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OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G Review

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

The recently launched OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is an affordable midrange smartphone that doesn't compromise on design or performance. It features a large screen, loud stereo speakers, fast charging capability, and a 108-megapixel camera.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G retails for just ₱14,990 and comes in two color options: pastel lime and chromatic gray. The brand also releases a new TWS, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2, which is priced at just ₱3,990 and is available in lightning white and thunder gray.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G Specs

Android 13, Oxygen 13.1
6.72-inch FULL HD+ IPS display, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, 391ppi
120Hz refresh rate
2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 octa-core processor
Adreno 619 GPU
256GB internal storage, expandable via microSD
108MP + 2MP macro + 2MP depth sensor rear cameras, LED flash
16MP selfie camera
Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
Dual Stereo Speakers
Hybrid Slot (SIM & SIM/microSD)
4G LTE, 5G
WiFI 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
Bluetooth 5.1
USB Type-C USB 2.0
3.5mm headphone jack
5,000mAh battery, 67W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition
Colors: Pastel Lime, Chromatic Gray

Design and Built Quality
I've been using the Nord CE 3 Lite as my primary device for over two weeks, and I like some things about it, like its design and build quality. It has a fresh look with an updated camera module design and two new colors.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

It feels nice on the hand thanks to its smooth flat edges, slim profile (only 8.3mm thick), minimalist camera bump, and weight of only 195 grams, which makes it lightweight and look premium.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

At the back, the Nord CE 3 Lite sports two huge circular camera-lens housings with an LED flash on the side, replacing the previous model's rectangular camera island.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

The phone's smooth, flat edges make it easy to hold. The power button, which doubles as a fingerprint scanner, is located on the right side. 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

While the volume rocker and SIM tray are on the left. The buttons function properly, and the scanner unlocks the phone quickly.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

At the bottom are the standard USB-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker, and microphone.

The Nord CE 3 Lite's design is sleek and looks premium, but I have to admit, the mirror finish of the back panel is plastic, and its fingerprint magnet does take away from that a bit. I've been using this phone for a couple of weeks now, and I have to say, it's been a bit of a mixed bag. Still, it's a great-looking phone overall!

The Nord CE 3 Lite features a large 6.72-inch FHD+ LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. It has a touch sampling rate of 240 Hz, an 8-bit color depth, and a maximal brightness of 680 nits. Despite the fact that these features sound excellent for the price, my experience did not meet my expectations.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

The display is sufficiently brilliant for use in direct sunlight, but it is not the brightest panel in this price range. Compared to the Redmi Note 12 5G which has AMOLED displays, is substantially brighter, and costs roughly the same. The Redmi Note 12 5G's display refreshes at 120Hz and feels significantly smoother than the Nord CE 3 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

The Nord CE 3 Lite's screen High preset allows for a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, while the Standard setting limits you to 60Hz. It seems like the display works at either 90Hz or 120Hz on the High setting, but it looks like it cycles between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz depending on the content or apps you are using.

It also has a screen color mode that offers custom settings for the color and temperature modes of the screen. Personally, I prefer the Vivid mode for a more vibrant color display.

Overall, the display offers a satisfying viewing experience with a 120 Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support. It provides vibrant colors, good brightness levels, and smooth visuals.

The Nord CE 3 Lite is powered by the same Snapdragon 695 chipset as its predecessor, in addition to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.2 storage. Thus, the device's performance is only marginally superior to that of its predecessor. Its main advantage is that it supports RAM expansion of up to 8GB of RAM for a smoother multitasking performance.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

I've been testing this device for weeks now, and while there have been some improvements, I wouldn't say its performance will blow you away. It's a budget device, after all. I did notice some occasional stutters while scrolling through menus or switching between apps, but overall, it's still a great phone. It's great that it supports extended RAM because that boosts overall performance.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

