OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G’Better Than Ever or a Total Flop? Must-See !’

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G has made its official debut in India, marking a notable addition to the company’s affordable Nord series. As the successor to the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, it brings several upgrades while maintaining an unchanged launch price. But is this the budget 5G smartphone for you, or should you explore other options in this segment? Dive into our comprehensive review to make an informed decision.

Price and Variants:

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G arrives in India with two storage configurations, both featuring 8GB of RAM as standard. The base model offers 128GB of storage at an attractive price point of Rs. 19,999, while the 256GB variant, the focus of our review, is competitively priced at Rs. 21,999. Notably, this new model offers more RAM than its predecessor, providing added value for the same cost.

Design and Display:

The device’s design is a standout feature, especially in the eye-catching Pastel Lime color variant. Amidst the sea of conventional green, blue, and black smartphones, the Lime Green hue offers a refreshing change. While it does attract fingerprints, they are less conspicuous due to the vibrant color. Of course, design preferences vary, and if the lime shade doesn’t appeal to you, there’s the option of Chromatic Grey.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G feels comfortable in hand, with a slightly curved rear panel complementing the flat frame. Despite its listed weight of 195g, it doesn’t feel overly heavy.

However, the device’s left-edge buttons, while clicky, could have been more substantial in size. The right-edge power button also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, offering quick and reliable authentication. Regrettably, the ‘Alert’ slider, a OnePlus trademark, is absent in the Nord Lite series.

OnePlus has made an improvement in the audio department with a dual-speaker setup, utilizing the earpiece as a secondary speaker. This addition delivers stereo sound, a feature lacking in its predecessor. The bottom edge houses a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C port, and the primary speaker grille.

Moving to the display, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G features a 6.72-inch IPS LCD screen, a choice that may not match up to the vibrant AMOLED displays found in some competitors like the Redmi Note 12 5G and Moto G82 5G in the same price segment. While the display’s 680 nits peak brightness is sufficient for outdoor use, competitors offer brighter displays with richer contrast and deeper black levels.

The display does, however, offer smooth performance and adaptive refresh rates, switching between 30Hz and 120Hz depending on the on-screen content. Yet, it’s worth noting that most third-party apps appear to run at 60Hz.

Specifications and Software:

Under the hood, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC and a 5,000mAh battery, consistent with its predecessor. However, the battery charging speed has seen an upgrade, with support for 67W fast charging. OnePlus claims this can charge the battery from 1 to 80 percent in just 30 minutes, a notable improvement. The device also includes features like Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 5, GPS, 8GB of virtual RAM, and a hybrid-SIM slot, which supports microSD card expansion up to 1TB.

In the software department, the device runs on Android 13-based Oxygen OS 13.1 out of the box, offering a fluid and smooth user experience. While RAM management is generally effective, some apps may reload when switching from resource-intensive tasks like gaming. A notable issue during the review was an intermittent “Metis” pop-up notification requesting location access for screen projection. OnePlus acknowledged this as a software bug and assured a fix.

On a positive note, OxygenOS provides extensive personalization and customization options, including Android 13’s color palette integration, font and icon customization, and more. Familiar features like OnePlus Shelf and Zen Mode are present, along with some Oppo and OnePlus native apps.

OnePlus commits to delivering two major Android updates and three years of security patches for the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G.

Performance and Battery Life:

Powered by the Snapdragon 695 SoC, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G delivers smooth performance for routine tasks, with responsive app switching and reasonable load times. Gaming is also a viable option, with most titles running smoothly and relatively short load times. The device handles games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9 Legends well, even at high graphics settings.

Battery life is dependable, offering a full day of usage with moderate activity. Screen-on time varies from 7.5 to 8.5 hours on heavier usage days, while lighter usage can extend the screen-on time slightly beyond 9 hours. In a video loop test, the device ran for 17 hours and 19 minutes, displaying above-average endurance. Charging from empty to 100 percent takes approximately 50 minutes, thanks to the included 67W fast charger, despite the device being packaged with an 80W charger.

Camera Capabilities:

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G boasts a triple-camera setup, headlined by a new 108-megapixel Samsung HM6 main camera with an f/1.75 aperture.

In daylight conditions, the primary camera performs well, capturing images with accurate colors and reasonable detail. The camera avoids oversaturation, maintaining a realistic color palette. However, dynamic range performance in HDR shots could be improved.

Low-light photography and night mode reveal the absence of optical image stabilization (OIS), resulting in some loss of detail and slightly less crisp images. This limitation is especially noticeable in low-light portrait shots, where details appear soft.

The device claims to offer “3X lossless zoom shots” with the main camera, but achieving good details requires stable hands and ample light. The macro camera, typical of most phones, offers an interesting but generally underwhelming experience.

Front camera performance is generally reliable, accurately capturing colors and details. However, there’s a noticeable difference in color tuning between portrait and regular modes, with portrait shots rendering faces significantly fairer.

Video recording is capped at 1080p 30fps for both front and rear cameras, with no option for 60fps using the main camera. Despite this limitation, video quality is commendable for the price point.

In Conclusion:

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G enters the market as an attractive budget-friendly 5G smartphone, offering improvements in key areas while maintaining a competitive price point. With its vibrant design, smooth performance, and dependable battery life, it caters to a wide range of users. However, some compromises are evident, particularly in the choice of an IPS LCD display over AMOLED and the absence of optical image stabilization for low-light photography. Nevertheless, it presents a compelling option for budget-conscious consumers seeking a 5G smartphone with reliable performance and a distinct design.

Here are some typical characteristics associated with OnePlus devices

Performance: OnePlus smartphones typically feature powerful processors, ample RAM, and fast storage options to deliver smooth and responsive performance.

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OxygenOS: OnePlus devices often run on OxygenOS, the company’s customized Android operating system known for its clean and near-stock Android experience with additional customization options.

5G Connectivity: Many OnePlus models, including those with “5G” in the name, offer 5G connectivity for faster data speeds when connected to compatible networks.

AMOLED Displays: OnePlus devices often feature AMOLED displays with vibrant colors, deep blacks, and high refresh rates for a smooth viewing experience.

Camera System: OnePlus smartphones typically come with multiple rear cameras, including a primary camera, ultra-wide-angle camera, and sometimes a macro or depth sensor. The camera systems are designed to provide good photography capabilities.

Fast Charging: OnePlus is known for its fast-charging technology, known as Warp Charge, which can charge the battery quickly, providing a substantial charge in a short amount of time.

Design: OnePlus phones often have a sleek and premium design with attention to build quality and materials.

Updates: OnePlus has a reputation for providing timely software updates and support for its devices, including major Android OS updates.

In-Display Fingerprint Sensor: Many OnePlus phones feature an in-display fingerprint sensor for convenient and secure unlocking.

Alert Slider: OnePlus devices often include an Alert Slider, a hardware switch that allows you to quickly toggle between different notification profiles.

Gaming Mode: OnePlus includes features like Gaming Mode to optimize the gaming experience by reducing distractions and enhancing performance.

Battery Life: OnePlus phones typically offer good battery life, and the company focuses on optimizing software to maximize efficiency.

Community Engagement: OnePlus has a dedicated community of users and often incorporates user feedback and suggestions into its software updates and features.

Please note that the specifications and features of smartphones can change with each new model, and the OnePlus Nord CE 5G may have its own unique characteristics. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, I recommend visiting the OnePlus official website or consulting reliable sources that provide detailed reviews and specifications for this specific device.

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