It has been a busy year for OnePlus. In the first half of 2021, the company released its newest flagship phones, the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro, as well as its first two budget phones, the OnePlus Nord N100 ($179.99) and the OnePlus Nord N10 5G ($299.99).
Less than six months after the N100 hit store shelves, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G ($239.99) is ready to replace it. It has a more powerful processor, 5G connectivity, and a higher-resolution display.
The phone’s weak spots are its bad cameras and the way it handles software updates, but neither is a deal-breaker.
The N10 is still our Editors’ Choice for budget phones, but if you want a 5G phone that won’t break the bank, the N200 is a great option.
What About Its Display?
Crisp 90Hz Display
The N200 5G shares a lot with the N100. It is 6.4 by 2.9 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 6.6 ounces.
It’s ever-so-slightly thinner, but you’d be hard-pressed to notice the difference.
Even though it’s big, it’s thin and light enough to hold in one hand for long periods.
The 6.49-inch, 1,080×2,400-pixel, 90Hz display is sharper than the N100’s, but the higher pixel density means it isn’t quite as bright. Viewing angles are great.
By default, colours have a cool bias, but you can change the colour balance in the Settings menu.
For a phone in this price range, it has a great screen that’s easy on the eyes even after hours of watching videos, scrolling through social media feeds, or playing games.
How About Its Cost?
The least expensive 5G you can get
OnePlus sells an unlocked version of the N200 5G. It works with every US carrier and participating MVNO.
There is also a version sold in T-Mobile stores that is optimised for T-network. Mobile’s Bands 66 and 71 are on board to improve network connectivity.
We got good data speeds when using the N200 5G on T-5G Mobile’s network in Chicago, averaging 154.2Mbps down and 46Mbps up.
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The Galaxy A32 5G’s speeds were slightly slower, at 141.9Mbps down and 42.8Mbps down, but there are a lot of things that could have caused the difference, so the two phones are the same in this regard.
When compared to a top-of-the-line phone, these data speeds might not seem like much, but for a phone that costs less than $250, they’re impressive.
You Can Also Do Multitasking!
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G mobile platform and 4GB of RAM are what power the N200 5G.
There is 64GB of storage on board, with about 48GB available right out of the box.
You can add up to 1TB of storage with a microSD card.
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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 5G platform is similar to its midrange Snapdragon 678 chipset, which is found in more expensive phones like Motorola’s Moto G Stylus.
The Galaxy A32 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 720 chipset, while the N100 5G has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 SoC.
The main improvements of the 480 5G over the 460 are an improved instruction set, a higher memory bandwidth, and, of course, a 5G modem.
What About Its Camera?
The Cameras Miss the Mark
The OnePlus Nord N200 5G’s back camera module is bhe same as the one on the N100.
They both have 13MP wide-angle lenses with f/2.2 apertures and 2MP macro sensors with f/2.4 apertures.
The only difference between the two phones is the N200’s additional 2MP, f/2.4 sensor, which is called a monochrome lens instead of a depth sensor.
We think the difference is just in name, since thre’s no Monochrome mode in the Camera app and many phones use low-resolution monochrome lenses as depth sensors.
The front-facing camera has 16MP and an f/2.0 aperture. It’s a big improvement from the 8MP lens on the N100.
The N200 5G can take decent photos when there is enough light.
Our test shots had natural depa th of field, and the colours were spot on.
The clarity of the foreground was great, but the backgrounds were all muddy.
Even with Nightscape mode turned on, photos taken in low light were a total fail.
This feature, which takes a burst of photos and stacks them together for better low-light images, was missing from the N10.
It’s a nice addition to the N200 5G, as it reduces light flares and improves background details.
Unfortunately, that’s not enough to make the N200 5G’s low-light photos very good.
Just One OS Upgrade
The N200 5G comes with Android 11 with OxygenOS, which is OnePlus’ signature skin.
If you haven’t used OxygenOS yet, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
It has one of the most elegant and useful user interfaces for Android.
The interface lets you change everything about the N200 5G, from its system font to its Quick Settings menus.
What About Final Verdict?
There are also a few apps like File Manager, Gallery, and Zen Mode that are arguably better than their stock Android counterparts.
Simple and gratifying
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The OnePlus Nord N200 5G is a great upgrade to the OnePlus N100.
It’s more powerful, offers solid sub-6GHz 5G connectivity, has a more responsive fingerprint sensor, and has an amazing screen.