OnePlus has established a strong foothold in the smartphone industry by delivering back-to-back hits. The Nord series is in itself become a popular category of mid-range smartphones in the OnePlus portfolio and the company has every intention of keeping up the streak. The Nord 2 5G offered a nice budget offering last year, and now there's a successor to that phone. The Nord 2T fills in some serious gaps, addressing concerns which were raised with the Nord 2.
As is the case with T-series phones, the Nord 2T isn't a major overhaul. But it does make for a solid mid-ranger that checks all the right boxes. The Nord 2T starts at Rs 28,999 for 8GB+128GB storage and the 12GB+256GB is priced at Rs 33,999. Some of the highlight features of the phone are 80W fast-charging, Dimensity 1300 chipset, 90Hz display and a premium design.
Here's our review of the Nord 2T.
Design and display
OnePlus has sent us the Nord 2T Gray Shadow, which is reminiscent of the original OnePlus One's Sandstone look. We briefly got our hands on the Jade Fog at the media briefing event, but the Gray Shadow got our attention.
The rear panel has a matte finish design, which managed to keep fingerprint smudges at bay. Everything about the Nord 2T is in line with OnePlus' design mantra, down to that signature Alert Slider, which we so dearly missed in the 10R. The rear panel of the Nord 2T looks premium, with large sensor housing on an elevated camera module, giving the impression of the handset featuring really big sensors. The OnePlus logo sits at the centre, the volume buttons are on the left and the power button sits on the right just below the alert slider.
The Nord 2T has a clean front panel, with minimal bezels. There's an under-display fingerprint sensor for quick unlocking, but facial recognition works faster. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, so is the back, and the chassis is made of polycarbonate, which is of high quality.
The Nord 2T fits comfortably in the hand and the equal weight distribution gives a solid grip. The phone lacks a headphone jack, which is phasing out across all price ranges.
The Nord 2T features a 6.43-inch Full HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. OnePlus goes for a flat screen, which is to our liking. There's a 32MP punch-hole camera in the cut-out on the top-left corner. OnePlus hasn't changed anything on the display front from what's seen on the Nord 2. The AMOLED panel is ideal for multimedia usage. The colour rendition is crisp and vibrant, the viewing angles are decent, and supports HDR10+. OnePlus could've at least increased the refresh rate to 120Hz in the Nord 2T. But that's not a deal-breaker.
OnePlus Nord 2T has a triple camera setup, featuring 50MP+8MP ultra-wide and 2MP mono sensor. The decision to include a mono sensor instead of depth or macro is a decision OnePlus said is after surveying users' preferences. Although OnePlus could achieve the same level of black and white photos through software-powered filters, the mono sensor is hardly making a difference here. But the other two sensors are packing more power, which will be discussed primarily here.
The 50MP main camera is a Sony IMX766 sensor, which is capable of shooting detailed photos. OnePlus Nord 2T's camera performance is improved compared to its predecessor, but it doesn't really outdo rivals in its price range.
Under natural light, the photos come out bright and detailed with vibrant colours. In low light, the camera managed to pull in some good details. The night mode works well in dark settings, but you can work with the main sensor to get the right exposure.
The ultra-wide sensor captures a wider frame. Although the colour tones are slightly changed, you won't notice much of a difference. The ultra-wide suffers in low-light, keeping its use strictly for daylight shots.
Interestingly, the phone also supports 960fps slow-mo, which captures one second of video in super slow motion. But it works best in well-lit scenes and sometimes focusing is an issue with this mode. If you can get it right, it can give your videos a nice twist. Otherwise, you can capture up to 4K@30fps videos, whereas ultra-wide is limited to 1080p@30fps. The video recording capabilities are decent, but the stabilisation could have been better.
The 32MP front camera captures good selfies, and retains natural colour tones under good lighting. But with low light, there's noticeable noise in selfies. For portraits, there's software optimisation, which works as expected.
Below are some camera samples after testing the camera in various lighting conditions.
OnePlus Nord 2T is the first smartphone to be powered by MediaTek's Dimensity 1300 chipset, which should be of interest to gamers. The new chipset has been fine-tuned primarily to appease gamers with selective enhancements in the name of HyperEngine 5.0. Since the rest of the configuration remains unchanged, there are no other upgrades compared to the Nord 2.
But if you look at the Nord 2T from a standalone point of view, it makes for a reliable smartphone with good performance, stability and efficiency. Since the phone is targeted at gamers, we tested a few and found the phone to handle it well provided you don't push the limits. Mild heating was noticed during extended gaming sessions, but there were no major lags as such.
For casual users, the smartphone is more than capable of running day-to-day tasks with consistency. Multi-tasking on the 12GB RAM variant was a breeze, but there's also the option to add up to 7GB more RAM space. It would make sense for the 8GB variant as the 12GB variant was sustaining well on its own.
Connectivity wasn't easy, even while on roaming. With Jio 4G SIM, the smartphone managed to get expected browsing speeds and the reception on calls was good. The Wi-Fi range is decent, too, on the Nord 2T.
Powering the phone is the OxygenOS 12.1 with Android 12, but the phone is only going to get two years of major updates and an additional year of security updates. If you are okay with that, the usual OxygenOS features like Shelf, Scout, Work Life Balance, themes, and customisations are all there. The Digital Wellbeing is a useful feature, which includes Focus mode, Heads Up, Bedtime mode and Dashboard. The Heads Up feature works remarkably well. The software is not marred by ads or spammy notifications, which is a blessing in disguise.
Since the under-display fingerprint sensor takes up the lower portion of the display, the pattern lock has been moved to the top area, which is an inconvenience. It is best to use face unlock or fingerprint scanner during single-hand use. It could be fixed with a software update.
OnePlus Nord 2T has a 4,500mAh battery, which is identical to Nord 2. But there's a welcoming upgrade in terms of charging speed. OnePlus has bumped up the 65W to 80W charging in the Nord 2T, which will power up the phone in no time. It will take merely 35 minutes to fully charge the phone, which is great considering the price range.
As for the battery life, the Nord 2T can last a whole day. With heavy usage, the phone can sustain for almost a day. We didn't notice any battery issues as Nord 2T is a reliable phone in this space.
OnePlus Nord 2T is a sensible upgrade to the Nord 2, but it doesn't make sense for owners of Nord 2 to go for it. In fact, this is the phone for those who gave the Nord 2 a pass.
The Nord 2T's design is impressive, and it's to see the Alert Slider reclaim its position. The phone's camera performance is not the best out there, but there are some strengths in certain settings.
Nord 2T can be trusted for its performance, battery, software and fast-charging tech. It has a good enough display to fulfil your daily needs. Getting IP certification could have given the phone an edge, but we are guessing it should handle splashes given its uncertified enhanced water resistance.
OnePlus Nord 2T is a phone worth considering in the Rs 30,000 price range. The pros outweigh the cons.