OnePlus Nord 2 vs Poco F3 GT: Battle of the Affordable Flagships

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The OnePlus Nord 2 and the Poco F3 GT were launched back-to-back last week. These smartphones are aimed at different audiences but are priced in the same segment. You get high-refresh-rate AMOLED displays, stereo speakers, big batteries, and bundled fast chargers with both. They also have the MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC in common, although OnePlus touts a custom AI-optimised version of it that it’s calling the Dimensity 1200-AI. So how different are these two smartphones really, and if you have to choose between the two, which one should you buy? I compare the OnePlus Nord 2 and the Poco F3 GT to see which is the better smartphone of the two for you.

 

OnePlus Nord 2 5G vs Poco F3 GT price in India

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is priced at Rs. 27,999 in India for the base variant which has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. This has not yet gone on sale in India. There is also an 8GB RAM and 128GB storage option priced at Rs. 29,999, while the top-end 12GB RAM and 256GB storage option is priced at Rs. 34,999.

The Poco F3 GT is more aggressive in terms of pricing. It starts at Rs. 26,999 for the base variant which has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant is priced at Rs. 28,999 while the top-of-the-line option with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is priced at Rs. 30,999. The company has announced introductory prices, which means all three variants will cost a little less for the first two weeks after going on sale.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G vs Poco F3 GT design

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G and the Poco F3 GT cater to different audiences, and are designed differently. Let’s take a look at the OnePlus Nord 2 first. This phone looks like part of the OnePlus 9 series, and also shares a family resemblance with the OnePlus Nord CE 5G. The Nord 2 has a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and a camera hole in the top left corner. OnePlus offers an in-display fingerprint scanner on the Nord 2. The frame of the device is made of plastic but it doesn’t feel cheap. OnePlus has also used Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection at the front and the back which helps the device look and feel premium.

Like most other OnePlus phones, there’s an alert slider on the right which can quickly change the ringer state. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the device but it does have stereo speakers. One speaker is at the bottom alongside the USB Type-C port, primary microphone, and SIM tray, while the earpiece doubles up as the second speaker. The top of the frame only has the secondary microphone.

oneplusnord2vspocof3gtfront OnePlus Nord 2 vs Poco F3 GT

The OnePlus Nord 2 (right) has a 90Hz display while the Poco F3 GT (left) has a 120Hz display

 

You get a triple-camera setup on the OnePlus Nord 2 and the camera module does remind me of the OnePlus 9R. The phone weighs 189g and packs in a 4,500mAh battery. OnePlus also ships a Warp Charge 65W charger in the box along with a transparent case.

The Poco F3 GT on the other hand has a metal frame that feels a lot more premium. You get a bigger display on the Poco F3 GT, measuring 6.67 inches. It has full-HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and support for HDR 10+. The display has Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and so does the back of the smartphone, giving it a premium look and feel. The metal frame has the power button in the center on the right side and there are “maglev” triggers on either side of it. There are latches, which when slid inwards, raise the trigger buttons so they can stay flush with the body when not needed for gaming.

Poco has curved the frame on the sides but it is flat around the four corners which makes this smartphone comfortable to hold in landscape mode. The Poco F3 GT also has dual speakers and these are Hi-Res certified. There’s an IR emitter at the top along with a microphone and a speaker. At the bottom, you’ll find the primary microphone, bottom-firing speaker, and USB Type-C port.

oneplusnord2vspocof3gtbottom OnePlus Nord 2 vs Poco F3 GT

The OnePlus Nord 2 (above) vs Poco F3 GT (below) both have stereo speakers

 

You also get a triple camera setup on the Poco F3 GT and the camera module has RGB lighting accents. The Poco F3 GT is heavier than the OnePlus Nord 2 and weighs 205g. It also packs a bigger 5,065mAh battery and comes with a 67W fast charger in the box. The included Type-C cable has an L-shaped connector which makes it easy play games while the phone is plugged in.

The OnePlus Nord 2 is available in three colour options: Gray Sierra, Green Wood, and Blue Haze. The Poco F3 GT has Predator Black and Gunmetal Silver colour options to choose from.

In terms of build quality, it’s the Poco F3 GT that is made of sturdier materials and feels more solid. You also get IP53 water resistance, and the triggers add some versatility to the device. If you are planning on playing games on your smartphone a lot, the Poco F3 GT would be a better companion.

OnePlus Nord 2 vs Poco F3 GT specifications and software

There are quite a few similarities between the two devices, especially in terms of the processor. Both these smartphones are powered by MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC. OnePlus says it has worked with MediaTek to enhance the AI processing capabilities of the Dimensity 1200, and so it’s calling it the Dimensity 1200-AI. OnePlus claims that as a result, the Nord 2 5G has better AI performance for its cameras and display.

