Trending September 2023 # Oneplus Nord N100 Review: When Budget Doesn’T Mean Value # Suggested October 2023 # Top 13 Popular |

Trending September 2023 # Oneplus Nord N100 Review: When Budget Doesn’T Mean Value # Suggested October 2023 # Top 13 Popular

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OnePlus Nord N100: At a glance

The OnePlus Nord N100 is for those who don’t care about flashy designs, big displays, powerful cameras, or top-shelf performance. At $179, the Nord N100 is a barebones, basic smartphone that’s finally running Android 11 and, crucially, OnePlus’ Oxygen OS software skin.

Related: The best OnePlus phones you can buy

It’s also aimed at those looking for an all-rounder on the cheap. It’s got traditional creature comforts like a headphone port, microSD expansion, and a hybrid stereo speaker setup.

164.9 x 75.1 x 8.5mm


Plastic build

USB-C port

microSD card slot

3.5mm headphone port

The OnePlus Nord N100 isn’t out there to impress anyone with its design. It’s similar in layout to the OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus 8T, but is made entirely of plastic to cut manufacturing costs. It’s got thicker bezels and a larger punch hole than the aforementioned phones, too. Being such an affordable device, there’s no IP rating hare, either. Overall, the Nord N100 looks more or less like any other modern budget smartphone.

The Nord N100 looks and feels like what you’d expect at this price point — cheap.

The haptics feel rather weak and hollow, which adds to the overall cheap feeling of the Nord N100. The hybrid stereo speakers are loud but lack depth. I found the headphone port more useful for wired speakers than headphones, but it’s handy to have either way.

Overall, the OnePlus Nord looks and feels very cheap. This makes sense given the price point, but you shouldn’t expect the same level of build quality as you’d get on more expensive OnePlus phones. It’s functional, but it doesn’t stand out from the rest of the market.

Display: The wrong choice

Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

6.52-inch IPS display

1,600 x 720 pixels

90Hz refresh rate

Gorilla Glass 3

20:9 aspect ratio

In 2023, most devices sport high refresh-rate displays. Despite initial mixed messages and eventual backtracking, the OnePlus Nord N100 follows that trend, too, sporting a 6.52-inch 720p 90Hz IPS panel. This helps it fit closer to the mainstream market, but I believe it was the wrong choice for a phone like this.

Performance: Questionable at best

Qualcomm Snapdragon 460


64GB storage (expandable)

The Nord N100’s performance isn’t its strong suit.

You’ll notice this lack of speed in day-to-day operation. When zipping around the OS and switching between apps, I experienced noticeable delays, and lag was a rather common issue. Web pages took longer to load than I’d have liked, as did games and apps. It’s not unusable, however, and those who can tolerate the bare minimum may be able to accept the Nord N100’s general performance.

5,000mAh battery

18W fast charging

The Nord N100’s huge 5,000mAh battery provides fantastic battery life thanks to the efficient chipset and low-resolution display. With a mix of LTE and Wi-Fi usage, video and music streaming, and gaming, all at high brightness, the Nord N100 still managed over two days of battery life. The total screen-on time metric was a whopping eight hours across the two and a half days. Those who don’t use their phone as much could expect to charge their device just twice a week.

Speaking of charging, the included 18W fast charger tops up the device in ~134 minutes. It’s nowhere near the top speeds we’ve seen for wired charging, but it’s acceptable for a phone at this price, even if there are alternatives like the realme 8 or even OnePlus’ own Nord N10 that offer faster charging speeds. As you might expect, there’s also no wireless charging support.

Camera: Scraping by

Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority


Main: 13MP, f/2.2, EIS

Macro: 2MP, f/2.4

Depth: 2MP, f/2.4

Video: 1080p at 30fps


Main: 8MP, f/2.0

Video: 1080p at 30fps

The Nord N100 has four total cameras, but you only need to know about two — the 13MP main camera and the 8MP selfie camera. Even in this price bracket, that camera hardware is looking pretty weak.

A couple of consistent points stand out from the photo samples. Firstly, there’s a lack of sharpness throughout, almost like the camera can’t focus at times. This isn’t a resolution limitation, or we’d see the same issue with the Pixel 5 and iPhone 12 Pro‘s 12MP shooters. Secondly, the colors are being oversaturated in the processing pipeline. They aren’t hugely off-putting, just far from accurate to life. Thirdly, OnePlus’ typical shadow-crushing technique is back and at a whole new level. In almost every photo I took with the OnePlus Nord N100, it looks like someone took the shadow slider and slid it to -100.

The Nord N100 seems to underexpose a lot of its shots, too, perhaps to reduce noise, which results in quite moody-looking images at times. There is also quite a bit of noise present throughout the photos. This brings us to the dynamic range. Aside from those crushed shadows, the rest of each photo seems to capture highlights and midtones well enough. In fact, it’s only in the darkest parts of the scene where shadows get fully crushed. This is almost definitely a processing issue since other OnePlus devices have suffered from the same problem, if not nearly as badly.

See also: The best budget camera phones you can buy

The OnePlus Nord N100’s main camera outputs oversaturated and contrast-heavy images that lack sharpness.

