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OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite Review: New Display, Old Chipset

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite has been launched in India as the successor to the Nord CE 3 Lite model that was launched last year. The new OnePlus Nord phone has a few upgrades in terms of specifications and features an updated design. The phone is the latest arrival in the highly competitive budget segment in India, where most smartphones are equipped with OLED screens, support 5G connectivity, and offer fast charging support. We’ve spent a few days with this smartphone to find out whether it offers enough to stand out in this segment.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite price in India

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite price in India starts at Rs. 19,999 for the 8GB+128GB RAM and storage configuration, while a 256GB storage variant is priced at Rs. 22,999. The phone is available in Mega Blue, Super Silver, and Ultra Orange colour options.

The company sent over the 8GB+256GB variant of the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite for review, and the handset comes along with a TPU case, an 80W SuperVOOC charging brick, a USB Type-A to Type-C charging cable, and a SIM ejector tool.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite Review: Design

The ‘Mega Blue’ colour variant of the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite has a plastic rear panel, and flat plastic edges that have a metal-like finish. The corners of the phone are slightly rounded and the flat edges help you get a comfortable grip. The handset feels slightly heavy, even without the included TPU case — it weighs 191g — but not enough to cause fatigue while using it.

oneplus nord ce 4 lite review design ndtv OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite

The smooth rear panel is reflective and doesn’t attract too many fingerprints or smudges

Like its predecessor, the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite has a vertically aligned rear camera layout, but this year’s model has a new pill-shaped section that surrounds the camera lenses that sits under the rear panel and also houses a dual LED flash setup.

The bottom edge of the Nord CE 4 Lite houses a 3.5mm audio jack, a microphone, a USB Type-C port and a speaker grille. There’s an additional speaker on the top edge, while the power and volume buttons are located on the right side. The SIM card tray is located on the left edge of the handset. The phone has an IP54 rating, and the transparent cover also has inbuilt covers for the audio and charging ports on the phone.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite Review: Specifications and software

In terms of specifications, there are two notable upgrades the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite delivers over its predecessor — an OLED display and a primary camera with optical image stabilisation. The smartphone has a 6.67-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) AMOLED screen with up to 120Hz refresh rate. When automatic brightness is enabled, it goes up to 1,200 nits, which is higher than last year’s model that featured an LCD screen.

You get the same Snapdragon 695 chipset on the Nord CE 4 Lite, which means OnePlus has used the same 6nm chip for the third year in a row in its Nord CE Lite series. The phone is equipped with 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite offers a few features added by the company, but also some bloatware (tap to expand)

The phone boots Android 14 with the company’s OxygenOS 14 skin on top. There’s no word from OnePlus on the software support window for the handset, but its predecessor is scheduled to get two major Android version updates and an additional year of security updates.

OnePlus’ new handset also offers the same connectivity options as the Nord CE 3 Lite, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G, 4G LTE, GPS, and a USB Type-C port. There’s no support for contactless payments due to the lack of NFC connectivity.

The company has increased the size of the battery on the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite to 5,500mAh, and the charging rate has also been improved, with support for 80W SuperVOOC charging. Unlike the previous models, it also has an in-display fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication, thanks to the OLED screen.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite: Performance

The Snapdragon 695 is a decent smartphone chip for ordinary tasks, and offers similar performance as its competitors that run on MediaTek’s Dimensity 7050 chipset. It can run some popular games and several widely used apps, as long as they’re not too demanding.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite benchmark results (tap to see larger image)

I played Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) and Asphalt 9 on the Nord CE 4 Lite. While the former ran well on the default graphics settings, there was a bit of lag in some scenarios when the phone got a little warm. On the other hand, Gameloft’s Asphalt 9​​ ran smoothly without any issues, even after 30 minutes of gameplay.

I also ran some synthetic benchmark tests on the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite, and you can refer to the table below to see how it fares against two other handsets that are equipped with similar chipsets.

Benchmark OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite Realme P1 5G iQoo Z9 5G
Geekbench 6 Single Core 904 956 1151
Geekbench 6 Multi Core 2015 2369 2669
AnTuTu v10 448,127 570,926 687,545
PCMark Work 3.0 9,850 13,319 13,319
3DMark Wild Life 1508 4126 4126
3DMark Wild Life Unlimited 1507 4205 4205
3DMark Sling Shot 4226 6654 6654
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme 3121 5766 5766
GFXBench Car Chase 17 21 33
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 30 39 60
GFXBench T-Rex 60 60 108

I faced no issues with OxygenOS 14 on the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite in terms of stability. Apps remain in memory for a while after use, switching between apps is smooth (especially when using navigation gestures) and most apps can be loaded quickly.

