OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G First Impressions


When launched in 2020, the OnePlus Nord series was envisioned as a more affordable offering from the brand, typically known for flagship-level devices. Over the past four years, the Nord series has evolved into three categories in India: the regular Nord, the Nord CE, and the CE Lite. The last one on the list is typically designed for budget-conscious consumers. Unsurprisingly, there’s a new addition to this: the OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G.

The new phone boasts significant upgrades such as a large battery, an AMOLED display, and impressive stereo speakers. But it sports the same chipset seen in its predecessor. So, does the new OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G have what it takes to stand apart in the crowded Indian smartphone market? While the full review of the Nord CE4 Lite is in the works, here are my first thoughts.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G First Impressions: Design and Display

The Nord CE 4 Lite’s design marks a noticeable shift from its predecessor, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite. OnePlus reintroduces the signature blue, a nod to the original Nord and aiming to evoke nostalgia. While the Nord CE 3 Lite had a cute camera design, the latest model adopts a more conventional look that reminds me of the OnePlus Nord CE4.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G Design

We have the Mega Blue variant for review, which surprisingly reminded me of my school uniform. While this colour appeared impressive in promotional images, it is less so in person. Its vividness draws a lot of attention, often leading people to ask, “Which phone is this?” The Nord CE 4 Lite is available in three colours: Mega Blue, Super Silver, and Ultra Orange. I find the Super Silver variant particularly elegant.

While stylish, the glossy back panel attracts dust and fingerprints and requires frequent cleaning if left idle for just a day or two. The camera module is capsule-shaped and includes two flashlights. The phone’s bottom frame houses a USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack—an inclusion some users will appreciate.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G Display

In my brief hands-on experience, the Nord CE 4 Lite’s 6.67-inch AMOLED display stood out with its 120Hz refresh rate, a notable upgrade from the Nord CE 3 Lite’s LCD screen. The AMOLED panel delivers vibrant colours, deep blacks, and accurate visuals. Watching 1080p videos on YouTube indoors, the display produced bright and vivid images. The phone offers a peak brightness of 2100 nits, ensuring a clear view indoors, though it struggles a bit in direct sunlight. Additionally, the display includes a fingerprint sensor that performs reliably in most scenarios.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G First Impressions: Cameras

The Nord CE 4 Lite has a 50-megapixel Sony LYT-600 primary camera and a 2-megapixel mono camera, a step down from the 108-megapixel camera on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G Camera Module

The camera performs well in bright daylight, capturing images with accurate colours in most instances. The photos didn’t exhibit distortion or blurring around the edges, which is a plus. Portrait mode generally delivers smooth images with excellent edge detection. Skin tones in portrait shots are particularly accurate under natural light, requiring no extra filters.

The phone features a 16-megapixel selfie camera on the front that performs well in daylight. It captures selfies with accurate skin tones and maintains a natural look without overly enhancing the image.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G Selfie Camera

Although this summary provides a quick look at the camera’s capabilities, I will include a thorough camera analysis in our upcoming review.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G First Impressions: Hardware and Software

The OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, which is disappointing. This chipset has been part of the Nord series since its inception, and an upgrade would have been a welcome improvement. The same Snapdragon 695 is used in budget-friendly phones like the Motorola G34 and Vivo T2, priced well below Rs 20,000.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G Software

Given that it’s 2024, the continued use of the Snapdragon 695 SoC feels outdated. In our Antutu v10 benchmark tests, the Nord CE 4 Lite scored 465,226 points. For context, the Realme P1 scored a significantly higher 568,006 points. The Nord CE 4 Lite 5G offers up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, providing ample space for apps and media.

One positive aspect of the Nord CE 4 Lite 5G is its large 5500mAh battery, comparable to the Vivo V30e and the newly launched Realme GT 6 and GT 6T. The box includes an 80W charging adapter, which offers quick and convenient charging.

The phone runs on OxygenOS 14, based on Android 14, offering a user experience familiar to OnePlus fans. However, it does come with several pre-installed apps, such as Spotify and Candy Crush. Fortunately, these can be easily uninstalled if not needed.

Final Thoughts…

The OnePlus Nord CE4 Lite 5G offers significant upgrades in battery life, display quality, and audio performance, making it an appealing option for those who enjoy multimedia content and need dependable battery longevity.

Unfortunately, it’s sad that the phone still uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, a chipset that has been part of the Lite series for three consecutive years. This raises questions about its ability to compete with more recent models like the Infinix GT 20 Pro, Motorola Edge 50 Fusion, and Poco X6 Pro. To see how it truly stacks up against these competitors, you’ll have to check out our detailed review. Stay tuned to MySmartPrice for our in-depth evaluation.