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OnePlus Nord 2 vs. Nord vs. Nord CE vs. OnePlus 9: Sizing up OnePlus' latest phones

You can buy the OnePlus Nord 2 now, but you may want to consider how it compares to other OnePlus smartphones first.

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This OnePlus Nord 2 has a 50-megapixel lens combined with a 8-megapixel ultrawide lens. But, how does it compare to other OnePlus phones?

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

OnePlus released a follow-up to its popular Nord phone in July, calling it the OnePlus Nord 2. The Nord 2 starts at £399 (converts to roughly $540, AU$740), and is now available to buy in India, the UK and Europe. The launch adds a new member to the company's already sizable stable of 2021 releases -- and it can be tricky to tell all those phones apart. But that's why we're here -- to help clear up some of that confusion.

Let's start with OnePlus' latest release, the Nord 2. The updated Android device has a number of things in common with its predecessor: a crisp display, a modest price tag, 5G and a decent amount of speed and storage. The biggest difference is probably the processor. The Nord 2 does away with the Snapdragon 765G chipset in favor of a MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI chipset partly because it offers "65% faster CPU performance and 125% GPU performance when compared to the performance of the first Nord," according to the company. 

Read more: Best Android phones to buy in 2021

OnePlus says the MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI processor is comparable to Snapdragon 870 in terms of performance. You can read about how the chip performed in the real world through our hands-on coverage of the Nord 2. In addition to the chipset, OnePlus made some upgrades to the camera, battery size and charging speed. If you want to know specific numbers, scroll down to the specs chart.

The Nord 2 is a follow-up to the original Nord phone, which was launched in 2020 and became the Chinese phone-maker's best-selling OnePlus device in Europe, shattering first-day sales records. The OnePlus Nord CE meanwhile, is a stripped-down version of the Nord and Nord 2. CE stands for Core Edition, presumably because it's focused on the original Nord's "core" features (though it adds a few more). The Nord CE price comes in the lowest, but OnePlus still managed to stack the phone with high-end features including fast-charging, an AMOLED display and a fast refresh rate.

Now playing: Watch this: OnePlus unveils the Nord 2 5G
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On the other end of the spectrum lies the OnePlus 9, which is the fanciest phone of the lot -- also a member of the Chinese company's flagship line. It has a "flagship" processor and the fastest-refreshing display, but it shares some features with the cheaper Nord 2. Both phones have fast charging (65 watts) and an identical battery size (4,500 mAh). The OnePlus 9, however, has a much higher starting price: £629. 

For a side-by-side comparison of OnePlus phones, take a look at the specs chart below.

OnePlus phones compared


OnePlus Nord 2 OnePlus Nord OnePlus Nord CE OnePlus 9
Display size, resolution, refresh rate 6.43-inch AMOLED, FHD Plus (2,400x1,080 pixels), 90Hz 6.44-inch AMOLED; 2,400x1,080-pixels, 90Hz 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED; 2,400x1,080-pixels, 90Hz 6.55-inch AMOLED, 2,400x1,080 pixels, 120Hz 
Pixel density 410ppi 408ppi 410ppi 402ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.25x2.88x0.32 in 6.23x2.88x0.32 in 6.26x2.89x0.31 in 6.2x2.9x0.34 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.9x73.2x8.25 mm 158.3x73.3x8.2 mm 159.2x73.5x7.9 mm 160x74.2x8.7 mm
Weight ( Grams) 6.66 oz; 189 g 6.49 oz; 184 g 5.99 oz; 170 g 6.77 oz; 192 g
Mobile Software (at launch) Android 11 Android 10 Android 11 Android 11
Camera 50-megapixel (main) 8-megapixel (wide-angle) 2-megapixel (mono) 48-megapixel (standard), 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 2-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth-sensing) 64-megapixel (wide), 8-megapixel (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel (monochrome) 48-megapixel (main), 50-megapixel (ultra-wide), 2-megapixel (monochrome)
Front camera 32-megapixel 32-megapixel, 8-megapixel (wide-angle) 16-megapixel 16-megapixel
Video 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI processor Snapdragon 765G Snapdragon 750G Snapdragon 888
Storage 128,256GB 128GB, 256GB 128,256GB 128GB, 256GB
RAM 8,12GB RAM 8GB, 12GB 8/12GB 8GB, 12GB
Fingerprint reader No No No No
Battery 4,500 mAh 4,115 mAh 4,500 mAh 4,500 mAh
Price In-display In-display In-display In-display
Connector USB-C USB-C USB-C USB-C
Headphone Jack No No Yes No
Special features 5G-enabled, 65W fast charging, 90Hz, dual stereo speaker, face unlock 5G-enabled, 90Hz refresh rate, 30W fast-charging 5G-enabled, 30W fast charging, 90Hz display 5G-enabled, 65W fast charging, 120Hz display
Price (USD) Approximately $550 (converted from UK price) $520 (converted) $410 (converted) $860 (converted)
Price (GBP) £399 £379 £299 £629
Price (AUD) AU$740 (converted from UK price) AU$705 (converted) AU$560 (converted) AU$1,170 (converted)