Today OnePlus formally revealed the latest addition to its Nord family of mid-range smartphones, the Nord CE 5G. In this case, CE refers to “Core Edition” emphasising OnePlus’ focus on what matters. In a 15 minute short, Susie Liu, Head of Marketing Strategy at OnePlus revealed what fans and the OnePlus commmunity had told the company was important – fast charging, powerful cameras, smooth display, good battery and a headphone jack.
As is OnePlus’ style, many of the details of the Nord CE 5G had been dropped in advance. Earlier in the week, Oliver Zhang, Head of Product at OnePlus, in an interview with TechRadar said, “CE stands for Core Edition, and the whole design philosophy hinges around the idea of “core”. The essence of “core” is reduction – distilling the product down to the most important things. You see mid-range phones on the market with very exaggerated specifications. We actively avoided some of those features and kept the things we felt would really make a difference to the daily smartphone experience, like fast charging (Warp Charge 30T Plus), a 90 Hz AMOLED display, or 5G.”
What does this mean in reality? The Nord CE 5G is an affordable phone with strong key features to appeal to those looking at value for money. Let’s dig into the specs.
The Nord CE 5G sports a 90 Hz Fluid AMOLED display measuring 6.43″ with a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels (410 ppi). Inside is a Snapdragon 750G 5G with an Adreno 619 GPU to keep the phone ticking over nicely and delivering a 20% CPU performance improvement (10% for the GPU).
For telecommunications, the clue is in the name of the phone but in the case of any doubt, the phone supports 5G offering nearly 3 Gb/s in perfect conditions. In terms of RAM and storage, there will be three variants (but not all will be available in all territories) – 6 GB + 128 GB, 8 GB + 128 GB and 12 GB + 256 GB. That should be plenty of memory for everyone.
Round the back, it’s an offset triple-camera array with a 64 MP sensor for the main camera plus an 8 MP 119° field of view wide-angle camera. The third lens is a 2 MP monochrome unit for black-and-white fun. On the front, the selfie cam is a 16 MP IMX471 Sony sensor which will give some excellent selfie shots – it’s the same sensor used in the OnePlus 9 Pro’s front-facing camera. The camera app supports Nightscape for taking photos in low light conditions.
Powering the Nord CE 5G is a 4,500 mAh battery which takes advantage of Warp Charge 30T Plus and will charge 0 to 70% in 30 mins, and promises over a day of average use. In a surprising though welcome move, the 3.5mm headphone jack is back: it’s in the bottom edge of the phone, next to the USB C port. Size-wise, the CE 5G is 159 x 74 mm x 7.9 mm making it the thinnest phone since the 6T, which I think was the last metal-backed device (could be wrong there). It weighs in at 170g.
Speaking of the back, that’s where you can really see the three different phone colours which give the CE a fantastic appearance whichever you choose – Blue Void, Charcoal Ink or Silver Ray. All the colours look good in the press photo.
The Nord CE 5G comes with OxygenOS 11 which is based on Android 11 and OnePlus is now committing to two years of software updates and 3 years of security updates. I think that’s great to hear and in an increasingly resource-aware world, it means that you could be using the Nord for three years without worry. Being OxygenOS 11, the Nord CE comes with many of the same software features as its siblings, the 9 and 9 Pro.
“The OnePlus Nord CE 5G is the next step in our commitment to sharing great technology with the world,” said Pete Lau, Founder and CEO of OnePlus. “The Never Settle spirit drives us to provide a better experience relative to what’s available in any price segment. Nord CE is the newest addition to the OnePlus Nord product line that delivers a great everyday experience while maintaining the OnePlus quality that users have come to love.”
Let’s talk pricing….
OnePlus Nord CE 5G
8 GB + 128 GB: GB£299 / 329€
12 GB + 256 GB: GB£369 / 399€
Wondering where the dollar pricing is? Unfortunately, the CE 5G is a European and Indian release only, sorry. Pricing and availability hasn’t been announced for the 6 GB + 128 GB version.
OnePlus Nord CE 5G will go on sale immediately after the launch event to the OnePlus Community, from 15:25 PM to midnight on 12 June at http://onepl.us/UK. If you buy the OnePlus Nord CE 5G in the Core Sale, deliveries will take place from 14 June. Customers can also pre-order OnePlus Nord CE 5G from Amazon UK from 10 June, and from Three from 11 June. OnePlus Nord CE 5G will then go on general sale in all channels from 21 June.