OnePlus recently launched its Lite variant of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite, priced under 21,000. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is the first cheapest variant in the current OnePlus smartphone family. Some highlights include the Snapdragon 695 SoC, 120 Hz display, 64 MP triple cameras, and 5,000 mAh battery with 33W fast charging. Here is our OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite review.
If you are a OnePlus fan but have not been able to get a OnePlus device because they have been out of your budget mostly, then worry not; one plus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G can be a great option. It is currently the most affordable OnePlus smartphone available in the Indian market.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G feels like a strange device, to be honest. With OnePlus Nord CE 2 in the market at a slightly higher price, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G could be a confusing deal for many. Regardless, I will tell you what you will get when purchasing this smartphone.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Specifications
- Display: 6.59-inch IPS display, Full HD+ resolution, 120 Hz refresh rate
- Software: OxygenOS 12 Interface, Android 12 OS
- CPU: 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 octa-core SoC clocked at 2.2 GHz
- GPU: Adreno 619
- Memory: 6 GB OR 8 GB LPDDR4x RAM (Up to 13 GB Extended RAM)
- Storage: 128 GB UFS 2.2 internal storage, MicroSD slot up to 1 TB (dedicated)
- Main Camera: Triple cameras (64 MP camera + 2 MP macro + 2 MP depth), single LED flash
- Selfie Camera: 16 MP
- Others: Side-mounted fingerprint scanner, Face Unlock
- Cellular: 5G network, dual SIM, dual 5G standby support
- Battery: 5,000 mAh battery
- Charging: 33W charging
- Weight & Thickness: 195 grams, 8.5 mm
- Price: ₹19,999 (6 GB + 128 GB), ₹21,999 (8 GB + 128 GB)
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review: Design and Body
I would not say it is the best-looking smartphone, but the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is a cute offering. It is available in Black and Blue color options, and I got the black one for review, which is pretty good.
The device has a plastic back with a textured block on the upper side that also houses the camera setup. OnePlus’s effort to make the device slightly stand apart from its competitors in the same price range.
A 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom with a USB Type-C port and a speaker grill. The volume rockers and the SIM tray are on the left, with the power button on the right. There is nothing on the top, which is fine.
It is a fairly light device to hold with slightly curved sides, making it comfortable to operate. The fingerprint sensor is mounted on the power button and is pretty fast.
Honestly, there is not much to talk about about the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite design. It is average but cute. So, there is that.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Display and Audio
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G comes with a 6.59-inch LCD with 2412 x 1080 pixels resolution support. A great thing about this device’s display is that it supports a 120Hz refresh rate. So you can count on things to be quite smooth.
I have been using the device for three weeks now, and so far, the display has been very responsive and has not made me mad. OnePlus Nord CE 2 is pretty good for watching OTT (over-the-top) content. While the display is not the most color accurate, it can still deliver a good content viewing experience.
In terms of audio, the experience is quite good as well. It is sufficiently loud, and you can definitely watch video songs on this device without earphones and still get a decent experience. There is a single speaker for audio output at the bottom. I believe that the speaker at the top is only meant to work for voice calls.
The only thing I do not like a lot about the display of this smartphone is the chin. It does not feel good, but it could be because I am used to the OnePlus 10 Pro now, which has an extremely thin chin. Let us move on to the performance of the device.
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OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G: Performance and Battery
In very simple words, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is a decent performer. If you want to do gaming, you can comfortably do that. Opening multiple apps on the smartphone is also doable. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, a pretty good mid-range performer.
The device boots on OxygenOS 12 right out of the box. You get the usual OnePlus experience in the software department. I have not found any issues with the performance so far. When you use the device for heavy gaming for long hours, you will see scenarios of overheating and the device lagging a little on certain occasions. Otherwise, the performance of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite is simply a treat for an average user.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is a lovely device for the battery. First of all, it packs a 5000mAh battery. Then, you also get support for 33W fast charging. At the price of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, I love that there is support for 33W fast charging, at least. Then the device is so well optimized with the OxygenOS 12 that it gives a great battery backup. The 5G bands this device can support are – 5G SA: 1/28A/41/78; 5G NSA: 41/77/78.
Now, let us look at the camera performance of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G: Camera Review
I will say that compared to other devices in the same price range, you are getting one of the best camera systems with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G. The images are very good at understanding the subject’s colors, and everything looks good and original most of the time.
There is a limited number of camera modes, but that is fine as it is not a mid-range or a flagship device. A triple-camera setup at the rear with a 64MP primary sensor, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro sensor. For selfies, there is a Sony IMX471 16MP at the front.
Take a look at the camera samples below.
Software and User Interface
Like the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G, the lite variant also runs on its homegrown Oxygen OS; however, a newer version, i.e., OxygenOS 12, ‘s based on Android 12. The security patch on the phone is dated 5th March 2022. The interface looks more stylish, and if you are familiar with the stock Android interface, you will feel at home.
The Oxygen OS 12 has lots of added features on top of Android 12; you do get customizations and features in the Oxygen OS and security updates. One such feature is the Shelf that shows you a tiled view (or card view) of the apps, weather, notes, music, fitness tracking, and more.
The interface is likely similar to stock, you do not get many apps installed on the phone, and the phone is free from third-party bloatware. Least apps are installed – Netflix, Google apps, and a few from OnePlus. The user interface is clean and lag-free, the experience is super smooth due to its 120 Hz refresh rate, and there are various Oxygen OS customizations and optimizations.
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Hardware, Performance, and Gaming
We are seeing some smartphones coming up with the Snapdragon 695. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite competes with the smartphones currently equipping the same chip. Unlike its higher model, the Nord CE 2 Lite uses a Qualcomm chip rather than from MediaTek.
The upper-end model, Nord CE 2 5G, packs a MediaTek Dimensity 900 SoC, which offers a faster processor than the one we see in the Lite variant. The Nord CE 2 Lite equips a 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, a mid-range octa-core SoC found on a few recently launched smartphones. Rivals like Realme 9 Pro 5G and Vivo T1 5G offer the same chip priced under ₹20,000.
About the CPU, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC is a midrange SoC manufactured in a 6nm process consisting of 2+6 core configurations, two high-performance Kryo 660 Gold cores clocked at 2.2 GHz, and six power-efficient Kryo Silver cores clocked at 1.7 GHz.
Regarding the chip’s performance, the CPU is slightly faster than the Snapdragon 765G and far better than the Snapdragon 720G. The performance fits the price bracket and is suitable for everyday use, also good for gaming and multitasking.
You will find an Adreno 619 GPU for gaming and graphics demanding apps terms graphics. The Adreno 619 can run several games smoothly on default graphics settings for gamers. With this GPU, you can expect to tune games from medium to high graphics.
If you are a performance user, you might want to switch to the upper model for a little more price. While the Snapdragon 695 is still good as a mid-ranger, it falls behind compared to the MediaTek Dimensity 900, which you see on the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review: Price and Conclusion
The OnePlus CE 2 Lite 5G is available in India in two memory and color variants. The base memory variant comes with 6GB+128GB for Rs 19,999 while the 8GB+128GB variant comes for Rs 21,999. It is always better to go for the 8GB RAM variant today, where the applications are becoming heavier to load in the background. The color options are – Blue Tide and Black Dusk.
There is bank offers also included. Users purchasing the device via an ICICI Bank credit card will get a Rs 1,500 instant discount. There is also a no-cost EMI available for up to three months with the ICICI Bank cards.
In my honest opinion, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is one of the best devices in the price range it is selling at. The device has surely got my attention and recommendation as it can be a strong 5G option in the affordable mid-range segment.