The market for smartphones under Rs 30,000 in India is highly competitive. OEMs have often found it difficult to manoeuvre across this market where 'bang for your buck' is prioritised above all else. Enter the OnePlus Nord 2T, a mid-range smartphone that was unveiled in India back in July.
In our first impressions of the OnePlus Nord 2T, we noted that the device had a lot of potential and was a welcomed addition to the India's sub-30K smartphone market. But is that still the case after extensively using this device? We'll answer that question right after a brief note on the OnePlus Nord 2T's price in India.
OnePlus Nord 2T Price in India
The OnePlus Nord 2T is priced at Rs 28,999 for the base 8GB/128GB model. The handset also comes in a 12GB/256GB variant that will set you back Rs 33,999. The OnePlus Nord 2T is available in Gray Shadow and Jade Fog colours. However, you will be able to purchase the device for as low as Rs 26,499 during Amazon's Great Indian Festival sale, which starts September 23. Now, back to the OnePlus Nord 2T review.
Design and Build
The Nord 2T is available in two colours – Gray Shadow and Jade Fog colours, ours arrived in the latter. The Gray Shadow version of the Nord 2T's rear panel is smooth to the touch, resistant to fingerprints, and has a matte sandstone finish, which does tend to shine. There's a plastic frame on the Nord 2T that has a metallic silver finish to resemble aluminium. Additionally, you get Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the back and front.
Lastly, the Nord 2T is relatively light, weighing 190g and measuring 8.2mm thick. The phone is perfectly sized to fit in your hand, it isn't too large or too small. There are rounded edges, which makes the phone rather comfortable to hold. OnePlus also brings back the popular alert slider to the Nord 2T. There are two cut-outs on the back for the cameras that house three lenses. The camera island also includes LED flash modules.
Apart from the alert slider, you also get a power button on the right and a volume button on the left. There's a speaker grille, USB Type-C port, and SIM tray on the bottom, although the headphone jack is missing. The Nord 2T’s stereo speakers deliver a balanced audio experience and get pretty loud at its max volume, although sometimes audio does feel distorted at higher volumes.
For the display, the Nord 2T sports a 6.43-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) AMOLED screen with a 20:9 aspect ratio. The panel features a smooth 90Hz refresh rate, although there's no room for adjustment as it only scales to 60Hz or 90Hz. The Nord 2T's display also supports HDR10+ on apps like Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Hulu.
The panel features a pixel density of 409 ppi and is bright enough to be visible under direct sunlight. The display on the Nord 2T is decent without a lot of faults, although there are OEMs with devices that offer screens with higher refresh rates and higher levels of brightness. If I had to give it a rating, considering the price, I'd say 'B'.
In terms of performance, the Nord 2T opts for a MediaTek Dimensity 1300 SoC which is a slight upgrade over the Dimensity 1200 chip on the OnePlus Nord 2 ( Review ). The chip is paired with up to 12GB of LPDDR4x RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The Nord 2T managed a single-core score of 750 points and a multi-core score of 2768 points on Geekbench 5's CPU test. Additionally, the Nord 2T ran Call of Duty: Mobile and Apex Legends Mobile ran on High and HD settings, respectively.
I also ran Diablo Immortal on Medium Settings at 60fps without any issues. After 30 minutes of non-stop gaming the phone did get a little warm but nothing too serious. Overall, the chipset may not be the best in the category but gets the job done, offering a smooth navigation and a solid gaming experience.
On the optical front, the OnePlus Nord 2T boasts a triple-camera setup on the back. At its helm sits a 50 MP Sony IMX766 sensor with OIS, which is accompanied by an 8 MP ultrawide unit and a 2 MP monochrome sensor. On the front, the Nord 2T boasts a 32 MP selfie camera.
In daylight, the main camera does a solid job, capturing plenty of detail and good dynamic range. The camera also captures accurate colours with a bit of punch. Toggling the AI option leaves you with a tad bit too much of saturation. Images do tend to look more overprocessed due to some aggressive HDR. Photos taken indoors were not quite as good as those taken outdoors, while the camera does struggle with darker areas of a photo.
The ultrawide camera also captures shots with good contrast and decent dynamic range. The ultrawide camera also maintains colour consistency with the main camera in daylight. However, there is a noticeable loss of detail, while images looked softer. The Nord 2T takes good portrait shots with the aid of the 2 MP depth sensor. The background blur is pretty good, although subject separation was not always on point.
The main camera does an excellent job in low light, capturing a good amount of detail. Noise is kept under control for the most part and the punchier colours work in the Nord 2T's favour. Photos don't always look realistic, but I didn't find that to be such a bad thing in most cases. The ultrawide shooter was underwhelming in low light and night mode doesn't do much apart from bumping up the saturation. The Ultra Night mode automatically turns on in extremely dark scenarios, which makes images look unrealistically bright.
Moving to the front and the 32 MP selfie camera produces images with good exposure and accurate colours. Shots also had a good bit of detail with solid dynamic range. However, the front camera didn't fare too well in low light. The OnePlus Nord 2T can record 4K video at 30fps and 1080p video at up to 60fps. 4K footage in daylight was surprisingly good, although low light footage was unreliable for the most part. The main camera also benefits from EIS and OIS, while the former is also available on the ultrawide lens. The overall camera performance of the OnePlus Nord 2T was well-above average. Camera performance here may not be category leading, but it is highly reliable and will leave you with more-than satisfactory results.
The Nord 2T comes with an impressive 4,500 mAh battery, which was more than sufficient to last an entire day, even under heavy usage. I was able to squeeze out 90 percent of the phone's battery before heading to bed with a good 10 percent to take into the next day. What's even better than battery life is the phone's super-fast 80W charging, adapter included in the box of course, which is capable of fully powering the Nord 2T's 4,500 mAh battery in around 30 minutes. The Nord 2T offers excellent battery life and even better charging support.
The OnePlus Nord 2T runs Android 12 out of the box with OxygenOS 12.1 on top. OnePlus is offering two years of Android updates and three years of security updates with the Nord 2T. The overall experience is snappy with smooth animations and very-little bloatware. Most of the aspects of OxygenOS are retained here, like the always-on display modes, Zen mode, custom apps, notifications, and shortcut toggles, although influences of ColorOS are evident in the Camera and Settings apps. There are a few pre-loaded OnePlus apps, and the experience was pretty good.
My first impressions of the OnePlus Nord 2T were generally positive. And after this review nothing much has changed. The Nord 2T is a good smartphone that has everything you need in a mid-range smartphone and some. The entire approach with the Nord 2T seems very minimalist as you are left with a reliable chipset, versatile cameras, a vibrant display, superb battery life backed by extremely fast charging, and clean software. Add to that a tough build and polished design, and you are left with a versatile mid-tier handset, which is pretty much the Nord 2T's greatest strength.
However, this can also be seen as a weakness as there's nothing category leading about the device, no standout attribute. And that pretty much sums up my entire experience with the Nord 2T, 'good but far from great'. But that's not necessarily a bad thing as it makes the phone very easy to recommend, the safe bet if you will. You aren't getting a major upgrade over the Nord 2, just basic quality of life improvements.
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