DDR5 has only been with us for a relatively short time, and over the course of its lifetime, it will see a wide variety of applications and uses. Innodisk is jumping on the DDR5 boat quickly with its new industrial-grade DDR5 modules designed for “5G, deep learning, AI, edge computing, smart medical, super-computing, and mission-critical applications.”
The Taiwanese company’s press release extolls the benefits of DDR5, including its theoretical maximum transfer speed of 6400MT/s, power-saving voltage drop to 1.1V, and increased die capacity of 64Gb, bringing the maximum potential capacity for a single DDR5 DIMM to 128GB. However, the specs for the new modules aren’t listed.
It’s not until near the end that things become interesting with Innodisk’s corporate VP and GM of its global embedded and server DRAM business unit, Samson Chang, talking about the “original ICs, anti-sulfuration, heat spreader, and conformal coating technologies with industrial-grade reliability” of the Innodisk DIMMs, which it foresees being used by hyperscalers and industry for “5G, deep learning, AI, edge computing, smart medical, super-computing, and mission-critical applications.”
So there you go. Innodisk will release DDR5 DIMMs with heat spreaders and special coatings, the latter of which are typically used for purposes such as water- and dust-proofing in the harsh environments found in industrial applications. We also expect other special accommodations will be made to adjust the DIMMs for long-term reliability in rough conditions, like options for expanded thermal operating specifications. The DDR5 modules available on its site lack the heat spreaders, are non-ECC, and come in 16GB and 32GB capacities at up to 4800MT/s.
(Pocket-lint) – Google is expected to announce the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones towards the end of the year, succeeding the Pixel 5 that arrived in October 2020.
We’ve compared how the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro could compare based on the speculation in a separate feature, but here we are focussing on how the Pixel 6 might stack up against the Pixel 5.
Pixel 5: 144.7 x 70.4 x 8mm
Pixel 6: 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9mm, 11.8mm with bump
Pixel 6 Pro: 163.9 x 75.8 x 8.9mm, 11.5mm with bump
Based on the rumours, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will offer a complete redesign compared to the Pixel 5. Renders suggest a rectangular camera housing will stretch across the entire width of the devices on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro compared to the square housing positioned in the top left corner on the Pixel 5.
It also looks like the punch hole camera at the top of the display will move to the centre in the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, repositioning from the top left corner on the Pixel 5.
The other big change in design appears to be the introduction of an under-display fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 6, rather than the physical sensor on the rear of the Pixel 5. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro also both appear to be a little more exciting in terms of colours, with blocks of colours on the rear based on the leaked images.
In terms of physical measurements, it looks like the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will both be larger than the Pixel 5, as well as thicker. The Pixel 5 has an IP68 water and dust resistance, and we’d expect the same from the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.
Pixel 5: 6-inch, Full HD+, 90Hz
Pixel 6: 6.4-inch, Full HD+, 120Hz
Pixel 6 Pro: 6.67-inch, Quad HD+, 120Hz
Rumours suggest the Google Pixel 6 will come with a 6.4-inch display and the Pixel 6 Pro with a 6.67-inch display. If true, both devices would be bigger than the Pixel 5’s 6-inch display.
It’s thought the Pixel 6 will likely come with a Full HD+ resolution, a flat screen and a 120Hz refresh rate. The Pixel 6 Pro meanwhile, is thought to be coming with a slightly curved display, a Quad HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate.
The Pixel 5 has a 6-inch display that has a Full HD+ resolution at 2340 x 1080 for a pixel density of 432ppi. It offers a 90Hz refresh rate and it has HDR support, which the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are both likely to offer too.
It’s thought the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro will run on an in-house chip Google is said to be working on codenamed Whitechapel. The chip is claimed to have a raw performance somewhere between the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and the Snapdragon 865. It’s expected to offer 5G capabilities.
RAM and storage options haven’t been detailed as yet in leaks, though it’s said the Pixel 6 will have a 5000mAh battery capacity, so we’d expect the same or higher from the Pixel 6 Pro.
The Pixel 5 runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. There’s no microSD support. The battery capacity is 4000mAh and the Pixel 5 supports fast charging and wireless charging, both of which we would expect on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Pixel 6: Dual camera
PIxel 6 Pro: Triple camera
Pixel 5: Dual camera
It’s claimed the Pixel 6 will have a dual rear camera with talk of a 50-megapixel main camera coupled with an ultra wide-angle lens.
The Pixel 6 Pro meanwhile, is said to have a triple rear camera with the same 50-megapixel main sensor and same ultra wide angle lens as the Pixel 6, but with the addition of an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor too.
The Pixel 5 has a dual rear camera comprised of a 12.2-megapixel dual-pixel main camera with 1.4µm pixels and a f/1.7 aperture, along with a 16-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens with 1.0µm pixels and an f/2.2 aperture.
The front camera on the Pixel 5 is an 8-megapixel sensor with 1.12µm pixels and an f/2.0 aperture.
Based on the speculation, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will offer a big redesign compared to the Pixel 5, along with larger displays, faster refresh rates and upgrades in hardware.
It also looks like the camera offering will be more advanced on the Pixel 6 and certainly the 6 Pro with the possible addition of a telephoto lens, but nothing is confirmed as yet and we’re still waiting for more rumours on the RAM and storage options.
You can follow all the rumours for both the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in our separate round up features.
Lenovo’s lineup of ThinkPad workstation laptops are getting more powerful with the launch of the ThinkPad P1, P15 and P17. The notebooks are being bumped up to the latest Intel Core and Xeon mobile CPUs and Nvidia graphics, going up to the enterprise-grade RTA A5000 GPU.
The new laptops are scheduled to launch in July, starting at $2,099 for the P1, $1,749 for the P15 and $1,779 for the P17.
Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 4
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 Gen 2
Lenovo ThinkPad P17 Gen 2
11th Gen Intel Core or Xeon
11th Gen Intel Core or Xeon
11th Gen Intel Core or Xeon
Up to Nvidia RTX A5000 (16GB) or Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 (8GB)/RTX 3080 (16GB)
Up to Nvidia RTX A5000 (16GB)
Up to Nvidia RTX A5000 (16GB)
16-inch, 16:10, 3840 x 2400 IPS touch or 2560 x 1600 non-touch
15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 IPS or OLED touch with Dolby Vision HDR or 1920 x 1080 IPS
17.3-inch 3840 x 2160 IPS or 1920 x 1080 IPS
Up to 32GB DDR4-3200 ECC/non-ECC
Up to 32GB DDR-3200 ECC/non-ECC
Up to 128GB DDR4 3200 ECC/non-ECC memory
Up to 4TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4 SSD
Up to 6TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4 SSD
Up to 6TB M.2 NVMe PCIe Gen 4 SSD
All of the laptops will use up to 11th Gen Intel Core or Xeon processors. The whole line goes up to the Nvidia RTX A5000 GPU, while the P1 also has gaming options with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 or RTX 3080. This is a first for the P1, which is now on its fourth revision.
The P1, the flagship, has the option for a 16-inch
display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, 3800 x 2400 resolution and touch. You can also opt for non-touch, 2560 x 1600 resolution, narrow bezels and low-blue light technology. The P15 goes for
or a standard,
screen, while the P17 has the same options as the P15 but with a larger area.
Both the P1 and P15 go up to 32GB of RAM, while the P17 can be configured with up to 128GB of RAM. You can get
on Xeon versions and non-ECC options with regular Intel Core.
All three systems are part of the Nvidia Studio program aimed at creatives, and Lenovo claims that “the creative community will have total confidence these workstations will handle their mission-critical workflows without issue “
The P1 does have a few other flagship features, including the option for 5G, top-firing speakers that support Dolby Atmos and a 1080p webcam.
Lenovo is also announcing the ThinkVision P34w-20, a 34-inch ultrawide that will look to compete against the
best computer monitors
with a 3800R curve, 3440 x 1440 resolution and 21:9 aspect ratio. That will launch this fall for $899.
Additionally, the company announced that its new ThinkPad Thunderbolt 4 Workstation Dock will start at $419 this fall.
The Royal Kludge RK84 offers a compact design with wired, Bluetooth and 2.4-Ghz connectivity, and hot-swappable key switches. However, the 2.4-GHz option is nearly unusable and the software is awful.
+ Sturdy construction
+ Compact design compared to traditional tenkeyless keyboards
+ Hot-swappable switches
+ Three Bluetooth profiles
+ USB 2.0 passthrough
– 2.4-GHz connection not reliable
– Wired USB cable connection is very loose
– No battery life indicator
– Bad, beta-level software
We live in a tenkeyless world. For a long time, the mechanical keyboard market has been dominated by a few big names—Logitech, Razer, Corsair, etc—building standard full-size keyboards. Then they started embracing tenkeyless form factors and keyboards have continued to shrink. Hell, Razer offers a 60% keyboard now.
There’s also been a rise in keyboards that act as a canvas for your own personal expression. While keyboards from larger companies, including many of the best wireless keyboards, carry their specific design aesthetic, smaller companies offer keyboards that are meant to be changed. The $79.99 Royal Kludge RK84 is one of those models, offering wired and wireless connectivity, a sizable internal battery, a 75% keyboard design, and hot-swappable switches. While most of its key functions work well, RK84’s 2.4-GHz wireless mode suffered from serious interference issues and poor range in our tests, though Bluetooth connectivity was far better. This annoying faux pas makes the RK84 difficult to recommend, though if you can use Bluetooth, it may be worth considering.
Royal Kludge RK84 Specs
MX-compatible Red, hot-swappable
Secondary FN keys
USB-C Wired, Bluetooth, 2.4GHz dongle
5.6 inch USB-A to USB-C cable
2x USB 2.0 passthrough
ABS Double Shot
Royal Kludge software
12.5 x 5 x 1.75 inches (315 x 125 x 40mm)
Design of Royal Kludge RK84
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Right out of the box, the Royal Kludge RK84 makes a statement about stark simplicity. The entire keyboard is cast in white plastic, with the only breaks being the transparent characters on the keycaps and the black Royal Kludge logo. On the rear, there’s a single USB-C port and two USB-A 2.0 ports; the former is for charging the internal battery and wired connections, while the latter keys are for data and charging other devices.
