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Thursday, August 05, 2021

OnePlus Nord CE review: Making a OnePlus for the masses

OnePlus Nord CE review: The OnePlus Nord CE (Core Edition) is clearly aimed at increasing the base of the OnePlus brand and cashing in on the success of its predecessor last year.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 22999
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: June 14, 2021 1:09:15 pm
OnePlus Nord CE, OnePlus Nord CE review, OnePlus Nord CE price in India, OnePlus Nord CE specificationsThe phone is powered by the Snapdragon 750G, a mid-range processor from Qualcomm.

OnePlus has changed as a company. Over the past year, it’s literally had a launch every quarter. And keeping up with the tradition, it’s ready with a new phone, its most affordable for now. The OnePlus Nord CE (Core Edition) is clearly aimed at increasing the base of the OnePlus brand and cashing in on the success of its predecessor last year. But will this new strategy work?

OnePlus Nord CE price in India: Starts at Rs 22,999

OnePlus Nord CE specifications: 6.4-inch full HD+ display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor | 6GB/8GB/12GB RAM+128GB or 256GB storage | 64MP+8MP ultra-wide+2MP mono sensor | 16MP front camera | 4500 mAh battery | OxygenOS 11 with Android 11

OnePlus Nord CE, OnePlus Nord CE review, OnePlus Nord CE price in India, OnePlus Nord CE specifications The phone sports a 6.4-inch display with a 90 Hz refresh rate. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

OnePlus Nord CE Review: What’s new?

The OnePlus Nord CE looks a lot like the phones from the brand in recent times. But the moment I took the phone out of the box, it also felt lighter and slimmer than any phone I had held in recent times. And I don’t mean just from OnePlus.

There is a one big design departure though. The phone does not have the trademark OnePlus notification slider — the first phone from the brand to lose this feature. However, I don’t think it’s a big deal because this phone is not meant for those who have used a OnePlus before. And given the choice of owning a more affordable OnePlus I’m sure most users will have easily let go of this as a feature.

OnePlus Nord CE, OnePlus Nord CE review, OnePlus Nord CE price in India, OnePlus Nord CE specifications OnePlus Nord CE 5G has a triple camera at the back with a 64MP main camera. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The sides have the volume buttons on the left and the power button on the other side. The phone grips well in your hand. On the back, the triple camera strip has a flash that is uniquely placed towards the bottom side. Overall, nothing radical at all with the design and even the blue void colour I got seems so OnePlus.

OnePlus Nord CE review: What good?

One feature OnePlus has not skimped on is the display. The 6.4 inch Fluid AMOLED screen is bright, vivid and with a 90Hz refresh rate that could make most gamers happy.

The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 750G, a mid-range processor from Qualcomm. In the few days I used the phone the experience was good, and aligned with the price users will pay for this. Multi-tasking is easy and you can push to play resource intensive games as well. But this is no flagship, let’s be clear about that.

The camera is again what you would expect from OnePlus – no-nonsense and efficient. Stuck inside home for the past many weeks, the most adventurous I could get was to sneak the lens out of the window, but the 64MP main camera did a good job of everything and even had stunning details at times to show.

OnePlus Nord CE 5G review, OnePlus Nord CE 5G camera samples A low light shot taken from the OnePlus Nord CE 5G (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express) OnePlus Nord CE 5G review, OnePlus Nord CE 5G camera sample A monochrome shot taken from the OnePlus Nord CE 5G (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express) OnePlus Nord CE 5G review, OnePlus Nord CE 5G camera sample A regular shot taken OnePlus Nord CE 5G (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express) OnePlus Nord CE 5G review, OnePlus Nord CE 5G review camera An ultra-wide shot taken OnePlus Nord CE 5G (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express) OnePlus Nord CE 5G review, OnePlus Nord CE 5G camera sample A shot taken OnePlus Nord CE 5G (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

There is some cost cutting at play when it comes to the ultra wide and mono cameras. The ultra-wide despite using an 8MP sensor is decent, though it feels a bit plain in comparison to the clicks from the main camera, especially when the light indoors is not that good. I was quite happy with the mono and it seems when you take out colour you can do well even with lower megapixels. Low light images are good, not stunning.

The OnePlus Nord CE can juice up in about an hour thanks to the 30MW warp core charger and this lasts about two days on the 4500 mAh battery, especially when you are stuck to the same tower at home.

Check out all sample pictures on Flickr by clicking on the picture below

OnePlus Nord CE 5G//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

OnePlus Nord CE review: What is not that great?

I found some touches on the display a bit quirky. For instance, the camera flipped when I was trying to adjust the aperture, more than once. At the same spot, I also ended up going into the app cycling tray. I think a software update is due here.

OnePlus Nord CE, OnePlus Nord CE review, OnePlus Nord CE price in India, OnePlus Nord CE specifications The OnePlus Nord CE 5G brings back the headphone jack. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

The other thing is that I did feel this was a budget phone. I meant having reviewed a lot of flagships in the pandemic this is a click slower when you are taking photos and doing some stuff. But this is something only a reviewer might notice because most of those who will end up buying the CE will have no context of a flagship phone. For them, this phone will present no issues of performance or experience.

Should you buy the OnePlus Nord CE?

The OnePlus Nord CE is one of the best options in the mid range, especially if you think it’s time to get 5G. This is a OnePlus phone that ticks all the boxes of style, performance and experience and bring it down to a more affordable price point for new users to sample. I get a sneaky feeling OnePlus has delivered another winner, without doing anything out of the box.

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