July 22nd was all about the OnePlus Nord 2 5G unveiling and we got up and close and personal with it and did an unboxing. OnePlus Nord was rather OK last year, but slightly overpriced. OnePlus Nord CE 5G solved that, with a great price and also had a decent camera, battery and screen. Now here comes OnePlus 2 bringing some flagship features to the midrange segment.

The device is priced at $400 and we have the Blue Haze version here. However, we have the 12 GB RAM, 256 GB storage version, which is pricier.

What’s in the box

We have the press box version, with 3 cases in the mix, one with an urban pattern with the device’s core features, one with gradient (from orange to blue) and a black one. The regular box includes a 65W charger with USB-A connector, a red USB-C to USB-C cable, manual, SIM key and message from OnePlus, as well as a transparent case.

Design and display

OnePlus Nord 2 5G comes in hues like Blue Haze, Gray Sierra, Green Woods. It’s made of glass and plastic (frame), which measures 8.25 mm in thickness. There’s a glass back here and also glass at the front. No IP certification and the device weighs 189 grams, which is quite OK. It’s comfy to hold and maneuver with a single hand. Also, I noticed that the back looks quite a bit like the one of the OnePlus 9, particularly the camera module.

The build is solid and the feeling of using the Mute/Silence button has become all too familiar.

Screen-wise, we get a 6.43 inch Fluid AMOLED panel with Full HD+ resolution and 90 Hz refresh rate, plus a pre applied protection layer from the factory. We also get a fingerprint scanner (optical) embedded in the screen.

Hardware

The handset uses a CPU unlike any other we’ve seen. It’s not a 7 nm last gen one or a 5 nm new gen one, but rather a 6 nm MediaTek Dimensity 1200 AI, tailor made for OnePlus. Versions of the Dimensity 1200 were present on the Oppo Reno 6 Pro and Redmi K40 Game Enhanced Edition. We also get 6, 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR4X RAM, plus 128 or 256 GB of storage, of the UFS 3.1 variety.

The battery is a 4500 mAh unit with 65W charging, promising to juice up the phone in 30 minutes tops. There’s also 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 with LDAC and aptX HD, as well as NFC, GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou, NavIC and USB-C 2.0. We also get two nano SIM card slots in the mix, as well as dual stereo speakers.

Camera

On the camera front, we find a 32 MP selfie shooter with Sony IMX615 and EIS. At the back we find a triple camera, with a main Sony IMX766 50 MP cam, with OIS and F/1.88 aperture. Then there’s an 8 MP ultrawide cam and 2 MP monochrome shooter with Bokeh abilities. Dual LED flash also makes the cut and this camera provides up to 10X zoom, plus Multi Autofocus, 4K 30 FPS filming and low light Nightscape Ultra capture.

There’s a Pro Mode, Dual View Video (video with both the front and back camera). The main camera has its sensor borrowed from the Oppo Find X3 Pro, from what I understood.

AI and Software

OnePlus Nord 2 5G focuses a lot on AI, with two AI features for screen calibration and also AI calibration for photos and video capture. AI photo Enhance can detect up to 22 scenarios. AI is also used to manage resources and also for improved power management. OS-wise we run on Android 11 and OxygenOS 11.3, with a Games app, Zen Mode, Dark Mode, plus Always On Display.

There’s also that Shelf zone, where you can find a map of where you parked your car, weather, memo and more.

Impressions

This can definitely be considered a flagship killer, even though it’s a midrange phone at heart. It’s got one of the best MediaTek CPUs on the market, if not the best and a lot of useful AI features. The screen looks excellent, the battery is fantastic and benchmarks can beat 2020 flagships. Build is solid and the device feels familiar for any OnePlus buyer over the past years.

The device can be bought here.