Google Pixel 6a vs OnePlus Nord N200: Which phone should you buy in the US?

Google Pixel 6a vs OnePlus Nord N200: Which phone should you buy in the US?

The Google Pixel 6a pitched against the OnePlus Nord N200 makes for a very interesting comparison, especially for potential users in the US market. Both phones are affordable offerings from their respective companies, following a “less-for-more” philosophy. The Google Pixel 6a is essentially a lite version of the Pixel 6, featuring a unique design, a powerful flagship chipset, and reliable cameras in a compact package. Meanwhile, the OnePlus Nord N200 is a budget-friendly offering that offers a high refresh rate display, a triple camera system, and a large battery for just $200. Is the Pixel 6a too good for the OnePlus Nord N200, or can the OnePlus phone hold its own against Google’s mid-ranger? Let’s find out.

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Google Pixel 6a vs OnePlus Nord N200: Specifications

Google Pixel 6a OnePlus Nord N200
Build
  • Gorilla Glass 3 front panel
  • Plastic back and side
  • IP67 water/dust resistance
  • Plastic body
  • No IP rating
Dimensions and Weight
  • 158.6 x 74.8 x 8.9 mm
  • 207 g
  • 163.1 x 74.9 x 8.3mm
  • 189g
Display
  • 6.1-inch AMOLED
  • FHD+
  • 60Hz
  • 20:9 aspect ratio
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 6.49-inch LCD
  • Full HD+
  • 90Hz screen refresh rate
  • Hole-punch display
SoC
  • Google Tensor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G
RAM and Storage
  • 6GB RAM
  • 128GB storage
  • No microSD card
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage
  • MicroSD card slot
Battery and Charging
  • 4,306 mAh battery
  • No charger in-box
  • 5,000 mAh battery
  • 18W fast charger (inside the box)
  • No wireless charging
Security Optical in-display fingerprint sensor Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Rear Camera(s)
  • Primary: 12.2MP main
  • Secondary: 12MP ultra-wide
  • Primary: 13MP primary shooter
  • Secondary: 2MP macro
  • Tertiary: 2MP bokeh
Front Camera(s)
  • 8MP
  • 16MP
Ports
  • USB-C
  • No headphone jack
  • USB-C
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity
  • 5G
  • LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • 5G
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Type-C port
  • WiFi 802.11.b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz)
Software
  • Android 12
    • Three years of OS updates
    • Five years of security updates
Price $449 $199.99

Design & Display

The Google Pixel 6a and OnePlus Nord N200 are two very different-looking phones. The Google Pixel 6a adapts the same bold design as the flagship Pixel 6, featuring a striking camera visor that spans the entire width of the phone. The camera island is thinner than on the Pixel 6 but just as visually striking. The phone features Gorilla Glass 3 on the front along with a plastic back.

Google Pixel 6a in hand with blurred background.

The OnePlus Nord N200 takes design cues from the OnePlus 9 series. It has an all-plastic build with a rectangular camera module on the back and a hole-punch display on the front. It doesn’t feel as premium in hand as the Pixel 6a and is a bit heavier.

T-Mobile OnePlus Nord N200 featured image

The Pixel 6a also has an IP67 certification for dust and water resistance. That means it’s to be used around water and can even survive immersion in 1-meter deep fresh water for up to 30 minutes. There’s no such IP rating on the OnePlus Nord N200, which is understandable given its price.

One advantage the OnePlus Nord N200 has over the Pixel 6a is that it has a 3.5mm audio jack. The Pixel 6a is the first model in the Pixel A series to lack the audio jack.

The Pixel 6a has a 6.1-inch OLED display with FHD+ resolution and HDR10+ support. Although it’s the same panel as the Pixel 6, it doesn’t offer a higher refresh rate. This is a real bummer considering pretty much every phone in this price range nowadays offers a 90Hz or 120Hz panel.

