OnePlus releases a cheaper, thinner Nord CE 5G and it includes a headphone jack

The OnePlus Nord was an interesting mid-range 5G device that was launched almost a year ago. It was designed to deliver OnePlus’ signature smooth and fluid experience to the masses but many fans didn’t like it due to its price tag.

To do better in 2021, the smartphone maker has just introduced the OnePlus Nord CE 5G which offers a couple of improvements while bringing the price down through some cost-cutting measures. In case you’re wondering, CE stands for Core Edition, which looks inspired by Samsung’s Fan Edition.

It terms of specs, the OnePlus Nord CE features a 6.43″ Full HD+ AMOLED display which also pushes 90Hz refresh rate. Instead of a 7nm Snapdragon 765G processor, the new phone settles for an 8nm Snapdragon 750G unit which also supports 5G connectivity. The device can be configured up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage.

OnePlus has reduced the number of cameras at the back from four to just three. It gets a higher resolution 64MP f/1.79 main camera, an 8MP f/2.25 ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2MP f/2.4 mono lens for depth effects. For selfies, the punch-hole on the top-left corner of the screen houses a 16MP f/2.45 front camera.

If battery life was a concern on the original Nord, you’ll be happy to know that OnePlus has bumped the battery capacity from 4,115mAh to 4,500mAh for the Nord CE. The device also supports 30W Warp Charge via USB-C and it is rated to push 70% charge in just 30 minutes.

Despite having a larger battery, the new phone is thinner at 7.9mm versus 8.2mm on the previous model. As an added bonus, OnePlus has also included a 3.5mm headphone jack as well.

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The device supports 802.11ac WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.1 and it also has NFC. Out of the box, it runs on Oxygen OS 11 which is based on Android 11. It comes in 3 colours – Blue Void, Charcoal Ink and Silver Ray.

The device will be going on sale in Malaysia soon but there are no availability and pricing details just yet. In the UK, the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model is priced at GBP 299 (about RM1,744) while the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage version is priced at GBP 369 (about RM2,153). As a comparison, the previous Nord was priced from GBP 379 (about RM2,211) for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model.

Do note that the UK pricing is significantly higher than Malaysia. When the OnePlus Nord was launched locally last year, the base model (8GB RAM + 128GB storage) was priced at RM1,799 while the top spec model (12GB RAM + 256GB storage) with the OnePlus Buds combo was going for RM2,399.

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Alexander Wong