In the year 2022, the sub-brand OnePlus produced by Oppo has two sides that are dramatically distinct from one another. At the high end, there is the OnePlus 10 Pro, which is a flagship-priced smartphone with flagship-level specifications but falls short in terms of delivering true flagship-level performance. However, things are going much better for the company’s Nord lineup, which features a few faults that are excused by the midrange price tags of its products.
The OnePlus Nord 2T is the company’s most recent smartphone for sale in Europe under the Nord brand. Prices range from £369 (€399, approximately $458) for a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage to £469 (€499, approximately $582) for a model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (the type I’ve been using). It is a handset that plays to OnePlus’s customary strengths by having quick 80W fast-charging, a bright 90Hz OLED display, and a tactile alert slider switch for hopping between quiet and vibration modes. OnePlus is known for making devices that play to its strengths.
When compared to the OnePlus Nord 2 from the previous year, the modifications are rather small. However, given that this place has a starting price that is £30 less, it is difficult to find fault with what is being provided here. The OnePlus Nord 2T may be preordered starting today in the UK, and shipments are scheduled to begin on the 24th of May.
Since its introduction just two years ago, OnePlus’s Nord lineup has rapidly become crowded and complicated. It now roughly consists of two groups of phones: one for Europe and India, and another for North America. OnePlus’s Nord lineup debuted with only a few models, but it has since expanded to include a wide variety of options. The Nord 2T falls into the first group and is most accurately described as an upgraded version of the Nord 2 that was released the previous year (similar to what the OnePlus 8T was compared to the OnePlus 8 or the OnePlus 7T to the 7). I asked OnePlus if it plans to release a Nord 3 this year, but the company declined to comment on its product strategy for undisclosed products. Therefore, the 2T is the flagship of the European Nord fleet for the time being.
If the Nord 2T is an improved version of the Nord 2, then what specific features of the Nord 2 have been improved?
It does not appear that too much has changed from the front of the building. The 90Hz 1080p OLED display is still precisely 6.43 inches in size, and there is still a little hole-punch notch in the top left corner of the screen with a 32-megapixel selfie camera hidden below it. Even though the back of the smartphone has a peculiar arrangement of two camera circles each having three sensors, the specifications of these cameras are exactly the same as they were the last time around.
The screen on the OnePlus Nord 2T is very nice. Because of its 90Hz refresh rate, which is fairly fast for common phone operations like scrolling through social media feeds, it has a nice and slick feel to it. Since it’s an OLED display, the blacks are truly dark, the whites are lovely and bright, and the colors are vibrant. A fingerprint sensor integrated into the display provides efficient and trustworthy biometric security.
The sound is significantly less outstanding. Although the Nord 2T is capable of producing stereo sound, it does so by employing a speaker that directs sound downward on one side and the earpiece on the other. The end product has an empty and hollow sound about it, despite the fact that it may grow loud when turned up to its maximum volume. As was the case the last time, this device does not have a headphone jack and does not have an official IP classification to indicate its resistance to dust and water.
The Nord 2T achieves a decent compromise in my opinion between having a huge screen in a thin and light form factor; however, the finish on the gray model is not something I particularly like for. There is, strictly speaking, nothing wrong with the idea of a phone at this pricing point having this design (Gorilla Glass 5 on its front and back with a plastic frame around the sides). On the other hand, the finish of the review sample I was given is quite slippery when held in the hand. If you use the clear case that OnePlus gives in the package, this won’t be an issue for you, but for those of you who never put a case on their phones, this could be an annoyance. In contrast, the green version of the 2T appears to have a more conventional glossy surface, which is something that I’ve had less of a problem with in the past; however, I haven’t had the opportunity to try it out in person.
IN LESS THAN THIRTY MINUTES, THE BATTERY GOES FROM BEING DEAD TO BEING COMPLETELY CHARGED
The phone’s processor is one obvious feature that has been upgraded, but in practice, its benefits seemed to relate more to battery life than to sheer performance. This is because the phone now has a faster processor. The MediaTek Dimensity 1300 CPU that is utilized in the OnePlus Nord 2T is an improvement over the Dimensity 1200-AI processor that was used in the OnePlus Nord 2. Despite having the same size battery as before (4,500 mAh), it has a design that is more power-efficient, thus it has a screen-on duration of just under six hours on average between charges. This is an increase from the previous time, when it was just approximately five hours. When I got home at the end of the day, the battery of my Nord 2T would typically have upwards of 40 percent of its capacity left when I plugged it in to charge.
