OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Tiny Upgrades For An Excellent Mid-Range Smartphone 

The Nord 2T is the value flagship from OnePlus for 2022, making strides upon the OnePlus Nord 2’s formula and delivering a solid mid-range daily driver
OnePlus Nord 2T
OnePlus Nord 2T

OnePlus has been making considerable strides in the flagship category leaving behind the spirit of the brand that it once was. To make right by its loyal fan base, OnePlus came out with an ad-free and clean mid-range series called the Nord. While the Nord may have many iterations, the original vision lives on in the Nord 2T, something a lot of people are happy to see. 

The Nord 2T is the value flagship from OnePlus for 2022, making strides upon the OnePlus Nord 2’s formula and delivering a solid mid-range daily driver. Is the Nord 2T good enough to hold the fort for the brand whilst it is in a transition period? 

The Nord 2T is virtually identical to the Nord 2 from last year albeit with faster charging (80W wired charging, an upgrade from 65W). There’s the 90Hz AMOLED panel, Dimensity 1300 (almost the exact same as the Dimensity 1200), the same cameras at the front and back, and even the same 4500mAh battery. While the Nord 2 was one of the best mid-range smartphones for 2021, can the Nord 2T hold the title for 2022? Let’s find out. 

What’s in the T 

The T series usually comes as a mid-cycle refresh. This time around OnePlus is launching the Nord 2T a whole year after the T.  

The Nord series so far has seen bland design choices from the company. None of that really changes with the Nord 2T. The Nord 2T houses a giant camera setup that looks out of sync with the rest of the design aesthetics. The camera set up is split into two rings. The 50MP primary lens has its own ring while the 8MP and 2MP modules have to share a ring. 

The Nord 2T seems pretty standard otherwise. It comes with a glass front and back (which is very reflective) and a polycarbonate mid-frame. It’s got Gorilla Glass 5 protecting the glass and feels identical to the Nord 2 when using it on a daily basis. It’s in-feel hand is good and it is hardly slippery. The weight balance here is excellent and you don’t tire when using the phone for hours on end. 

There’s the alert slider (a favourite amongst OnePlus fans) on the right, a SIM card tray and USB-C charging point at the bottom, and volume controls on the left. 

The one downside is that the panel has stayed the same ever since the first Nord was launched. With the Nord 2T, you’re getting the 6.43-inch AMOLED FHD+ (2400 x 1080) panel with 90Hz refresh rate. The competition in this department has caught up and OnePlus has been left napping. That isn’t to say the panel is bad. It’s actually quite decent. It’s got good colours, adequate brightness and decent viewing angles. 

Let’s talk about the performance now. The MediaTek 1300 SoC isn’t that much different from the MediaTek 1200 chip in the OnePlus Nord 2. For daily tasks, the MediaTek 1300 SoC is no slouch. Even when you push it, the phone doesn’t break a sweat. It gets moderately hot but nothing unbearable.  

One good thing about the Nord 2T is that the hardware is on par with some of the best out there in the mid-range segment and is a great option for mobile gaming. 

The one big upgrade for the Nord 2T is that it ships with the 80W SUPERVOOC fast-wired charger. With this charger, the phone can fully charge a depleted battery in 40 minutes. It may not be the best in the industry but it’s fast enough for most people. I got just over a day’s worth of battery life when pushing it through its paces. Safe to say, it’ll suffice for a workday without a sweat. 

Is that gigantic camera module worth it? 

With the Nord 2T, there isn’t anything to write home about in the camera department. Nord 2 owners aren’t missing out on anything here. There’s the primary 50MP Sony IMX766 lens, like last year and the 8MP wide-angle and 2MP portrait lenses. There’s also the exact same 32MP front-facing camera. 

There’s no doubt that the primary sensor is the star of the show. It delivers daylight shots with good dynamic range and great detail. Even in low-light, the mains sensor delivers here, albeit with a little bit more noise than one would like. There’s also a dedicated NIght Mode (that only works with the primary lens) and is good. Just something to note is that a couple of photos will come out over-saturated but that depends on the situation. 

The wide-angle lens lacks the finesse of the primary lens. It’s a complete letdown in low-light as it can’t be used in conjunction with the NIght Mode. In daylight, there’s a noticeable colour shift between the primary lens and the wide-angle lens. 

Yes, the Nord 2T has a capable camera setup for its price range. Most of the time, you’ll get a shot worthy enough for the Gram, but a lot of times you’ll be left frustrated. Looking at the competition, the likes of Xiaomi and Realme have made huge advances in this area, and it seems as if OnePlus has left its mid-range customers far behind. 

Verdict: Is the OnePlus Nord 2T the mid-range phone to buy? 

The answer is simple. The Nord 2T is a great phone if you don’t want to spend top-dollar and have a phone bought in 2000 or earlier. The Nord 2 was an excellent choice. The only thing irking me is the fact that the Nord 2 deserved a better successor. 

The price is good, the specifications are solid, and overall, the Nord 2T performs well for its package. The major differences - the design and the charging capabilities - aren’t good enough upgrades to bring the Nord 2 crowd onboard. 

The Nord 2T may be the best smartphone from OnePlus in the mid-range segment but the company should have done more to differentiate it from its predecessor. With the competition fast catching up (the Redmi K50i from Xiaomi just launched), and even surpassing in certain aspects, it’s becoming harder and harder to recommend a OnePlus smartphone outright. 

Nonetheless, the OnePlus Nord 2T is a solid mid-range phone that you can hardly go wrong with. One hopes that in the next iteration of the Nord series, better cameras and more powerful internals are there to make right by the loyal fan base. 

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