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Business News/ Technology / Gadgets/  OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite 5G first impressions: New colours, same processor
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OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite 5G first impressions: New colours, same processor

OnePlus Nord CE 4 lite 5G just launched in India with the Snapdragon 695 5G processor, 5,500mAh battery and 50MP OIS rear camera.

OnrePlus Nord CE 4 Lite 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset. (Aman Gupta / Mint)Premium
OnrePlus Nord CE 4 Lite 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset. (Aman Gupta / Mint)

OnePlus has just launched its cheapest smartphone in India, the OnePlus Nord CE Lite 5G with a starting price of 19,999. At this price, the phone would compete with the likes of the Realme P1, iQOO Z9x, Vivo T3 and the Poco X9 Neo.

But is this the most balanced smartphone under 20,000? Well, I have been using the Nord CE 4 Lite for a few days now, and below are my thoughts on OnePlus' cheapest smartphone in India.

Unboxing and design: 

Inside the box of the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite, you'll find the device itself, some paperwork and a transparent PU case, nicely packaged in a black cardboard box, a red Type A to Type C cable and an 80W adapter.

The phone comes in three colours: Super Silver, Ultra Orange and Mega Blue. I received the mega blue variant, which is a little too flashy for my taste.

On the back of the phone, there is a pill-shaped camera cutout that houses the two rear cameras and the flash. The back of the CE 4 Lite has a glossy plastic finish that tends to attract fingerprints and smudges. I would strongly advise using the bundled case before getting your hands on the device.

OnePlus has ditched the curved, textured panel it used on the Nord CE 4 for its younger sibling, opting for a flat panel instead, which makes the phone feel a little boxy and the sharp edges could be a problem if you're on the phone for long periods of time. To get an idea of how the CE 4 Lite will perform in the long run, stay tuned for our full review.

The Nord CE 4 Lite has a flat display with a punch-hole style notch mechanism. The phone comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner, a stereo speaker setup, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1 and an IP54 rating for splash and dust resistance.

Display and software: 

The Nord CE 4 Lite features a 6.67-inch 120Hz AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a peak brightness of 2100 nits (1200 nits in high brightness mode).

The phone also supports Aqua Touch, which is supposed to improve usability when the screen gets wet from rain or when using the device with wet hands. However, my experience with the OnePlus 12 and later devices shows that the feature has been a hit or miss so far. We'll have to do a more thorough analysis of the Nord CE 4 Lite to see if OnePlus has improved the implementation in any way with its latest device.

On the software front, the CE 4 Lite runs on Oxygen OS 14, which is based on the Android 14 operating system and will be updated with security patches until May 2024. The phone comes with a few bloatware apps (9 to be exact), including Candy Crush, Bubble Pop, Tile Match, Myntra and LinkedIn, but all of these apps can be installed and there are no ads in the interface.

In general, Oxygen OS is not the most feature-rich Android skin out there, but it does offer a relatively clean interface compared to other Chinese smartphones on the market.

Camera:

The Nord CE 4 Lite comes with a dual-camera setup, including a 50MP Sony LYT primary sensor with OIS and a showpiece 2MP Mono sensor, which is said to improve portrait photos. For selfies and video calls, there is also a 16MP selfie shooter on the front. 

Performance: 

The Nord CE 4 Lite is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, manufactured on TSMC's 6nm process, which is paired with an Adreno 619 GPU to handle graphics-intensive tasks.

OnePlus' choice of processor is disappointing, to say the least, given that the Snapdragon 695 is almost 3 years old and was also used to power the Nord CE 2 Lite and the Nord CE 3 Lite. In my opinion, OnePlus missed a trick here by not opting for a newer 4nm-based Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 or MediaTek 7200 chipset, which would have made it one of the most balanced devices under 20,000.

Processor choice aside, in terms of day-to-day use, the phone didn't throw up any problems and the . I also tried playing a few deathmatches on BGMI and Call of Duty Mobile and the gameplay was surprisingly smooth. A more thorough analysis of the phone's performance, along with benchmark results and comparisons, will follow in a more detailed review.

Battery: 

The OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite gets a 5,500mAh battery, which is a big increase from the 5,000mAh battery on its predecessor and puts the phone on par with other OnePlus devices launched this year, such as the 12R and Nord CE 4.

It comes with support for 80W fast charging, which is said to take the phone from 1-100% in around 52 minutes. In my limited testing with the CE 4 Lite, it took just over an hour to fully charge the phone using the included charger.

Price: 

The OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite is priced at 19,999 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage variant, while the top-end 256GB storage variant will sell for 22,999. The phone will be available on Amazon, OnePlus' own website and the company's authorised stores from June 27.

 

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Published: 24 Jun 2024, 08:49 PM IST
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