- The OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G and the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge are both compelling options for anyone looking to invest in a phone priced in the vicinity of Rs 25,000.
- Both phones might be priced in the vicinity of each other, but are very different in terms of design and appeal.
- So should you be looking to invest in a solid core experience on a slightly tighter budget or spend a bit more and get into the HyperCharge zone? Let us try and figure that out for you.
Xiaomi and OnePlus have a long history of going head-to-head with each other over devices launched in the same price segment. So it comes as no surprise that the recently launched OnePlus Nord CE 2 also competes with a Xiaomi device. The smartphone in contention against the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge. The two phones belong in the same mid-segment price band but bring different philosophies to the table. One of them focuses on hyper-fast charging and design and provides a good overall experience to fight this battle, while the other simply focuses on providing a core smartphone experience. But which is the stronger contender?
Design: Trend vs Convention
Most smartphones these days come with a similar design language, but that is far from the truth in the case of the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge and the OnePlus Nord CE 2. Instead, the two phones adhere to today’s design trends when it comes to the front– both have tall, thin-bezel-ed displays with comparatively thicker chins below them, while a punch hole notch sits on the top housing the camera. The only difference here is the punch hole placement – the 11i HyperCharge has it in the middle while the Nord CE 2 has it placed on the top left corner.
But this is where the similarities end. Flip the two phones around, and the difference in their design language will jump out as one follows a more conventional design blueprint while the other is more trend-forward.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 sports a curved glass back with slightly rounded sides, whereas the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge has a flat glass back with flat sides (channeling its inner iPhone). The two phones have rectangular camera units on the top left side, but they are quite different from each other as well. The one on the 11i HyperCharge juts out quite boldly, while the one on the Nord CE 2 juts out, but its edges seemingly blend into the back.
The two glass backs also have different textures, with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 bringing a more shiny, smooth, reflective look, whereas the 11i HyperCharge has a frosted glass back. Unfortunately, having a reflective back also means the Nord CE 2 has to deal with an abundance of fingerprints and smudges, while this does not seem to be that much of a problem with the 11i HyperCharge.
That said, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 bags the form factor department as the phone is much slimmer at 7.8 mm as compared to the 11i HyperCharge, which stands at 8.43 mm. The difference between measurement numbers extends to height, width, and weight as well. The Nord CE 2 is 160.6 mm tall and 73.2 mm wide and weighs 173 grams, while the 11i HyperCharge is 163. 65 mm tall and 76.2 mm wide and weighs 207 grams. These numbers mean that the 11i HyperCharge delivers more mobile real-estate, but the added grams and thickness also make it a pain to hold and use for prolonged periods as compared to the Nord CE 2.
That said, the physical fingerprint scanner on the side of the 11i HyperCharge and IP 53 rating, which makes it splash and dust resistant, also play in favor of the 11i HyperCharge as opposed to the in-display fingerprint scanner and no IP rating on the Nord CE 2.
This basically boils down to what you would want from your phone– if trendy looks are what you desire, then the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge is the device for you. On the other hand, if you want a more comfortable handfeel or a phone that sits in the palm of your hand better, then perhaps OnePlus Nord CE 2 is the phone to go for. For us, the distinct looks of the 11i HyperCharge win it this round.
Winner : Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge
Specs: Advantage, Xiaomi
The display is the most visible difference between the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge and the OnePlus Nord CE 2. While both phones bring a tall, full HD+ AMOLED display with a high refresh rate to the table, it is the display of the 11i HyperCharge that edges out a bit because of its size. The phone has a 6.67-inch full HD+ AMOLED display instead of the 6.43-inch full HD+ AMOLED one on the Nord CE 2. The 11i HyperCharge also scores in the refresh rate department as it has a 120 Hz refresh rate while the Nord CE 2 has a 90 Hz refresh rate.
The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge maintains the spec lead in the processor zone as well. The phone is powered by MediaTek Dimensity 920 processor, while the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is backed by a MediaTek Dimensity 900 processor.
The two phones have similar RAM and storage options as they come in two variants– 6 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 128 GB. You have the option to expand the storage on both devices. Still, the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge has a hybrid MicroSD card slot which means you would have to give up on one connection if you wish to expand the storage on the phone. At the same time, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 is actually the first OnePlus device to come with expandable storage and even has a dedicated MicroSD card space.
In terms of the sheer number of cameras, both phones are on par with each other. They bring a triple camera setup on the back while a single selfie-facing camera sits on the front. While both phones come with an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor and a 2-megapixel macro sensor on the back, the difference between them grows exceptionally in the main sensor’s megapixel count. The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge comes with a 108-megapixel main sensor, while the Nord CE 2 brings a 64-megapixel main sensor. In addition, both phones have 16-megapixel selfie cameras on the front.
The battery mAh count is also identical with both phones featuring a 4,500 mAh battery, but it is the charging speed where Xiaomi retakes the lead. The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge is backed by 120W fast charging, which claims to charge the phone from zero all the way to 100 percent in 15 minutes. The OnePlus Nord CE 2, on the other hand, comes with support for 65W fast charging, which claims to charge the phone from zero to full in slightly more than 30 minutes. That is still impressive but not quite like the ‘Woah’ of the HyperCharge.