The charging speeds are an obvious spec enhancement to point toward, but in actuality, the improvements are less than you might expect them to be. The Nord 2T now supports 80W SuperVOOC wired charging, which is an increase over the previous maximum of 65W; additionally, the charger is still included in the retail packaging. Within fifteen minutes, I was able to charge the Nord 2T up to 63 percent, and the full charge took me just under forty-five minutes to achieve. For the sake of comparison, I was able to charge the Nord 2 from zero to 99 percent in thirty-five minutes the previous year, which is not a whole lot slower.
OxygenOS 12.1, which is based on Android 12, comes pre-installed on the Nord 2T, and the manufacturer has committed to providing two major Android software updates as well as three years’ worth of security patches. It’s not horrible, but compared to what we’re seeing from companies like Google, Samsung, and Apple these days, which is five years, five years, and six years of security updates, respectively, that’s a little short. If you want to get the most life out of your midrange phone, an iPhone SE or the upcoming Pixel 6A from Google would be a better option for you.
The way that OxygenOS modifies Android is still appealing to me. It has a fresh and uncluttered appearance, and the additional features that it provides on top of the standard Android operating system (such as its Optimized Charging feature, which prevents your phone from sitting at 100 percent charge for extended periods of time while charging overnight) are helpful without ever getting in the way. First and foremost, the user interface is pleasant and quick to respond.
ONE HANDY REAR CAMERA, IN ADDITION TO TWO THAT ARE NOT REQUIRED
Any user who is familiar with the camera configuration of the Nord 2 will not be surprised by the Nord 2T. There are three cameras located on the back of the device: the primary camera has a resolution of 50 megapixels, the ultrawide camera has 8 megapixels, and the monochrome sensor has 2 megapixels. And no, I too have no idea why OnePlus continues to incorporate these practically worthless monochrome sensors, especially considering that the black and white mode is buried under a sub-menu within the camera application. The same hardware as the previous year’s model is used in the 32-megapixel selfie camera.
Because of the comparable hardware, you may anticipate extremely similar photographic quality while using this camera as you would when using the Nord 2. When viewed in natural light, the Nord 2T exhibits a striking appearance that is full of contrast. Both the shadows and the highlights jump out at you from the screen, and the colors are dark and intense (though not overwhelmingly so). The optical image stabilization (OIS) feature found on the primary camera makes it relatively simple to capture photographs that are crisp and sharp of subjects that are stationary. While viewed from the rear camera, faces appear to be a little too crisp and brilliant; however, when taking selfies with the lower-resolution 32-megapixel sensor, the results are much improved and come out clean and clear.
In comparison, the quality of the phone’s ultrawide photos, which are characterized by a lack of clarity and saturation, is not up to the same standard. And regarding the pointless monochrome sensor, as little as possible should be spoken. It’s a bad that today’s smartphones are all expected to have multiple lenses, because I’d be really interested in seeing what the camera hump on the Nord 2T would look like if it contained only a single sensor. It’s a shame that the expectation is that all smartphones will have multiple lenses. But I suppose having an ultrawide angle lens of subpar quality is preferable than having none at all.
Even when not using the night photography mode of the Nord 2T, the photos that may be taken with the camera in low light are pretty bright, and I enjoy the amount of detail that they offer. There appears to be some smoothing going on in order to reduce the amount of visual noise, but I can’t dispute with the overall impact because the faces end up looking clear and more natural than they would have otherwise. Be warned, though, that the ultrawide camera loses almost all of its detail in low light, so you shouldn’t count on it for anything.
The Nord 2T is capable of recording video in resolutions of up to 4K at 30 frames per second or 1080p at 60 frames per second. But in actual use, the quality of the video that the phone is capable of taking is just mediocre, and although OnePlus claims that it is capable of shooting in HDR, the dynamic range of the camera isn’t very good. The colors are true, and the focus is consistent; overall, it’s not horrible, but it’s also not very remarkable.
The Nord 2T has a starting price of £369, which makes it simple to overlook some of its shortcomings. This is a phone that has a screen that not only looks amazing but also feels quick to use and has a thin profile when held in the hand. The battery life is satisfactory, charging times have been improved, and the device feels like a well-integrated whole.
In typical OnePlus fashion, the one major area in which you will have to make a sacrifice when purchasing the Nord 2T is the quality of the camera. If this is the most important aspect of a midrange handset for you, it may be best to wait till Google releases the Pixel 6A. If you do this, regardless of the quality of the camera, you will also get longer software support, which is vital if you are the type of customer who wants to get the most out of every phone purchase they make.
In comparison to the model from the previous year, the OnePlus Nord 2T does not represent a significant technological advancement. But that is not necessary any longer given the current circumstances. If you’re not concerned about having the best camera available, it’s an easy phone to recommend, as long as you live in one of the markets where OnePlus is actually selling it. It performs well and is enjoyable to use. If you’re not concerned about having the best camera available, it’s an easy phone to recommend.
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