The OnePlus Nord 2 follows in the footsteps of last year’s Nord – and this year’s refined Nord CE – by bringing a powerful mid-range device with fast charging and a competitive camera – but only for users in the UK, Europe and India.
North American fans won’t be able to get their hands on the Nord 2 at all, so will have to make do with the recently launched Nord N200 – a much cheaper budget model that’s no match for the newest Nord on paper.
Most of the Nord 2’s specs were confirmed by OnePlus ahead of the phone’s launch in a series of social media posts, but they’re impressive nonetheless: a custom version of MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity 1200 chipset, a 90Hz AMOLED display (one of the few specs unchanged from last year’s model), and 65W wired charging for the 4500mAh battery.
Like the first Nord, but unlike the more recent and cheaper Nord CE, it boasts glass on both the front and back – Gorilla Glass 5 if you’re fussy – though still uses a plastic polymer for the frame, rather than metal. You won’t get an IP rating for water-resistance, or wireless charging, but those are standard omissions for a mid-range phone like this one.
Last year’s Nord impressed on the photography front by borrowing a camera sensor from its flagship siblings, and OnePlus has pulled a similar trick here. The Nord 2’s main camera uses the 50Mp Sony IMX766 sensor – the same used for the ultrawide camera in the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, not to mention for both the ultrawide and the main lens in the Oppo Find X3 Pro – one of the best camera phones on the market right now.
Just as importantly, OnePlus has managed to squeeze optical image stabilisation (OIS) onto the lens. While a standard flagship feature, OIS is still a rarity in cheaper handsets like the Nord 2. It’s a crucial part of top tier camera performance though, with the added stability improving video capture and lowlight photography.
While camera chops are clearly a focus here for OnePlus, it’s worth noting that the Nord 2 doesn’t bear the Hasselblad branding that adorned the camera module of the 9 and 9 Pro.
The partnership with the Swedish camera company was a key part of the marketing push for the flagship phones, but there’s no sign of it here – though since by all accounts Hasselblad mostly contributed colour grading help for the 9 series, it’s possible that some of the company’s software support is still included here, just without the branding.
Speaking of software, the Nord 2 fits neatly into the Android update schedule that OnePlus recently committed to, with a promise of two Android version updates – which should take the phone up to Android 13 eventually – and three years of security patches.
Alongside the Nord 2 OnePlus also unveiled the OnePlus Buds Pro, the company’s first premium earbuds. They combine active noise-cancelling with wireless charging, sweat-proofing, and up to 38 hours of total battery life (without ANC). They’re set to launch on 25 August in the UK, where they’ll cost £139.
The Nord 2 will be available from 28 July, with limited pre-sales kicking off before then on the OnePlus site and Amazon. The starting model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage will set you back £399/€399, with a 12GB and 256GB model available for £469/€499 – purchases direct from OnePlus will also net a free Google Stadia Premiere Edition, but we’re also rounding up the best Nord 2 deals.
Check out our ranking of the best mid-range phones right now to find out what the Nord 2 is up against, or the best OnePlus phones for a better sense of where it fits into the company’s current range. We’ve also rounded up all the news and rumours so far about the OnePlus 9T flagship, expected to launch later this year.
We spoke about the Nord 2’s launch on an episode of our weekly podcast, Fast Charge, following the announcement of the phone. Check that episode out right here: