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OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite first impressions: Speedy charging on a budget

8 min read

First Impressions

I’ll go away my full verdict for the complete assessment as soon as testing has been accomplished, however first impressions are typically constructive. The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite has quite a bit going for it, not solely by way of basic design however key options like a 5,000mAh battery, a big 6.78-inch show and 67W quick charging capabilities, all for simply £299. There are a couple of areas that aren’t fairly successful, however that’s to be anticipated on the finances finish of the market.

  • 67W Quick ChargingWith 67W charging, the Nord CE 3 Lite can go from flat to full in simply 41 minutes.

  • Massive 120Hz showWhereas it’s LCD as a substitute of OLED, the 6.72-inch show is a lot sufficiently big for watching films and enjoying video games, and the 120Hz refresh charge retains issues feeling clean.

  • Glossy designThe OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite doesn’t look or really feel like a budget-focused telephone.


The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is the most recent wallet-friendly smartphone from the corporate, representing the most affordable method to get the core OnePlus expertise. 

Coming in at a tempting £299 within the UK at launch on 20 April, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite definitely has quite a bit going for it on paper with a big 6.72-inch 120Hz show, a 108MP essential digicam, a 5000mAh battery and 67W SuperVOOC charging as well, however how does it carry out in actual life?

Whereas I’m not but able to ship my closing ideas, listed below are my preliminary impressions on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite – and it’s protected to say I’m pleasantly stunned. 

Design and display

  • Most premium plastic construct round
  • Shiny, vibrant end
  • 6.67-inch LCD show

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is a wallet-friendly smartphone that does its finest to cover its finances origins, and in all equity, it principally succeeds so far as the general design and construct go. It seems much like the OnePlus Nord 2T in its total look, although there are a couple of notable variations to assist inform the 2 smartphones aside.

Whereas each look related front-on, the identical can’t be stated for the rear. Whereas each fashions sport pretty massive round cameras on the left of the telephone, the Nord CE 3 Lite ditches the oblong housing for a clear, minimalistic method that jogs my memory of the Galaxy S23. 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite in the hand
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It’s not fairly as smooth with noticeably bigger digicam modules than Samsung’s flagship, however the best way the cameras produce from the rear with a pleasant gradient is appreciated and helps elevate its total look. 

Some may groan on the all-plastic design of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite, however it’s some of the solid-feeling plastic our bodies I’ve ever felt on a smartphone, not to mention one which prices lower than £300. 

That is supposedly right down to the manufacturing course of, utilizing a colored injection moulding course of that delivers one thing akin to a ceramic-esque end. It feels each bit as premium as glass-backed options whereas having a extra sturdy design that gained’t shatter when dropped, although I’ll say that it’s a little bit of a fingerprint magnet. 

The colourful Pastel Lime end of the Nord CE 3 Lite is a private favorite of mine. It’s vivid and crowd pleasing with out being too in your face, with an identical plastic body that additional compliments the end. When you’re not a fan, there’s all the time the understated Chromatic Gray end to go for, sporting a barely darkish blue gradient for a flash of color. 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite on a table
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The show is a story of two halves; it’s massive at 6.72 inches, making it nice for taking part in video games and watching HDR content material from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, and there’s a 120Hz refresh charge to maintain issues trying buttery clean. Up to now, so good, proper?

The primary weak point of the show is arguably the panel itself; it’s a regular LCD in comparison with the AMOLED panel you will get from low cost opponents just like the Xiaomi Redmi Observe 12 Professional 5G and Samsung Galaxy A34 5G, which suggests colors aren’t going to be fairly as vivid, nor blacks fairly as deep and darkish. It’s nonetheless completely servicable for social media searching and I’ve not but been postpone fully by the LCD tech, however I do miss these deep blacks. 

It’s additionally not fairly as vivid as some opponents, maxing out at 550nits in common use and 680nits when watching HDR content material. I took it exterior to take a couple of snaps and, effectively, you may inform that the show isn’t the brightest round by the under picture. I may nonetheless see the show, however it wasn’t that clear. 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite in direct sunlight
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  • Foremost 108MP digicam can take 3x zoom pictures
  • 2MP macro lens is near-useless
  • No ultrawide lens

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is the primary OnePlus smartphone to pack a 108MP rear digicam, and it seems fairly tasty on paper with key specs together with a big 1/1.67-inch digicam sensor, an aperture of f/1.75 and the flexibility to take 3x zoom photos with out the necessity for a devoted sensor. 

