OnePlus Enters 2022's Budget Ring With the Mid-Range Nord N20 5G

The mid-range smartphone has specs to compete with Google and Samsung's mid-rangers, and it's under $300.

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
A photo of a person holding the OnePlus Nord N20 5G
The OnePlus Nord N20 5G is a mid-tier Android smartphone.
Image: OnePlus

Now that we’ve gone through 2022's flagship smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S22 and OnePlus 10 Pro, we can turn our attention to the new mid-rangers coming through the pipeline.

OnePlus has announced the OnePus Nord N20, its next mid-range smartphone. It has an impressive list of specifications, including a 6.43-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, a 4500 mAh battery, and an in-display fingerprint reader.

Inside, the Nord N20 5G has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor coupled with 6GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. As for the rear-facing camera system, there’s a 64-MP primary camera, a monochromatic lens, and a macro lens.

Advertisement

It’ll be interesting to see how the cameras perform compared to the current crop of mid-range devices—notably, the Samsung Galaxy A53 and the excellent Pixel 5a. I’m also curious to see if OnePlus can replicate the speed and efficacy of the in-display fingerprint readers of its flagship series with Qualcomm’s updated mid-range chip.

The appeal of the recent batch of middle-of-the-road smartphones is that they include some of the better features of their premium counterparts at a fraction of the price. According to the spec list, OnePlus also brought over its 33W fast charging to the Nord N20. Fast charging is one of the brighter sides of using a OnePlus device, especially if you tend to charge and dash.

Advertisement
A photo of the OnePlus Nord N20 5G
A closer look at the OnePlus Nord N20 5G.
Image: OnePlus

My biggest concern about the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is how OnePlus will maintain its software updates. The OnePlus Nord N20 uses Oxygen OS, which is fine and comes with unique features like a gaming mode. But according to the spec sheet, the Nord N20 will ship with Android 11 instead of the latest Android 12. There’s no mention of when the device will receive the software update. That’s troubling, considering Samsung, Google, and even Motorola have explicit software update policies related to their mid-range devices.

Advertisement

The OnePlus Nord N20 5G starts at $282 and will be available starting Apr. 28 in the U.S. through T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile. This is cheaper than the mid-range Google and Samsung variants priced around $450. OnePlus says the price point is “accessible.” There will also be an “open market variant” later this year.

Update 4/19: We’ve updated this article with pricing from T-Mobile.