OnePlus Nord CE 5G launched in India on June 10, 2021. The smartphone has received very mixed reactions from the OnePlus fans. However, in my interaction with several people who love OnePlus, I observed some things that people got wrong about the smartphone. In this review, I will share what the device was meant to do in the market so that the users get a fair idea of why OnePlus came out with this smartphone. Further, I will share my review of the advice which I have been using for almost a month now.
OnePlus Nord CE 5G Review: Display
OnePlus Nord CE 5G comes with a 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED display with support for 90Hz refresh rate. The first thing that I fell in love with was the display of the device. Just the sheer smoothness that you get while doing any task or scrolling through your social media feed makes the OnePlus Nord CE 5G a very attractive smartphone.
The brightness isn’t an issue. Under the sun, I just increase the brightness to the full and keep using the smartphone uninterrupted. When it's totally dark, I reduce the brightness completely and turn on the Vision Comfort mode. It is just a silky smooth experience to see the device’s display at work.
Watching any kind of content on YouTube or Netflix is a super good experience as well. Because of the large AMOLED display, you get true colours as well as great pictures. The display has just grown on me day by day and it doesn’t feel like I want to stop using it to be honest.
OnePlus Nord CE 5G Review: Design and Body
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G has a very sleek body. The device is only 0.79 centimetres thick and weighs 170 grams, so very light as well. As soon as I took the ‘Blue Void’ variant out of the box, I could see just how beautiful and premium the device looked for being a mid-range smartphone. The edges of the smartphone look sort of purple which makes the device feel very fresh. The best thing is it perfectly fits into my hand. The camera bump doesn’t look odd, instead helps the smartphone in looking premium.
There is a 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom which lets me connect my wired earphones with the smartphone, so thank you OnePlus for that. But there’s one thing missing from the body of the smartphone and almost everyone is disappointed by that. The missing thing that I am talking about is the ‘alert slider'.
The ‘alert slider’ being absent on a OnePlus smartphone is just unbelievable. It’s like eating a Cadbury Dairy Milk without any sugar, totally tasteless. However, if OnePlus decided to go that way, it must have been for a good reason. Regardless, the alert slider is a very crucial component of the OnePlus smartphones and it should have been there!
OnePlus Nord CE 5G Review: Performance and Battery
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G SoC. The variant that I have has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. There was no issue with multi-tasking. I downloaded few heavy games such as Asphalt 9: Legends, Battlegrounds Mobile India, and more and the Nord CE 5G let me play the games very comfortably without any lags or overheating issues.
The battery life of the smartphone is better than I thought it would be. Even when I am playing heavy games and using the device quite a lot, I only have to charge it once at night. Further, the charging experience with any of the OnePlus smartphones is excellent and the Nord CE 5G is no exception to that.
Coming to the security features, the face unlock is as fast as it can be and the in-display fingerprint technology is really good as well. OnePlus Nord CE 5G comes running on Android 11 (OxygenOS 11) out of the box. The OxygenOS 11 feels buttery smooth and the clean UI just adds to the user experience.
OnePlus Nord CE 5G Review: Camera
Talking about the camera of the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, it feels like OnePlus could have done a little better job on the software front. The image processing takes a little time after the shot is clicked and that can be a turn-off for people who click hundreds of pictures every day.
I put the wide-angle lens of the smartphone to the test. The result is right below. On the right is the wide-angle image and on the left is an image I clicked by zooming in 2x. The image that came out of the wide-angle lens has captured more colours and the 2x zoom picture seems a little off with the green colour of the leaves. However, I am impressed by the level of detail each picture has.
One thing that I think OnePlus can heavily improve upon is the ‘portrait’ mode of the camera. Here is an example for you. On the right is the image of the cricket ball clicked on ‘portrait’ mode and on the left is through normal camera mode. The portrait mode has done a good job of hiding the background but the image has come out darker than it was supposed to be. Just a second after, I took the cricket ball’s image from normal camera mode and it is clearly visible that the level of detail is still there and the light is much better. Frankly, I would never switch to portrait mode with the OnePlus Nord CE 5G.
OnePlus Nord CE 5G Review: Conclusion
Is OnePlus Nord CE 5G the most perfect device from OnePlus yet? The answer is no. However, as I said above, it wasn’t meant to be. This is a budget offering for users who wanted the OnePlus experience by paying less. The device is perfectly priced for the performance it offers. This isn’t an upgrade over the OnePus Nord that came out last year.
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G is just an affordable 5G smartphone from OnePlus that aims to bring the best without burning a hole in the pocket of the users. At this price range, I wouldn’t pick any other smartphone because of the impressive OxygenOS from OnePlus.
If you are thinking about purchasing the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, know that you can do almost everything on this smartphone that you can do on a flagship one. Sure, the experience will be a little different when compared with a flagship, but there’s no denying that even with its tiny flaws, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is a piece of art.
The smartphone is available in three variants - 6GB+64GB for Rs 22,999, 8GB+128GB for Rs 24,999, and 12GB+256GB for Rs 27,999.