The OnePlus Nord CE line-up has been a staple of the affordable mobile market since the initial release of the OnePlus Nord CE in 2021. Offering many high-grade features seen on the OnePlus Nord 2's, it's an impressive mid-ranger with very few flaws and a price we've come to love.
OnePlus has decided to kick their smartphone releases into overdrive this year, and the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite delivers a sold spec for the price. Their newest low-cost handset seems as if it could be the next handset of choice as the economic climate changes, and consumers look for affordable high-quality options as their current contracts come to an end. But, is the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite going to follow in the steps of its predecessors, or have OnePlus finally bitten off more than they can chew?
Well, the short answer is no, but that’s not a surprise. As you’d expect with any Lite edition, the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite has taken everything from the OnePlus Nord CE 2 and condensed it into a more affordable version whilst surprisingly not cutting many corners. Interestingly there are a few aspects where the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite actually exceeds the OnePlus Nord CE2, which is a welcome surprise from OnePlus: looks like they're never going to settle on continually evolving their handsets anytime soon.
So, what exactly are we looking at with this new release in terms of its specifications?
Design and Build
The OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite comes with the latest version of Android 12 and is topped off with the OnePlus' OxygenOS 12.1 skin. The OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite is housed in a plastic chassis with a glass front measuring at 6.59 inches, which is actually larger than its older brother, the OnePlus Nord CE2. Now, in order to, achieve a price point like this, some of the favoured features of the OnePlus Nord CE2 had to be removed, specifically the Corning Gorilla Glass protection which means you won’t be getting any protection against drops, scuffs and scratches on the glass of the handset. Furthermore, the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite also comes without an IP rating which means its neither waterproof nor water-resistant.
Camera and Display
The OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite comes with the same 64MP main camera lens as the OnePlus Nord CE2, however, its other lenses (macro and depth lenses) are both 2MP each. The OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite supports full HD video at 30fps which is still a good all-around video, given it's done with a 60MP lens. Comparatively, you are missing out on the OnePlus Nord CE2's 60fps recording, as well as 4k video. In addition to this, the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite has an IPS LCD 120hz display. Now, what really surprised us with this, is that this is actually higher than the OnePlus Nord CE2's 90hz AMOLED display. So while the picture image isn't as sharp as the OnePlus Nord CE2 on the Lite, its user experience will manage to be that little bit smoother than the OnePlus Nord CE2.
The OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite does have a larger battery than the OnePlus Nord CE2 at 5000mAh. Whilst this does support fast charging we do miss out on the reverse charging of the OnePlus Nord CE2.
The OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite definitely has a lot more to offer over the its counterparts such as the TCL 20L and Samsung Galaxy A13: it has a better display, a slightly higher resolution, a better camera and fast charging. However, the most important thing to factor is whether the jump up to the OnePlus Nord CE2 from the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite is worth it and in our eyes, no. There’s a £20 difference between the OnePlus Nord CE2 and the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite and for all the extra features that you’re able to attain by spending an extra £20, the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite is not worth opting for if you’re considering the two. However, if your budget doesn’t allow for any movement and it’s a tossup between the Samsung Galaxy A13, TCL 20L or the OnePlus Nord CE2 Lite; we’d probably opt for either the OnePlus or the TCL. Some may disagree so let us know your thoughts on this article in the discussion box below.