These are the best OnePlus phones in July 2021: OnePlus 9 Pro, Nord, N200, and more!
A lot is happening behind the scenes at OnePlus, and it may no longer be the same company that came on the scene back in 2014. But it’s still producing some great devices, and its portfolio has grown quite a bit. So to make your buying decision easier, we’ve compiled all the best OnePlus phones across segments.
If you’re looking for other options, we’ve also collated lists of the best Android smartphones and the best Samsung Galaxy smartphones on the market. All of the smartphones in this list come with basic headlining OnePlus features such as high refresh rate panels, the latest version of OxygenOS, and decent cameras.
Navigate this list:
- Best Overall: OnePlus 9 Pro
- Best for the Average User: OnePlus 9
- Best Affordable Flagship: OnePlus 9R
- Best Mid-Range: OnePlus Nord
- Best Budget: OnePlus Nord N10 5G
Best Overall: OnePlus 9 Pro
The all-new OnePlus 9 Pro is the most well-rounded flagship smartphone from the company so far. It builds upon the foundation laid by the OnePlus 8 Pro, and offers top-of-the-line hardware on all fronts. The device packs Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 chip, up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, up to 256GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage, and a respectable 4,500mAh battery with 65W wired fast charging support and 50W wireless fast charging support.
When compared with its predecessor, the OnePlus 9 Pro also offers a more premium quad-camera system. It features a 48MP IMX789 primary camera, a 50MP IMX766 wide-angle camera with a freeform lens, an 8MP 3.3x telephoto camera, and a 2MP monochrome sensor. Over on the front, it has a single 16MP selfie shooter. Along with better camera hardware, the OnePlus 9 Pro comes with software optimizations developed in partnership with Hasselblad that marginally improves the phone’s camera performance.
In our review, Mishaal found the OnePlus 9 Pro to be the “best phone that OnePlus has ever made”, featuring a camera system that “has improved where it matters”, “the best [display] you can find on an Android device”, and support for faster charging speeds than any other smartphone available in North America. This makes the OnePlus 9 Pro a no-brainer for OnePlus fans and a great alternative for the Galaxy S21 Ultra for others.
Runner Up: OnePlus 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro is still a strong contender for the best OnePlus phone in 2021, even though the OnePlus 9 Pro is now available widely. That’s because the phone has received a significant price cut in North America, and it’s currently available for purchase on Amazon for under $700. At that price, you get a phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chip, a brilliant 120Hz display, and a 4,150mAh battery with 30W fast charging support.
Although the OnePlus 8 Pro may not be as good as the company’s latest flagship in the camera department, it still offers a decent 48MP IMX 689 primary camera that can capture great shots. Along with that, it has an 8MP 3x telephoto camera, a 48MP wide-angle camera, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 16MP selfie camera.
At its discounted price, the OnePlus 8 Pro is still a great buy in 2021. If you’re looking for a phone that offers flagship performance, but you don’t want to shell out $1,000, the OnePlus 8 Pro is your best bet.
- The OnePlus 8 Pro is also a great pick for those who want a flagship experience without spending over $1,000. While it doesn't come with Qualcomm's latest flagship SoC, it's no slouch in terms of performance. It's a better pick than the OnePlus 9 for those who want all the additional premium features like an IP rating and wireless charging support.
Best for the Average User: OnePlus 9
For those who want a great OnePlus device that offers most of the latest improvements and comes at a more affordable price, the all-new OnePlus 9 is a great option. The phone is almost as good as the OnePlus 9 Pro, as it features the same Snapdragon 888 SoC, up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, a 4,500mAh battery with 65W wired fast charging support and 15W wireless charging support, and the same 16MP Sony IMX471 selfie camera.
But since the phone is a lot cheaper than the Pro variant, you won’t get the same display and rear camera system as the premium model. Instead of a 6.7-inch QHD+ AMOLED panel, the OnePlus 9 features a smaller 6.55-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel. While it does support 120Hz refresh rate, its peak brightness is limited to 1,100 nits and it doesn’t offer support for premium display features like MEMC and 10-bit color depth.
The camera system on the OnePlus 9 isn’t as great as the one on the 9 Pro either, as it features a 48MP IMX689 main camera and one fewer sensor. The 50MP IMX766 wide-angle camera and 2MP monochrome sensor remain unchanged. But as mentioned in Mario’s OnePlus 9 Camera Review, the device’s camera performance is a whole lot better than older non-Pro flagships from the company and it doesn’t have any of the recurring issues that we’ve seen in older models.
- The OnePlus 9 is the best pick for most users as it offers most fo the new features that come with the OnePlus 9 Pro at a relatively affordable price. The device features the Snapdragon 888 chip, a great FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, a respectable triple camera setup, and the same fast charging capabilities as the Pro variant.
