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OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT: Which should you buy?

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Mainstream choice

OnePlus Nord 2


OnePlus Nord 2

Unbeatable value

POCO F3 GT


POCO F3 GT

The Nord 2 doesn’t deviate too much from the first-gen variant, but it delivers exciting new hardware and upgraded cameras that take stunning photos in any lighting conditions. There’s also 65W fast charging, clean software with three years of security updates, and a modern design that makes the device look premium.

₹29,999 at Amazon India

Pros

  • Powerful internal hardware
  • 65W fast charging
  • Great cameras
  • Clean software

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • No IP rating
  • Slow software updates

The POCO F3 GT is all about delivering the best value in the mid-range segment. You get powerful internal hardware backed by an incredible 120Hz AMOLED screen, massive 5060mAh battery that lasts over a day, IP53 rating, and unique gaming triggers that make playing games an absolute joy.

₹26,999 at Flipkart

Pros

  • Class-leading 120Hz AMOLED panel
  • Same great hardware as Nord 2
  • Insane battery life with 67W fast charging
  • Side-mounted gaming triggers
  • IP53 dust and water resistance

Cons

  • Cameras not as good as Nord 2
  • No wireless charging
  • Lot of bloatware out of the box

There’s plenty of choice in the mid-range segment, and a recent influx of launches have made things that much more interesting. OnePlus rolled out the 2021 update to its Nord portfolio, and POCO is aiming to undercut OnePlus’ offering with the F3 GT. So let’s see what these two phones have to offer, and which device you should pick up.

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT Two of the best mid-range phones

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The OnePlus Nord 2 shows that you don’t have to pay big bucks to get flagship-tier hardware. The phone offers considerable upgrades from the first-gen Nord, including a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset, new 50MP camera at the back, and 65W fast charging with a larger 4500mAh battery.

The Nord 2 has a more modern design, but the F3 GT features an aluminum chassis.

Then we have the POCO F3 GT. The device is a rebranded Redmi K40 Gaming that’s making its way to global markets, and it is a genuine powerhouse. It has the same Dimensity 1200 chipset as the Nord 2, but you get a larger 5060mAh battery with 67W fast charging, IP53 dust and water resistance, and unique mechanical triggers on the side that give you an edge during gaming.

Essentially, these are two of the best Android phones you’ll find in the mid-range segment right now. Let’s start with the design to get a better understanding of where these phones differ. The Nord 2 retains the same design aesthetic as the OnePlus 9 series, featuring clean lines and a rectangular camera housing with large rings for the primary cameras.

The F3 GT, meanwhile, has a more aggressive style with etched lines and squarish bevels around the sides that make it easy to hold and use the phone. The oblong camera housing doesn’t really have the same upmarket look as that of the Nord 2, but POCO has a clear edge thanks to its use of materials. The F3 GT has an aluminum mid-frame and a matte finish at the back that is a delight to use, with the Nord 2 featuring a plastic mid-frame and a glossy finish at the back and sides.

The F3 GT is marginally taller, wider, and 16g heavier than the Nord 2, but you don’t notice the added heft thanks to the excellent weight distribution.

Both phones have Gorilla Glass 5 at the front and back, and while I like the look of the Nord 2, it doesn’t feel as good an in-hand feel as the F3 GT. The aluminum chassis along with the matte finish gives the F3 GT the lead in this area, and what the phone lacks in design polish it more than makes up with the in-hand feel.

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT Making flagship hardware accessible

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The Nord 2 comes with a 6.43-inch 90Hz AMOLED panel while the F3 GT features a larger 6.67-inch screen with a 120Hz AMOLED panel. Both phones are great for streaming videos and playing games, but the F3 GT has a distinct edge in this category not only because of its higher 120Hz refresh rate but also the color calibration and the fact that you can play HDR10 content.

The Nord 2 is the safe choice, but the POCO F3 GT has more to offer on the hardware front.

