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OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, arms on: OnePlus’s most inexpensive handset may supply higher worth

Prost

  • 120Hz show
  • Good efficiency
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • IPS quite than AMOLED display screen
  • Reasonable cameras
  • No Alert Slider or IP ranking

OnePlus has a fame for strong service within the mid-range smartphone market, however I used to be disenchanted that some elements had not been upgraded within the lately reviewed OnePlus Nord 2T 5G, which begins at £369. There’s additionally disappointment with the brand new Nord CE 2 Lite 5G — not a lot with the cellphone itself, however as a result of in a crowded market this £279 cellphone is arguably dearer than it must be: provided that the ‘Lite’ model is barely £20 cheaper than the Nord CE 2, which we reviewed again in March, OnePlus may have pushed its most cost-effective handset additional on worth (see specs comparability under). Like its Nord CE predecessors, the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is not formally on sale within the US.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G: 6.59-inch 120z IPS display screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of inner storage (expandable through MicroSD card).

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

There are two colour choices, Black Nightfall and my overview handset’s quite arresting Blue Tide, whose light-refracting again morphs between child blue and barely deeper shades. The higher part of the again homes a big digital camera digital camera which stands very proud, inflicting important rock-and-roll on the desk when the uncased cellphone’s display screen is prodded. Vertical stripes operating the total depth of the digital camera bump and full width of the cellphone is not the perfect design thought I’ve ever seen – it appears to be like like somebody put sticky tape on this part of the cellphone.

As with the Nord CE 2, OnePlus omits its trademark Alert Slider, which helps you to change between silent, vibrate and ring modes. Nonetheless, the inner specs impress. The Nord CE 2 Lite is powered by Qualcomm’s quick mid-range Snapdragon 695 5G chipset with 6GB of RAM, a platform that delivered Geekbench 5 CPU scores of 685 (single core) and 1945 (multi core). By the use of comparability, the MediaTek Dimensity 900-based Nord CE 2 with 8GB of RAM scored 719 (single core) and 2143 (multi core).

There’s 128GB of inner storage of which 108GB is free out of the field. The 5G assist is clear within the handset’s title, and customers have the selection of utilizing both two SIMs or one SIM and a MicroSD card.

There is a 3.5mm headphone jack on the underside edge, and a fingerprint sensor constructed into the facility button on the precise aspect.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G

A fingerprint reader is built-in into the facility button on the precise aspect, however OnePlus’s helpful Alert Slider is absent.

Picture: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The display screen is fairly good contemplating this handset’s worth. It is an IPS panel quite than AMOLED (as on the Nord CE 2), however at 6.59 inches and delivering 2,412 by 1,080 pixels (401ppi) it appears to be like clear and sharp. The 120Hz refresh price can also be good to see in a cellphone at this worth.

There are few surprises on the software program entrance, too Android 12 and OxygenOS 12 offering a reasonably clear expertise, with a gratifying lack of bloatware. I may do with out Netflix and TikTok cluttering the place up, however each might be uninstalled. The Nord CE 2 Lite 5G contains the OnePlus ‘shelf’, the place you swipe down from the display screen’s prime proper to entry a variety of widgets. Some customers discover this distracting as they’ll hit it by mistake when accessing the notifications bar, however I discover it straightforward sufficient to work with.

SEE: The very best 5G telephones: Which flagship comes out on prime?

There are three rear cameras, the principle one being a 64MP f1.7 unit that shoots an honest image. The opposite two are quite much less helpful: a 2MP f/2.4 depth-assist digital camera and a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens that must be 4cm from the topic for greatest impact. You may shoot 1080p video at 30fps, and slow-motion 720p video at 120fps. The entrance digital camera is a 16MP f/2.0 unit that shoots acceptable selfies and captures 1080p video at 30fps.

The battery capability is a beneficiant 5000mAh. Though the Nord CE 2 Lite refused to finish the PCMark for Android Work 3.0 battery life check, I discovered it misplaced 15% of a full cost after operating YouTube video repeatedly hours. This implies whole battery lifetime of 20 hours. OnePlus offers a 33W charger, which ought to take the handset from empty to 50% in half an hour. There is no assist for wi-fi or reverse charging, as you’d count on with a handset on this worth bracket.

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is a neat and decently specified handset, nevertheless it’s arguably a bit overpriced contemplating that, for simply £20 extra, the Nord CE 2 provides you an AMOLED display screen (albeit with 90Hz quite 120Hz refresh), barely higher efficiency, comparable battery life, quicker (65W) charging, an ultra-wide angle digital camera, and Wi-Fi 6 quite 5.


OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite specs

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite OnePlus Nord CE 2
Dimensions 75.6mm x 164.3mm x 8.5mm 73.2mm x 160.6mm x 7.8mm
Weight 195g 173g
Show 6.59-inch IPS, 1080 x 2412 (20:9, 401ppi), 120Hz refresh price 6.43-inch AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 (20:9, 409ppi), 90Hz refresh price, HDR10+, Gorilla Glass 5
Display screen to physique ratio 84% 85%
OS Android 12 + OxygenOS 12 Android 11 + OxygenOS 11
Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G MediaTek Dimensity 900
RAM 6GB 8GB
Storage 128GB 128GB
MicroSD card reader sure (through shared SIM slot) sure (devoted)
Battery 5000mAh 4500mAh (2x 2250mAh)
Battery charging 33W Tremendous VOOC 65W Tremendous VOOC
Rear cameras 64MP f/1.7 broad angle (EIS) • 2MP f/2.4 depth-assist • 2MP f/2.4 macro 64MP f/1.79 broad angle (EIS) • 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (119°, EIS) • 2MP f/2.4 macro
Entrance digital camera 16MP f/2.0 16MP f/2.4 (EIS)
Networks 2G GSM, 3G WCDMA, 4G LTE, 5G SA+NSA 2G GSM, 3G WCDMA, 4G LTE, 5G SA+NSA
SIM slots twin Nano-SIM twin Nano-SIM
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
Bodybuilding 5.2 5.2
NFC sure sure (devoted)
Location GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS
Sensors side-mounted fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, ambient mild, proximity, sensor core in-display fingerprint scanner, accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope, ambient mild, proximity, sensor core
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm audio out USB-C, 3.5mm audio out
Buttons gestures & on-screen navigation, quantity, energy gestures & on-screen navigation, quantity, energy
Audio 1x speaker 1x speaker
Within the field OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, 33W SuperVOOC energy adapter, USB-C cable (helps USB 2.0), cellphone case, display screen protector (pre-applied), SIM tray ejector, welcome letter, quick-start information, security data and guarantee card OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G, 65W SuperVOOC energy adapter, USB-C cable (helps USB 2.0), cellphone case, display screen protector (pre-applied), SIM tray ejector, welcome letter, model sticker, Crimson Cable Membership membership card, quick- begin information, security data and guarantee card
Worth from £279 from £299

Alternate options to think about

As the price of dwelling rises, many smartphone patrons are shifting their focus from costly flagships to mid-range and price range handsets. There’s an growing vary of alternative at cheaper price factors — listed below are three main contenders across the £300/$350 mark.

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