OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Which Is More Value for Money?

Recently, the sub-Rs. 25,000 segment has become a lot more competitive, especially with the entry of the Nothing Phone 2a. Now we have the Nord CE 4 priced at Rs. 24,999. This bold price tag makes it butt heads with the Nothing Phone 2a, and that had me wondering if someone had a super strict budget of Rs. 25,000, which phone makes more sense? I had with me both the devices, and it was the best time to answer this question. So, I pitted the two phones against each other, and here’s what I think.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Specs at a Glance

SpecsNord CE 4Nothing Phone 2a
Dimensions162.5 x 75.3 x 8.4 mm161.74 x 76.32 x 8.55 mm
Weight190 grams190 grams
ProcessorSnapdragon 7 Gen 3 (4nm)Dimensity 7200 Pro (4nm)
RAM/Storage8GB LPDDR4X/ 256GB UFS 3.112GB LPDDR4X/ 256GB UFS 2.2
Display6.7-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED, 1080 x 2412, 394 ppi, up to 1100 nits peak brightness6.7-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED, 1084 x 2412, 394 ppi, up to 1300 nits peak brightness
Rear Camera50MP Main + 8MP Ultra-wide50MP Main + 50MP Ultra-wide
Front Camera16MP32MP
VideoUp to 4K at 30FPSUp to 4K at 30FPS
Dual SIMYes; Does not support eSIMYes; Does not support eSIM
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.4, no NFC5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC
PortUSB Type C 2.0USB Type C 2.0
Battery5,500 mAh5,000 mAh
Charging100W fast charging45W fast charging
IP RatingIP54IP54
SoftwareAndroid 14-based OxygenOS 14
2 years of OS updates
Android 14-based Nothing OS 2.5
3 years of OS updates

For a more detailed comparison, visit Beebom Gadgets.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Box Contents

Phone 2a vs Nord CE 4 box contents
Image Courtesy: Manmeet Singh/Beebom

The Nothing Phone 2a’s box contents are no mystery at this point. When I first wrote the dedicated Phone 2a review, I expressed my genuine concern about how not getting a charger or case in the box can be a major push factor for people. And, I stick by it.

Now, with the Nord CE 4, we have yet another phone that comes with not just a fast charger, but also a good-quality case right in the box.

The Nord CE 4 also comes with a pre-applied non-tempered screen protector, while the Phone 2a doesn’t have even that. If the box contents are that worthy, it’s no surprise that the Nord CE 4 takes an easy win here.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Design

Phone 2a vs Nord CE 4 design
Image Courtesy: Manmeet Singh/Beebom

Talking about the devices themselves, the OnePlus Nord CE 4 honestly feels just like another CE device. Even in my in-depth review of the phone, I talked about how it felt too much like its predecessor. On the other hand, the Nothing Phone 2a is nothing like the other two phones in the brand’s catalog.

While you do get to see a transparent design and some glyph lights that have become Nothing’s identifiers at this point, the overall design really stands out from the crowd. Not to mention that the design is a lot more practical.

Where the Nord CE 4 is slippery with its polished sides at the frame, the Nothing Phone 2a feels denser and grippier in hand with its matte finish at the sides. The Nord CE 4 also felt cheaper in hand, while the Phone 2a felt more solidly built.

There’s also some disturbing wobble when you place the Nord CE 4 on a flat surface. The Nothing Phone 2a deals with this problem excellently with its thoughtful camera module placement. This very camera module placement also ensures that your fingers don’t brush against it when holding the phone horizontally. The Nord CE 4’s camera module placement brings no such benefits.

The button placement on the Nothing Phone 2a is also better, with the volume rockers and power buttons being placed on either side of the frame. I have always preferred this placement over cramming all of them on one side, like on the OnePlus Nord CE 4.

