Oneplus Nord 2 in the test

Oneplus is also benefiting from the smartphone market that is currently growing again. The brand, which is now part of Oppo, has tripled its smartphone sales in Europe compared to last year – admittedly from a relatively low starting volume. But for that, too, you have to show respect to the Chinese.

The change from a pure premium range to a broader entry-level and mid-range portfolio has certainly played a major role in the success. With the Nord, Oneplus landed a highlight in 2020 and launched a real price-performance hit on the market. The Nord 2 should now continue this success and again offers upper class equipment at a middle class price. But features are not everything.

Great workmanship

At first glance, you can see the design parallels to the flagships of the Oneplus 9 series, which is particularly evident in the camera unit. The processing is also part of the upper class: Oneplus installs a glass back on the Nord 2, which is available in the colors Gray Sierra or Blue Haze.

With the former, you get a matt, fingerprint-resistant finish, the blue back is shiny – with corresponding consequences. Nevertheless, the color is a real eye-catcher. Instead of aluminum, the frame of the Nord 2 is made of plastic, which is bearable at this price.

Overall, we hold a high-quality phone in our hand, which is also very comfortable thanks to the rounded back. Weight and dimensions are for the size of the display (6.4 inches) in the frame. The only drawback: Oneplus lacks water and dust protection.

You don’t need more power

Compared to its predecessor, not much has changed on the front. The resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels is befitting and the refresh rate of 90 Hz is also common. Thanks to it, you can scroll smoothly through the network and your favorite apps. You don’t wipe through the web as smoothly as with the 120 Hz of some top phones, but the difference isn’t huge.

There is also an optical fingerprint sensor under the screen to unlock the phone. That works quickly and reliably. In terms of quality, Oneplus has reduced the display a little compared to its predecessor. The reason for this is the lower brightness and contrast values. Nevertheless, we are looking at a panel that is very good for this price.

Oneplus did not miss out on the interior fittings. The Nord 2 is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 1200. Its performance is not quite on the high-end level of a Snapdragon 888, but on the level of a top chip from the previous year. Most users are fully motorized with it.

Our test device also comes with a generous 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. The user experience is therefore extremely smooth at all times, and the phone does not make an overly strenuous impression even with graphics-intensive games. Oneplus deserves praise for the fairly fast USF 3.1 memory, which is otherwise only found in high-end devices.

If you need less space and want to save something, you can use the 128 GB version, which has 8 GB of RAM. You then pay 399 euros for this. Important: The memory cannot be expanded!

In terms of connectivity, we find all current standards: 5G (usable in dual SIM mode) WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC. You can also listen to music wirelessly in the high-quality codes aptXHD or LDAC. Speaking of music: it comes out of the frame as well as out of the earpiece in a stereo system. Wired there is only one adapter and the USB-C port, which has far too little output voltage for high-quality headphones with 123 mV.

Surface with Oppo parallels

Oneplus delivers the Nord 2 with Android 11 and also promises two system updates and three years of security patches. The fast and simple Oxygen OS serves as the user interface.

The stronger parallels to Oppo’s Color OS surface, which we discovered both in the camera app and in the rest of the menu, are interesting – which is probably due to the fact that Oneplus now belongs to Oppo as an independent brand.

The range of functions of Oxygen OS is still large and, above all, leaves a lot of leeway to individualize the design: from the shape of the app icons to the system color. You can also adjust the color rendering of the display.

Nord 2 leaves feathers in the laboratory

The results from the test laboratory are rather mixed. The telephony acoustics and noise suppression are good. The Nord 2 also shines with its excellent battery life of 11:13 hours (at 90 Hz) and a rapid 65 watt charging power.

On the other hand, the reception is consistently mediocre. Especially the low transmission power and sensitivity with LTE costs a few points and the Nord 2 ultimately costs “very good”. As a result, the connect radiation factor is also comparatively poor and is in the positive range at 0.2.

Nevertheless: The Nord 2 is one of the cheapest phones in the top 40 of our list of the best and offers good equipment with an upper-class feeling at an outstanding price-performance ratio. It is sure to be a best seller again at Oneplus.

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