So we are a little bit late to the party on this one but we have finally had that chance to do an unboxing of the latest phone in the OnePlus Nord lineup. I have used the 1st Gen Nord and I also had the opportunity to use the 2nd Gen Nord 2 as well. Both were great phones and while they were significantly cheaper in price than the full-on number series devices, I was not disappointed by them.
Now admittedly there have always been some sacrifices made t get the Nord series produced on a tighter budget and these are as evident as they always are on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G (to be henceforth referred to as the Nord CE 3). I will come back to some of the ommissions that were made to get under the budget set by the designers in a moment, before that though let’s take a moment to review the unboxing video.
Here are the Specs below
|OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite
|Pastel Lime and Chromatic Gray
Resolution: 2400 x 1080 pixels 491 ppi
Aspect Ratio: 20:9
Refresh Rate: Adaptive 30Hz/48Hz/50Hz/60HZ/90Hz/120Hz
Type: LCD Display
Screen-to-body ratio: 91.40%
Color Depth: 8-bit (16.7 million colors)
Contrast Ratio: 1500:1
Punch-hole Location: Middle
Touch Sample Rate: 240Hz
Cover Glass: Corning Gorilla Glass
Peak Brightness: 550nits typical, 680 nits peak, supports RGB Display P3
Screen Color Mode
Screen Color Temperature
Operating System: OxygenOS 13.1 based on Android 13
|MAIN CAMERA – REAR
|Sensor: Samsung HM6; 1/1.67”, F/1.75, No OIS — Megapixels: 108MP
Pixel Size: 0.64μm/108M; 1.92μm (9-in-1)/12M — Lens Quantity: 6P
|DEPTH ASSIST -REAR
|MAACRO LENS – REAR
|1 x – 6 x
|Multi Autofocus (PDAF+CAF)
|1080p Video at 30 fps, 720p Video at 30 fps
Slow Motion: 720p Video at 120 fps
|AI Scene Enhancement
Slow Motion Video
Dual View Video
Retouching — Filters
|1080p video at 30fps
720p video at 30fps
|Face unlock, Screen flash, HDR, Face retouching, Portrait
|CONNECTIVITY BAND (EUROPE)
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
5G NSA: n77/78/38/40/41/1/3/5/7/8/20/28 BlockA&BlockB/66
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2.4G/5G,2*2MIMO
|GPS, BDS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS
|Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Ambient light sensor
3.5mm headphone jack
|Gestures and on-screen navigation support
Left: Volume key
Right: Power key
|Dual stereo speaker
Noise cancellation support
|MULTIMEDIA – AUDIO SUPPORTED FORMATS
|Decoder: 3GPP, AMR-WB, FLAC, G711-ALAW, G711- MLAW, GSM, AAC, MP3, OPUS, RAW, VORBIS
Encoder: 3GPP, AMR-WB, FLAC, AAC, OPUS
|MULTIMEDIA – VIDEO SUPPORTED FORMATS
Decoder: 3GPP, H263, AV1, AVC, HEVC, MPEG4, VP8, VP9
|MULTIMEDIA – IMAGE SUPPORTED FORMATS
Decoder: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, HEIF
|IN THE BOX (EUROPE)
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G
Next up is time for a tour of the device in all its glory starting of course from the top edge and working our way around the phone.
So on the top, we find that we have got a single microphone port and that is it.
Next around on the right-hand side is where we will find the power key that also doubles up as the fingerprint reader for the phone. This sits slightly proud of the edge of the body which makes it a bit easier to locate. unfortunately by the nature of it being a fingerprint reader as well as the power key, it lacks all texture meaning it can be missed easily. As a fingerprint reader, it is reasonably accurate but I have to say it is not one of the better side-mounted units I have used it is early days maybe it will improve over time.
Moving to the bottom of the phone is where we can find a speaker grill on the left and the mic hole and lo and behold a 3.5mm headphone jack! This is a rarity o phones these days and is nice to see although if I am honest I can’t see myself actually using it given the Nord Buds 2 that I also got in the box with the phone ( this is not standard as i got a demo kit for review purpose) Still nice to see that there are some phones out there that still account for this now somewhat niche requirement.
Sitting in between these is a USB Type C port that will support SuperVooc fast charging at 67W which is really nice to see and the phone does charge in a really quick timeframe which is handy given the lack of wireless charging in any way, which is understandable for the price point.
Continuing around the fourth edge we have got our combo volume rocker and sim card slot which has another uncommon trick inside. This Nano Sim card slot is also cable of receiving a second Nano Sim Card or a Micro SDcArd slot of up to 1TB! This is great news for the memory hoarders out there!
On the rear, we got our camera array which I composed of two large circular apertures the top of which contains a Samsung HM6 sensor capable of up to 108MP and has an aperture of F/1.75. The sensor sits behind a Six Element lens and although it does not have OIS it is at least supported by EIS.
Below we find that the second circle contains a 2MP depth of field sensor and 2MP Macro lens. Next to this, we find a single LED flash which is plenty bright and doubles nicely as a torch when needed.
The main feature here is the 108MP camera sensor which I have yet to test in anger but hopefully will produce serviceable results for the user without too much faffing with settings.
The back panel is made of plastic and is very very fingerprint friendly due to its glossy finish which is why I was glad to find the enclosed TPU see-through case which has a reassuringly tight fit around the phone.
Coming back the front of the phone we have a few things to mention, starting at the very top of the display is where we will find a small portal for the earpiece and the top speaker. The speakers both combine to give an average sound experience that is suitable for Youtube but if you are gaming or listening to music I would recommend that you either use some Bluetooth headphones or take advantage of the built-in 3.5mm headphone jack to get the best audio experience.
Below this earpiece is of course where we find the fourth camera on the phone and all I can say about his one is that it is a 16MP camera and that is about it as I haven’t been provided with any other details. it does of course come with all the normal features that you would find on an Android phone designed for both the Asian and Western markets ie all the retouch tools associated with Beauty Mode. Fortunately, these can be turned off to give you normalise results.
Below this is the LCD Panel which is capable of an Adaptive refresh rate between 30Hz/48Hz/50Hz/60HZ/90Hz/120Hz. In honesty though I checked this and you only have 2 options either High (120Hz Max) and Standard (60Hz Max) so maybe some creative market mumbo jumbo there. I am sure that the screen is capable of the step changes ut most users are unlikely to notice them. It is nice to see these High refresh rates filtering down to both LCD panels and cheaper devices though so nice job OnePlus.
The screen is a really nice size of the screen especially as this phone is being targeted towards a market where the screen size is an important factor as its intended audience will be using the phone more for media consumption/creation, social media and gaming than say phone calls. I have used it for a little bit and I am more than happy with the screen but then I am someone who has recently made the move to foldable which is the top of the big screen pile so what do I know? OnePlus does at least include an easy-to-use one-handed mode if you find this is required.
So that sums up the tour of the phone which from my limited experience so far is a cracker of a phone and one that I think any young (or young at heart) phone user would be more than happy with. I will of course run it as a daily device for a full review but I have to say I am presently surprised with the initial experience of the phone out of the box. I know that my son would be more than happy with it as it is sufficient for most of what he does on his mum’s phone (that he steals a lot). I also think that the more price-conscious user would be more than happy with this as a phone as it ticks a lot of boxes for a lot of people from what I have seen so far.
If you like what you have seen and want to pick up the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G for yourself then you can buy it now from OnePlus on their website for £299 and you can also get a free set of 3.5mm headphones or a Snaddtone bumper case if the include clear case is not to you liking. it is also available for the same price minus the freebies from Amazon as well if you prefer shopping there.