Because this is a tenkeyless model, the numeric keypad is gone, leaving us with a total of 84 keys. Royal Kludge calls this its 80% keyboard, but the layout is really a 75% model. There’s no space between any of the keys, and the right Ctrl key has been cut in half to make space for a Function key. At 12.5 inches across and 5 inches wide the RK84 is pretty small, but it’s 1.75 inches thick and weighs around 1.77 pounds. That means it has a bit of heft to it, making the overall construction feel solid.
On the underside of the RK84, you’ll find four rubber feet, an on-off switch, the Bluetooth / 2.4-GHz wireless toggle, and a slot for the wireless dongle. The rear feet don’t pop out to change the height of the keyboard. Instead, it comes with two magnetic feet that just snap over the existing feet and add 0.375 inches of height. One problem here is there’s no storage spot for the feet, so if you’re traveling you’ll need to stow them in a separate bag.
The model I reviewed had cloned RK-branded Red switches that mirror the standard Cherry MX Reds, but Royal Kludge also offers Blue and Brown switches as an option. However, the RK84 is built for customization. It comes with a keycap puller and switch puller, in addition to four additional switches. The keycaps are ABS doubleshot keycaps with the familiar cross pattern connector on the bottom. The switches are plate-mounted, 3-pin models, but the board looks to have holes allowing the use of PCB-mounted switches.
That means you can easily order new keycaps and switches and drop them right into the keyboard. Mix and match switch types, add keycaps whose colors reflect your personality. I’d take the RK84 as the starting point, not the final model. Starting with this keyboard, you can hop onto Drop, WASD, KP Republic to pick up new switches or unique keycaps. At the same time, the $79.99 asking price is cheaper than similar models from Ducky One or Vortex, while offering additional features like wireless connectivity. You can also remove the plastic plate surrounding the key to change the RK84 for an embedded key model to a floating key model, depending on your visual preference.
Typing Experience on Royal Kludge RK84
The review unit came with linear Red switches, whereas I tend to do my day-to-day work on the tactile Brown switches. Combined with the learning curve of typing on this 75% model, it was a whole new experience for me. Overall, despite the hot-swappable nature of the switches, they all felt well-seated without a lot of bounce to them.
With the Function key, the F keys double as shortcuts for mail and calculator, or built-in media keys. The Function key also accesses the additional features of the keyboard. Fn plus the up/down arrow raises and lowers the brightness, left/right changes animation speed, Home cycles through the 19 backlighting modes, and End changes color for any of the single-color backlight modes.
Wired and Wireless Connectivity on Royal Kludge RK84
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First up, was testing the keyboard in wired mode. All this requires is hooking the keyboard up with the included 5.6 inch USB-C to USB-A cable. There’s no software needed, as Windows will detect the keyboard automatically. The wired connection was entirely stable with no missed keypresses; in a typing test, my words per minute dropped slightly, but I’m chalking the small gap up to my unfamiliarity with the layout.
The USB-C port or the included cable isn’t sturdy though. I found the cable would pop out occasionally as I moved the keyboard around during testing. It’s worth noting that data and charging on the USB 2.0 port only works in wired mode.
The first wireless mode with the 2.4-GHz dongle is… pretty bad. Initial testing was done on my desktop PC. There, I found the keyboard mostly worked within a range of a foot or two of the dongle, but outside of that, it was a mess of missed keystrokes. This poor performance remained regardless of which USB port I used. It’s one of the worst wireless dongle connections I’ve experienced.
Testing on my laptop was a bit better. Without any other dongles in the laptop, I had a stable connection for up to five feet; after that, I saw the occasional missed keystroke. Adding an active Razer wireless dongle next to it dropped the range down to three to four feet. Even within that range, I found that a large obstacle—in this case, my kitchen counter and sink—caused missed keystrokes as well.
That left the Bluetooth connection. You can pair the keyboard with up to three devices, each accessed via the Function key in combination with Q, W, E. (Long pressing these combinations puts the keyboard into pairing mode.) The distance issues with the 2.4-GHz wireless mode just disappear, making the RK84 a decent choice for a living room keyboard, assuming your device has Bluetooth at all. I found that the keyboard was accurate even a good 14-16 feet away from my testing device. It almost makes me wonder why Royal Kludge added the dongle option at all.
The RK84 has a big honker of a battery, sitting at 3750 mAh. Royal Kludge rates the battery life at 200 hours in 2.4-GHz mode with the backlight off, and a full charge takes 6-7 hours. With a full charge, I ran the RK84 in Bluetooth mode with low-brightness backlighting for a week without dropping to zero. This workhorse will survive a long time.
There are some smaller issues here. There’s no battery indicator, outside of a blinking light on the space bar when the RK84 is at low charge. The software doesn’t even offer an indication of the overall charge level; it’s just a matter of hoping. Also, this is a small nitpick, but I’m surprised that you can’t charge via the USB ports when the keyboard is off or in wireless mode. That would give the RK84 an additional perk. Sadly, that’s not the case. That’s not a knock on the overall device, but a missed opportunity.
Software for Royal Kludge RK84
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This keyboard works entirely without software, but Royal Kludge does have a software configuration suite. That said, it’s a bit low-effort. First, the software has two different versions depending on your keyboard’s serial number, as indicated by an included text file. Second, folks have reported the installer is flagged as malware in some antivirus programs, and it’s not signed in Windows, so you have to approve its installation.
Once you’re in the software itself, there are a good number of configuration options. You can change the key assignments per key, create macros, and change the backlighting. The RGB lighting options include many of the choices that come with built-in keyboard toggles, but you can also change the lighting sleep timer, choose a specific color by RGB value, and even make some custom lighting modes. It’s not as robust an application as Razer Chroma or Logitech G Hub, but the ability is there.
Unfortunately, my experience with it was mixed. Key assignments looked to be saved to the keyboard, working even I connected to another device via Bluetooth. But there’s no way to switch between the profiles via the keyboard itself; it only seems to store the last profile selected on the software. And lighting control is even more spotty. Sometimes a setting would take when I switched devices, while other times it would stay on the default options.
Combine that with the obtuse nature of the software itself—it was hard to tell when I was making a key or lighting assignment—and I’d say you’re probably better off avoiding the software until Royal Kludge improves it. Unless you need to change key assignments, I’d count it as a negative for the overall RK84 experience.
On paper, the Royal Kludge RK84 is a winner. A simple design is paired with three connection choices, a larger battery, USB passthrough, and software that allows for further configuration. For customizers, it’s a win with hot-swappable switches and standard keycaps, with a price tag that’s lower than most of the competition. But the 2.4-GHz connection barely works, USB passthrough only works in wired mode, and the software is a miss.
The Royal Kludge tries to offer more for less, but it should ensure that the additional features actually work. Instead, the final product is a series of open questions. If you want a wired or wireless Bluetooth 75% keyboard with software-less RGB lighting configuration and a long battery life, this might be the keyboard for you. But when you step outside of those boundaries, the RK84 falters and stumbles.
The Keychron K2 offers many of the same features at the same price point, with an aluminum body. You can also try the K2’s slimmer sibling, the Keychron K3, for a more low-profile typing experience. Most of the choices from bigger manufacturers—the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini or Asus ROG Falchion—are usually 65% keyboards and are much, much more expensive. It’s just a matter of knowing what you’re getting into here.
(Pocket-lint) – The mid-range market is heating up. And in this instance, when we say mid-range, we mean the less expensive phones, not necessarily the low powered devices. That’s because in this comparison we’re looking at two fast, smooth phones that won’t leave you wanting.
Those two phones are the excellently priced Poco F3 and the OnePlus Nord CE. Both offer great features and capabilities for what you pay, but each takes a slightly different approach.
Nord CE: 159.2 x 73.5 x 7.99mm – 170g
Poco F3: 163.7 x 76.4 x 7.8mm – 196g
Nord CE: Plastic back and frame – no official water resistance
Poco F3: Glass back, plastic frame – IP53 splash resistance
Design could actually be one area that decides it for you, if only because of the difference in size. The Nord CE is noticeably more compact. At least, when it comes to width and height. There’s not much difference when it comes to thickness, there’s only a tenth of a millimetre between them, and both are generally quite slim.
The two phones each have their own practical benefits too. For instance, the Nord CE has a 3.5mm port for wired headphones and headsets, where the F3 doesn’t. Poco F3 has IP53 rating against water and dust, which means it’s basically splash proof. OnePlus doesn’t have that, but the company has told us it should survive splashes okay.
One thing we like, surprisingly perhaps, is the fingerprint sensor in the Poco. It has a physical reader in the button on the side that’s not just thin, but quick and reliable too. OnePlus’ we found was decent enough. It was reliable, just not as quick.
Then there’s the hole-punch cutout in each screen. Poco’s is much smaller, and so doesn’t interrupt as much of the available surface area. It’s also placed nicely in the centre, out of the way.
W love the feel of the Poco in two hands, typing away. It’s a great two-handed device, but the frosted plastic finish on the back of the Nord CE is really nice, and looks fantastic in the Blue Void colour.
What’s more, it’s nearly 30 grams lighter, and that’s something you can definitely feel when it’s in your hand. And the size makes a difference too. If you want something that’s easy to hold and carry around with you in your pocket, the Nord is the one.
One minor thing we noticed when typing – the Poco has a much more subtle haptic feedback than the Nord CE, which gives a nasty buzz when you’re typing.
Displays + Media
Nord CE: 6.43-inch – AMOLED – 90Hz – fullHD+ (1080 x 2400)
Poco F3: 6.67-inch – AMOLED – 120Hz – fullHD+ (1080 x 2400)
Nord CE: Single loudspeaker + 3.5mm port
Poco F3: Stereo speakers
Despite spec lists that look a different, there’s not a huge amount in this as long as you’re happy to go into the settings menu and adjust things. That’s because that while both have AMOLED fullHD+ displays at 1080×2400 resolution, their default settings are quite different.
