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OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite review: Decent performer

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite excels in build quality and delivering long battery life. The photography performance is decent at best.
Last Updated : 28 June 2024, 00:30 IST

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OnePlus earlier this week unveiled the new Nord CE4 Lite mid-range phone in India.

It comes with a new design language, bigger battery capacity and improved camera hardware over the predecessor OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite, but retains the old Qualcomm processor--Snapdragon 695.

It is available in two storage options-- 128GB and 256GB-- with prices starting at Rs 19,999. Here are my thoughts on the OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite.

Design, build quality and display

Our review unit is a super silver variant. It looks amazing in the sunlight. It has a mirror-like metallic gradient smooth finish.

The device features a vertically aligned dual-camera module and LED flash in the top left corner. And, it has the trademark "1+" logo at the middle.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It gets stained quite easily with fingerprint smudges. Thankfully, the company offers a transparent silicone case cover free with the device's retail box. It is soft and sturdy around the edges so that the device can sustain the impact on the ground during an accidental fall. Also, protects the device from getting stained.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also, the company has incorporated a plastic-based screen guard on the front, to protect it against scratches. Also, the device comes with an IP54 dust-and-water splash rating. It can survive accident water splashes.

Besides the super silver model, the company offers the device in mega blue colour. It has plans to roll out ultra orange in the coming weeks.

It houses a 3.5mm audio jack for wired earphones, which has become a rare feature among smartphones. Add to that, it has amazing dual stereo speakers. A notable aspect of the device is the Ultra Volume mode. With a single press of the volume key, you can increase the volume by up to 300 per cent from the original level. It delivers good audio output even if the volume is put to the max.

The device houses a type-C USB (v2.0) port and hybrid dual-SIM slots (nano + nano/microSD card).

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The new OnePlus phone flaunts a 6.67-inch full HD+(1080×2400p) AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, pixel density of 394 ppi (pixels per inch), 20:9 aspect ratio and support peak brightness of up to 2,100 nits.

It also boasts the Aqua Touch feature, which ensures the display registers touch inputs even with wet fingers.

It has a decent-quality screen to consume multimedia content on OTT apps, but only indoors. Under the direct sunlight, the brightness, even at maximum level, is not enough to view content. I needed to take the phone closer to my face to read messages or news articles on the web. Also, it does not support HDR-quality content on OTT apps.

It features an in-display fingerprint sensor, but it is buggy. Probably a software update would reduce the false rejection rate.

Performance

It is powered by Qualcomm's 2021 series 6nm class 2.0Ghz Snapdragon 695 octa-core chipset with Adreno 619 GPU. It is three generations old, but a reliable processor. It works smoothly in terms of day-to-day tasks such as switching between multiple apps, taking calls, messaging, operating and playing multimedia content and network stability during calls.

The old chipset is not powerful enough to handle new graphics-rich games as such. But, it supports regular games such as Candy Crush and Angry Birds.

It comes with 8GB RAM and users can double the capacity with the virtual RAM extension feature. It makes the device a tad faster in terms of the loading speed of the apps. Also, it allows up to 26 applications to run in the background.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It runs on Android 14-based OxygenOS 14 and 128GB/256GB UFS 2.2 storage (expandable up to 2TB). The user interface is simple and easy to navigate through the phone's settings.

And, the device is guaranteed to get two major Android OS updates up to 2026 and an additional year of security software support.

The device comes with a 5,500mAh battery. It can easily last one and a half days under normal usage. With extreme usage involving long sessions of gaming or streaming movies via OTT apps, it will still be able to deliver a full day of battery.

With a full charge, it can deliver more than 20 hours of video playback on YouTube.

It boasts 80W SuperVOOC fast charging capability. It can power up the phone from zero to 50 per cent mark in under 30 minutes. And, it can reach 100 per cent capacity within 50 minutes.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite's Performance score on Geekbench 6.0 app.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite's Performance score on Geekbench 6.0 app.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also, it supports 5W reversing charging to power up another device with a Type-C-to-Type-C cable.

Go to Settings >> Additional Settings >> OTG connection to enable reverse charging.

The device supports 5G modem, Bluetooth 5.1, and Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac; dual-band: 2.5GHz + 5GHz)

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Photography

OnePlus phone features a dual-camera module-- main 50MP (with 1/1.953-inch Sony LYT-600 sensor, 0.8um pixel size, f/1.8 aperture) with 2MP mono camera (with f/2.4, ) with dual LED flash on the back.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It takes really good pictures in the daylight and indoors. The colours are not too bright and the details get captured quite well.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

In portrait mode, the phone manages to work well with edge detection. The contours of the subject are captured well and do a neat job with the bokeh effect in the background.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample with portrait mode on.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample with portrait mode on.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It does not support ultra-wide mode, but still, the main camera manages to accommodate a vast expanse of the landscape quite well.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It also supports 2X optical zoom with less loss of quality. It supports up to 10X digital zoom. But, the quality of the photos takes a hit after 5X digital zoom.

In night mode, the photo quality is decent. But, you need to have a steady hand and patience to get the perfect photo. The autofocus seem to lose its speed in the night. But, the end result is quite satisfactory.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample with night mode on.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample with night mode on.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It also features a 16MP (f/2.4) camera on the front. It takes decent selfies outdoors. Like other phones, it also offers superficial tools to smoothen your skin(remove acne scars), and adjust the size of the eyes, cheeks, chin, and even the head. It did a decent job of turning my drab face a tad better, worthy to be used as a Display Picture for messenger apps and social media platforms.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Both the front and primary back cameras can record full HD (1080p) and HD (720p) videos at 30 fps (frames per second). The video quality is decent for its asking price.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite's camera sample.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The primary camera also supports slow motion HD videos at 120 fps, and time-lapse 1080p at 30fps.

Final thoughts

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite excels in build quality and delivering long battery life. The photography performance is decent at best.

The 80W fast charging and reverse charging capabilities make the OnePlus Nord CE4 stand out among the rival brands in its class.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite.

Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Who should buy it?

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite is good option for senior citizens and also any regular customer, who mainly uses smartphone for calling, messaging and consume a lot of multimedia content on OTT and social media apps.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps, cybersecurity, and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

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Published 28 June 2024, 00:30 IST

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