OnePlus Nord N30 5G launches as a top budget contender — starting at $264

Back of OnePlus Nord N30 5G against blue background.
(Image credit: OnePlus/Tom's Guide)

Inflation’s not making it easy for consumers. Even though prices are always expected to rise to follow the trends, there will always be budget smartphones for those with tighter budgets. That’s why you should know about the OnePlus Nord N30 5G, which is available in the U.S. starting today — for the irresistible starting price of $264.

It was only a couple months ago when we heard the first rumblings about the OnePlus Nord N30, which is the U.S. variant of the OnePlus CE 3 Lite that was launched overseas in the U.K. Most notably, the specs sheet of the Nord N30 5G makes a compelling argument for possibly being one of the best budget phones you can buy. Don’t let the low cost fool you because it’s packing a heavy hand that allows it to compete against popular mid-rangers like the recent Google Pixel 7a.

Most notably, OnePlus stuffed a sizable 5,000 mAh battery into its chassis, which the company reportedly says could reach 80% battery capacity in about 30 minutes. Rapid charging has been a huge focus area for many smartphone makers, OnePlus included, but there are 12 sensors fitted inside of the phone to monitor the charging efficiency of this new 50W SUPERVOC Endurance Edition system. This rapid charging is great news for anyone who needs to top off their battery in a hurry.

OnePLus Nord N30 5G against aqua background.

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Another standout with the OnePlus Nord N30 5G is how the phone can achieve a 3x lossless zoom with its 108-megapixel main camera. While it doesn’t offer a true optical telephoto lens much like some flagship phones, this implementation could still work out for users who need extra zoom without losing much detail. There’s also a 2-megapixel depth-assistant camera ready for snapping portrait shots with the background getting that soft, out of focus effect. Around the front, OnePlus has a 16-megapixel camera that the company is confident will capture superior selfies.

For such a budget device, we’re impressed that OnePlus has graced it with a large 6.7-inch FHD display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Normally, high refresh rates like this one are reserved for higher end smartphones — so we’re really stoked that it’s in something this affordable. Users will appreciate how this display will provide even smooth animations and motions to whatever’s on screen. 

Rounding things out, the OnePlus Nord N30 5G is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage — with expansion courtesy of a microSD card. As this hardware is backed up by OnePlus’ Oxygen 13.1, it should make for an intuitive experience when using the phone.

What’s remarkable here is that the phone will be available today for the starting price of $264 at T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile in the U.S. OnePlus also says that the phone will be compatible on Verizon’s 5G network, along with AT&T as a BYOD (bring your own device) option for $299.99, which isn’t too shabby given the impressive specs sheet.

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John Velasco
Senior Channel Editor for Phones

John’s a senior editor covering phones for Tom’s Guide. He’s no stranger in this area having covered mobile phones and gadgets since 2008 when he started his career. On top of his editor duties, he’s a seasoned videographer being in front and behind the camera producing YouTube videos. Previously, he held editor roles with PhoneArena, Android Authority, Digital Trends, and SPY. Outside of tech, he enjoys producing mini documentaries and fun social clips for small businesses, enjoying the beach life at the Jersey Shore, and recently becoming a first time homeowner.