Over the years, OnePlus has evolved from being a so-called “enthusiasts brand” to becoming one of the most well-known names in the tech industry. This can be attributed to the Nord lineup introduced in 2020. Instead of just making devices with top-of-the-line specs, OnePlus started offering competitive mid-range devices that are bang for your buck.
That lineup includes the OnePlus Nord 2T 5G I reviewed. Released alongside another Nord, the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G in Malaysia back in July, the Nord 2T 5G offers the OnePlus experience but at a lower price point compared to the company’s flagships.
So , how does the Nord 2T perform in the real world? Is it worth its RM1899 starting price? What compromises are you producing should you decide to ‘Settle’ for this smartphone? Well, read on to find out!
Design – Elegant and minimalistic
At first glance, the Nord 2T 5G shares a lot of design aesthetics with its predecessor, the Nord 2 , which makes sense given how OnePlus positions the ‘T’ releases as incremental updates rather than overhauls. However , a closer inspection shows that the design language has shifted a bit. Most notably, the larger rear camera module is reminiscent of the latest OnePlus flagships, such as the OnePlus 10T .
One striking thing I noticed when first handling the device is exactly how thin and light it is. Moreover, it still retains a traditional curved design for its frame instead of the more boxy designs of today’s flagships which makes it more comfortable to hold for long periods.
The rear design of the device
A closer look at the camera module
Thanks to its glass back, the particular Nord 2T 5G also feels premium when held. But it’s merely cosmetic, as it doesn’t actually support wireless charging. It also makes the device quite slippery, though thankfully, the front and back of the device are protected by Gorilla Glass 5.
The Jade Fog variant I examined has a glossy glass back again. However , the higher-end Gray Shadow variant has frosted glass, meaning that the backs of both variants have different textures to them. While I feel that the Jade Fog version looks much better than the Gray Shadow, its glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet, so do keep that in mind.
The Nord 2T 5G comes with a transparent silicone case in the box
Something I’m not too fond of is the camera bump at the back, which is rather big and protruding. Furthermore, the dual circular “lenses” actually house three cameras. The main sensor is located at the upper circular housing, while the two secondary sensors are housed at the bottom in a rather awkward arrangement.
The protruding camera bump also means the smartphone will rock if you lay it down on a flat surface without a case. Speaking of which, there is a transparent silicone case in the box for you to use, which is a nice touch from OnePlus.
Right: Power button and the iconic OnePlus alert slider
Left: The device’s volume rocker
There’s a microphone at the top
Bottom: The USB-C port, a speaker grill and the dual-SIM slot
The power button is located on the right side of the device, together with the iconic alert slider. Given how OnePlus has removed the slider in some of its newer devices, I’m thrilled to see that it’s still on the Nord 2T 5G. I mean, it’s one of the more unique plus practical features the company has come up with. And OnePlus faced a lot of backlash from the community when it was not included in the OnePlus 10T.
At the bottom, there’s an USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, a dual-SIM slot, and a grille for one of the device’s stereo speakers. There’s nothing at the top of the device except a small hole for the onboard mic. Unfortunately, unlike most midrange smartphones, the Nord 2T 5G doesn’t have a 3. 5mm audio jack or expandable storage.
The punch-hole display with thin bezels all around
On the front is a 6. 43-inch AMOLED display with thin and uniform bezels, but it has a slightly thicker bezel at the bottom. The screen also utilises a punch-hole for the selfie camera, located in the top left corner.
Overall, I find the design very clean and minimalistic despite the big camera module and the awkward placements of the two secondary camera sensors. While the thin body of the Settentrione 2T 5G is aesthetically appealing, I wish OnePlus had made it slightly bulkier to fit a larger battery than the 4500mAh found inside.
Tech specs & features – An incremental upgrade from its predecessor
While the Arctique 2T 5G does share a lot of similarities with the Septentrion 2, some key differences make it a compelling purchase. Check out the device’s full specs in addition to features below:
- 6. 43-inch Full HD+ (1080 x 2400 pixels) AMOLED display, 90Hz refresh rate, 85. 7% screen-to-body ratio,
- MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chipset
- 8GB/12GB LPDDR4X RAM
- 128GB/256GB UFS 3. 1 storage
- 50MP main + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP depth triple-camera setup
- 32MP selfie camera
- 4500mAh battery
- 80W SUPERVOOC fast charging
- Android 12 OS via OxygenOS 12. 1
- Bluetooth 5. 2, supports aptX & aptX HD & LDAC and AAC
- 5G connectivity
- Under display optical fingerprint scanner
- Dual stereo speakers, 3. 5mm audio jack
- Colours – Jade Fog and Gray Shadow
The OS specifications for the Nord 2T 5G
The particular Nord 2T 5G has the same AMOLED panel as its predecessor, an excellent screen that is vibrant with deep blacks and can get quite bright with a peak brightness of 800 nits. I found no issues using the smartphone outdoors even under direct sunlight, with the adaptive brightness function working well too.
