I have never been more confused by a smartphone than by the OnePlus Nord N30 5G. Its predecessor, the Nord N20, was one of my favorite budget devices of last year. It offered a near-flagship quality OLED display, stellar battery life, and a sleek build — all for $300. And with such an impressive platform to build on, the N30 should’ve been an easy layup.
OnePlus could’ve updated some of the specs, refreshed the camera, and the job would’ve been done. But like the 1998 Florida Marlins, who chose to dismantle their roster after winning the World Series the year before, OnePlus decided to toss away key parts of the N20, leaving us with something different altogether. The N30 is not a bad phone, but the conversation is a lot more complicated than you might expect.