OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G Review: Is This the Best Phone Under Rs. 20,000?

OnePlus has been busy in 2023. Just shy of two months after the launch of its latest flagship, the OnePlus 11 5G, the Shenzhen-based manufacturer has brought its budget-friendly handset to market. The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G dropped on April 4 with a starting price of Rs 19,999 and a striking Pastel Lime colourway.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Light 5G (Review) is powered by a Snapdragon 695 SoC, features a 6.72-inch LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate, and flaunts a triple rear camera setup, headline by massive 108-megapixel sensor. Aside from the base 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant, there’s a top-end 8GB RAM + 256GB storage option as well, with a slightly bumped up price tag of Rs. 21,999. OnePlus’ newest phone goes on sale on its website, Amazon, and other retail stores on April 11.

On this week’s episode of the Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital, host Roydon Cerejo got together with resident smartphone expert Pranav Hegde and Senior Reviewer Sheldon Pinto to discuss OnePlus’ latest offering. They discussed the mass marketability of a budget-friendly smartphone in India, what’s new in the phone itself, and also the name of the phone, which, frankly, is a mouthful.

They kick off the episode by discussing the upgrades on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G as compared to its predecessor, which include improved battery, stereo speakers, and better cameras. The OnePlus handset supports 67W SuperVOOC fast charging, compared to the 33W charging on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G. And the triple rear camera on the new phone is led by a 108-megapixel Samsung HM6 sensor with an f/1.75 aperture and EIS support — a considerable improvement from the 64-megapixel primary sensor on its predecessor. Despite the upgrades, the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G retains the same price as the older model. They later discussed the camera performance of the handset in detail.

They also compared the OnePlus handset to the Moto G82 5G, which was launched last year in May and falls in the same segment as the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G. The Motorola G82 5G is currently available at the same price of Rs. 19,999, features the same Snapdragon 695 processor, but sports a 120Hz pOLED display, compared to the LCD panel on the OnePlus smartphone, and a more versatile rear camera setup, which includes a 50-megapixel primary sensor, and 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens, and a 2-megapixel macro shooter. The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, on the other hand, has two 2-megapixel depth and macro sensors in addition to the 108-megapixel primary shooter. They also talked about other competitive smartphone alternatives in the same price segment, including the iQoo Z7 5G.

On the podcast, OnePlus’ software also comes under the scanner, with the reviewers pointing out certain differences and bloatware present on the budget-friendly smartphone, especially when compared to OnePlus’ flagship phones. The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G, however, delivers a relatively clean Android 13 experience, with the OxygenOS 13.1 skin on top.

You can listen to all of that in detail and more in our episode by hitting the play button on the Spotify player embedded above.

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