Viewing content and playing games is a treat, with the 90Hz refresh rate making the device feel snappy and smooth for daily use. It supports HDR10+ as well, so you can view your HDR streaming content in all its full glory. Overall, this is one of the better displays at this price point. I definitely understand OnePlus’s decision to retain the same screen as the Nord 2 . I mean, why fix something that’s not broken?
The AMOLED screen is vibrant and excellent for viewing content and playing games
As for the OS, the Nord 2T 5G runs on Android 12-based OxygenOS 12. 1, which should be familiar to Google android users as it still retains most of a stock Android’s look and features. The OxygenOS UI is very intuitive and has a clean design, with various special features and customisations that enhance the user experience without feeling too cluttered.
The special features include RAM expansion of up to 5GB, quick launch, split screen and more. Furthermore, given OnePlus’ track record of consistent OS and security updates for its devices, longevity should not be an issue.
Special features and the latest OS edition of the device
As for biometric lock/unlock, the under-display optical finger-print scanner is super fast and even works well. It’s undoubtedly one of the better under-display fingerprint scanners in this price range.
There’s also an option for face unlock using the selfie camera, which works fine except in pitch-dark environments. Nevertheless, I don’t recommend using it, given how it’s not as secure as the optical finger print scanner.
Typically the under-display fingerprint scanner is super fast
In terms of imaging, the digital camera setup on the Nord 2T 5G is something you’d expect from a smartphone in this price segment. This camera features available on the device include AI, Pro, Extra HD, Portrait, Night, Panorama, Slow Motion, Time Lapse, Dual-View Video and more. I’ll be diving deeper into the camera performance further down this review.
The Dual-View Movie mode, in particular, works surprisingly well, whereby you can shoot video using both the rear and front cameras at the same time. Besides that, if you like to be more hands-on with your camera settings, the Pro mode allows you to tinker with a host associated with settings, including exposure, shutter speed and more.
Often the UI and various modes of the camera app
Performance – The flagship killer?
Next, let’s dive deeper into the Nord 2T 5G’s performance. Accordingly, here are the results generated from the Geekbench 5 together with 3DMark benchmark tests for that smartphone:
Geekbench 5 comparison
Under the hood, the Nord 2T 5G is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC, a really capable processor despite not being a flagship chipset. Thanks to the chipset and the display’s 90Hz refresh rate, you’ll definitely enjoy the experience of using the device for your daily needs. The SoC breezes through tasks such as web browsing, scrolling through social media feeds, and more with no hiccups.
In terms of gaming, the phone is impressive relative to its price. It’s more than capable of smoothly running popular mobile game titles such as PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Apex Legends Mobile. However , the device can get warm after extended gaming, throttling the performance accordingly.
Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed my experience video gaming on the device, especially with the high refresh rate and vibrant AMOLED panel. That being said, while you can run high graphics settings for most games, we recommend lowering them to medium or low for a smoother gaming experience.
Check out our gameplay screenshots on the Nord 2T 5G below, as well as the graphics settings that popular titles defaulted to on the smartphone:
PUBG Mobile gameplay and graphics settings that the game defaulted to
Apex Legends Mobile gameplay and graphics settings that the game defaulted to
Genshin Impact game play and graphics settings that this game defaulted to
Besides that, the Nord 2T 5G has stereo speakers for an immersive experience while consuming content or playing games, and the sound quality is above average. The particular speakers can also get quite loud, at the expense of worsening sound quality, as you can hear distortions when playing something at max volume. As mentioned earlier, the smartphone lacks a 3. 5mm audio jack, so you need to rely on an USB dongle or use wireless headphones for private audio listening sessions.
Moving on, another impressive feature of Nord 2T 5G is its 80W SUPERVOOC charging which can fully charge the device from zero in around 35 minutes. You do need to use the included power adapter, which happens to be very chunky. Hey, at least you don’t have to purchase it separately, right?
It takes thirty-five minutes to fully charge the device from 1 per cent
The included 80W SUPERVOOC power adapter is quite a ‘big boi’
While the battery is not 5000mAh like most Android smartphones these days, the battery life is still commendable and can easily last for a day of heavy use. The standby power consumption is also minimal, with instances where the smartphone lasted up to 3 days with intermittent use.