In lower-lit indoor shots, the Nord N100’s small camera sensor struggles to pick up detail. This results in noisy, soft images at the best of times. Because the sensor can’t capture much light, it forces the shutter speed to be slower, which often means you get shaky, blurry photos. In other shots, such as the mug of tea, the lack of light means that the system captures incorrect color information as the camera scrambles to expose properly. Better camera systems with larger sensors can turn up the shutter speed and capture more color information while doing so.

The Nord N100 doesn’t have OnePlus’ usual Nightscape in its camera app, though it does recognize nighttime as a scene type. This means that the system isn’t capturing a long exposure, nor is it bracketing multiple shots for better night-time HDR. These nighttime shots are dark, contrast-heavy, noisy, and blurry. Even the similarly-priced Redmi Note 9 comes with a night mode which seems to perform quite well. This is not a good look for the Nord N100.

The OnePlus Nord N100’s dedicated macro mode makes use of the standalone 2MP macro camera. Given the resolution, the pictures don’t look too bad. In good light, there’s adequate sharpness for a novelty feature. In darker conditions, though, the camera adds in a lot of noise reduction, which results in a loss of detail. On the whole, the macro feature is pretty gimmicky. Usable, but gimmicky.

Portrait mode shots are of acceptable quality. Edge detection isn’t the best, but it’s better than I expected for the price. The background blur is realistic enough. That said, there isn’t any soft-focus roll-off that pricier phones emulate to replicate real camera characteristics. The entirety of the background is blurred to the same level regardless of distance.

Selfies and portrait mode selfies look quite a bit better than the main camera shots. There’s more sharpness, more dynamic range, and more accurate colors. Shadows aren’t crushed in selfies, and skin smoothing doesn’t seem to be a problem, either. For a $179 phone, these are impressive selfie photos. The only thing to complain about might be the tight field of view.

The 1080p 30fps video isn’t great but is definitely usable given the phone’s price point. There’s more dynamic range than you might first think, and while the video isn’t clean by any means, there is at least some semblance of sharpness. Stabilization is almost non-existent, and there’s limited scope with footage like this. For the odd captured memory or video call, it’s just about acceptable.

Overall, the OnePlus Nord N100’s rear camera is rather disappointing, even for a $179 device. Compared to its contemporaries, its hardware and software fall behind, resulting in a poor experience. Those who take more selfies will be more satisfied, however.

Please find the full resolution camera samples in this Google Drive folder.

Android 10 (Updated to Android 11)

Oxygen OS 10 (Updated to Oxygen OS 11)

OnePlus’ greatest development over the years is arguably its software. Oxygen OS is fabled for its clean approach to Android with few changes from stock. The few adaptations, such as improved customization and faster animations, are enough to make the software shine. Gaming mode has been brought down from the higher-end models, too, which optimizes the system when playing games.

The Nord N100 will only get one platform update — to Android 11.

Unfortunately, the Nord N100 shipped Oxygen OS 10 based on Android 10, which was an already outdated version of Android from the start. It took until the end of July 2023 for OnePlus to bring its Android 11 update to the Nord N100, a few months prior to the expected release of Android 12.

OnePlus has also suggested that the Android 11 upgrade will be the only major platform update. This is not acceptable, given that the phone should have shipped with Android 11 out of the box. The going rate is at least two system updates and three years of security updates. The Nord N100 is way behind. This stands as a huge mark against an already questionable value proposition.

The Nord N100 doesn’t come with a single piece of bloatware pre-installed. This is great news since the single 64GB storage option isn’t exactly expansive. The device doesn’t feel weighed down by its software which is something that’s typically cursed lower-end devices like this.

OnePlus Nord N100 specs

OnePlus Nord N100: 4GB/64GB — $179/£179/€199

A low price is often misconstrued as good value for money. The OnePlus Nord N100 has a low price tag but feels like it goes a tad too far to cut its price. The software, performance, and camera are all critical areas. They just so happen to be the ones that OnePlus has cut corners on with the Nord N100.

The OnePlus Nord N100 proves that budget does not mean value.

The sub-$200 price point is tough because while you want to get the most out of the money you spend, spending too little can sometimes be a detriment. You’re more likely to upgrade within a year, which completely defeats the purpose of buying a cheap phone in the first place! This is exacerbated by OnePlus’ highly questionable decision to only support the phone with a single Android version upgrade.

However, there are much better options if you’re able to stretch your budget a little higher. Phones that come in under £300 in the UK like the Google Pixel 4a, Samsung Galaxy A42, and POCO F3 stomp the Nord N100. They deliver packages that you’re likely to keep for a couple of years as opposed to a few months. There’s even the Nord N10 if you want a similar overall package but with a faster processor and 5G, but again, it only comes with the promise of a single Android upgrade.

If you can go even further, the full-fat OnePlus Nord 2 and the Google Pixel 5a are even better still and should be supported with updates for years to come (though sadly the Pixel 5a is US-only right now).

OnePlus Nord N100

For the first time ever, OnePlus has made a truly budget smartphone. This is the firm’s cheapest device and it’s aimed at those who want to spend as little as possible.

See price at OnePlus


That’s our review of the OnePlus Nord N100. What do you make of OnePlus’ ultra-budget phone?

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