The OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G has been making waves in the smartphone market since its release and for good reason. It is a re-patched version of the Realme 10 Pro, with a few notable changes that make it stand out from its predecessor.
The first major change is in the charging support – the Nord CE 3 5G comes with 67-watt charging, which is significantly higher than the Realme 10 Pro’s maximum of 33 watts. This means that the Nord CE 3 5G can charge up much faster than the Realme 10 Pro, which is a huge advantage for heavy smartphone users.
The second change is in the camera setup. The Nord CE 3 5G has an extra 2-megapixel macro camera, which is not present in the Realme 10 Pro. This means that users can take even better close-up shots with the Nord CE 3 5G, which is great for photography enthusiasts.
Now, the most surprising thing about the Nord CE 3 5G is its pricing. It is literally the same as the Realme 10 Pro – both smartphones start at 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, priced at INR 19,999. This means that users can get all the advantages of the Nord CE 3 5G over the Realme 10 Pro at the same price point.
So, the question arises – is the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G a better smartphone than the Realme 10 Pro? The answer is a resounding yes. With faster charging support, an additional macro camera, and the same price as its predecessor, the Nord CE 3 5G is definitely the better choice for anyone looking for a high-performance smartphone.
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OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G Design
The material finish of the OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G is funky, fresh, and bold, especially in the pastel colorway. It features a glossy plastic material that looks premium but is also a fingerprint magnet. The railing is made of matte plastic, which is the same as the Realme 10 Pro.
The camera rings on both phones look clean, and the backing material is slightly curved on the Nord compared to the entire flat look of the Realme. The Nord is slightly thicker and heavier, but both phones feel good in the hand.
The Nord has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, which is physical and unlocks the phone quickly. One area where OnePlus is better than Realme is in stereo speaker performance, with a dynamic and fuller sound.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G Display
The Nord CET light has a larger 6.72-inch IPS LCD display with a dynamic refresh rate that can switch between 30-120Hz depending on the content. It has a peak brightness of 550 nits, which is slightly lower than Realme’s 600 nits.
Both displays are HDR compatible but do not support HDR video playback on YouTube and Netflix due to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chipset not supporting it. The professional display mode provides decent color accuracy with Display P3 support. The haptic feedback is soft and not impressive.
OnePlus Nord CE 3 5G Camera
OnePlus has a 108-megapixel camera, which is the Samsung hm6 sensor, but it’s a budget sensor also used by Realme 10 Pro. The OnePlus camera captures sharper details with more natural colors, while the Realme oversaturates the images.
In portraits, OnePlus has better skin tone and edge detection, while Realme’s colors go overboard. Low light performance is evenly matched, but OnePlus wins the selfie camera with sharper images and better skin tones.
Both phones offer electronic image stabilization for videos, but OnePlus has better sound recording and natural color reproduction. Overall, OnePlus has a better set of cameras than Realme. The author offers to compare OnePlus cameras with other phones in the same price range, such as Moto G7 or IQOO G7.
OnePlus’s Snapdragon 695 is the best-tuned one we’ve tested, with the best Antutu and Geekbench scores. It doesn’t get as hot and doesn’t lose as much battery as the Realme. OnePlus has better touch response and scrolling feels more natural, but it may face some stutters due to the 695 not being powerful enough for the 120 Hz refresh rate.
Gaming performance is good with the gaming mode, but Snapdragon 778g or Dimension 920 on some Realme phones are better for gaming. Both phones have impeccable call quality, but the network has been unstable lately for the reviewer, especially for a NATAL user. Both have very good 5G performance, with OnePlus having 9 bands of support compared to Realme 7.
Let’s discuss the battery now. Both phones have a 5000 mAh battery, and the battery life is pretty much the same. On heavy usage, I could get around 8 to 10 hours of screen-on time or one and a half days of usage.
However, if you’re a frugal user and don’t use your phone much, you can easily stretch it up to two days. But here’s where OnePlus has an advantage. The OnePlus comes with a 67-watt Superbook charger in the box, which can charge your phone from 0 to 100 in under 40 minutes.
In comparison, the Realme takes about one hour five minutes to one hour ten minutes to charge from 0 to 100.
Let’s discuss the software now. The OnePlus Nord CE 5G runs on OxygenOS 11.1 based on Android 11, promising two years of software updates and three years of security updates. Similarly, the Realme 8 5G also offers good software support with ColorOS 11 based on Android 11, along with two years of software updates and three years of security updates.
It’s worth noting that this is better than Xiaomi’s Redmi, which offers Android 12 out of the box. In terms of visual appearance, there’s little difference between the two user interfaces, including the App Drawer, icons, and quick setting shade. However, OnePlus has better-tuned animations, and Realme comes with several pre-installed apps, which may be considered bloatware.
Additionally, Realme has a Glance integration and personalized search option, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. When I first started the OnePlus Nord CE 5G, I noticed some pre-installed games, but I soon realized that it was because of the Oppo internet browser that came bundled with it.
However, once I disabled it, there were no unnecessary first-party or third-party apps left. Overall, I’d say that OxygenOS on the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is among the top two UIs under Rs. 20,000, along with the near-stock Android experience of Motorola.
In conclusion, I believe that the OnePlus Nord CE 3 is a superior phone compared to the Realme 10 Pro. Not only do I prefer the design, but the performance, software experience, and camera capabilities are better as well. Additionally, the charging speeds are faster and there is an extra camera.
It’s interesting to note that last year, the best-selling 5G phone in India under Rs. 20,000 was the Nord CE 2, not a Xiaomi or Realme phone. The Indian smartphone market has changed a lot in recent years. I highly recommend the Nord CE 3 to anyone looking for a good phone under Rs. 20,000.
However, there are other great options to consider, such as the iQOO Z7 and Moto G73. I will compare these phones in a future video, so stay tuned for that. Let me know your thoughts on the Nord CE 3 in the comments below.