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OnePlus Nord 2 5G Unboxing and First Impressions Philippines: Big Change for OnePlus

by Jamie Inocian  August 5, 2021

Initial Verdict: OnePlus has made a big move for the Nord 2 5G in the Philippines and the rest of the world with the use of MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200-AI processor. Qualcomm faithful may be turned off by the switch, but it does provide some serious punch for the most part plus it does have some great staple features to round out the whole device. Is it worth its asking price? We’ll have to a bit more testing to really find out but it does check a lot of boxes in terms of features.

Pros:

  • OIS on the main camera
  • Fast charging speeds

Cons:

  • Non-expandable storage

It’s been nearly a year since OnePlus has introduced us to their Nord series smartphones. It was a way for them to offer more affordable devices other than the numbered series that once made the brand the talk of the town. This year, they’ve brought about a few key changes to the Nord 2 5G, which includes a shift to MediaTek’s Dimensity chip — a first the company — to go along with some upgrades and a few staple features. Let’s jump in and check out what it has to offer.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G Philippines Specs:

  • Dimensity 1200-AI processor
  • 8GB/12GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB internal storage
  • 6.43-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, 90hz refresh rate, support for HDR10+ and DCI-P3
  • 50-megapixel f/1.8 IMX766 main camera with PDAF and OIS, 2-megapixel f/2.4 mono camera, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera
  • 32-megapixel selfie camera
  • 4G, 5G
  • WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1, in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Stereo speakers
  • 4500mAh battery
  • 65w fast charging
  • Android 11, OxygenOS 11.3

Unboxing and Packaging

We should all be very familiar with OnePlus’ packaging by now but I do still appreciate the touch of teal on the branding to make it stand out from the signature red their flagships have going on. Open up the box and you’re immediately greeted by the device itself. The team over at Digital Walker sent us the Blue Haze color variant that also sports 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though you do have the option of going with the slightly more expensive Gray Sierra version with 12GB and 256GB respectively.

Aside from that, you have the standard set of accessories we’re pretty accustomed to seeing. You have a silicone case with the familiar pattern we’ve seen in other Nord offerings as of late, the documents that includes a welcome note from the team plus stickers, a SIM ejector pin, the signature red OnePlus charging cable, and a 65W Warp Charger.

Design

The Nord 2 5G felt very similar to the first version of this device and that’s because it’s built nearly the same. It’s sandwiched by Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back, it has a plastic frame, but this is a touch heavier at 189 grams compared to the 184 from the original Nord. We’re guessing that’s mostly because the camera module is wider than it used to be and more akin to the OnePlus 9 series.

Other than that slight deviation, it feels the same in the hand with the right amount of curves on its back to make easier to hold when in use. We’ve also taken a look at the Nord CE recently and lamented the loss of the notification slider but, thankfully, we don’t have to do the same here as you can find it on the right side of the phone along with the power button.

The volume rocker is found on the left and, to round out the tour of the device’s button and ports, you have the speaker, USB-C  port, and access to the dual SIM tray slots on the bottom of the device.

For its display, The OnePlus Nord 2 5G has nearly the same one as its predecessor except you’re getting a very slight downgrade in size. While the previous one had a 6.44-inch panel, this one is at 6.43 but everything else is identical. It’s at Full HD+ and uses their Fluid AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. It hits all the right marks we usually look for in these type of screens with vivid colors and the great contrast ratios, which is always a plus for me personally since I do tend to use smartphones to watch videos more than anything.

It’s also got a pair of speakers — the second one being hidden in the earpiece. They’re not the best sounding ones we’ve tried out but they’ll get the job done. Sadly, no headphone jack on the Nord 2 5G.

Cameras

Something we were pretty excited to test out and kind of sad that we won’t get to do so extensively because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine here in Metro Manila are the shooters of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G because the specs do look promising. You have a total of three cameras on the back with the usual 8-megapixel ultrawide and 2-megapixel mono that we’re used to seeing in phones of this price range or lower but it’s the main cam that has really piqued our interest. It’s at 50-megapixels at f/1.8 aperture and is backed by a Sony IMX776 sensor but the thing about it is that it Optical Image Stabilization, which not even the OnePlus 9 has.

As for the selfie camera, it’s as 32-megapixels at f/2.5 so we are down one camera when it comes to the front. We’ll try our best to stretch out the legs of these shooters but we’ll do so within range of our current situation.

Internals

Like we’ve already mentioned, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G is the first phone in the company’s lineup to make the jump from Qualcomm to MediaTek. It features the Dimensity 1200-AI and has two available configurations: the Blue Haze with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and the Grey Sierra with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. We advise you to choose wisely when it comes to the storage department as it is non-expandable but, of course, the extra RAM will make a huge difference as well.

So far, the Dimensity 1200-AI pushes out some great numbers in the initial test we’ve run. It should be fine for most day-to-day use or at least for a Tito like me but we’ll put it through the wringer to see how it actually functions as a daily driver.

For the battery, we’re getting a 4500mAh battery so a little below the 5000mAh standard we see more often these days but it should still last a day. OnePlus advertises the 65W Warp Charge on this device to go from 0 to 100% in half an hour, which we have yet to test out but it should be pretty close as well.

As for the OS, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G runs on Android 11 with OxygenOS 11.3 out of the box.

Wrap Up and Early Verdict

While there are a few questions that we hope to answer in the full review, we think that the OnePlus Nord 2 5G shows a lot of promise. Yes, the change from Qualcomm to MediaTek may be jarring but it does have a good set of features plus we’re happy to see that the main camera on this phone has OIS. Let’s see if this phone delivers the goods when the time comes to publish the full review.

We also have to address the elephant in the room, which was an incident with this particular device in India. While the investigation still seems to be ongoing as of writing this article, it looks like it was an isolated case that involved external factors, Of course, we’ll keep an eye out for any developments in that regard but we’ll give OnePlus the benefit of the doubt.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G Price Philippines

The One Plus Nord 2 5G in the Philippines is priced at Php 21,990 for the 8GB/128GB Blue Haze model and Php 25,990 for the 12GB/256GB Gray Sierra Model. They will be available via Digital Walker’s own online platform or the OnePlus official store on Shopee and Lazada soon.

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