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OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G in Nepal: Better in key aspects, but some improvements are still missing

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G

There once was a time when OnePlus only had a single line of smartphones with incredible features and it would provide them with almost half the price of other flagship phones. It has not been the same for the past five years though. OnePlus now has its own premium line of smartphones that compete against the best in the industry, in terms of specifications, features and price as well. OnePlus 10 and OnePlus 10 Pro are one of the best flagship smartphones in the market right now along with Samsung and iPhone.

Though OnePlus is competing against the giants now, it has not forgotten its roots. The brand has multiple releases in the mid and affordable range as well. This lineup is named the Nord series. The Nord series offers smartphones from affordable to premium mid-ranges.

Its latest release OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G adjusts itself in the premium mid-range category and is the successor of last year’s OnePlus Nord CE. Smart Talk Pvt Ltd, the authorised national distributor for OnePlus products in Nepal, has officially released the phone here as well.

A better display, power-efficient chipset, faster charging and better camera performance can be expected from the new OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G. Yet, there are some issues that disappoint you.

Let’s know about the phone in detail.

Specifications

Dimension Height: 160.6mm
Width: 73.2mm
Thickness: 7.8mm
Weight: 173 grams
Display6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED, 90Hz, HDR10+
SimDual Sims
Resolution1,080*2,400 pixels, 409ppi
OSAndroid 11, OxygenOS 11
ChipsetMediaTek Dimensity 900 5G (6nm)
GPUArm Mali-G68 MC4
Storage128/256GB
SD Card SlotDedicated
RAM6/8GB
CameraFront: 16MP, f/2.4, EIS
Rear: 64MP, f/1.8             
8MP, f/2.2, 119 degrees (ultrawide)              
2MP, f/2.4 (depth)
SoundLoudspeakers 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery4500mAh, Li-Po, non-removable Fast charging 65W SUPERVOOC
SensorsIn-display fingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Electronic Compass
Gyro
Proximity
Ambient light sensor
ColoursGray mirror, Bahama blue
Price Rs 47,499

What’s inside the box?

The most exciting thing while unboxing the phone is the content inside it. So what do you get inside the box?

Inside the box, you will find:

  • OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G
  • 65W SUPERVOOC power adapter
  • Cable (supports USB 2.0)
  • Phone case
  • Screen protector (pre-applied)
  • Sim tray ejector
  • Welcome letter
  • Brand sticker
  • Red Cable Club membership card
  • Quick start guide
  • Safety information and warranty card

Design and display

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G flaunts a slim design and feels easy on the hand. The phone has a glass front while there is a plastic back and a plastic frame built. On the front, it has a punch hole camera design that takes minimal space offering greater space for the display. There is a thin bezel on the top of the display but the bottom part has thick round-cornered bezels as seen in most of the lower-range budget smartphones.

The phone is available in two colours: a grey mirror and a Bahama blue. We have the former one.

Upon first glance, the back of the phone looks splendid. The silver gloss finish gives the phone a premium feel for the user. But, as splendid as it may look, the back of the phone is extremely susceptible to fingerprints. So, if you are planning to use the phone without a back cover, make sure you carry a small piece of cloth to wipe the fingerprints every now and then.

The phone weighs lightly at 173 grams and is only 7.8 mm thick. There is no mention of IP ratings on the phone.

The front of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G houses a 6.43-inch fluid AMOLED panel. With a resolution of 1,080*2,400 pixels, the display can achieve a peak brightness of up to 800 nits. The display also claims to have an HDR10+ feature along with a 90Hz refresh rate. The HDR 10+ features offer richer and deeper colours on the display. The phone also has a fast in-display fingerprint sensor.

But, the phone also oversaturates in some areas making the colours look darker, failing to show the details of the image or videos. The 90Hz refresh rate is very handy though; it makes toggling through the apps and scrolling very easy and smooth. The touch response from the phone is also pretty good. There is a Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front.

Cameras

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G features a triple camera setup on the back. The main 64MP, f/1.8 camera on the back is housed together with 119 degrees, 8MP, f/2.2,  ultrawide and 2MP, f/2.4 depth sensor. Meanwhile, the front houses a 16MP selfie shooter. The camera app includes features like night mode, portrait mode for photos and videos, macro mode, time-lapse, extra HD mode, slo-mo, an AI image enhancement mode for photos and videos, beautification mode for portraits, dual-view video mode, a text scanner mode, and expert mode.

