OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is a good mid-range budget phone.

Although it fulfills its brief appropriately, there are more appealing options out there for same price range.

The Nord CE 3 Lite is marketed as OnePlus Nord N30 in other countries.

The only difference being that the Nord CE 3 Lite has a slightly faster charging brick.

It also succeeds the Nord CE 2 Lite with improvement in design aesthetics, display, camera system and charging capability.

 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite Key Specifications

  • 6.72 inches IPS LCD Display, 1080 x 2400 pixels, ~87.1% screen-to-body ratio
  • Android 13, OxygenOS 13.1
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G Octa Core CPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 108MP (wide) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth) Triple Rear Camera
  • 16MP Front Camera
  • Side-mounted Fingerprint Sensor
  • 128GB, 256GB Built-in Storage
  • 5G Support
  • 67W Fast Charging Capacity
  • 5000 mAh Non removable Li-Po Battery

 

Design

OnePlus has updated its design language, from the boring design of its predecessor to a more refined design.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 comes with a streamlined flat-edged all plastic design that provides a classic look and a smooth in-hand feel.

At 165.5 x 76 x 8.3mm, it’s slightly taller and broader than its predecessor, though it’s 195 gram weight is identical to its predecessor.

The back panel is wrapped in a glossy mirror finish that looks great but can easily pick up greasy fingerprints.

The camera module now wears a new look. It opt out from it’s predecessor’s rectangular camera module to a minimalist two ring-like camera unit with a LED flash just beside it.

Around the edges, there’s a power button which doubles up as the fingerprint reader on the right, while the volume rocker and SIM tray sits on the left.

The USB Type-C port and 3.5mm audio jack rocks the bottom and OnePlus failed to feature the alert slider.

Unfortunately, there is no IP rating for dust and water resistance, so you have to be extra careful when handling this device.

The smartphone arrives in two magnificent colourways of Pastel Lime and Chromatic Gray.

 

Display

Over on the front, is a flat display with a central hole-punch notch that rather than the left-cornered positioning and it’s surrounded by substantial bezels on the top and bottom.

It features a large 6.72-inch display with full HD+ 1080 x 2400 pixels which is wide enough for cinematic experience and a 120Hz refresh rate for buttery-smooth transition across frames.

Though it’s an IPS LCD panel, it still offer vivid colours and contrast coupled with 240Hz touch sampling rate and 391ppi pixel density.

With a 680 nits of peak brightness, the display is bright enough for decent visibility in outdoor use or direct sunlight, but this is not the brightest panel in this price range.

The Redmi Note 12 5G for instance, offer significantly brighter AMOLED panels at about the same price.

The display is covered with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, which further prevent scratches and dust.

 

Camera

The dual camera unit holds three rear-facing cameras, only one of them is actually significant.

OnePlus ramped up the main camera from it’s predecessor’s 64MP to 108MP Samsung S5KHM6 branded sensor with 3x lossless zoom and auto-focus.

This looks good on paper, but in reality, it struggles to meet up to expectations especially in low light settings.

The main camera uses 9-in-1 pixel-binning technology to produce 12MP true-to-life images with good level of detail especially in bright light.

In addition, the camera lacks OIS (optical image stabilisation) and ultra-wide lens which scores the camera low, in low-light conditions.

The other two cameras include a 2MP macro lens and 2MP depth camera whose functions are merely cosmetic.

This is because images from this lens are either wash out or covered with tons of noise.

On the front is a 16MP selfie shooter that supports various camera modes and filters.

 

Hardware and Software

Under the hood, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 is equipped same Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset featured on its predecessor, coupled with 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage.

However the built-in storage is expandable up to 1TB, but not without you sacrificing one of your SIM while the RAM supports up to 8GB of Virtual RAM.

This processor is seen in OnePlus Nord N20 5G, and the duo of Oppo A1 5G and Oppo A1 Pro 5G.

Performance-wise, the OnePlus phone is only fractionally better than its predecessor, and you may encounter occasional stutters while gaming or switching between apps.

Moving on to the software, the Nord CE 3 breathes on OxygenOS 13.1 based on Android 13 operating system.

OnePlus promises two years of Android updates and three years of security patches, which could be a deal breaker.

 

Connectivity

For connectivity, the smartphone supports dual-SIM functionality with access to 5G network.

It also support Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack, IR blaster, GPS and a USB Type-C port.

 

Battery

Like its predecessor, the Nord CE 3 Lite gets a hefty 5,000mAh battery, which is one of it’s selling point.

The battery life can last up to two days of light use on a single charge.

Furthermore, it’s 67W SuperVOOC charging brick will juice the phone from 0% to 100% in just 50 minutes and up to 80% in about 30 minutes.

 

Nord CE 3 Lite Price and Availability

The price of OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite starts at about $286.00. In Nigeria, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite cost about ₦240,000 for the base model.

The smartphone was announced on April 04, 2023 and was made available for purchase on April 11, 2023.

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