OnePlus is at it again launching another device. the Nord CE 2 5G is coming just 8 months after the launch of the original Nord CE, with CE standing for Core Edition, OnePlus is upgrading what the core of OnePlus is meant to be, and with the 90Hz OLED screen, fast processor and lightning-quick charging, I’m a fan.
the Nord CE 2 5G, whilst we can all agree is a terrible name is pretty self-explanatory, it is the second instalment of the core edition in the Nord series of phones. which means it’s lean, it’s no-frills but it’s not an underwhelming experience. the Nord CE from last year ticked a lot of boxes with the 90hz OLED screen, under-display fingerprint scanner, 30w charging and Snapdragon 750G chipset which pared good performance with 5G. the Nord CE 2 brings things up a notch, whilst the screen might look the same from the outset, with a 6.43″ size, 2400×1080 resolution and 90hz refresh rate, looking at the CE and the CE 2 side by side, the CE2 looks deeper and richer, whether this is a panel difference or just differences in the SoC and display rendering I’m not sure, but the CE 2 does look better.
next is the SoC, the Nord CE had the Snapdragon 750G, an underutilized bright spot of a chip in an underwhelming year. OnePlus has done it again but moved teams, forgoing the 750G (which doesn’t really have much of a replacement outside of the 780G) with the Dimensity 900 from MediaTek. OnePlus has a good working relationship with MediaTek from the Nord 2 launched, and I’ve been impressed, the Nord 2 has been my daily driver since launch, and swapping the weaker Dimensity 900 wasn’t too difficult, I expected to instantly notice the weaker chipset, however, I was wrong.
next is cameras. I’m told the main and ultrawide cameras are the same between the CE and CE 2 5G, so any image differences between the two are entirely up to the ISPs in the different chipsets, stay tuned as I will be comparing the two side by side in a future piece. with a 64MP main camera, 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro camera, 66% of them are useful. and the 16MP front-facing camera should be nice and crisp with images looking better from the improved ISP. Lastly, I want to talk about battery and charging. the CE 2 5G has a 4500mAh battery with 65w SuperVOOC charging, that last bit might seem weird or familiar to you depending on how long you’ve been interested in phones. SuperVOOC is the name of Oppo’s super-fast charging system, and when OnePlus got integrated into Oppo last year I expected this to happen, although I expected them to keep the much cooler sounding DART Charge as the mainstream name, oh well. you’ll get 0-100% in 32 minutes, which is stupidly fast, so let me put it in a different way, if you plug this in, in your office, and then go to make a coffee on a newly filled kettle, you’ll have regained almost 50% of your battery, it’s pretty insane. I don’t always use it, but when I do, I love it.
the Nord CE 2 5G launches with android 11 on OxygenOS 11, it’ll get 2 years of platform updates and 3 years of security updates. First off, I agree with you, it should be launching with Android 12, it’s been out for about 5 months and there is almost no reason to launch without it, but at least OnePlus is committing to 2 platform updates, hopefully, they are timely and as bug-free as possible.
for the price, we’re looking at £299 when it launches. there is a single model, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage with 2 colours available, both colours get both variants. I have the Grey Mirror version, which looks like a dark gunmetal chrome. and then there is the Bahama blue which is kinda the same but swaps silver and black for blue and yellow tones. given the choice, I would have gone for Bahama Blue, but the Grey Mirror looking like a liquid mirror pool is pretty damn neat. It’ll be available for pre-order on Amazon and John Lewis for £299 from March 3rd.