OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G: How good is it?

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OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has gone official, and it has a tall order. Being the so-called successor to the Nord 2 5G from 2021 means that it has to be good. The OnePlus Nord 2 5G is such an amazing smartphone that packs solid value for money that I recommended it at every opportunity.

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And it is this fantastic phone model that the Nord CE 2 5G must go up against. I have a problem with the naming, and really doubt that this is meant to be a successor. The “CE” in the name means “Core Edition”. This is usually reserved for slightly toned down versions of a smartphone model. And the specs of the Nord CE 2 5G suggest this is the situation here.

I would expect that the Nord CE 2 5G would be named the successor to the OnePlus Nord CE 5G. But, hey. All of these complicated model names are often a bedlam. It looks like OnePlus has joined Xiaomi in messing with our heads. Anyway, let’s have a look at our trusty comparison table.

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OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G
OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G

OnePlus Nord 2 5G vs OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G comparison table

OnePlus Nord 2 5GOnePlus Nord CE 2 5G
6.43 inches, 1080×2400 pixels, 90Hz, HDR10+, Fluid AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 56.43 inches, 1080×2400 pixels, 90Hz, HDR10+, AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 5
Android 11, OxygenOS 11.3Android 11, OxygenOS 11
MediaTek MT6893 Dimensity 1200 5GMediaTek MT6877 Dimensity 900 5G
6 GB, 8 GB, 12 GB RAM6 GB, 8 GB RAM
128 GB, 256 GB storage128 GB, 256 GB storage
50 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP rear camera64 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP rear camera
32 MP selfie camera16 MP selfie camera
Stereo speakers
In-display, optical Fingerprint  scannerIn-display, optical Fingerprint  scanner
Li-Po 4500 mAh, non-removable batteryLi-Po 4500 mAh, non-removable battery
65W fast charging65W fast charging
$390.00 / 340 euros350 euros

From the above specs, it is difficult to accept that the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is the successor of the Nord 2. It matches the latter’s specs and features in many ways, but is also a downgrade in a few areas. Let’s start with the displays: what are the differences between Fluid AMOLED and AMOLED? I have no idea. So, let’s just say that both devices are even in the screen department.

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But when it comes to the processors, the Nord CE 2 5G uses a less powerful Dimensity 900 against its predecessor’s Dimensity 1200. That is a downgrade. In addition, while the older model has up to 12 GB RAM options, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G lacks that. So, you could have 12 GB RAM in last year’s model but not in the 2022 model. Bummer.

Another downgrade is in the selfie department. The front camera of the Nord CE 2 5G is a 16-megapixel snapper, compared to the 32-megapixel shooter from the older model. Yes; that is no confirmation that it is an inferior camera, but then…..

What of the rear camera? This is the only area in which OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is superior to the older model. It has a 64-megapixel main shooter, compared to 50 megapixels in the older model. Again, how this impacts photo and video quality remains to be seen. The supporting lenses are the same, though, on both devices.

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Is OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G a proper upgrade to the Nord 2? Clearly, it is not. It does not quite match up to it in the performance department. Yes; it also has what is a superior rear camera on paper. But it is difficult to call this an upgrade.

Is it a good phone, though? That is a definite yes. The minor downgrades do not in any way detract from the value that it brings to the table. This is a value-packed smartphone, and if you are shopping for a budget 5G phone in 2022, you should have a good look at it.

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OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G will be available in the United States, United Kingdom, other countries in Europe, as well as in Asia, its home territory.

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