OnePlus has had a busy year. The OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro, the company’s most recent flagships, were released in the first half of 2021. The phone’s weak features are its subpar cameras and ungenerous software upgrade policy, although neither is a deal-breaker. The N10 continues to be our Editors’ Choice for affordable phones, but the N200 is a great choice if you want a 5G-capable phone at a price that won’t break the bank.
A Crisp 90Hz Display
The N200 5G and the N100 have many similarities. It is 6.6 ounces in weight and measures 6.4 by 2.9 by 0.3 inches (HWD). You’d have a difficult time noticing the difference, but it’s just a little bit thinner. Although it has a substantial form factor, it is light and thin enough to be held in one hand for extended periods of time.
The 6.49-inch, 1,080-by-2,400-pixel, 90Hz display is sharper than the N100’s, although it isn’t quite as bright due to the increased pixel density. Excellent angles of viewing. By default, colors lean toward the cold side, but you can change the color balance in the Settings menu. It has a great display for a phone in this price range that is comfortable to look at for hours while watching videos, scrolling through social media, or playing games.
The semi-gloss plastic chassis and graduated blue backplate are easily fingerprinted due to its semi-gloss surface. The rectangular camera stack in the upper left corner is wider and thicker than the one on the N100 and matches the backplate. The center of the backplate clearly displays the silver OnePlus logo.
The N200 5G’s bottom panel houses the speaker grille, USB-C charging connector, and headphone jack, leaving the top edge of the device empty. You’ll find the volume rocker and SIM/microSD slot on the left side. The phone’s right side has the Power button with an embedded fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor is quick to react, responsive, and simple to use with little hands.
The Least Expensive 5G You Can Buy
The N200 5G from OnePlus is available unlocked and is compatible with all US carriers and participating MVNOs. Moreover, a model that is tailored for T-network Mobile’s is offered in T-Mobile retail locations. The device has bands 66 and 71 for better network connectivity.
Using the N200 5G on the T-Mobile 5G network in Chicago, we obtained reliable data rates of an average of 154.2 Mbps down and 46 Mbps up. Speeds for the Galaxy A32 5G were 141.9Mbps down and 42.8Mbps down, a little bit slower, but there are a lot of factors that may have caused the difference, so on this front, the two phones are comparable.
Maximum volume on the earpiece clocks in at 88dB: loud enough to hear on a busy street. Our test calls were crisp and clear. Noise cancellation worked well.
A single bottom-firing speaker on the N200 5G can produce a maximum of 90dB. Because of how the speakers are positioned, the soundstage is boxy and uneven, and there are no lows. Mids are brought forward, which helps to lessen some of the background distortion we saw with higher frequencies. Overall, the sound quality is respectable for the price, but if you plan to stream audio, you should invest in a good pair of headphones.
Both dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.1 for wearable connectivity are included. Moreover, the N200 5G features NFC for boarding cards and mobile payments.
Multitasking With Ease
The N200 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G mobile platform and 4GB of RAM. A little over 48GB of the 64GB of internal storage are usable right now. With a microSD card, you may add up to 1TB of extra storage.
The midrange Snapdragon 678 chipset from Qualcomm, which is available in more expensive smartphones like the Moto G Stylus from Motorola, and the Snapdragon 480 5G platform from Qualcomm have a lot in common. While the N100 5G sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 SoC, the Galaxy A32 5G has a MediaTek Dimensity 720 processor. An enhanced instruction set, increased memory bandwidth, and, of course, a 5G modem are the main improvements of the 480 5G over the 460.
Performance is excellent. The N200 5G tackles multitasking with ease, and apps open instantly. The slight lag we encountered on the N100 is nowhere to be seen here.
Cameras Miss the Mark
The rear camera module on the OnePlus Nord N200 5G is essentially the same as the one on the N100. Both cameras have 2MP macro sensors with f/2.4 apertures and 13MP wide-angle lenses with f/2.2 apertures. The additional 2MP, f/2.4 sensor on the N200, which is designated as a monochrome lens rather than a depth sensor, is the only difference between the two phones. As the Camera app doesn’t include a Monochrome option and many smartphones use low-resolution monochrome lenses as depth sensors, we think the difference is merely semantic.
The front-facing camera clocks in at 16MP with an f/2.0 aperture. It’s a significant improvement from the 8MP lens on the N100.
In excellent lighting, the N200 5G can take images that are respectable. Our test images exhibited accurate color and a natural depth of field. The foreground’s sharpness was excellent, but the surroundings were all mushed together.
Even with Nightscape mode, low-light photographs were a total failure. The N10 was obviously lacking in this capability, which takes a burst of photos and stacks them for improved low-light imaging. The N200 5G’s new feature, which somewhat lessens light flares and enhances background details, is a pleasant addition. Sadly, it’s insufficient to significantly improve the N200 5G’s low-light photography.
Our indoor Nightscape test photos were blurry and flat, with intermittent splotches in the background that are likely due to overly aggressive noise cancellation.
The macro lens failed to impress as well. Our test shots were blurry and oversaturated. We’ve yet to find an incredible macro sensor on any smartphone sold in the US; on budget phones, we haven’t even found one that’s decent.
Daylight test photos with the selfie camera were excellent. All our shots were crisp and properly exposed, and featured excellent foreground detail. Low-light test photos were slightly improved compared with the N100, but they were still dark, flat, and blotchy.
For a budget phone, the N200 has tolerable cameras, but they don’t compare with the Galaxy A32 5G’s. Our daylight photos with Samsung’s budget 5G option were vivid, with less loss of fine detail, and low-light photos were less blurry and muddy than on the N200 5G.
Just One OS Upgrade
The N200 5G comes pre-installed with OnePlus’ OxygenOS layer on top of Android 11. If you haven’t used OxygenOS, you’re in for a treat because it has one of the most beautiful and functional user interfaces for Android.
The N200 5G’s Quick Settings menus and system typeface may both be changed through the interface. A few more applications, like File Manager, Gallery, and Zen Mode, are arguably superior to their default Android equivalents.
A move to Android 12 is planned for the N200 5G. After Android 12, additional software updates are not promised. Three years’ worth of security updates are offered by OnePlus.
You should look into the Galaxy A32 5G if multi-year OS upgrades are vital to you(Opens in a new window). Along with four years of security patches, it receives two years of OS updates.
Simple and Satisfying
A commendable replacement for the OnePlus N100 is the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. It includes a more responsive fingerprint sensor, more power, reliable sub-6GHz 5G connectivity, and an amazing display. When compared to other phones in its class, it holds its own well, albeit the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G edges it out on a few fronts.
We wished OnePlus had given the N200’s cameras even more attention and provided the same liberal firmware update schedule as the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G. Yet, despite the N200’s flaws, we still believe it to be one of the greatest value budget phones available, especially if you are able to obtain one for free thanks to a carrier offer.