While the jury is still up in the air about the changes in OnePlus’ identity ever since it integrated deeply with OPPO, the company is still going strong with its launches. The OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition is the company’s latest collaboration with a very popular legend in the world of entertainment. Say what you want about these collaborations, I think OnePlus does the best job of creating collector’s edition phones worth having in your collection. While normies might question the need for these special edition phones, I’m sure the fans absolutely loved the Star Wars Edition OnePlus 5T and the McLaren Edition OnePlus 7T Pro.
Similarly, if you are a Pac-Man fan — I’m not sure how many of those exist in India — this special edition of the OnePlus Nord 2 does great fan service. In fact, of all the collaborations, the OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition is my favourite one because it does a lot of cool things with the hardware design and software tweaks.
It starts with the box, where you will notice the legendary Bandai Namco’s Pac-Man maze etched on the outer sheathing. Once you open the box, you get your standard OnePlus accessories apart from the phone – a 65W charger, a red colour Type-C to Type-C charging cable, a few documents, and your Red Club membership card. But wait for it, since this is a special edition phone, there is a secret compartment where the custom design Pac-Man case is stowed away. I do like the look of this case. It maintains the design language including the cutesy font and graphics of our beloved Pac-Man game.
Design and Hardware
The Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition has a very subtle Green shade on the rear with the Pac-Man character trying to gobble up food, all placed in a nice 4×10 grid. There’s also a OnePlus logo at the bottom left corner. Obviously. But…but…wait for it. The Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition can glow in the dark. Woot woot!
The Colour, Material, and Finish (CMF) of the Nord 2 Pac-Man edition actually uses a glossy fluorescent design on the rear that glows in the dark to reveal a Neon maze. It looks absolutely captivating and unlike any phone I have seen this year. Whip it out at a party and it is bound to be a conversation starter.
Another tiny tweak to the hardware design is the Blue colour alert slider. Rest of the design is similar to the previous Nord 2. I think the new CMF is actually very nicely done and captures the whimsical, comical nature of Pac-Man really well.
Another thing you get additional is a DIY holder for your phone. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my DIY holder on time for this video, but managed to get a picture of one from a friend. And, this is what it looks like. It’s like a DIY Lego set really. Also, there are associated Easter Eggs with this holder as well. Now, if you are planning on getting the OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition, you will have to use the Red Cable Club Membership to redeem it. And, it is shipped to you separately.
By the way, there’s not much to talk about the internal hardware performance or the camera because absolutely nothing has changed. No, unlike a certain young leaker on Twitter who makes absolutely baseless claims most of the time, this special edition of the Nord 2 doesn’t come with a Snapdragon 778G processor.
Coming to the software tweaks, and it starts when you boot the phone for the very first time. Pac-Man eats through a bunch of texts before you can set up the phone. Once you enter the phone, you are greeted with a Pac-Man theme that is actually pretty entrenched in many elements of the UI/UX experience. There are eight Pac-Man themed wallpapers, which is possibly the very first thing anyone would’ve expected.
Some of the first-party icons have been redesigned in an 8-bit pixel theme to stand out from the rest of the icons. I think it is a neat touch. Obviously, the colour theme adopted for the whole UI is Blue and Yellow. And, there is a solid Black outline running around the Notifications shade too. One very cute touch is when you change the page in the Quick Settings panel, a Pac-Man character moves to eat food to indicate the change in page. It goes without saying that the ringtone is also Pac-Man’s signature tune.
Apart from this you have a special filter in the camera app called PACnormaly, which has a virtual Pac-Man and Ghosts from the game roaming around the air in a pseudo-AR like situation. However, I would’ve liked it if this filter was also available in video mode since there are so many moving elements. There’s also a special Pac-Man fingerprint animation, a special Pac-Man edition Clock on the ambient display, and Pac-Man stickers in the in-built editor within the Gallery app. Like I said, it is well thought out and I could just be scratching the surface.
But that’s not it, apart from these software tweaks, OnePlus has peppered a few easter eggs across the system which are revealed when you use the phone. One of the easter eggs I unlocked by charging the phone for 256 minutes in total was an extra sticker, which gets added to the sticker collection in the Photo Editing tool. Similarly, another easter egg gets unlocked when you play the bundled Pac-Man 256 game for 256 minutes in total. By the way, you can uninstall this game if you want. Also, these are only a few easter eggs. There are many more you will unlock the more you use this phone.
So, the OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man edition has a Rs 3,000 markup on the original Nord 2 but I think it is totally worth the extra if you are a fan of the legendary game. Which begs the question? Are there many Pac-Man fans in India? While Bandai Namco has kept up with the times with modern versions of the game, I doubt it drums up the same kind of enthusiasm or hype from gamers in India. Let’s not forget this game was most popular in the 80s and to a certain extent in the 90s. OnePlus would’ve most benefit from a PUBG collaboration in 2021 instead. At least, in India.
Anyway, there are a couple of other issues. This phone is currently on Oxygen OS 11.3. I hope much of the fun around the Pac-Man theme doesn’t fade away when Color OS 12 (Review) based on Android 12 drops. Oops, I mean Oxygen OS 12. Also, there have been many instances of Nord 2 phones going kaboom and that’s raised some concerns with potential buyers. So, that’s another hurdle OnePlus is going to have to cross when it tries to sell this limited edition phone.
All that said, I firmly believe this is easily the best collaboration by OnePlus yet. Did you like it? Let’s take it to the comments section.
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