Xiaomi continues to lead the field when it comes to calibrating its devices, and that’s no different on the POCO F3 GT. The phone has outstanding colors out of the box, and you get the ability to tune the color balance to your tastes. There are some issues with auto brightness on the device, but it should be fixed with a future software update.

Meanwhile, the Nord 2 leverages MediaTek’s AI suite to offer a color boost mode that leads to vibrant colors when using YouTube, MX Player Pro, and VLC. There’s also a built-in upscaling option that is useful when streaming 480p videos from the likes of YouTube. While the Nord 2 has a decent enough panel, it is clearly overshadowed by what POCO offers on the F3 GT.

Both devices have stereo sound, but the F3 GT once again takes the lead here, with the phone able to deliver significantly louder (and clearer) sound. The F3 GT also has maglev triggers on the right side that sit flush with the body of the phone when not in use. You can easily activate them by toggling the sliders next to each trigger, and the mechanical triggers can be customizable for in-game actions, giving you a distinct edge when playing games on the phone.

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

As for the internal hardware, both phones are on an equal footing. The Dimensity 1200 chipset delivers more than enough power for any day-to-day use case — as well as gaming — and you’ll find LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. You also get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard, and while both phones have a 6GB base variant as well, it will be available in limited quantities.

Both phones also offer Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC as standard, but the Nord 2 has a few extras: you get AptX HD and LDAC audio codecs, and the device has more 5G bands. The Nord 2 has 11 Sub-6 5G bands in India and 17 5G bands for the global model, with the F3 GT limited to two 5G bands.

As for battery life, the POCO F3 GT has an unassailable edge. The phone has a large 5060mAh battery that easily lasts over a day, and when you need to charge it, the bundled 67W fast charger takes just 40 minutes to fully charge the device. The charging cable is angled as well, making it that much easier to use the phone when charging.

The Nord 2 manages to last all day thanks to its 4500mAh battery, and there’s 65W fast charging as well. You also get a USB PD charger in the box, but the phone doesn’t measure up the F3 GT’s battery longevity.

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT Here are the specs

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

OnePlus Nord 2POCO F3 GT
Operating systemAndroid 11
OxygenOS 11.3 based on ColorOS 11.3
Android 11
MIUI 12.5
Display6.43-inch 90Hz AMOLED
2400×1080 (20:9)
HDR10+
Gorilla Glass 5
6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED
2400×1080 (20:9)
HDR10+
Gorilla Glass 5
ChipsetMediaTek Dimensity 1200 AI
1 x 3.0GHz Cortex A78
3 x 2.60GHz Cortex A78
4 x 2.0GHz Cortex A55
6nm
MediaTek Dimensity 1200
1 x 3.0GHz Cortex A78
3 x 2.60GHz Cortex A78
4 x 2.0GHz Cortex A55
6nm
GPUArm Mali-G77
Nine cores
Arm Mali-G77
Nine cores
RAM6GB/8GB/12GB LPDDR58GB/12GB LPDDR5
Storage64GB/128GB/256GB UFS3.1128GB/256GB UFS3.1
MicroSD slot
Rear camera 150MP (IMX766), 1.0um
f/1.9, OIS
4K at 30fps
64MP, 0.7um
f/1.7
4K at 30fps
Rear camera 28MP wide-angle, f/2.3
119-degree field-of-view
8MP wide-angle, f/2.2
120-degree field-of-view
Rear camera 32MP monochrome, f/2.42MP macro, f/2.4
Front camera32MP, f/2.45 (IMX616)
0.8μm, EIS, fixed focus
16MP, f/2.4
1080p video, fixed focus
Connectivity5G Sub-6, SA and NSA
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
NFC, AptX HD, A-GPS
5G Sub-6, SA and NSA
Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
NFC, A-GPS
Battery4500mAh
Non-removable
5060mAh
Non-removable
ChargingUSB-C 2.0
Warp Charge 65 (10V/6.5A)
USB-C 2.0
67W fast charging
AudioUSB-C
Stereo speakers
USB-C
Stereo speakers
Water resistanceIP53
SecurityIn-display fingerprint (optical)Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Dimensions158.9 x 73.2 x 8.3mm
189g
161.9 x 76.9 x 8.3mm
205g
ColorsBlue Haze, Gray Sierra, Green WoodsBlack, Silver

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT Two standout cameras

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

The first-gen Nord had a decent enough camera, but it struggled with HDR and low-light imagery. That’s not the case with the Nord 2; the phone features a 50MP Sony IMX766 camera module that takes great photos in just about any scenario, and combined with ColorOS’ camera tuning, there’s a huge uptick over last year.

