OnePlus Nord CE4 review: ‘Nothing’ rivals this in performance

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: ‘Nothing’ rivals this in performance
Digit Rating 6.6
Specs and Features
Build and Design
Value for Money
  • Good performance
  • Super fast charging
  • Clean software
  • Display isn't very accurate
  • Camera is average

If you are looking for a reliable workhorse in a mid-range segment, the OnePlus Nord CE4 5G is very easy to recommend. But if you want a brilliant camera and display to go with it, this may not be the best option for you.

OnePlus’ Nord series of mid-range or budget smartphones was launched back in 2020 but it doesn’t feel like it’s only been 4 years since OnePlus broke away from its enthusiast-centric approach to cater to the masses. While the OnePlus Nord smartphones are more mainstream and don’t have that premium or performance-centric aura, they have been hugely successful in the Indian market. We now have the fourth generation of the OnePlus Nord series, starting with the OnePlus Nord CE4, which has usually been the middle child in the Nord series, coming below the main Nord device, and falls above the “Nord Lite” smartphone in the previous two generations.

The OnePlus Nord CE4 comes with a marble-like finish on the back panel.

This year, the OnePlus Nord CE4 is the first smartphone to arrive in the “Nord 4” series for 2024. Now, there are improvements across the board as compared to the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G from last year, but there are also downgrades. For example, this year we are getting only two cameras as compared to the triple camera setup on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G. Further, there is only an 8GB RAM variant, while the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G had launched with a 12GB RAM variant last year. But has the overall experience improved? Let’s find out!

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Design

Starting with the design, the OnePlus Nord CE4 is a good looking smartphone. While the basic shape and form is familiar with the rather squared glass slab design, but there are changes. Firstly, what everyone is talking about, the marble-like finish on the back panel. This is something OnePlus is pushing for quite a bit, we have now seen three smartphones with marble-like finish from the OnePlus lineup.

There is a pill-shaped camera module on the OnePlus Nord CE4.

On the OnePlus Nord CE4, however, OnePlus has managed to give the marble-look on a polycarbonate back. Now, to the touch it may not feel as premium as the OnePlus 11 Marble Odyssey edition or the OnePlus 12, but it looks quite nice. From a distance, the back panel actually looks like it is made of marble. Looks beautiful, especially with the light green colour tone that OnePlus has chosen. For those who don’t like it and want something more basic, there is also a plain black colour option.

One thing that seems out of order on the back panel, however, is the camera module. Here, the cameras are aligned vertically in a pill-shaped module. Below the two shooters, there is a circular LED flash. So far, nothing sounds off. But if you look closely, the placement of the two cameras and one flash aren’t symmetrical. The gap between the LED flash and bottom edge of the module is bigger than the gap between the edge and camera placed on top. This isn’t something you will notice initially, but once you notice, you can’t unsee it.

The camera module on the OnePlus Nord CE4 is not symmetric.

Up front, things are simple. We get the flat AMOLED display with the hole-punch selfie camera. The best thing about the front display in terms of design is that the bezels are even on all sides. There is a slight chin at the bottom of the display, but it’s pretty much negligible.

The OnePlus Nord CE4, like its predecessor, comes with flat frames.

Apart from this, we get a flat frame with the power button and volume rockers placed on the right side of the frame. The USB type-C port is placed at the bottom of the display, and there is a noise canceling mic along with the IR blaster on top of the frame.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Display

The OnePlus Nord CE4 comes with a 6.74-inch AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. We also get HDR10+ support with the OnePlus Nord CE4, which means you can enjoy high dynamic range (HDR) content on platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

The bezels around the flat AMOLED display on the OnePlus Nord CE4 are even.

Now, the OnePlus Nord CE4 display is very vibrant and crisp. I watched quite a lot of content and played quite a few games on this display and I must say that it looks really good most of the time. Yes, during gaming the graphics don’t feel as detailed as compared to some of the flagships out there, but watching a movie or a YouTube video in HDR is quite immersive in your day-to-day usage.

We also tested this display to quite an extent. From the colour accuracy, to the brightness, the display on the OnePlus Nord CE4 went through our rigid display testing and passed with decent numbers. First, the brightness since sunlight visibility is important for most users. The smartphone showcased an impressive luminance of 972 nits under bright sunlight, which is better than many flagships out there today so this is great.

