OnePlus Nord CE 2 Review: The OnePlus Nord CE 2 is another shot by OnePlus to hit its target audience in the mid-range segment of the industry. And to be honest, the review of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 got us shaking our heads and I’ll explain the reason why at the bottom of this post.
For now, is the OnePlus Nord CE 2 worth spending your $399 to get? Well, we took the phone for a spin, looked around its specifications and performance, and here is what we found.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Review
Display, Design, and Build
The display, design, and build of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 are pretty solid. It has a 6.43-inch display, AMOLED panel, support for a 90Hz refresh rate, and support for HDR10+. To be fair, the display of the Nord CE 2 is very colorful and fast thanks to the 90Hz refresh rate.
The design of the phone looks pretty familiar. It looks a little like the Reno 7 from OPPO and even packs a similar camera module at the rear that is placed vertically. Its build material is Glass front, plastic back, and plastic frame. The front glass is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 which is a pretty tough nut to crack.
As far as the design, display, and build quality go, there is really nothing to complain about. Except that it has no certified IP rating. So, you should keep the beautiful phone out of the reach of water and dust if you need the phone to survive for a long time.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 review brings us to cameras. It’s public knowledge that cameras are an important part of smartphones (probably the most important for photo lovers). So, what is the Nord CE 2 bringing to the table?
OnePlus Nord CE 2 comes with a triple rear camera setup and a single selfie camera. It has a 64MP main camera with PDAF, an 8MP ultra-lens, a 2MP macro lens, and a 16MP selfie camera. The quality of photos from the cameras is average. One of the weaknesses in the camera department is the lack of a proper depth sensor. There is also no OIS stabilization feature when taking photos.
But, you get to shoot steady video in 4k resolution thanks to the gyro-EIS feature. You can also switch to the macro lens to take photos of a close-up object (i think the 64MP main camera does a better job at this though). The photo and video quality from the cameras of the Nord CE 2 is not flagship but it gets the job done.
You have to understand that to save money and make the Nord CE 2 a more affordable device OnePlus has to remove some features. And the company did this even in the camera segment. For the price you’re paying to get the Nord CE 2, the cameras of the phone are just okay (not great).
Chipset and Performance
The chipset inside the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is the MediaTek Dimensity 900 5G. This 5G chip is a powerful mid-range performer. It beats the Snapdragon 695 5G chip in every area. The Dimensity 900 5G has an octa-core CPU with a speed clocked at 2.4GHz. The CPU is paired with the Arm Mali-G68 MC4 GPU.
The peak download speed for this chip is 2.77Gbps and its peak upload speed is 1.5Gbps. This chip is equipped with fast LPDDR4x and LPDDR5 RAM technology. It also has support for UFS 2.1 and UFS 3.1 storage technology. The chipset can also encode and decode videos in the following resolutions: H.264, H.265 / HEVC, and 4K @ 30FPS.
The Dimensity 900 5G chip also has support for a 120Hz refresh rate but OnePlus decided to use just a 90Hz refresh rate in the Nord CE 2. Overall, the chipset is a very good performing chipset. It can play graphic intensive games and can also easily process and render 4k videos with ease. So, the performance of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is top quality for a device at its price.
RAM and Storage
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 has two RAM and storage options. A 6GB RAM + 128GB storage and an 8GB RAM + 128GB storage. There is space for storage expansion via a microSD card slot.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 is powered by a 4,500mAh battery with a 65W fast charge. You can charge the battery from 0 to 100% in under 41 minutes. The phone has no wireless charge technology but you can use the battery of the phone for a long time. Steady heavy users can drain the battery in about 6 to 7 hours. While normal users can get up to a day and a half of use.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 boots OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 out of the box. OnePlus has promised up to three years of major software updates and five years of monthly security patches for this device. You can download updates, apps, and games from the Google Play Store and you have access to use the Google Mobile Services (GMS).
Other sensor features are Fingerprint (under display, optical), Google Assistant, GPS, proximity sensor, and compass. OnePlus Nord CE 2 comes in the following colors: Gray Mirror and Bahama Blue.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Review: Conclusion
The conclusion of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 review got me shaking my head. I’ll tell you why below but before that, here are some of the reasons why some people will like to buy the Nord CE 2 and why some probably won’t like to buy the phone.
Why some won’t like to buy the OnePlus Nord CE 2
- Has no official water and a dust resistance rating
- Limited camera features
- Photo and video quality is just about OKAY (not great)
- No certified IP water, dust, or splash resistance rating
Why you should buy the OnePlus Nord CE 2
- Offers good value for the money
- Nice design and build quality
- Fast and colorful display
- Good battery life with fast charge
- Very good performance thanks to the Dimensity 900 5G chip
- Good software update
So, why does the OnePlus Nord CE 2 have me shaking my head? well, it brings mixed feelings. For one thing, it has a good display, incredible chipset, good battery, and nice build. The Nord CE 2 is a good phone to buy for $399 by 2022 standard and it offers you incredible performance.
But, it lacks in some areas such as photography and videography. For its price, there are other phones to consider ahead of this one. For example, the Realme 9 Pro+ has a better camera and a more powerful chipset, the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G with its water and dust resistance is also better, The Pixel 4a also ranks ahead of this phone, and even the OnePlus Nord 2 5G from last year is also better.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 Price
The starting price of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is $399 for the 8GB + 128GB storage. There is also a more expensive storage version with 8GB + 128GB. You can buy the phone using the link in the table below.