When it comes to buying smartphones today, the idea of purchasing an “unlocked” model is much clearer and more straightforward than it appeared a few years back. In short, people better now understand them and don’t look at them as something that’s illegal or difficult to procure.
OnePlus is one brand who has been around the block a few years now, offering its unlocked handsets direct to consumer. It currently sells a number of models that skew toward the upper end of performance but has recently gone back to its roots of low-priced devices for the “every man” user.
If you’re in the hunt for an unlocked smartphone, or are curious about what OnePlus offers today, you’re in luck. We’ve put together this buyer’s guide to help you better understand its current products.
OnePlus 9 Series
At the top of the OnePlus ladder is the 9 series which is comprised of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro. While the former is more than enough to satisfy the needs of most users, there’s a decent smattering of extra hardware that comes with the latter. It’s truly up to you to decide if it’s worth the difference in money.
The 9 Pro comes with a 6.7-inch curved edge display with 120Hz refresh rate, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 CPU with 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, and 4,500mAh battery with 50W wireless charging. The camera setup includes a 48-megapixel main, 50-megapixel ultra-wide, 8-megapixel telephoto, and 2-megapixel monochrome shooter.
The OnePlus 9 has a 6.55-inch screen, 8GB memory, and 15W wireless charging, all still very good for the money. As for cameras, it has the same experience save for the lack of a telephoto.
OnePlus 8 Series
Stepping down from the flagships, the OnePlus 8 series of handsets are still premium experiences with some excellent hardware and designs that look sharp.
OnePlus has one of our favorite software builds with the OxygenOS, which is more or less the stock Android build with some helpful customization. There’s no extra bloat or unnecessary animations that slow the phone down; it also lends itself to consistent timely updates.
The 8T is the newest model in this line and boasts the best all-around experience with the latest publicly available version of Android (11) available. It’s not the biggest screen in the brand’s lineup, but it’s very close.
One of the best things about the OnePlus phones is its incredibly fast charging capabilities. Indeed, the 8T allows for up to 65W fast charging which can give you a day’s worthy of usage on just 15 minutes of charging.
Both phones feature similar hardware with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processors, a bunch of memory and storage, and 5G connectivity. Although they’re in their second year, each still boasts a robust suite of specifications that should do your heavy lifting for another generation or more.
As the newest phones in the OnePlus portfolio, the Nord series is aimed at the more casual user. That is to say they have lower price points with hardware that ticks the boxes of what most people look for in a device.
In this line the N200 is the most recent model, and it features quite the robust selection considering its price. Key specifications include a 6.49-inch display with 90Hz refresh rate, a triple-camera setups, and 5,000mAh battery.
Inside the device are a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage; the 5G-ready phone also houses a side-mounted fingerprint scanner.
If you’re looking for a great entry-point in smartphones and don’t know what your needs are, you’d be hard-pressed to beat the Nord N100.
For those who want a solid mid-range experience with performance to spare and 5G connectivity, the N10 5G is worth the additional money.
|Nord N100||Nord N10 5G|
|6.52-inch (720 x 1600) 90Hz||6.49-inch (1080 x 2400) 90Hz|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 460||Qualcomm Snapdragon 690|
|4GB RAM||6GB RAM|
|64GB storage w/ microSD card slot (256GB)||128GB storage w/ microSD card slot (512GB)|
|5000mAh battery w/ 18W charging||4300mAh battery w/ 30W charging|
|13-megapixel triple-camera||64-megapixel quad-camera|
|Android 10||Android 10|