OnePlus has continued to manufacture smartphones in the Nord line. This time, I was able to test her latest version of a device called OnePlus Nord CE.
In this review, you can find out its main advantages, but I will also share with you about the disadvantages of the device. Naturally, in this full review, I’ll run a series of performance tests on various benchmarks, talk about build quality, show sample photos, and even run a battery test.
If we talk about pricing, the OnePlus Nord CE smartphone model belongs to the mid-budget segment from OnePlus. Since the price tag at the beginning of sales starts quite high. For example, for version 8 and 128 GB of memory, you will have to pay $370, but the version with 12 and 256 GB will already cost $435.
Perhaps this price tag for the OnePlus is not significant, but for many users, the price over $350 will slightly push the device away from the purchase.
In technical terms, the Nord CE smartphone stands out with a 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED screen with a 90 Hz refresh rate. The heart of the smartphone is the Snapdragon 750G processor with 5G network support. The main camera received three camera modules, where the main sensor has a 64-megapixel resolution.
Another positive aspect I can single out is a pretty good battery capacity of 4500 mAh with support for fast charging at 30 watts of power. In addition, the device received an NFC module, Bluetooth 5.1 and many other features, which I will talk about in an in-depth and detailed review below.
OnePlus Nord CE: Specifications
|OnePlus Nord CE:||Specs|
|Display:||6.43 inches Fluid AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 pixels, 90Hz|
|CPU:||Snapdragon 750G 5G Octa Core 2.2 GHz|
|RAM:||8 or 12GB|
|Internal memory:||128 or 256GB|
|Cameras:||64MP + 8MP + 2MP main camera and 16MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,3G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC and GPS|
|Dimensions:||159.2 x 73.5 x 7.9 mm|
Unboxing and packaging
The smartphone comes in a rather deep black packaging made of matte cardboard. On the front, you can find the OnePlus logo and a large number of Nord names.
When opening the package, the first thing that meets me is, directly, the smartphone itself. It was packed in a protective shipping film. Slightly below is another box, which contained a transparent silicone case with an unusual pattern, a needle for a SIM tray and instructions for use.
But at the very bottom of the package, I found it was a proprietary red cable and a 30W power adapter. In general, the complete set caused only positive feelings in me, so now I propose to take a closer look at the device in terms of appearance.
Design, build quality and materials
The OnePlus Nord CE is a fairly balanced smartphone that fits perfectly in my hand. For example, the dimensions of the device were 159.2 x 73.5 x 7.9 mm, and the weight of the model did not exceed 170 grams.
Yes, maybe the materials are not the most premium, since the device was made of plastic. That is, the back of the smartphone had glossy plastic in its design, and the side ends were made of plastic. But the front of the device comes with a protective glass on the screen.
Glossy plastic will not be particularly useful for me, since fingerprints and other troubles can be found on its surface. But if you use the device in a case that already comes out of the box, then you will not have these problems.
I also had no particular complaints about the build quality. For example, the smartphone was perfectly assembled and during my testing, I did not find any extraneous squeaks and sounds. Therefore, in terms of the execution and fitting of the components, it is not even that bad here.
The back of the smartphone received three camera modules. I was not particularly impressed with their design, as all the sensors were arranged vertically. Also nearby you can see the LED flash.
Now let’s go through the main governing bodies. On the right side of the OnePlus Nord CE smartphone, there is one power button with a slot for dual nano SIM cards. Unfortunately, there is no additional slot for memory cards.
On the opposite side, there is a volume rocker. I want to note that the switch for silent or vibration modes is not provided here, as is usually the case on flagship smartphones from OnePlus.
Meanwhile, a noise canceling microphone was installed on the top of the smartphone. But the bottom edge of the device received a 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphone hole, Type-C connection and the main speaker.
In terms of sound quality, everything suited me very much. For example, although the smartphone had only one speaker, it even played well. That is, there was even a slight bass while listening to music. And the maximum volume level was quite enough to hear a call or a message.
Screen and image quality
Considering the cost of the device over $350, you shouldn’t expect to see an IPS screen. The OnePlus Nord CE has a small 6.43-inch AMOLED screen with Full HD or 1080 x 2400 pixels. At the same time, the pixel density per inch was 410 PPI and the aspect ratio of the screen was 20: 9.
The front part of the device received rather insignificant frames along the edges of the screen. There is also a round notch for the selfie camera, which was located in the upper left corner of the display.
