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The $228 OnePlus Nord N300 packs good looks, 33 W charging

OnePlus is showing off a new low-end smartphone, the OnePlus Nord N300 5G. This is a $228 phone you can get at T-Mobile starting November 3. The highlights include a surprisingly handsome design for this price point, 33 W charging, and a 90 Hz display.

First up: specs. The SoC is a MediaTek Dimensity 810. That means a 6 nm chip with two 2.4 GHz Cortex A76 cores, six 2 GHz, Cortex A55 cores, and an ARM Mali-G57 MP2 GPU. There’s 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 5000 mAh battery. The display is a 6.56-inch, 1,612×720, 90 Hz “HD+” display. A 90 Hz display on a phone this cheap sounds impressive, but this phone’s predecessor, the Nord N200, didn’t have the power to reliably ship 90 frames per second to the 1080p display, making it a bit of a waste. The downgrade to 720p (and maybe a slightly faster SoC) means OnePlus might actually hit 90 FPS this year, but it’s not clear the resolution drop will be worth that.

33 W charging means this will charge faster than an $1,100 iPhone. There’s a side fingerprint reader in the power button, and you get a microSD slot, NFC, and a headphone jack. For cameras, you get one rear 48MP main camera and a just-for-looks 2MP “depth” camera. The front camera is 8MP. The phone ships with Android 13, and OnePlus’ usual update timeline for these cheap phones is one major update and three years of semi-regular security updates.

Low-end smartphones are usually styled to be as generic and forgettable as possible, but the N300 comes with surprisingly good looks. The whole phone is squared-off like an iPhone 4, with straight sides and chamfered edges. The camera block is good-looking, too, with more chamfered edges, square sides, and a two-tone color scheme. It’s a lot more design work than you’d typically get at this price point. We’re still not huge fans of the teardrop front camera, but it’s a budget phone.

Elsewhere in the world, this phone is called the Oppo A77 5G.

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