OnePlus today launched its most awaited smartphone OnePlus Nord CE4 in India. It's a major upgrade from last year's Nord CE3, as you get a faster SoC, a bigger battery and faster charging, as well as being cheaper. Is this worth the price? Let's dive into the review and find out.

Contents of the box

  • OnePlus Nord CE4 5G (8GB+256GB) in Celadon Marble color
  • CHARGER SUPERVOOC 100W
  • USB type C cable
  • Protective cover
  • SIM ejector
  • Quick start guide and warranty information
Display, Hardware and Design

The OnePlus Nord CE 4 5G has a 6.7-inch Full HD+ curved AMOLED display (1080 x 2412 pixels) with 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate and 394 PPI. The screen is bright as it has a maximum brightness of up to 1110 nits. It offers good color output as it has a 100% DCI-P3 color gamut and sunlight readability is also good. You can select between vivid and natural screen color modes. It has Dragontrail glass for front protection.

The phone has a high frequency dimming technology of 2160 Hz. In dark environments where DC dimming cannot work, the phone will automatically switch to 2160Hz PWM dimming mode to maintain accurate colors on the screen with a more comfortable viewing experience. There is Aqua Touch which uses the HyperTouch algorithm for an even smoother touch experience even when hands are wet.

The phone also has HDR 10 support, which works for YouTube and Netflix. You can enable HDR video upscaling from the display settings, which boosts the colors when playing SDR videos to look like HDR. It's always on screen that shows contextual information and notifications throughout the day or by schedule.

The phone has a small hole that houses a 16-megapixel camera. Above the screen, there's an earpiece on the top edge that doubles as a secondary speaker. It has an in-display fingerprint scanner.

Coming to the button placement, the power button is present on the right along with the volume rockers. The dual SIM slot with a hybrid SIM slot, the main microphone, the USB Type-C port and the speaker grill are present at the bottom. The secondary microphone, IR Blaster and speaker vent are present at the bottom. It has a plastic frame.

The Celadon Marble has texture-based designs inspired by the special edition OnePlus 11 Marble Odyssey, according to the company. Although it has a huge 5500 mAh battery, it weighs 186 grams. Although the plastic back looks shiny, fingerprints are not noticeable.

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The phone also comes in Dark Chrome color which builds on the legacy of OnePlus' iconic dark colors with a subtle glossy gradient.

camera

  • 50MP rear camera with 1/1.95″ Sony LYT-600 sensor, f/1.95 aperture, OIS
  • 8MP 120° ultra wide-angle camera with Sony IMX355 sensor, f/2.2 aperture
  • 16MP front camera with f/2.4 aperture

OxygenOS 14's camera UI is familiar. There is Pro Mode, Panorama, Slo-mo, Time-Lapse, Dual View Video and Text Scanner. The rear camera delivers 12.5 MP output after pixel binning, and the front camera images are 16 MP in size.

Daylight shots turned out well, thanks to the 50MP sensor, and dynamic range is better with auto HDR. 2X is good, but as you zoom you lose detail even though you get up to 20X zoom. Portrait mode offers good edge detection. This drops the 2MP macro camera, which is good.

Colors are natural, but I felt the IMX890 did a slightly better job in low light. Night mode is useful, but takes a few seconds to process. There is also a tripod mode. The 16MP front-facing camera also does a good job in daylight, but doesn't do much in low light. Bokeh shots are good and edge detection is decent.

Check out the camera samples.

It can record videos up to 4K at 30 fps, slow motion 1080p at 120 fps and the front camera can record videos at 1080p at 30 fps. Ultra-wide camera capture and video in Portrait video mode with the main camera are limited to 1080p, 30 fps. There are OIS and EIS that does a decent job. There is an ultra stable mode which is limited to 1080p 60 fps.

Software, UI and Apps

It runs OxygenOS 14 based on Android 14. It has an Android security patch for March 2024. The phone will receive 2 Android updates and 3 years of security updates, similar to older CE series phones. OxygenOS 14 offers Trinity Engine with HyperTouch, HyperBoost and HyperRender. There is a new GO Green feature, which promotes awareness of climate change.

The File Dock feature allows you to collect, analyze and share global information through the Dock or other applications simply by making gestures. Notes 2.0 offers more convenient, enriched and intelligent editing capabilities. The Smart Crop feature is also able to accurately recognize and extract the subject from complex backgrounds, or background that shares a similar color scheme with the subject, or in group photos.

Apart from the usual set of OnePlus apps and Google apps, it comes with several preloaded apps like Instagram, Netflix and some games. These apps can be uninstalled, but they come back once the phone is reset. IR remote control app is useful.

