The Nord CE 2 5g is a small evolution of OnePlus core edition line of smartphones. As a successor to Nord CE, it has improved in many ways but unfortunately made some things worse. Find out in our review whether this phone is worth buying.
Otherwise, most Nord CE users should feel at home with the new phone. The cameras are identical and feature the same triple-camera array with a 64MP main sensor, such as the display, a 6.43-inch 90 Hz 1080p + AMOLED display protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
The Nord CE 2 is the second generation core version of the OnePlus series of smartphones and the successor to the Nord CE 5G. And while its updates are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, it has two significant improvements over its predecessor. In addition to the BBK design language with its prominent camera module, it comes with a fast MediaTek Dimensity 900 and supports SUPERVOOC fast charging up to 65 W.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G with Punch Hole
The same goes for physical buttons and SIM card slot covers. These are also made of plastic. Overall the build quality is decent, although we were able to create noticeable and simple “plastic” cracking when trying to distort the case. Nord CE 2 5G IP not certified.
Apparently, the OnePlus smartphone reminds us of the current design language of the BKK Oppo. The camera base is similarly rounded to prevent common dust marks for sharp edges. On the front, the OnePlus has chosen Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
Despite its size, the Nord CE 2 5G is relatively lightweight at just 173 g (6.1 oz), and thanks to its rounded back it is easy to carry and comfortable to hold. This low weight was mainly achieved by making plastic frame and back cover. And while the latter may look stunning, it doesn’t feel as premium as the glass-covered back cover, as in the case of the Mi 11 Lite 5G.
OnePlus Smartphone Connectivity with 3.5-mm Headphone Jack
Due to the low-mid-range price of the Nord CE 2 5G we failed to identify any problems, unlike its predecessor the Nord CE 2 5G is no longer available with 256 GB of UFS storage. And while you can absolutely connect external peripherals and storage devices with the Nord CE 2 5G, its USB-C port is only connected to a slow USB 2.0 bus. Wired display mirroring is not supported and you will have to rely on Miracast instead.
In addition to these minor flaws, we’ve found the Nord CE 2 5G to be fairly up-to-date in terms of connectivity, with support for Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, dual SIM, always on, and a headphone jack. You can even expand its internal storage with a microSD card up to 1TB.
MicroSD Card Reader
The Nord CE 2 5G has a triple-slot and a single microSD card slot for two Nano SIMs. Benchmarked with our Angelbird V60 reference card, it performed admirably overall.
Nord CE 2 5G with Android 11 Software
This latest OnePlus smartphone comes with Android 11-based OxygenOS 11, and OnePlus promises a full three-year security update with two Android feature updates, the first of which – Android 12 – is expected sometime in the second half of 2022. The security patches were as of January 2022 at the time of writing and need to be updated sooner rather than later.
Netflix was the only third-party app to be preloaded in addition to Google’s services. Since the device is Widevine L1-certified, you can enjoy streaming content in HD. Additionally, the Nord CE 2 5G Camera 2 supports API Level3.
Communication and GNSS –with Wi-Fi 6
This OnePlus mid-range smartphone supports Wi-Fi 6 with 2.4 and 5 GHz band connections. Like its predecessor, the Nord CE 2 5G failed to achieve its full potential and lagged behind its competitors when connected to our Asus ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 reference router. Although the recorded data rates were consistent, they were too low for its class.
Cellular connectivity includes a wide variety of 5G as well as 4G LTE bands. Accordingly, Nord CE 2 5G will have no problem connecting to LTE network abroad while traveling. It supports NFC for near-field communication, which allows it to be used for Google Pay.
Supported location services include GPS, Glonass, Galileo, and BeiDou 7 Dual or even triple-band connection is not supported. And when we were able to get the satellite fix inside the house, we saw a lack of both signal strength and connection quality.
The mid-range Nord CE 2 5G was benchmarked in contrast to a Garmin Venu 2 smartwatch on our typical bike tour around the block, and its overall recorded track was very accurate with only slight deviations. Overall, we can recommend Nord CE 2 5G for navigation purposes.
OnePlus Smartphone Call Quality –with Dual SIM
This dual SIM smartphone carries two Nano-SIM cards with full support for VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling. Call quality was decent in low noise environments and its speakers worked very well on video calls overall.
Nord CE 2 5G with Triple-Camera
The camera from Nord CE was largely unchanged. The front 16 MP Sony IMX471 still produces blurry images in good light environments and low light. It also doesn’t support UHD modes and video recordings are limited to 1080p.
The Peace D resistance of the rear-facing camera continues as its 64MP main sensor, probably the same Omnivision OV64B that is also available on the OnePlus Nord N10. It features optical image stabilization and produces handsome photos in daylight with a good dynamic range but in exchange for minor errors in focus, especially on the side. The color accuracy is good, and we did not find any DeltaE deviation of more than 10 during inspection in our lab under controlled and normal conditions.
Videos are recorded in UHD at 30 fps and are not supported by OIS but are software-stable instead. They turn us decent with good autofocus. Switching from one lens to another during recording is not supported.
Speaking of which, the other two lenses are a 2 MP tele-macro lens as well as an 8 MP ultra-wide-angle lens with 119 ° field of view. Details are blurred both in the center and along the edges, and the sensor suffers from visible color distortion.
Accessories Warranty –Charger Included
In the box of Nord CE 2 5G we found a modular 65 W power supply, a data transfer / charging cable, a cover, a SIM tool, a quick start guide and warranty information. OnePlus sells a variety of accessories, including headphones and protective cases, for Nord-Series smartphones at its WebShop.
Unlike European models, which come with a limited 2-year warranty, OnePlus phones purchased in the United States are limited to one year only.
Input Devices and Handling – OnePlus Phone with Face Unlock
The capacitive touch screen was fast and precise and it seemed very smooth to use overall. The AMOLED panel was very responsive and, thanks to the 90 Hz refresh rate, is also very smooth when scrolling or displaying animations.
Biometric authentication is supported by an optical fingerprint reader at the bottom of the OLED display, which works very fast and reliable for a mid-range smartphone, and 2D face detection using a front-facing camera. Keep in mind that the latter is much less secure than the former.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 supports a variety of gestures to make everyday use easier. Unfortunately, we failed to find a setting that enables one-handed mode.