Image credit : Business Today
To put it gently, the OnePlus roster isn’t as clear and simple as it once was. The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is a good example. This phone is a more cheap version of the OnePlus Nord CE 3, which hasn’t even been launched yet, and it belongs to a sub-brand (the CE line) of a sub-brand (the Nord line).
And now we’re really going into the weeds, which is a cheaper spin-off of the similarly unannounced OnePlus Nord 3.
Purchasing a OnePlus phone has undoubtedly become much more difficult. The only thing you really need to know is that the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is the most reasonably priced device in OnePlus’s 2023 lineup and that it is the direct successor to the fairly underwhelming OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G from the previous year.
Can OnePlus finally get the lower-mid-range recipe this time, or is the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G just another budget-friendly dud?
- Comparatively clunky & big
- Flat-edged all-plastic build
- Impressive Pastel Lime color
Oneplus also produces a large phone called the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G. It is slightly taller and wider than the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G, though a touch thinner, at 165.5 x 76 x 8.3mm. It weighs the same 195g, which is not at all light for a phone made entirely of plastic.
With smooth edges mirroring the current post-iPhone 12 fashion, OnePlus has improved the design language from the dull OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G. The left corner location of the previous model has been replaced by a central hole punch notch.
The rear’s glass-effect plastic finish is rather easy to pick up greasy fingerprints, but the light coloring helps to mask them at first impression. At this end of the market, a lack of an IP rating is not rare. Having said that, the Redmi Note 12 Pro does manage to have an IP53 rating, so it’s not altogether ridiculous to want one.
The conventional side-mounted fingerprint sensor is located underneath the right-side power button elsewhere. Since it is recessed and nearly flush with the edge, I found it to be a little trickier to feel for than usual, but it still functions just fine.
Specs & Performance
- Snapdragon 695 5G
- 8GB RAM
- microSD slot
Performance is one area where there has been very little advancement. The Snapdragon 695 processor is exactly the same here as it was in the model from a year ago and the slightly less expensive Poco X5.
This is supported by a larger 8GB of RAM as standard, an increase from 6GB in the model from last year, but that is essentially incidental. That processor is the problem here.
Indeed, the benchmark results from Geekbench 5 and GFXBench (covering CPU and GPU performance, respectively) roughly match the performance of the model from the previous year.
At the same time, they are all noticeably inferior to the Redmi Note 12 Pro, which is arguably the most recent model to which we can compare the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G at this time.
Benchmarks don’t always represent the actual experience, of course, but in everyday use, this older chip doesn’t deliver a contemporary mid-range experience.
During my time using the phone, I didn’t see anything particularly aggravating, but I did notice more frequent micro-pauses while moving through menus and home screens and a lengthier wait when switching between apps than you get with more powerful phones.
- Mediocre 108Mp main
- Lousy 2Mp macro and depth lenses
- No separate ultrawide
The camera on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G has received an upgrade from OnePlus. The 108Mp primary sensor, the first in a OnePlus phone, replaces the 64Mp chip from the previous iteration.
Of course, pixels aren’t everything in photography, but this one also has a huge f/1.75 aperture and a 1/1.67in sensor size. However, the absence of OIS (optical image stabilization) significantly hurts the camera in low-light photography situations.
Battery Life & Charging
- Two days of light use, one of intensive
- 76% charge in 30 minutes
The Nord CE 3 Lite 5G from OnePlus sports the same large 5000mAh battery as its predecessor. Anecdotally, after light to moderate usage (around 3 hours of screen-on time) and a full 24 hours between charges.
This phone, like its predecessor, can easily last a full day when used heavily and two full days when used lightly.
Also read : OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite: A Budget Phone with Impressive Features
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G achieved a score of 13 hours and 5 minutes in the standard PC Mark Work 3.0 battery test. That is precisely one hour and thirty minutes longer than the Redmi Note 12 Pro, which is a commendable achievement.