I also noticed that the Phone 2a’s polycarbonate back was more resistant to scratches as compared to the Nord CE 4’s. The Nord CE 4 is definitely a bit of a scratch magnet. However, I’d recommend slapping a case on both of these devices.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Display

Phone 2a vs Nord CE 4 display
Image Courtesy: Manmeet Singh/Beebom

As for the display output, both devices come with a 6.7-inch AMOLED display backed by a 120Hz fast refresh rate. However, I spotted some big differences when putting these two displays to the test.

For starters, the uniform bezels around the Phone 2a’s display really put my OCD to rest. However, the Nord CE 4’s wide and non-uniform bezels are not the most attractive.

While both the displays are backed by DCI-P3 coverage, the Phone 2a’s display output was significantly richer. The colors looked more true-to-life, while the Nord CE 4’s color spectrum looked washed out in comparison.

However, the blacks looked equally good on both displays. Again, moving outdoors, the Phone 2a’s display offered better visibility as well, often hitting over 1700 nits of peak brightness. On the contrary, the Nord CE 4’s display is capped at 1100 nits.

Whether I was watching a movie on Netflix or viewing HDR videos on YouTube, the Phone 2a easily stood out. Not to mention that the Phone 2a’s display has Gorilla Glass 5 protection on top. On the Nord CE 4, you get to see twice-reinforced Panda glass protection instead.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Speaker Output

Phone 2a vs Nord CE 4 speakers
Image Courtesy: Manmeet Singh/Beebom

While the Nothing Phone 2a comes with a more vibrant and brighter display, the Nord CE 4 packs a better speaker setup. Although both phones feature stereo speakers, the OnePlus Nord CE 4 has an advantage. It has a dedicated grille at the top as its second speaker, while the Phone 2a’s receiver unit doubles down as the second speaker.

That causes the bottom-firing speaker to be louder than the top, causing an imbalance in the output. Whereas, the Nord CE 4’s dedicated speaker grilles bring a more immersive listening experience.

I also noticed that while the Phone 2a’s speakers are louder, they lack depth. The highs and lows are not accurately distinguished, making the audio output seem rather flat in places. On the contrary, the Nord CE 4 captures every note and beat, delivering a more well-balanced audio profile.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Software Experience

Phone 2a vs Nord CE 4 software info page
Image Courtesy: Manmeet Singh/Beebom

At this point, it’s no surprise that the Nothing Phone 2a’s software experience is one of the best in the Android world, thanks to the Android 14-based Nothing OS 2.5 it runs on. However, the Android 14-based OxygenOS 14 on the Nord CE 4 is also right up there in my opinion. While it’s not completely bloatware-free, it is one of the cleanest UIs out there.

Moreover, the OxygenOS 14 is also a lot more feature-packed than the Nothing OS 2.5, offering you a File Dock and AI smart cutout for images to make use of. On the other hand, with the Nothing OS 2.5, features like the Glyph timer and Essential Notifications can make the Glyph Interface come in handy. That, and you get quite a few cool widgets. Apart from that, you don’t get anything extra with the skin and it’s just a more refined stock Android for the most part.

As for the haptics, they are a bit more harsh on the Nord CE 4. Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone 2a’s haptic feels fainter in comparison. I also prefer the animations of the Nothing OS a bit more than the OxygenOS. However, there are certain UI optimization issues on both devices, which cause minor stutters at times. Nothing too major, however.

So, if you want additional features, the OxygenOS 14-running Nord CE 4 is a more ideal choice. However, if you want a more near-stock Android experience, the Nothing Phone 2a is better.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Performance

Getting the technical specs out of the way, the Nord CE 4 is powered by the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3. This processor is backed by up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone 2a comes with the custom Dimensity 7200 Pro, backed by up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 256GB of UFS 2.2 storage. Now, it’s time to how the two phones perform in real life. As always, I have divided this segment into three bits. Take a look:

Day-to-day Usage

When using the phones on a daily basis, both phones perform very similarly. Apart from the UI optimization issues on the two phones, nothing else causes lags or stutters. I had around 25-30 apps open in the background and could shuffle between them easily without any issues.

