However, OnePlus hasn't given up on its more budget-friendly roots as proven by devices like last year's OnePlus Nord N10 5G. This year, the company is back with yet another impressive option for budget phone fans in the OnePlus Nord N200 5G, which brings you 5G and a whole lot more for just $240.
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OnePlus Nord N200 5G: price and availability
While there is plenty more to talk about with the OnePlus Nord N200 5G, the price is definitely the attention-grabber as we haven't seen a 5G phone come close to its $239.99 starting price.
The exclusive carrier partner in the U.S. is T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile, but it will also be available for purchase through Best Buy, Amazon and B&H. The device will first be available at OnePlus.com starting on June 25 at 11 a.m. Eastern with availability to follow through the other outlets.
OnePlus Nord N200 5G: design
While I'll certainly withhold final judgment until I have the device in my hands, it does manage to pull off the same overall look as the pricier OnePlus models. The Blue Quantum finish has a light to dark color fade that gives it a more appealing look than a basic black or silver finish.
The rear camera array is in the same upper-left corner position that OnePlus has moved to across its lineup over the last year with a triple camera array and a flash. The camera array sticks out just slightly from the back of the phone so you shouldn't face that annoying problem of your phone not laying nicely on a flat surface.
The curved edges and corners of the OnePlus Nord N200 5G give it a premium look and presumably should make it incredibly comfortable to hold. The phone does lose the ringer switch found on many OnePlus phones with just the multi-function button on the right and the volume up and down buttons on the left side of the phone.
OnePlus hasn't offered official measurements yet, but the 6.49-inch display means it won't be too small. Speaking of the display, again this phone follows in its pricier siblings' footsteps with a hole-punch front-facing camera in the upper-left corner of the display.
OnePlus Nord N200 5G: specs
While OnePlus appears to have done a pretty solid job of giving the phone a nice premium look on the outside, it's what's on the inside that counts for day-to-day usage. Powering the phone is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G, which is an 8nm chip announced back in January. It's paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
We haven't benchmarked the Snapdragon 480 5G ourselves yet, but the reports have indicated that it is roughly a 20% performance hit from the Snapdragon 765G found in devices like the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G last year. No one would argue those phones were powerhouses, so you can forget about gaming on this phone, but for standard browsing, social media, and content consumption, it should likely hold up just fine.
That's definitely the low-light of the OnePlus Nord N200 5G; the display sounds pretty impressive with a 90Hz refresh rate, something flagship iPhone owners still don't have, and a reasonable full HD+ resolution.
Battery life definitely won't be a problem for the OnePlus Nord N200 5G either with a 5,000mAh battery inside. Again, that matches up with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is a mere $960 more expensive, roughly the cost of a OnePlus 9 Pro.
OnePlus hasn't revealed the full camera specs yet, but the primary rear sensor is a 13MP wide-angle and the front-facing camera is 16MP. Suffice to say that this device isn't getting the Hasselblad treatment that we saw in the OnePlus 9 series this year, but we'll see how it holds up against other budget phones.
OnePlus Nord N200 5G: Outlook
It's certainly not a flagship killer, but the OnePlus Nord N200 5G definitely has the makings of a budget phone champ. Seeing 5G come down to a sub-$250 price point is great as you are getting future-proofing without feeling like you are paying an added tax for it.
The biggest questions for me are how the performance holds up and whether the cameras are capable enough those are both real challenges for budget phones. If you've been in the market for a budget phone definitely hold out for our full review as this is one to look out for.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.