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OnePlus Nord 2 vs OnePlus Nord: 5 key changes coming to the phone

OnePlus has officially unveiled the Nord 2, almost exactly one year on from when the original Nord launched back in 2020. Here are the biggest differences between the Nord and the Nord 2. 

The Nord was an all-round impressive phone that offered a great display, fast charging, an ergonomic design and 5G connectivity all at an affordable price. 

According to OnePlus, the OnePlus Nord 2 5G delivers “a comprehensive upgrade from the first Nord, from camera and performance to charging and design”. 

So, what exactly is new for 2021? Read on to discover all the big updates coming to the OnePlus Nord with the Nord 2. 

OnePlus Nord 2 and they all lived happily ever after
OnePlus Nord 2

The Nord 2 comes with less cameras (in a good way)

When the original Nord launched, it featured a quad-camera layout. The array consisted of a 48-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor, a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. There was also a dual punch-hole camera on the front, made up of a 32-megapixel main camera and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle front camera. 

The Nord 2, on the other hand, features just two cameras on its rear – a 50-megapixel main sensor and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor with a 119.7-degree field of view. There is a monochrome sensor too, but this is pretty pointless and hardly worth mentioning.

There’s also a 32-megapixel selfie camera on its front (that’s the highest resolution front camera you’ll find on a OnePlus phone). 

While this may seem like a downgrade, we actually weren’t all that impressed with some of the cameras found on the original Nord, so less cameras might not be such a bad thing – especially if they perform better. 

According to OnePlus, the Nord 2 will shoot better photos at night, thanks to OIS and the 50-megapixel IMX766 sensor, which is capable of capturing 56% more light than the original Nord’s 48-megapixel IMX586. The company has also enhanced its Nightscape Mode to launch Nightscape Ultra which can capture brighter photos in conditions as dim as 1 lux. 

There’s also AI Video Enhancement and AI Photo Enhancement to automatically adjust the camera’s settings for better results, and the new Group Shots 2.0 can detect up to five faces at a time and optimise skin tone and facial details in group photos. 

OnePlus Nord

The Nord 2 is a lot faster than the original Nord 

OnePlus was rumoured to be ditching its usual Qualcomm chip for the Nord 2 and that prediction has been proven to be true. 

Unlike the original Nord, which was powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G 5G, the Nord 2 features a tweaked version of MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 SoC: the Dimensity 1200-AI. 

The Dimensity 1200-AI processor is essentially the standard Dimensity 1200 with additional AI capabilities.

However, the most exciting news about the chip is that it offers 65% faster CPU performance and 125% faster GPU performance over the original OnePlus Nord, making the Nord 2 significantly faster than its predecessor. 

OnePlus Nord 2 this man looks surprisingly happy all things considered
OnePlus Nord 2

The Nord 2 has a bigger battery 

Another rumour that rang true was the news that the Nord 2 would feature a bigger battery. 

The original Nord came with a 4115 mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T fast charging, which could get you from 0 to 100% in a little over an hour.

The Nord 2, on the other hand, packs the same 4500mAh battery found in the flagship OnePlus 9. The phone also benefits from faster charging with support for Warp Charge 65 meaning users can expect to go from 0 to 100% in less than 35 minutes. 

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

The Nord 2 has a brighter (and slightly smaller) display 

Another rumour we heard ahead of the launch, was that the Nord 2 would include a slighter smaller display. 

This rang true with the Nord 2 getting the expected 6.43-inch 90Hz fluid AMOLED display – 0.01-inch smaller than the 6.44-inch FHD+ 90Hz AMOLED display found on the older Nord. 

However, one thing we didn’t see coming was the Nord 2’s brighter and more colourful screen. The Nord 2 is set to benefit from AI Color Boost and AI Resolution Boost, which improve colours and upscale the resolution of popular apps for a more vivid and dynamic appearance. 

OnePlus Nord 2 this one is surprisingly normal
OnePlus Nord 2

The Nord 2 is slightly more expensive at launch 

While there hasn’t been a huge jump in price for the Nord 2 and the phone still sits comfortably in the budget sector of the market, the newer Nord is still slightly pricier than its predecessor. 

The original Nord was available in Gray Ash, a darker Gray Onyx and Blue Marble, with the 8GB/128GB model priced at £379 and the 12GB/256GB version £469. 

The Nord 2 comes in Blue Haze and Gray Sierra, with the 8GB/128GB version starting at £399 and the 12GB/256GB one £469. This makes the lowest spec model £20 more expensive this time around. 

It’s also worth noting that OnePlus has discounted the price of the original Nord to £329 for the 8GB/128GB and £419 for the 12GB/256GB, so if you’re looking to save some cash the 2020 Nord may be the way to go.

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