Preliminary snaps taken on the telephone do look decently detailed, although I did discover that the color regarded a little bit too cool in some pictures, and there’s a notable shift in color temperature between the 1x and 3x zooms, which is odd contemplating they’re each from the identical digicam.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite cameras
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That’s flanked by a 2MP macro lens capable of {photograph} topics as shut as 4cm away, however as with different low cost macro lenses, it’s probably not value getting enthusiastic about. There’s additionally a 2MP depth digicam to enhance portrait pictures efficiency.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may discover that I haven’t talked about an ultra-wide lens, and that’s just because the telephone doesn’t have one. Whereas that’s disappointing, it’s a results of OnePlus aiming to hit that tempting £300 price ticket and eager to focus all its accessible power on an incredible essential lens, aka the one you’ll use most frequently. 

It is smart to me and I’m not significantly bothered as I don’t are likely to shoot in ultrawide too usually, however I think about it’ll irk some. 

Flip the telephone over and also you’ll discover a single 16MP hole-punch digicam embedded into the highest of the show, ideally suited to be used in video calls and fast snaps, however you’ll wish to use the rear cameras for any half-decent pictures. 


  • Older Snapdragon 695 5G chipset
  • Android 13 with OxygenOS 13.1
  • Quick 67W charging

If there’s one space the place the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G does match its worth, it’s processing energy, sporting the Snapdragon 695 5G that was launched in 2021 and was present in some 2022 mid-rangers. 

That’s paired with a reasonably beneficiant 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as normal, with the telephone ready to make use of spare storage to offer an extra 8GB of digital RAM in significantly performance-heavy duties. 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite on a table
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Granted, it ought to carry out a little bit higher than the Dimensity 1080 that’s present in similarly-priced rivals just like the A34 5G, and I don’t really feel prefer it’s a very gradual telephone in use to date, however I’ve seen the occasional (and ever-so-slight) stutter. 

It needs to be greater than sufficient for day-to-day use, although when you’re in search of the very best efficiency on the £300-350 mark, you may be higher off with the Snapdragon 778-equipped Poco X5 Professional 5G. Or, spend £100 extra and get the Google Pixel 6a with flagship-level efficiency. 

The telephone ships with Android 13 within the type of OnePlus’ newest OxygenOS 13.1, although there isn’t a lot in the best way of recent options in comparison with OxygenOS 13 on the OnePlus 11. Actually, an organization rep confirmed that it’s very a lot all under-the-hood enhancements. 

In terms of battery energy, the Nord CE 3 Lite needs to be up there with the most effective with the identical massive 5,000mAh battery discovered on flagships just like the Galaxy S23 Extremely together with different aggressive mid-rangers just like the Galaxy A54 and Xiaomi Redmi Observe 12 Professional Plus 5G, although that’ll rely considerably on the facility effectivity of the Snapdragon 695 chipset.

No matter when the telephone runs out of cost, it provides one of many speediest cost occasions round on the cheaper finish of the market with 67W SuperVOOC charging that OnePlus claims can ship a full cost in simply 41 minutes. That’s underneath half of the time in comparison with the Galaxy A54, which, by the best way, prices £150 extra. 

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite on a table, focusing on USB-C port
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The corporate is assured about battery longevity too, with the Nord CE 3 Lite allegedly capable of deal with as much as 1600 cost cycles earlier than battery life will start to degrade, in comparison with the usual 800 cycles utilized by a lot of the competitors. That’s an actual boon if it’s the case, as that works out to round 4 years of each day cost cycles – greater than it’s best to want. 

There are additionally proprietary sensors and a devoted battery controller chip that’ll throttle the cost speeds if the telephone heats up or in any other case can’t deal with the complete 67W cost speeds.

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Early Ideas

I’ll go away my full verdict for the complete assessment as soon as testing has been accomplished, however first impressions are typically constructive. 

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite has quite a bit going for it, not solely by way of basic design however key options like a 5,000mAh battery, a big 6.78-inch show and 67W quick charging capabilities, all for simply £299. 

It’s not the proper finances choice with decrease efficiency than some key rivals, however it’s definitely among the many most trendy round on the worth level. 


Does the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite provide water resistance?

Sadly, there’s no form of official mud or water resistance accessible with the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite.



Display screen Measurement

Storage Capability

Rear Digicam

Entrance Digicam

Video Recording

IP ranking


Quick Charging

Measurement (Dimensions)


Working System

Launch Date



Refresh Price





A ‘fingers on assessment’ is our first impression of a product solely – it’s not a full check and verdict. Our author should have spent a while with the product to explain an early sense of what it is like to make use of. We name these ‘fingers on opinions’ to make them seen in search. Nonetheless these are all the time unscored and do not give suggestions. Learn extra about our opinions coverage.

Jargon buster


An abbreviation for milliampere-hour and a method to specific the capability of batteries, particularly smaller ones in telephones. Usually the upper the mAh, the longer the battery will final however this isn’t all the time the case.


The kind of show normally used on cheaper and mid-range units. Lacks the punch on an OLED panel.

Refresh Price

The variety of occasions the display refreshes itself per second.

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