OnePlus has launched its new midrange phone, the Nord CE 3 Lite today.
It’s the replacement for last year’s Nord CE 2 Lite and comes with practically all the same components—albeit with a few new features—which means it also carries over some of that device’s drawbacks.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite price and availability
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is available in a single variant with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the latter being double what the CE 2 Lite offered. Despite this, it’s RM100 cheaper than before, priced at RM1,099(~S$332.05). The device is available in either Pastel Lime or Chromatic Grey, both with a glossy finish on the back.
Pre-orders start on April 11 at 10am, with pre-orders coming with the original wireless Nord Buds, a one-year warranty extension and one year of screen protection. Purchases made from when the phone goes on sale on April 18 to April 25 will include only the warranty extension and screen protection. Pre-orders can be made from the OnePlus eStore, the official Shopee store and OnePlus retail stores.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite specs and features
At the heart of the Nord CE 3 Lite is the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chip as before, providing 5G connectivity. You also get 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. If that’s not enough, you can expand the storage further using the MicroSD/SIM card tray, something that’s fast becoming a rarity even at this price range.
Another throwback to older phones is the IPS LCD display, bucking the trend of midrange devices increasingly offering AMOLED displays. It’s slightly larger than before at 6.74 inches, but it still offers a Full HD+ resolution, a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate and a peak brightness of 680 nits.
The big news is the 108MP main camera (with an f/1.75 aperture), providing a useful boost in resolution from the CE 2 Lite’s 64MP. The Samsung HM6 1/1.67-inch sensor utilises nine-to-one pixel binning for better detail without sacrificing low-light performance, and it can also deliver what OnePlus is claiming an “optical quality” 3x zoom. Despite the “triple camera” setup, there’s no ultra-wide on this phone—just a 2MP depth sensor and macro shooter. The selfie camera is a 16MP hole-punch unit.
Juicing all of this is a returning 5,000mAh battery, boosted by the addition of 67W SuperVOOC fast charging that will top up the battery to 80% in 30 minutes. The CE 3 Lite also gets dual stereo speakers now, a long-overdue addition. Other features include WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, NFC, a side fingerprint sensor and facial unlocking; the phone also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack. As expected, there’s no IP rating for dust or water resistance.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2
OnePlus also took the opportunity to introduce the Nord Buds 2, available in either Thunder Grey or Lightning White and priced at RM349(~S$105.45). They, too, are available for pre-order on April 11 and go on sale on April 18, and they are offered at RM30 off until April 25, bringing the price down to RM319(~S$96.38).
The second-generation buds continue to feature large 12.4mm drivers for increased bass in concert with a BassWave Enhancement. They also have a titanium layer in the vibrating diaphragm for extra stiffness and thus an instantaneous response, said the company. An improvement over the original Nord Buds is the addition of active noise cancellation—only at up to 25dB—that includes a transparency mode for amplifying voices and certain other sounds. An AI algorithm also ensures clearer calls.
The Nord Buds 2 also come with Master Equalisation with Balanced, Serenade, Bass and Bold modes, along with Dolby Atmos support and a Dirac Audio Tuner for higher audio fidelity, especially when paired to a OnePlus phone.
As before, the battery life is seven hours (with ANC turned off), but the buds will now last 36 hours (up from 30) with the case included. The fast charging capability provides five hours of usage just by plugging in the case for ten minutes. The buds also carry an IP55 dust and water resistance rating.
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