The original OnePlus Nord launched in 2020 and it was a real treat – a budget phone that emulated almost all the flagship features that matter. Hell of a phone, really. However, if you are looking for a new Nord now, you have two options: the OnePlus Nord 2, a suitable sequel to the original, and the cheaper OnePlus Nord CE 5G. The latter is a trimmed version of the original that costs £ 100 less than the Nord 2 and keeps a lot intact, but the price cannot drop like this without sacrifices.
Are you a fan of OnePlus and looking for a new phone at a reasonable price? One of these Androids should work, although we have a favorite in the pair. This is how they compare.
The OnePlus Nord 2 cleverly copies this spring’s flagship OnePlus 9 design manual, so it looks and feels like a more expensive phone. There is a glass back but a plastic frame, but that’s the same combination we saw with the more expensive OnePlus 9. The Nord 2 looks minimal and sleek and punches well above its weight.
On the other hand, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is a bit cheaper, carrying the slightly different charm of the original Nord while swapping the backing glass for plastic. It’s a matte finish though, and it feels better than some budget rivals. Still, we would definitely go for the Nord 2 if we compare the overall appeal and finish.
On the Nord 2, you get a 6.43 ”Full HD screen with a 90Hz refresh rate. Switch to the Nord CE 5G and you get … well, a 6.43 ”Full HD display with a 90Hz refresh rate. They are both OLED panels, they are both quite bright. They are both great, they are both almost the same. You can’t go wrong here.
The further you slide down the price scale, smartphone cameras tend to be less reliable. The Nord 2 actually has a great main camera: a 50-megapixel shooter with optical image stabilization, similar to what you’ll find on some flagships today. It’s better than you’ll find on just about any non-Google phone at this price, with better nighttime recording results than the more expensive OnePlus 9. That’s amazing! However, the ultra-wide lens isn’t that great.
The Nord CE 5G could pack more pixels into its 64MP main shooter, but the results aren’t as good as the Nord 2, let alone the original Nord. Images may appear a bit flat, and details are lost in dark parts of shots. There are better cameras on some phones that are even cheaper than the Nord CE 5G, but they will work.
The Nord 2 breaks with tradition by omitting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors in favor of a MediaTek Dimensity 1200-AI, and it’s amazing. We saw impressive gaming performance and smooth navigation on Android. Everything was better than expected.
Meanwhile, the Nord CE 5G’s Snapdragon 750 chip offers fairly smooth Android performance, but games don’t hit the same peaks. It’s a stellar chip for a £ 300 phone, but the Nord 2 comes ahead.
Both phones have a hefty 4,500 mAh battery, but we found that the OnePlus Nord CE 5G did a better job of surviving the day without running out. On the other hand, the Nord 2 has a much faster 65W charge, which can recharge a phone from zero to full in just over half an hour. The 30W charger of the Nord CE 5G is still fast, but not that fast.
It’s clear: the OnePlus Nord 2 is the best phone, but that’s no surprise. At £ 399, it’s £ 100 more expensive than the £ 299 Nord 5G CE. The Nord 2 has a sleeker design, better performance, and better shooting intelligence, and we’d say it’s worth the cash if you can do without. of the.
On the other hand, if you prefer to save money, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is a wise choice for the price. It’s a very good 5G phone with solid performance and decent cameras.