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OnePlus Nord CE 3 Review | A strong contender in its segment

August 08, 2023 02:26 pm | Updated 02:40 pm IST

OnePlus Nord CE 3 is a strong contender in the mid-range segment, starting at ₹26,999. With a Qualcomm processor, smart display and good cameras, the phone caters to most user needs

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Review | A strong contender in its segment | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

In the mid-range segment, OnePlus offers an impressive array of smartphones ranging from ₹20,000 to ₹30,000. The company has now added the OnePlus Nord CE 3 in this segment. And unlike most phones in this niche, the Nord CE 3 comes with a Qualcomm processor, positioning it as one of the top picks in its bracket. However, the signature OnePlus alert slider is missing.

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Design

The new entry has the usual Nord design seen in previous models, with two circular cutouts carrying the camera sensors. The phone is tall and wide, but its plastic body gives it a light feel. The square phone design with sharp corners allows for a better grip, and the phone’s Aqua Surge colour catches the eye. The rear side, however, does attract smudges, requiring regular cleaning.

The right side houses the volume rockers and power button. At the top, you’ll find an IR blaster and a microphone. At the base, there’s a SIM tray, a microphone, a USB Type-C port, and a speaker grille. The phone also comes with an IP54 certification.

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Display

The Nord CE 3 comes with a large 6.74-inch AMOLED display, offering an enhanced user experience for those who enjoy binge-watching and gaming. The screen refreshes at 120Hz and intelligently switches to 60Hz when not in use to conserve battery life. With full coverage of sRGB and Display P3, along with HDR10+ support, the visuals are captivating, with vibrant colours and improved contrast compared to its predecessor.

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Additionally, OnePlus has reduced bezels to provide a cleaner look and maximise screen space for content consumption. Another noteworthy feature is the inclusion of 2160Hz PWM dimming, ensuring eye protection from screen flickering in low-light conditions. This is a commendable addition, especially for a mid-range phone.

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OS

The latest Nord CE 3 is equipped with OxygenOS 13.1, presenting a neat, simple, and hassle-free Android 13 interface. OnePlus commits to providing two major Android updates and three years of security updates for the Nord CE 3.

Processor

The new OnePlus Nord CE 3 stands out with its powerhouse performance. Fuelling the device is the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 782G chipset, an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 778G, ensuring fast operations. With two variants to choose from-- 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 12GB RAM + 256GB storage-- the Nord CE 3 caters to different user needs. During our testing, the phone effortlessly handled everyday tasks. The smooth multitasking experience left us impressed, as lag was virtually non-existent. The Nord CE 3 truly delivers a seamless and enjoyable user experience.

Camera

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 boasts a 50MP Sony IMX890 primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and a 2MP macro sensor. The primary camera delivers good details and retains colours well. It maintains a commendable dynamic range and saturation in photos, although there could have been slight improvements. It excels in defining both dark and bright spots with clarity.

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When it comes to portrait shots, the phone’s camera does not disappoint. It maintains sharpness and effectively blurs the background, resulting in pleasing portrait photos. The edge detection is generally reliable, and even hair strands are preserved without abrupt cuts in the scene. Additionally, the macro camera performs decently, capturing close-up shots with satisfactory detail.

The camera’s low-light photography capability is a standout feature. It excels in capturing well-lit photos with vibrant colours, a rarity in its price range. The Night mode particularly shines, offering detailed and sharp images, compensating for the washed-out colours sometimes seen in the primary rear camera mode.

Moving on to selfies, the phone is equipped with a 16MP front camera. In daylight, the selfie camera captures good images with a commendable level of detailing. However, in low lighting conditions, some noise effects might be noticeable.

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Battery

With its 5,000mAh battery, the phone guarantees more than a day’s worth of usage on a single charge, offering battery longevity for users on the go. It comes with an 80W fast charger, which can fully replenish the phone in approximately 40-45 minutes.

Verdict

The new OnePlus Nord CE 3 is a strong contender in the mid-range segment, starting at ₹26,999. With a Qualcomm processor, smart display and good cameras, the phone caters to most user needs.

However, the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack and the alert slider would have made the phone a more powerful force in the competitive mid-range segment.

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