OnePlus default vivid mode seems to boost reds, so white skin tones looks a lot pinker than they are, while the automatic mode on the Poco seems to over-saturate blues and make them unnatural. Thankfully, both have display settings that allow you to calibrate it to the way you’d like to have it.
Poco’s reaches refresh rates of 120Hz, which is higher than the 90Hz on the OnePlus. But to our eye, it’s really hard to tell the difference in daily use. Poco’s does feel fluid in the general interface, but so does the Nord. We wouldn’t suggest basing your purchase decision on this.
Instead, there are other factors, like the fact Poco’s screen is larger, making it a great immersive canvas, joined by stereo speakers to enhance that. Nord CE only has the single loudspeaker. The screen is also brighter. In that way, it’s a much better device for media consumption.
Nord CE: Snapdragon 750G – 5G
Poco F3: Snapdragon 870 – 5G
Nord CE: 6GB/128GB – 8GB/128GB – 12GB/256GB
Poco F3: 6GB/128GB – 8GB/256GB
Nord CE: 4500mAh battery – 30W fast charge
Poco F3: 4520mAh battery – 33W fast charge
As with any point of comparison on this list, you could easily make a judgement on performance and battery from just looking at the spec sheet and assume the Snapdragon 870 will give you much better performance then the Snapdragon 750 in the Nord CE, but that will depend on exactly what you use it for.
In truth, when it just comes to general day-to-day phone usage and casual gaming, both will run even the most demanding games pretty easily.
Where we did notice a difference was in load times for the bigger games like CoD Mobile where it took a second or two longer on the Nord CE. The Poco seems to render sharper images in those games with more demanding graphics, without stuttering and lag too. The Nord by comparison – while smooth and responsive – had more jagged edges and slightly less detail.
Technically speaking, the 870 is the more powerful chip and will benchmark way higher, offering better high refresh rate performance and you will see it in the more graphically demanding titles if you put them side-by-side.
As for battery life, both have very similar capacities. It’s 4500mAh on the Nord and 4520mAh on the Poco, both with their own fast-charging. 30W vs 33W.
That means each will get you a full battery in just under an hour, roughly. They’ll both even get you similar battery life. We lasted about a day and a half with both phones, using them for casual gaming, social media and such throughout the day.
Nord CE primary: 64MP – f/1.8 – PDAF
Poco F3 primary: 48MP – f/1.8 – PDAF
Nord CE: 8MP ultrawide – 2MP monochrome
Poco F3: 8MP ultrawide – 5MP macro
So Poco has it when it comes to performance and media, where we think Nord is a better phone is in the camera. Speaking about the primary lens here, it seems to take shots which have much more natural colours and depth.
The processing on the Poco phone is quite aggressive sometimes depending on what you’re shooting, making colours seem too saturated and contrast a bit dark at times. Often it didn’t produce great HDR effect either, completely bleaching out the sky on some shots, while just about getting it right on others. It was just a bit inconsistent in that regard.
Neither is particularly good at focussing on objects that are close to the camera, and both have ultra wide lenses with similar performance. But for the most natural processing of colours, detail and depth, we’d say the OnePlus is the one to go for here.
Nord CE: From £299
Poco F3: From £329
There’s little difference in price between these two phones. In fact, in the UK, the Poco F3 starting price is only £30 more than the Nord CE’s. It’s worth nothing that’s just the recommended retail price, and you could find it cheaper now that it’s a little older.
For those looking for more storage, the 256GB model Poco F3 is actually cheaper than the OnePlus Nord CE model with 256GB storage. So that’s also worth considering. In that instance it’s £349 for the F3 and £369 for the Nord CE in the UK.
So in the end there are a couple of things to consider. The OnePlus is more compact, lightweight and – we think – has a better primary camera. The Poco has a bigger display, faster performance and the stereo speakers for better media and gaming consumption. There’s a little difference in price, with the Poco being slightly more expensive.
So what matters most to you: multimedia and speed or practicality and cameras? If you can answer that, you know which is the right phone for you.
OnePlus has confirmed that the inexpensive Nord N200 5G will be available in the US and Canada starting on Friday, June 25th, for $239, making it one of the most affordable 5G phones in the US. With US wireless carriers demanding more 5G devices, the N200 will likely get a lot more company soon.
OnePlus had previously dropped a few other details about the upcoming device, like its 6.49-inch 1080p display with 90Hz refresh rate and big 5,000mAh battery. Other newly confirmed specs include a Snapdragon 480 5G chipset (also used by the freshly announced Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable built-in storage, and a rear triple camera with a 13-megapixel main camera. OnePlus doesn’t specify details for the other two rear-facing cameras, but the N100’s 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel depth sensor are likely candidates. There’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera around front, and the N200 offers 18W charging.
The N200 5G becomes one of the least expensive 5G phones to go on sale in the US, coming in $40 cheaper than the similarly specced Samsung Galaxy A32 5G and $60 less than OnePlus’ own Nord N10 5G. It’s likely to gain more competition in the near future, too, as other manufacturers adopt low-cost 5G chipsets like the 480 5G and wireless carriers aim to put more 5G phones on their shelves (and more customers on premium unlimited 5G plans).
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max has a bright display and long battery life, but its performance could be stronger, and it has a very high price, even for a business-class laptop.
+ 5G option
+ Bright Display
+ Long Battery Life
– Middling Performance
– Expensive even for a business-class computer
The original HP Elite Dragonfly challenged the Lenovo ThinkPad line with its style and excellent keyboard. Now, there’s a variant, the HP Elite Dragonfly Max ($2,199 to start, $2,789 as configured).
Despite the Max title implying that this device would be bigger, it’s actually the same size as the original, which is one of the best ultrabooks. This version adds a bright Sure View Reflect screen and 5G networking. But if neither of those appeal to you — the Sure View Reflect screen in particular suffers from some really harsh viewing angles that undercut its positives — you might be better off looking at the original Dragonfly or other options.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is a slick, thin convertible laptop with a glittery matte black shell that feels durable but loves to collect fingerprints. There’s a symmetrical, reflective HP logo on the lid and a smaller logo below the screen, plus EliteBook and Bang & Olufsen branding on the keyboard deck.
What’s most noticeable about this laptop is the size, although it’s not especially larger or smaller than most other ultraportables. At 11.98 x 7.78 x 0.63 inches, it’s a little wider than the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (11.6 x 8.2 x 0.6 inches) and the Razer Book 13 (11.6 x 7.8 x 0.6) but not too much thicker. But at 11.6 x 7.8 x 0.55 inches, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano is significantly thinner than the HP Elite Dragonfly Max.
The Elite Dragonfly Max is on the lighter end when it comes to weight, however. Its 2.49 pound weight is only beaten by the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s 2 pounds. Meanwhile, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and Razer Book 13 are 2.9 and 3.1 pounds, respectively.
Ports on the Elite Dragonfly Max are varied but poorly distributed. While the left side has the NanoSim card reader (if you have a model with cellular networking capabilities, as we did) and a single USB Type-A port, the convertible’s right side has two Thunderbolt 4 connections, an HDMI 2.1 connection and a single 3.5mm combination headphone/microphone jack. This uneven port distribution can make charging your laptop a pain if your desk setup makes its left side more accessible.
Productivity Performance of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
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The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is HP’s latest attempt to compete with Lenovo’s ThinkPad, specifically the ThinkPad X1 Nano. That means it aims for plenty of productivity power, and comes equipped with the slightly more powerful Intel Core i7-1185G7 to accomplish this. But the ThinkPad, with the Intel Core i7-1160G7 and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 and the Razer Book 13 with Intel’s Core i7-1165G7 CPU still offered strong performance and won out in some tests.
In Geekbench 5, a synthetic benchmark for testing general performance, the Elite Dragonfly Max achieved a single core score of 1,512 and a multi-core score of 5,195. That puts it slightly ahead of the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s 1,473 single core score but about on par with its 5,155 multi-core score. But the XPS 13 2-in-1 and the Razer Book 13 beat it on both fronts, and by a much wider margin when it comes to multi-core performance. The former earned scores of 1,539/5,571, and the latter hit scores of 1,556 and 5,495.
The Elite Dragonfly Max did have a slightly faster SSD than its competitors, transferring 25GB of files at a rate of 558.9 MBps. The Razer Book 13 was the next fastest, hitting 479 MBps, while the ThinkPad X1 Nano came in towards the bottom of the pack with a 424.81 MBps speed. The XPS 13 2-in-1 was the slowest computer here, transferring the files at a rate of 405.55 MBps.
Our Handbrake video transcoding test, which tracks how long it takes a machine to transcode a video down from 4K to FHD, saw the Elite Dragonfly Max once again land on the weaker side. It took 19:44 to finish transcoding, while the ThinkPad X1 Nano took 16:55. The XPS 13 2-in-1 was faster at 15:52, while the Razer Book 13 was the quickest at 14:46.
We also ran the HP Elite Dragonfly Max through Cinebench R23 for 20 consecutive runs to see how well it operates during an extended work session. Scores started out at 4,172 before dropping to the high 3,000s for most runs, and achieved an average of 3,925. There were a few peaks and valleys during tests, which might have been related to short bursts of throttling we noticed throughout the 20 runs. Most of the throttling happened during the beginning of the tests, but there were instances of it throughout. The CPU ran at an average 2,405.82 MHz clock speed during this test, and sat at an average temperature of 69.16 degrees Celsius (156.49 degrees Fahrenheit).
Networking Performance of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
Our configuration of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max came with a Nano Sim card slot for 5G networking, plus a prepaid card from AT&T. When I tested the laptop in downtown Brooklyn, I found that it was only slightly slower than my home Verizon Fios connection.
I was able to watch videos, download apps and stream music with no interruptions. The biggest difference I noticed was the time it took to load pages, which would sometimes take about a second longer than on Wi-Fi.
Still, your experience might differ based on where you live and your choice of carrier.