There is a 6.74-inch flat AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate on the OnePlus Nord CE4.

It was the colour accuracy of the OnePlus Nord CE4 that isn’t the best. In our colour check analysis, the smartphone showcased an average DeltaE or average error of 2.5, which is good for a smartphone, but not the best in this range. For reference, an average DeltaE of under 3 is considered great for smartphones, but with the technology getting better and better each day, there are many smartphones that have showcased much better results.

Colour checker analysis showcasing the colour accuracy of the OnePlus Nord CE4.

I also ran a Greyscale test on the OnePlus Nord CE4 and found the smartphone to be blowing up the blues, meaning that there is an abundance of blue light on this display. This result is also replicated in the colour checker analysis, since the whites on this smartphone were one of the least accurate. The whites aren’t as accurate because of the abundance of blue light that makes the whites appear a bit blue-ish. This is also not good since more blue light is said to have worse effects on a user’s eyes in the long run.

Greyscale test of the OnePlus Nord CE4.

Overall, this is a decent display for watching videos and content. It is bright, it is crisp, and there is HDR support for watching content. Even for gaming it is decent, but given that there is too much blue light, doing any of those for a longer period of time may turn out to be harmful for users.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Performance

Coming to performance, this is the OnePlus Nord CE4’s home ground. While the smartphone is quite mainstream overall, the performance numbers stand out. With the OnePlus Nord CE4, we get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM. On paper, this indicates pretty decent performance, since Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7-series chipsets are the brand’s mid-range chips that offer a good balance of performance and efficiency. Now, while we only get 8GB of RAM with the OnePlus Nord CE4 and there is no 12GB RAM variant this year, but that’s not a problem.

OnePlus Nord CE4 comes with 100W fast charging. First Nord series phone to come with 100W charging.

During my day-to-day usage, the OnePlus Nord CE4 was pretty consistent in terms of the performance. During my time with the smartphone, there was no point in time that the OnePlus Nord CE4 felt slow or laggy. Be it opening multiple apps at once, or switching between apps, or even gaming, the OnePlus Nord CE4 felt like a reliable companion throughout the two weeks or so I have used this smartphone.

But of course, my experience doesn’t objectify the smartphone’s performance. I ran multiple synthetic benchmarks on the OnePlus Nord CE4, and the smartphone showcased impressive numbers across CPU and GPU tests. For example, the OnePlus Nord CE4 came ahead of its fiercest competitor, the Nothing Phone (2a) in most benchmarks.

For example, on AnTuTu, the OnePlus Nord CE4 scored 821,575 points which is on the higher side when comparing all the mid-range smartphones available in the market and much ahead of the Nothing Phone (2a)’s score of 702,338 points. In Geekbench also, the OnePlus Nord CE4 comes ahead of the Nothing Phone (2a), but in the single-core test, the Nothing Phone (2a) comes one point ahead of the OnePlus Nord CE4.

AnTuTu scores comparing the OnePlus Nord CE4 and Nothing Phone (2a).
Geekbench 6 scores comparing the OnePlus Nord CE4 and Nothing Phone (2a).

In GPU-based benchmarks also, the OnePlus Nord CE4 beats the Nothing Phone (2a) but the competition is extremely close. For example, in the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme test, the OnePlus Nord 4 5G still differentiates itself with higher points, but in benchmarks like GFXBench, the difference is not that great.


So yes, in terms of performance, the OnePlus Nord CE4 is up there with some of the best performing mid-range smartphones that have launched in 2024 so far. Be it in terms of the benchmark scores, or in terms of day-to-day usage, or even in terms of CPU throttling (OnePlus Nord CE4 throttled to 80 percent of its performance), the performance of the OnePlus Nord CE4 will not disappoint any of its users.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Battery

The OnePlus Nord CE4 comes with a 5,500mAh battery which is bigger than last year’s OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G’s 5,000mAh battery. We also get faster charging this year with 100W fast charging, as compared to the 80W fast charging on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 from last year. The backup, you ask? It’s very good. The OnePlus Nord CE4 doesn’t show signs of battery drain at all. At least for the time I used the smartphone, the battery backup was brilliant.