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Of the LPDD4X's 8GB of RAM, you get 7.2GB of usable RAM, and about 3GB of RAM is free when running default apps in the background. It also has DRE or dynamic RAM expansion feature, which uses the built-in storage as RAM. This has up to 8GB of additional RAM expansion. Of the 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, you have about 195.97GB of free storage.

Fingerprint sensor and face unlock

It has an in-display fingerprint sensor that unlocks the phone quickly, but it's not as fast as a physical fingerprint sensor. You can add up to 5 fingerprints. You can also use your fingerprint for local apps and in-app payments.

Also, you can change the fingerprint animation and also disable it, and also enable the quick launch option to launch apps directly from the lock screen by pressing and holding the fingerprint. The phone also has the face unlock feature.

Music and Multimedia

YouTube Music is the default music player. . It has OReality audio and has customizable Smart, Movie, Game and Music modes, but no Dolby Atmos. It does not support FM radio. Audio through the stereo speakers is good without any distortion even at full volume. Audio through headphones is also good.

This one has Widevine L1, so you can play HD content on Netflix and other streaming apps. Supports HDR content on YouTube and Netflix.

Dual SIM and connectivity

OnePlus Nord CE4 supports n1/n3/n5/n8/n28B/n77/n78 network bands in India. It has Wi-Fi 4G and VoLTE, with support for Carrier Aggregation on 4G. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6 802.11 be (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.3, GPS / GLONASS / Beidou. It has OTG support, but lacks NFC support, which was present on the CE 3. Going forward, the call quality is good and we didn't face any call drops and the earpiece volume was loud. Use Google Bookmarks and Messages.

The body SAR of the OnePlus Nord CE4 is 0.911 W/Kg and the head SAR is 1.158/Kg, which is well below the limit of 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) in India.

Performance and Benchmarks

This is one of the few phones with the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 mobile platform in India. It has 1+3+4 architecture, like Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2. This uses 1 core ARM Cortex-A715 2.63 GHz, 3 performance cores A715 up to 2.4 GHz and 4 efficiency cores Cortex-A510 up to 1.8 GHz.

It is manufactured using TSMC 4nm process technology. It promises 15% improvements in CPU performance compared to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1. The phone has a large 4129mm² vapor chamber cooling area and graphite to help keep the phone cool, similar to the Nord CE 3, said the company

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This uses the Adreno 720 GPU. We did not face any issues or frame drops in graphics intensive games. In the 3D Mark wildlife stress test, it scored 99.6%, which is good, and the temperature rose from 28 to 35 degrees. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

Nord CE4 powered by Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 outperforms phones powered by Dimensity 7200.

Battery life

In terms of battery life, the phone has a 5500 mAh (typical) battery, which is slightly larger than the 5000 mAh battery in the CE 3. It can easily last a day with heavy use and 2 days with typical use.

I got over 6 hours of screen on time with 1 1/2 days of use, mostly on Wi-Fi, and occasional 5G use at 120Hz. Since the phone supports 100W SuperVOOC fast charging, it can charge up to 100% in less than half an hour. There is smart charging, option to stop charging at 80% and smart fast charging can charge your device faster if the battery is too low.

conclusion

At a starting price of Rs. 24,999, the OnePlus Nord CE4 5G undercuts the price of the CE3, making it a worthy successor and gives good competition to others. Performance has improved, the camera is good enough and the phone gets a big battery punch with support for 100W fast charging. I wish the company had kept NFC support and gone for a larger camera sensor for better photography with little light

alternatives

The Nothing Phone 2a is a cheaper alternative, but it has a MediaTek SoC and a smaller battery. Redmi Note 13 Pro offers better display and better camera performance in low light.

Prices and availability

The OnePlus Nord CE4 is priced at Rs. 24,999 for the 8GB + 128GB model and the 8GB + 256GB model costs Rs. 26,999. It will be available on oneplus.in, OnePlus Store app, OnePlus offline stores, OnePlus Store app, amazon.en, Reliance Digital, Croma and other associated brands offline from April 4. There are also launch offers.

Pros

  • The 120Hz AMOLED display is good
  • Smooth performance
  • Capable cameras
  • Attractive design, IP54 rating
  • Good battery life, 100W fast charging

Cons

  • Low light camera performance could be better
  • Removed NFC support from CE3


Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a mobile technology enthusiast who is passionate about mobile phones and mobile applications. Use the phones you review as your primary phone. You can follow it Twitter e Instagram
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