The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is the next affordable entry in the OnePlus’ lineup, with the company already confirming that it’s landing on April 4. But ahead of release, president and COO Kinder Liu has exclusively confirmed some of the phone’s remaining key features and specs with TechRadar.
Kicking things off, Liu told us that the CE 3 Lite would indeed pack a “120Hz 6.72-inch large screen;” that’s notably bigger than the 6.59-inch panel on the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite and renders this the largest Nord device to date; suggesting a strong viewing experience (although we’re not crossing our fingers on OLED tech, considering the phone’s expected price point). Paired with the Lite’s one-two punch of a large battery and promisingly-rapid fast charging, the company president continued, “[these are] features usually seen in our premium models.”
The Nord CE 3 Lite will again run on a Snapdragon 695 5G chipset; which is the same as its predecessor, providing mid-range power, along with 5G support. As to whether this SoC has enough grunt one generation later, Liu told us, “users can look forward to extended gaming times, extra power, picture-perfect playback and lag-free streaming on multiple platforms.”
The third major morsel of newly-confirmed information comes in the form of software. Building on the experience already available to the company’s latest and greatest smartphones, the Nord CE 3 Lite, “debuts with the hyper-intuitive OxygenOS 13.1 for fast and smooth experiences.” This means OnePlus has chosen to showcase the most recent revision of its range-wide user experience, not on a flagship, but what’s assumed to be its most affordable and modest device of 2023.
While details are scant right now, the jump from OxygenOS 13 to OxygenOS 13.1 should include improvements to privacy and security, with Liu also highlighting the release’s focus on gaming on the CE 3 Lite, “Quick Startup gives users a quick entry into the game, Game Focus Mode automatically blocks unwanted notifications and defeats mistouches and the GPA Frame Stabilizer reduces system lag and enhances frame rate stability.”
That looks to be it for exclusive details, but Liu also affirmed other previously-detailed specs, including the presence of a 108MP main camera (another OnePlus first), dual SIM functionality and 8GB of virtual RAM (on top of the phone’s dedicated RAM). This virtual RAM idea is something we’ve seen in a number of phones recently, and it means the device can temporarily convert 8GB of internal storage into RAM, to boost performance.
As for price, Liu told us, “with the powerful and outstanding specifications, the price of OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G will also be satisfying.” Mysterious, sure, but for context, its predecessor cost £279 in the UK (approximately $345 / AU$515) , meaning we’re hoping for the same or less in order for our expectations to be truly satiated.
One aspect some OnePlus fans might be dissatisfied with is expected regional availability, because OnePlus currently doesn’t sell its CE phones in the US, or any phones at all in Australia. As such, this is likely mostly one for UK buyers (along with other key markets across Europe and potentially India).
What we already knew
This isn’t the first time OnePlus has teased the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite though, as we already knew that it packs a 5,000mAh battery with 67W charging – a nice speed bump compared to its predecessor’s 33W charging speeds. In fact, we’ve even seen the phone from the back in both Pastel Lime and Chromatic Gray shades; as you can see in this article.
So, there might not be too many surprises on April 4, but from what we’ve heard out in the wild – and from what Liu told us directly – this sounds like a promising low-cost handset; with not just a bigger screen than the OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite but also far more megapixels on its main camera, much faster charging, and the addition of virtual RAM.
At the same time as spilling the beans to TechRadar, Liu also just launched his official Twitter account (opens in new tab), which will no doubt serve as a fount of knowledge, with regards to forthcoming OnePlus product details and launches going forward.
As for the rest, we’ll bring you all the details about this upcoming phone on April 4, and perhaps some before then, if OnePlus chooses to share more in advance.