OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. N20 5G

The OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G is an interesting comparison. The two devices were released just over a year apart. Both are relatively current and share many of the same features. That makes deciding between then even more difficult. If you find the OnePlus Nord N20 5G for a good deal, should you get it, or spend more money for the newer model? We’re here to help.

OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Basic features and looks

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The shiny back of the OnePlus Nord N30 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The OnePlus Nord N30 is the newer of the two devices, just released in early June 2023. It comes in Chromatic Gray with a 6.72-inch LCD, an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, and a generous 2,400 x 1,080 resolution. The screen reaches to the edges of the phone so you get maximum screen real estate. 

Even though it’s only an LCD versus AMOLED, Android Central’s Nicholas Sutrich found in his review that the screen was still “extremely eye-friendly.” He does, however, admit that it looks like a cheap display with a hazy look, never feeling “totally sharp.” It’s a wonder OnePlus didn’t stick with an AMOLED for this upgraded device. But this is something to keep in mind. 

Equipped with dual stereo speakers, it has a 5,000 mAh battery and supports 50W SuperVOOC fast charging, with an Endurance edition that helps extend battery life further and prevent overcharging. There are also 12 built-in temperature sensors and a smart charging chip along with adaptive charging that matches your sleep schedule, so you should expect good battery life. 

Note that it isn’t rated as being water-resistant, or even water-repellant, so you’ll want to be careful around sources of water or opt for a rugged, protective, waterproof case. You can choose from either 128GB or 256GB variants, expandable up to 1TB with an optional microSD card. 

Running on OxygenOS 13.1, which is based on Android 13, you’ll enjoy benefits like fast app installation and a reduction in power consumption, which further aids in battery life. There’s no fingerprint sensor but there is face unlock along with Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, NFC, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

OnePlus Nord N20 5G

You’ll get a slightly smaller 6.43-inch screen with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G, but it’s an AMOLED screen, which is a step above the standard LCD in the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. Interestingly, however, Sutrich said in his review of this phone that he thought the screen could actually be brighter. It boasts the same resolution but half the refresh rate at 60Hz. 

Finished in a stunning BlueQuantum finish that Sutrich says lends to a “superb” design, it does include a fingerprint sensor along with face unlock. But it has a less powerful battery at 4,500mAh with support for 33W fast charging. Sutrich reports getting a day-and-a-half out of every charge. While the battery isn’t as big as the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, there are features to help extend it, like a battery optimization option to drop the refresh rate or disable GPS if you’re running low. 

It does, however, run on Oxygen OS based on an older version of Android 11, and supports an upgrade to Android 12, but it maxes out there. With OS updates being one of the most crucial parts of a phone, this could be a dealbreaker for some. In his review of the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, Sutrich also believes the new version of Oxygen OS in and of itself is a “massive improvement” over the OnePlus Nord N20 5G. 

But you’ll still be able to enjoy some of the Oxygen OS personalization features, like a redesigned home screen and different themes. 

With Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, and a headphone jack, another thing worth noting is that this phone has a mono speaker, not stereo speakers. So, don’t expect a booming sound. It also has limited storage, with only a 128GB option and expansion only supported up to 512GB via an optional memory card.

OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Specs

We’ll dive deeper into other features, including the cameras. But first, let’s compare these two smartphones by specs.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 OnePlus Nord N30 5GOnePlus Nord N20 5G
OSOxygenOS 13.1 (based on Android 13)OxygenOS (based on Android 11)
ColorsChromatic GreyBlueQuantum
Screen Size6.72 inches6.43 inches
Screen Resolution2,400 x 1,0802,400 x 1,080
ProcessorSnapdragon 695Snapdragon 695
Storage128GB, 256GB (expandable up to 1TB)128GB (expandable up to 512GB)
Camera108MP Rear, 16MP Front, 2MP Depth Assist, 2MP Macro64MP, 16MP Front, 2MP Macro
SpeakersStereo SpeakersMono Speaker
Battery5,000 mAh4,500 mAh
Water ResistantNoNo
Size6.5 x 3 x 0.33 inches6.3 x 2.88 x 0.3 inches
Weight195 grams173 grams

There are some interesting differences here, with the newer OnePlus Nord N30 5G having a leg up in some ways and the OnePlus Nord N20 5G boasting better specs in others.

OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Using the phones

Playing The Division Resurgence on a OnePlus Nord N30 5G with a GameSir X2 USB-C controller

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The OnePlus Nord N30 5G comes loaded with Android 13, as noted, with a promise for at least one more major Android update (and three years of security updates). Powered by a Snapdragon 695 chipset, it has an impressive 8GB RAM, which offers snappy performance for gaming, streaming, and more. Speaking of gaming, it has special gaming features to provide a lag-free gaming experience. 

It has a 108MP camera system using a Samsung sensor and includes 9-in-1 pixel binning technology to purportedly absorb more light. There’s also a decent 16MP front camera, 3MP depth assist camera, and 2MP macro lens, though Sutrich finds that the macro camera isn’t worth using. You can enjoy features like gesture support for waving a hand to snap a photo, portrait mode, re-touching, and bokeh effects. 

As noted, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G has stereo speakers, but it kicks the sound up another level with the 200% Ultra Volume Mode for increasing the volume when using the phone as a speakerphone or listening to music. This allows for a louder sound without any buzzing or distortion.

Oneplus Nord N200 5g Lifestyle 5

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

Running on the same Snapdragon 695 processor, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G has less RAM at 6GB. There are also special features for gamers, including Game Mode which helps conserve battery while gaming while also boosting performance, and Game Focus Mode to block distractions so you can play undisturbed. Sutrich tried playing various games and found that there was no noticeable stutter or slowdowns. 

With regards to the camera system, it’s a triple camera system with a 64MP main camera, 16MP front camera, and 2MP macro camera, so it’s not quite up to par with the newer OnePlus Nord N30 5G, but it will do fine for most people. Sutrich found all the cameras performed well with the exception of the macro camera. In fact, he said the OnePlus Nord N20 5G’s cameras are the best he has used in the price range.

OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Which should you buy?

Taking a photo with the OnePlus Nord N30 5G

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

It stands to reason that a newer phone is always a better phone, and such is the case with the One Plus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G, in most ways. Sutrich said in his review that “nearly everything has been improved” with the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, making it the obvious option to choose between the two. But there are a few things you need to note. 

First, you lose the fingerprint sensor, an odd omission since it was included in the OnePlus N20 5G. You also get a basic LCD versus AMOLED screen, though with the same resolution and a ridiculously high refresh rate. But you’ll notice that the screen isn’t quite as nice. It’s also a larger phone, so keep this in mind. 

With that said, you gain so much more, including a bigger battery and faster charging, stereo speakers versus mono, more RAM, the ability to expand with more storage and better cameras. But most importantly, you get the newest version of the Android OS, with a promise that you’ll be able to upgrade to the next one as well. For some, this is the most important reason to go with the newer phone. 

Between these two devices, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G will give you better value for the dollar and will last a lot longer in your pocket, and/or have likely higher resale value when you’re ready to upgrade in a few years.  If you want to explore other options, check out the best cheap Android phones you can buy from OnePlus and other brands as well, or the best Android phones under $300

Christine Persaud

Christine Persaud has been writing about tech since long before the smartphone was even a "thing." When she isn't writing, she's working on her latest fitness program, binging a new TV series, tinkering with tech gadgets she's reviewing, or spending time with family and friends. 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.

  • hamlett164
    The Nord N30 does have a fingerprint sensor.
  • belodion
    AC News said:
    Between the OnePlus Nord N30 5G and OnePlus Nord N20 5G, the decision might seem obvious. But there are a few things to note before selecting one or the other.

    OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. N20 5G : Read more
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