Playing a game of Call of Duty Warzon Mobile for 15 minutes only drained 4 percent of the OnePlus Nord CE4’s battery. Watching a YouTube video for 30 minutes on the highest resolution and about 80 percent brightness drained only 3 percent of the battery, and using GPS for an hour constantly drained just 5 percent of the battery. These are great numbers, if we compare them to some of the recent smartphones we have tested for battery.

Pair this with one of the fastest charging in the segment, the OnePlus Nord CE4 makes for a beautiful battery experience. The 100W fast charging juiced up the OnePlus Nord CE4 from 0 to 100 percent in just about 40 minutes. That, in a sub-Rs 30,000 smartphone is great by any standard.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Camera

This year, OnePlus has taken away one shooter from the smartphone. The OnePlus Nord CE4 comes with a dual rear camera setup as compared to a triple rear camera setup on the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G from last year. The company has decided to let go of the macro shooter and only stuck with the primary 50-megapixel shooter and an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle shooter.

We get a 50-megapixel primary shooter and an 8-megapixel ultrawide angle lens with the OnePlus Nord CE4.

Now, the cameras are actually a downgrade as compared to last year. For example, the sensor size of the 50-megapixel primary shooter is now smaller. The OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G had a 1/1.56-inch sensor size, while the OnePlus Nord CE4 comes with a 1/1.93-inch sensor size. This obviously results in a smaller pixel size, meaning that theoretically, the OnePlus Nord CE4 will capture less details.

But the results aren’t all that bad. Yes, there is a downgrade in terms of the camera hardware, the results aren’t too different in terms of quality. The primary shooter captures enough detail in all lighting conditions. In bright sunlight, the colours seem washed out at times, and the dynamic range seems a bit soft. But overall, the images that come out of this shooter are good for your social media usage and have sufficient detail to allow you to edit your photos to make them look good.

In low light also, the camera is decent. In fact, the colours seemed more vibrant in low light conditions and the details remain intact, even in extremely low light conditions. In low light, the OnePlus Nord CE4’s camera optimises the shutter speed according to the light and at times, even in no light, the camera took in enough light from nearby sources to create the image and make it seem nice and vibrant. Not the best for enthusiasts who want a true-to-life image, but great for casual users who just want to capture a moment.

However, in low light photos, I experienced a lot of light flare in images, but that’s not a deal breaker since this is not a flagship smartphone with fancy coatings on the lens to manage light flare. Another thing about the camera that really bothered me is that in low light shots, the focus feels slow since the smartphone takes a few seconds or at times, multiple attempts to focus on a subject in low light.

Further, like in almost every phone in this range, the images from the ultrawide angle shooter and primary shooter aren’t consistent. The colours from the wide angle shooter seem to be a bit more washed out and there is a bit of a warm tone to the images by default.

So the camera is decent, but not the best. Yes, you can click very good images from this camera, but that’s not the case with every image you take. Based on my experience, I would give this camera a 7 out of 10.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Verdict

So the OnePlus Nord CE4 is quite a basic mid-range smartphone for the Indian market. The smartphone looks good with the marble-like finish on the back panel. There is also exceptional performance going for it. The smartphone is ahead of most of the rivals in terms of the performance, so that is great. Add to that an exceptional battery and charging combination, and the OnePlus Nord CE4 showcases all the traits for being a dependable workhorse.

The OnePlus Nord CE4 is a decent all-rounder but the display and camera aren’t the best.

However, the camera and display are something that didn’t please me as much as the battery and performance on this smartphone. While the display is good for watching content and gaming, it emits too much blue light, which can have adverse effects on the user’s eyes in the long run. The camera, on the other hand, is just average to say the least.

But yes, if you are looking for a reliable workhorse in a mid-range segment, the OnePlus Nord CE4 is very easy to recommend. But if you want a brilliant camera and display to go with it, this may not be the best option for you.

OnePlus Nord CE4 Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 01 Apr, 2024
Market Status: Launched

Key Specifications

  • Specs


    256 GB

  • Specs

    Battery capacity (mAh)


  • Specs

    Rear Camera Megapixel

    50 + 8

  • Specs

    Screen size (in inches)