As the name suggests, this hot new 6.43-inch phone carries on the legacy of the slightly larger 6.49-inch Nord N10 5G, which was internationally unveiled in late 2020 and expanded stateside in early 2021, where it’s actually no longer available from either OnePlus or T-Mobile.
OnePlus, like Motorola and Samsung, is making it increasingly difficult to keep track of all of its slightly varied low- to mid-end Android handsets that are available over the world. Choosing between the company’s various Nord-branded devices may be a bigger or lesser challenge depending on where you live, with the N20 5G model, for example, joining a not-so-crowded and complicated US product portfolio today.
As officially confirmed in a pre-announcement a couple of weeks back, the N20 is replacing its forerunner’s 90Hz IPS LCD screen with a less fluid but undoubtedly sharper and overall higher-quality AMOLED panel sporting FHD+ resolution and “traditional” 60Hz refresh rate technology. OnePlus ‘properly’ unveils Nord N20 5G mid-ranger ahead of its April 28 US release
Just like its budget-friendly predecessor, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is slated for an exclusive regional carrier release at T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile. Said commercial debut is scheduled for next Thursday, April 28, and although it’s pretty obvious that we’re looking at a strong new candidate for the title of best affordable phone in 2022, OnePlus is weirdly staying mum on this thing’s exact price point even after today’s “proper” announcement.
Embarrassingly enough, Android 11 will run the software show here out the box, putting the Nord N20 5G one huge step behind humbler devices like the Moto G22 or Samsung Galaxy A13. With a somewhat spotty track record when it comes to major OS updates for Nord phones, this is definitely a big oversight on OnePlus’ part and it might reasonably be considered a deal breaker by some prospective buyers.
The Snapdragon 695 processor under the presumably plastic hood of the 5G-enabled Nord N20 doesn’t represent a major upgrade over the Snapdragon 690 powering the Nord N10 5G either, but the “all-day” 4,500mAh battery equipped with 33W charging capabilities looks pretty hard to rival (at least on paper) in the sub-$400 (let alone sub-$300) segment of the US smartphone market.
The price tag becomes that much more important in this case, especially considering that the rest of the specs and features could make for an awesome value proposition at less than $300 (or $0 with a new line of T-Mobile service, for instance). We’re talking 6 gigs of RAM paired with 128GB internal storage space, which is arguably the best such combination we could have realistically hoped for, as well as a modern in-display fingerprint sensor, an impressive-sounding 64MP primary rear-facing camera accompanied by presumably useless monochrome and macro shooters, and a microSD card slot allowing you to easily add up to 512 gigs of digital hoarding room to the aforementioned 128.