Last year, when anyone asked me for a mid-segment phone they could buy, I would suggest the OnePlus Nord. OnePlus had entered this segment with devices that were dependable, ticked all boxes on features and banked on the brand image its flagships had created. A year on, it wants to take the story ahead with the OnePlus Nord 2, though this segment is much more cluttered now with good devices from Samsung, Xiaomi’s Poco and others.
OnePlus Nord 2 review: What’s new
OnePlus Nord 2 again has a trademark design which signals the brand you are using from far away. There are no new design elements, except for the camera module which has large owl eye-like lenses hinting at which feature this phone is serious about. Though OnePlus dropped the notification toggle on the Nord CE, this unique feature is very much a part of the Nord 2. The phone is still stylish and stands out, though I would have loved to see the new Green Wood or Grey Sierra colours, instead of the more common looking Blue Haze which I got for review.
Another interesting change is inside the hood. The Nord 2 is powered by MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200-AI processor, with the AI branding being unique to this phone so far. Hence the Nord 2 also adds an AI layer onto a lot of its features.
OnePlus Nord 2 review: What’s good?
The best thing about this phone has to be its camera, as the two large lenses at the back try to scream out every time you look at it. The main camera is 50MP, with a relatively large pixels size and optical image stabilisation makes the photos better in low light and also when you don’t have steady hands. I loved the colours on this camera which are vibrant though natural, especially the greens.
Also, you can see a lot of detail. Look at the dust on this miniature car even when it’s a complex shot with some leaves in the fore ground.
Interestingly, the camera shoots 12MP images by default from the main camera. While most cameras with higher pixel capabilities offer the change in settings, Nord 2 has this as a separate ultra-pixel mode. That’s when the images are shot in 50MP, with 1x, 2x and 5x options.
This makes sense because no one really uses a 50MP camera and if they do on a phone they struggle to make good use of those pictures. If you do use this mode, the images are very clear and detailed so that you can crop just a part of it if needed.
For the ultra-wide, Nord 2 has an 8MP camera which is decent, but not the best I have used. It does a good job and does not come with a lot of distortion or noise, which is an issue with this lens in many mid-segment phones. There is also a 2MP monochrome lens which is more for assisting the other cameras than doing stuff on its own. As a standalone it does a good job though.