Best Affordable Flagship: OnePlus 9R
If the OnePlus 9 is still a bit too expensive for you, but you want a device that can keep up with modern flagships in terms of raw performance, then you should consider getting the OnePlus 9R. Sadly, the phone is limited to the Indian market, and OnePlus hasn’t revealed any plans to launch it in other regions. So you’ll probably have to import it if you’re in North America or Europe. While that will add a significant cost to the device, it should still end up being cheaper than the OnePlus 9.
Despite being cheaper than the other OnePlus 9 models, the OnePlus 9R promises to offer a well-rounded flagship experience. The device is essentially a redesigned OnePlus 8T with a Snapdragon 870 chip instead of the Snapdragon 865. Therefore, it’ll be able to keep up with most premium 2020 flagships in the performance department.
The phone isn’t a slouch on the camera front either, as it packs a respectable quad-camera setup with a 48MP IMX586 main camera, a 16MP IMX481 wide-angle camera, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP monochrome camera. Over on the front, it has the same IMX471 selfie shooter as the other two models. Other specifications include a 6.55-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and a 4,500mAh battery with 65W wired fast charging support.
- The OnePlus 9R marks OnePlus' re-entry in the affordable flagship space. The phone is a rehashed version of last year's OnePlus 8T with a slightly updated design and the new Snapdragon 870 chip. Sadly, it's limited to the Indian market for now. So you'll have to import if you're located in North America or Europe.
Best Mid-Range: OnePlus Nord
The OnePlus Nord is OnePlus’ first budget device since the launch of the OnePlus X several years ago. And for what it’s worth, it earned praise from reviewers and consumers alike, for very good reason. The OnePlus Nord doesn’t attempt to emulate OnePlus’ flagship killer formula that catapulted them years ago to where they are today. Instead, it’s all about bringing the current OnePlus experience to a much lower price point. Which is definitely not a bad thing.
The OnePlus Nord inherits features such as the 48MP camera and the high refresh rate display while cutting corners in other places. We have a Snapdragon 765G — it’s actually the first OnePlus phone to not feature a Snapdragon 800-series processor — with up to 12 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage.
If you’re in the market for a OnePlus device that doesn’t break the bank, the OnePlus Nord is one of the best OnePlus phones out there.
Best Budget: OnePlus Nord N10 5G
The OnePlus Nord N10 5G may not have a lot of the DNA that makes OnePlus devices special, but as a standalone device, it’s a good budget phone. The Nord N10 5G removes things like the long-loved alert slider and replaces the AMOLED display with a more conservative LCD panel, things that a OnePlus device has never lacked since the very first model was launched. But if you’re on a budget, then it’s worth a look mainly because the performance it provides is okay for the price. A Snapdragon 690 with 5G support runs things behind the scenes and manages to provide a nice performance on a tighter budget.
If you’re looking for a device that does the job and doesn’t cost that much (and comes with 5G), the Nord N10 5G still holds its ground as a phone that serves those needs.
Also Great: OnePlus Nord N200
The new OnePlus Nord 200 is the successor to the company’s Nord 100 that debuted in 2020. Nord 200 also replaces Nord 100 in this guide, thanks to a number of improvements, including support for 5G. However, the Nord N200 only supports T-Mobile’s 5G network. So if you’re on Verizon or AT&T, you’ll only get 4G support on the phone. Having said that, 5G isn’t really that big a deal right now. But as the situation improves over the coming years, and if you’re still using N200, the lack of 5G can become a drawback.
5G aside, the Nord N200 has a number of things going for it. You get a large 6.5-inch full-HD+ display that supports a 90Hz refresh rate. Also, the phone packs a decent 5,000mAh battery that will easily be able to last more than a day on average usage. The Snapdragon 480 SoC present in the phone is also a newer chipset. Additionally, the phone features a triple rear camera setup, headlined by a 13-megapixel shooter, and it seems to be the same setup as N100. So it isn’t going to capture any amazing pictures but it should be enough to scrape by.
Nord N200 is one of the cheapest OnePlus phones to date, and it’s worth a look if you’re on a tight budget and want a OnePlus device. If branding is not as important to you, there are other great options for cheap Android phones.
This list encompasses OnePlus’ different offerings pretty well. The best OnePlus phone currently available in terms of features is the OnePlus 9 Pro, with sheer premium quality, with the OnePlus 8 Pro reaching a close second. The OnePlus 9 is probably the best for most people because it provides the best balance between performance and price. The OnePlus 9R is a great pick for those looking for an affordable flagship, but you’ll have to import it from India. Lastly, we have the many other OnePlus releases taking up the best spots for mid-range and budget devices.