OnePlus Nord CE4 review

Mid-range refresher

₹ 26,999

8GB RAM / 256GB storage

There are A LOT of OnePlus smartphones now, and it can naturally get a bit confusing as to which one fits into which budget. However, it’s fairly clear that anything with ‘Nord’ branding sits one step below the primary number series devices, holding up OnePlus’ ambitions in the mid-range segments. The latest in the list is the OnePlus Nord CE4, which is priced at Rs. 24,999 onwards in India, and offers a decent set of features that one might expect to see on a mid-range smartphone.

Compared to the Nord CE3 that it succeeds in the lineup, the OnePlus Nord CE4 steps forward in some regards, while taking confusing steps back in other ways. However, this promises to be a capable smartphone for under Rs. 30,000, thanks to the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor under the hood. Find out all about the OnePlus Nord CE4 in this review.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Design

OnePlus Nord CE4

The OnePlus Nord range is obviously not as accomplished as the number series when it comes to design, but it still has its own unique characteristics that fit in well within the mid-range segment. The Nord CE4 naturally doesn’t come with the curved screen and sleek metallic edges of the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R, but it makes up or this with a nicely textured back panel.

The phone is available in two colours, and we quite liked the ‘Celadon Marble’ green colour variant for its uniqueness - you’re unlikely to come across any other smartphones that quite looks like this. It’s a light green colour that gives the smartphone a look of elegance and sophistication, complete with the pride that comes with the OnePlus badge. Interestingly, the phone is IP54 rated for dust and water resistance too.

The camera module looks a bit strange - the lenses don’t stick out of the back on their own anymore, and sit on top of an oval-shaped module which distracts from the cleanness of the back panel. It isn’t too bad, though, and the rest of the smartphone looks and feels pretty straightforward, if only a bit bulky and sharp at the edges. Fans of old-school tech will like the fact that there’s an IR emitter on the OnePlus Nord CE4, along with a native app to use it with your appliances.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Display

AMOLED displays on budget and mid-range smartphones isn’t a big deal anymore, but the OnePlus Nord CE4 does tick all the boxes in terms of the kind of screen you’d expect to see on a smartphone in this price range. It’s a standard 6.7-inch full-HD+ resolution (2412x1080-pixel) 120Hz display, with a solid 93.4 percent screen-to-body ratio.

The flat screen itself was occasionally annoying for the gesture actions, and a couple of times even seemed unresponsive for no real reason. However, these are minor issues and the screen generally performed as expected for the large part.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Specifications and software

OnePlus Nord CE4

When talking about the Nord range, we never quite know which processor to expect on a new device in the series. Indeed, the Nord series itself can get a bit confusing across the regular number series, CE series, and ‘Lite’ branded products. Anyway, the Nord CE4 seems to strike the right balance between price and specifications - it isn’t too close to OnePlus 12R pricing, but it still boasts a decent spec sheet.

You get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 processor powering the OnePlus Nord CE4, along with up to 256GB of internal storage. An odd change introduced with the CE4 is that physical RAM is limited to 8GB regardless of which variant you buy. It is LPDDR4X RAM and you do have the option to enable virtual RAM, but we’d have still expected at least 12GB of RAM on the Rs. 26,999 variant.

As mentioned, storage is expandable with a microSD card, but this will occupy the same slot as the SIM2 tray, so you’re forced to choose between storage expansion or dual-SIM connectivity - particularly relevant if you’ve picked up the 128GB version. Both SIM slots are 5G-ready (no eSIM support), and there is also Bluetooth 5.4. The phone has a 5500mAh battery with 100W fast wired charging through the USB Type-C port - the right charger is included in the box.

On the software front, there is OxygenOS 14 (based on Android 14), along with most of the software-level features that you’d see on the more expensive OnePlus 12 series. Although OxygenOS has gone through some visible changes and added bloatware in recent years, it’s still quite a reliable software experience on the whole. It sticks to the core Android way of things where it counts, apart from running the current version of Android itself. OnePlus is also promising two more major version software updates for the Nord CE4.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Cameras

OnePlus isn’t exactly known for its camera capabilities, and is yet to produce a phone that truly leads on the camera front, even within specific categories. The OnePlus Nord CE4 isn’t exactly class-leading in the camera department itself, but it isn’t bad either. You get a fairly straightforward camera setup that gets the basics right and offers the kind of features you’d expect in this segment.

The 50-megapixel primary camera uses a Sony LYT-600 sensor, which comes with 2x in-sensor zoom and optical image stabilisation. Alongside it is an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and at the front is a 16-megapixel camera. With a bit of effort, it’s possible to get decent pictures out of the Nord CE4.

There’s no dedicated portrait camera on the OnePlus Nord CE4, but the phone is able to use its dual-camera setup to produce decent portrait shots, using a technique that has been around for a while. Usefully, you can modify the depth-of-field effect for stronger or weaker background blur, but given that this isn’t a dedicated sensor, it didn’t produce very clean results at the strongest setting. Uncomplicated shots with gentle blur turned out just fine.

With everything else in photography, it’s business as usual and on par with what you get from smartphones priced at under Rs. 30,000. In regular daylight, you’ll get Instagrammable pictures quite easily, and a steady hand and proper positioning can also get similar results in low light. Given that serious camera capabilities don’t show up until you’re ready to spend a lot more than this, it’s a reasonable camera setup on the whole.

OnePlus Nord CE4 review: Performance and battery life

OnePlus Nord CE4

Among the various chipsets available for Android smartphones in the under-Rs. 30,000 category, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 is arguably among the better ones you can have right now. The OnePlus Nord CE4 therefore feels fairly up to date and on point when it comes to the kind of performance you should expect. It expectedly doesn’t match up to even last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (which you’ll find on the OnePlus 12R), but at Rs. 25,000, it’s close enough that you won’t see any reason to complain.

The limitation of 8GB RAM might feel a bit risky on a new purchase, but there is the option to boost with virtual RAM. Even if you keep this switched off, you’ll find that 8GB of RAM is enough for most tasks, and you won’t see any issues unless you’re one of those who never closes an app or reboots their phone. We’d definitely recommend spending a bit extra on the 256GB variant, though.

Battery life on the OnePlus Nord CE4 is pretty good thanks to the 5500mAh battery under the hood. We were able to run the phone for close to two full days between charges with regular use, and could even go a bit longer with conservative use. Charging is fast thanks to the included 80W charging adapter, with the phone topping up in around 35-40 minutes. There’s no wireless charging on the Nord CE4.


The OnePlus Nord CE4 isn’t an outstanding or particularly special smartphone, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Buyers in this price segment usually look for reliability, consistency, and real-world benefits such as good battery life and fast charging, and the Nord CE4 delivers all of these things without much fuss. 

Indeed, there’s very little to complain about with the OnePlus Nord CE4. It does exactly what it’s supposed to, and is perhaps the best value-for-money offering in the under-Rs. 30,000 smartphone segment right now.

Stuff Says

A reliable and consistent mid-range smartphone that gives you very little to complain about
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Looks good, especially in Celadon Marble

  1. Reliable software and performance

  1. IP54 dust and water resistance, expandable storage

  1. Very good battery life, fast charging

  1. Feels a bit bulky and sharp at the edges

  1. Only available with 8GB of RAM

Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7 Gen 3
Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED (2412x1080)
Storage: 128GB/256GB (expandable with microSD, up to 1TB)
Rear cameras: 50MP (Sony LYT-600) + 8MP (ultra-wide)
Front cameras: 16MP
Battery and charging: 5500mAh, 80W wired charging
Software: OxygenOS 14 (Android 14)