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The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is official: return of the Flagship Killer

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is official: return of the Flagship Killer

The original OnePlus Nord 5G became the best-selling OnePlus smartphone in Europe when it hit shelves last summer. One year later the brand is aiming to replicate that success with a new model — meet the OnePlus Nord 2 5G.

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OnePlus Nord 2 5G design

The affordable OnePlus Nord 2 closely follows the design language of the premium OnePlus 9 with a large punch-hole display and matching camera design, meaning it’s a Flagship Killer both inside and out.The chosen display measures in at 6.43-inches and is a Fluid AMOLED panel that supports a smooth 90Hz refresh rate. Those specs match what OnePlus offered on the original Nord, only this time the punch-hole is smaller.

OnePlus has opted for a single selfie camera instead of two. The bezels are about the same thickness as those seen on last year’s Nord, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing because they were already quite thin.

The biggest visual changes can be found on the back of the Nord 2. Gone is the long, black camera module of the original and in its place is a shorter-but-wider bump painted in the same color as the rear panel and with chamfered edges.Sitting inside are four components: three cameras plus an LED flash. Other noteworthy features include a stereo speaker setup and an under-screen fingerprint scanner. 

OnePlus Nord 2 5G specs

Powering the OnePlus Nord 2 5G is an exclusive MediaTek chipset — the Dimensity 1200-AI. It’s the first time OnePlus has not selected a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, but there’s no reason to be disappointed.

OnePlus says the MediaTek 1200-AI is comparable to the Snapdragon 870, an updated version of the high-end Snapdragon 865 found inside the likes of Motorola’s Moto G100 and the India-exclusive OnePlus 9R.

The Flagship Killer couples that with an impressive 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard, though a pricier variant with a whopping 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is available too.

Essentially, OnePlus is offering flagship-like power in a much more affordable package with the Nord 2, making it one of the best budget 5G phones around. And that’s not all because the Flagship Killer features go beyond the chipset and storage.

To ensure there are no battery life issues, OnePlus has packed the Nord 2 5G with a 4,500mAh battery that supports Warp Charge 65. The latter is a 65W fast charging tech that’ll take you from 0% to 100% in 30 minutes.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G cameras

OnePlus has been making big progress in the camera department recently and those improvements are now being transferred to the Nord series. The Nord 2 5G is equipped with a versatile triple-camera setup.

Leading the way is a 50-megapixel main sensor, which previously acted as the ultra-wide shooter on the high-end OnePlus 9, complete with OIS. It’s capable of capturing 56% more light than the 48-megapixel camera used on the original Nord.

Sitting alongside is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a 119.7-degree field of view. There’s also a 2-megapixel monochrome shooter and a 32-megapixel front-facing camera for great selfies.

Feature-wise OnePlus is highlighting the presence of Group Shot 2.0 on the front camera. It can detect up to five faces and automatically optimizes the shot to improve skin tone and facial features.

The Nord 2 also includes an AI Video Enhancement feature, which automatically improves the brightness, color, and contrast of video recordings in real-time. AI Photo Enhancement sits alongside and can recognize up to 22 scenarios.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G software and update promise

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G ships with Android 11 and OxygenOS 11.3 straight out of the box, as well as an updated haptics motor. OnePlus is promising two years of Android OS upgrades with three years of security updates, meaning you’ll be supported until 2024 and receive both Android 12 and Android 13.

OxygenOS is now based on Oppo’s ColorOS, but it’s still packed with all the OnePlus features we’ve come to love. A ton of AI-based features are included on the 2021 Flagship Killer as well.

For example, it uses AI Color Boost to improve the color of images and AI Resolution Boost to upscale content from apps like YouTube and Instagram to HD resolution. Smart Ambient Display is another feature — it uses AI to automatically adjust the brightness of the display to improve readability. That’s in addition to the camera-focused features mentioned above.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G price and release date

OnePlus Nord 2 starts at £399 and €429 in the UK and Europe with the standard 8/128GB storage configuration. Anybody looking to get their hands on the 12/256GB version will have to spend more: £469 or €499.

The 12/256GB model is available in one color — Gray Sierra. The cheaper 8/128GB version will be available in both Gray Sierra and Blue Haze. Pre-orders kick off later today ahead of shipments next Wednesday, July 28. 

Unfortunately, customers based in the United States are out of luck because the OnePlus Nord 2 5G isn’t coming to the US. You’ll instead have to choose between the recently announced Nord N200 5G or the flagship OnePlus 9 series.


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