Home Reviews OnePlus Nord CE 3 Review – Sticking to the basics!

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Review – Sticking to the basics!

OnePlus Nord CE 3

At present, OnePlus boasts arguably the most formidable range of smartphones available in the Indian market. The company has managed to establish a strong presence across various price ranges, particularly through its Nord series, which has achieved remarkable sales figures. Amidst the spotlight on the Nord 3, it’s the Nord CE 3 that stands out as the dark horse. Representing a significant leap from its predecessor, the Nord CE 2, this model introduces notable improvements including an enhanced display, a faster Chip, improved cameras, a larger battery, and quicker charging speeds. The question that lingers: how does it hold against the competition? Let’s find out in our review.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G Specifications

Before starting with the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G review, let’s glance at the phone’s specifications, pricing, and things we get with the device.

  • Display: 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
  • CPU: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 782G processor
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Software: Android 13, OxygenOS 13
  • Main Camera: 50MP primary sensor + 8MP ultra-wide + 2MP macro sensor
  • Selfie Camera: 16MP
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.3, GPS/ A-GPS, FM Radio
  • Cellular: Dual SIM
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, in-display
  • Battery: 5,000 mAh, non-removable
  • Charging: 80W fast charging

Design & Display

OnePlus Nord CE 3

In terms of aesthetics, the Nord CE 3 5G closely resembles its counterparts within the same lineup – namely, the Nord 3 5G and the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G. Its design is characterized by a squared-off build, featuring a flat plastic frame that connects the front glass and plastic rear. On the back, a modest camera setup consists of two distinct clusters housing the trio of cameras.

OnePlus Nord CE 3

When held, the phone exudes a sense of sturdiness and ergonomic comfort, with its weight distribution perfectly balanced. Flipping the device exposes the large display, with a centrally positioned punch-hole cutout and slim bezels. On the right side, you’ll find the power button and volume rockers, while the top edge accommodates the IR blaster and secondary microphone. On the bottom, the arrangement includes the USB-C port, SIM tray, primary microphone, and speaker unit. Notably absent from this phone is the Alert slider, a feature previously seen on the Nord 3 model.

The Nord CE 3 boasts a large 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED panel with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. In terms of visual performance, the display remains sticks to its fundamentals, delivering deep blacks and vibrant colors. Furthermore, the panel incorporates a touch response rate of 240Hz, along with a blue light filter designed to alleviate eye strain. Its HDR10+ certification further enhances the overall visual experience. It’s worth mentioning, however, that HDR content accessibility is limited to the YouTube app.

OnePlus Nord CE 3

To ensure ample security, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G comes equipped with an in-display fingerprint scanner. This scanner offers swift authentication, although some users might need time to adapt to its placement, which is positioned slightly lower on the display than conventionally seen.

Software and Performance

In terms of software, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G runs on OxygenOS 13, which is built upon Android 13. Forked from OPPO’s ColorOS 13, this custom interface gives users a wide array of options for personalization and customization. Users are granted the flexibility to tweak the icons, change fonts, wallpapers, and themes to align with their preferences. Additionally, Android’s Material You allows system icon colors to change with the wallpaper. Notably, the phone features an Always-on Display function that brings about personalization opportunities, including the incorporation of the Bitmoji.

In contrast to Realme UI and ColorOS, which stem from a common codebase and often include a ton of bloatware, OxygenOS 13 on the Nord CE 3 maintains a relatively clean interface. While some pre-installed apps are included, such as the complete Google Apps suite, Amazon, PhonePe, Spotify, and LinkedIn, they can be easily removed at will.

Moving to the performance, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G comes powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 782G SoC. This processor is coupled with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. This chip excels in benchmarks; yet more importantly, it manages daily tasks with impressive smoothness, without any lags. Talking about the benchmarks, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 secured an impressive score of 6,43,289 points in AnTuTu (v10), while Geekbench 6 yielded a single-core score of 1126 points and a multi-core score of 2752 points.

Gaming performance on the CE 3 also proved satisfactory, as it handled light to medium-level titles without a hitch. Popular titles like Asphalt 9 Legends, Call of Duty Mobile, and PUBG ran seamlessly, maintaining consistent frame rates.

Camera and Battery

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 is outfitted with a triple-camera setup on the rear, highlighted by the 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor that boasts OIS support. This setup is complemented by an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 2MP macro lens. For selfies and video calls, the phone relies on a 16MP front camera.

OnePlus Nord CE 3

When it comes to camera performance, the primary sensor shines in well-lit conditions, capturing images with great detail and vivid colors. Daylight photos taken with the main camera consistently exhibit high quality, authentic colors, and pleasing HDR effects. However, the story changes when dealing with low-light situations.

The ultra-wide lens maintains decent detail in the images. On the selfie front, the Nord CE 3’s front camera captures solid portraits with excellent background separation.

A standout feature of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G is its exceptional battery life, which can be credited to its sizeable 5,000mAh battery. Throughout our 3 weeks long use, the phone consistently provided nearly 48 hours of usage on a single charge. The CE 3 comes with support for 80W fast charging, and using the included charger, the phone can be fully charged in under an hour.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G Review – The Verdict

OnePlus Nord CE 3

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 remains true to its basics and adheres to the established Core-Edition design philosophy of the company. It offers a substantial upgrade, with a large display, smooth performance, clean software, and noteworthy battery life. That said, it omits a few customary OnePlus features, such as the Alert Slider. Priced at INR 26,999, the Nord CE 3 comes at a slightly higher price in comparison to its predecessor, yet the added features validate the modest increase in price.