Should you buy the OnePlus Nord 2 or spend less on the OnePlus Nord CE 5G? In short, no. We think the Nord 2 is well worth the extra cash over the Nord CE. It has a much better camera, plays games more smoothly and the glass back adds a touch of class that’s lacking on the CE. You get much, much closer to the flagship experience with a Nord 2.
What about spending more on the OnePlus 9? Despite being further apart in price, the OnePlus Nord 2 and OnePlus 9 feel closer in use. They look similar and their real-world performance isn’t that different. However, the OnePlus 9 does last longer between charges and its ultra-wide camera is miles better. As in so many areas of tech, that last 10% improvement ends up costing more.
What else can you get for similar cash? There’s the Sony Xperia 10 III, a smaller phone with a solid 2x zoom cam. Its camera is a laggy mess, though, taking far less consistent images than the OnePlus. The phone itself is noticeably slower than the Nord 2, making it less enjoyable to use. Battery life is better, but doesn’t make up for the phone’s issues.
Then there’s the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, which features IP67 water resistance and might well last longer between charges. However, the plastic-back design won’t get any pulses racing and it doesn’t run games as well. The primary camera isn’t in the same league, either.
You could equally consider the Pixel 4a 5G. It is, again, a plastic phone, but it also has a great camera – plus it runs Google’s totally pure take on Android. Charging is slower, mind, and it doesn’t have quite the same gaming pep.
Still not satisfied? The Xiaomi Poco F3 might fit the bill. At £300, it’s one of few phones that’s arguably better value than the Nord 2. It runs a superior Snapdragon 870 CPU which should deliver longer battery life. The screen is larger and has that zippy 120Hz refresh rate. However, the main camera’s hardware isn’t at the same level as the Nord 2.