Best daily deals

Affiliate links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

These 6 budget phones are the best OnePlus Nord alternatives

Want a great mid-range phone but not keen on the OnePlus Nord? These are the best alternatives.
September 2, 2020

The OnePlus Nord is now out of the gate and it seems to be a solid mid-range phone for the price. Between the 5G connectivity, 90Hz OLED screen, and dual selfie cameras, there’s a lot to like here for just €399 (or £379 in the UK).

What if you don’t fancy the total package though and want to know what else is out there? Or are you still reeling that the phone won’t be coming to the US? Thankfully, we’ve got a few other options that might be up your street.

In no particular order, here are the best OnePlus Nord alternatives out there.

See also: The best budget phones you can currently buy

1. realme X50

realme x50
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The OnePlus Nord shares a few features in common with stablemate realme’s affordable 5G handset. Between the Snapdragon 765G chipset, 30W charging, and almost identical 48MP quad rear camera setup, you can also taste that a lot of the same recipe was used when the two phones were cooked up by the BBK-related brands.

There are a couple of reasons to want to opt for the X50 though, such as the €350/£299 price tag (€50 cheaper than the Nord in Europe and £80 cheaper in the UK) and 120Hz refresh rate, albeit via an LCD screen. Otherwise, the Nord still has a more useful ultra-wide secondary selfie camera compared to the X50’s depth sensor, as well as an OLED panel.

Don’t mind skimping on 5G? Then the realme 6 Pro is also worth a look, packing a 90Hz LCD screen, 16MP+8MP ultra-wide selfie cameras, and a 64MP quad rear camera (with a telephoto lens to boot). The phone is only available in an 8GB/128GB flavor in Europe for €350, but Indian users can grab a 6GB/64GB variant for a cool 16,999 rupees (~$228).

2. realme X3 Superzoom

RealmeX3 Superzoom back showing camera module and logo
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Another realme phone makes the list in the realme X3 Superzoom. It stands out from other phones seen here thanks to its Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC. It may be a year old, but this is still a very powerful processor and should deliver more graphical grunt than the Nord’s Snapdragon 765G GPU.

Aside from the improved horsepower, the realme X3 Superzoom also differentiates itself with its quad rear camera setup. You’re getting a 64MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide shooter, 8MP 5x periscope snapper, and a 2MP macro shooter. It also packs a virtually identical 32MP+8MP selfie camera pairing.

Related: The best 2019 phones that are still worth buying in 2020

Other specs worth knowing include a 120Hz FHD+ LCD screen, a 4,200mAh battery with 30W charging, and a €499 price tag (matching the 12GB/256GB Nord) in Europe and £469 in the UK. In India, the Superzoom retails for a very competitive 27,999 rupees which matches the base Nord model.

So, if 5G and an OLED screen aren’t high on your list of priorities, then this might be one of the better alternatives to the OnePlus Nord.

3. Google Pixel 4a

Google Pixel 4a display standing stright 2

Google’s first budget Pixel phone was a pretty good deal, and its successor manages to lop $50 off the price while still offering a few notable upgrades. You’ve got a more capable Snapdragon 730G chipset instead of the Snapdragon 670, a slightly bigger battery (now 3,140mAh), and 128GB of fixed storage instead of 64GB seen in the older phone.

The Pixel 4a is getting brisk updates directly from Google and an even cleaner take on Android compared to Oxygen OS, as well as a 3.5mm port (don’t expect this on the Nord). But the new OnePlus phone beats it on paper in most other areas, such as refresh rate, battery capacity, and connectivity (the Pixel 4a lacks 5G).

Our verdict: Google Pixel 4a review — Google’s best phone in years

Moving to the camera field, Google clearly plays a quality over quantity game. It only packs a single camera on the front and back (8MP and 12MP respectively), while the Nord packs four rear cameras and two selfie shooters. For what it’s worth, our own David Imel says in his Pixel 4a review (seen above) that the phone delivers fantastic images in almost every situation.

4. Apple iPhone SE

iPhone SE back straight on
David Imel / Android Authority

OnePlus and Apple are fighting for the same piece of the pie in the mid-range segment (at least in Europe), so it only makes sense to include the iPhone SE as an alternative to the OnePlus Nord. Where OnePlus focuses on refresh rate, 5G, and camera quantity, Apple goes in the opposite direction.

You won’t find a high refresh rate screen, 5G, or even dual cameras on the iPhone SE, but you do get a more powerful processor on paper, a great single-camera experience, and a more pocket-friendly (albeit dated) design.

Read: Is a $400 iPhone SE really more powerful than 2020’s most powerful Android phone?

Furthermore, Apple is also bringing an IP67 water/dust resistance rating and wireless charging — two features not available on the Nord. You’ll need to ask yourself whether these two features are worth missing out on multiple cameras, 5G, and a higher refresh rate.

5. POCO F2 Pro

POCO F2 Pro Hero shot of the rear

The POCO F2 Pro is currently available for €459 or £429 on the likes of Amazon, making it a pretty good deal for a 5G affordable flagship in 2020. This price is also in between the Nord’s €399 to €499 asking rate in Europe.

Opt for the POCO F2 Pro and you’ll be missing out on a higher refresh rate, but you do get Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 flagship chipset as opposed to the Nord’s 765G SoC. You’re also getting a 5MP telephoto macro lens that stands out from 2MP macro cameras seen on other phones.

Our verdict: POCO F2 Pro review: Cutting the right corners

Toss in a pop-up selfie camera (just the one here) and 4,700mAh battery with 30W charging and you’ve got one of the better OnePlus Nord alternatives.

If the POCO F2 Pro is still too expensive for you, then Xiaomi’s Mi 10 Lite 5G might be up your alley. This device features the same processor as the Nord, a similar battery capacity, and a near-identical quad rear camera setup. However, you do lose out on charging speed, dual selfie cameras, and a high refresh rate display.

6. Samsung Galaxy A51 5G

Samsung Galaxy A51 display upright

The cheapest 5G phone from Samsung is still slightly more expensive than the 128GB Nord at £429 (~$544) in the UK, but it’s one of the few choices around if you want a more affordable 5G Samsung phone.

Read: The best cheap Samsung phones you can get

The Galaxy A51 5G serves up an Exynos 980 chipset that should keep things very smooth, while the quad rear camera is nothing to scoff at either (48MP, 12MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, 5MP depth). Samsung’s phone also offers a slightly bigger battery than the Nord at 4,500mAh, but loses out when it comes to charging (15W) and refresh rate.

You can also get the Galaxy A51 without 5G for $400, with other major changes including the chipset (Exynos 9611) and battery (4,000mAh).

That’s it for our look at the best OnePlus Nord alternatives! Are there any suitable phones you can think of? Then let us know in the comments!