By the end of 2021, the OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition will be ready to buy, and it brings together one of the year’s best mid-range smartphones with the gaming icon that first appeared in arcades in 1980.
It’s an odd pairing, but the new Pac-Man edition of the phone is packed full of references to the pizza-shaped hungry boy, and his first 40 years of gaming. OnePlus wants to position itself as a gaming phone brand, so this makes sense for those who like the look of the company’s handsets and retro games.
In terms of tech, this is the same OnePlus Nord 2 that we gave a 4.5-star review to earlier in 2021. That means it features a 6.43-inch 90Hz display, MediaTek Dimensity 1200 chipset, 50MP main camera, 32MP selfie camera and more.
All the Pac-Man changes here are cosmetic - it just comes in a 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage variant - but we’re able to run you through five differences we’ve spotted while using the smartphone for the last few days.
1. Pac-Man is on the back, but it's better in the dark
If you like Pac-Man, you’ll enjoy the fact the mascot is adorning the rear of your phone alongside a grid of dots that he’s likely planning on swallowing whole. There’s no sign of any spooky ghosts on the rear of the OnePlus Nord 2, thankfully.
Near the camera, you’ll find the name of the handset is emblazoned down the side of the phone. That’s it in terms of the design changes, until you use the OnePlus Nord 2 in a dark room.
There’s a glow in the dark effect, which reveals a hidden maze on the back of the handset. It looks like the maze you’d find in Pac-Man 256 with the OnePlus logo hidden in it and the word Nord on the rear.
This is a neat touch, and it isn’t something we’ve seen used on a smartphone before. It isn’t bright enough to annoy you when you’re trying to sleep with the handset nearby, so don’t be too worried about it keeping you up at night.
2. Your phone’s apps are all 8-bit themed
If an app on the OnePlus Nord 2 is made by OnePlus, you can expect it to have an 8-bit themed look. But this is just for the logo on the main page of the handset, so don’t expect any theming when you open up apps.
For example, the Calculator, Camera, Clock, Community, Files, Zen Mode and Gaming apps all come with this 8-bit look for the logo. It’s a neat little touch, which some retro game fans will especially like on their phone’s display.
3. There are Pac-Man wallpapers
As soon as you boot up the Pac-Man edition, you’ll find an animated wallpaper that is unique to the OnePlus Nord 2. You can’t get this anywhere else.
If you don’t like this one, there are three other more subtle Pac-Man wallpapers that you can choose from if you want to change up the look. This is something we expected from the phone, but it’s nevertheless a constant reminder that you’ve bought a special edition handset.
4. It comes pre-installed with Pac-Man 256
This won’t be for everyone, but the mobile game Pac-Man 256 is pre-installed on the phone. It’s an endless runner from the development studio that made Crossy Road, so expect a similar style of game.
If you’re into Pac-Man, it’s likely you’ve already played this title as it was released in 2015. It’s ready and waiting to play as soon as you boot up the phone though, so you won’t need to download the game from the Google Play Store.
5. This little Pac-Man tells you what page you’re on
A more subtle easter egg is that the small dot that tells you what page of the Quick Settings you’re on has been swapped for a small Pac-Man. When you move pages, he’ll switch directions and eat the dot to his side.
It isn’t a reason to buy this phone, but it’s one of the more subtle easter eggs we’ve spotted so far on this handset that makes it an interesting edition for retro game fans.
We’re sure there are many more easter eggs buried away in the OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition. The company has been teasing them, and we’re likely to see more people discover them when this handset comes out later in 2021.