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Business News/ Technology / Gadgets/  OnePlus Nord CE 4 review: Powerful mid-ranger with great battery life

OnePlus Nord CE 4 review: Powerful mid-ranger with great battery life

  • OnePlus Nord CE 4 5G comes with a powerful Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 SoC, a massive 5,500mAh battery and features 100W fast charging, IP54 dust and splash resistance and more.

Despite having a plastic back and flat edges, the Nord CE 4 doesn't feel cheap and is comfortable to hold for long periods of time.

After weeks of rumours and speculations, the OnePlus Nord CE 4 was finally launched in the Indian market on April 1. The smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset, houses a massive 5,500mAh battery and also features a dual camera setup on the back. Coming months after the successful launch of the OnePlus 12 series, the Nord CE 4 is seen as an attempt by the smartphone maker to cement its position in the mid-range price segment.

We've been using the latest Nord device for over a week and here's a detailed analysis of how the device performed during the testing period.

Unboxing:

Credit where it's due, whether it's the flagship OnePlus 12 series or the Nord lineup, OnePlus continues to provide the most premium unboxing experience for a smartphone. Inside the black-coloured box, you get the Nord CE 4, a 100W SUPERVOOC adapter and red charging cable, a SIM ejector tool, a colour-matched case and some paperwork.

Design and display:

We received the Celadon Marble variant of the Nord CE 4 5G which looks stunning and will definitely be a head turner. OnePlus has used a mix of seafoam green and pearlescent white colours to create a subtle wave pattern on the back that mimics the finish of natural marble and provides a 3D effect to the phone. For users who prefer a more minimalist aesthetic, OnePlus also offers the Nord CE 4 in a Dark Chrome colourway.

In terms of design changes, the Nord CE 4 5G ditches the rounded camera module design of its predecessor and instead comes with a more modern-looking vertical pill-shaped cutout which houses the dual camera setup and LED flash. Volume rockers and the power button continue to be placed on the right-hand side of the device while the left side remains empty. Moreover, taking a cue from the 12 series, OnePlus has added an IR blaster on top of the device which allows users to control a plethora of electronic devices using the pre-installed 'IR Remote' application.

Despite having a plastic back and flat edges, the Nord CE 4 doesn't feel cheap and is comfortable to hold for long periods of time thanks to its slim profile and excellent weight management. The Phone weighs around 186 grams and is just 8.4mm thick. Furthermore, the hard plastic material used by OnePlus means that the back of Nord CE 4 isn't prone to smudges or fingerprint marks which is a staple with many phones with a glass back.

In terms of display, the Nord CE 4 gets a 6.7-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with up to 120Hz refresh rate and 1100 nits of peak brightness (900 nits in High Brightness Mode). There are minimal bezels around the display leading to the Nord CE 4 boasting off an impressive 93.4 per cent screen-to-body ratio. The AMOLED panel on the Nord CE 4 produces vivid colours and sharp colour reproduction making the smartphone ideal for multimedia experiences like streaming movies or watching videos on YouTube.

Performance and battery:

One of the key highlights of the Nord CE 4 is the performance of this phone, coming with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset and the Adreno 720 GPU. The phone feels snappy in hand and it handles all the tasks you throw on it with ease whether you are performing heavy-duty tasks like gaming or multi-tasking or day-to-day tasks like browsing the web or watching a movie.

We tried playing a few games with the Nord CE 4 5G and there were no issues to report here. The back of CE 4 5G does get a little warm during elongated gameplay sessions but it isn't excessively hot or hinder the gaming experience.

The performance gains reflect in the benchmark scores with the mid-range smartphone boasting a score of 8,10,317 on AnTuTu score and a single-core score of 1140 on Geekbench and a multi-core score of 2979 on Geekbench.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Benchmark results

Another upgrade with the Nord CE 4 5G is in terms of battery capacity and charging abilities. The latest smartphone comes with a massive 5,500 mAh battery (the biggest-ever battery on a Nord device) along with support for 100W SUPERVOOC charging.

The massive 5,500mAh battery along with the efficiency gains with the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 meant that the Nord CE 4 easily lasts a single day with something left in the tank.

Software and other improvements:

The Nord CE 4 runs on OnePlus' tried and tested Oxygen OS 14 based on the latest Android 14 operating system. OnePlus has promised two years of operating system updates and three years of security patch updates with this device.

OxygenOS 14 offers a near-stock Android experience with a few nifty features including O-Haptics, Flexible Windows, Holo audio, auto pixellate and more. However, unlike the more premium OnePlus 12 series, the CE 4 5G does come with a bit of bloatware pre-installed including a few games, Agoda, Instagram, Netflix and OnePlus' own apps. However, all of these apps can either be uninstalled or disabled and there are no annoying lock-screen ads to worry about with this device.

Much like the OnePlus 12 series, the Nord CE 4 also offers better water resistance, coming with an IP 54 rating which ensures that the phone is good to handle a few splashes of water and limited amounts of dust particles. Moreover, the CE 4 also gets support for Aqua Touch technology which should ideally make it easier to use the phone with wet fingers or during light rainfall. In reality, however, the Aqua Touch technology continues to be a bit inconsistent, meaning that the Nord CE 4 worked well with wet fingers but struggled when there were a few water droplets on the screen.

Camera performance:

The Nord CE 4 5G now comes with a dual rear camera setup with a 50MP SonyLYT 600 primary sensor with support for optical image stabilisation (OIS) and an 8MP Sony IMX355 ultra wide-angle lens. Thankfully, OnePlus has decided to ditch the gimmicky 2MP macro lens found on the Nord CE 3 and instead focus on the quality of the two primary lenses.

The 50-megapixel primary camera produces some pleasing images in daylight, capturing crisp and vibrant shots with near-natural colours and great detail. The sensor also largely holds its own in night shots, capturing decent detail with relatively low noise. However, the camera suffers from lens flare in scenes with bright light sources, such as street lamps or car headlights, and I also noticed problems with exposure control in some scenes. (See embedded picture).

OnePlus Nord CE 4 night-time shots.
The camera suffers from lens flare in scenes with bright light sources, such as street lamps or car headlights.
The sensor also largely holds its own in night shots, capturing decent detail with relatively low noise.

The Nord CE 4 does not come with any dedicated telephoto lens but the smartphone is capable of up to 20x digital zoom. However, there is a significant loss in details beyond 5x zoom and I found myself using the camera for only up to 2x zoom.

The 8MP ultra-wide angle is decent for the price point and captures eye-pleasing pictures. However, the shift in colours is noticeable in pictures as you shift from the primary sensor to the ultra-wide angle lens.

In order to help you analyse the results for yourself, we've attached a Google Drive link with images taken during different lighting conditions.

Verdict:

OnePlus has ticked almost all the boxes with the Nord CE 4, providing a big 5,500mAh battery with support for 100W fast charging, a powerful processor, sleek and unique design, an ad-free software experience and decent cameras.

While there are many competitors for the Nord CE 4 in the under 25,000 price segment, the latest Nord series device manages to stand out as a balanced mid-range option that offers excellent value for money.

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