OnePlus Nord 2 CE Teases A Budget-Friendly Phone With A Limited Launch

OnePlus may have split the launch dates for its flagship OnePlus 10 series internationally, but that hasn't affected the regular launch schedule for its mid-range Nord series. Earlier today, on February 17, 2022, the company announced a new smartphone called the OnePlus Nord CE 2 for Indian and European consumers. This phone succeeds the first generation Nord CE that launched as an India-exclusive product in mid-2021, before being made available in Europe a few months later.

The OnePlus Nord 2 CE shall be sold alongside the slightly pricier and more capable OnePlus Nord 2 5G, which has been around for well over six months now — again for OnePlus consumers in India, Asia, and Europe. As of now, there is no word if the OnePlus Nord CE 2 will ever make it to the U.S.

In case you're wondering, the CE in the OnePlus Nord 2 CE stands for 'Core Edition,' and this is OnePlus' marketing attempt at projecting all Core Edition phones as devices that have a distinct focus on OnePlus' fundamentals. These devices, OnePlus claims, do not get unnecessary features (like a 2MP depth sensor, for example) that some might suggest are mostly there to inflate the spec sheet without adding much to the real-world experience

OnePlus Nord CE 2: Everything you wanted to know

The OnePlus Nord CE 2, for all practical purposes, is a trimmed-down variant of the OnePlus Nord 2 — albeit with a few extras. Apart from being thinner and lighter, the phone also gets a 3.5mm jack, a feature that has been gradually disappearing from OnePlus' budget offerings. It retains the 6.43-inch FHD+ Fluid AMOLED display from the Nord 2 and, despite its lower price tag, supports a 90Hz refresh rate and happens to be HDR10+ compliant as well. OnePlus has also managed to throw in the in-display fingerprint scanner to the mix, making the Nord CE 2 a competent little smartphone for its price.

Powering the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is the MediaTek Dimensity 900 processor. This is a 5G-capable 6nm chip that integrates the Mali G68 MC4 GPU for graphics. There are 6GB and 8GB RAM options, while internal storage tops out at 128GB but adds the option to expand the storage further thanks to a dedicated microSD slot. The slimmer profile of the phone hasn't impacted the battery capacity, and the Nord CE 2 manages to cram a 4,500 mAh battery within its 7.8mm thick body. Moreover, with support for 65W SuperVooc fast charging, the Nord CE 2 is as quick as its more expensive stablemates when it comes to charging speeds.

While the hardware specs look good, OnePlus, for reasons best known to them, has decided to ship the phone with OxygenOS 11, which is based on Android 11.

How good are the cameras?

The triple camera array on the OnePlus Nord CE 2 includes a 64MP primary camera with an f/1.79 lens, an 8MP (119-degree), f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and a 2MP, f/2.4 macro camera. The phone misses out on optical image stabilization but boasts of an AI-enhanced EIS feature. Video recording resolution tops out at 4K 30 FPS. For selfies, the Nord CE 2 gets a 16MP camera housed within a 'hole punch' on the display. This camera supports 1080p video recording at 60 fps and also comes with the option to record time-lapses.

In typical OnePlus fashion there is a plethora of AI-based image enhancement features on the OnePlus Nord CE 2. These include modes like AI Highlight Video, AI Scene Enhancement, Dual-view Video, and a capable Nightscape mode.

Pricing and Availability

India is the first country to get the OnePlus Nord CE 2, where it will be on sale starting February 22. If you live in Europe, you will need to wait till March 10 for the Nord CE 2 to hit the stores.

OnePlus is silent about a prospective U.S. launch for the phone, and the company has traditionally refrained from launching the pricier Nord series phones in North America. However, we still cannot rule out a possible U.S. launch a few months down the line because of the company's previous track record of launching India-exclusive products like the Nord CE and the OnePlus 9RT in other markets.

As for pricing, Indian buyers will need to shell out Rs 23,999 ($319) for the base 6GB+128GB variant, while the 8GB+128GB option will cost marginally more at Rs 24,999 ($333). In Europe, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 will set you back by EUR 349 ($395), which is quite a bit more than its equivalent Indian pricing. Since the company has not yet revealed whether they'll release this device in the United States, (and chances are slim,) the rough conversion of prices from Rs and EUR to USD only give us a basic idea of what to expect from the next budget-minded device from OnePlus for North America – we'll just have to wait and see.