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In brief: Buying a budget phone usually meant compromising on a lot of specs, but devices such as the upcoming Nord N200 continue to trim that list. For $239, this OnePlus handset is aggressively targeting the entry-level 5G phone market and is complemented by a decent hardware and software package.
The OnePlus Nord N200 will be one of the cheapest 5G phones in the US when it goes on sale later next week, beating OnePlus' own N10 5G by a noticeable margin. A successor to the N100, this upcoming model packs the 5G-capable Snapdragon 480 chip vs. its predecessor's 460 SoC. The $60 jump in launch price for the N200 seems largely because of the newer chipset, as other spec improvements are fairly minor.
These include a bump in screen resolution, a better front camera and connectivity improvements. The N200 has a slightly smaller and sharper 1080p 90Hz display vs. the N100's 720p 90Hz panel. The selfie camera, meanwhile, doubles the megapixel count for a 16MP unit.
In terms of connectivity, the newer model has NFC and Bluetooth 5.1, which is slightly faster and more accurate than Bluetooth 5.0 on supported devices. Another slight change is the relocation of the fingerprint sensor from the rear to the side.
The N200 retains other specs of its predecessor. These include the memory configuration (4GB/64GB) with microSD expansion, a big 5,000mAh battery, triple-camera array, 3.5mm headphone jack, and a USB-C 2.0 port.
Of course, being a newer device, the N200 also ships with Android 11 (Oxygen OS 11) out of the box. The phone is expected to accelerate 5G adoption in the US, where more low-cost rivals from Motorola, Samsung and Nokia in the future are likely going to turn the budget 5G tier into a highly competitive segment.