With the OnePlus Nord 2, you get 6GB, 8GB and 12GB RAM options along with 128GB and 256GB choices for storage. The Poco F3 GT, on the either hand, only has 6GB and 8GB RAM variants paired with 128GB or 256GB of storage. Both these devices use LPDDR4X RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. Neither smartphone offers expandable storage, but with up to 256GB on board, I don’t see a reason to complain.

The OnePlus Nord 2 has a 6.43-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate while the Poco F3 GT has a bigger 6.67-inch AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate (480Hz with game boost). Both these displays have full-HD+ resolutions and both companies claim support for HDR10+. You get 5G on both these smartphones along with 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6. The Poco F3 GT does have an IR emitter which makes it possible to control appliances; a nifty feature.

oneplusnord2vspocof3gtside OnePlus Nord 2 vs Poco F3 GT

The Poco F3 GT (left) has “maglev” trigger buttons for gaming while the OnePlus Nord 2 (right) has an alert slider

 

Poco says it has implemented a vapour cooled chamber for better heat dissipation. These smartphones are pretty neck-and-neck in terms of hardware, but the Poco F3 GT does have a slight lead with the bigger battery, higher refresh rate, and faster charging speed, though at the cost of size and weight.

While both these smartphones run Android 11, the customisations on top set them apart. The OnePlus Nord 2 runs Oxygen OS 11.3 while the Poco F3 GT runs MIUI 12.5. In terms of the UIs I prefer the cleaner interface on the OnePlus Nord 2. Yes, there are a few very subtle changes that seem to be the result of its merger with Oppo’s ColorOS, but it still looks and feels like OxygenOS. You get a few OnePlus and Google apps along with Netflix preinstalled. The Poco F3 GT has a higher number of preinstalled apps, including Mi and Google apps along with LinkedIn, Netflix, Prime Video, GetApps, and Amazon. I also got notifications from the Themes app while using the device.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G vs Poco F3 GT performance

Regular usage on both these devices was trouble-free. I could multitask and load heavy apps without any hiccups. The Poco F3 GT has the higher refresh rate of the two and it feels slightly smoother while scrolling through menus and pages. You will need to set this phone to the higher refresh rate manually since it is set to 60Hz by default, while the OnePlus Nord 2 was set at 90Hz. There is no dynamic mode on either device to change refresh rate automatically.

The OnePlus Nord 2 has an in-display fingerprint scanner while the Poco F3 GT has a side-mounted one. Both are quick and I never needed a second attempt to unlock either phone. Face recognition was also quick on these devices.

oneplusnord2vspocof3gtback OnePlus Nord 2 vs Poco F3 GT

The OnePlus Nord 2 (left) and the Poco F3 GT (right) both have triple camera setups

 

Watching content on both phones feels engaging thanks to their crisp AMOLED displays and stereo speakers. The AI Colour Boost setting on the OnePlus Nord 2 does make colours punchier and bumps up the sharpness slightly. As a result, the Nord 2 has a marginally better display quality while the stereo speakers on these devices were on par.

I had the top-of-the-line OnePlus Nord 2 with 12GB of RAM, while the Poco F3 GT I had was mid-spec with 8GB of RAM. I ran benchmarks nonetheless to see how similar these devices actually are. In AnTuTu, the OnePlus Nord 2 managed 5,83,748 points while the Poco F3 GT scored 6,11,051 points. Just to see if these devices can deliver performance consistently, I ran the benchmark five times, and ultimately the OnePlus Nord 2 settled at 5,70,933 while the Poco F3 GT managed 5,94,428. The Poco F3 GT had a higher CPU temperature at the end of these runs though.

In Geekbench 5’s single-core and multi-core tests, the OnePlus Nord 2 managed 819 and 2,749 respectively, while the Poco F3 GT scored 855 and 2,709 in the same tests. In PCMark Work 3.0, it was the Poco F3 GT that scored higher with 11,931 points while the Nord 2 5G managed 8,323 points only.

In GFXBench’s Car Chase scene, the OnePlus Nord 2 and the Poco F3 GT both managed 38fps, while in the T-Rex test, they managed 74fps and 117fps respectively. Even with less RAM, the Poco F3 GT managed to outscore the OnePlus Nord 2 in most of our benchmark tests

oneplusnord2vspocof3gttop OnePlus Nord 2 vs Poco F3 GT

The Poco F3 GT (above) has a metal frame while the OnePlus Nord 2 (below) has a plastic frame

 

I played BGMI on the OnePlus Nord 2 5G and the Poco F3 GT and it defaulted to HD graphics and high frame rate on both. The game was playable at these settings without any issues. I played the game for 20 minutes on both smartphones, and both became slightly warm to the touch. The Poco F3 GT showed a 3 percent battery drain while the OnePlus Nord 2 5G showed a 4 percent drain.

