Highlights

  • Dimensity 1300 SoC
  • 50MP triple rear camera setup
  • 4,500mAh battery, 80W fast charging

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OnePlus Nord 2T Review: Still the best mid-range smartphone?

Is the OnePlus Nord 2T a worthy successor to the OnePlus Nord 2, and the best phone you can buy in the mid-range? Find out in our OnePlus Nord 2T review.

Key Specifications
Price : ₹28,999
Dimensity 1300 SoC

6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED

50MP triple rear camera
4,500mAh battery 80W fast charging 32MP front camera
Our Review
8.5 / 10
Design9/10
Display/Sound8/10
Camera8/10
Performance9/10
Software7/10
Battery8/10
Pros
  • Great performance
  • Good camera quality
  • Very fast charging
Cons
  • Glossy back is fingerprint magnet
  • Updates could be faster

The OnePlus Nord 2 was one of my favourite phones of last year. It had a great camera, a pretty speedy processor, and provided great value for money in the mid-range segment. All of these things are still true for the OnePlus Nord 2T, because this is basically the same phone, with a few upgrades. Is this still the best mid-ranger you can buy?

Before I answer that question, let's quickly unbox the device and see everything that’s inside. OnePlus sent us this really nice media kit, which has these really cool-looking badges and stickers. It’s also got this very impressive plac for the new MediaTek Dimensity 1300 processor, and a message from the team.

In the retail box, along with the phone, you get all the paperwork, a nice sticker pack, and a great clear case, which is nice to get. There is also the 80W SuperVOOC fast charger, of ecourse, which we’ll get to in a bit.

Design

Design is the one area where the Nord 2T distinguishes itself from its predecessor, the OnePlus Nord 2. You will immediately notice the new camera bump, which is much larger both in surface area and height. Taking up all that space are two ginormous lens cutouts, with the bottom one hosting two cameras.

Apart from that, the design mirrors the Nord 2 with rounded corners and curved edges that give it a very nice hand-feel, and make one-handed use quite convenient. The button placement is all identical as well, which does mean that the OnePlus slider is still here, and lets you quickly change between ring, vibrate, and silent modes. It‘s gone missing in some other phones, so I’m glad to see it here.

The front display is also the same, with 3 symmetrical bezels flanking a slightly bigger chin. The fingerprint sensor remains on the front display, and continues to work without any issues.

We’ve been sent this Jade Fog colour, which is a teal-ish greyiish tone that does look quite stylish, but is glossy and a proper fingerprint magnet. I am more partial to the Grey Fog colour variant, which has this shimmery matte black back. The backs are all glass, and there’s no equivalent to the Green Woods leather back finish of the Nord 2, which I really miss. But there’s no denying that the Nord 2T is an extremely stylish phone.

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Display/Sound

The OnePlus Nord 2T retains the 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, which continues to be pretty great. An upgrade to 120Hz for the refresh rate would have been appreciated, but things are still pretty smooth at 90hz. The screen also supports HDR10+, although it’s not yet supported in the Netflix app. The screen also gets Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

The stereo speaker setup on the Nord 2T continues to impress, with great loudness, soundstage, and clarity. I found it usable enough to listen to music on it, and watching content is also a great experience.

Camera

The OnePlus Nord 2T gets a 50MP Sony IMX766 main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is the exact same camera setup as the Nord 2. In fact, I tested out both cameras side-by-side, and there are really close to no differences in the images, as you can see here.

It’s a good thing, then, that the IMX766 continues to be a flagship-grade sensor that’s great value for this price, and produces incredibly detailed images with vivid colours, good depth of field, and nice dynamic range.

It’s also very good at shooting portraits, where the depth sensor seems to be doing a solid job because subject separation continues to be fantastic, and you can get some very nice looking shots.

The flagship-grade sensor really shines when it comes to night photography. The main camera is able to take excellent night shots, taking in a lot of light, and this is further helped by the night mode processing which can get light from basically pitch black darkness.

