OnePlus Ace 3V First Impressions: Eagerly Awaiting the Nord 4

Last year, the OnePlus Ace 2V launched as the Nord 3 outside China, offering users a good blend of performance, battery life, and high-end features. All of it is bundled at a decent price for a midrange device. But the Nord 3 did not get the attention it deserved last year due to its mediocre design and stiff competition from other brands.

So now that we have its successor, the OnePlus Ace 3V which might launch as the Nord 4, I just had to check out all the new changes and improvements that OnePlus has made this year. Does this have the potential to be a hit like the original Nord or even Nord 2? Here are my first impressions of the OnePlus Nord 3V.

We have the purple colorway of the OnePlus Ace 3V that we shipped from China. Since there is no official confirmation if it will come out as the Nord 4 at the moment, I will address it as the Ace 3V throughout this read. Before we jump ahead, check out Ace 3V’s specifications on Beebom Gadgets here. I used the phone for 24 hours and have shared my impressions below.

Design and Build

The first thing that caught my attention was the new camera island at the back. I love how the large lenses are stacked on top of each other and mounted inside a pill-shaped island. It looks similar to the OnePlus 9 series, albeit a bit rounded, and that was the peak OnePlus design if you ask me.

OnePlus Nord 4 design and build

The phone has flat edges that curve seamlessly at the bottom, making it manageable to hold. The soft purple color of this device looks graceful. It is complemented by the matte texture of the glass back that helps to accentuate its design and color; making it easy to grip and fingerprint-resistant.

I am also happy to report that the alert slider is also present here. Though it could have been placed a little lower given the size of the device. On the opposite end, you will find the volume and the power buttons. The charging port and SIM card slot sit at the bottom, while an IR blaster can be found at the top.

OnePlus Ace 3V compared to OnePlus Ace 2V (Nord 3)

Before I move over to the display, let me give my final thoughts on the design. I adore the new and improved design of the OnePlus Ace 3V and can’t wait for Nord 4 to bring it to global regions. Plus, the color choice that the brand went with and how it was implemented on the device. However, the flat sides, bigger dimensions, and increased weight do make it a tad uncomfortable to hold, well, if you don’t have large hands.

Display Performance

For display, OnePlus has gone with the same 1.5K AMOLED panel as the Ace 2V with a similar 6.74-inch display size and 120Hz refresh rate. Of course, a display of this caliber will look sharp no matter what content you watch on it. It is bright, vibrant, and beautiful to look at when scrolling on Instagram or consuming content on YouTube. For a midranger, I think the display is fabulous and even punches a bit above its price bracket.

It goes toe to toe with the Poco F5’s display, which has been my favorite display on a midranger in recent times. The fingerprint sensor is also embedded within the display. However, it is positioned at an unergonomicly lower level. So expect to shift the phone in your hand now and then to unlock it. A higher placement would’ve been appreciated.

The Ace 3V comes with a dual stereo setup, which sounds just fine; it was nothing special. The sound was loud but lacked richness. This could be due to the lack of Dolby Atmos support that we also saw with the Nord 3. Quite possibly the global version may release with Dolby tuning.

Performance & Benchmarks

Usually with OnePlus phones, the performance takes priority over the cameras. The same is the case here, so let’s talk about it first. This phone debuts the new Snapdragon 7+ Gen 3 chipset. This is a powerful, almost flagship-grade octa-core CPU based on the 4nm TSMC process. This is coupled with the Adreno 732 GPU, up to 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM, and 256GB of UFS 4.0 storage.

I don’t need to say anything more than the specs I have mentioned to prove that this phone packs a punch. Not only on paper, though. My colleague ran several benchmarks to see how the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 3 fairs against other midrange chips as well as the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

Suffice it to say that 7+ Gen 3 ranked at the top among midrangers and came very close to the 8 Gen 2 in terms of benchmark numbers. Since it shares the same architecture as the top-of-the-line 8 Gen 3, you can expect a smooth and snappy experience overall. My one-day usage was great and I didn’t notice any weird glitches or stutters with app animations.

