OnePlus has unveiled its next affordable smartphone, the OnePlus Nord CE 2.
As the positioning of the 2 in the name subtly suggests, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 appears to be more of a direct follow-up to last year’s OnePlus Nord CE 5G than it is a more affordable version of the OnePlus Nord 2.
That said, it is powered by a MediaTek processor like the Nord 2. In this case that means the Dimensity 900, which is a 6nm octa-core chip that supports Wi-Fi 6 and 5G. This is backed by a healthy 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, and there’s a microSD slot for up to 1TB of expansion.
Around front there’s a 6.43-inch FHD+ Fluid AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, which sounds identical to the original Nord CE 5G.
Another spec that sounds relatively unchanged is the OnePlus Nord CE 2’s camera system. Once again you’re getting a 64MP wide sensor and an 8MP ultra-wide, though the third 2MP sensor this time is for macro shots rather than depth assistance. The main wide sensor gets a slightly larger f/1.7 aperture (versus f/1.8) this time around.
There’s a 16MP selfie camera around front, as before.
Nightscape makes a return for clearer low light shots, and there’s an improved Portrait Mode this time around with more accurate edge detection and control over the depth of field effect.
Video shooting is also said to have taken a step forward from the original OnePlus Nord CE, with improved AI background lighting and color optimisation for better low light shooting.
The phone comes with a 4,500mAh battery, and also bundles in a 65W SUPERVOOC charger. That’s Oppo’s fast charging standard rather than OnePlus’s Warp Charge, but it’s also a big improvement on the original phone’s 30W brick.
At just 7.8mm thick, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is fractionally slimmer than its predecessor. OnePlus claims that it’s the company’s slimmest smartphone since the OnePlus 6T.
Its design is definitely in line with the OnePlus phones of 2021, but with a subtly curving camera module that calls to mind the Oppo Find X3 Pro – albeit in plastic rather than glass. The Nord CE 2 comes in Gray Mirror and Bahama Blue, the former of which has a highly mirrored effect, while the latter has more of a smooth gradient finish that shifts between blue and yellow.
As before, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack but no signature OnePlus alert slider.
On the software front, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 comes with OxygenOS 11 out of the box, just like the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, though it does mention the inclusion of an improved dark mode and new one-handed usage features. What’s more, an upgrade to OxygenOS 12 is promised for the second half of the year, and OnePlus also guarantees two years of Android version updates and three years of Android security patches.
European pre-orders for the OnePlus Nord CE 2 start from March 3 over on the OnePlus website, while the phone will go on sale there, as well as Amazon and John Lewis, on March 10. The sole model will cost £299.