The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is a budget smartphone from the company that offers 5G connectivity, 120Hz refresh rate, 5000mAh battery, 64-megapixels camera and other exciting features that we are going to tackle in this review. This phone was launched last June here in the Philippines with a price tag of under Php14k but during the online sale, it only cost ₱11,990.
So, if you’re aiming to get this phone, better wait and watch out for upcoming sale events on your favorite online shopping apps.
Here are the items inside the box:
- OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G (8GB + 128GB) in Blue Tide
- Jelly case (clear)
- USB Type-C cable (Red)
- 33W Power adapter
- SIM Ejector
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety Information
When it comes to the design, the phone has a mixed glossy and matte finish plastic rear panel with curved side edges and a metal frame. Holding the phone for the first time feels heavy and the metal frame offers you a premium in-hand feel. The camera array has flat edges, whereas the CE 2 Lite offers slope glass molded around the camera module. At the front, you got the slightly bigger punch-hole camera located at the upper left of the screen. The display has no Corning Gorilla Glass or any other known scratch-resistant glass but we do have a pre-installed screen protector making it safe from sharp object scratches.
Inspecting the bottom portion of the phone, you got the old but gold 3.5mm audio, a type-C USB port, a single speaker and a mic. The loudspeaker sound quality is manageable indoors but in wide open areas, you’ll surely miss the dual stereo speaker feature.
The right side frame of the phone houses the fingerprint scanner that works as a power button at the same time. The scanner lock and unlock function works normally fast when tested it during the fingerprint security registration and some casual phone unlock routines. Moving on to the left side, you got the volume buttons and the shared SIM / microSD cart slot. Lastly, you have a secondary microphone located at the top.
The phone has an IPS LCD panel which is a bit of a letdown to those who get to experience an AMOLED screen from their previous smartphone. It is also smooth with the 120Hz refresh rate that automatically adjusts depending on what content or app you are using. Judging on how many seconds the phone auto adjusts the refresh rate, it has a noticeable delay and hopefully it can be fixed with some software updates in the future. If you want to conserve battery and don’t want to use a high refresh rate, then set it to 60Hz.
It has a bigger 6.58-inch FHD+ display which is good and a pixel density of 401 ppi but the display struggle when using it under direct sunlight. You also have light and dark modes that you can adjust depending on lighting conditions. The bottom bezel is quite thick but it is expected and it doesn’t have a huge difference with devices under this price segment.
Talking about performance, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor. It is one of the go to chipset when offering a smartphone in under 15K price range because of the 5G-capability feature. To make it a performer phone, you have 8GB LPDDR4X of RAM and 128GB UFS 2.2 flash storage. Loading your favorite games and apps is faster and the device handles well when doing some multitasking. You can also expand the storage up to 1TB using the shared SIM + SIM/microSD card slot.
Here is the benchmark score we did with this phone. We got an AnTuTu score of 403326 and Geekbench score of 674 (single-core) and 1955 (multi-core).
When it comes to gaming, it runs smoothly in Mobile Legends with high refresh and ultra graphics settings which is the maximum option you can select by default. There is also a Game Focus and Pro Gamer mode to level up your gaming experience.
We also try Call of Duty Mobile with this phone and based on our experience the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G handles the game well but there are some instances that we encounter fps drop and and occasional lag when playing 30 minutes straight.
For the camera, the phone has a triple rear camera setup with a 64-megapixels main shooter, 2-megapixel macro and 2MP depth sensor. The lenses are arranged in a triangular pattern with an LED flash under the small camera sensor. At the front, you have a 16-megapixels camera capable of recording up to 1080p@fps video resolution. Here’s few sample shots taken using the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G.
With the OxygenOS 12.1 based on Android 12, the phone fluidly operates at a close-to-stock Android. It is very simple yet responsive and smooth when browsing its user interface. You’ve got a few customization options like changing icon style, font size, color, wallpaper, layout and transitions.
The phone by the name itself is capable of 5G mobile network connectivity, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX HD and 4G VoLTE. We also noticed that the phone supports more network bands on both 4G and 5G during our testing. OnePlus included the NFC connectivity of this phone which I think is a good decision considering the price of the device. For the music and audio quality, you still have the 3.5mm audio jack in case you don’t want to listen using the single linear speak of Nord CE 2 Lite 5G.
The phone packs a 5000mAh battery with a 33W SupeVOOC fast charging that can charge from 0 to 100% in 70+ minutes. You can have a whole day of battery of life in normal to average use but if you’re into occasional gaming for an hour or two you’ll need to recharge your phone before the end of the day.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G might be a good option if you’re into an optimized Android experience. Only one non-Google pre-installed apps which the NetFlix, no annoying ads and no battery draining or heavy customization. You also have a good processor that is 5G-ready, good battery life and a decent camera. It is best to buy the phone during a sale to get it cheaper than the SRP price.