After all the usual leaks and rumors, the next entry for OnePlus’ budget North line has been officially announced. As with the original North and the recent North CE, North 2 5G will not come to the United States. But for those of you in Europe and elsewhere, it’s an exciting smartphone, the first of OnePlus’s powered by a MediaTek chipset, the exclusive Dimensity 1200-AI.
The slogan for the first Nord phone was “Pretty much everything you could ask for” and OnePlus doubles this message this time by removing the first two words. This new device, according to the Chinese company, has everything it needs to be a flagship killer again. It starts with the custom MediaTek silicon and continues through the rest of the specification sheet. It has a large, bright screen, plenty of RAM and storage, and a triple camera system powered by a 50MP main sensor.
There is a price increase of £ 20 compared to the original OnePlus Nord, but there are some improvements that are worth mentioning. Charging increases from 30W to 65W with Warp Charge 65, and the battery is also slightly larger. This promises “a day’s power in a quarter of an hour.” There is also faster storage – UFS 3.1 versus 2.1. Although we do not know for sure until we have tested it (currently in progress), OnePlus says that the custom Dimensity 1200-AI chipset will perform at least as well as a Snapdragon 870 (the original Nord used SD765G, for reference), even before you takes into account the exclusive AI smarts that enable advanced scene detection, live HDR in video recording, color and resolution enhancements for the screen and improved game performance.
While Nord 2 has two fewer cameras than its predecessor, the setup is fortunately more traditional. Dual selfie cameras never looked like they wanted to take off, and the macro / depth sensor pair on the back just took up space. Nord 2 instead has a monosensor, which is such a dubious inclusion. Most importantly, the 50MP main sensor is the same Sony IMX766 from the OnePlus 9 series, so we can expect decent camera performance provided the chipset is up to the processing task.
Newer Nord models have been somewhat disappointing, so let’s hope that Nord 2 is a return to form. OS updates have become problematic for the company, but Nord 2 will have two years of Android version updates and three years of security updates. It seems that the app’s noisy nonsense from OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro will also happen on Nord 2, but OnePlus is reportedly working on an alternative that allows users to turn off these “optimizations” in a future version of OxygenOS. To see if Nord 2 is worth considering, watch out for our upcoming review.
At today’s event, OnePlus also took the posts from the latest audio product. With active noise reduction, fast charging and an elegant new design for $ 150 / £ 139 / € 150, the OnePlus Buds Pro can have what it takes to compete.
Pre-orders of OnePlus Nord 2 5G will go live at 16:00 BST today on OnePlus.com/uk (along with accessory offers) and Amazon.co.uk, with a general sale from 28 July. Prices start at £ 399 / € 399 for 8/128 GB (in Blue Haze or Gray Sierra) with a 12/256 GB model costing £ 469 / € 499 (in Gray Sierra). In the UK, it will also be available from John Lewis, O2 and Three. Everyone who buys the phone directly from OnePlus gets a free Stadia Premiere Edition package. I wonder how many of these Google still have lying around.
In India, there will be an exclusive 6/128 GB model and an exclusive Green Woods leather finish – prices start at £ 27,999. Open sale starts on July 28, and buyers get three months with Spotify Premium thrown in.