Display on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is, no matter how you configure it, a pricey computer. And for that extra cost, you do get a new, almost absurdly bright HP Sure View Reflect display, which also packs novel privacy and anti-blue light technology. While we were impressed with a measured 707 nits of average brightness, we were let down by extremely strict viewing angles. This screen tended to wash out for me when I moved more than 45 degrees away from it, perhaps because of the privacy features.
But when I was sitting directly in front of the screen, I had a great experience even in my brightly lit office. I tested the screen by watching the latest trailer for Cruella on it, and colors were vivid while blacks were deep. Glare also wasn’t an issue, although the screen had some minor reflectivity to it.
When I looked at the screen in a darker environment, reflectivity became less of a problem, but viewing angles still remained tight.
HP Sure View Reflect is one of HP’s privacy-oriented displays, with a built-in app (you can also turn it on with the F2 button) that turns the image into a blank copper rectangle when you look at it from more than 45 degrees away. This worked well for me when I turned it on, but given that the image is already so washed out at those angles, it seems like an unnecessary addition, especially because it also made my screen uncomfortably dim even when looking at it from straight on. I also wonder if building the screen to accommodate this technology reduces viewing angles even when the privacy feature isn’t turned on.
Still, there’s no denying that the screen is pleasant under optimal conditions. Our colorimeter showed it covered 81.7% of the DCI-P3 spectrum, which is much higher than the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s 71.6% and the XPS 13 2-in-1’s 70%. Only the Razer Book 13 came close, with 80.7%.
And, of course, 707 nits is immensely bright. The ThinkPad X1 Nano is much dimmer at the still very bright 430 nits. At 426 and 488 nits, respectively, the Razer Book 13 and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 are in a similar boat. However, there is such a thing as diminishing returns, and we’re not sure that the extra brightness is worth it — we still had great viewing experiences on these competitors, some of which boast better viewing angles.
What might be worth the extra cost is HP’s Eye Ease technology. This always-on, hardware level anti-blue light filter supposedly shifts harmful blue light spectrum images to more comfortable places on the spectrum without affecting the look of the image. This is because the screen only targets a very specific area of blue light, rather than tinting the whole image yellow like most solutions. After a whole day of working on the Elite Dragonfly Max, I did notice a lack of eye strain; however, I’m not sure if it was a placebo effect. I tend not to feel too much strain from my regular monitor, either, and I feel like I’d need to judge this feature over the course of a few weeks to fairly assess it.
Keyboard, Touchpad and Stylus on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max has a chiclet style keyboard that feels stiff and hard when pressing down keys, but I still managed to type quickly on it
On 10fastfingers.com, I regularly hit 78 – 79 words per minute, which is towards the upper end of my usual score range. However, I also had a number of typos during my tests, and keypresses didn’t exactly feel cushiony. Aside from the typical notches on the F and J keys, the keycaps also don’t have any distinct build features to help you find your fingers’ position by touch alone. This left typing feeling a bit like a chore, even if I technically typed speedily.
The large, 4.3 x 2.6 inch precision touchpad is, by contrast, a more pleasant experience. It feels smooth to the touch, and scrolling happens just as smoothly, although there’s enough friction to easily make precise adjustments. Multi-touch gestures like scrolling with two fingers or switching apps with three fingers were also a breeze to pull off.
There’s also a small, separate fingerprint reader to the right of the touchpad, which is a nice plus given that much of this computer’s competition integrates fingerprint readers into the touchpad instead, which creates dead zones.
Audio on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max comes with four speakers by Bang & Olufsen (two top-firing and two bottom-firing) that have impressive bass. I listened to “Butter” by BTS on them, and I didn’t feel like I lost any information from the beat heavy song. Audio was also clear with no tinniness, even on high vocals, and I could easily hear the song across my two-bedroom apartment at max volume.
At around 50% volume, I had about as optimal of a listening experience as I would expect to get from a device this size.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max also comes with an audio control program called, well, HP Audio Control. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear much of a difference between its music, movie and voice presets.
Upgradeability of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
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The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is surprisingly easy to open for an ultraportable. It’s got five Torx T5 screws on the bottom, and the case easily lifts off after removing them. (The hardest part may be finding a Torx screwdriver.) Once you’re inside the laptop, you’ll have immediate access to both the Wi-Fi and 5G chips, plus you’ll see a silver shield above the battery with a pull tab on it. If you pull on that tab, you’ll have direct access to the laptop’s SSD.
Battery Life of the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max has an edge on battery life over its competition. In our battery benchmark, which continually browses the web, runs OpenGL tests over-Wi-Fi and streams video at 150 nits, the HP Elite Dragonfly Max held on for 13 hours and 9 minutes.
That’s a bit more than an hour longer than its longest-lasting competition, the ThinkPad X1 Nano, which had a 12 hour battery life on the same test. The Razer Book 13 lasted for 11 hours and 44 minutes, while the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 was the quickest to die with a 10 hour and 52 minute battery life.
Heat on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max runs on the cool side for an ultraportable laptop, plus it has special software to keep it extra cool when it’s on your lap.
After 15 minutes of streaming video, the laptop’s touchpad measured 77.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while the center of its keyboard (between the G and H keys) was about 10 degrees hotter at 88.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The laptop’s underside was mostly about 90.1 degrees Fahrenheit, although it ran closer to 102.7 degrees Fahrenheit closer to its vents.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max also has HP Context Aware software, which uses machine learning to detect when the laptop is on your lap so it can lower the performance mode. HP claims this can reduce the temperature by up to 9 degrees Fahrenheit, although you can turn the feature off if you’re using a lap desk and would prefer to prioritize performance. For my part, I noticed that the Dragonfly was still warm on my lap, but it did adjust its performance mode on and off as advertised. Unfortunately, I don’t have a temperature reading camera at home to test lap temperatures.
HP Elite Dragonfly Max Webcam
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max comes with a 5MP webcam that captures photos at 1440p, which is a higher resolution than you’ll find on even most desktop webcams. Plus, it’s also got a physical camera shutter.
That said, artifacts are still present on photos taken with this laptop’s camera, although lighting and color is accurate. The quality should be more than enough for most casual use cases, but my face is more pixelated than I like when I view this camera’s photos at full screen.
Pixelation becomes more noticeable in low-light environments, but color and lighting remains strong.
This camera’s performance in saturated lighting conditions is unique, but maybe flawed. I’ve never seen a webcam take such a detailed photo through a window pane before (usually, they’ll just depict windows as sheets of white), but my face is bathed in so much shadow that I’m not sure the camera counts as usable under these conditions.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max also has two front facing mics and two world facing mics, which lets it use AI noise cancellation to help keep background noise out of calls. I found that the AI noise cancellation works well, although the microphone quality itself is questionable. My recordings sounded echo-y and especially muffled, and part of me wonders if the AI noise cancellation contributed to this.
This laptop also has a sliding physical webcam cover.
Software and Warranty on the HP Elite Dragonfly Max
This laptop does not skimp on the pre-installed software, with over 16 HP-branded programs alone coming pre-loaded on it. And that’s not even everything. There’s also a program that tries to get you to install free trials for different Adobe Creative Cloud programs, plus typical Windows pre-installs like Microsoft Solitaire Collection and Maps.
At least the HP apps are generally useful. HP Wolf Security, for instance, is a free firewall not unlike Windows Defender. HP QuickDrop lets you easily transfer files across devices, including mobiles phones. There’s even HP Easy Clean, which is a novel app that shuts down all of your laptop’s input for a few minutes so you can sanitize it without accidentally pressing any buttons (there is a 2-button keyboard shortcut to unlock your PC early if you need to, though).
But there’s no reason all of these utilities have to be their own separate programs. It’s easy to see them as clutter that way. If I were HP, I’d consider rounding up most of these functions into one central hub app, similar to Lenovo’s Vantage program.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max also comes with a three year limited warranty.
HP Elite Dragonfly Max Configurations
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max has two pre-built Wi-Fi only configurations, one pre-built Wi-Fi and 5G configuration and one fully customizable option. Our review configuration was that Wi-Fi and 5G pre-built option, which came with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 13.3 inch FHD display. It costs $2,789.
The Wi-Fi only pre-built models are $2,199 and $2,399, respectively, although the only difference between them seems to be whether the laptop uses an i7-1165G7 chip or an i7-1186G7 chip. Otherwise, you’ll get 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 13.3 inch FHD display.
The configurable option is exclusive to HP’s website, and starts at $2,409 for the Windows version (the website says it technically costs $3,347, but there’s a permanent $1,000 discount applied to it). You can shave $236 off the price if you want to go for FreeDOS, which might be useful if you intend to install Linux on the device.
More realistically, you’ll be configuring your PC to add on to it. Here, you can bump the CPU up to an i7-1185G7 processor and the RAM up to 32GB for a combined $489, and the SSD up to 2TB for $865. There’s also in-between options— bumping the SSD to just 1TB will cost you an extra $235, and there are 16GB and 32GB RAM bundles available for both the cheaper i7-1165G7 CPU and the more costly i7-1185G7 CPU.
You can also choose to go Wi-Fi only in a custom build, or go for either Intel XMM LTE ($155) or Qualcomm SnapDragon 5G ($440) networking. Plus, there’s add-ons like an optional Wacom pen, which costs $74.
HP’s website says custom builds won’t ship until October, although HP assured us that this is incorrect, and is in the process of sending us more information.
The HP Elite Dragonfly Max is an expensive convertible with a great look and a bright screen that purports to have an anti-blue light feature, but it doesn’t have a worthwhile power boost compared to cheaper options and doesn’t exactly make up for it with its keyboard or its display’s other specs.
I acknowledge that our configuration has an extra cost tied to it thanks to the 5G, which was admittedly only slightly slower than my Wi-Fi when I tested it in downtown Brooklyn. But even without the 5G, this computer costs more than $2,000. Compare that to the ThinkPad X1 Nano, another business class convertible which either beat it or performed on par with it in all of our productivity tests and only costs around $1,600 from certain e-tailers, and it’s hard to justify getting the Elite Dragonfly Max.
