OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G: Our first look and initial impressions

It features a 108MP main camera, a 120Hz display, and 67W SUPERVOOC fast charging support.

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G will soon launch in the Philippines. The smartphone is the latest mid-ranger to come with a 108MP main camera.

Despite the long-winded name, the Nord CE 3 Lite shows a lot of promise. Apart from an eye-catching design, you’re looking at several interesting features, including a large 120Hz display, 256GB of storage, 67W SUPERVOOC fast charging, and, of course, the aforementioned 108MP main camera.

While we’re building up to a full review, we’re sharing a quick look at the phone, along with our first impressions.

Inside the Box

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G comes in a simple black box with the OnePlus Nord branding in blue. Inside the box, you get the usual set of accessories, including:

  • OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G
  • Pre-installed screen protector
  • Silicone case
  • SUPERVOOC fast charger
  • USB-C cable
  • SIM eject tool
  • Documentation
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G accessories

As with any OnePlus smartphone, the Nord CE 3 Lite 5G has little to no bloat, making for a quick and clean initial setup. Apart from the usual default apps, you get three OnePlus apps that you can just uninstall if you don’t intend to use them. I also commend their choice of default wallpaper, which I really like.

Initial Review

Upon unboxing, I was immediately taken aback by the Nord CE 3 Lite’s design. It’s clean and sleek. For a mid-range phone, it is quite stunning.

67W Wired SUPERVOOC fast charging

Our review unit is in the classic black color called Chromatic Gray. It’s fine, but there is another more interesting option out there for those who want something more unique — Pastel Lime, a bright light green hue.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite in Pastel Lime and Chromatic Gray
OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite Pastel Lime and Chromatic Gray

Back to Chromatic Gray, this variant has a dark gray mirror-like finish with a 2.8D panel. Here, you can feel the gentle curve of the back, instead of a sharp edge. The frame also has a matte coating which reduces the chance of it slipping from your hand.

The phone has a plastic build. Despite this, the materials don’t feel cheap. It actually looks elegant, but it’s quite the fingerprint magnet.

At the front, we have a 6.72-inch FHD IPS display with a resolution of 2400×1080 and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The colors are vibrant while not overbearing, and it looks sharp. You can change the colors in the settings to Natural if you want a softer display.

There are two large circular modules at the back for the 108MP primary camera and the two 2MP sensors for depth and macro. It has quite the camera bump, protruding a few millimeters from the back panel.

The volume rocker is on the left side along with the SIM tray, while the power button is on the right. I prefer having all the buttons on the left side, but this is a personal preference.

The phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom, together with the microphone, the USB-C port, and the speaker. There’s another microphone at the top.

The handset has stereo speakers, by the way, and they sound good. Not many phones in this range (if at all) have good sounding speakers.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite 5G design

On the inside, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G chip with 8GB of RAM and a generous 256GB storage. That’s twice the storage of most devices in the same range.

It also has a 5000mAh battery with support for 67W SUPERVOOC fast charging. OnePlus claims it can charge the phone up to 80 percent in just 30 minutes, which we’re keen to test out.

To keep the battery healthy, OnePlus equipped the Nord CE 3 Lite with an AI algorithm that “intelligently learns your individual charging schedule” which then allows it to deliver the “least battery-damaging charging method”. It also has 12 temperature sensors and dedicated chips to monitor the battery to make sure it’s cool and healthy.

So far, the Nord CE 3 Lite is looking to be a competitive mid-ranger. Basic operation is fast and responsive and the animations look butter smooth.

That’s it for my first impressions of the phone. We’ll dive deeper in our full review.

See also: realme C55 unboxing: First look and initial impressions

The OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite is scheduled to launch in the Philippines on April 21, 2023. Pricing and availability details will be revealed then. Stay tuned.

OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite specs

Display6.72-inch FHD IPS display, 2400×1080, 120Hz refresh rate
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G
Rear Camera108MP main
2MP depth
2MP macro
Front Camera16MP
Network5G, 4G LTE, Dual SIM
ConnectivityWi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, NFC
OthersSide fingerprint sensor, face unlock, USB-C, headphone jack, stereo speakers
OSOxygenOS, Android 13
ColorsPastel Lime, Chromatic Gray
Battery5000mAh Battery, 67W Wired SUPERVOOC fast charging

Bryan is a geek at heart and a tech enthusiast by choice. He has a strong background in corporate communications, marketing services, and customer relations having worked in the telecommunications and banking sectors for over two decades. In his spare time, he enjoys watching clips on YouTube and binge watching shows on Netflix.

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