After the successful launch of its recent flagship, OnePlus is once again in the big picture when it comes to heavy hitters. This time, they’re targeting the midrange–and boy, oh boy, things are about to get interesting.
Coming fresh out of the woodwork, we get the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, a Q1 surprise that comes with a few tricks up its sleeve. We managed to snag one of these bad boys for review–which will come out soon, so allow us to grace you with what we gathered out of the box.
Out of the box, it’s quite the fingerprint magnet, so use the TPU case if this will be an issue. I had doubts about Chromatic Grey, as the usual dark black twilight ebony shades can get tiresome, but it’s surprisingly pleasant to the eyes. Of course, there’s that cool sheen from the hard plastic backside adorned with the OnePlus logo. Up top, we get two large circles that house the glorious tripe camera. More on that later.
Up front, we get the 6.72-inch IPS LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. We also get a punch hole for the 16MP camera. While it isn’t AMOLED, you still get some vibrant colors. Opening up the app drawer, that refresh rate can be felt with some buttery smooth scrolling.
Of course, we’d be remiss if we wouldn’t watch a few videos and play a couple of Mobile Legends matches. When it comes to watching some good ol’ XG on Youtube, you get some good use of that screen real estate. The colors pop and things don’t get too bright, even if you crank it to the maximum. As for audio, we have dual speakers that don’t snap, crackle, or pop even at 200% ultra volume. The headphone jack is a nice touch, too.
As for gaming, Mobile Legends was on the first impressions chopping block before we step into the Genshin Impact torture test. Feel free to set everything to Ultra, outlines, and all. You can play your games smoothly, no sweat. Thanks to the Snapdragon 695 5G and 8GB of expandable RAM, you’re good to go.
Now, onto the Nord CE 3 Lite’s coupe de grace, its 108MP camera. I’ve yet to take more flattering photos, but out of the box, things are looking pretty nice–lots of color without too much saturation. The same goes for the default X3 zoom. Still a good amount of detail.
As for the portrait mode, the bokeh isn’t aggressive enough to consume the straw in my coffee cup, which is always a good sign. Ultrawide is absent on both front and rear cameras.
Selfies look good in a well-lit setting–though I can’t say the same about my face. As always, zero beautification to show how things look by default. I should probably switch it on. Videos can be shot at 1080p @ 30 fps for both front and back cameras, which is kind of a letdown–at least for the main shooter. Having at least 1080p/60fps would’ve been nice.
So, after playing around with it a bit, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite looks quite promising as a midrange challenger. The 5000mAh battery helped quite a bit with said playtime, and the 67W charging helped even more.
Of course, there’s a bit of work to be done to see how it measures up against the competition–or even its predecessor, so we’re back to the drawing board for a more detailed review.
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is launching soon, so stay tuned for our full review, pricing, and availability.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G specs:
- Snapdragon 695 5G (6 nm)
- Adreno 619 GPU
- 8GB RAM
- 6.72 inch IPS LCD, 120Hz
- 256GB Storage
- 108 MP, f/1.8, 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro), 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth) triple camera
- 16 MP, f/2.4 front camera
- LTE, Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, fingerprint scanner (side-mounted), USB Type-C
- 5000mAh battery with 67W charging
- Android 13, OxygenOS 13.1