Granted, the HP Elite Dragonfly Max has a slightly higher battery life and a much brighter screen than the ThinkPad X1 Nano. But viewing angles on this display are excessively strict, so it still comes with caveats. Plus, you lose out on that great ThinkPad keyboard and the ThinkPad X1 Nano’s 16:10 aspect ratio.
If you go for a non business-class computer like the XPS 13 2-in-1 9310, you can get even more power for even less.
If you’re a business-oriented buyer and you really want 5G or bright displays or niche security software like HP Sure View, then this laptop might be for you. Otherwise, you can get more raw power for less elsewhere, plus maybe some better viewing angles while you’re at it.
Following a number of leaks, the Beats Studio Buds have been officially announced. Apple’s first Beats-branded true wireless earbuds feature active noise-cancellation and “Hey Siri” voice control for £130 (around $190, AU$250).
As predicted, the Beats Studio Buds boast an elliptical-shaped earpiece that is unlike any of Apple’s AirPods buds. They also offer one-touch pairing to both iOS and Android devices (not something you’re likely to see on Apple’s upcoming AirPods 3 buds, that’s for sure).
Digging into the spec sheet, it looks like Apple has pitched the Beats Studio Buds at a sporty audience. The IPX4 rating should provide decent level of protection against sweat and rain, while the choice of three soft silicone ear tips and lightweight design (5g per earbud) could boost comfort during workouts.
The promised “booming” sound might not be everyone’s cup of coffee but, if you’re attempting to smash your personal best, or simply fancy a good dollop of beefy bass, the Beats Studio Buds could be worth considering.
Much like Apple’s pricier AirPods Pro, the Beats Studio Buds feature tiny vents to relieve pressure on your eardrum when listening for longer period. If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, the Studio Buds will automatically play Apple Spatial Audio Dolby Atmos tracks when available.
Battery life sounds pretty average. You get 5 hours’ listening time from the buds with ANC on, plus another 10 hours (two charges) from the supplied charging case. If you’re prepared to switch ANC off, the buds will last 8 hours. Throw in another two charges from the case and you’re looking at up to 24 hours playback.
On the subject of noise cancelling, there are two listening modes. ‘Active’ aims to block out all unwanted external noise, whether it’s a rumbling train or a howling wind. ‘Transparency’ lets you have a conversation without removing the buds by pressing the ‘b’ button on the stem of the buds. And, as expected, iOS users can activate Siri hands-free with the familiar “Hey Siri” command.
There’s no mention of Apple’s H1 chip, as found in the Beats Powerbeats Pro wireless earbuds, only ‘Class 1 Bluetooth’. Perhaps because the Beats Studio Buds are the first Beats headphones to offer one-touch pairing for both iOS and Android users.
Last but not least, the Beats Studio Buds are the first Beats to support both FindMy in iOS and Find My Device on Android. The buds can emit a high-pitched sound to make them easier to locate when dropped in the street or lost down the back of a sofa.
If you’re in the market for the best Beats headphones with ANC, the Beats Studio Buds will be available in the UK this summer, priced at £130. They come in eco-friendly “plant-based” packaging, too.
Read all our Beats reviews
See all our Apple reviews
Want the AirPods 3 intel? See AirPods 3: release date, price, design, leaks and news
(Pocket-lint) – OnePlus has be on something of an exploratory journey over the past 12 months or so. Rather than delivering one or two phones at a time and launching them both globally, it took a more regional approach.
That meant while some markets got the original Nord, others – like the US – didn’t, then OnePlus followed up with various models to suit different territories. It even continued this approach with the OnePlus 9 series, offering a 9R in India, but nowhere else.
This is pretty standard practice for most manufacturers, but wasn’t for OnePlus. At least, not until now. But obviously this transition to being a ‘proper’ smartphone manufacturer is working, because it’s back again with another Nord: the Nord CE 5G.
Dimensions: 159.2 x 73.5 x 7.9mm / Weight: 170g
No official waterproofing
3.5mm headphone port
Blue Void, Charcoal Ink and Silver Ray colours
For a while there’s been this sense that when building a good smartphone, you have to start with the right materials. It had to be aluminium or steel and glass. Using plastic was as good as writing ‘cheap trash’ over the back of the phone in capital letters. But things have changed, thanks in part to the efforts of Samsung.
With its Galaxy Note 20, S20 FE and this years S21, it showed you can use plastic materials in a way that doesn’t detract from the look and feel of the phone. OnePlus has taken the same approach with the Nord CE. Our unit in Blue Void has a lovely frosted/matte finish to it that’s very reminiscent of the Samsung approach, and we like it a lot.
It has an eye-catching blue finish with just the slightest splash of purple up the edges. There are two other safer colours in Charcoal Ink (Black-ish grey) and Silver Ray.
Being a frosted/matte finished plastic does have its advantages too. Firstly, it’s not at all slippery. So it’s not hard to keep a hold of one-handed, and it’s not likely to just randomly slide off the arm of your sofa. Secondly, it not as likely to crack or turn into tiny shards when it’s dropped or banged against something. It’s a very practical choice.
Also, it just feels, well, nice.
That’s not the only practical choice made by OnePlus with the Nord CE. It’s both slimmer and lighter than the first Nord, so it doesn’t feel like a huge phone in your hand. It’s not exactly compact, but it’s easy to hold and comfortable enough to use. And it has a 3.5mm socket for wired headphones and headsets.
One choice that might not go down so well with long-time OnePlus fans is the removal of the alert switch. For years this simple slider button on the side has set the company’s phones apart from rivals, offering an easy tactile way to switch your phone to silent or vibrate. Apparently, that’s not considered ‘Core’ enough to make it on to a ‘Core Edition’ OnePlus phone.
In case you were wondering: yes, that’s what CE stands for.
Other core design choices include: not having a physical fingerprint sensor. Instead, there’s an in-display one so there’s nothing on the back, breaking up that glorious matte blue surface. The camera housing is a pretty basic pull-shaped protrusion and the display has just the one hole punched through it for a single camera.
Sadly, one last feature not deemed essential to a Core Edition phone is a subtle haptic motor for feedback. That means, with it enabled, keyboard taps are accompanied by a nasty feeling buzz, rather than a subtle tap. We quickly switched it off.
Display and software
6.43-inch AMOLED 90Hz display
1080 x 2400 resolution
Screen resolutions haven’t changed much in recent years with most smartphones opting for some version of full HD. This particular flavour is 1080 x 2400, which is the same as on most other OnePlus phones. That means it’s plenty sharp enough for day-to-day tasks with individual pixels imperceptible.
It’s AMOLED too, which means it’s a pretty punchy panel with vibrant colours and deep blacks. In its default ‘vivid’ mode the screen often over eggs the colours a bit, but with this being a OnePlus phone running OxygenOS, you get to customise its balance quite lot. Switching to ‘sRGB’ mode balances things out a lot more, but does make it a bit less exciting.
The 90Hz refresh rate ensure that when you touch the screen, or swipe at something in the interface, the response is immediate and smooth. It doesn’t reach the heights of the OnePlus 9 Pro’s 120Hz, and doesn’t feature the advanced adaptive refresh rate tech that adapts it to the content, but it’s impressively fluid and smooth for a mid-ranger.
That’s not the only element where you just about get the hint this isn’t a top tier panel.
For instance, despite being AMOLED, when the screen’s off (or black) it’s not quite as dark as the black frame around the panel, so you don’t get that blending effect, you can see where the bezel stops and the screen starts. There’s also a slight colour shift when you look at a white screen from different angles.
Just for a little perspective though, the fact we’re picking up on such non-issues as a slight negative shows two things: how competitive the mid-range market has become recently and how good this phone is for the money OnePlus is asking for it.
Part of the joy of OnePlus phones over the years is the customisation on offer from the OxygenOS software. We’ve already mentioned the ability to calibrate the screen to your exact liking, but there are also modes like Reading Mode which turns the screen monochrome for when you load up your favourite e-book app.
There’s not much new to report from a software side with the Nord CE. It’s the same as the software found in the OnePlus 9 series and OnePlus 8T that came before it. It’s OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11, which represented a major redesign when it first launched.
While OnePlus was often seen as a manufacturer offering a stock-like Android experience with lots of customisation choices, it no longer feels that way. Oppo’s ColourOS offers far more customisation of elements like the fingerprint scanner animation, always-on display, icon styles and shapes. OxygenOS by comparison feels quite stripped back and bare.
This does help it retain that feeling of ‘essentialism’ though. It has everything you need, presented in a clean and clutter free way. There aren’t any unecessary apps pre-loaded, and even core parts of the experience like phone, messages and software updates are now powered by Google’s own apps, rather than OnePlus’ own design.
Power and performance
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor (8nm)
6GB, 8GB or 12GB RAM – 128GB or 256GB storage
30W fast charging
Where the Core Edition OnePlus Nord gets it right is the feeling of speed and fluidity under your fingertips. A big part of that, as mentioned, is down to the high refresh rate of the screen and the software. OnePlus has always done a great job of optimising its software animations to feel speedy.
That performance transitions well into games and apps too. Using it daily as a main phone, it never left us in any real need of more, despite ‘only’ having Snapdragon 750G. It’s not a top-tier platform, but just like the Snapdragon 765G that appeared in the first Nord, this one gets the job done without any trouble.
Playing Mario Kart Tour was a hassle-free and smooth experience, as was browsing the web, scrolling through Twitter and any other app we came across in our day-to-day phone usage.
Similarly, the 4500mAh battery inside is more than strong enough to cope with the most demanding of days. For the most part, with light usage, we’d finish the day with something like 40 per cent of the battery left over. That’s with the usual hour or so of web browsing and social media, plus a chunk of gaming.
Once empty it fills up quickly, as is typical OnePlus style. It uses a 30W wired charger, which OnePlus has clunkily named ‘Warp Charge 30T Plus’. In actual fact, it’s almost the same as Warp Charge 30T, in that it can fill 70 per cent of the battery in abut half an hour. It’s been a mainstay feature for OnePlus phones for many years and something of a lifesaver when you’ve forgotten to charge your phone or when it drains unexpectedly.