The 8MP ultra-wide is less sharp and has less dynamic range than the main lens, but does an adequate job when shooting landscapes or buildings in bright daylight.

The main camera can also do 4K 30FPS video, which is pretty clear with decent smoothness during pans. If you want more stability, the ultra-stable mode will kick the resolution down to 1080P 60FPS.

The 32MP front-facing camera continues to take great pictures with accurate skin tone capture, and even portrait mode works very well here. Things can get a bit wonky when the HDR kicks in, leading to slightly weird colour palettes and oversaturation.

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Performance

One of the upgrades the Nord 2T gets over its predecessor is the new Dimensity 1300 chipset, over the Nord 2’s Dimensity 1200. Or so you would think. A closer look at the spec sheets of these chipsets reveals that they are pretty much the same. Both the Dimensity 1200 and 1300 have 1 Cortex A78 core clocked at 3Ghz, Cortex A78 cores clocked at 2.6Ghz, and 4 Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 2 Ghz. They both also support LPDDR4x RAM, which the Nord 2T gets either 8 or 12GB of. The phone also has options for 128GB or 256GB of storage.

This similarity is borne out by the synthetic benchmarks, where both phones get more or less the same scores, accounting for a standard margin of error. Nerd speak aside, this basically means that the OnePlus Nord 2T will be very fast in general day-to-day usage, while taking pictures, or using social media apps, just like the OnePlus Nord 2. And the OnePlus Nord 2 has not slowed down or shown any lag at all over the past year, which bodes well for the Nord 2T’s longevity.

There is, however, one difference between the Dimensity 1200 and 1300 chipsets. The newer Dimensity 1300 chipset gets MediaTek’s HyperEngine 5.0 technology, as compared to HyperEngine 3.0 in the Dimensity 1200. This is a set of optimisations that MediaTek claim make the gaming experience much better.

Now, I didn’t notice anything wildly different between the two phones, but still the Nord 2T is a great phone for gaming. On Apex Legends Mobile, for example, it can do UltraHD graphics along with Ultra framerate, and keep a steady 60 frames per second throughout the match. On Call of Duty: Mobile, it achieved Very High graphics with a Very High framerate. It also didn’t get too hot after 30-40 minutes of gaming, which is great.

Software

The OnePlus Nord 2T launches with OxygenOS 12 based on Android 12, along with all the new features that brings like Work-Life Balance, which can quickly let you switch apps and settings, and the new OnePlus Shelf, which you can access by swiping down from the top right to get quick access to stats and shortcuts. You can also use the new OnePlus Scout search feature from here, which can search within your apps and files along with the internet.

Now the OnePlus Nord 2 also did get most of these features with the Android 12 update, which only happened quite recently, so I hope that the Nord 2T is faster with the eventual Android 13 update.

One thing I do have praise OnePlus for is the complete lack of bloatware, which makes for a very clean new phone experience, and I really, really appreciate it. When most of their competition at this price point comes chock-full with pre-loaded junk, the clean and smooth OxygenOS experience is a delight to use.

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Battery

OnePlus has packed in a 4,500mAh battery into the Nord 2T, and the phone maintains a pretty decent battery life. With very heavy usage, that involved a lot of gaming and picture taking, I got around 4-5 hours of screen on time, which is really good.

The one big spec upgrade this phone does receive, is that the charging rate has been boosted from the Nord 2’s 65W to 80W, matching OnePlus’ flagship phones for this year. This means that the Nord 2T can go from 0 - 100 in an incredible 27 minutes, which remains very useful, especially while travelling.

Verdict

The OnePlus Nord 2T is an incredible value for money phone, which I think says a lot about where the smartphone market is at in 2022. Rising prices and dropping specs have meant that newer phones often haven’t been as powerful as older ones, and buyers have had to spend more to get better specs. All of which means that the OnePlus Nord 2T, with it’s great display, speedy processor, and fantastic camera, remains an excellent mid-range phone I can easily recommend to anyone.

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