After focusing almost entirely on “killing” flagships with feature-packed and very reasonably priced high-end smartphones for the first few years of its existence, OnePlus has gradually started to pay more and more attention to the mid-range market segment since the 2020 launch of the first-gen Nord.
The Nord family currently includes a whole bunch of extremely similar mid-end handsets with excellent features and great designs for their price points, and the next such device is essentially guaranteed to check all of those boxes as well.
Purportedly named Nord CE 3
, which is an undeniably bad moniker, this undoubtedly budget-friendly 6.7-incher continues to be completely shrouded in secrecy as far as its design is concerned while looking set to improve on the key specs of the early 2022-released Nord CE 2
(well, duh) and even the slightly newer Nord N20
Expected out sometime in Q1 or Q2 2023 in select European and Asian markets, the 5G-enabled giant is unfortunately unlikely to ever (officially) reach the US. In addition to expanding the screen real estate of the aforementioned 6.43-inch Nord CE 2 and N20, the CE 3 is tipped (by none other than @OnLeaks
) to offer 120Hz refresh rate support.
The silky smooth display, however, will adopt LCD rather than AMOLED technology, which is… less than perfect but definitely understandable for an affordable mid-ranger with a Snapdragon 695 processor under the hood.
That’s the same exact SoC currently used by the Nord N20 5G, although the Nord CE 3 5G will also apparently pack up to a hefty 12 gigs of RAM paired with as much as 256GB internal storage space.
Speaking of hefty things, a larger 5,000mAh battery should be employed to keep up with the energy consumption needs of the larger 6.7-inch FHD+ screen, and compared to the N20, the CE 3 will also provide a major charging speed upgrade from 33 to 67 watts.
Last but certainly not least, the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G is expected (by one of the most reliable leakers in the world) to jump from a 64 to a 108MP primary camera… unfortunately still accompanied by two largely useless 2MP sensors on its back, as well as a more than respectable single 16MP front-facing shooter.
Because AMOLED is out and LCD is in, the CE 3 should adopt a side-mounted rather than an under-display fingerprint scanner, which is not necessarily a downgrade… or an upgrade. While definitely unlikely, it remains to be seen if this move means the Nord N300
notch will extend to this upcoming mid-range Android soldier as well to replace the more modern hole punch and help OnePlus save costs to keep the list price as low as possible.