It can be easy to forget affordable champs like the OnePlus Nord N30 5G when you’ve got iPhone 15s and Galaxy S24s dominating store shelves and circulars. It’s our favorite budget smartphone under $300, and today, you can save even more on it. The budget smartphone is down to $249.99 for an unlocked model at Amazon, Best Buy, and direct from OnePlus, which is $50 off and only $20 more than its record low during Black Friday.

The OnePlus Nord N30 5G plays in the same arena as something like the Pixel 7A or Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. It’s considerably cheaper than both, but after reviewing it, we found it delivers well enough in most areas that it’d be hard not to recommend it for someone with a seriously cramped budget.

It covers the basics any midrange phone should with a 6.7-inch 120Hz display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 695 chipset, and all-day battery life with 50W fast charging. OnePlus also managed to work in nice-to-haves like stereo speakers and an NFC chip, plus fan-favorite features that other manufacturers have cruelly left to die. This includes a 3.5mm port for plugging in a pair of wired headphones and a microSD card slot, the latter of which accepts up to 1TB of added capacity to supplement the phone’s 128GB of storage.

There are a couple of annoyances keeping the scale from tipping heavily in the Nord N30 5G’s favor. For starters, it’s quickly approaching the end of its software support cycle; it’ll only get one major update beyond Android 13. The camera experience also understandably falls short of the more expensive competition — namely, the midrange Google Pixel phones. Its triple-sensor system includes a 16-megapixel selfie camera, two-megapixel depth and macro sensors, and a 108-megapixel main sensor with pixel binning. The 12-megapixel photos from the latter have enough headroom to let you punch in with 3x lossless zoom.

It snaps nice photos in many situations (especially when you have ample lighting), but we found the 3x zoom photos to be soft, and it’s inconsistent in low-light situations. It’s great that you even have the option at this price, though, so it deserves a bit of forgiveness.


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