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, to appeal to those who want a proper all-rounder. The phone also made it to our list of the best smartphones to buy under Rs. 25,000. OnePlus has now launched the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, which as its name suggests, is a watered-down version. Has OnePlus managed to maintain the same balance of features, or has the cost-cutting gone a bit too far? I got to spend 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 starting at Rs. 19,999 in India for the variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The other variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage is priced at Rs. 21,999. The base variant is only offered in a Black Dusk colour, while the higher-priced variant is only available in a Blue Tide finish.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G in blue is instantly recognisable as a Nord smartphone. It isn’t a solid shade of blue this time around; instead the hue shifts from sky blue to yellowish when moved around 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 much like the iconic sandstone OnePlus One.
In my short time with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, it managed to resist fingerprints quite well. OnePlus still bundles a clear case in the box, which is useful. 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 sports a big 6.59-inch display. It has a camera hole in the top left corner that houses a 16-megapixel selfie camera. This is an LCD panel with a 120Hz maximum refresh rate and a 240Hz touch sampling rate. The display has thin bezels on the sides but the ones on the top and bottom are thicker.
The flat sides of the phone’s frame make it comfortable to hold. A fingerprint scanner that sits in a small groove on the right. The positioning is convenient and the groove serves as a guide for your finger. The volume buttons are on the left, 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 the phone up and you’ll notice its 195g weight. The curved sides of the back panel manage to mask its thickness. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G sports three cameras at the back, and the camera module protrudes enough to cause the phone to 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 as you do on the Nord CE 2 5G.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC. We’ve 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’ll need to choose between a second SIM and a microSD card.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G runs Oxygen OS 12.1 based on Android 12. The UI offers a lot of new features and customisation options. I will dive deeper and explore all of them in the full review. My unit was running the March 2022 Android security patch. OnePlus promises 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 while, I can say that it looks quite promising. However, the competition is stiff in this price segment. I will be testing its cameras, performance, battery life, and software soon, so stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for the full review of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G.