OnePlus Nord N300 5G vs. N200 5G: Should you upgrade?
It's not that easy of a decision.
The OnePlus Nord N300 5G brings a MediaTek chipset to the party and an updated design. While not the most powerful smartphone on the market, you'll be hard-pressed to find decent 5G phones at this price point.
- Great battery life
- Upgraded 48MP camera
- Soft, textured back panel
- 33W fast charging
- Dual speakers
- One software upgrade
- Front notch design
- So-so performance
- Downgraded display resolution
The OnePlus Nord N200 5G was an impressive budget phone when it launched in 2021, thanks to the Snapdragon chipset powering it and the FHD+ 90Hz display. However, with limited software support, its time is running out.
- Triple cameras
- FHD+ resolution display
- Hole-punch selfie camera design
- Glossy back panel
- Battery life
- Slower 18W charging
- Won't get Android 13
- So-so performance
- Lower resolution camera
OnePlus recently launched its latest budget smartphone, the Nord N300 5G. It's an incredibly affordable 5G smartphone and a seeming upgrade from last 2021's Nord N200 5G. Both offer good value, but given that one is newer, you might be thinking that the N300 5G might be the obvious decision if you're trying to choose between the two. Similarly, if you're an N200 5G owner wondering if it's worth upgrading to the latest budget phone.
Fortunately, we're here to lay out the details so you can figure out which Nord N phone to buy. These phones might be very similar, but there are some differences between the two that could sway you either way, depending on what you're looking for in a budget Android phone.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G vs. N200 5G: Hardware & design
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When it comes to design, these phones are a bit of a mixed bag. From the front, the N200 5G looks a bit more premium thanks to its hole-punch display. However, the rear, while nice, doesn't look nearly as good as the N300 5G with its textured plastic. The N300 also has a flat metal frame that gives it a nice aesthetic, as it mirrors design moves made by some recent flagships like the Galaxy S22 series. Unfortunately, the front takes a bit of a step back with its V-shaped notch, something we haven't seen since probably the OnePlus 7T.
Of course, whether you prefer the shinier N200 over the matte N300 is up to you. But as for the hardware, that's just as much of a mixed bag as the design.
|Category||OnePlus Nord N300 5G||OnePlus Nord N200 5G|
|Operating system||OxygenOS 12 (Android 12)||OxygenOS 11, upgradeable to OxygenOS 12|
|Display||6.56-inch, 90Hz IPS LCD, HD+ (1612x720)||6.49-inch, 90Hz IPS LCD, FHD+ (2400x1080)|
|Chipset||MediaTek Dimensity 810||Qualcomm Snapdragon 480|
|MicroSD Slot||Yes, up to 1TB||Yes, up to 256GB|
|Rear camera 1||48MP wide, f/1.8||13MP wide, f/2.2|
|Rear camera 2||2MP depth, f/2.4||2MP macro, f/2.4|
|Rear camera 3||❌||2MP monochrome, f/2.4|
|Front camera||16MP wide, f/2.0||16MP wide, f/2.05|
|Connectivity||5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.3||5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Charging||33W fast charging, charger included||18W fast charging, charger included|
|Audio||Dual speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack||Single speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Security||Side fingerprint||Side fingerprint|
|Water resistance||IP52||Water resistant|
|Dimensions||163.8 x 75.1 x 8mm||163.1 x 74.9 x 8.3mm|
|Colors||Midnight Jade||Blue Quantum|
The Nord N200 was powered by the Snapdragon 480, a lower-mid-range chipset. It's obviously not the most powerful chipset, but it has decent performance otherwise. The N300, meanwhile, is powered by a MediaTek 810 chip, which runs decently, although you'll definitely have trouble with more demanding apps.
Then there's the display. Both devices feature 90Hz refresh rates, which is nice for budget smartphones. However, despite the N300 being the "upgrade," the display gets a notable downgrade from FHD+ to just HD+. It's quite unfortunate, and the lower resolution is actually very noticeable.
Elsewhere, the specs are pretty comparable, although you'll benefit from more external storage, faster 33W charging, an IP rating, and dual speakers for enhanced audio output. Battery life is also similar, with both phones easily lasting a day or more depending on use.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G vs. N200 5G: Cameras
As for the cameras, the N300 has one less sensor, omitting the monochrome and macro lenses for a depth sensor while updating the primary camera from a 13MP unit to a 48MP one. The updated camera offers very colorful images, although the output can often be a bit too vibrant. Neither camera is perfect, and there's a clear lack of detail in the N200, whereas the Nord N300 suffers at night.
Still, in ideal lighting, you can probably manage some decent shots from either phone and if you like punchier photos, the Nord N300 might be the phone for you.
The selfie cameras are unchanged between the models, resulting in fairly disappointing images with little detail. Both cameras top out at 1080p for video recording, which is unfortunate but not unheard of at this price point.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G vs. N200 5G: Software
Regarding software, the N200 was launched with OxygenOS 11 with one promised OS upgrade and two years of software updates. That means you won't get Android 13, which has already started rolling out on select OnePlus phones and plenty of other Android devices.
Meanwhile, OnePlus has extended the same software promise to the N300, which launched with Android 12. Unfortunately, that means the impending OxygenOS 13 (Android 13) update is the only major upgrade coming to the phone, although when it arrives is anyone's guess.
That said, you can expect the same software experience on both devices, at least for now.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G vs. N200 5G: Which should you buy?
When it comes to comparing these two, the choice isn't quite as easy as one might initially think. The OnePlus Nord N200 5G is an older phone, but it comes with a more modern design, at least on the front, and has a higher-resolution display. Meanwhile, the OnePlus Nord N300 5G is newer, set to receive the next major Android update, and has a marginally better camera system. However, despite being the newer device, the display gets downgraded with a lower resolution and an unsightly notch.
If you really care about software updates, then you might wanna spring for the N300 5G, especially if you already own the N200. That said, these phones are quite similar, and given the compromises here, it is likely not worth the upgrade. Additionally, if you're fine with Android 12 and are just looking for an inexpensive 5G phone to get you by, then you might be better off with the N200 5G.
The OnePlus Nord N300 5G has a sleek design that makes the device look much more premium than it is, at least from the back. The upgraded camera makes your images plenty vibrant, and you get great battery life and fast charging.
Despite being the older phone, the Nord N200 5G has a few things going for it, like a sleek design and a Full HD+ display. It also lasts well over a day on a single charge, which is great for anyone looking for a long-lasting phone.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.