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OnePlus Nord 2T and Nord CE 2 Lite Pack Solid Specs for Little Cash

The new Nord phones are great for budget shoppers but they won't be available in the US.

The back of the OnePlus Nord 2T
The OnePlus Nord 2T houses a lot of functionality in its understated design.
Andrew Lanxon/CNET

OnePlus's new Nord 2T and Nord CE 2 Lite promise solid performance for an affordable price and based on my hands-on time with the former so far I'd say it's pretty much on the money. Starting at £369, the Nord 2T is the more premium of the Nord range, with the Nord CE 2's price of £279 making it the cheapest 5G phone in OnePlus's lineup. 

The Nord range is exclusive to the UK and wider Europe, so neither phone will be available to buy in the US. Those prices translate to roughly $460 (or AU$650) and $350, respectively.

I've had the Nord 2T in my hands for a couple of days now and it's not a bad bit of kit for the money. My test version is a higher-spec model, with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage and a higher £469 ($585) price tag. The 6.43-inch AMOLED display has a Full HD resolution and is bright and sharp enough for pretty much anything while the 5G-enabled Dimensity 1300 processor is nippy enough for everyday use while doing a decent job of handling games like Asphalt 9: Legends. 

The bottom of the home screen on the OnePlus Nord 2T

The combination of RAM and the Dimensiy processor keep the Nord 2T feeling peppy.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

It's got a plain-looking design -- especially in the matte gray color of my review model -- but it's perfectly inoffensive and if you slap a case on it anyway then who cares what it looks like. The 4,500-mAh battery should keep you going for a day of use but it supports 80W fast charging which will take it from empty to full in just 27 minutes -- and it comes with a fast charger in the box.

On the back is a 50-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel wide-angle camera and a somewhat redundant 2-megapixel monochrome camera. On the front is a 32-megapixel selfie camera -- the same one found on the OnePlus 10 Pro.

I'm yet to get my hands on the Nord CE 2, but its specs include a 6.59-inch LCD display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It's also one of a few select OnePlus phones that offers expandable storage with microSD cards -- not something offered on the Nord 2T.

The Nord 2T plugged into an 80W fast charging cable and power brick

The Nord 2T supports 80W fast charging and luckily ships with the required fast charger in the box.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

It has a larger 5,000-mAh battery so I expect it could comfortably get you into a second day of use, although its fast charging is done at a slower 33W. It offers 5G connectivity and multiple rear cameras including a main 64-megapixel camera, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth camera. 

Both phones run Android 12 with OnePlus's Oxygen OS skin over the top. OnePlus says the phones are guaranteed to receive two years of Android updates and a third year of security of updates beyond that. 

Finally there's the OnePlus Nord Buds, the first product in the Nord range that isn't a phone. At £49 (roughly $60) they're cheap, but lack features such as true active noise canceling. The buds have 7 hours of charge but with the charging case you'll be able to get 30 hours of playtime overall. Whether they offer decent sound quality remains to be seen. Or heard, I suppose.

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