OnePlus Nord CE announced — and it’s an incredibly cheap 5G phone

OnePlus Nord CE 5G revealed with refreshed specifications and a new affordable price tag

With the recently announced OnePlus Nord CE 5G, OnePlus has brought a mild refresh – and a big discount – to one of the cheapest phones around, at least if you live outside the US.

During a brief but meta-humor-filled presentation announcing the phone today (June 10), we learned that the best parts of the Nord experience remain, or even that improvements have been made. That includes the price of the Nord CE 5G, which will cost just £299 – about $425 – when it goes on sale in less than two weeks.

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The “CE”, as OnePlus explained in its presentation, stands for “Core Edition”. This means that even though it’s a low-cost phone, it still lives up to the oft-repeated “fast and smooth” mission of OnePlus. Following feedback from its uniquely loyal users, OnePlus has taken out some components from the original OnePlus Nord, but what’s left of it and upgrades makes the entry price more than worth it.

Here’s what we know about the OnePlus Nord CE 5G after the revelations made by OnePlus.

OnePlus Nord CE 5G Price and Availability

OnePlus is offering its forum users a chance to pre-order the OnePlus Nord CE 5G from now until midnight on June 12. The pre-orders of the phone come from June 14. Miss the forum pre-order window, and you’ll have to wait until June 11 to pre-order it from OnePlus, Amazon UK, Three or John Lewis as usual, with a retail launch on June 21.

The US is being excluded from the OnePlus Nord CE 5G launch, just as it missed the original OnePlus Nord launch last year. Eventually, OnePlus released a different phone in the US – the OnePlus Nord N10 5G – and it seems to have a game plan this time around. OnePlus has already confirmed that the sub-$250 OnePlus Nord N200 will be announced for its US customers soon, though we don’t have an official date.

As mentioned, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G costs £299. That’s £80 less than the first OnePlus Nord price last year. For reference, the Google Pixel 4a 5G – another cheap 5G phone – sells for £499 in the UK.

OnePlus Nord CE 5G Design and Display

The AMOLED display on the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is the same as the original Nord, measuring 6.4 inches, and offers an FHD resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It also gives an always on display like before. One less positive legacy from the first Nord is that the body isn’t IP-rated again, just “splash-proof.” OnePlus usually misses out on getting official IP ratings on its phones as a way to keep costs down.

Awfully, there’s no alert slider on the Nord CE side. This signature OnePlus feature was present on the original, but seems to be trending. But perhaps as an apology, OnePlus has added a headphone jack. It didn’t exist on Nord before, and will be popular with users who don’t want to pay for wireless headphones just yet.

OnePlus has managed to thicken the body of the Nord CE from 8.2mm to 7.9mm. It’s not much of a difference, but it does make the OnePlus CE 5G the thinnest phone from OnePlus since the OnePlus 6T.

You also get a few new shades to choose from – the matte-finished, fingerprint-resistant Blue Void, which also includes some weird dark blue highlights on the left and right sides; Luminous Charcoal Ink, and Pearlescent Silver Ray.

OnePlus Nord CE 5G: Camera

The main camera of the OnePlus Nord CE 5G has been bumped up from a 48MP sensor to a 64MP sensor, which should mean more detail in your shots. While you do get a better main camera sensor, you actually get less than two sensors overall.

The original Nord’s depth and macro cameras are moved over to the Nord CE, replaced with a 2MP mono camera to add texture to black and white shots. Meanwhile on the front, the original Nord swanky ultrawide selfie camera is gone, with the single remaining camera being the standard 16MP model.

OnePlus Nord CE 5G Specs

OnePlus is using a new chipset, the Snapdragon 750G. While it’s from a lower class of chip compared to the Snapdragon 765G, silicon is still 5G ready, and it’s actually got better performance with 20% CPU increase and 10% GPU increase as OnePlus promises.

While the chipset is new, the memory variant remains the same, you can have 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage for the base price, or the top model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for £369 ($520). Whichever option you choose, that’s a lot of memory for a phone of this price.

OnePlus has beefed up the battery capacity in the Nord CE a bit, taking it up to 4,500mAh; The original Nord worked with a 4,115 mAh power pack.

The new CE phone uses the same 30W wired charging – or Warp Charge 30T in OnePlus’ own words – but a few changes to the charging brick mean you still get 70% charge from half an hour of plug in.

Nord CE comes out of the box with Android 11 instead of the original Nord’s 10. OnePlus promises two years of OS updates and three years of security updates, which is a pretty generous deal for a low-cost Android phone.

OnePlus Nord CE 5G Outlook

We can’t wait to give Nord CE a try. In some ways it is a pity that some of the unique features of the original OnePlus Nord were stripped away to create a more traditional smartphone. However, at this price, OnePlus has threatened to turn the mid-range phone market.

As much as we love the Google Pixel 4a, our current pick of the cheapest phones, it offers a lot less hardware than the OnePlus one (£349 in the UK) at a price that the Nord CE is asking for .

Stay tuned for our full review of the OnePlus Nord CE as we get our hands on the new phone.

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