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The new OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is perfect if you hate expensive phones

OnePlus describes the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite as, “exuding a simple charm,” and in the world of folding smartphones and $1,500 iPhone models, there are probably a lot of people looking for a phone exactly like it.

If you’re new to the Nord series, these occupy the lower end of the market compared to the flagship OnePlus 11 and are released outside of the U.S., where instead the company releases phones like the OnePlus N300.

Promotional image showing the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite.

Let’s get back to the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite. It looks great in lime green, and the back is made from an anti-fingerprint material with a “ceramic-like texture,” which we take to mean plastic, just like previous Nord CE models. On the front is a 6.72-inch screen with a desirable 120Hz refresh rate, but a less desirable 1080p resolution. It also has a Global DC Dimming feature, which manages the backlight to reduce eye strain.

Inside the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor, which is a chip released at the end of 2021, and an unusual choice for a brand-new phone released in early 2023. It has never been the greatest performer, and age isn’t on its side here, so it’s unfortunate OnePlus hasn’t leveraged its partnership with MediaTek for the Nord CE 3 Lite. The phone does have 5G connectivity and comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage space.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite in black and green.

On the back of the phone is a 108-megapixel camera along with a 2MP depth camera, and OnePlus says the massive main camera provides a 3x lossless zoom. This isn’t going to be the same as optical zoom, and likely still crops the photo like a digital zoom. However, due to the large amount of information the sensor pulls in, the quality won’t suffer as much. The selfie camera is a 16MP sensor.

OnePlus is known for its fast charging, and the Nord CE 3 Lite has a 67W SuperVOOC fast charging system for the 5,000mAh battery. Exact recharge times have not been confirmed yet, but a similar system is used for the Oppo Reno8 T, where it takes 44 minutes to recharge the 4,800mAh cell in that phone. Other Nord CE 3 Lite features include various sensors and software features to make sure the phone’s temperature is kept under control when charging, dual speakers, OxygenOS 13.1 software based on Android 13, and even a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Promotional image showing the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite and OnePlus Nord Buds 2.

OnePlus is launching the Nord CE 3 Lite alongside the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 headphones. Equipped with a 12.4mm driver and active noise cancelation (ANC) to 25dB, the tiny earbuds have a battery that lasts up to seven hours without ANC active. Expect 36 hours of use in total with the case. An IP55 rating means they can be used in the rain, and when exercising.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite will cost 299 British pounds when it’s released on April 20, which is around $370. A release in the U.S. isn’t expected. The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 will be released in the U.S. and cost $59, while they will cost 69 pounds in the U.K., and will be available from April 4.

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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