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OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G Unboxing, First Impressions, Camera Samples

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A few weeks back, OnePlus finally made the 2nd-generation 5G-capable Nord CE official in the Philippine market.
Meet Nord CE 2 5G

It is a mid-range device highlighting a glossy back design, high-refresh-rate AMOLED display, 6nm MTK Dimensity 5G chip, faster-charging speeds, and high-resolution cameras for an attractive price tag of PHP 18,990.

Now, Digital Walker is still selling the device lower than its SRP at PHP 16,850. Some lucky guys even got it for an introductory price of just PHP 15,990.

Thankfully, we received the said device for review recently and we will now share our first thoughts about it.

Could this be the affordable OxygenOS device of your dreams?

Here's part 1 of our review. Read on.

Unboxing/Accessories

The box
The box

The Nord CE 2 arrived in a simple-looking black box with a subtle reflective print of the "Nord" logo.
Everything inside
Everything inside

Inside the packaging, you will see another carton with a durable-looking translucent case, SIM ejector tool, and paper documents. Next is the handset itself with a pre-installed plastic protector for the display.

The last two items inside the box are super-fast 65W USB power brick with TÜV Rheinland safety certification and the classic red-colored UBS-A to USB-C cable for charging and data file transfers.

This is a nice package, but as usual, do not expect earphones with a mic freebie.

Build Quality/Design

Neat design!
Neat design!

The Nord CE 2 followed the premium look of the Nord 2.

The materials used are just a bit toned-down as it is sporting a glossy glasstic curved back, near-seamless transparent glasstic camera bump, and polycarbonate frame.

One of the neatest looking mid-range phones around!

The back is 3D curved making it comfortable in the hands. the back is a bit slippery on flat surfaces, but it is surprisingly grippy when you are holding it.

We loved its glossy glass-like look with a neat placement of the top-left camera hump as well as the OnePlus logo placement in the middle.

It is a bit prone to fingerprint smudges, but it isn't as bad as expected compared to other phones with a glossy back design.
Big enough AMOLED display
Big enough AMOLED display

In front, the device highlights a large 6.43-inch Fluid AMOLED panel with a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 protector to ensure that the device won't be prone to hairline scratches and unwanted cracks or damage on light drops.

Similar to most of the other mid-range releases from other BBK-owned phone brands like OPPO, realme, and vivo, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G has slim bezels on top and sides with slightly thicker chins.

Personally, I would have liked it better if the bezel below is slimmer, but this is still an immersive-looking display overall.
Top, bottom
Top, bottom

The top of the display shows the earspeaker. Just note that it doesn't act as a secondary speaker, unlike other mid-rangers with a stereo setup.

In case you are wondering, the fingerprint sensor of this device is hidden in the lower portion of its screen. It's an In-Display fingerprint scanner.

On top, there is a single microphone hole.
Left, right
Left, right

Below, you will see the 3.5mm headphone slot, another hole for the microphone, the USB-C port, and the single speaker grille.
SIM card tray
SIM card tray

On the left, it has the hole access to the hybrid SIM/microSD card tray and the volume up and down keys. There is no mention of water resistance, but there is a rubber gasket that indicates that it is somehow protected against light water splashes.

Meanwhile, the frame of the device has a slightly rounded finish for a metallic look and a rounded finish.

Measuring just 160.6 x 73.2 x 7.8 mm, it is not big for a device with 6.4-inch screen size and it is considered slim as well. So, it is easy to pocket and store.

This is one of the most attractive-looking phones at this price point for me. The overall construction is slightly above the average.
Main cam setup
Main cam setup

For cameras, the device is packed with a 64MP main shooter with f/1.79 aperture size. This main shooter even has PDAF, CAF, and EIS. It is paired with an 8MP f/2.2 119-degree ultra-wide-angle camera and  2MP f/2.4 macro shooter. This has most of the modes found on OnePlus devices like the Night mode, HDR, Portrait, and more. In front, it is using the  16MP f/2.45 Sony IMX471 sensor for selfies.

First Camera Samples


Daylight 1x
Daylight 1x
Daylight 2x
Daylight 2x
Daylight ultra-wide
Daylight ultra-wide
Daylight Portrait mode
Daylight Portrait mode
Indoor 1x
Indoor 2x
Indoor 2x
Night mode 1x
Night mode 1x
Night mode ultra-wide
Night mode ultra-wide
Selfie Portrait mode
Selfie Portrait mode
Selfie Night mode
Selfie Night mode

Out of the box, the Nord CE 2 was able to take very good images with little to almost no visible noise in well-lit lighting conditions. Even when you do up to the 2 or 3x digital zoom, the output is almost social media ready.

The wide cam has a bit of distortion, but the colors are close compared to the main cam. The Portrait mode is decent as well with acceptable edge detection.

Details in areas with artificial lighting would also be good most of the time. It'll struggle a little in dimmer areas unless you use its Night mode.

The selfie cam is fine in daylight and useable even in the dark. I just find its field of view to be a narrower than what I wanted.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G Specs

Display: 6.43-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 protected Fluid AMOLED screen w/ 90Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution at 409 ppi
CPU: 2.4GHz 6nm MediaTek Dimensity 900 octa-core processor
GPU: Mali-G68 MC4
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.2 expandable via microSD card slot up to 1TB (hybrid)
Back Camera: 64MP f/1.79 w/ PDAF, CAF, EIS + 8MP f/2.2 119-degree ultra-wide-angle + 2MP f/2.4 macro + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.45 Sony IMX471
Battery: 4,500mAh w/ TÜV Rheinland certified 65W Warp Charge 65
OS: Android 11 w/ OxygenOS 11.3
Connectivity: WiFi 6, 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.2, OTG, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, NavIC, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, USB-C, Colors: Gray Mirror, Bahama Blue
Dimensions: 160.6 x 73.2 x 7.8 mm
Weight: 173 g
Price: PHP 18,990

As of the moment


At PHP 18,990, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G is a respectable mid-ranger featuring a beautiful back cover design, smooth AMOLED display, reasonably fast processor, and large enough 4,500mAh battery capacity with USB-C 65W safe fast charging.

This also has capable cameras at the back and a usable front shooter.

Since the device also has 5G, the Nord CE 2 5G is now and future ready which has faster connectivity capabilities than 4G.

So far, it is as good as it is on paper. It is fast, the screen is nice, and the cameras are respectable.

The competition at this price point is just a bit stiff as the higher-end OnePlus Nord 2 is currently on sale from PHP 18,990.

Thankfully, the device is currently on sale at Digital Walker's website for just PHP 16,850.

See you guys in our full review.
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