I should clarify right from the off: the OnePlus Nord CE is not a bad phone. Far from it, in fact — it’s the best Nord phone since the original, especially after the other budget offerings came with too many compromises to be worth recommending in the face of stiff competition. The Nord CE is a solid performer in most areas.

However, as good as it is, it simply serves as further evidence that the OnePlus we used to treasure has veered so far from its original mission that it’s no longer recognizable. Recent news that the company is further integrating with Oppo isn’t at all surprising, but it’s been true for a while now that the flagship killing, "Never Settle" attitude is no longer at the heart of what OnePlus is all about.

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