Like other smartphones in the same price segment, the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite comes with preinstalled bloatware, including Agoda, Bubble Pop, Netflix, Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft 365, Myntra, Tile Match, and Word Connect. I was able to uninstall all of these apps, which were present on the phone as soon as it was set up.

The AMOLED screen on the Nord CE 4 Lite is bright and a good upgrade over last year’s model. OnePlus says the panel has a peak brightness of 1200 nits and it offered good visibility during the time I used the phone while outdoors, as long as automatic brightness was enabled.

oneplus nord ce 4 lite review display ndtv OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite

The AMOLED screen on the Nord CE 4 Lite is a big improvement over its predecessor’s LCD panel

Battery life on the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite is on par with other smartphones in the same price segment. It lasted for 22 hours and 17 minutes in our HD video battery loop test, while averaging about 6 hours of screen on time, for a week. It takes about 30 minutes to charge the phone to 72 percent, while the phone is fully charged in about 55 minutes.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite Review: Cameras

The OnePlus features a dual rear camera setup that includes a 50-megapixel shooter with a Sony LYT-600 sensor and an f/1.9 aperture, as well as a 2-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture. Practically speaking, the primary camera is the only one you can use to capture images.

While the Nord CE 4 Lite’s primary camera has a lower megapixel count than the one on its predecessor. It’s worth noting that the newest model offers support for optical image stabilisation (OIS) and electronic image stabilisation (EIS).

During the time I spent testing the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite, the primary camera was able to capture clear images during the day, as long as the subject was not too far away. These images look decent enough for social media, but lack enough detail when you zoom in.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite shots during the day are good enough for social media apps (tap to expand)

The Nord CE 4 Lite processes the colour of the sky differently in 1x and 2x modes (tap to expand)

The camera app also offers an in-sensor zoom mode which lets you capture images at 2x zoom. mode and the feature lets you capture detailed images of subjects that are close by. However, just like the default 1x mode, you’ll notice a lack of detail when you zoom in on pictures.

The OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite also comes with a dedicated Night mode, for shooting images in low light conditions. My biggest gripe with the camera app is that you need to manually enable the night mode — it won’t automatically apply any enhancements when it detects a dark scenario.

When enabled, the night mode does deliver better results in terms of visibility and there’s a little more detail compared to images shot in auto mode. However, it takes a little over a second to capture each image, which means that you can’t use it to capture images of moving subjects. There’s also a lot of smoothening to get rid of noise, and it also tends to make the sky appear much brighter than it actually is at night, which isn’t ideal.

The night mode on the Nord CE 4 Lite improves images in low light scenarios (tap for larger image)

Night mode shots captured on the Nord CE 4 Lite have a considerable amount of smoothening (tap to expand)

OnePlus has equipped the Nord CE 4 Lite with a 16-megapixel primary camera, which is good at capturing selfies while outdoors during the day — or even when indoors, assuming you have enough light around. However, images captured during the night are blurry and colours appear a little less vibrant.

You can capture videos at up to 1080p/ 30fps on the primary rear camera, at both 1x and 2x zoom, and both modes offer OIS and EIS support, with no option to turn it off. Videos are clear, and good enough for uploading to social media, but the OIS performance takes a bit of a hit in low light scenarios. The selfie camera lets you capture up to 1080p/30fps, but there’s no stabilisation.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite Review: Verdict

The OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite brings upgrades over its predecessor (in terms of the display and primary rear camera) but it faces stiff competition in the under Rs. 20,000 segment, from other brands as well as its own models that offer better camera performance or a more powerful chipset. The company’s older OnePlus Nord CE 3 has a more powerful processor and frequently drops under the Rs. 20,000 mark on Amazon.

As a result, it’s hard to recommend the Nord CE 4 Lite, unless you’re specifically looking to purchase a budget smartphone from OnePlus. There are several alternatives to the OnePlus Nord CE 4 Lite in the same price bracket. The Poco X6 5G and Realme 12+ both feature faster chips than the one that powers this handset, and have a more versatile set of cameras. Other options to consider include the iQoo Z9, Realme P1 Pro 5G, Vivo T3, and the Tecno Pova 6 Pro.


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