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[The Lab] OnePlus Nord 2 Review

  1. americorloliveira
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Aug 3, 2021

    americorloliveira , Aug 3, 2021 :
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    Hi Community

    I´m one of the lucky ones that received a OnePlus Nord 2 for review. Thanks Oneplus and all the community.

    My name is Américo Oliveira, I’m a 44 year old Portuguese tech enthusiast and one of my biggest passions is to test new hardware and tech in general.
    I work in a social charity as a rehabilitation technician and also as IT administrator, on the side, I also volunteer for the parish council.
    With my free time I manage the youtube channel "tstec", where I unbox and mainly review PC hardware, but also every piece of tech that I can get my hands on. Recently, I even managed to establish a partnership with Asus.

    OnePlus is a brand I've followed since the beginning, a few years ago I got an invitation to buy the first Oneplus and since then I bought the OnePlus 2, 3, 3T, 5 and finally the OnePlus 7.

    But enough about me, let´s get to the matter at hand.


    Oneplus Nord 2 Specs
    • 158.9mm x 73.2mm x 8.25mm
    • 189g
    • 6.43in 90Hz Full HD+ AMOLED display
    • MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI SoC
    • 6/8/12GB RAM LPDDR4X
    • 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage
    • Android 11 w/ OxygenOS 11.3
    • 5G
    • 4500mAh battery
    • Warp Charge 65 (65W)
    • In-display fingerprint sensor
    • Gray Sierra, Blue Haze, Green Woods



    Unboxing


    OnePlus's care starts right at the box, it has good quality cardboard that is very pleasant to the touch. We have a dark box, a little big, with the brand symbol and the model name embossed with a reflective material that changes color with the light and has green and blue shades.
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    On the sides we see the brand and model embossed with same reflective material and blue strip in the middle.
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    When we open the box we are presented with the Nord 2 right on top, bellow we have all the documents, a transparent silicone cover with a very beautiful pattern in the back and the opening pin for the SIM card holder all stored in a card box.
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    Finally, we have the USB-C cable in red, as is tradition for OnePlus, and the Warp 65 charger that is capable of charging the smartphone from 0 to 100% in 30 minutes.
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    Overall, the unboxing experience is very enjoyable and carefully thought out, anticipating good things.



    Phone Design

    The OnePlus Nord 2 follows the design philosophy of the OnePlus 9 with a minimalist design. It has a traditional glass sandwiched with a glossy plastic frame, like the best mid-range phones. Both sides are protected with Gorilla Glass 5

    On the front, there is a Full HD+ AMOLED 90Hz screen, with a pre-applied screen protector, the ear piece and a small pouch hole for the 32 Megapixel front camera.
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    The rear is made of glass, it feels smooth and textured and it´s very finger print resistant
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    My unit is a beautiful Gray Sierra and it presents various shades of blue.

    The camera module is located on the top left corner and slightly protrudes from the rear of the phone, as is common on most modern smartphones. There is an 50 Megapixel Sony sensor with optical stabilization, an 8 MP ultrawide, an 2 MP mono sensor and a dual tone flash.
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    At the bottom we have: a speaker, that along with the one on the front are capable of giving good and loud stereo sound; the usb-c charging port, the microphone and the sim tray holder.
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    At the top, we only have another microphone.
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    On the left side there is a volume rocker, and on the right side, we have the power button and silence slider with three positions, this is one of the OnePlus's best and most unique features and I hope it stays for a long time.
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    In general it's simple, beautiful, minimalist and very pleasant to use with just one hand, in the days of large smartphones, for me, this has the ideal size and is a delight to use.
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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2021

    #1
  2. americorloliveira
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Aug 12, 2021

    Stickied Post
    americorloliveira , Aug 12, 2021 :
    Display


    The screen is Amoled 6.43 inches, with a resolution of 1080X2400 and has a 90Hz refresh rate, we have a fluid image that may not be as smooth as the Oneplus 9 Pro but it's a good compromise between smoothness and battery consumption and in reality the diference is very small.

