Under Rs 20,000 segment is hot right now, we have phones like IQOO Z7 5G, Moto G73 5G, and even RealMe 10 Pro 5G. This is where OnePlus comes with a re-brand of RealMe 10 Pro 5G, yes I’m talking about OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G.
So before we start the review, let’s take look at the India prices of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G.
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is priced at Rs 19,999 for 6GB of Ram and 128GB Storage while another 8GB of Ram and 256GB variant is available at Rs 22,999. The device comes in Pastel Lime and Chromatic Gray.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G Review
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is an average smartphone and it’s a re-brand of RealMe 10 Pro 5G while yes, it doesn’t worth the Rs 20,000 price tag. However, if you want 67W wired charging support then you can spend Rs 1000 extra and consider Nord CE 3 Lite 5G over iQOO Z7 5G or RealMe 10 Pro 5G.
OnePlus is dead, now, they’re re-branding phones from iQOO, RealMe, OPPO, and Vivo.
There is nothing wrong with re-branding, if companies are providing better value but in the case of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, OnePlus didn’t change as thing expect for the charging speed.
Related: Best Smartphones Under Rs 25,000
I mean, at least, add an Ultra-wide lens but no, OnePlus just added 2MP+2MP sensors.
I have said, the things in the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G review, and this phone become the best-selling phone of 2022, the reason was, OnePlus Logo. In fact, OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G was also a re-brand of RealMe 9 Pro 5G.
I don’t know for how long, OnePlus will cash on Brand Value
Concluding everything from price to feature, OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is not a bad smartphone at all, it’s just that, we have a better phone under Rs 20,000 that offers better value which is iQOO Z7 5G, and even RealMe 10 Pro 5G.
By the way, OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G has ads in the UI along with that, OnePlus has also added a Hot app and Hot games within the UI.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G Specifications
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G Pros and Cons
|9 5G Bands||Plastic Unibody|
|Stable Battery Life||LCD Display|
|Wired 67W Fast Charging Suppport||Brightness Could Have Been Better|
|3.5mm Audio Jack||Ads in the UI|
|Decent Daylight Photography||Not The Best Option for Gaming|
|Wired 67W Fast Charging Support||Night Photography is Not Good at All|
|Filled with Bloatware|
|Stereo Speakers are Not Loud|
|Not The best Option for Gaming|
Display – Compromises
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G comes with a 6.72-inches 120Hz LCD display with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels and a pick brightness of 680 nits. It also has wide-vine L1 supports along with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor for security.
Does the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G has the best display under Rs 20,000? the answer is no.
We’re living in 2023 and yet, OnePlus has gone with an LCD panel. The screen brightness is 680 nits which is not good at all, for example, if you’re standing under the sunlight at around 2 PM then you will find it hard to read text on the display.
You will have to find a shadow to properly see what’s written on the display.
On the other hand, we have a phone like IQOO Z7 5G that comes with whopping 1300 nits pick brightness with 120Hz AMOLED panel and the fact is, this is Rs 18,999 smartphone whereas OnePlus is charging Rs 19,999 for OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G.
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G has a plastic frame, and plastic back and the front is protected with glass but OnePlus didn’t disclose what kind of glass they used on the front.
The back is glossy and you will catch fingerprints while the phone does look great from the outside but when you hold the same in your hands, that premium feeling goes away because of the plastic unibody.
Also, as the phone has an LCD display, OnePlus added a side-mounted fingerprint sensor which works great. There is also wide-wine L1 support too, so you will be able to stream FHD+ contact on the OTT platform, however, it does have HDR support.
Performance – Not For Gaming
We have seen Snapdragon 695 SoC in many smartphones under Rs 20,000 and it’s a very old processor yet OnePlus is using the same in 2023.
Again, the Snapdragon 695 is a well-optimized processor, so it does provide better battery life but the same can’t be said for the gaming performance.
So yes, if you’re into gaming and wanted to buy a phone for gaming only then consider the RealMe 9 SE 5 which has Snapdragon 778G SoC that will provide better gaming performance than any other phone under 20k.
For those who’re thinking that this is a OnePlus phone and it won’t have the ads but you guys are wrong, the phone has ads.
