OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review: Is it really worth buying for Rs 20,000?

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OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G review Summary:

Editor’s rating: 3.5/5






Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


  • Good battery life
  • 5G enabled
  • Clean UI


  • Average looks
  • No so impressive secondary cameras
  • Limited 5G band support

OnePlus, once known as a flagship killer, is now also launching phones in the affordable price segment. Recently, the company launched OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G in India. This is a phone meant for the lower midrange segment and claims to provide good specs for a lower price. The smartphone comes with Snapdragon 695, 5000mAh battery, OxygenOS 12 and a triple camera setup. But on paper specs hardly reflect the device’s performance in the real world. So, is OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G actually worth it?  Let us find out.

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OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Unboxing

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G comes in a regular cardboard box. It contains-

  • OnePlus Nord CE 2 lite 5G device
  • SIM Ejector
  • Adapter
  • Phone case
  • USB Cable
  • Important documentation

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Specs

  • Display- 6.59-inch IPS LCD panel
  • Refresh rate- 120Hz
  • Processor- Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
  • GPU- Adreno 619
  • RAM- up to 8GB
  • ROM- 128GB
  • OS- Android 12 with OxygenOS 12
  • Rear camera- 64MP+2MP+2MP
  • Front camera- 16MP
  • Battery- 5000mAh
  • Charging- 33W
  • Dimensions- 164.3×75.6×8.5mm
  • Weight- 195 grams
  • Connectivity- 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.2, headphone jack, Wi-Fi 802.11, GPS, USB Type-C


OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Price & Availability

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G comes in the following storage configurations:

  • 6GB RAM+128GB storage- Rs. 19,999
  • 8GB RAM+128GB storage- Rs. 21,999

The phone comes in Black Dusk and Blue Tide colour options. It can be bought via Amazon, the OnePlus India website, Reliance Digital Stores and Croma Stores in India.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review: Design

Being a mid-range device, the Nord CE 2 lite does manage to deliver good looks. In fact, it is one of the better best-looking phones as per its price point. The phone comes in black and blue colours and I received black dusk for review which has a premium look. The back is textured and has a rectangular camera module with triple lenses.  It has a matte finish with slight lustre and doesn’t catch too many smudges. The camera module at the back has a glossy look and it blends well with the rest of the module. The edges are not round and the front has noticeable bezels at the bottom side.

The left side of the device has volume rockers and a SIM+ MicroSD card tray, while the power button is on the right side. The power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner which is okayish in performance. The bottom side has a microphone, a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Nord CE 2 Lite has a good build quality and is 8.5mm thin. It weighs 195 grams and feels a little bulky in hand.

At the front is a 6.6-inch screen and the phone is IP68 rated for water and dust resistance. Considering the fact that it is a mid-range device, thumbs up from me as far as its design is concerned.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review: Display

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 lite 5G sports a 6.6-inch LCD display instead of an AMOLED that we usually get to see with OnePlus phones. The panel can deliver a 120Hz refresh rate which makes scrolling and gaming smoother. Although, it’s not an LTPO panel, the screen switch to 60Hz or 90Hz in different apps to conserve battery life. It’s a good thing but the problem arises when they do it more aggressively. In apps like News by Google and Google Drive, it works at 120Hz whereas in Google’s dialer app, Youtube, messages app it works at 90Hz and Google Photos app it works at 60Hz.

Moving on, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite offer decent levels of brightness level which is good enough for most conditions. Coming to colours the panel leans towards colder tones. Yes, there is an option to choose between vivid and natural but their accuracy can still be questioned.

It doesn’t have HDR10+ support for Netflix and Amazon Prime, which means your viewing experience will always lag behind All in all, the display of the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is bright but it’s not the most colour-accurate screen in this segment.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review: Camera

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G comes with a triple camera setup at the back. It has a 64MP main sensor, and two 2MP depth and macro sensors. The Nord CE phones don’t have photography as their strong point and CE 2 Lite 5G also doesn’t break the norm. Moreover, there is not even an 8MP ultrawide sensor but 2MP depth and macro lenses, which are almost redundant.

The main 64MP camera is the only one in the rear camera setup that does some kind of useful work. The main camera cannot record 4K videos and the max resolution is capped at 1080p. In terms of photography, the camera clicks decent images in daylight conditions. The dynamic range is good and the colours are vibrant and paunchy. Though they feel a bit oversaturated and this is felt during indoor photography. The details in images are low and the output in low light is worse. Night mode is ok but takes almost 5-8 seconds to capture a photograph.

The macro and depth sensors give average close-up shots as there is very less detail in those shots. Autofocus doesn’t work well and 2x zoom also gives just usable shots in daylight. As soon as 4x zoom is used, the clicks look dull and detailless.

The 16MP selfie camera clicks decent selfies in indoor as well as outdoor settings. The colour tone is accurate, the focus is kept on human subjects and the selfies are full of details. In video calls too, the selfie camera does its job well.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review Performance

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset which is good for a mid-ranger but does come with its own hardware limitations. The chipset combined with 8GB RAM makes the smartphone fast. Multiple apps open and load fast and run in the background smoothly without crashes or lags. The 128GB storage gives ample space to store whatever you want to. The RAM can be virtually expanded by up to 5GB which can help if you feel your phone is slowing down due to some reason.

In terms of gaming, the Nord CE 2 Lite can run games well but in low frame rates and lower picture quality. Lighter games work better than heavier ones like BGMI: Mobile, but still, if you are someone who is not an avid gamer, then Nord CE 2 Lite might work for you.

The thermal performance of the device is pretty underwhelming as it starts heating up as soon as one plays heavy games for hours. Running benchmarks too led to the heating up of the device.

Talking about software, Nord CE 2 Lite 5G runs Android 12 with OxygenOS 12 out of the box. The OS comes with customizations and personalization options and is colourful it looks. The OS is free of adware and there is very less bloatware which is a relief as you don’t have to work on deleting all those unnecessary 3rd party apps which you don’t need.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review: Battery

The OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G packs a 5000mAh battery which lasts for an entire day with moderate usage. The usage includes calling, texting, social media browsing, using cameras and more. However, when I watched videos and played games for hours, the battery had to be charged before the day ended. The smartphone comes with 33W fast charging which comes bundled inside the box. It takes about 80 minutes to charge from 0 to 100%. I am quite content with its battery life and charging speeds.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G Review Verdict: Should you buy it?

Expert rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

If you want a smartphone for under 20k that has looks as well as performance, then OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G might work for you. It has a good battery life, clean UI, 5G support and a decent design. Although camera and display performance are underwhelming, then it can be ignored if the camera is not something you desperately require in your phone. Otherwise, you might want to go for phones like Realme 9 Pro 5G, iQOO Z6 5G and Motorola Edge 20 Fusion 5G.

Reasons to buy

  • Good battery life
  • 5G enabled
  • Clean UI

Reasons to not buy

  • Average looks
  • No so impressive secondary cameras
  • Limited 5G band support
Shivangi AgarwalShivangi Agarwal
Shivangi is an honours graduate in English from Delhi University with a passion for reading and writing. Always keen to know more about the latest gadgets, when she is not reading about tech, she loves listening to Hindi music and grooving to the latest Hindi beats.

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Rakshit Gupta
2 months ago

i am a college student… and used one plus 3t before this should i go for it or see a better option

Bheru lal
3 months ago


3 months ago

I like this phone