The $228 OnePlus Nord N300 packs good looks, 33 W charging

OnePlus shows a new low-end smartphone, the OnePlus Nord N300 5G. This is a $228 phone that you can get from T-Mobile starting November 3rd. Highlights include a surprisingly nice design for this price, 33W charging, and a 90Hz display.

First: specifications. The SoC is a MediaTek Dimensity 810. That means a 6 nm chip with two 2.4 GHz Cortex-A76 cores, six 2 GHz Cortex-A55 cores and an ARM Mali G57 MP2 GPU. There’s 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 5000mAh battery. The display is a 6.56-inch “HD+” display with a resolution of 1612 x 720 and 90Hz. A 90Hz display on such a cheap phone sounds impressive, but this phone’s predecessor, the Nord N200, had it didn’t have the power to reliably send 90fps to the 1080p display, making it a waste. The downgrade to 720p (and maybe a slightly faster SoC) means OnePlus could actually hit 90 FPS this year, but it’s not clear that the drop in resolution will be worth it.

33W charging means this charges faster than a $1,100 iPhone. There’s a side fingerprint reader in the power button, and you get a microSD slot, NFC, and a headphone jack. For cameras, you get a 48-megapixel main rear camera and a 2-megapixel depth camera, which is just for looks. The front camera is 8MP. The phone ships with Android 13, and OnePlus’ usual update schedule for these cheap phones is one major update and three years of biannual security updates.

Low-end smartphones are usually designed to be as generic and memorable as possible, but the N300 looks surprisingly good. The whole phone is square like an iPhone 4, with straight sides and beveled edges. The camera block looks good too, with more beveled edges, square sides and a two-tone color scheme. It’s a lot more design work than you’d typically get at this price point. We’re still not big fans of the teardrop front camera, but it’s a budget phone.

Elsewhere in the world, this phone is called the Oppo A77 5G.