Even the RAM management is good enough on both devices. With all these apps running in the background, the devices did not falter. Neither did the apps reload as much with most of them still running in the background. However, when exiting the apps to get to the home screen, I noticed micro stutters on both devices. Again, that has to do with UI optimization and I hope the respective brands fix this.


From AnTuTu to Geekbench and CPU Throttling to important 3DMark tests, I have run it all on both devices. It is clear that the OnePlus Nord CE 4’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 is a more capable performer, hitting higher numbers in these benchmarks. Take a look:

  • OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Which Is More Value for Money?
  • OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Which Is More Value for Money?
  • OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Which Is More Value for Money?
  • OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Which Is More Value for Money?
  • OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Which Is More Value for Money?


When it comes to gaming, while the Nord CE 4’s 7 Gen 3 SoC is more capable, it doesn’t offer 90FPS in games. This is something that is common in chipsets that are not yet made commercially available. Since I’m writing this ahead of the launch, there’s a high chance that OnePlus may roll out an update to bring 90FPS to games and further optimize it.

Since the Nothing Phone 2a has been out for some time now, you get to see higher graphic settings in games. But yes, once the 7 Gen 3 becomes more readily available, which is pretty soon, you will undoubtedly get a better gaming experience on it. With that being said, in the current state of the two phones, here are the maximum graphics settings you get to see on them:

GamesNord CE 4Nothing Phone 2a
Genshin ImpactHigh Graphics: 60 FPSMedium-High Graphics: 42-55FPS
CoD MobileHigh/Max Settings: 60 FPS (Multiplayer and Battle Royale)Low/Ultra Settings: 90FPS (Multiplayer), 90FPS (Battle Royale)
High/Max Settings: 60FPS (Multiplayer and Battle Royale)
BGMIHDR + Extreme: 55-60 FPSUltra HDR + Ultra: 40 FPSSmooth + Extreme Setting: 60FPS
HDR + Ultra: 40FPS

The thermal management on both these devices is top-notch. Even after hours of playing Genshin Impact, CoD Mobile, and even the highly unoptimized Warzone Mobile, the devices don’t go beyond 40 degrees. As a result, no thermal throttling on them either.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Cameras

Phone 2a vs Nord CE 4 back panel camera modules
Image Courtesy: Manmeet Singh/Beebom

The Nord CE features a Sony LYT600-led 50MP primary sensor setup with OIS. The secondary sensor is an 8MP Sony IMX355 ultra-wide-angle sensor. At the front, you get a 16MP selfie shooter. Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone 2a comes with a 50 MP Samsung ISOCELL GN9 primary sensor with OIS and a 50 MP Samsung ISOCELL JN1 sensor ultra-wide-angle sensor. For the selfie shooter, you get a 32MP Sony IMX 615 sensor.


When it comes to daytime shots, the Nord CE 4 often takes washed-out images in comparison. When capturing them through the ultra-wide-angle sensor, it gets worse and the details start to fade out as you zoom in. However, the primary sensor is not too bad and retains details well. But, there’s a clear confusion in the highlights and shadows, causing the dynamic range to be slightly off.

The Nothing Phone 2a, on the other hand, captures more color-accurate pictures, that try and retain the natural colors. The highlights and shadows are also well-defined, delivering some top-notch dynamic range in the images. However, there’s a clear color disparity in between the primary sensor and ultra-wide-angle shots. This disparity is not that evident on the Nord CE 4.

Even when it comes to human subjects, the Nothing Phone 2a captures them better. The skin tones are more natural and the details are very well-maintained as you zoom in. However, the Nord CE 4 shots often made me frown due to the lack of details and natural colors.

Again, the skin tones look washed out and there’s been some inconsistency with the colors as well. Edge detection and depth mapping, while better on the Phone 2a, is flawed as well. You can see in the picture below how the edge detection failed to detect a portion of my hair.

