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OnePlus Nord2: What if its affordable price made it the 5G smartphone for the start of the school year? – 20 minutes


Launched almost on the sly during the summer, the new smartphone OnePlus Nord 2 wants to tick all the boxes to seduce. Although it is
not waterproof, we were able to test it for a long time during the holidays and it is true that this
terminal sold for 399 euros (128 GB) and 499 euros (256 GB) has serious assets in the pocket. But is it irreproachable?

We tested the OnePlus Nord 2 during the summer. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

Beautiful and pleasant in the hand

In the category of smartphones 5G mid-range back to school 2021, I would like the OnePlus Nord 2! Nice appearance (it is available in a nice blue called Blue Haze and in a matte gray called Gray Sierra), quite compact (73.2 x 158.9 x 8.25 mm), light (189 grams), it is very pleasant in hand. And good point: its back cover does not keep fingerprints.

What catches the eye is the smartphone’s photo module, which, compared to the OnePlus North, loses one of its sensors. Here, it is the sensor which was dedicated to the macro photo which goes by the wayside. Not a great loss in view of the fairly mixed results in the field of macro photography of the OnePlus North …

From macro photography to artificial intelligence

The photo kit of the OnePlus Nord 2 therefore consists this time of a main sensor of 50 megapixels (f.1.88). This is the Sony IMX766, a good student already present on the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. Also: an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle sensor (f / 2.25) and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor (f / 2.4).

The triple rear photo module of the OnePlus Nord 2.
The triple rear photo module of the OnePlus Nord 2. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

To this hitch supposedly ready for all missions (as well as for video up to 4K at 30 images / second), OnePlus adds a layer of artificial intelligence, which was absent on the OnePlus North. Activable if desired at the time of shooting, this AI recognizes up to 22 different scenes and optimizes their processing to make the images even more flattering. This often results in a sometimes exaggerated saturation of certain hues. You may like it or not, but it’s worth a try, especially for close-ups of flowers.

Artificial intelligence automatically detects a Flower ...
Artificial intelligence automatically detects a Flower … – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

The subjects that can no longer be taken in macro are now identified “Green Plant” or “Bouquet” (depending on) and have a toned rendering without giving the impression of being artificial.

Tables instead of photos

We were drawn to the smartphone’s up to 10x zoom. Offering a priori impressive rendering at high magnification on the same screen of the terminal, the quality of the photos taken however made us disillusioned once the pictures were transferred to our computer. As soon as we leave the frame of the classic photo and zoom in, the OnePlus North operates a smoothing that goes from moderate to very excessive.

The OnePlus Nord 2's ultra-wide-angle sensor at work ...
The OnePlus Nord 2 ultra-wide-angle sensor at work … – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES
The x5 zoom considerably smoothes the images.
The x5 zoom considerably smoothes the images. – CHRISTOPHE SEFRIN / 20 MINUTES

At 5x and beyond, the smartphone no longer renders photos but tables! We have the impression that our images have been processed by the application of artistic filters Prisma… Disappointing. For the rest, the images provided are generally satisfactory, even in low light. In 32 megapixels, the selfies are detailed, but the smartphone has a hard time making clean cutouts as soon as we activate the Portrait selfie mode.

30 minutes for a full charge

Two excellent points remain. First, the quality of the terminal screen is there. Amoled, measuring 6.43 ” / 16.33 cm (Full HD +, or 2400 x 1080 pixels) with a refresh rate of 90 Hz, videos, TV series, or even video games will be well supported. Rather well-made stereo speakers add to the immersion. We thus swallowed the six episodes of Director, the new series from Netflix (very timely this back to school!) and we were seduced by the visual quality of the viewings.

Then, fast charging (65W, instead of 30W for the OnePlus Nord) takes this smartphone to a new dimension: its 4,500 mAh battery is fully recharged in 30 minutes and no longer 60 minutes. Something to change your life …

So despite some limitations in photos (let us remember here that the OnePlus Nord 2 is sold “only” 399 euros!), This 5G smartphone is a good match. But if you want to spend less, it may seem wise to turn to its elder brother, the OnePlus North, without delay. Pushed towards the exit by the new generation, its sales price has just gone from 399 euros to 299 euros.


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