OnePlus Nord 2T 5G review: Great upgrades over the Nord 2

When the OnePlus Nord 2 5G was launched in July last year, it was well received. But there were areas where critics and users alike wanted more. Following the T strategy perfected with the OnePlus flagship series, the company now introduces the OnePlus Nord 2T. The phone is expected to address the concerns raised by many about the Nord 2 5G cameras and battery performance.

Of course, like any T series phone from OnePlus, the Nord 2T isn’t a complete upgrade. It’s about a few tweaks here and a few there. But all the little things add up and make the Nord 2T a great mainstream phone, perfect for someone looking to buy an affordable yet premium-ish phone in 2022.

I have been using the OnePlus Nord 2T for over a week now and I believe it will be a good phone with the assurance of the Nord series and a dash of the OnePlus flagship phone experience. Apart from better design and build, faster performance, better battery life and slightly more capable cameras, the Nord 2T also brings back the alert slider that OnePlus fans have come to appreciate. This time there is also a “sandstone” variant. OnePlus calls it “Grey Shadow” and it sports a matte finish. For people who like their phones to shine, there is a “Jade Fog” variant.

OnePlus Nord 2T design and build

The Nord 2T’s full points in design and construction. It’s nice to see that OnePlus has introduced Sandstone on the Nord 2T Grey Shadow model, which means it doesn’t have a glossy finish like the Nord 2. The matte finish design means you can use the smartphone without fear. Damage to the back panel with fingerprints. Again, if you want your phone to shine, there’s the Jade Fog model.

I find the design of the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G to be clean and stylish at the same time. The large sensors on the rear panel may look a little odd to some users, but I believe it adds to the premium look of the phone.

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review: Valuable upgrades over Nord 2

The front panel also looks fairly clean. The punch hole sits on the left side of the display and is relatively large and prominent. But the bezels on the sides, including the chin at the bottom of the screen, are thin. It makes the screen immersive. On the right sits the alert slider — on other phones, we’ve seen it on the left. It is placed at the top which is a bit difficult to reach when using the phone with one hand. Below that is the screen lock key. On the left side are the volume rockers. The Nord 2T includes an under-display fingerprint sensor and Face ID support. I found Face ID to be faster at unlocking the phone.

As mentioned, I found the OnePlus Nord 2T to offer excellent build quality and feel quite premium for the price. Most of it is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back. The side frames are made of polycarbonate, but the finish is good and it doesn’t spoil the look. It also lacks an IP rating, so that may disappoint some, but OnePlus says the phone comes with “daily enhanced water resistance” capabilities.

Most phones today offer a large form factor, but the Nord 2T is definitely not one of them. The Nord 2T is relatively compact with a screen size of 6.43 inches. The weight of around 190 grams is more or less what we usually get in phones of this size. In use, I found the Nord 2 comfortable to carry and operate with one hand, aside from extending a thumb or fingers to reach the alert slider.

OnePlus Nord 2T Display

The Nord 2T packs one of the best screens I’ve seen in this price range. The phone comes with a 6.43-inch AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels. It supports 90hz screen refresh rate. While the display offers vibrant visuals and punchy colors, I wish it had a 120hz refresh rate instead. If you’re used to a faster display — and there are few phones that offer that in this price range — the Nord 2T’s screen may feel a bit sluggish when scrolling through the Facebook feed or contacts.

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review: Valuable upgrades over Nord 2

Overall, I like the Nord 2T screen. Be it watching movies on Netflix, browsing social media platforms or playing games, the Nord 2T display handles it all well. I found the display vibrant in both indoor and outdoor conditions. Inside a room, around 50 percent brightness felt good enough, but under the scorching Delhi sun, 70-80 percent brightness felt fine to me. The Nord 2T also offers a better viewing angle.

The Nord 2T comes with AI-optimized haptics that feel better than the Nord 2, but not as good as some competing devices. While the haptics aren’t great, I still love the subtle buzz they create.

OnePlus Nord 2T camera performance

Compared to the Nord 2, the Nord 2T offers better camera performance, but there are still some areas for improvement. As I said earlier, the Nord 2T takes advantage of flagship OnePlus phones. The new Nord phone also offers the same camera system as the OnePlus 10R that was launched a few months ago, although the chipset differs and the photography performance is not the same.

Let’s take a look at the specifications: The OnePlus Nord 2T has a primary 50-megapixel camera that uses a Sony IMX766 sensor. Then there is an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 2-megapixel mono camera.

While the Nord 2T’s camera performance is slightly improved over its predecessor, it’s not the best you’ll find in its price segment. In most cases, the photos the Nord 2T clicks look very vibrant. The primary camera often has a tendency to over-saturate reds and greens. Now, these photos look good. Like total Insta-worthy. But some users may find them too boosted for their liking.