Note: For now, OnePlus had pushed updates and removed the hot games and Apps from the device. How long this will last, can’t say but as of now, there is no ads in the UI like OPPO devices.
It’s also filled with Bloatware which can be uninstalled but it’s not the OnePlus experience that we use to get.
Yes, OnePlus has also added Hot App and Hot Games which are available on phones like Redmi, RealMe, Vivo, IQOO, and even OPPO.
To disable the Hot App and Hot Games on OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, just open the OnePlus Browser and tap on the menu icon, there disable the Hot App and Hot Games.
By default, OnePlus has enabled Hot App and Hot Games.
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G runs on Oxygen OS 13.1 based on Android 13, the phone will get 2 years of OS updates and 3 years of security updates.
Keep in mind, this is not old Oxygen OS, this is updated colorOS with old Oxygen OS feature along with ads.
Overall, the Snapdragon 695 is a good SoC but it is too old and it has lots of limitations in cameras as well. OnePlus should have gone with the latest SoC but now, this is what it is.
Cameras – Average cameras with Bigger Sensor
Check out the raw camera samples of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G (google drive link)
The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G comes with 108MP primary sensor, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth on the rear while there is a 16MP selfie shooter in the front.
The rear, as well as the front camera, can shoot videos at 1080p@30fps as the Snapdragion 695 doesn’t support 4k recording.
The phone doesn’t have the OIS which is not cool at all because these days, IQOO is providing OIS under 20k. So yes, we can expect OIS from OnePlus as well.
Of course, the phone doesn’t take good videos at all, you will see lots of shakes and overexposure.
What I’m saying is, don’t expect anything from videography, be happy with what you get because this is OnePlus. I mean, their premium smartphone doesn’t provide good video or image, so how one can expect good from a budget phone?
Also, those 2MP+2MP sensor doesn’t do much, so let’s ignore the same.
That 108MP sensor is there and it does take good images under daylight, the good thing is, OnePlus is not trying to over-saturate the colors like other budget smartphones.
The colors are kind of close to natural. Also, there is no issue with dynamic range or portrait images.
Along with that, OnePlus has added all the necessary filters which can be used, if you want to post images on social media.
The problem comes when I tried taking images under low light.
The cameras suffer a lot, like, a lot. There needs to be some issue with the software because this is a 108mp sensor and yet it’s finding it hard to capture good images even with dedicated night mode.
Most of the night images look over-soften which looks like, edited in Photoshop. Along with that, OnePlus is adding a bit of extra white colors when taking images under low light, so if you have dark skin then get ready because you will look different.
Talking about the 16MP selfie shooter, here I just want to say “if you love white and soften images then you will fall in love with OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G’s front cameras but if you want good images then you will hate yourself for wasting 20k on this device”
Overall, OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G doesn’t have bad cameras, the problem is, we have a better phone in the same price range. So it doesn’t make any sense to pay 20k, just because this phone has OnePlus Logo.
Audio – Bad Stereo Speaker Implementation Ever
The phone does have stereo speakers but they’re not good at all, kind of average.
70% volume comes from the bottom speaker while the remaining comes from the top speaker. This needs to be the worst Implementation because most of the phone tries to do 60% on the bottom and 40 on the top for a better experience.
The good thing is, it has a 3.5mm Audio jack along with Carrier aggregation support.
Also, the calling quality is top-notch, didn’t face any kind of problems with any Carriers.
Battery Life – Rock Solid
The Snapdragon 695 is a well-optimized processor for battery, so you can expect about 1.5 days of battery life with normal usage while if you’re a heavy user then you will have to charge this device by the end of the day.
By the way, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G comes with a 5,000mAh battery that supports 67W wired fast charging.
Do one thing, carry the charger you get with your phone, so you don’t have to wait for hours if your phone dies in between.
For some reason, OnePlus has provided an 80W wired charger but the phone only supports 67W, so don’t get confused.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G FAQs
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G
OnePlus had a chance after the launch of the OnePlus 11 Series to redeem themself but they messed up again, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G is not value for money device in any sense. OnePlus is charging a bit extra because they still have some of the value left, in short, this is an average phone.
Images by Gogi Tech