Night time

At night, the Nord CE 4 shots get noisier and don’t look as good. You can clearly see how the Nothing Phone 2a night shots stand out, with natural colors and more details, yet again. However, the Phone 2a sometimes causes light sources to blow out, while the CE 4 maintains these light sources better most of the time. However, there’s some lens flare in the Phone 2a’s shots, while the Nord CE 4 doesn’t suffer from that.


As for the selfies, I definitely like the shots of the Phone 2a better. Both during the day and at night, you can see how good these images turn out to be. However, in direct sunlight, at times, the Phone 2a takes a tad too saturated shots, which can look off-putting. In that case, the Nord CE 4 looks better. However, the Phone 2a captures good details and significantly less noise at night, dominating the Nord CE 4’s results.


Talking about videos, both devices allow you to capture up to 4K 30FPS videos through the primary sensor. You also get the option to capture 1080p 60FPS videos on both devices. However, the selfie shooter on the Nord CE 4 can only capture up to 1080p 30FPS videos. However, the Phone 2a allows you to capture up to 1080p 60FPS videos, making it more versatile in certain scenarios.

OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs Nothing Phone 2a: Battery Life and Charging

Phone 2a vs Nord CE 4 charging animation
Image Courtesy: Manmeet Singh/Beebom

Talking about the juice now, the Nord CE 4 brings a 5500mAh unit with it, coupled with a 100W fast charging support. Meanwhile, the Nothing Phone 2a comes with a smaller 5000mAh unit backed by 45W fast charging support. On paper, the Nord CE 4 understandably looks better. But, we have to put them through the test to get some concrete answers.

Hence, I played some games, watched some videos on YouTube, Netflix, and Prime Video, as well as played a lot of music on Spotify and YouTube Music. By the end of it, the Nord CE 4 could offer a screen on time of around 6.5 hours. On the other hand, the Nothing Phone 2a delivered around an hour more of SoT.

I’m guessing the Nothing OS is not resource heavy and that leads to the Phone 2a saving up on battery even though it has a smaller unit. Then again, you get the obvious benefit of charging the Nord CE 4 from 1 to 100% in just 30 minutes. While the Phone 2a easily takes around an hour to fully charge.

Equipped with a significantly better combo here, the Nord CE 4 takes the lead.

Final Verdict

I’ll try to keep this as straightforward as possible. At Rs. 1,000 more, the OnePlus Nord CE 4 has its clear advantages over the Nothing Phone 2a. Not only do you get a charger right in the box, but you also get to see a high-quality case with it. On top of that, you get some solid performance with the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3. The chipset paired with more up-to-date UFS 3.1 storage definitely makes it better than the outdated UFS 2.2 tech on the Phone 2a.

Then again, the Nothing Phone 2a will receive 3 years of OS updates, making it more future-proof. On the other hand, just 2 years of OS updates with the Nord CE 4 is pretty disappointing. The Nothing Phone 2a’s camera performance also makes it a lot more versatile, while the Nord CE 4 is very average in this regard.

As for the software experience, it gets very subjective here. Both the UIs are pretty clean, with the Nothing OS obviously being cleaner and completely bloatware-free. But, I have noticed UI optimization issues on both devices. So, it all really comes down to what you will prefer.

If you are someone who wants more customizable options, the OxygenOS-running Nord CE 4 is the way to go here. Meanwhile, if you are a person who believes in minimalism a little too much, the Nothing OS is understandably the better option.

Then comes the design, and it goes without saying that the Phone 2a will turn heads with its unique design and Glyph lights. Whereas, the Nord CE 4 looks like just another Nord phone with not much charisma on the outside.

The bottom line is, if you want a unique design, commendable cameras, and a true bloatware-free software experience, the Nothing Phone 2a is for you.

Meanwhile, if you favor performance, and significantly faster charging and want a phone that gets most things right for just Rs. 1,000 more, the Nord CE 4 is an easier recommendation.

However, if your budget is strictly Rs 25,000 and you want the best in the segment, the POCO X6 Pro is what you should pick. We have compared the OnePlus Nord CE 4 vs POCO X6 Pro in detail, you can check out why the latter should be your choice when all three phones are compared.

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