OnePlus Nord N300 5G vs. N200 5G: Should you upgrade?

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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OnePlus Nord N300 5G leaning against a pillar

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

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.

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CategoryOnePlus Nord N300 5GOnePlus Nord N200 5G
Operating systemOxygenOS 12 (Android 12)OxygenOS 11, upgradeable to OxygenOS 12
Display6.56-inch, 90Hz IPS LCD, HD+ (1612x720)6.49-inch, 90Hz IPS LCD, FHD+ (2400x1080)
ChipsetMediaTek Dimensity 810Qualcomm Snapdragon 480
RAM4GB4GB
Storage64GB64GB
MicroSD SlotYes, up to 1TBYes, up to 256GB
Rear camera 148MP wide, f/1.813MP wide, f/2.2
Rear camera 22MP depth, f/2.42MP macro, f/2.4
Rear camera 32MP monochrome, f/2.4
Front camera16MP wide, f/2.016MP wide, f/2.05
Connectivity5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.35G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery5,000mAh5,000mAh
Charging33W fast charging, charger included18W fast charging, charger included
AudioDual speakers, 3.5mm headphone jackSingle speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
SecuritySide fingerprintSide fingerprint
Water resistanceIP52Water resistant
Dimensions163.8 x 75.1 x 8mm163.1 x 74.9 x 8.3mm
Weight190g189g
ColorsMidnight JadeBlue 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

The OnePlus Nord N300 5G dual-camera housing

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

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.

Oneplus Nord N200 5g 1x10

Captured from the OnePlus Nord N200 5G (Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

OnePlus Nord N300 5G camera sample, image of a Sony DSLR

Captured from the OnePlus Nord N300 5G (Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

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

Oneplus Nord N200 5g Lifestyle 5

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

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?

OnePlus n200 5G

(Image credit: Samuel Contreras / Android Central)

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.