For T-Mobile users looking for a budget smartphone, OnePlus and TCL have got them covered with the Nord 20 5G and TCL Stylus 5G, respectively, but which is worth buying? Of course, not everyone can afford a flagship, but getting the best value for money requires patience with the plethora of budget smartphones.

The OnePlus Nord N20 is OnePlus’s first mid-range smartphone for the U.S. in 2022. Although it has launched other Nord smartphones, including the Nord 2T and the Nord CE Lite, they are not sold in North America. On the other hand, TCL launched a few models for the U.S. earlier. For example, the TCL 30V 5G is a Verizon exclusive, while the TCL 30 XE 5G is sold by T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile.

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The OnePlus Nord N20 5G and TCL Stylus 5G are undeniably different in their looks. Where OnePlus has gone with a hole punch at the corner of the screen, TCL’s phone has its hole punch in the center. They also have very distinct designs on the back. Although the two phones have a flat edge, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G’s own appears more pronounced. Both phones are available in a single color option — Blue Smoke for the Nord N20 5G and Lunar Black for the TCL Stylus 5G. The Nord N20 has a 6.43-inch 60Hz Full HD+ AMOLED display. In contrast, the TCL Stylus 5G packs an enormous 6.81-inch Full HD+ LCD panel. It also misses a high refresh rate, but it can upscale SD content to HDR. A Snapdragon 695 processor powers the Nord N20 5G, and it is paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. On the other hand, TCL’s smartphone has a MediaTek Dimensity 700 chip which is not as powerful as the Snapdragon 695. It also has 4GB of RAM but the same 128GB of storage. Regardless of which model a buyer chooses, a MicroSD card slot is present for adding more storage, although the maximum supported capacity is 512GB on the Nord N20, while it goes up to 2TB on the TCL Stylus 5G.

The TCL Stylus 5G Has A Stylus

The TCL Stylus 5G is exclusive to T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile

These are budget phones, so don’t expect stellar cameras. The TCL Stylus 5G has a 50MP primary rear camera, a 5MP ultrawide angle camera, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro camera. It also has a 13MP front-facing camera. Contrastingly, the primary rear camera on the Nord N20 5G is a 64MP sensor, and it is missing an ultrawide angle camera, but it also has two 2MP sensors. One has a macro lens, while the other has a monochrome lens. Its front camera is a 16MP sensor. Both phones have support for Face Unlock and a fingerprint scanner under the screen of the OnePlus phone but on the side of the TCL. Users will also be pleased to find an audio jack on the two phones, but only the TCL Stylus 5G has stereo speakers.

Combining a 4500mAh battery and 33W fast charging gives the Nord N20 5G an edge over the TCL Stylus 5G, which supports a slower 18W fast charging and has a smaller 4000mAh battery despite having the larger display. A charger ships in the box of both phones. TCL has the advantage in terms of software as it ships its phone with Android 12 while the OnePlus Nord N20 5G runs Android 11, which is disappointing. And with one OS upgrade, it means it won’t make it past Android 12, though it will receive security updates for three years. On the other hand, the TCL Stylus 5G will get the Android 13 update and two years of security updates. Both devices have NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi, and a single SIM card slot (nano-only). Bluetooth 5.1 is on the Nord n20 5G, while the TCL Stylus 5G has Bluetooth 5.2. Both phones support only sub-6 GHz 5G networks.

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At $282, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G has a lot in its favor, such as its AMOLED display, more powerful processor, more RAM, bigger battery, and faster charging, but its outdated operating system, single speaker, and one rear camera highlight the tradeoffs OnePlus made. The TCL Stylus 5G is cheaper at $258, and its merits include its up-to-date software, a second rear camera, and stereo speakers to go along with its humongous display. The smartphone also has a built-in stylus to help take notes and operate and operate the phone. However, it isn’t as powerful as the Nord N20 and has less RAM. It also has a smaller battery and charges slower.