OnePlus Nord 2 long term review: a worthy successor

When OnePlus announced the original Nord amidst much fanfare, everyone saw a glimpse of the brand retracing its steps back to the flagship killer days. However, since then OnePlus has launched a series of forgettable devices in the series which never made it to India and a rather unremarkable OnePlus Nord CE 5G (review), which didn’t live up to the hype of the Nord. The OnePlus Nord 2, which launched earlier this year however, arrives with several upgrades over its predecessor.

Also read: OnePlus 9 Pro long-term review: how does it hold up 2 months later?

Starting at Rs 27,999, the OnePlus Nord 2 squares off with the likes of POCO and Realme in India. Considering the popularity of these brands and their offerings like the POCO F3 GT and Realme X7 Max, the OnePlus Nord 2 had a tough challenge ahead of it. While the OnePlus Nord 2 was launched back in July 2021, I decided to see how it fares over a longer period. After having used the phone extensively for a couple of months, let’s find out how the Nord 2 holds up in the long-term.

Design and display

  • 159.1 x 73.3 x 8.2mm, 189g
  • 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED, FHD+, 90Hz refresh rate, DCI-P3 colour gamut

Right off the bat, I was impressed with the way OnePlus Nord 2 looks. Gone are the days of boring glass slab design of the Nord series, which was reminiscent of OPPO devices. The Nord 2 follows the same design language as the flagship OnePlus 9 series and looks quite premium. I received the Green Woods edition of the smartphone, which is an India-exclusive variant. This is definitely a better-looking model than the Gray Sierra and Blue Haze variants. The textured, faux leather finish on the back feels great in hand and looks amazing as well.

The smartphone has a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back. While Gray Sierra and Blue Haze variants have been reported to be fingerprint magnets, the Green Woods Edition is impervious to smudges mainly because of the textured back. The back panel looks exactly like the OnePlus 9 with large camera rings featuring shiny accents around them. However, the single LED module now lies beside the third smaller 2-megapixel mono lens instead of beside the bigger lenses towards the middle on OnePlus 9.

One thing I am thankful about is that OnePlus has brought back the iconic alert slider on the Nord 2, which was missing from the Nord CE 5G and drew a lot of flak. The slider is located on the right edge with the power button. The volumes buttons are diametrically opposite to the power button on the left edge. The bottom panel is home to the SIM tray, USB Type-C port, and single speaker grille. There are two noise-canceling mics, one each on top and the bottom. There’s an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is quite fast and accurate. However, just like its flagship siblings, the fingerprint sensor is located quite low on the display that takes some getting used to. Thankfully, over my long stint with the device, I developed muscle memory and resting my thumb at the exact location of the sensor now comes as a reflex, so it’s not a big deal.

Speaking of the display, OnePlus maintains its track record of offering a stellar screen. The smartphone comes with a 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED display featuring 2,400 x 1080 pixels screen resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. OnePlus has included two nifty AI features called AI Resolution Boost and AI Colour Boost, which upscale lower resolution video and boost colours for a great viewing experience. I had a great experience watching YouTube videos with these features turned on. Additionally, there’s support for HDR10+ and WideVine L1 for HD quality video streaming on supported OTT platforms like Netflix and Prime Video. The AMOLED panel itself is decently bright, offers vibrant colours and sharp text with a 90Hz refresh rate offering a silky smooth interface.


  • Rear: 50-megapixel primary f/1.88 Sony IMX766 sensor, 8-megapixel ultra-wide  119.7-degree f/2.25 sensor, 2-megapixel mono f/2.4 lens
  • Front: 32-megapixel Sony IMX615 sensor, f/2.45

The OnePlus Nord 2 comes with one less camera on both front and back as compared to the original Nord. However, this is perfectly fine considering the additional cameras on the Nord were there just for numbers. OnePlus has upgraded the main camera from a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor to the 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor on the Nord 2 with PDAF and OIS. Notably, this is the same camera as the ultra-wide sensor on the OnePlus 9, however, OIS support is missing on the flagship. Accompanying the primary camera are an 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. On the front, there is a single 32-megapixel Sony IMX615 sensor and the 8-megapixel wide-angle lens has been dropped.

The camera interface is the standard OxygenOS affair with a large shutter button at the bottom with the preview on left and Google Lens as well as a selfie camera toggle on the right. The viewfinder has a Rolodex of modes like night mode, video, photo, portrait, and More. In More, you’ll find Time-lapse, Ultra-resolution, slo-mo, pro, dual-view video, movie, and pano modes. On top of the viewfinder are toggles for flash, HDR, AI scene recognition, filters, and setting. Pulling down from the top on the viewfinder will give you access to settings like aspect ratio, timer, and dedicated 50MP mode. However, I felt that the 50MP mode should have been on the viewfinder Rolodex for easy access. Over the last two months, I received a couple of OTA updates with the latest update bringing several camera improvements and it shows in the performance.

