OnePlus is intent on dominating the budget smartphone market in the U.S., and its latest weapon to achieve that objective is the Nord N300. A successor to the well-received Nord N200, the latest OnePlus offering brings a few tricks to the party — such as 33W charging speed, something even high-end phones sold in the market miss out on.
To start, the OnePlus Nord N300 offers a 6.56-inch HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate and a water drop notch at the top. The display resolution is somewhat of a perplexing downgrade, as the OnePlus Nord N200 hit the shelves packing a full-HD+ display, complete with high refresh rate goodness.
Another interesting change happens under the hood. OnePlus is ditching Qualcomm in favor of a MediaTek chip, arming the Nord N300 with a Dimensity 810 SoC (system on chip). Based on the 6nm fabrication process, this chip offers dual-SIM 5G connectivity and features a dual-cluster design with a pair of ARM Cortex-A76 cores and six ARM Cortex-A55 cores for less demanding tasks.
The MediaTek processor is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Thankfully, OnePlus is offering scope for storage expansion of up to 1TB via a dedicated microSD card slot. Unfortunately, OnePlus is only selling the phone in a single Midnight Jade color.
The imaging hardware is a rather modest affair. The main snapper relies on a 48-megapixel sensor that delivers 12MP shots by default using the 4-in-1 pixel binning tech. The main camera relies on Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) tech to negate hand movements.
EIS is not as effective as Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), but it is still worth having given the asking price. The primary camera is assisted by a 2MP depth sensor to produce bokeh effects in portrait images.
OnePlus Nord N300 comes equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, which is easily going to last a full day of usage considering the device’s modest internals. The best surprise here is that the phone supports 33W fast charging. To put that into perspective, no phone in the sub-$500 price bracket from Samsung or Apple crosses the 30W mark.
The next surprise is that OnePlus is bundling the 33W power brick in the retail package. OnePlus is really banking on the meaningful conveniences here, because the in-box charging brick has become a no-show these days — even for flagships that can cost $1,500, or even higher.
OnePlus’ official press release mentions that Nord N300 will be available via T-Mobile and its Metro brand starting November 3. The price has been set at a rather competitive $228, which puts the Nord N300 against the best that TCL has to offer.
Of course, there is barely any competitive device from Samsung in this price bracket, so the choice for budget phone shoppers won’t be a complicated affair. It also helps that the Nord N300 also looks quite appealing, especially with those sharp flat sides and a rear panel with a sandstone-like finish that is reminiscent of the OnePlus 10 Pro flagship.
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