Triple rear camera system:
64MP primary camera
8MP ultra-wide (119-degree)
2MP monochrome sensor
4K recording at 30fps
Ah, OnePlus and cameras. It seems to be an age-old complaint of OnePlus phones having a not-quite-good-enough camera system. They’ve definitely improved the quality over the past couple of years, there’s no denying that, and for the most part the primary snapper on the Nord CE is decent.
You’ll get sharp photos with good colours and depth of field from the 64-megapixel sensor. It pixel bins down to 16-megapixel images automatically, so isn’t using all 64 million of those pixels individually. Not unless you enable it.
It has all the camera features you’d expect too. It’ll take portrait shots with excessive background blur, night mode shots, panoramas, timelapses, slow motion video and even has a ‘pro’ mode for adjusting ISO, white balance and shutter speed manually yourself.
There is one major weakness we’ve encoutered on the Nord CE’s primary lens however, and that’s focus distance. It really, really doesn’t like focusing on anything closer than about 13 or 14cm, which means close up shots of flowers, bugs, berries and the like are near-on impossible. You can see examples that would normally be simple shots, impossible because it refused to focus.
The only solution is either taking the photo from further away and cropping the photo in edit, or using the 2x zoom function to zoom in digitally when taking the photo.
We don’t expect super macro skills from an affordable mid-range necessarily, but we do expect it to at least handle close up focusing a bit better than this.
Without being too cricital though, having the 2x zoom and the seperate ultra-wide lens means you get enough versatility in shooting to make it useful in most situations. There’s a variety in focal lengths, but we do question the decision to put such a visually distinct different between them.
What we mean by that is there’s a noticeable drop in quality when switching from the main to the ultra-wide. Images lose some crispness, and appear visually more contrast heavy and darker, losing a lot of vibrancy in the colours while adding more noise, even in daylight. At times it also adds a hyper-real element to the colours where they just seem unnaturally saturated. It’s not the most consistent of cameras.
As for the third camera, that’s just a low resolution black and white sensor to act as a backup to the other two, bringing in some more light data.
Motorola’s new Moto G9 Plus is a stunner of a phone – find out why, right here
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On the front, the selfie camera is decent enough with OnePlus’ HDR capability shining when it comes to balancing out heavy backlighting behind you when snapping pictures of yourself. So even if the sky and clouds look too bright to get a decent shot of your face, the system does well to make sure that it’s not over-exposed and washed out.
OnePlus Nord ‘Core Edition’ is something of an unusual phone in its position. The first OnePlus Nord in itself was supposed to represent the core essentials of OnePlus phones. Stripped down, but without real compromise. So in essence, the OnePlus Nord CE is a Core Edition of a Core Edition phone. But that’s perhaps overthinking it a bit.
What really matters is that for the money you’re getting a phone without any significant flaws. It’s fast and responsive, is well-designed, has a good camera and a good screen. It’s comfortably one of the best phones in its price bracket.
We question the removal of the alert slider though. It was one of the few remaining fixtures that helped OnePlus phones stand out from its competition. Without it, it feels like OnePlus is doing more blending in with the environment. It’s transitioned away from standout phone maker, to just another phone maker and the CE is the culmination of that effort.
Alternatives to consider
The original Nord is still here, and still packs a punch. It’s fast, fluid, smooth and has a more premium glass back, slightly more powerful processor and is now discounted because it’s a bit older.
Read the review
Redmi Note 10 Pro
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is one of 2021’s best value smartphones. It boasts similar specs and capabilities to the Nord CE, but is cheaper. Crucially, it has a bigger battery, bigger display and is water resistant.
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If you’re looking for a 5G Android phone and want to spend as little as possible, you can stop right here. At $279, the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is your best bet right now, especially if you’re in the US where such options are scarce. It offers good 5G support (including the all-important C-band!), a huge battery, and four years of security updates. That’s a compelling package for under $300.
That’s not to say it’s perfect. The A32 5G’s screen isn’t great, performance is a little laggy, and though capable, its camera is limited. If you can spend just a bit more, you can get a phone that does better in at least one of these areas. And if you can hold off on your phone purchase for even a few more months, we should see many more very affordable 5G phones on the market to choose from, like the OnePlus N200. But if you don’t have time to wait and can’t spare the extra cash, I can’t find a good reason to talk you out of the A32 5G.
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G screen, performance, and design
The A32 5G features a big 6.5-inch 720p LCD panel that’s best described as nothing special. Colors look a little flat and washed out, and though it gets bright enough to see in direct sunlight, the screen’s reflective plastic protective panel makes it challenging. It’s also a low resolution to be stretched across such a large screen, so you’ll see a little pixelization if you look close.
The phone uses a MediaTek Dimensity 720 5G processor that compares well with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 690 5G chipset for budget 5G phones, used by OnePlus Nord N10 5G. The Galaxy A32 5G combines the MediaTek processor with 4GB of RAM (decent) and 64GB of storage (skimpy but just enough to get by, and you can throw in a microSD card to expand it), and it performs well enough for its class.
There’s noticeable hiccuping with media-dense pages, brief pauses when diving into a demanding task like starting Google Maps navigation, and noticeable camera shutter lag. For the most part, though, I just didn’t notice slowdowns as I jumped between apps, scrolled through Instagram, and just generally went about using the phone normally. That’s about all I’d ask for from a sub-$300 phone.
The phone’s headline feature, 5G, still isn’t something we’d recommend you run out and buy a new phone to get. But the A32 5G has a couple of features that make it worth your time, even considering that good 5G is still a year or two away in the US. Crucially, the A32 5G has been cleared by the Federal Communications Commission to use C-band frequencies that Verizon and AT&T, in particular, will be utilizing for 5G in the coming years. Not all 5G phones can use C-band, so that’s a big ol’ checkmark in the A32 5G’s favor. There’s no mmWave support here, which is the fastest and scarcest flavor of 5G, but that’s no great loss.
The second factor here is that you can reasonably expect to keep using this phone for enough years to actually see 5G that’s meaningfully better than LTE because Samsung will keep offering security updates for four years. Many budget devices only get about two years of security update support, but the A32 5G’s lengthy lifespan should see it through to the actual 5G age in a few years.
Battery life is one of the A32 5G’s strengths. Its 5,000mAh capacity battery is big indeed, and I had no trouble getting two full days of moderate use out of it. My usage was more battery-friendly than someone else’s might be, with battery optimization on and the bulk of my time spent on Wi-Fi, but even the most power-hungry user would be able to get a full day — if not more — out of the A32 5G.
With a 6.5-inch screen, the A32 5G is a big phone for sure. It’s a little too bulky and awkward-feeling in my hand. What I dislike even more is that it feels slippery to me — the back panel plastic feels hard to get a decent grip on. On one occasion, I set the phone down on a softcover book, and it somehow shimmied itself across the cover and off of a side table when I wasn’t looking. (There’s a happy ending, though: it only fell about a foot into a box filled with hand-me-down baby clothes waiting to be put away, so there’s a good argument for keeping clutter around your house.) Anyway, get a case for it if you buy this phone, and know that if your hands are small, it won’t be very comfortable to use.
Samsung Galaxy A32 5G camera
There are two cameras of consequence on the A32 5G’s rear panel: a 48-megapixel standard wide and an 8-megapixel ultrawide. There’s a 5-megapixel macro camera that’s not very good and a 2-megapixel depth sensor that may or may not help with portrait mode photos. There’s also a 13-megapixel selfie camera around front.
Taken with ultrawide
Taken with ultrawide
Considering the phone’s price, the A32 5G’s main camera performs well enough. Like most any other phone, it takes very nice pictures in good lighting. That’s no surprise, even for a budget phone. But it reaches its limits quickly in less-good lighting, like interiors. That’s where optical stabilization or more sophisticated image processing would come in handy, neither of which the A32 5G offers. Instead, you may find some of your photos indoors are a little blurry, and you’ll be very challenged to get a sharp photo of a moving subject in anything less than bright daylight.
The ultrawide camera shows its shortcomings if you look close — there’s some distracting flare in direct sunlight, and some noise visible in shadows of high-contrast scenes. There’s no telephoto lens here, with shortcuts in the camera app to jump to 2x (acceptable), 4x (eh), and 10x (don’t use it) digital zoom.
It’s tough to say how the Galaxy A32 5G compares to the competition because it doesn’t have much yet. It’s among the least expensive 5G phones you’ll find anywhere. Its closest competition at the moment is the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, which is a little more expensive at $299 but offers some worthwhile hardware upgrades, like a nicer screen, a bit better camera performance, and faster charging. It’s a nicer phone in a lot of ways, but it’s only slated for two years of security updates.
Of course, if you only plan to hold on to your phone for a couple of years, then the N10 5G is worth strongly considering. If that’s the case, then 5G becomes a less important feature, too. If there’s room in your budget, consider the $349 Google Pixel 4A, which will get you a much better camera, cleaner software, and timely updates over the next couple of years, albeit without support for 5G at all. It’s a much smaller device, though. So if a big screen is part of the A32 5G’s appeal, you might want to look at something like the $279 Motorola Moto G Stylus.
If you’d like to avoid the hassle of phone shopping again in two years and you want a future-proof choice that’s easy on the budget, then the Samsung A32 5G will do the trick.
(Pocket-lint) – Xiaomi really, really wants you to pay attention to the Mi 11 series. That’s clear because there’s a Mi 11, a higher-end Mi 11 Ultra, a lower-spec Mi 11 Lite 5G, plus a bunch of regional specifics – including this model on review, the Mi 11i, which is also known as the Mi 11X Pro in India.
Whew. Lost count yet? Us too. But that’s not even every Mi 11 model available – there’s actually eight in total at last count. We shant bother you with the additional options right here, but it does make us wonder if Xiaomi has taken its eye off the ball somewhat. There’s delivering something for everyone, then there’s delivering something excessively.
