While there is a long list of budget smartphones out there these two from OnePlus that tend to come to blows with each other. Both offering 5G at under $300, come in over 6” and still have a headphone jack. But if you are looking to get one for yourself or someone else which is really worth your precious dollars?


Both devices came out in 2022 with the Nord N20 in the Spring and N300 in mid-Fall. They each come in at a little over 6oz (N20 – 6.10oz, N300 – 6.70oz) but the N20 is noticeably lighter. Each also has plastic backing and frame that isn’t too slippery nor prone to many fingerprints. N20 looks more elegant of the two with a camera layout that mostly has 2/3 of the lens extended out while on the N20 its 2 lenses but they are embedded in a square area.

As far as button layout they are identical with volume controls and Nano Sim tray on the left side while power button is on the right. Nothing is on top with a headphone jack on the bottom. Interestingly the N20 has one speaker on the bottom while the N300 has dual speakers via top and bottom. Each device sports fingerprint sensors but in different areas. The N300 utilizes the power button as a fingerprint sensor while the N20 is an on-screen one. They both work quickly but I always been more partial to ones included in the power button.

What’s Inside?

As far as power these phones are running on two totally different chipsets. The N20 is operating with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, Adreno 619 GPU, 6GB RAM, and 128GB while we are getting a MediaTek 810 chipset, Mali-G57 MC2 GPU, 4GB RAM, and 64GB in the N300. Both are expansive with microSD cards. You do get a larger battery of 5,000 mAh in the N300 compared to 4,500 mAh in the N20.

As far as displays are concerned the N20 edges out the N300. It has a 6.4” AMOLED 1080p display with 409ppi compared to the N300 which has a 6.6” IPS LCD 720p display with 269ppi but can have its refresh rate adjusted to 90Hz. You do get slightly more screen-to-body ratio with 85.27% on the N20 while its 83.93% on the N300. At full brightness you can see the difference in displays with the N300 just showcasing that lower resolution. Also the N20 has its front camera cutout on the side while the N300 has the teardrop method we haven’t seen since the OnePlus 7T.

Both OnePlus Nord N20 and Nord N300 at max brightness with the same content.

If you like to do a bit of gaming, there are some titles that work on both such as Asphalt 9, Call of Duty Mobile, Candy Crush, etc. Unfortunately though if you are a big Fortnite gamer the N300 is incapable of handling that one. Not saying it runs spectacular on the N20 but it at least works.  

Fortnite not being supported on the OnePlus N300.

The Nord N20 comes in two models which is an unlocked GSM version variant or a T-Mobile version while the N300 is exclusively only on T-Mobile / MetroPCS with no locked variant available.


Out the box the Nord N300 is loaded with Android 12 while the N20 had Android 11. In the past few months the N20 has since been updated to Android 12 as well. Neither one has gotten Android 13 as of this writing. But they are both on equal playing field with having OxygenOS 12. OxygenOS runs decent on each device giving you access to gestures, a bevy of options in the menus and a pull down “shelf” if needed. Navigating thru menus and such wasn’t bad, and the software is capable of dealing with day to day tasks.

Mutiple Lenses

I decided to take both phones out and snap photos and could easily see which one was the better of the two. The N20 has a Triple Camera system compromised of 64MP, 2MP(Macro), and 2MP(Depth) where the N300 has a Dual Camera system housing 48MP and 2MP(Depth). Each has a 16MP selfie camera but nothing to brag about on either. If you look at the camera comparisons the N20 just edges out the N300 with better detail and sharpness than the N300.

The Better Buy is…

After using the two head-to-head over the past month or so its hard to really pick the N300 over the N20 other than pricing. The N30 is $228 but is exclusive to T-Mobile. The N20 is $282 on T-Mobile but you can usually catch its unlocked variant on sale at retailers like Amazon / Best Buy for $249.99 or less. You get more RAM, storage, better display, and camera system. Even if you couldn’t find it on sale its still worth paying the price difference.

You May Also Like