In terms of detail, the Nord 2T seems to be good enough, although I found detail to be a little washed out in shots with a lot of dynamic light (evenings and mornings or landscape photos with sun and some clouds). But overall, in low light, the Nord 2T captures enough detail.

The ultrawide camera follows the main camera in its performance: vibrant colors, some detail, especially at the edges. There is a portrait mode that clicks decent shots, but I didn’t find the edge detection that great.

Compared to the Nord 2, low-light camera performance is slightly better on the Nord 2T. The phone takes decent photos in limited light. Night mode further enhances the overall photo as it captures more details and better colors. If you see the above camera samples, you can clearly see the difference in photos clicked with and without night mode. Clicking the photo with night mode on captures the red flowers well, which again was not the case.

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review: Valuable upgrades over Nord 2

While OnePlus has certainly tried to improve the camera performance on the Nord 2T compared to the Nord 2, I believe it still needs a certain level of improvements here and there. On its own, the Nord 2T is a capable shooter. But compare it to some other phones in this price segment, and it becomes clear that the camera performance still has room for improvement.

The performance of the selfie camera is a mixed bag. The Nord 2T includes a 32-megapixel Sony IMX615 that sits inside the punch hole in the display. Selfies taken with the Nord 2T look great, but there are some details here too. However, what I like here is that the phone doesn’t whiten the face too much and doesn’t smooth out the skin that much. It retains (mostly) the original skin tone and gives it an edge over most other phones in this price bracket.

OnePlus 2T performance

Nord 2T is the first phone in India to be paired with MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC with up to 12GB LPDDR4X and 256GB UFS3.1 internal storage. And not just on paper, the Nord 2T offers better and smoother performance than its predecessor. The phone comes in two variants – 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 12GB RAM + 256GB storage.

It handles multi-tasking well. Even with multiple apps and browsers open in Chrome, the phone never really slowed down at any point. Another good thing about the Nord 2T is that it doesn’t heat up even after extended gaming sessions, which is the case with the Nord 2.

As for overall performance, the Nord 2T offers a very decent experience for casual users. The smartphone was able to perform daily tasks without a hitch. Whether it’s switching between apps, browsing social media, sending emails, or chatting on WhatsApp, the Nord 2T can handle it all with ease. Overall, the OnePlus phone was able to handle multitasking well. Same goes for gaming.

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review: Valuable upgrades over Nord 2

In terms of software, the OnePlus Nord 2T runs OxygenOS 12.1 based on Android 12. Overall, OxygenOS 12.1 looks pretty clean compared to Xiaomi’s MIUI and Vivo’s FunTouch OS, but comes with some third-party apps that you can uninstall if needed. It offers many nifty features including customizable always-on display faces and a personal safe to store important data in an encrypted format.

As per the company’s software support policy, the Nord 2T will receive three major Android OS updates and four years of security updates. In comparison, the Motorola Edge 30, which falls in the same price bracket, only gets two years of updates.

OnePlus Nord 2T Battery

OnePlus brings the OnePlus 10 Pro fast charging technology to the new Nord, which costs about half the price of the flagship device. The Nord 2T is backed by a 4,500mAh battery with support for 80W SuperVOOC fast charging support in the box.

First of all, it’s good to see OnePlus still includes chargers in the box, while the competition omits them, perhaps to keep costs down. Second, the Nord 2T easily lasts through a day of heavy usage that includes browsing social media and the Internet, chatting on WhatsApp, sending emails, making voice calls, running games, and watching videos on YouTube. It takes around 30 minutes to fully charge the phone, so, you will never face any battery issues.

OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review
OnePlus Nord 2T 5G Review: Valuable upgrades over Nord 2

Plus, after various battery issues reported by Nord 2 users, OnePlus is taking security very seriously. The Nord 2T is TUV Rheinland certified for safe fast charging and has nine different temperature sensors and an integrated circuit (IC) to keep the phone safe and cool whether it’s charging or in use.

OnePlus Nord 2T: Should you buy it?

It’s all relative. In this price bracket, it’s all about value for money. Considering its starting price of Rs 28,999, I feel the OnePlus Nord 2T is definitely a reliable phone in this segment. Dependable, but not great. All phones in this price bracket – or all but one or two – come with their own pros and cons. The Nord 2T shines on a few things – performance, display and battery. I like the design and the return of the alert slider. But the camera performance could be improved. The good, low-light primary camera is more than adequate, but the ultra-wide-angle camera is so-so.

Overall, the Nord 2T brings decent upgrades over the Nord 2. But this isn’t a phone Nord 2 users will want to upgrade to. Instead, it’s a phone with overall likable features and performance, along with a clean and smooth Oxygen OS 12.1, one of the best options for anyone looking to buy a new phone under Rs 30,000.

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