OnePlus has launched its latest affordable smartphone, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite, in India and Europe. The phone is a successor to the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite, which was released last year. The Nord CE 3 Lite offers some impressive features, such as a 108MP main camera, a 67W fast charging, and a 120Hz display. However, it also comes with some compromises, such as an LCD screen, a plastic body, and a lower-end processor. Here is a detailed look at the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite and how it compares to its rivals.
A large and smooth display
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite sports a 6.72-inch Full HD+ LCD display with a 20:9 aspect ratio and a 120Hz refresh rate. The display supports HDR10+ and has a peak brightness of 800 nits. The screen also has a punch-hole cutout for the 16MP selfie camera. The display is one of the main attractions of the phone, as it offers a smooth and immersive viewing experience for gaming and streaming.
However, the display also has some drawbacks. For one, it is an LCD panel, which means it cannot produce true blacks and has lower contrast than OLED screens. Moreover, the display does not have an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is common in most mid-range phones these days. Instead, the phone relies on a side-mounted fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication.
A massive camera bump
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite boasts a huge camera bump on the back, which houses a triple camera setup. The main camera is a 108MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture and 9-in-1 pixel binning technology. The camera supports 3x lossless zoom, electronic image stabilization (EIS), and dual view video. The other two cameras are a 2MP macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor.
The main camera can capture high-resolution photos with good detail and color accuracy in daylight conditions. However, the camera struggles in low-light scenarios, as it produces noisy and blurry images. The camera also lacks optical image stabilization (OIS), which would have improved the stability and quality of the photos and videos.
The macro and depth cameras are not very useful, as they offer low resolution and poor performance. The phone does not have an ultra-wide-angle lens or a telephoto lens, which are common features in most mid-range phones these days. The phone also does not support 4K video recording at 60fps, which is disappointing for a phone with such a large camera sensor.
A fast and smart charging
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite packs a 5,000mAh battery that supports 67W fast charging. The phone comes with a 67W charger in the box, which can charge the battery from zero to 80% in just 30 minutes. The battery life is decent, as it can last for a day of moderate usage on a single charge.
The phone also features an adaptive refresh rate technology that adjusts the screen refresh rate according to the content being displayed. This helps to save battery power when using static or low-motion content. The phone also has an Ultra Volume Mode that boosts the sound output by 200% when using the dual stereo speakers.
A decent but dated performance
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset, which is a lower-end processor compared to the Snapdragon 750G that powers the Nord CE 2 Lite. The phone comes with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage. The phone also supports virtual RAM expansion up to another 8GB and microSD card expansion up to 1TB.
The performance of the phone is decent for everyday tasks, such as browsing, messaging, and social media. However, the phone struggles with heavy gaming and multitasking, as it lags and heats up frequently. The phone also does not support 5G connectivity, which is a major drawback for a phone launched in 2023.
The phone runs on OxygenOS 13.1 based on Android 13 out of the box. The software is smooth and user-friendly, with minimal bloatware and ads. The phone also has some useful features, such as Gaming Tools, Game Focus Mode, and GPA Frame Stabilizer for enhancing the gaming experience.
A budget contender with trade-offs
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is priced at ₹19,999 for the base variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage in India. In Europe, the phone costs €330/£300 for the same configuration. The phone is available in two color options: Pastel Lime and Chromatic Gray.
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is a budget contender that offers some impressive features, such as a large and smooth display, a massive camera bump, and a fast and smart charging. However, it also comes with some trade-offs, such as an LCD screen, a plastic body, and a lower-end processor. The phone also lacks some features that are common in most mid-range phones these days, such as an OLED screen, an in-display fingerprint scanner, a 5G connectivity, and a versatile camera system.
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite faces tough competition from other affordable phones in the market, such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro, the Realme GT Neo 2, and the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G. These phones offer better performance, display, camera, and battery life than the Nord CE 3 Lite. Therefore, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is not the best value for money phone in its segment, but it is still a decent option for those who want a smooth and simple OnePlus experience.