    The edges are small on the sides but look bigger as the screen is not curved and slightly bigger at the top and bottom.

    It has good viewing angles and the level of brightness, despite not being the best, it's enough to see the screen very well in bright environments.

    There are two color profiles, Vivid (DCI-P3) and natural (sRGB), both of them are well calibrated and can be refined with the color temperature slider to each user's preference.

    The Oneplus Nord 2 is compatible with HDR10 and HDR10+ but for now, only Youtube can play HDR10 content, on Netflix and Amazon Prime we have HD but to have HDR playback, the device will have to be whitelisted in the respective apps, I think it shouldn't take long.

    There are also some enhancements Oneplus has made that can be used in some apps: AI Color Boost that can be used on Youtube, MX Player and VLC, it tries to give an effect similar to HDR; and AI Resolution Boost also compatible with Youtube, that tries to bring more detail to low res videos.

    These are two improvements that help but do not make miracles.

    It's not a high-end screen but for the price it fits well with this smartphone and this is not where we'll be disappointed.

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    Battery


    In the Nord 2, we have a 4500mAh battery divided into two cells to allow 65W Warp charging, this technology charges this Oneplus super fast, from 0 to 100% in about 30 minutes, we don't have wireless charging but we have smart charging and as we use the smartphone it will learn our usage pattern and even if the Nord 2 is connected all night to the charger, to protect the battery, it will only charge up to 100% near the time the user gets up and can be adjusted to suit everyone, it's one of those little details that we don't even realize it´s there but it brings great advantages in terms of battery life.

    Even with the 90Hz screen we have battery for the whole day even with intensive use and for lighter uses we can go up to 2 days.

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    Performance


    The Nord 2's performance is close to the top, it's a very fluid smartphone that opens applications extremely fast, you don't notice lag, the Mediatek Dimensity 1200 AI has an arrangement of cores just like other flagship SOCs, with four high performance Cortex A78 cores: one running at 3ghz, three at 2.6ghz and finally, four very efficient 2ghz A55 cores, that will run most normal tasks while consuming very little energy.


    UFS 3.1 storage also helps a lot with this fluidity.

    The graphics component is ensured by Arm's G77 cores with a 9-core configuration that will also do well for all tasks, including heavier games, such as PUBG, which in the Nord 2 runs with ultra settings without much problem, and even with the very heavy Genshin Impact, it can run at 60fps on medium quality settings, overall we get a fluid experience that doesn't compromise gameplay at all.
    We have top-of-the-range specs, that won't leave anyone asking for more, not to mention on a smartphone at this price.



    In terms of comparisons with current SOCs, we have a set that is inferior to the Snapdragon 888 and very similar to the 865, maybe with more software optimizations it can get a little closer to the 888, at least the hardware has capabilities for that.
     

    Sravankumarjangam and Tower-1. like this.
  3. americorloliveira
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Aug 12, 2021

    Stickied Post
    americorloliveira , Aug 12, 2021 :
    Camera

    The camera is very good and this could be the point that will differentiate the Nord 2 from other smartphones of this price range. said:

    The main sensor, a 50MP Sony IMX766 Quad-Bayer, with optical stabilization and PDFA, generates 12.5MP stills, is an excellent sensor that is very close to the top of the range and is way above other smartphones at this price.
    Photos when we have light are very detailed with vibrant colors but still close to reality, with few artifacts and noise. The dynamic range is very good and we are able to keep the photos with controlled exposures without blowing up the image in the brightest points, keeping a lot of detail and clarity in the darkest areas.
    OnePlus only has to lower the oversharpen a little and then we have a main camera that could rival the best.
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    When the light starts to go down we can also take very good photos that are perfectly usable, it retains some detail but is a little further away from the best in this aspect and sometimes the photo doesn't come out focused at first, especially when we have an object close to the lens.
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    Auto - No flash
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    Auto - Flash
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    Night Mode