Both phones run on Android 11 and come with older versions of their own UI as well. The Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge comes with MIUI 12.5 out of the box, while the Nord CE 2 comes with OxygenOS 11 out of the box.
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 tries really hard and has put up a good fight, but the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge simply wins this one with clear margins in almost all departments.
Winner: Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge
Performance: More about display and speakers, less about chip
There may be some difference between their processors, with the Nord CE 2 coming with MediaTek Dimensity 900. At the same time, the 11i HyperCharge is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 920, but there is not a staggering difference in their performance. We have 8 GB/ 128 GB variants of both devices. The two phones can quickly work their way through your everyday business and can even boss your casual game cravings but do not expect either to run high-end games on maxed-out settings. That said, you can play power-hungry games on lowered settings, and they will play smoothly.
Both phones come with 5G, making them future-ready and having 3.5 mm audio jacks.
Move to the multimedia territory, and the differences start to become visible. For example, the bigger display of the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge with a faster refresh rate paired with stereo speakers makes it the better device to watch and view content on. The OnePlus Nord CE 2, on the other hand, not only has a smaller display but is also equipped with only a single speaker, taking away from those immersive experiences.
We also prefer the physical fingerprint scanner on the side of the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge, which is visibly faster than the in-display fingerprint scanner present on the OnePlus Nord CE 2.
The Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge is better at multimedia and general performance, so it wins this round.
Winner: Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge
Cameras: Megapixels make a mega difference
In the triple camera setup, both 8-megapixel ultrawide and 2-megapixel macro sensors have pretty much the same performance on both devices. The 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor is good for expanding your photography horizon (quite literally), but the low megapixel count means the sensors deliver compromised details. The same goes for the 2-megapixel macro sensor, which does not reproduce good close-up shots on either phone.
What separates the performance of the two phones is the main sensor, where the 64-megapixel main sensor on the OnePlus Nord CE 2 goes up against the 108-megapixel sensor on the 11i HyperCharge. The extra megapixels on the 11i HyperCharge come in handy as it delivers better details and more realistic colors as compared to the Nord CE 2. In addition, the performance of the 11i HyperCharge was also better in the video department.
That said, even though both phones have a 16-megapixel front-facing camera, the Nord CE 2 delivered slightly better selfies.
The sheer difference in megapixels and the performance that follows it makes the Xiaomin 11i HyperCharge winner of yet another round.
Winner: Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge
Battery: Super or Hyper
The OnePlus Nord CE 2 and the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge both run on a 4,500 mAh battery and come with fast charging support. The batteries on both phones can easily see a day of normal to heavy usage, but OnePlus Nord CE 2 lasts just a bit longer as compared to the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge.
That said, the 11i HyperCharge comes with a whopping 120W fast charging support called HyperCharge, which is the biggest USP of the phone. It charges the phone from zero to 100 percent in less than 20 minutes which is extremely impressive. The OnePlus Nord CE 2 also has support for fast charging and comes with 65W SuperVOOC charging, which can charge the phone in slightly more than half an hour from zero to 100.
This difference might not seem very much, but every minute counts, and hence this one again goes to the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge.
Winner: Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge
UI: Old Android, old skins
Both devices run on Android 11 out of the box and come with older versions of their Android skins as well. The 11i HyperCharge comes with MIUI 12.5, while the OnePlus Nord CE 2 comes with a layer of OxygenOS 11.
While the UI numbers are disappointing, both phones have quite clean, uncomplicated UI. However, they have different approaches, with 11i HyperCharge being more feature-loaded and coming pre-installed with third-party apps. In contrast, the Nord CE 2 comes with minimalistic features and primary apps, making it very identical to stock Android. The two UI skins are quite different from each other, but we prefer the cleaner, simpler one of the two– the OnePlus Nord CE 2.
Winner: OnePlus Nord CE 2
Price: Tag the Never Settler
OnePlus has this round in the bag already in terms of sheer price. The Nord CE 2 comes with a starting price of Rs. 23,999 for the 6 GB/ 128 GB variant, while the 11i HyperCharge comes with a starting price of Rs. 26,999 for the 6 GB/ 128 GB variant. The 8 GB/128 GB version of the Nord CE 2 costs Rs. 24,999, while the 8 GB/ 128 GB option of 11i HyperCharge comes with a price tag of Rs. 28,999. This makes the OnePlus Nord CE 2 a clear winner of this round.
Winner: OnePlus Nord CE 2
OnePlus Nord CE 2 vs Xiaomi 11i Hypercharge: Which one to go for?
It may seem like the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge has completely swept the floor with the OnePlus Nord CE 2 by winning almost all the rounds, but two, but the thing to keep in mind is that the OnePlus Nord CE 2 comes with a lower price tag. So those who want a core smartphone experience that the OnePlus Nord CE 2 can easily offer on a tighter budget should opt for the OnePlus Nord CE 2. At the same time, those with no issues in the money department should get the Xiaomi 11i HyperCharge to get their hands on all things extra that the phone offers.