OnePlus Nord 2 takes on Apple and Samsung for the popular vote in a blind camera test

Can you tell the difference between photos taken by the Galaxy S21, iPhone 12, and OnePlus Nord 2?

OnePlus Nord 2 camera lens
(Image credit: OnePlus)

The OnePlus Nord 2 is set to launch next week and in true hype-building form, OnePlus is pitting its upcoming handset against the big boys in a camera challenge. The twist? It's a blind camera test so you won't know which photo was taken by the OnePlus Nord 2, and which were taken by the Samsung Galaxy S21, and iPhone 12

In a deep dive blog post, OnePlus describes the "two fundamentals" which underpin the Nord 2's camera: the pairing of the Sony IMX766 sensor from the OnePlus 9  and OnePlus 9 Pro, and the decision to include optical image stabilization (OIS). As the post points out, mid-range smartphone cameras can leave a lot to be desired, so OnePlus has opted to shake things up with a flagship sensor and OIS. 

The combo of hardware, and software enhancements made capable thanks to the Nord 2’s MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI SoC has left the company feeling pretty confident – so much so it's challenging fans to a blind camera test between the OnePlus Nord 2, Galaxy S21, and iPhone 12.  

OnePlus Nord 2 lowlight camera

(Image credit: OnePlus)

The OnePlus Nord 2 blind camera survey doesn't give away which photo has been taken by which smartphone at the end because that would spoil the fun and defeat the object. Presumably, we'll see the results of the poll on social media prior to the July 22 launch. If not, we'll assume the OnePlus Nord 2 came out at the bottom of the pile and the poll was scrapped in embarrassment.  

As Duncan, our lifestyle editor, pointed out, the size of the photos makes it a little difficult to discern the finer details, and honestly none of them looked so bad that you'd be triumphantly pointing at it exclaiming it's the OnePlus Nord 2.

Pooh-poohing megapixel count as the main metric for a smartphone camera, OnePlus says its "focus is always on the end experience," which is where all of those AI optimisations come in. The OnePlus Nord 2's sensor is larger than the OnePlus Nord's Sony IMX586, and thanks to the enhanced Nightscape mode, dubbed Nightscape Ultra, users will be getting a significantly improved low-light photography experience.   

You'll be able to "shoot better and brighter photos in dimly lit places with only 1 lux of illuminance". OnePlus puts that in context by clarifying that this is the equivalent to the amount of light put out by a candle. Big words, but we'll have to wait for a hands-on before we're believers. 

OnePlus is set to unveil the OnePlus Nord 2 on July 22, but no doubt it'll tease more specs and features in the meantime.

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.