OnePlus, till recently, was one of the most sought-after Android brands in India. However, over the years, the company’s ‘flagship killer’ image has turned into just another mass market Android maker’s image. This is mainly due to OnePlus following a larger market trend instead of sticking to its roots of being an enthusiasts’ brand with the launch of affordable smartphones like the Nord series and the ‘R’ series premium mid-range devices. OnePlus’ official merger with Oppo has also changed the sentiment towards the brand quite a bit since last year.
Now, while it is true that OnePlus is as many smartphones as any other mass market Android maker in India, a perspective that has largely been ignored is that can OnePlus bring the same trust and reliability that it once enjoyed in the premium segment to the more affordable Nord series. The latest Nord offering in the country, OnePlus Nord 2T makes us think that it can. Read on to find out:
OnePlus Nord 2T Design: It Doesn’t Get More OnePlus Than This
In terms of design, the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G felt like a proper OnePlus device from the moment we set our hands on the device. The smartphone comes with a very familiar build quality with a sturdy, dense glass sandwich with a frosted AG glass back panel that is very similar to the OnePlus 9RT 5G that was the first flagship to launch this year. The back panel has a very similar finish to the sandstone finish that OnePlus is so popular with.
Further, the metal frame and the alert slider are another thing that make the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G look more OnePlus than the current-generation flagships. The smartphone’s 6.43-inch screen size is also quite nice and the smartphone, in terms of size, sits right between a small and a large screen phone. The Nord 2T 5G can be used with one hand easily, and this size is pretty good for those who prefer a smaller smartphone. The camera module is the only thing that may have mixed reactions with the two large circles on the rectangular module, but apart from that, this design is as OnePlus as it gets, and in a good way.
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Display: Also Very OnePlus?
Coming to the display, the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G offers a 6.43-inch E3 AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Now, this display is not the best in the segment. It is a 2400 x 1080 pixels 409ppi panel with a 90Hz refresh rate and HDR 10+ certification. Despite all this, this panel lags behind competition as the competition in this range offers an E4 AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate – Poco F4 5G and iQoo Neo 6 are two such options.
The display, however, is pretty good in terms of daily usage. The 90Hz refresh rate is smooth and responsive, and the display is also pretty decent in terms of colour accuracy and detail. The brightness, which may not be the most in terms of numbers, is enough to be able to use the smartphone in the brightest of environments comfortably. The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G has a pretty decent display, despite lagging behind competition in several areas.
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Performance And Battery: Does It Have OnePlus DNA?
Coming to performance, the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is quite a performer. It is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chipset paired with up to 12GB of RAM and an ARM Mali-G77 MC9 GPU. The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is a very smooth phone for your daily average usage. I used the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G for about a month, and the smartphone performs very well in all aspects. Switching between apps, opening apps, booting/ re-booting the phone, playing games, and everything else runs pretty smoothly on the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G. In terms of the overall experience, the OnePlus Nord 2T feels quite an improvement over the OnePlus Nord 2. The smartphone doesn’t heat up as much as its predecessor, and the gaming performance is pretty linear, even during multiple gaming sessions on the smartphone.
The OnePlus also scored decent in benchmark scores. The I ran AnTuTu benchmark on the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G when the phone was idle and it scored just above 600,000 in the multi-core test, which is ahead of the likes of Nothing Phone (1), Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20+, a good result for a sub Rs 30,000 mid-ranger.
The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is also pretty decent for gaming. I played a lot of games on the mid-ranger during my time, and while it was very good and there were rarely any frame drops, the gaming performance is not the best in this segment. Competing devices like the iQoo Neo 6 and the Poco F4 5G offer a much better gaming experience, as compared to the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G.
Battery on the OnePlus Nord 2T is also very good. The smartphone easily gave me about 5-6 hours of on-screen time even after gaming, testing the camera, and running benchmark scores. Pretty decent. Charging, as with every OnePlus smartphone, is super fast. The OnePlus Nord 2T 5G has the fastest charging in its segment with the 80W SuperVOOC charging.
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Camera: Can A Mid-Range OnePlus Camera Be Any Good?
OnePlus smartphones have, since the very beginning, not been the best camera devices. With the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, however, the company focused a lot on the camera capabilities of the device. There is a triple rear camera setup on the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, which includes a primary 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 shooter, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle shooter, and a 2-megapixel macro lens.
This camera is pretty decent. You can click some very good photos from the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G camera. The primary Sony IMX766 shooter does a great job in capturing the detail, especially in well-lit environments. The colours on the OnePlus Nord 2T look brighter than competing devices, which is something that goes with most mid-range users who want to just click the photo and post on their social media without any edits. I personally prefer a more true-to-life colour tone, but the photos from the OnePlus Nord 2T still look pretty good.
The low light capabilities of this camera are also very good. I tested the OnePlus Nord 2Tduring a late-evening boat ride in Udaipur, and the images are quite decent, both from the primary and wide-angle shooter. The camera captures enough detail to make the images look sharp, and adds enough light, without compromising much on the details. Good stuff. The portrait mode on the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is also good. At times, when you are against the light, there is a halo effect around the subject, but other than that, the edge detection and background blur is good enough.
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G VERDICT: Can OnePlus Be Called A Trusted Mid-Range Brand?
Now, the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is as ‘OnePlus’ as a mid-range smartphone can get. It looks the part with the frosted AG glass back (the sandstone-like finish makes things better), alert slider, and an overall sturdy build quality. It is a slick performer, with a good battery backup, and super fast charging. All these are proper OnePlus traits that we have come to love and adore in the company’s previous flagships. However, this opinion only stays till the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is running on OxygenOS 12 based on Android 12. With the Oxygen 13 update, the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, while looking and performing like a OnePlus device, will feel more Oppo, given OxygenOS 13’s resemblance with Oppo’s ColorOS. Till then, the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G is a good smartphone to give you the OnePlus feel in a mid-range segment.