The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is the successor to last year’s Nord CE. The CE – which stands for core edition – is the entry-level range in OnePlus’ Nord branding. OnePlus markets these phones as being a step above your basic Android smartphone by having all the essential features along with a few extras.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G, however, is not a new or original phone. It is essentially a rebranded Oppo Reno7 5G and while that has been the case with most OnePlus phones for quite some time now, the Nord CE 2 5G is more or less identical to the Oppo phone. Moto Edge
The Nord CE 2 5G is a good looking device and doesn’t scream “budget smartphone” , although there are few telltale if you know where to look
The bottom bezel is on the chunkier side and more suggestive of a budget smartphone. It also has a very aggressive corner radius, which cuts deeply into your screen area, especially if you use navigation gestures. In some third-party apps, the corners come close to truncating some icons and labels in the bottom bar.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has a 6.43-inch, 2400×1800, 90Hz AMOLED display. The display is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass 5. OnePlus claims the display has a full coverage of sRGB and Display P3 and is HDR10+ certified.
From the display settings, one can select Vivid (P3) or Gentle (sRGB) color modes for the display. However, the phone has no color management abilities, so it cannot switch color spaces based on content.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G runs on OxygenOS 11.3 running on top of Android 11. It’s disappointing that four months after the public release and ten months after the initial beta release of Android 12, OnePlus is still launching new phones with Android 11.
As much as we prefer facts over conspiracy theories here, it’s easy to see why the company would choose to launch phones this way. The Nord CE 2 5G will be getting two major Android updates over its lifetime. This means it will be getting Android 12 and eventually Android 13. You can see how launching with Android 11 means the company now has to bother with one less Android version in the future. Had it launched with Android 12, OnePlus would be forced to commit to providing Android 13 and then Android 14 as part of its two update promise.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has a triple camera system on the back consisting of a 64MP f1.7 primary camera, 8MP f2.2 ultra-wide camera, and 2MP f2.4 macro camera. There is also a single 16MP f2.4 camera on the front. The front camera is the only major hardware difference between the Nord CE 2 5G and the Oppo Reno7 5G, as the latter has a 32MP front camera.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has a 4500mAh dual-cell battery. We didn’t have time to do our full battery life testing – we will be saving that for our full review – but our first full charge lasted us for a day and a half, which wasn’t too bad considering how much we used the device, especially for testing the camera.