It’s been awhile before we could get our hands on a OnePlus phone, taking quite the incognito mode in the last few years stepping away from sales in Malaysia and other parts of the world.But wait no further, they have finally made a comeback with the Nord 2T.
Equipped with some decent internals for a mid-range phone such as a 50MP camera, a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 chipset and even an AMOLED 90Hz display — while still upholding the near stock android experience with OxygenOS 12. The question is, does this enthusiast-focused brand still appeal to existing fans? Or has OnePlus slowly morphed deeper under Oppo's influence, with the aim to appeal to a larger market? Unlike ColorOS which you get in Oppo phones, Oxygen OS might have a similar feel to ColorOS 11 but with a more stock Android experience which most OnePlus phones were known for. If you're an Oppo fan, the Nord 2T might resemble the Reno 7 5G – showing an almost exact design albeit a little heavier in the hands with Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back, weighing 190g as opposed to the 175g of the Reno 7 released earlier this year.
This Jade Green colour-way with a glossy finish looks more blue than green in most natural lighting and somehow also a little greyish to our eyes, with the slight fallback of attracting more fingerprints due to the glossier finish. However, kudos to the very practical sound switch on the side rail above the lock button. In many ways, we prefer this design iteration, which feels a little more premium and minimalistic compared to Oppo's Reno 7.The Nord 2T boasts a similar flat-edged 6.43" AMOLED HDR10+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate, which performs as well — but it does have a slightly bigger screen-to-body ratio of 85.7%, which suggests thinner bezels and a slimmer chin at the bottom.
Viewing angles are also great with a peak brightness of 800 nits and decently responsive with a 180Hz touch-sampling rate. More touch sensitive games such as Call of Duty might feel a smidge slower than expected but a little sensitivity tweaking should do the trick for a smoother experience. Either way, it makes a nice display to wind down and catch up on your tv series and digital content. Audio experience isn't too bad either with stereo speakers — utilising the earpiece as a secondary output. Not the loudest we've heard but pairs well with its visual experience. Equipped with a 50MP wide, an 8MP ultra-wide, and 2MP depth sensor, photo outputs are considerably up to par with most 50MP and even excels beyond some phones above this price range. Most colours are consistent in both the wide and ultra-wide camera, but tap-to-focus is a must as point-and-shoot situations might leave some shots overexposed, while the ultra-wide 8MP may suffer in clarity under artificial lighting. Sharpness deserves top marks in the 50MP mode but may require a little attention to detail before snapping a photo for the best results. Video resolutions tops at 4K at 30fps and does not support UltraSteady stabilisation, which is only available in 1080p. Either way, OIS is still available and manages footsteps decently, while image quality on the other hand deserves a decent B+ for managing exposures correctly and retains most of the highlights and shadows. Computing performance with a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 and Mali G77 seems to be on the lesser end, only scoring 569 for Single-core and 2872 for Multi-core on our Geekbench test.
Graphics performance however manages an overall score of 4576 and reaches an average frame rate of 27.4FPS, scoring 70% better than all devices. This won’t be too noticeable in real-life results as switching from different apps is still very snappy, giving a smooth gaming experience. But with some raises in temperatures after a few rounds on Real Racing 3 and Call Of Duty, it may get a little warm to the touch. The 4500mAh battery capacity got us about a full day of use and also comes with a 80W SuperVooc charger and the signature OnePlus cable included in the box which should get you from 0 to 100% in under 40 minutes. The OnePlus Nord 2T comes with Android 12, 8GB RAM and storage options of 128GB or 256GB and has a starting price RM1,899 or S$699. Make no mistake, although OnePlus has an appeal as a cheaper alternative, the OnePlus story in itself is quite the tale, prioritising branding over product, but it may not be as much of the underdog-flagship-killer as they once were. Even when differences in both the OnePlus and Oppo phones have been kept at a minimum lately, the popularity of the OnePlus brand has stood the test of time so far — reaching various parts of the globe with considerably strong influence. As for the Nord 2T, it has clear remnants of its parent company and is worth a second glance when set side by side with the Reno 7 for feeling and looking like a premium variant despite the slightly cheaper price tag. For all we know, OnePlus may just continue to stick to their lane, keeping the existing fan base happy while trying to appeal to more consumers. As an example from the sentiment in our Nothing Phone review, "character and personality holds value". Whether this evokes a positive or negative response from onlookers is still unknown. But with bold slogans such as "Never Settle", maybe us consumers shouldn't either.
Written by Fitri Aiyub