OnePlus makes some impressive flagship smartphones, but the company also has a growing presence in the budget market as well. The latest offering from the company is the OnePlus Nord N300 5G, which makes some interesting changes from its predecessor.
The Nord N300 5G is an economical smartphone that aims to give consumers an affordable option for fast 5G speeds, and doing so means making some compromises. This includes a new chipset (the first OnePlus phone to run MediaTek in the US), weird changes to the display, and an updated camera array. But did OnePlus make truly Concessions for this “upgraded” smartphone?
OnePlus Nord N300 5G: Price and Availability
It was OnePlus Nord N300 5G announce on October 24 and put up for sale on November 3. The device is available through T-Mobile and Metro T-Mobile, priced at $228. Subscribers can buy the phone in monthly installments, and there are some deals available that can cut the price of this really reasonable smartphone to practically nothing.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G: What I like
Off the bat, there are aspects of the design that I really love. The back panel makes the device look and feel surprisingly good, considering the plastic. It kind of reminds me of the polished back on Galaxy S21, which is great for reducing fingerprints, even on the dark Midnight Jade color path. It contrasts well with the rear camera array, which is housed in a glossy casing (I’ll touch more on that later).
This is my first time using a OnePlus smartphone, which means it’s my first experience with OxygenOS. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about how the program has evolved over the past few years, but my experience with OxygenOS 12 It was very positive.
The program is very powerful, and MediaTek 810 The chipset appears to be able to handle basic tasks, navigation through menus seems quick, in part due to the screen’s 90Hz refresh rate. Plus it has a lot of customization options. I can change the look of app icons or icons in the quick settings menu, set UI colors, edit status bar, and choose through various gestures. It feels like there’s a lot to do on this phone, but it makes the experience fun.
|category||OnePlus Nord N300 5G|
|The operating system||OxygenOS 12 (Android 12)|
|Show||6.56 inch, 90 Hz IPS LCD, HD + (1612 x 720)|
|Slices||MediaTek Dimension 810|
|MicroSD slot||Yes, up to 1 TB|
|Back camera 1||48 MP, f/1.8|
|2 . rear camera||2 MP depth, f/2.4|
|front camera||16 MP, f / 2.0|
|Connection||5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.3|
|Shipping||33W fast charging, charger included|
|My voice||USB-C, Dual Speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Dimensions||163.8 x 75.1 x 8 mm|
There’s also the shelf, which is a separate dropdown menu with access to a set of tools. I’m not quite sure how it feels, as it’s somewhat redundant, but it does help to keep the home screen clear, which I prefer. It acts as a shortcut page for some of my favorite apps, similar to other app shortcut options on devices from Samsung and Motorola.
In my daily use, the 5,000mAh battery was able to last all day. I start my days at 5 AM and don’t usually have to charge it until the end of the day, which is usually around 10 PM. I can sometimes go to the next morning without really worrying about the phone dying during my morning workout.
Even better, the phone supports 33W fast charging with a charger included in the box. This sentence alone is more than I can say about most of the others Samsung Pioneer. It’s a far cry from the 125W charging found in devices like OnePlus 10Tbut it’s very fast and gets the job done.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G: What I don’t like
Unfortunately, the compromises made to keep the price of the device affordable spoil the experience. For example, the HD+ screen is a significant downgrade from last year’s FHD+ screen OnePlus Nord N200 5G, and the lower resolution is very noticeable in many cases. Not to mention the decision to place the front camera inside a V-shaped notch rather than a hole. It makes the phone look cheap – in stark contrast to the premium-looking back panel.
As for the software, while I enjoy OxygenOS 12, I find the OnePlus Nord N300 5G to be a little weak. The 4GB of RAM can’t really keep up, and I’ve encountered a lot of app and game crashes that may freeze or take a long time to load. The RAM extension or RAM Boost features don’t seem to help much, and the program seems very aggressive in regards to background apps. For example, I’m going to play a game and quickly switch to another app. After a few seconds, I’ll turn back, only to find that the game has reset, which kicks me out of what I was doing. The phone will also constantly warn me about apps that are using a lot of power in the background.
Plus, the 64GB internal storage is a bit of an insult, filling up almost completely once I’ve finished setting up the phone and rendering the RAM extension unusable. Fortunately, there is an option for expandable storage, but that doesn’t always help, as not everything can be moved to a memory card.
Then there is the performance of the camera. OnePlus has upgraded the primary sensor from 13MP to 48MP compared to the Nord N200, but the output isn’t that impressive, and it’s the only usable camera on the setup where the other lens sees just a depth sensor. The images seem a little exaggerated with the vibrancy and color. Low-light photos aren’t much better, and night shots capture a lot of light but lack a lot of detail.
Don’t expect much from a selfie camera.
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Also, beware of bloatware. The device seems very persistent trying to download apps that no one wants. You don’t have to, but it feels annoyingly aggressive. Thanks T-Mobile.
Finally, OnePlus Nord N300 5G runs Android 12 but will only receive one OS upgrade OxygenOS 13 (Android 13), along with two years of software updates. This is the standard for Cheap Android phonesHowever, it would be nice if OnePlus could follow Samsung’s example with multi-year operating system upgrades.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G: The competition
Nord N300 5G is sold by T-Mobile, but the carrier also has Revvl 6 Pro, which is aimed at consumers looking for a budget 5G option. It has a similar design, although it looks a bit cheaper, especially from the back. It comes with twice the storage, more RAM, and wireless charging. However, wired charging is slower, and its software is pretty boring.
The Moto G 5G phone It is a very decent smartphone in this range. It offers an impressive multi-day battery life that can easily last up to two days, and the “stored” Android experience is enhanced with useful add-ons from Motorola. However, the camera performance is poor, there is no NFC, and the charging is very slow.
The Galaxy A23 5G is one of the most impressive smartphones at this price. It’s powered by a tried-and-true Snapdragon 695 chipset, has a 50MP quad-camera setup, a large battery, and multi-year software support. Charging is a little slower at 25W, and the phone only has 4GB of RAM.
OnePlus Nord N300 5G: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if…
- You are looking for an affordable 5G smartphone.
- You want a fast charging phone
- You want a phone with good battery life
You should not buy this if…
- You want a good camera
- You love to play on your phone
- You need a lot of storage space
The OnePlus Nord N300 5G is an interesting phone. It makes weird trade-offs like including a better camera but with fewer lenses, a better rear design but with a lower screen and faster charging but with a somewhat mediocre MediaTek chipset. I’m a little confused about the decisions that led to this phone.
If you are looking for a phone that can handle the bare minimum, this is the phone for you. OxygenOS has a lot of features to help make this phone more interesting and fun, but the experience may be hampered by the chipset’s performance and disappointing picture output. Thankfully, the battery life is good, and it charges quickly, which are two things consumers tend to look for in a phone, according to a recent OnePlus survey.
However, I find it difficult to recommend this phone to anyone. As someone who bought a Nord N200 5G for my little brother, I tend to recommend it more, even if it means missing out on Android 13.
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