OnePlus Nord 2 5G impression

OhnePlus has an unusual problem. Today, it is making a very good flagship smartphone—— OnePlus 9 Pro It is a very good phone-but at the same time, it is still chasing its status as a flagship phone killer.

The company’s Nord series is designed to undercut expensive equipment provided by companies such as Samsung, its Chinese competitors and even Apple.last year north This is the beginning of a new series of devices. These devices are still trying to claim the status of “flagship killer”, but the prices are getting cheaper, including the debut of the Nord and 240 USD N200, not so good. However, it is 240 dollars.

Nord 2 5G costs more and is very similar to the original Nord in many ways-including the fact that it is not shipped to the United States. I’ve been testing Nord 2 for a few days, and if you like the original Nord’s claims, you might like its sequel. The Nord 2 priced at 399 pounds (approximately $458 before tax) has a slightly higher model, and is more similar to expensive similar products such as the OnePlus 9 at $729. Although it looks alike, is it just as good?

Matt Smith, Engadget

I like the vibrant sky blue of Nord last year, but its successor has a more restrained palette. OnePlus sent me the metallic blue option, which looks a lot like OnePlus 9, enhanced by a huge camera unit-even if it lacks the Hasselblad label.

If you don’t like restrained hues (depending on your region, there are also green and gray to choose from), OnePlus also sells a very weird artificial transparent shell covered with white graffiti or a neon sunset shell suitable for the season mine Favorite.

In terms of cameras, there are not many upgrades. The rear module is now three cameras instead of four, with a 50-megapixel (higher than 48MP) main sensor, with optical image stabilization (OIS), and is responsible for the heavy lifting. Although the two-megapixel difference does not seem to be noticeable, the new main sensor has a larger pixel size (1μm), which is higher than the 0.8μm pixel of the original Nord, but still lower than the 1.12μm pixel OP9 Pro.

There is also an 8 megapixel 119.7 degree wide-angle lens and a monochrome sensor for focus assist. In terms of zoom, Nord 2 5G can provide up to 2x optical zoom, but due to the size of the main sensor, it is very durable at up to 5x. According to the spec sheet, you can magnify it up to 10x digital zoom, but you know you probably shouldn’t.

From my short shooting experience-and without the original Nord at hand-there doesn’t seem to be any major performance improvements. It may be foreseeable that, considering these larger pixels, low-light shooting is the biggest benefit of the new sensor. Otherwise, just like Nord, Nord 2 5G can take some very beautiful photos and capture a lot of details. Similarly, the AI ​​mode is a bit clumsy at times, so I turn it off most of the time. Sometimes the phone struggles with a wide dynamic range, but this is the case when comparing the phone with the OnePlus 9 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro (thousand dollar smartphones).

OnePlus Nord 2 5G camera sample

Matt Smith, Engadget

In terms of video, Nord 2 can handle up to 4K at 30 fps and up to 60 fps at 1080p. It uses an electronic image stabilizer to amplify the amount of wobble it can handle, and the video is very smooth-if the light is good enough. Video in low light will have strange pulse effects, which may be due to electronic image stabilization. Sadly, these lenses are almost unusable.

The biggest change in imaging may be the front camera. Although it is OnePlus’ highest-spec front sensor capable of taking 32-megapixel photos, it is just a camera sensor compared to the dual array on the original Nord. However, OnePlus has added a built-in Group Shots 2.0 feature that can detect up to five faces and imagine a world beyond COVID-19.

OnePlus has also added a dual-view video mode, which can shoot from the rear and front cameras at the same time, and the NightScape Ultra mode for low-light shooting, but nothing too exciting.

Nord 2’s 6.47-inch AMOLED screen has a 90Hz refresh rate, which feels quite smooth. At the same time, color and resolution enhancement AI functions can be enabled during video playback in some applications, including YouTube, VLC, Instagram (only resolution enhancement) and more.

Get started with OnePlus Nord 2 5G

Matt Smith, Engadget

Nord 2 5G also marks the transition from Qualcomm to MediaTek’s Snapdragon processor, and its chip is obviously made exclusively for OnePlus. It is called MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI, and as expected, it provides a certain degree of AI-centric muscles for photo processing and the aforementioned video playback enhancement. Compared with the original Nord, OnePlus claims that this processor is 65% faster, while the GPU is 125% faster than the original processor.

Due to the limited time to test the phone, the processor feels good so far. I swiped and clicked on some games, including Alto’s Odyssey and Genshin Impact. The latter is a gorgeous game that can even test the most expensive flagship products. This is not the smoothest gaming experience, but Genshin Impact is an incredibly resource-intensive game that makes most phones sweaty.

In terms of performance, does it beat flagship phones at twice (or three times the price)? Gosh, no. But can it handle resource-intensive applications and tasks? Yes it is. I encountered some stuttering in some games where Nord 2 shouldn’t really struggle, but none of the apps suddenly closed. I have experienced a tortuous past on mobile phones using MediaTek chips, but I did not encounter any performance issues here.

American readers may be frustrated that Nord 2 5G will not come to the United States.Especially when OnePlus’ cheaper phones-already available in the U.S.-are too mediocre to recommend, but future devices may hope that somewhere between basic smartphones will eventually enter the U.S.

Nord 2 is the first phone released since OnePlus announced that it will fold under Oppo in the future. At least for now, this has not caused any major changes to OnePlus phones.In fact, a OnePlus spokesperson told Engadget that the company is “enthusiastic about continuing to expand in the United States, and [the Oppo deal] Provides us with more resources to do this. “

Nord 2 is a powerful mid-range phone, if not perfect. If OnePlus decides to make Nord 3, maybe it will determine the formula-or at least give it a chance to break the United States.

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