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Moto G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Which is the best budget-friendly value pick?

Some buyers are all about getting the latest and greatest premium phones from the top brands. But there are alternatives worth considering if you’re on a budget and don’t need all the bells and whistles of new phones, along with the clout that may come with owning a Samsung or Google device. 

Motorola and OnePlus are two great brands in this respect, and when looking at the Motorola G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G comparison, it might seem like the specs of one completely outdo the other. But there’s more than meets the eye with these two phones.

Moto G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: The looks and tech specs

Moto G 5G (2022) box

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

First, let’s examine the outward appearance. Both phones are solid and lightweight, made of plastic to keep the costs down. The Moto G 5G (2022) is a bit larger and thicker, however, and weighs a bit more as well. 

The Moto G 5G (2022) comes in Moonlight Gray and in a water-repellant design that meets an IP52 rating, protecting it against rain and the occasional spill, but it isn’t totally waterproof. It has a 6.5-inch ultra-wide IPS LCD with a 20:9 aspect ratio, and a resolution of 1600x720, which leaves something to be desired. Running on stock Android 12, those who prefer a clean OS will appreciate that there aren’t any add-ons to interfere with the experience. 

You’ll get 256GB of storage with the Moto G 5G (2022), expandable up to 512GB via a microSD card slot, and you’ll get up to two days of battery life per charge, which is pretty good considering most premium phones need to be charged daily with heavy use. The 5,000mAh battery also works via rapid charging, with a 10W rapid charger included. Unlock it using a fingerprint and face unlock, and it includes a shortcut menu you can access via double taps.

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Available in a Blue Smoke finish, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G does not have any waterproof rating. That means you will want to steer clear of getting it wet at all or invest in a waterproof case if you’ll be using it outside in the rain, by the pool, or have a tendency to drop your phones in the toilet. 

It has a stunning 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED capacitive touch display that our review says could be brighter, but still calls the screen “gorgeous.” It, too, has a 20:9 aspect ratio and offers a higher resolution of 1080x2400 pixels, which will make all the difference when you’re gaming, watching videos, surfing the web, making video calls, and more. 

Running on OxygenOS, which is based on Android 11, you won’t get as seamless an Android experience as you would with the Moto G 5G (2022), along with limited software updates, but for some, this might suffice. 

This phone only has 128GB of storage, but it’s also expandable up to 512GB via optional microSD card. The battery is slightly smaller, so you’ll likely get about a day or two per charge, but it also works with a 33W fast charger, so you can reportedly get a full day’s worth of use after just 30 minutes charging time, which is great in a pinch.

Moto G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Breaking down the specs

Before looking more into features like cameras and processing, let’s compare the two phones based on the full specifications.

Moto G 5G (2022)OnePlus Nord N20 5G
ColorsMoonlight GrayBlue Smoke
Screen Size & Type6.5-inch IPS TFT LCD6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED
Screen Resolution1600x7201080x2400
Operating SystemAndroid 12OxygenOS (based on Android 11)
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 700Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
Storage256GB (expandable to 512GB)128GB (expandable to 512GB)
MemoryUp to 6GB RAM6GB RAM
Cameras50MP Rear Camera, 12.5MP Front, 2MP Macro 64MP Rear Camera, 16MP Front, 2MP Macro
AudioSingle Speaker, Noise Cancelling Support, Dolby AtmosSingle Speaker, Noise Cancellation
Water ResistanceIP52None
Battery & Charging5,000mAh 10W4,500mAh 33W
Headphone JackYesYes
ChargingUSB Type-CUSB Type-C
Connectivity5G, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 55G, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 5
NFCNoYes
Dimensions165.4 x 75.8 x 9.44mm159.9 x 73.2 x 7.5mm
Weight204 grams173 grams

There are a few notable differences between these phones when it comes down to the core specs, but let’s delve further to help you decide.

Moto G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Let’s take some pics

Moto G 5G 2022 photo flower

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Phones have become our cameras nowadays, so camera functionality is important. The Moto G 5G (2022) has a 50 MP triple-camera system that includes Quad Pixel technology for more details in dark photos. 

There’s also a neat feature called "Dual Capture," that lets you shoot and record from both the rear and the selfie cameras at the same time, so you can capture both the subject as well as your reaction. It’s unclear when this might be useful but for social media content creators, it could be a really fun option to explore. 

