A good update
The OnePlus Nord N30 5G is a solid and affordable upgrade smartphone from the brand that will delight users with its many premium features, despite the low price. There are some concessions to be made, but for the average user it will be fine.
- The refresh rate is ultra-fast for gaming and streaming
- Fabulous camera system
- Feels and looks great
- Good battery life and fast charging support
- It is not water resistant
- Only LCD screen which is not very sharp
- There is no fingerprint sensor
- The camera is not the best
- Only supported for an OS upgrade
Limited life left
Yes, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is only a year and a half old, but it’s based on an older operating system. So if you’re looking for something you can hold on to for years to come, it might be best to opt for something more current. That said, it still offers impressive features, and in some cases, it’s actually a step above the N30 5G.
- Fabulous camera system
- Useful game modes
- Gorgeous AMOLED screen
- It looks more expensive than it is
- It is not water resistant
- The display could be a little brighter
- Obsolete with limited software support
- Less RAM
- Limited storage
The comparison between OnePlus Nord N30 5G and OnePlus Nord N20 5G is interesting. The two devices were released just over a year apart. Both are relatively current and share many of the same characteristics. That makes the decision between then all the more difficult. If you find the OnePlus Nord N20 5G at a good deal, should you buy it or spend more on the newer model? We are here to help.
OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Basic features and appearance
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The OnePlus Nord N30 is the newer of the two devices, having just released in early June 2023. It comes in Chromatic Gray with a 6.72-inch LCD, an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, and a generous 2,400x resolution. 1,080. The screen reaches to the edges of the phone so you get the maximum screen real estate.
Even though it’s just an LCD versus AMOLED, Android Central’s Nicholas Sutrich found in his review that the screen was still “extremely easy on the eyes.” However, he admits it looks like a cheap display with a fuzzy look, that never feels “fully sharp.” It’s a miracle that OnePlus didn’t go with an AMOLED for this updated device. But this is something to keep in mind.
Featuring dual stereo speakers, it has a 5,000mAh battery and supports 50W SuperVOOC fast charging, with an Endurance Edition helping to further extend battery life and prevent overcharging. There are also 12 built-in temperature sensors and a smart charging chip along with adaptive charging that matches your sleep schedule, so you should expect good battery life.
Keep in mind that it’s not classified as water resistant or even water repellent, so you’ll want to be wary of water sources or opt for a rugged, protective, waterproof case. You can choose between 128GB or 256GB variants, expandable up to 1TB with an optional microSD card.
Running on OxygenOS 13.1, which is based on Android 13, you’ll enjoy benefits like quick app installation and reduced power consumption, which further helps battery life. There’s no fingerprint sensor but there is facial unlock along with Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, NFC, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
You’ll get a slightly smaller 6.43-inch screen with the OnePlus Nord N20 5G, but it’s an AMOLED screen, which is a step above the OnePlus Nord N30 5G’s standard LCD. Interestingly, however, Sutrich said in his review of this phone that he thought the screen could actually be brighter. It boasts the same resolution but half the refresh rate at 60Hz.
Finished in a gorgeous BlueQuantum finish that Sutrich says lends itself to a “superb” design, it includes a fingerprint sensor along with facial unlock. But it has a less powerful 4,500mAh battery with support for 33W fast charging. Sutrich reports he got a day and a half off each charge. While the battery isn’t as big as that of the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, there are features that help extend it, such as a battery optimization option to reduce the refresh rate or disable GPS if you’re running low.
However, it runs on Oxygen OS based on an older version of Android 11 and supports an update to Android 12, but it maxes out there. Since OS updates are one of the most crucial parts of a phone, this might be a deal breaker for some. In his review of the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, Sutrich also believes that the new version of Oxygen OS itself is a “huge improvement” over the OnePlus Nord N20 5G.
But you will still be able to enjoy some of the customization features of Oxygen OS, such as a redesigned home screen and different themes.
With Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, and a headphone jack, another thing worth noting is that this phone has a mono speaker, not stereo speakers. So, don’t expect a boomy sound. It also has limited storage space, with only a 128GB option and only supported expansion up to 512GB via an optional memory card.
OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: specifications
We will delve into other features, including cameras. But first, let us compare these two smartphones based on the specifications.
|Header Cell – Column 0||OnePlus Nord N30 5G||OnePlus Nord N20 5G|
|Operating system||OxygenOS 13.1 (based on Android 13)||OxygenOS (based on Android 11)|
|Colors||Chromatic grey||Blue Quantum|
|Screen size||6.72 inches||6.43 inches|
|Screen resolution||2,400 x 1,080||2,400 x 1,080|
|Screen type||LCDs||HD+ AMOLED|
|Processor||Dragon’s Mouth 695||Dragon’s Mouth 695|
|Warehousing||128GB, 256GB (expandable up to 1TB)||128GB (expandable up to 512GB)|
|Camera||108MP rear, 16MP front, 2MP Depth Assist, 2MP Macro||64MP, 16MP front, 2MP macro|
|speakers||Stereo speakers||Mono speaker|
|To measure||6.5 x 3 x 0.33 inch||6.3 x 2.88 x 0.3 inch|
|Weight||195 grams||173 grams|
There are some interesting differences here, with the new OnePlus Nord N30 5G having the edge in some ways and the OnePlus Nord N20 5G boasting better specs in others.
OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs. OnePlus Nord N20 5G: using phones
The OnePlus Nord N30 5G comes loaded with Android 13, as noted, with the promise of at least one more major Android update (and three years of security updates). Powered by a Snapdragon 695 chipset, it has an impressive 8GB RAM, delivering a snappy performance for gaming, streaming, and more. Talking about games, it has special gaming features to provide lag-free gaming experience.
It has a 108MP camera system that uses a Samsung sensor and includes 9-in-1 pixel binning technology to supposedly absorb more light. There’s also a decent 16MP front-facing camera, a 3MP depth assist camera, and a 2MP macro lens, although Sutrich feels the macro camera isn’t worth using. You can enjoy features like gesture support to wave a hand to take a photo, portrait mode, retouch and bokeh effects.
As noted, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G has stereo speakers, but crank up the sound another level with Ultra Volume 200% mode to boost the volume when using the phone as a speakerphone or listening to music. This allows for a louder sound without hum or distortion.
Running on the same Snapdragon 695 processor, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G has less RAM at 6GB. There are also special features for gamers, including Game Mode that helps save battery while gaming while boosting performance, and Game Focus mode to block out distractions so you can play undisturbed. Sutrich tried playing various games and found that there was no noticeable stuttering or slowdown.
As for the camera system, it’s a triple camera system with a 64MP main camera, a 16MP front camera, and a 2MP macro camera, so it falls short of the new OnePlus Nord N30 5G, but it will be fine for most people. Sutrich found all of the cameras performed well, with the exception of the macro camera. Indeed, he said that the OnePlus Nord N20 5G’s cameras are the best that he has used in the price range.
OnePlus Nord N30 5G vs OnePlus Nord N20 5G: Which should you buy?
It goes without saying that a newer phone is always a better phone, and that is the case with the One Plus Nord N30 5G versus the OnePlus Nord N20 5G, in many ways. Sutrich said in his review that “almost everything has been improved” with the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, making it the obvious option to choose between the two. But there are some things you need to note.
First, you lose the fingerprint sensor, a strange omission since it was included in the OnePlus N20 5G. You also get a basic LCD screen versus an AMOLED screen, albeit with the same resolution and incredibly high refresh rate. But you’ll notice that the screen isn’t quite as nice. It’s a bigger phone too, so keep that in mind.
That said, you get a lot more, including a bigger battery and faster charging, stereo versus mono speakers, more RAM, the ability to expand with more storage, and better cameras. Best of all, you get the latest version of the Android operating system, with the promise that you’ll be able to upgrade to the next one as well. For some, this is the most important reason to choose the latest phone.
Between these two devices, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G will offer you better value for money and will last much longer in your pocket and/or will likely have a higher resale value when you’re ready to upgrade in a few years. If you want to explore other options, check out the best cheap Android phones you can also buy from OnePlus and other brands, or the best Android phones under $300.
A worthy upgrade
If you choose between these two phones, go for the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. You’ll be dealing with a screen that isn’t that great, but it might be worth it for all the other upgrades you get; in particular, the latest version of the Android operating system. But there are also upgrades with battery life, sound, RAM, expandable storage, and more.
A good secondary phone
For a secondary phone for casual use, grandparents, or even a small child’s first phone, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is a decent option. But that won’t be around long given limited software support. Considering that it is still more expensive than the OnePlus Nord N30 5G in some stores, it is better to opt for that or consider another phone model.
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