The recently launched OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is a good mid-range smartphone, priced below Rs. 25,000. It offers good software, solid battery life and performance, appealing to those who want a true all-rounder. The phone also made it onto our list of the best smartphones to buy under Rs. 25,000. OnePlus has now launched the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G which, as the name suggests, is a watered down version. Has OnePlus managed to keep the same balance of features, or has the cost savings gone a bit too far? I spent some time with the new OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, and here are my first impressions.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is priced from Rs. 19,999 in India for the variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The other variant with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage costs Rs. 21,999. The base variant is only offered in a Black Dusk color while the more expensive variant is only available in a Blue Tide finish.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G in blue is instantly recognizable as a Nord smartphone. It’s not a solid shade of blue this time; instead, the hue shifts from sky blue to yellowish when moved under light. The area around the camera module has a textured finish. If you want something more subtle, the Black Dusk version has a matte finish, just like the iconic sandstone OnePlus One.
In my short time with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, it was quite resistant to fingerprints. OnePlus still bundles a clear case in the box, which is handy. You’ll also find Nord stickers, a SIM eject pin, a Red Cable Club membership card, a 33W SuperVOOC charger and a signature red USB Type-C cable.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G has a large 6.59-inch screen. It has a camera hole in the top left corner that houses a 16-megapixel selfie camera. This is an LCD panel with a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz and a touch frequency of 240 Hz. The screen has thin bezels on the sides, but those on the top and bottom are thicker.
The flat sides of the frame make the phone comfortable to hold. A fingerprint scanner that sits in a small groove on the right side. The positioning is convenient and the groove serves as a guide for your finger. The volume buttons are on the left side along with the SIM tray. You’ll only find a secondary microphone on the top, while the bottom has the USB Type-C port, primary microphone, speaker and 3.5mm headphone jack.
Pick up the phone and you will notice the weight of 195 grams. The curved sides of the back panel manage to mask its thickness. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G has three cameras on the back and the camera module protrudes enough to make the phone wobble when placed on a flat surface. You get a 64 megapixel primary camera with EIS, a 2 megapixel depth camera and a 2 megapixel macro camera. You don’t get an ultra-wide camera here like on the Nord CE 2 5G.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC. We have already seen this SoC in competing devices such as the Vivo T1 (Review), Moto G71 5G (Review), Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G (Review) and the Realme 9 Pro 5G. This phone supports Bluetooth 5.2, dual-band Wi-Fi and five 5G bands. It has a hybrid dual SIM tray, so you have to choose between a second SIM card and a microSD card.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G runs on Oxygen OS 12.1 based on Android 12. The user interface offers many new functions and customization options. I’ll dive deeper and explore them all in the full review. My device was running the March 2022 Android security patch. OnePlus is promising two major Android updates and three years of security updates for the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, which should give it some advantages over the competition.
After using the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G for a short time, I can say that it looks very promising. However, the competition is fierce in this price segment. I’ll be testing the cameras, performance, battery life and software soon, so keep an eye out for DailyExpertNews for the full review of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G.