The Oneplus Nord CE does the basics well
The Oneplus Nord CE does the basics wellOneplus

OnePlus Nord CE review: Value champ

Settling in just below the Nord 2 in OnePlus’ pecking order, the Nord CE offers surprising value

Price: Rs. 27,999/-

Lately, there has been a barrage of device launches around the Rs. 25,000-mark. OnePlus dominated the space with the uber successful Nord, and now it is back with the Nord CE that will retail along with the Nord 2. We spent some time with the Nord CE and here’s what we think.

In essence, OnePlus has decided to give some not-so-important features a miss in the pursuit of a lower price point. With that in mind, it is easy to look at the Nord CE as a stripped-down version of the Nord, but that is just not the case. Sure, a few corners have been cut to achieve a lower price point. But there are additions that stand out. For instance, the Nord CE gets a plastic back in place of the far more premium glass unit on the original Nord but it does get a newer main camera sensor.

We are definitely impressed with the choices that OnePlus has made. The choice to use a plastic back has bestowed the OnePlus Nord CE with a sturdiness that will be appreciated in this category of smartphones. The design though is too similar to the Nord, which, very frankly, is not a bad thing at all. The choice to let go of the characteristic OnePlus alert slider is something I can’t quite understand though. The display stays the same as the Nord which means that a Fluid AMOLED 90Hz unit with Full HD+ resolution does duty on the phone. Even a year later, it happens to be very good with vibrant colours and good brightness. However, it is not the category defining display that it was anymore – competitors have caught up.

Oneplus has left out all gimmicks from the Nord CE
Oneplus has left out all gimmicks from the Nord CE Oneplus

The new primary sensor is bumped up to 64MP and that helps the camera array in the Nord CE perform slightly better than the Nord. In good lighting, details are captured better and the sensor does a better job at reproducing colours than last year’s unit. The ultrawide and the depth sensor are carried forward and for some reason there is a mismatch in the colour profiles of the main and ultrawide sensors. And that can be jarring when switching from one to the other.

The performance however is hard to fault and although the Nord CE gets the Snapdragon 750G, a far less powerful SoC than last year, it is hard to find a discernible drop in day-to-day performance. The 4500mAh battery too stands up to the demands of heavy use and would easily last a full day for most people. It doesn’t have the 65W fast charging present on the 9 Series, but what it has is par for the course in this segment.

Even with a number of options today, unlike last year, OnePlus’ refined software experience along with great overall performance should draw a number of buyers. But its close proximity, in terms of pricing, with the Nord 2 could lure Nord 2 buyers away.

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