OnePlus Nord 2 camera


POCO F3 GT cameraSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

OnePlus Nord 2 to the left, POCO F3 GT on the right

OnePlus Nord 2 camera


POCO F3 GT cameraSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

OnePlus Nord 2 camera


POCO F3 GT cameraSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

OnePlus Nord 2 camera


POCO F3 GT cameraSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

Right off the bat, it’s noticeable that the POCO F3 GT isn’t too far off the Nord 2. It doesn’t have the same color balance and shots taken in low-light tend to have more noise, but it comes pretty close — no mean feat considering it misses out on OIS. But overall, the Nord 2 is the clear favorite in this category.

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT Easy-to-use software

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

With the hardware being largely identical between the two devices, software is a key differentiator. And in this area, OxygenOS has been the interface to beat for several years.

MIUI 12.5 is a big step forward, but the Nord 2 still has the edge with OxygenOS 11.3.

While things have changed this year with the shift to the ColorOS codebase, the user-facing parts are still the same, and OxygenOS 11.3 delivers a clean interface with plenty of customizability. And in terms of updates, the Nord 2 will receive two Android version updates and three years of security patches.

There’s plenty to like on the POCO F3 GT as well. The phone runs MIUI 12.5 out of the box, with the interface featuring a lot of under-the-hood stability fixes. I usually have a litany of issues with MIUI on review phones, but that wasn’t the case on the F3 GT. The one drawback with MIUI continues to be timely software updates; with no guaranteed timeline for updates, you usually have to wait a while to switch to the latest version of Android.

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT It all comes down to value

OnePlus Nord 2 vs. POCO F3 GT

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

Regardless of whatever phone you choose to go with, you’re getting an incredible value. The Nord 2 features a lot of exciting hardware while still retaining the value that made the first-gen model a runaway hit last year. And the F3 GT has the same attributes while delivering a few unique extras and undercutting the Nord 2 at the same time.

For my money, I’d get the POCO F3 GT — it just has a little bit more to offer.

If I had to pick one, I’d go with the POCO F3 GT. I like the in-hand feel of the device as well as the gaming triggers, and you get much better battery life and a more vibrant screen with 120Hz refresh rate as well as louder stereo sound. Last but not least, there’s IP53 dust and water resistance.

I also like the direction Xiaomi is taking with MIUI. I have no issues with MIUI 12.5, and the ability to uninstall most system apps is a big deal. As for the Nord 2, it is the more mainstream choice of the two; you’re getting the same great internal hardware with a great design, all-day battery life, clean software, and stellar cameras.

If you want a phone with a standout camera, then the Nord 2 is the obvious choice. But if you want the best overall value and don’t mind missing out on the camera, you can’t go wrong with the POCO F3 GT.

Mainstream choice


OnePlus Nord 2

OnePlus Nord 2

A standout mid-range phone

The Nord 2 excels at the basics: it has powerful hardware that handles anything you throw at it, all-day battery with 65W charging, an elegant design, and clean software. The camera on offer is one of the best in the mid-range segment, making the Nord 2 a standout option.

Unbeatable value


POCO F3 GT

POCO F3 GT

A fantastic all-round package

The F3 GT gives you one of the best 120Hz AMOLED panels you’ll find in this category, and thanks to the Dimensity 1200 platform, the phone is a gaming beast. The large battery and 67W charging ensure you can play for hours on end, the gaming triggers add a new dimension to mobile gaming, and you’re getting all this for less than the Nord 2.

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