The Mi 11i, however, is a powerful handset that sits just below the original Mi 11, making for an ought-to-be-more-affordable option (its price is, at the time of writing, to be confirmed). It doesn’t sacrifice much in the pursuit of that saving, though, so is the ‘i’ the more favourable Mi model to go for or just a Mi too far?
Design & Display
Display: 6.67-inch AMOLED panel, 1080 x 2400 resolution, 120Hz refresh
Finishes: Celestial Silver, Frosty White, Cosmic Black
Dimensions: 164.7 x 74.6 x 7.8mm / Weight: 196g
Side-positioned fingerprint scanner
At a brief glance and the Mi 11i doesn’t look especially different to the Mi 11. But there are tell-tale signs: the ‘i’ doesn’t feature a curved screen; instead its 6.67-inch panel is not only a mite smaller than the Mi 11’s, but it’s flat too, which some will prefer – but we don’t think looks quite as flashy from a visual perspective.
The screen is quality, though, delivering a Full HD+ resolution – note that’s lower than the Mi 11’s WQHD+ offering – and capable of up to 120Hz refresh rate for smooth visuals. We’ve already seen the likes of this panel in the Redmi Note 10 Pro, so its performance is one and the same – i.e. decent quality.
As it’s an AMOLED panel that means the Mi 11i can have an always-on display activated – which illuminates the edges in a subtle fashion when there’s a notification, as one example – for visuals to be shown on the lock screen without actively needing to turn the display on. The screen tech also means deep blacks and rich colours as standard (and you can further tweak to your preference within the settings).
There’s little to criticise about the screen – although its brightness isn’t as searing as some. Still, it’s a sensible panel selection for this level, even better paired with this device than the Redmi, really, as the Mi 11i has more power to support that 120Hz fast refresh – ensuring support across more demanding situations.
Also similar to the Redmi, the Mi 11i drops the under-display fingerprint scanner for a side-positioned one in the power button. Although setting this up suggested it wasn’t going to be especially responsive – for some reason it was being fussy while registering – ongoing use has proven it to be highly responsive. We might even prefer it to an under-display option, as it happens.
Flip the Mi 11i over and, again, it looks largely similar to the original Mi 11. That means there’s a glass panel that’s curved at the edges, which picks up light nicely, but fingerprints show in abundance sadly. We much prefer the fingerprint-resistant and colourful finish of the Mi 11 Lite 5G.
Where things do differ is in the camera arrangement. The triple unit, which has two particularly large lenses, does protrude rather incessantly, but that’s all part and parcel of a flagship phone these days – the 11i’s isn’t as disruptive as the giant lump on the Mi 11 Ultra anyway. The really peculiar thing about the Mi 11i is the integrated microphone sandwiched between the two main lenses. Like, seriously, what is that all about? We’re weirded out every time we have to look at it.
Performance & Battery
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 8GB RAM
Storage: 128GB UFS 3.1 (no microSD)
Battery: 4,520mAh; 33W charging
Software: MIUI 12 (on Android 11)
Dual SIM, 5G connectivity
Unlike the aforementioned Redmi device, the Mi 11i steps things up in the power department, utilising the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platform as found in the original Mi 11. That’s the top-grade processor that you’ll find in any phone during 2021, which translates into really great performance.
As we said, it gives the Mi 11i an upper hand in ensuring that higher frame-rates are achievable for making the most of that fast-refresh panel. So whether you’re admiring the smooth scrolling around the MIUI software, or playing your very best PUBG: Mobile, it’s an impressive outlay.
Even when gaming we’ve not found heat dissipating from the body to be a problem – likely the result of a plastic rather than metal shell? – while the 4,520mAh battery has been holding up really well under our mixed use. We’ve been getting about 14 hours use, which has seen us arrive at just under half battery by bed time on most days. It also sports 33W fast-charging to get topped-up again nice and quick.
Part of the reason for this long battery innings is the fairly high impact of Xiaomi’s MIUI software. There are lots of options to pick through, a number of alerts to suggest limiting certain functions to retain battery, and a lot of per-app permissions that you’ll need to tinker with to ensure everything runs as you please. They’re not all in the one place, either, so you’ll really need to dig deep to find everything.
As we said of the original Mi 11: that’s kind-of good, but kind-of bad all at the same time, because there’s so much footwork to get everything functioning as you expect – and sometimes you won’t know there’s a ‘problem’ with a specific app until, say, it doesn’t send you a notification. And we’ve found Gmail slow to update and Outlook largely ill-responsive when it comes to notifications on this software platform.
All that said, however, we’ve not run into as many considerable hurdles while using the Mi 11i as with some other Xiaomi handsets. It’s quirks rather than total experience killers. And this is running MIUI 12.0.4 – so it’s still not on the expected 12.5 update. How much difference that will genuinely make is yet to be seen though.
On the cameras front the Mi 11i is largely similar to the Mi 11. Both have triple rear systems, both of which feature a 108-megapixel main camera, a wide-angle, and a macro. However, the ‘i’ model downgrades the wide-angle’s resolution (from 13MP to 8MP) and drops the optical stabilisation of the main camera too.
: Wide angle camera (full size image)Wide angle camera (full size image)
Still, we’re glad that there aren’t other throwaway cameras like with so many other phones at the moment. Each lens has its own distinct task. Sure, that built-in microphone looks like its been installed by a 1970s Bond-esque spy team, but otherwise there’s not excesses to be seen. And, no, there’s no zoom lens here – but that wouldn’t be expected at this level.
The main lens uses nine-in-one pixel processing to produce 12-megapixel images as standard – smaller than the four-in-one 27-megapixel output offering from the standard Mi 11 device. There’s still heaps of detail crammed in, though, so it’s a decent enough optic to deliver good results – just don’t expect too much in lower-light when you can’t hold the phone steady. The Night Mode isn’t that great, really, but it can get you out of a tricky low-light situation.
: Main camera (full size image)Main camera (full size image)
The telemacro, which also doesn’t feature any stabilisation either, can be a bit tricky to use. But its results are fun. You’ll get some great close-ups, but there’s not the same degree of accomplishment with sharpness or detail as the main lens – partly because it’s 5-megapixels only, partly because the autofocus is limited. But at least it’s a step better than the no-good 2-megapixel macro lenses that so many makers are mindlessly putting on their phones.
All in all, despite the absence of proper optical zoom lenses, the Mi 11i’s take on cameras is decent for this level. There are limitations, though, and the wide-angle isn’t very good here, but in terms of an accomplished main optic without too many distractions it works.
The Mi 11i is, on the one hand, a confusing entry to Xiaomi’s series because it adds yet another handset to the Mi 11 line-up. And that muddies the waters between the standard Mi 11 and the Mi 11 Lite 5G – the latter which we’d buy beyond both others given its preferable design.
On the other hand, the Mi 11i doesn’t get anything truly wrong, per se, it functions smoothly as there’s heaps of power – which is a reason you’d consider it above and beyond more budget contenders, such as the Redmi Note 10 Pro.
Using the Mi 11i feels largely effortless, but as it’s an exercise in market flooding there’s also no distinctive reason to opt for one.
Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G
Of all the Mi 11 handsets this would be our choice. It’s the best looking, the slimmest, and while not the most powerful just feels best balanced as the handset to own. Especially in the minty colour finish, as pictured, which we think looks super.
Read our review
Redmi Note 10 Pro
It’s less powerful, but then it’s cheaper. With the same screen as the Mi 11i, but lesser protruding rear cameras, and software that – for whatever reason – we found more consistent, this money-saving option would be our budget alternative pick.
(Pocket-lint) – OnePlus announced an addition to its Nord range of smartphones during an event in June in the form of the Nord CE 5G.
The device sits below the original Nord, which means it subsequently sits under the flagship OnePlus 9 series.
You can read more about how the Nord CE 5G compares to the original Nord in our separate feature, but here we are covering how it stacks up against the OnePlus 9. Should you spend the extra cash?
Nord CE 5G: 159.2 x 73.5 x 7.9mm, 170g
OnePlus 9: 160 x 74.2 x 8.7mm, 192g
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G features an all-plastic design that has a pill-shaped rear camera housing in the top left corner, a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the device alongside the charging port, and a singular punch hole camera in the top left corner of the display.
The display is flat, there is no official IP rating and the Nord CE 5G comes in three colour options.
The OnePlus 9 meanwhile, has a glass rear, though it has a plastic frame, and it features a more prominent rectangular camera housing on the rear. Two of the three camera lenses are larger and have a metal surround, making more of a feature on the back.
On the front, the display is flat on the OnePlus 9, like the Nord CE 5G, and it also features a punch hole camera in the top left corner. There is no official IP waterproof rating, though the 9 Pro model does offer this if that’s a feature you are desperate for.
The OnePlus 9 has an alert slider – something the Nord CE 5G doesn’t have – but there is no 3.5mm headphone jack.
Nord CE 5G: 6.43-inch, 2400 x 1080 (410ppi), 90Hz
OnePlus 9: 6.55-inch, Full HD+ (402ppi), 120Hz
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G has a 6.43-inch display that sports a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution to deliver a pixel density of 410ppi.
The flat display has an aspect ratio of 20:9 and it offers a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s a Fluid AMOLED screen.
The OnePlus 9 meanwhile, has a slightly larger screen at 6.55-inches. It has a Full HD+ resolution like the Nord CE 5G though, which results in a pixel density of 402ppi.
The 9 has a Fluid AMOLED display like the Nord CE 5G, but it offers a higher refresh rate at 120Hz and it also supports HDR. Both the OnePlus 9 and Nord CE 5G have under-display fingerprint sensors.
Hardware and specs
Nord CE 5G: Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G, 6/8/12GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 4500mAh
Under the hood, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G processor, with a choice of 6GB, 8GB and 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage, though not all variants will be available in all regions.
There’s a 4500mAh battery that supports Warp Charge 30T fast charging. There is no wireless charging on board.
The OnePlus 9 meanwhile has the flagship – and more powerful – Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor under its hood, with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of storage.
