The OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100 get a US release date and two great price tags

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The OnePlus Nord N10 5G and N100 get a US release date and two great price tags
Formally unveiled and internationally released more than two months ago, the second and third members of the mid-range OnePlus Nord family are finally ready for their joint US commercial debut.

This will take place next Friday, January 15, with a pre-order start scheduled for this Friday, January 8. In addition to the official regional OnePlus e-store, the 5G-enabled Nord N10 and 4G LTE-only Nord N100 will also be available at Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H Photo Video from day one, which almost makes this unusually long wait worth it.

Even better, both T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile will pick up the two budget-friendly handsets as well, marking a first as far as US prepaid availability is concerned for OnePlus smartphones.

How low can a 5G smartphone (with a 90Hz screen) go?

Just as expected right off the bat, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G is one of the most affordable 5G-capable phones stateside, fetching $299.99 unlocked and as little as... $0 on T-Mobile with a new line of service and a device payment plan. That undercuts everything from the $500 Samsung Galaxy A51 5G and Google Pixel 4a 5G to the $400 T-Mobile Revvl 5G and Verizon-exclusive TCL 10 5G UW.

Of course, this thing is unlikely to (ever) support Big Red's blazing fast 5G Ultra Wideband network, "settling" for tapping into AT&T and T-Mobile's slower but much easier to access low and mid-band 5G spectrum. With a Snapdragon 690 processor under the hood, the Nord N10 is also not quite as powerful as the four aforementioned 5G mid-rangers, all of which come packing a Snapdragon 765 SoC.

Otherwise, it's hard to argue with the (theoretical) quality/price ratio of a $300 device pairing a generous 128 gigs of internal storage space with 6 gigs of memory while sporting a smooth 90Hz IPS LCD panel measuring 6.49 inches in diagonal and packing a hefty 4,300mAh battery equipped with 30W fast charging technology.

Obviously, the quad rear-facing camera system is no pushover either, combining a 64MP main shooter with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, 2MP depth sensor, and 2MP macro snapper, and on top on everything, the OnePlus Nord N10 5G also comes with both a headphone jack and microSD card slot.

No 5G? No problem!

At only $179.99 (both unlocked and on T-Mobile), it goes without saying that the OnePlus Nord N100 needs to cut a whole lot of corners, essentially downgrading almost everything that makes the Nord N10 so great. In addition to 5G speeds, you'll have to give up 2 gigs of memory and 64 gigs of local digital hoarding room, as well as one rear-facing shooter, to save $120.

Perhaps more importantly, the primary camera on the back of the Nord N100 comes equipped with a modest 13MP count, while the 6.52-inch display is demoted from the FHD+ resolution of the N10 to 1600 x 720 pixels. 

Incredibly enough, you still seem to get a 90Hz refresh rate option (even though OnePlus is bizarrely not advertising this as a key selling point), while the battery capacity is actually upgraded to a whopping 5,000mAh.

The OnePlus Nord N100 also looks pretty swanky on the outside (for a sub-$200 handset), mimicking its brother's trendy hole punch and razor-thin screen bezels. All in all, this feels like an amazing alternative to the likes of Motorola's Moto G Fast or Samsung's Galaxy A21, even though its Snapdragon 460 processor doesn't exactly strike us as a screamer.

Related phones

Nord N10
  • Display 6.5 inches 2400 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 64 MP (Quad camera) 16 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 6GB RAM
  • Storage 128GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 4300 mAh
  • OS Android 10
Nord N100
  • Display 6.5 inches 1600 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP (Triple camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 460 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 5000 mAh
  • OS Android 10

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