OnePlus Nord CE4 Review: A worthy successor to Nord CE3?

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The OnePlus Nord CE4 arrived earlier this month and became the first phone to debut under the Nord series banner for 2024. Compared to last year’s OnePlus Nord CE3 5G, the Nord CE4 has seen several upgrades, including seating with a dual camera setup instead of the previous triple setup. The biggest attraction for Nord CE 4 has to be the all-new Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chip, which gets an AI push from Qualcomm. OnePlus is only offering an 8GB RAM version this time around.

Is the Nord CE4 able to compete with its rivals, given that they are launching their own devices at similar prices? Find out in this review of the OnePlus Nord CE4!

OnePlus Nord CE4 Review

Smartprix Score 3.8/5

Pros

  • Appealing design with IP54 certification
  • Sharp and vibrant screen
  • Good battery life with fast charging
  • Good day-to-day performance
  • Expandable storage

Cons

  • Sub-par wide-angle camera
  • No alert slider
  • Video recording

OnePlus Nord CE4 Review: Design and Build

The OnePlus Nord CE 4 has a no-nonsense design. This under Rs 30K phone from OnePlus reminds me of the discontinued OnePlus X smartphone, which came with a ceramic back that was ahead of its time in 2015. The Nord CE 4 does have that same feel.

The CE4’s Celadon Marble colorway looks much better than the flashy backs the competition offers in this segment. Its subdued color palette is soothing to the eye and casts a calming effect. While it appears like textured marble, it’s actually made of a compound of glass and plastic.

The rear panel features a pill-shaped camera island with two camera sensors and a round LED light. The OnePlus logo also occupies some real estate at the center of the panel. The edges are slightly tapered, which ensures they fit well in the hand. However, its glossy finish makes it slippery on the table. OnePlus ships it with an excellent-quality silicone case, ensuring it doesn’t slide down on a flat surface.

The phone features all the buttons on the right side frame, making one-hand operation a breeze for people with small palms. The speaker grilles, USB Type-C port, and SIM tray are at the bottom. A noise-canceling mic and the IR blaster are on top of the frame.

At the front, the design of the device is straightforward. It features a flat AMOLED display with a hole-punch selfie camera. The display has even bezels on all sides, which is a great design aspect. There is a small chin at the bottom of the display, but it’s hardly noticeable. OnePlus has used a Dragontrail glass for protection on the front.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Review: Display

The OnePlus Nord CE4 rocks a 6.74-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. It also supports HDR10+ with the required DRM L1 certification, which means you can enjoy all the high-quality HDR content on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

The OnePlus Nord CE4 display is seriously vibrant and sharp in daily life. I’ve binge-watched a ton of stuff and played some games on it, and for the most part, the experience has been satisfying for my eyes. Sure, it falls short if you compare it with flagship phones, especially during gaming, but it’s right up there among the best in its price segment.

OnePlus claims its peak brightness can reach 1110 nits. While we cannot attest to those claims, we can confirm that they hold up pretty well in the sun.

And when it comes to colors, it’s no slouch either. OnePlus claims a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut. With Oxygen OS, you can choose between vivid or natural screen color modes to suit your preferences. One thing to note, though, is that the whites might need to be spot-on accurate. There’s a bit too much blue light floating around, giving them a slightly bluish tint.

The display also gets 2160Hz high-frequency dimming tech. In low-light settings where DC dimming won’t cut it, it switches to 2160Hz PWM dimming mode. This keeps your display colors reasonably accurate for a comfortable viewing experience.OnePlus also onboarded its Aqua Touch and HyperTouch algorithm, making your touchscreen smooth even if your hands are wet.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Review: Cameras

The OnePlus Nord CE3 successor gets a new primary camera—a 50-megapixel Sony LYT600 sensor with an f/1.8 aperture paired with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide Sony IMX355 camera. The 16-megapixel selfie camera remains unchanged. The camera interface stays true to the OnePlus style, offering plenty of customization with different camera modes.

Now, let’s discuss how this camera setup performs. The primary camera snaps vibrant shots with saturated colors and impressive dynamic range, especially in bright daylight. You’ll notice good detail in shadows, and the photos maintain a natural depth and separation. But don’t expect much from the 2X digital zoom—it’s just digital cropping from the primary camera, so there’s a drop in quality and detail.

Things take a hit in low light. I have to say, the IMX890 performed slightly better in low-light situations. Details become fuzzy, and textures lose their sharpness, especially in dimly lit areas. Dynamic range decreases, resulting in less detail in shadows and dark spots. The colors may appear washed out.

Switching to the ultra-wide camera, you’ll get decent shots with okay dynamic range, but they might seem soft. Texture details could be better, especially in low light, where photos tend to appear blurry.

Selfies in daylight are all right, with decent facial details, but Portrait mode struggles with edge detection. Selfies lack details in low light, and you might need to use the flash for better results.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Review: Performance and Software

The Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 Mobile Platform boasts a 1+3+4 architecture, just like the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2. Powered by a 4nm TSMC process, it promises a 15% boost in CPU performance compared to its predecessor. OnePlus has placed a vapor chamber cooling system and graphite to keep things cool under pressure, similar to the Nord CE 3.

The Nord CE 4 performs well in daily use. We experienced no lag or hiccups, and its multitasking performance was on point. When it comes to benchmarks, it holds its own against devices both in and above its price range. However, it needs to catch up with more performance-focused devices like the Poco X6 Pro.

Regarding gaming, we tried BGMI and Call of Duty: Mobile with High graphics and Max frame rate and didn’t face any issues. Asphalt 9: Legends, on the other hand, performed like a champ, especially in its 60 FPS mode.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Review: Battery and Charging

The OnePlus Nord CE4 has a 5,500mAh battery that ensures you won’t have to worry about running out of battery too soon. It offers prolonged usage without the need for frequent charging. OnePlus has bundled a 100W fast charger with SUPERVOOCs (‘s’ strands for smart), which refills the battery in around 30 minutes. OnePlus has also added a smart overnight charging feature, ensuring that your phone’s battery stays healthy for a long time.

Review Verdict: Should You Buy The OnePlus Nord CE4?

The OnePlus CE4 is a worthy successor to its predecessor – the OnePlus Nord CE3. With its sleek Celadon Marble design, powerful Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor, and decent 50MP camera performance, the Nord CE 4 offers a solid package. Not everything is perfect, Oneplus has ditched NFC support, and the new camera sensor struggles in low-light photography. In terms of gaming, and hardcore performance it faces tough competition from Poco X6 Pro and Moto Edge 40. Nothing Phone 2a challenges in the domain of software. The Oneplus Nord

OnePlus Nord CE4 Review Rating: 3.8/5

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Camera

Battery

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reasons To Buy

  • Appealing design with IP54 certification
  • Sharp and vibrant screen
  • Good battery life with fast charging
  • Good day-to-day performance
  • Expandable storage

Reasons Not To Buy

  • Sub-par wide-angle camera
  • No alert slider
  • Video recording
Aryan VyasAryan Vyas
Aryan is the youngest tech enthusiast at Smartprix, with a deep passion for technology, automobiles, cricket, and Bollywood. He is a meticulous researcher and writer who write on a wide range of tech topics, including smartphones, laptops, wearables, and smart home device.


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