    The night mode does a good job, it manages to reveal more detail, improves the dynamic range restoring the highlights and at the same time, the shadows.
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    The ultrawide camera is not as good, it's taking pictures with a larger field of view but the detail is not the same as the main camera, they are darker pictures that don't have as much dynamic range and at night, the night mode despite making a good job, it fails to recover the image up to the main sensor levels.
    The 2mp monochrome camera helps with portrait photos, which manage to look very good with few artifacts in the separation between the person/object and the background.
    The AI scene recognition optimizes the color and contrast in specific situations and can be used in video too.
    Zoom are only digital and is not one of the Nord 2 best features
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    Regarding the video, this image system also does a good job, it can record up to a maximum of 4k at 30fps, it's a shame it can´t do 4K 60fps.
    The image comes out with lots of detail, colors are little over saturated but realistic, the image stabilization system does a great job and manages to compensate for movement without introducing large motion artifacts.


    Good light but very difficult scene with very bright highlights

    When the light is low, the camera does have a little more difficulty but still manages to record an good image for the price range.


    worst case scenario

    Overall this can be considered a great back camera.


    The Selfie is a 32Mp shooter with fixed focus and we have to position it right, in good light conditions, the photos come out with good contrast and colors and they are very good photos but in low light theres a chance for blurry photos and you should take more photos to increase the odds of a good picture.
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    Selfie
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    Portrait selfie
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    Cat selfie

    Conclusion

    I came out impressed by this OnePlus Nord 2 its a very good mid ranger with hardware that almost can rival the very top, the screen is great, the main camera is flagship grade and the performance is top notch, I din´t experience any problems with apps crashes or heating, the performance is rock solid and for 99% of the people this phone is more then enough.
    In the review I point it out some shortcomings but I was comparing it to flagships, I have tested Iphone 12, Samsung Note 20, Huawei P30 Pro and Oneplus 9 Pro and this Nord 2 compares very hell with this phones.
    I like it so much that I fell in love once again with Oneplus
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021

  4. americorloliveira
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Aug 3, 2021

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021

    #2
  5. Tejaswi1924
    Gingerbread Aug 5, 2021


  6. #6
  7. Giovanni_S
    Honeycomb Aug 5, 2021


    #7
    maj_aashif and americorloliveira like this.
  8. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Aug 5, 2021


    #8
    americorloliveira and TibiTibi like this.
  9. DileepMuvvala
    Honeycomb Aug 5, 2021


    #9

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  12. ASHISHDARA634
    Gingerbread Aug 5, 2021


    #12
    americorloliveira likes this.
  13. sahiltyagi3852@g
    Gingerbread Aug 5, 2021


    #13
  14. ser_sisodiya
    Gingerbread Aug 5, 2021


    #14

  15. #15
    americorloliveira likes this.
  16. Kundan Kapil Chetia , via OnePlus Community App , Aug 5, 2021 :
    Features which needs a fix:
    1. Ultra wide camera : captured images on uw camera are soft and lack details in daylight as well as with the night mode.
    2. 50 mp and ultra hd resolution feature work sometimes and sometimes not. The images clicked lack details and texture.
    3. HDR implementation is not that good. The images comes out hazy and lack details.
    4. The front camera needs to fixed as well. Pictures clicked through the selfie camera lacks details and color. HDR implementation in the selfie camera is not all good. Atleast provide 4k 30 fps video recording as it already have hardware to support it.
    5. Some apps like instagram crashes while watching reels or if a reel is added to my story.
    6. Apps like You tube music should have the uninstall option or else give to option to disable it.
     

    #16

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  18. sahiltyagi3852@g
    Gingerbread Aug 5, 2021

    sahiltyagi3852@g , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Aug 5, 2021 :
    No i am logged in administrator account.
     

    #18

  19. #19
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