With the mid range market of 20k-30k booming around, companies have started introducing newer phones in the market.
The Nord CE 2 falls in the sub Rs 25k segment and has quite a few welcome upgrades over the older generation.
Pros and Cons
- Good day-to-day performance
- Good cameras
- 65W fast charging
- 3.5mm Audio Jack
- Dedicated SD-Card Slot
- Widevine L1 Support
- Lacks Premium Looks
- Very similar to it’s predecessor (OnePlus Nord CE)
Design and Overview
Talking about the changes, the most obvious change is in the looks department, the Nord CE 2 has a glossy finish at the back which was not the case with the older Nord CE and a different looking camera setup.
The phone is just 7.8mm thick with a weight of just around 173g making it quite light and usable. The phone being a compact one has a good in-hand feel and the build quality also feels good.
While the Nord CE is available in 3 colors(Charcoal Ink, Blue Void, Silver Ray), the newer Nord CE 2 comes up in 2 colors namely Gray Mirror and Bahama Blue.
The thing that surprised us the most is the inclusion of an SD card slot in the phone, it also carries a headphone jack so a Bluetooth headset isn’t mandatory and you won’t have throw your wired headphones into the dustbin.
Display and Performance
The Nord CE 2 comes with the same 6.43″ FHD+ AMOLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate that is slick to operate and has good color accuracy. The display quality is quite good and there is nothing to complain about it, the widevine L1 support is present so streaming videos in FHD on OTT platforms won’t be an issue.
The display also houses the inbuilt fingerprint scanner and sports a Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
The Nord CE 2 now comes with a Mediatek Dimensity 900 as opposed to the Snapdragon 750G in the previous generation. This is an upgrade since the Dimensity 900 comes with faster A58 cores and is based on a 6nm architecture making it more efficient.
It comes with a LPDDR4X RAM and is available in a 6GB/8GB variants. It comes with only one storage option and that is 128GB. The performance is expected to be a tad bit better than the previous generation.
Even in the benchmark scores the Dimensity 900 scores quite better than the Snapdragon 750G, although benchmarks are not everything but they do give us a fair amount of idea about the phone’s performance. The Antutu score of Nord CE 2 is 476,462 which is better than 88% of smartphones in the market.
The upgrade is so subtle that a Nord CE user won’t even find a difference in Nord CE2 in day to day usage.
The GPU optimization has been a pain point for Mediatek and the expectations with this as well aren’t that high. This doesn’t imply that the processor is bad or unusable, its just that the processor is not as well suited to a gamer as opposed to a normal user.
User Interface and Connectivity
The Nord CE 2 features the Oxygen OS 11 on top of Android 11, the Oxygen OS present here is basically the Color OS with some changes, however the clean experience that the OnePlus has been famous for is carried on and you do not get bloatwares in your menu which is actually a good thing.
OnePlus has also confirmed that it will be providing major Android Updates in the Nord CE for 2 years and security patches for 3 years down the line.
One major gripe that was there with the previous gen Nord CE was that it had only 1 5G band, however, this time around OnePlus has provided 8 5G bands making it more future proof than before.
You do get the Bluetooth 5.2 support here and the phone also carries all the necessary connectivity features like NFC, GPS and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax.
The Nord CE2 comes with a triple camera setup, the primary lens is an f/1.7 aperture 64MP camera, then there is an 8MP ultrawide lens and at the last we have the 2MP Macro lens that is good for nothing.
The front camera is a 16MP shooter that carries the Sony’s IMX471 sensor and clicks sharp photos. The camera setup is similar to the older Nord CE with the main lens and the ultrawide one being exactly the same, however, the 2MP macro replaces the 2MP monochrome lens in the older Nord CE.
The camera optimization is something that is yet to be seen but we expect it to be better in quality especially in the low light and difficult lighting scenarios.
Battery and Charger
The battery is still the same as before, it continues to carry a 4500mAh battery, however, the charger has been upgraded from a 30W one and now comes up with a 65W SuperVOOC charger that is expected to charge the phone really fast.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 comes in 2 variants, the 6/128GB is priced at Rs 23,999 while the 8/128GB is priced at Rs 24,999.
6.43-inches FHD+ AMOLED
800 nits pick the brightness
Touch Sampling Rate: 180 Hz
|Screen Refresh Rate||90Hz Refresh Rate|
|Chipset||MediaTek MT6877 Dimensity 900 5G (6 nm)|
|Storage||8GB Ram + 256GB Storage|
UFS 2.2 Storage
|Rear Cameras||64MP Primary Sensor|
|5G Bands||n1, n3, n5, n8|
n40, n41, n77, and n78
|Battery||4,500 mAh (non-removable)|
|Charging Speed||65W Wired fast Charging|
|SAR Value||Head: 1.023 W/Kg,|
Body: 0.814 W/Kg
|Price||6GB Ram + 128GB storage: Rs 23,999|
8GB Ram + 128GB storage: Rs 24,999
Verdict on OnePlus Nord CE 2
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 has improved over its last iteration, however the upgrades are not as significant as they could have been, with the same camera setup and a partially more powerful processor, the positioning of the Nord CE is debatable, moreover, since the Oxygen OS is now more like the Color OS, the UI is not a differentiator now, the Oxygen OS was a USP but OnePlus has lost it now.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 neither sets a new benchmark in its category with its hardware nor is it targeted at a specific audience with some USP, this makes us slightly confused on the purpose behind this particular phone.
The Nord CE 2 is a good phone with decent performance and specs, however it is not a killer as it used to be in the early days. The association of OnePlus with the word “killer” seems to be fading off with time.