In addition, the fingerprint scanner was built into the screen itself and I had no strong complaints about its work. That is, the device accurately and quickly recognized my finger.
Another of the main features of the screen I can highlight is the 60 and 90 Hz operating frequency. I have always used the device at 90Hz and was completely satisfied with the smooth operation not only in games, but also in the user interface.
As for the maximum value of the brightness level, it was about 690 lux. This is not so bad and I could use the device outdoors without too much trouble. I also liked the value of the contrast level, viewing angles and, of course, the color reproduction. In general, the screen was very high quality and I liked its main features.
Performance, benchmarks, games and OS
Under the hood of the OnePlus Nord CE smartphone, I found a Snapdragon 750G processor. It was built using an 8nm process technology and shows pretty good results in various benchmark tests. At the heart of the processor is eight cores, where two Cortex-A77 clocked at 2.2 GHz and six energy efficient at 1.8 GHz.
As usual, I’ll leave examples of benchmark results in the album below. For example, in the Antutu test, the device scored almost 390 thousand points. This is a pretty good indicator for a mid-budget smartphone.
If we talk about a graphics accelerator, then the Adreno 619 is used on board the smartphone. Naturally, this chipset shows a slightly lower performance than the Adreno 620 with a Snapdragon 765G processor. But in practice, even Adreno 619 will be enough for all heavy games or processes.
For example, I was able to run the game Genshin Impact and on the minimum graphics settings, the device worked without any particular complaints. That is, the smartphone did not get very hot and could easily cope with the tasks set smoothly and without much delay.
I can also note that inside my version of the OnePlus Nord CE smartphone, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory in UFS 2.1 format were installed. Yes, the built-in memory will have a read and write speed not as fast as, for example, the UFS 3.1 format. But the result of about 600 MBps read speed and 400 MBps write speed was fine for me.
As for wireless communication, the Nord CE smartphone received dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, accurate GPS sensor operation with a large number of modules. There is also a module for contactless payment NFC. All sensors and modules worked fine and I did not find any problems during my tests.
It’s also worth talking about the operating system. The operating system was installed here with the Android 11 version with the OxygenOS 11 user interface. During my testing, I did not find any particular problems with operation. All processes went smoothly and without any delays. I can also note that the interface has a large number of interesting features, widgets, functions that will be useful for any user.
Camera and sample photos
The main camera uses a 64-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 aperture. At the same time, in auto mode, the OnePlus Nord CE smartphone took very rich photos, but with a crop, a slight blurring of the picture was visible. If you shoot photos in 64MP mode, the blur disappears, but the contrast of the photos drops as well.
At night, the main camera module also takes good photos in night mode. The photos are really bright and contrasting, but when you zoom in, you can see the blurring of objects.
The second sensor has a resolution of 8 megapixels and was created for ultra-wide images. But the third camera module has a 2-megapixel resolution and is used for bokeh mode. Photos with ultra-wide mode turned out to be very good. Also in this mode you can use night mode, including. In addition, I had no problems in portrait mode.
Well, you can see examples of photos in the album below. But in general, the quality of the photos, as for its class of smartphone, I really liked.
Battery and run time
A 4500mAh battery was installed inside the case of the OnePlus Nord CE device. This is a decent battery capacity and will give you about 1-1.5 days of battery life depending on the load.
For example, during my test, the device lasted about 1.5 days at a 90Hz refresh rate. Yes, you may be able to get longer battery life if you set the screen refresh to 60Hz.
It took me 1 hour and 18 minutes to fully charge the power adapter via 30W. Again, this is pretty fast considering the device was 65% charged in the first half hour.
Conclusion, reviews, pros and cons
After one week of full testing, I was left with some pretty positive emotions from the OnePlus Nord CE smartphone. Yes, of course, there are disadvantages in this model, but let’s first tell you about its main advantages.
The first thing that makes the Nord CE smartphone stand out is its small size and weight. I also liked the build quality, the 90Hz AMOLED screen and even the performance of the model.
On the positive side, I can also attribute this to the work of the main and front cameras. The sample photos turned out to be very good, both in good and in poor lighting. The battery life is in the middle range, like the average device.
But the disadvantages are very difficult – it is a glossy soiled case in its performance and a rather high cost.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
If you look at the official cost of the OnePlus Nord CE smartphone, it will be $369 for the basic version with 8 and 128 GB of memory.
In general, I really liked the model of the new smartphone model and I can definitely recommend it for purchase. But the main problem is its price tag, so if you have this budget, then you will definitely not go wrong with the choice of model.