Wide Angle
5X Macro
Night Mode
Regular low light
Regular low light

In day-to-day imaging, the primary 50-megapixel shooter does all the heavy lifting. The daylight shots are crisp with excellent dynamic range and noise reduction. What I loved about these shots is that they had close to real colours with no over-sharpening and saturation boost. However, I did experience occasional focus lock issues on rare occasions when shooting objects from a close range because of the absence of a dedicated macro mode or lens. That said, you can enable 5x zoom and then take close-up shots for decently sharp focus. The ultra-wide lens takes decent images as well with good dynamic range but with softer details compared to the primary camera, which is to be expected.

The portrait mode is one of my favourites here as it offers excellent foreground and background separation with natural-looking blur. The camera app also lets you adjust the level of blur in the pictures. As for low-light imaging, OnePlus Nord 2 clicks surprising good pictures even in standard mode. The pictures have a good amount of details with next to no noise. There’s a dedicated night mode as well, which brings out the highlights in shadows and sometimes you see things in the picture that you didn’t see from the naked eye.

As for selfies, the 32-megapixel front camera does a phenomenal job. The self-portraits have ample details with natural skin tones. Additionally, the portrait mode on the front camera works quite well too with good foreground-background separation.

Performance, software, and battery

  • Android 11 with OxygenOS 11.3
  • MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI with ARM G77 MC9
  • 6GB + 128GB, 8GB + 128GB, and 12GB + 256GB
  • 4,500mAh battery, 65W fast charging

The OnePlus Nord 2 marks the debut of MediaTek chipsets in the brand’s phones. The Nord 2 comes with the MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI chipset. At the time of the launch, the Dimensity 1200-AI was exclusive to OnePlus. The chipset is the same as the regular Dimensity 1200 but with added AI enhancements as you can tell from the name. The use of the MediaTek chipset has allowed the brand to keep the price of the smartphone in check without compromising on performance. The phone is offered in three configurations – 6GB + 128GB, 8GB + 128GB, and 12GB + 256GB, of which I received the top-end model. However, after having used a 6GB OnePlus 6 for a good part of three years, I can assure you that the 6GB variant is also good enough even for heavy usage.

During my stint with the Nord 2, I used it as my primary device for the entire duration. This meant I had at the very least 12-14 apps open in the background at any point in time. I was using the phone extensively for WordPress, Google Analytics, Facebook Business Suite, Slack, Instagram, WhatsApp, Netflix, and occasional gaming. I am pleased to report that during the entire two months, I didn’t experience any noticeable lags or app freezing on the smartphone. As for gaming, BGMI opens in High frame rate and HD graphics by default. These settings can be bumped up to HDR graphics and Ultra frame rate. The device handles BGMI pretty well even with the highest settings and I am yet to experience any frame drops or stutter.

OnePlus gave a jolt to OxygenOS fans by announcing the unified code for its OxygenOS and OPPO’s ColorOS. Fans have been losing sleep speculating whether future OnePlus devices will feature ColorOS. The OnePlus Nord 2 is the first smartphone to come with OxygenOS 11.3 based on the unified code. I was apprehensive about it first but I am glad to report that apart from minor tweaks here and there —mainly in the camera app— the interface is the same old minimalistic OxygenOS. I have received a couple of OTA updates since but there have not been any drastic changes. OnePlus has retained the essence of OxygenOS with a clean and bloatware-free experience, at least in my time with the device. You get stock Google dialer, contact, and messaging apps, just like the original Nord. OnePlus has assured two major Android update till Android 13 and three years of security updates, which is laudable.

As for the battery, the smartphone comes with a 4,500mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. With the heavy usage, I subjected the device to, I almost always had 15-20 percent juice still left in the pack when I hit the sack. The cherry on the top is the bundled 65W Warp Charger, which juices up the battery from zero to 100 percent in just under 35 minutes, which is quite fast and convenient.


With the base price set at Rs 27,999, OnePlus Nord 2 poses a serious challenge to its competitors in the sub-Rs 30,000 brackets. You get a flagship design, commendable performance chops, and great cameras all for a great price, which makes it one of the most value-for-money offerings in the market at the moment. In fact, I will go on record to say that with the OnePlus Nord 2, the brand has successfully traced its path back to its flagship killing roots.

Having said that, the OnePlus Nord 2 faces strong competition from the likes of Dimensity 1200-powered Realme X7 Max 5G (review) and POCO F3 GT (review). Both these offerings have a similar processor, powerful 64-megapixel cameras, and 120Hz AMOLED display. Moreover, the POCO F3 GT comes with additional trinkets like shoulder trigger buttons and gaming-style led lights on the back. Not to forget, these two are a thousand bucks cheaper with Realme X7 Max offering the 8GB + 128GB variant for Rs 26,999.

However, when it comes to the software experience and overall functionality, my vote goes to the OnePlus Nord 2. In my opinion, spending a little extra for the refined experience is worth it.

Pricebaba rating: 8.5/10

What works

  • Clean software
  • Good cameras
  • Powerful performance
  • Impressive battery life
  • Superfast charging
  • Premium design

What doesn’t

  • No 3.5mm audio jack
  • Might get more ColorOS elements in the coming days
Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman has over 8 years of experience in content development. He is a Senior Writer and Social Media Manager at Pricebaba. He covers technology news, feature articles, and tech reviews, apart from managing the official Facebook and Instagram handles. Despite a degree in marketing, his love for latest gadgets and technology steered him towards consumer technology coverage.