In terms of gaming, I played War Robots, Ragrarok, and the popular shooting game Call of Duty Mobile on this phone. Even though it only supports the default medium graphics settings, the experience was still good. In casual games like Stumble Guys, the performance is commendable, with a smooth experience and enjoyable gameplay.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

If you care about benchmarks, here's a quick look at AnTuTu, Geekbench 6, and 3DMark - Wildlife scores for the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

In terms of software, the experience is comparable to that of any latest OPPO smartphone. OxygenOS 13.1, based on Android 13, is essentially indistinguishable from ColorOS 13. 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

It provides a number of customization options, allowing you to modify everything from icons to themes to everything else. It has the same settings and notification shade layout as higher-end OnePlus devices, such as the OnePlus 11.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

108MP Camera System
The Nord CE 3 Lite features three rear-facing cameras, including a high-resolution 108-megapixel camera with a 3x lossless zoom feature, there's also a 2-megapixel macro and depth sensors. At the front is a 16-megapixel selfie shooter for taking selfies.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G
When shooting in bright light or during daylight, the primary camera that uses the Samsung HM6 sensor can capture detailed images. The camera's 12-megapixel binned photos have impressive color accuracy, a wide dynamic range, and a convincing sense of depth of field. However, there appears to be considerable noise in the photos, especially in the darker areas.

Sample Photos:

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G-Sample2

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G-Sample4

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G-Sample13

More sample camera shots of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

The camera struggles with focusing on subjects and does not perform well in low-light conditions. The night mode feature offers little improvement to the photos.

the ISOCELL HM6 image sensor has the latest NonaPixel Plus technology, which helps to bring more brightness to photos and enhances overall light intake by 123%.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G-Sample7-normal
Standard Zoom

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G-Sample7-3x-zoom
3X Zoom

The camera has a 3x lossless zoom feature that works effectively in daylight and produces high-quality images. However, the color reproduction in the regular mode is better, and despite having plenty of details, images appear slightly washed out. While images captured using this feature in low-light conditions are grainy and noisy,

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

The phone's camera app supports Night, Video, Photos, Portrait, Pro, Extra HD, Panorama, Macro, Slo-mo, Time-lapse, dual-view video, and text scanner camera modes.

Sadly, the camera only supports 1080p 30FPS videos, so if you want to capture steady, high-quality videos, you'll need steady hands since the camera lacks optical image stabilization (OIS) and only offers electronic stabilization. The main camera produces high-quality video that can be uploaded to and shared on platforms like TikTok. However, actual video quality can also be affected by factors such as lighting conditions, stabilization effectiveness, and the camera's dynamic range.

Battery life
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, which is a standard capacity for a mid-range smartphone. However, the actual battery life can vary depending on several factors, such as screen brightness, usage patterns, installed apps, and network conditions.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G

With typical day-to-day usage, the Nord CE 3 5G should be able to last a full day on a single charge for most users and two days for light users. This includes activities like web browsing, social media usage, occasional gaming, and multimedia consumption. However, if you engage in more demanding tasks, such as extensive gaming or video streaming, it may lead to a faster battery drain.

Additionally, the phone supports 67W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition fast charging, allowing for faster battery recharging. With this technology, the battery can be charged from 10% capacity to approximately 100% capacity in just 30 minutes.

It's important to keep in mind that battery life can vary depending on individual usage patterns and settings.

Eye-catching color
Premium look and feel
Camera is great during the day
Large display
Loud stereo speakers
Solid battery
Fast 67W charging
Good Performance
Reasonable price

Plastic body
Now AMOLED display
Camera no ultra-wide camera
NO 4K video recording
Camera overall performance could be improved

Overall, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G is aimed at users who are looking for an affordable mid-range smartphone with a good blend of features, and performance. It offers a sleek modern design, a capable processor, a decent camera system, and a long battery life.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G retail for just ₱14,990 and comes in two color options: pastel lime and chromatic gray. It's available in all OPPO and OnePlus authorized stores nationwide.
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