Since both smartphones have big batteries, you will be able to go on for about a day and a half before needing to charge them. In our HD video loop test, the OnePlus Nord 2 managed 19 hours and 46 minutes while the Poco F3 GT managed 17 hours and 36 minutes. The OnePlus Nord 2 was set at its 90Hz refresh rate while the Poco F3 GT was at 120Hz while testing.

Both smartphones come with fast chargers; the OnePlus Nord 2 5G has a Warp Charge 65W charger while the Poco F3 GT gets a 67W unit. In our charging test, it was the OnePlus Nord that was quicker to charge, getting to 58 percent in 15 minutes and 98 percent in 30 minutes. It took 32 minutes to charge completely. The Poco F3 GT got to 46 percent in 15 minutes and 72 percent in 30 minutes. A full charge for the Poco took around 47 minutes.

OnePlus Nord 2 5G vs Poco F3 GT cameras

The OnePlus Nord 2 5G and the Poco F3 GT both have triple camera setups but have slightly different types of sensors. Let’s take a look at the hardware on the OnePlus Nord 2 5G first. It has a 50-megapixel primary camera with an OIS and an f/1.88 aperture, which is the same as the flagship OnePlus 9. There’s also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with an f/2.25 aperture and EIS. The third sensor is a 2-megapixel black-and-white camera. On the other hand, the Poco F3 GT sports a 64-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.65 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 119-degree field of view, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The camera apps on both phones are fairly easy to use and you wouldn’t have an issue with either. Both apps have AI scene detection, and I found them to be quick to set the cameras up accordingly.

The OnePlus Nord 2 and the Poco F3 GT were quick to focus and did not require me to tap their screens. Daylight shots taken with the OnePlus Nord 2 looked natural and had decent details. The Poco F3 GT produced better details though, likely thanks to its higher resolution sensor, but it sharpens the output a bit too much which makes photos less appealing overall. The ultra-wide-angle cameras on both phones offer a wider field of view but the results aren’t as detailed. I preferred shots taken with the OnePlus Nord 2 since colours were more natural.

Daylight camera samples (Tap for resized image)

Daylight ultra-wide-angle camera samples (Tap for resized image)

 

For close-ups, it was the OnePlus Nord 2 that captured crisper shots with better details. When shooting portraits, you have the option to adjust the level of blur on both these smartphones. I found edge detection to be good on both, but the OnePlus Nord 2 again delivered better results. The Poco F3 GT has a macro camera that lets you get close to subjects for a shot, but the output is limited to 2 megapixels in resolution.

Close-up camera samples (Tap for resized image)

Portrait camera samples (Tap for resized image)

 

In low light, it’s the OnePlus Nord 2 that shines yet again with brighter images and better details. With Night Mode enabled, the OnePlus Nord 2 takes longer than the Poco F3 GT but the resulting shots have much better details as well.

Low-light camera samples (Tap for resized image)

Night mode camera samples (Tap for resized image)

 

Selfies shot with the OnePlus Nord 2 were better in daylight as well as low light, and they looked natural. Selfie portraits taken with both devices had good edge detection.

Daylight portrait camera samples (tap to see resized image)

 

Low-light portrait camera samples (tap to see resized image)

 

Video recording tops out at 4K 30fps on both these smartphones. In daylight, the footage from both devices shot at 1080p as well as 4K was well stabilised. Footage shot in low light was significantly better on the OnePlus Nord 2.

Overall, in terms of camera performance, it’s the OnePlus Nord 2 that has a clean lead over the Poco F3 GT.

Verdict

With OnePlus and Poco both launching smartphones in the same price range with similar specifications, it was clear that choosing one wouldn’t be easy. Both of them offer very good performance for the price but it’s the Poco F3 GT that has the edge, scoring higher in our benchmarks. The 120Hz refresh rate along with the high touch sampling rate and gaming triggers make it well suited for gaming. It also offers good battery life and fast charging.

While I think that the Poco F3 GT will appeal to someone looking to play games, the OnePlus Nord 2 is the better all-rounder. Its camera performance is better than Poco’s in multiple scenarios, and battery performance was better too. The design of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G will also appeal to a wider audience, making it my choice between the two.



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