The same 4500mAh battery capacity is on board the OnePlus 9 too, but it offers support of 65W fast charging and there is support for wireless charging too.
Both devices are 5G capable.
Nord CE 5G: Triple camera (64MP main + 8MP ultra wide + 2MP mono), 16MP front
OnePlus 9: Triple camera (48MP main + 50MP ultra wide + 2MP mono), 16MP front, Hasselblad partnership
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G and OnePlus 9 both have a triple camera on their rears, but they are made up of different lenses, while the OnePlus 9 also has a Hasselblad partnership on board.
The triple camera on the Nord CE 5G is comprised of a 64-megapixel main camera (f/1.79), an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera (f/2.25) and a 2-megapixel mono-lens camera (f/2.4).
The triple camera on the OnePlus 9 meanwhile, is a 48-megapixel main camera with f/1.8 aperture, a 50-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera with f/2.4 aperture and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor.
Both the OnePlus Nord CE 5G and the OnePlus 9 have a 16-megapixel front camera on board.
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G starts at £299 in the UK.
The OnePlus 9 starts at £629 in the UK, making it quite a bit more expensive.
The OnePlus 9 is likely to feel like a more premium device compared to the Nord CE 5G thanks to the materials used. It also delivers a more powerful processor, faster charging capabilities, a larger display with a faster refresh rate, and likely better camera capabilities.
The Nord CE 5G appears to offer quite a lot for its price point though, with a good battery size, 5G capabilities, nice design and what looks like it could be a good camera load out.
We would expect the OnePlus 9 to be the better device, naturally, but based on the specifications alone, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G looks like it could be a good option to consider if the 9 is too expensive.
(Pocket-lint) – OnePlus added the Nord CE 5G to its more affordable Nord range of smartphones, joining the OnePlus Nord, OnePlus Nord N10 and OnePlus Nord N100.
Sitting just below the OnePlus Nord in terms of specifications, rather than replacing it, here is how the OnePlus Nord CE 5G compares to the Nord to help you work out which is right for you.
Nord: 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm, 184g
Nord CE 5G: 159.2 x 73.5 x 7.9mm, 170g
The OnePlus Nord and Nord CE 5G look similar on first glance, especially from the rear. Both have a pill-shaped rear camera housing in the top left corner, and both come with a flat display.
Dive a little deeper and there are some standout differences between the two models though. The original Nord has a plastic frame, but offers a glass rear. It also has an alert slider like other OnePlus devices, though it doesn’t have a headphone jack.
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G meanwhile, features a plastic frame, as well as a plastic rear and though it offers a headphone jack, it misses off the alert slider.
In terms of physical size and weight, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is slimmer and lighter than the Nord, but fractionally taller and wider. Both come in three colour options with the Nord available in Blue Marble, Gray Oynx and Gray Ash, while the Nord CE 5G comes in Blue Void, Charcoal Ink and Silver Ray. Neither has an official IP rating.
Nord: 6.44-inch, 2400 x 1080 (408ppi), 90Hz
Nord CE 5G: 6.43-inch, 2400 x 1080 (410ppi), 90Hz
The OnePlus Nord and Nord CE 5G have very similar specifications when it comes to their displays too. The Nord has a 6.44-inch screen with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, offering a pixel density of 408ppi.
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G meanwhile, has a 6.43-inch display, also with a 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution that puts its pixel density at a slightly higher 410ppi because of the 0.1-inch reduction in size. That difference is not something you would notice though.
Both devices have a 90Hz refresh rate, both come with an AMOLED screen and both have a 20:9 aspect ratio. They also both have a P3 colour gamut.
Nord CE 5G: Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G, 6/8/12GB RAM, 128/256GB storage, 4500mAh
The OnePlus Nord runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G platform, supported by either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. It’s not available in the US though, with the Nord N10 model placed there instead.
There’s a 4115mAh battery under the hood and it supports 30T Warp Charge fast charge but there is no wireless charging.
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G platform, supported by 6GB, 8GB or 12GB or RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. You’re looking at a very similar loadout here really, with the Nord CE 5G taking a slight dip in processing power but this isn’t likely to be something you’d notice in everyday use.
The Nord CE 5G has a larger battery capacity than the Nord at 4500mAh, and it supports 30T Plus Warp Charge fast charging, but again, there is no wireless charging.
Nord: Quad rear (48MP main + 8MP ultra wide + 5MP depth + 2MP macro), dual front (32MP main + 8MP ultra wide)
Nord CE 5G: Triple rear (64MP main + 8MP ultra wide + 2MP mono), single front (16MP)
The OnePlus Nord has a quad camera on the rear made up of a 48-megapixel main camera with 0.8µm pixels and a f/1.6 aperture, a 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens with f/2.25 aperture, a 5-megapixel depth lens with f/2.4 aperture and a 2-megapixel macro lens with f/2.4 aperture.
There’s a dual front camera with a 32-megapixel main camera offering a f/2.45 aperture, and an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle camera with f/2.45 aperture.
The OnePlus Nord CE meanwhile, has a triple rear camera with a 64-megapixel main camera with 0.7µm pixels and a f/1.79 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens with f/2.25 aperture and a 2-megapixel mono-lens lens with f/2.4 aperture.
The front camera is a single lens with a 16-megapixel sensor, offering an f/2.45 aperture.
In terms of video capabilities, both the Nord and Nord CE 5G support 4K video recording at 30fps and 1080p video at 30fps and 60fps. They also both support super slow motion video, but the Nord CE 5G offers 1080p at 120fps and 720 at 240fps, while the Nord has 1080p at 240fps.
The Nord CE 5G’s front camera is also only capable of 1080p video, while the Nord offers 4K video from its front camera.
The OnePlus Nord CE 5G and Nord offer similar designs, but the Nord CE 5G has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a plastic body, while the Nord has an alert slider and a glass rear. The Nord CE is also slimmer and lighter.
Both have very similar displays and they both offer similar hardware loadouts, though the Nord has a more powerful processor on board and an extra camera on the front and rear, while the Nord CE 5G has a larger battery capacity.
Overall, the two handsets are pretty much on par, with both tipping the scales in their own areas. The Nord CE 5G is fractionally cheaper than the Nord, but there isn’t a huge amount in it so the decision will likely come down to which features you are more bothered about.
OnePlus has announced a new addition to its lineup of midrange phones, the Nord CE. According to the company, the “CE” stands for “Core Edition,” an indication that the company is focusing on the fundamentals, rather than inflating the device’s spec sheet with unnecessary extras. The phone is launching in Europe and India, and there are no plans for a US release.
What this focus on the fundamentals means in practice is that the Nord CE is slightly stripped down compared to last year’s Nord, but it’s slightly higher-specced than its predecessor, too. So you’re getting a higher-resolution 64-megapixel main camera (up from 48 megapixels), but there are only three rear sensors in total. (There’s also an 8-megapixel ultrawide with a 119-degree field of view and a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor.) The Nord CE also only has a single 16-megapixel selfie camera, with no secondary ultrawide like the original Nord.
Internally, there’s a Snapdragon 750G powering this year’s model, compared to the 765G in last year’s phone. OnePlus claims its CPU is 20 percent faster, while its GPU is 10 percent faster. That’s paired with a choice of 6, 8, or 12GB of RAM, although these options vary slightly based on region. There’s a 4,500mAh battery inside the Nord CE, up from 4,115mAh last year, and the phone supports Warp Charge 30T Plus fast charging, which OnePlus says should charge you from 0 to 70 percent in half an hour.
Externally, the Nord CE looks very similar to its predecessor. It’s got a very similarly styled camera bump on the back left (though with three rather than four cameras) and a hole-punch for its selfie camera on the front of the phone (again, with one rather than two cameras). However, on the bottom of the phone, you’ll find a headphone jack, which was missing from last year’s device. In terms of display, the Nord CE comes with a 6.43-inch 90Hz 1080p OLED panel. The phone is available in blue, black, or silver.
The Nord CE will be available to preorder in limited quantities from OnePlus itself starting today in the UK, and these devices will ship on June 14th. The device goes on general sale on June 21st. In the UK, it starts at £299 (€329) for the model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and £369 (€399) for the model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. In Europe, there’s a version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which will retail for €299. Those prices are slightly cheaper than the original Nord, which started at £379 (€399) for its 8GB model.
Like the original Nord, OnePlus says it doesn’t have plans to release the Nord CE in the US. Instead, the US has the OnePlus Nord N200 5G to look forward to. It’s a successor to the N100 that OnePlus CEO Pete Lau recently confirmed will retail for under $250.
Motorola has announced the Moto G Stylus 5G, a new version of its very good, non-5G budget-friendly stylus phone. It offers broadly similar hardware to the 4G version, with notable exceptions in the new Snapdragon 480 5G chipset with sub-6GHz 5G connectivity and a bigger 5,000mAh battery. Priced at $399, it’s at the higher end of the budget range and will go on sale June 14th.
Like its 4G peer, the G Stylus 5G features a large 6.8-inch 1080p screen, ready for your notes and doodles courtesy of a built-in stylus. It includes 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and ships with Android 11. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a charging brick is included in the box. The Stylus 5G is a little bigger and heavier than the 4G version, but not by much — it’s about four grams heavier and 0.3mm thicker.
The G Stylus 5G offers a rear triple-camera array that’s very similar to the 4G G Stylus’, with a 48-megapixel f/1.7 standard wide, 8-megapixel ultrawide, and 5-megapixel macro, plus a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Around front, there’s a 16-megapixel selfie camera.
The G Stylus 5G isn’t the most aggressively priced 5G phone in the budget market. OnePlus says its upcoming N200 5G will cost less than $250, and Samsung’s Galaxy A32 5G is currently selling for $279. It’s also surprising to see the Snapdragon 480 5G chipset used here, since it’s intended for more affordable 5G devices well under the Stylus 5G’s $400 price.
On the other hand, the G Stylus 5G is quite a bit cheaper than the other prominent 5G phone with a built-in stylus, the $999 Galaxy Note 20, if you want to look at things that way.
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