to explore why we think it is. Let’s go.

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If you’re up to some light reading, why not check out our unboxing article here.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

Design and Display

The Nord 2 5G has a modern design with a minimalist and clean aesthetic and a sleek build. Its beautiful yet simple look is a hallmark of OnePlus phones.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

At the front, the handset boasts a flat 6.43-inch FHD Fluid AMOLED display with a 2400 x 1080, a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, and support for HDR10+, sRGB, and Display P3. It has a punch hole selfie camera on the top left and a pre-installed plastic screen protector.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

The refresh rate is set to Smart Switch by default. In this mode, the phone decides which refresh rate to use to match your activity. It sets a lower refresh rate for viewing photos or reading a web page and a faster one for videos and games. I do suggest setting it to 120Hz because why not, but do expect a hit on battery life.

ALSO READ: OnePlus Nord 2 5G official in the PH

The earpiece, which also acts as one of two speakers, is tucked on the upper bezel, together with the selfie camera. There’s also an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is the most part fast and responsive.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

As for the AMOLED panel itself, it’s sharp with punchy colors and, overall, is very pleasant to look at.

At the back, the triple cameras have two large lenses and one small one, plus the LED flash. It’s on a rectangular island with a prominent camera bump, likely to accommodate the large sensors and the Ultra Sensing Gimbal 3.0 technology.

On the right side, you have the volume rocker and the power button within easy reach of your fingers. There’s nothing on the left side. At the top, there’s a second mic and the IR blaster. And at the bottom, you have the dual SIM tray, a microphone, a USB-C port, and a mono speaker.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

In most of my reviews, I often gripe about the lack of stereo speakers on handsets in this price range. Thankfully, the Nord 2 5G doesn’t disappoint. It comes with stereo speakers that sound good. They’re loud with decent separation. And while there is a lack of bass, it sounds clear.

Performance and Battery

The Nord 2 5G is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI chip. Our review unit comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. It runs on OxygenOS 11.3, based on Android 11, and packs a 4,500mAh dual-cell battery and a blazing 65W Warp Charge.

Navigating the phone is a speedy and satisfying experience. It is fast and responsive with no lag. We didn’t experience any problems with apps and games during the review period.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

In gaming, the Nord 2 5G does impressively well, most with medium to high graphics. Genshin Impact, for instance, defaults to Medium settings. Even with graphics raised to high and framerate on 60, the gameplay was still smooth with little to no issues.

Here are the benchmark scores:

  • AnTuTu – 585,053
    CPU – 162,920
    GPU – 188,914
    MEM – 110,321
    UX – 122,989
  • Geekbench – 712 (Single-core); 2318 (Multi-core)
  • 3D Mark – 4136 (Wild Life); 1287 (Wild Life Extreme)

The Nord 2 5G comes with a modest 4500mAh battery. It isn’t the biggest in today’s standards, but it is more than enough for a day of power with moderate usage.

As for the 65W fast charger, it is blazing, able to fill up the battery to 100% in just under 40 minutes. And of course, if you charge from about 40% to 50%, you can achieve full at a faster rate.

Cameras

The OnePlus Nord 2 has a 50MP main backed by a Sony IMX766 sensor with an f/1.88 aperture, OIS, a 1.0 µm pixel size, and a 6P element lens. The second camera is an 8MP ultra-wide, and the third a 2MP mono.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

With good lighting, photos are decent with good contrast and punchy colors. There are sufficient details with average sharpness. Indoor shots also look good, but you do notice colors are not as punchy. Still, you’ll hardly notice it in everyday use, let alone when uploaded to social media.

The selfie camera is very good, with adequate details and natural skin tones. Like most phones nowadays, you can enable beauty mode to give yourself a clearer complexion.

Check out our camera samples below.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples
OnePlus Nord 2 5G Camera Samples

Final Thoughts

Amid flashy features and over-hyped specs that populate the mid-range smartphone segment, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G stands out with a no-nonsense approach to its design and a smartphone experience with no compromises.

The 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display, together with the Dimensity 1200 chip are more than enough to satisfy even avid gamers. While the cameras and battery offer better performance than its peers within its range. And what’s more, the OxygenOS is clean and intuitive and is somewhat close to stock, which I highly appreciate.

If you are in the market for a good smartphone, then the OnePlus Nord 2 5G should be among your choices. It’s well worth the price, given the value it offers.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G review

Price and Availability

OnePlus Nord 2 5G 8GB+128GB: Php 21,990
OnePlus Nord 2 5G 12GB+256GB: Php 25,990

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G 8GB + 128GB is priced at Php 21,990. The 12GB + 256GB retails for Php 25,990. It is available in Digital Walker stores and online on DigitalWalker.PH.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G

Display6.43-inch FHD Fluid AMOLED Display, 2400 x 1080, 90Hz Refresh Rate, sRGB, Display P3
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI
RAM8GB/12GB RAM
Storage128GB/256GB Storage
Rear Cameras50MP Main, Sony IMX766
8MP Ultra-wide
2MP Mono
Dual LED Flash, 10x Zoom
Front Camera32MP Selfie Camera, Sony IMX615
Network5G, 4G LTE, Dual SIM
ConnectivityWi-Fi AX Dual Band, 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC
OthersIn-display Fingerprint Sensor, USB-C, Alert Slider, Stereo Speakers, Haptics 2.0
OSOxygenOS 11.3, Android 11
ColorsBlue Haze, Gray Sierra
Battery4500mAh Dual-cell Battery, 65W Warp Charge
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Author

Bryan is a tech enthusiast and self-admitted geek who enjoys blogging and watching NBA clips on YouTube. He has over 20 years of experience in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations from different industries such as telecommunications and banking.

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