I would have loved to spend some time gaming on this device, especially the demanding Warzone Mobile. However, I couldn’t do so since the device is running the Chinese version of Color OS. So the Play Store didn’t work on it out of the box and sideloading games also didn’t prove to be much helpful. However, I am confident that you wouldn’t have to make sacrifices in-game settings while using this device.

Camera and Video Quality

The camera of this phone is the one part that leaves a huge question mark. First of all, you get two sensors at the back as opposed to the three that we got last year. I wouldn’t mind an omission of a sensor if it meant getting two good cameras, but that isn’t the case either. You have a 50MP Sony IMX 882 sensor with OIS and a measly 8 MP Ultra Wide sensor.

The primary camera captures decent images in daylight and does a sufficient job of managing details in the picture. It handles exposure well enough in most daytime situations.

The nighttime photos are serviceable as they capture ample light to properly showcase the subjects. But there is a clear lack of details upon closer inspection. I am glad that the pictures don’t turn out to look grainy which is thanks to the OIS in the camera sensor. The processing also takes more time, which is why moving subjects look blurry.

3 / 6

Selfies from the 16 MP selfie camera are also fine. I was expecting better results as it whitened our faces at the office. This might be fixed when it comes out as the Nord 4, where it will receive tuning to capture Indian skin tones properly.

The portrait shots were the best part. As proven before, OnePlus and Color OS devices are pretty good at detecting edges in Portrait mode. We will need to spend more time with the device once it’s rebranded as the Nord 4 for Indian shores.

The OnePlus Ace 3V can record up to 4K videos at 60 FPS from the primary camera. The couple of videos that I took with the phone turned out good. As mentioned, the phone performs quite well in bright conditions. Plus, OIS helps a lot in smoothening the footage.

Still, I feel there is room for improvement, and it could benefit from a better sensor in the global release. I didn’t get to play around with the wide-angle lens much so I would reserve my thoughts about it for the in-depth review.

Battery And Charging

As mentioned above, the phone is slightly hefty and has increased dimensions over the previous model. That is thanks to the 5,500mAh battery capacity, a 500mAh increase compared to its predecessor. You also get a 100W SuperVOOC fast charger in the box.

In my time, the battery drain wasn’t much. Even though I did run benchmarks one after the other, pushing the phone to its limits. So the 5,500 mAh battery on the OnePlus Ace 3V should last you throughout the day, even with gaming.

Moreover, you will find all modern connectivity standards available on the Ace 3V. This includes Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC, and a dual SIM card slot. I tested my Jio 5G SIM card on the device and managed to get 5G speeds of up to 372 Mbps at the Beebom office.

I also made a couple of calls, and despite it being a Chinese variant, I had no trouble whatsoever. Still, let’s wait for its global release as it might bring more 5G bands supported in India for better connectivity across different local carriers.

OnePlus Ace 3V: The Wait for Nord 4 Begins

I did not go into detail on the battery life, connectivity, and the cameras. That’s because my time with the phone was limited, and it wouldn’t be fair to pass judgment on certain features without proper testing. Furthermore, the Chinese version of ColorOS doesn’t allow you to install and test some of the apps that I use daily to provide feedback on day-to-day usage.

The Nord 3V launched in China at CNY 1,999 (~Rs 23,000), which is CNY 300 cheaper than the previous-gen Ace 2V. If we see a similar price cut in the Nord 4 global launch as well, then this will be a formidable midrange smartphone in the Indian market. The OnePlus Nord 3 launched at Rs 33,999 in India, so I’m expecting its successor to debut at around Rs 30,999 or Rs 31,999 in the country.

From the design to the performance, this smartphone gives stiff competition to other devices in the segment. I hope they improve the cameras if and when this phone gets released as the Nord 4.

This sums up my first impressions of the handset. Let us know what you think of the OnePlus Ace 3V and what changes you want to see if it comes out as the Nord 4.

Comments 1
  • Saranshri Guptaa says:

    Awesome device once I see your review on YouTube channel for the Indian Variant most probably I’m planning to buy this device. Also please mention in your videos whether this phone has a green line issue and what the OnePlus developers has to say about this.

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