Talking about the image quality of the phone, the main 64MP camera does an excellent job in the daytime. Objects are detailed; colours seem accurate and well-exposed. Even the 16MP front camera takes impressive photos during the daytime. The camera also produces decent night photos when the night mode is used.

The issue, however, with the images from OnePlus is its contrast and dynamic range. The contrast on the images and videos are usually high on OnePlus devices and usually ends up neglecting the shadow part. Also, there is no RAW mode on the camera.

The 119-degree ultrawide camera also does a decent job and offers a better dynamic range. The colour accuracy is also good but could have been better. The 2MP macro lens on the phone does not have auto-focus, due to which clicking the photos from it is a hard job.

There was an expectation that the smartphone companies would ditch the so-called macro lens as it offers very little to no help. It only looks great on the specs sheet, but when it comes to taking pictures, there is no autofocus and the colour accuracy is poor. But, it did not happen with this new phone also.

As for the video, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G can capture videos up to 4K resolution. The 4K video is limited to 30fps only, but you can capture 1080p and 720p videos in 60 fps. The video quality is also fine. Video stabilisation is only applicable in 1080p resolution that too in 30fps only. The 4K video takes a lot of storage but provides no stabilisation. Though the colours and image quality on the footage are good, the videos are extremely shaky.

Performance and storage

Photo: MediaTek

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G runs on OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11. The phone should receive at least two years of Android updates. The phone is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 900 octa-core chipset, along with a 6 nm architecture along with support for 5G network speeds and Wi-Fi 6. The graphics are handled by Arm Mali-G68 MC4.

For the memory option, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has LPDDR4X 8GB RAM with standard UFS 2.2 128GB internal storage. The storage can be further expanded with the use of a microSD card.

The chipset on the phone, Dimensity 900, has been optimised and is a power-efficient chipset. This allows improvement in thermal control, system stability and allows prolonged gaming sessions. Multi-tasking and everyday work on the phone faces no problems and the phone offers smooth performance.

The phone faces problems when high graphic games are launched. Although the phone supports high graphics games like PUBG and Genshin Impact, you cannot enjoy the game with the best graphics. Though the display supports a 90Hz refresh rate, that does not seem to be the case as you will see jitters during gaming. But when it comes to switching between the apps, editing photos or videos, and even multi-tasking the phone sails smoothly. But, it sure is weird to see a OnePlus device without a Snapdragon chipset.  

Battery life and price

Photo: gsmarena

Among all the wonderful features, battery life is where OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G excels the most. The phone comes with a 4500mAh non-removable Li-Po battery backed up by a 65W SUPERVOOC charger. OnePlus has really worked on their battery performance and draining the battery was really challenging for us. Even with excessive gaming, the battery would last over a day and under normal use, it should last for days.

The battery should never be a concern for the users as it gets fully charged in under 35 minutes. You can have an extended gaming session and when you charge the phone during your tea or lunch break, the phone will be ready to go for another round. During our test, we also did not find any heating issues even after intense gaming. OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G also comes with intelligent software that reduces the time its battery spends at 100% when charging overnight–to improve battery health and longevity.

As for the audio, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has a single speaker at the bottom of the phone and there is a 3.5 mm headphone jack, allowing you to plug in your wired headphone or earphones. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has two sim card slots and a dedicated microSD card slot.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is only available in a single variant of 8/128GB in Nepal and costs Rs 47,499.

Verdict

This price places OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G in the premium mid-ranged category. It is also probably the first premium mid-range phone launched in 2022 in Nepal.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is a good smartphone for this price range. It offers a good build, an elegant design, good camera quality, a clean and simple UI, amazing battery backup and faster charging and even includes a headphone jack and dedicated SD card slot.

But, there are areas where OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G disappoints a little. The phone could have a better macro lens, better speakers, support a higher refresh rate on games and should have included image stabilisation on higher resolution videos as well. Also, the inclusion of Android 12 on the phone would have been a lot better. A flagship feature cannot definitely be expected from a mid-range phone, but improvements in these aspects can definitely be done in the coming days.

Overall, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is a decent smartphone and Realme, or Mi users will definitely enjoy using this phone if they seek a change.

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Subba is a tech and auto writer at Onlinekhabar.

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