There are also power-saving modes to make it last even longer, which is superb. But I feel that OnePlus should’ve made the Nord 2T 5G a bit bulkier plus included a 5000mAh battery. Regardless, battery life shouldn’t be an issue for most users, especially when you can recharge the smartphone in a short time.
The battery life with intermittent use
As for the cameras, the rear triple-camera setup is more of a dual-camera; let’s be real, the 2MP depth sensor is there to make up the numbers. The true star of the show has to be the 50MP main camera, which utilises the Sony IMX 766 sensor with a 23mm f/1. 88 optically stabilised lens.
The image quality of the main shooter is excellent in well-lit conditions, and it performs admirably in low light, especially with Night mode turned on. However , Night mode tends to oversharpen the image captured and make noises and artefacts more noticeable.
Images are sharp with great details, and given the size of the particular sensor, there is natural Bokeh on closed-up shots that makes your photos look more cinematic. Like other smartphones with a large sensor, you are able to shoot at the full 50MP resolution if you want to, though I don’t recommend that given the huge storage space the photos would take up and the slower processing speed.
Sample shots from the 50MP primary camera
Moving towards the 8MP ultra-wide camera, it’s a Sony IMX 355 messfühler with an f/2. 25 lens. Its image quality can be decent in bright conditions, and its wide FOV is definitely welcomed since it allows you to take creative shots. It supports Night mode too, which is a plus, though the quality is far worse than the primary fühler.
Meanwhile, as I’ve mentioned earlier, typically the 2MP depth camera is just there to help you with taking Portrait mode photos and nothing more. Speaking of which, this Portrait mode is a bit of the hit-and-miss, with object separation not quite up to par.
8MP ultra-wide camera shots
1x zoom (50MP primary camera)
2x digital zoom (50MP primary camera)
5x digital zoom (50MP primary camera)
Max digital zoom (50MP primary camera)
Night mode (8MP ultra-wide camera)
Night mode (50MP main camera)
One thing missing from the rear camera setup is a telephoto lens, which is a fair compromise at this price point. Instead, often the Nord 2T utilises the large primary sensor for far-away shots by digitally zooming on the 50MP image. Based on my usage, the image quality is decent up to 2x digital zoom, with anything higher than that being exponentially worse.
As for the selfie camera, the Sony IMX615 sensor is one of the better selfie cameras I’ve tested in this price range. The image high quality is excellent, even in a slightly below-par lighting situation, and the FOV is also decent. Perfect for all your social media selfie needs!
Sample shots from the 32MP selfie camera
For videos, your Nord 2T 5G can record up to 4K30fps with the 50MP primary camera or even 1080p60fps with the 8MP ultra-wide and 32MP selfie camera. Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) is also available across all cameras on all resolutions and frame rates, which is impressive at this price range.
As for the quality from the video recordings, naturally, the primary camera captures the best footage given the large sensor size. But the Dimensity 1300 SoC also deserves a shoutout for its processing capabilities. Typically the 4k video shot using the primary sensor is detailed with natural colours and has a decent dynamic range. The video quality from the selfie camera is also quite decent, even if it is limited to 1080p60fps. On the other hand, the ultra-wide rear digital camera produces only average video footage.
Conclusion – A competitive offering in the midrange segment
Starting at RM1899, the Nord 2T 5G is well-positioned in the market, given its feature set and excellent user experience that arguably punches above its weight. The combination of a Dimensity 1300 chipset, 90Hz AMOLED screen, and 50MP primary camera makes it a highly competitive device in the midrange segment. It’s excellent with regard to everyday use, decent in playing mobile games, has super fast charging speeds, and is even capable of taking great photos while being below RM2000.
If your budget is within this price range, you can’t go wrong with the Settentrione 2T 5G. However , one thing to consider is whether you should spend slightly more for a better overall smartphone, such as the Xiaomi 12T (RM1999). The Xiaomi 12T not only comes with a faster processor in the form of the Dimensity 8100 but also features a better 108MP main camera and a 120Hz AMOLED screen. That’s a lot of upgrades for just an additional RM100.
Besides that will, you can also consider the vivo V25 5G (RM1799), which is RM100 cheaper than the Nord 2T 5G but has a better camera setup. However , the exact V25 5G features a less powerful Dimensity 900 chipset and slower fast charging capabilities at 44W.
That’s it for our Nord 2T 5G review! So , what do you guys think of this mid-range offering by OnePlus? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and as always, make sure to stay tuned to TechNave for more tech news and reviews like this.