With that said, our reviewer Derrek Lee was “not impressed with the output from the primary sensor.” He found that images were too saturated and suggests that buyers “don’t expect much from this device in the camera department.” Interestingly, he notes that selfies are a weak spot, with the 13MP sensor applying unnatural smoothing.

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

By contrast, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G boasts a higher resolution 64MP triple camera system with a 16MP front camera, and it pays off. Our reviewer Nicholas Sutrich says the camera in this phone is the best he has used in this price range by a “wide, wide margin.” 

That’s saying a lot since the camera in the previous-generation OnePlus X did not impress. The only fault he could find with the camera system was with the 2MP macro camera, which he found to be lackluster at best. It’s likely a feature owners won’t use all that much. 

Both phones can also capture HD video at 30 frames-per-second. If you’re looking to take a ton of photos with either phone as well as shoot videos, you’re better off going with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G.

Moto G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Processing power and more

Moto G 5G (2022) Moto app

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Now, let's jump into processing power, which is important for multitaskers, gamers, content creators, and anyone looking to do a lot of data-intensive things with their phones. The Moto G 5G (2022) offers up to 6GB RAM for smooth performance and the My UX has some neat features, like the ability to control things with gestures. 

Derrek Lee enjoyed using these gesture controls in our review, like chopping or twisting twice to turn on the flashlight and camera, the aforementioned shortcuts, and swiping a finger back and forth to activate split screen mode. He found that the MediaTek Dimensity chipset afforded a smooth experience, although it isn’t particularly powerful. For the price, however, it holds up. 

He was able to comfortably game on the phone, though admits that results may vary depending on the graphics and how data-intensive your game is. For simple games, however, it will do just fine. For serious mobile gamers, you might want to look elsewhere. 

For audio, you’ll get a bottom-mounted speaker that supports Dolby Atmos and noise cancellation along with two mics, Google Assistant support, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for private listening without requiring wireless headphones.

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

For the OnePlus Nord N20 5G, you’ll be able to enjoy ultra-fast speeds thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and 6GB RAM. Indeed, Sutrich says his experience with the phone never felt slow, with games like Minecraft running with ease. However, he found that he had to turn the settings down slightly to be able to play more graphics-intensive games like Fortnite. 

There are no fancy gestures, and one annoyance Sutrich did encounter was that the Type-C USB port would not work with any device he plugged into it beyond a charger, including gaming controllers or even wired USB-C earbuds. It does, however, have a 3.5mm headphone jack for standard wired earbuds. It’s worth noting the phone also comes with NFC support for tap-to-pay and other NFC-enabled functions. 

The biggest issue with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is that OnePlus only guarantees one major OS update, and since it launched with Android 11, you won’t ever be able to upgrade beyond Android 12. Ideally, the phone should have launched with Android 12, notes Sutrich.

Moto G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Which should you get?

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Based on the in-depth reviews from our experts, while the Moto G 5G (2022) has some impressive specifications, including great battery life, a clean stock Android experience, and expandable memory with a good chunk built-in, it doesn’t quite measure up to the OnePlus Nord N20 5G when it comes to phones in this price point. In fact, we even named the OnePlus Nord N20 5G one of the best cheap Android phones you can get

Looking at the Moto G 5G (2022) vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G, we’d have to recommend going with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G, especially if you plan on taking a lot of photos and videos, doing video calls, playing graphics-intensive games, watching videos, and other multitasking. 

With that said, if you have limited needs, the Moto G 5G (2022) might fulfill them just fine. You won’t get as nice a screen, but you will get better battery life and fun features like Dual Capture. If you can find it on sale for much less, it might better fit into your budget as well.

Moto G 5G 2022 with Derrek Lee

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Keep in mind the OS limitations with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G as well, with the ability to only ever upgrade to Android 12. This could mean that the phone has a shorter lifespan than the Motorola G 5G if there are new features you’ll want to take advantage of. If you tend to upgrade your phone every few years anyway, however, this might not be an issue. 

For additional options worth considering, check out the rest of the choices in our list of the best cheap Android phones, which also includes the Motorola One 5G Ace  and the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022). Both of which might be better options if you prefer to stick with Motorola.

Christine Persaud
Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud is a freelance writer for Android Central who has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's probably working on her latest fitness program, binging a new (or old) TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets, or spending time with her school-aged son. A self-professed TV nerd, lover of red wine, and passionate home cook, she's immersed in tech in every facet of her life. Follow her at @christineTechCA.