The OnePlus Nord N200 offers a larger 6.5-inch display with FHD+ resolution. It’s an LCD panel, so colors and contrast won’t be as good as the Pixel 6a’s OLED panel. But for what it’s worth, the display can go up to 90Hz for a smoother scrolling experience.


Camera

While prior Pixel A phones always borrowed the same camera hardware from the flagship Pixels, the Pixel 6a ends that trend. Instead of the new Samsung GN1 camera sensor used on the Pixel 6, the Pixel 6a settles for the classic 12MP main shooter that’s been around since the Pixel 2. The other shooter is a 12MP ultrawide camera, seemingly unchanged from previous models. But despite using outdated camera hardware, the Pixel 6a remains head and shoulder above other similarly priced mid-range phones in still photography.

The OnePlus Nord N200 has a triple camera system consisting of a 13MP primary shooter, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. The main shooter is fine for daylight shots but don’t expect too much when shooting in l0w-light.

Speaking of video recording, the Pixel 6a can shoot videos at 4K 60fps, while the OnePlus Nord N200 maxes out at 1080p 60fps.


Performance, battery life, and software

To no one’s surprise, the Pixel 6a blows the OnePlus Nord N200 out of the water in terms of raw performance. The Pixel 6a is powered by the same flagship Tensor SoC found in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. The chipset employs two Cortex-X1 cores, two Cortex-A76 cores, and four Cortex-A55 cores. In addition, the Tensor also has a dedicated Tensor Processing Unit, a low-power Context Hub, a Titan M2 security chip, and an image signal processor (ISP).

The OnePlus Nord N200, on the other hand, packs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 480 chipset, featuring two Kryo Gold cores running at 2.0GHz and six Kryo Silver cores clocked at 1.8GHz. While not the most powerful, the Snapdragon 480 should have no issues handling everyday tasks and even light gaming.

Both phones come in a single variant. The Pixel 6a packs 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the OnePlus has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. But the Nord N200 has a microSD card slot for storage expansion while the Pixel 6a doesn’t.

The OnePlus Nord N200 has an edge in the battery department. It packs a larger 5,000mAh battery to the 4,410mAh cell of the Pixel 6a. Both phones support 18W fast charging, but only the OnePlus Nord N200 comes with a charger inside the box.

For biometrics, the Pixel 6a has an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, while the OnePlus has a side-mounted one. However, the Pixel 6a’s in-display scanner isn’t as fast and reliable as the Nord N200. And it appears it’s also not that secure.

On the software side, the Pixel 6a ships with Android 12 out of the box, while the OnePlus Nord N200 runs Android 11 based on OxygenOS 11. The Pixel 6a is promised to get three years of OS updates and five years of security updates. Meanwhile, the OnePlus Nord N200 will likely only receive one major OS update, which is common for budget and entry-level phones.


Google Pixel 6a vs OnePlus Nord N200: Which one should you buy?

The Pixel 6a costs $250 more than the OnePlus Nord N200 5G, which is not a small difference. The Pixel 6a beats its OnePlus counterpart in all areas except the battery department. It has a better display, a faster chipset, superior cameras, and longer software support. If you can spend $450, the Pixel 6a is obviously the better choice. On sale, you can even expect to get about $50-$80 of discount, making a very strong argument for the Pixel 6a.

    The Google Pixel 6a combines powerful cameras and flagship Tensor chipset into a compact package.

But if you’re tight on budget or want a secondary phone that offers a long battery life and doesn’t cost a fortune, you’ll love the OnePlus Nord N200. With discounts, we’ve seen the device go down as low as $99, marking it as a no-brainer that you should definitely pick up as a secondary phone, if nothing else.

    The OnePlus Nord N200 is a solid budget phone, offering a smooth 90Hz display, Snapdragon 480 5G chipset, and a triple camera system.

You get a nice 6.49-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate for a fast and smooth experience, a large 5,000mAh battery that won’t quit, a triple camera setup, and Snapdragon 480 chipset that handles everyday tasks just fine. In terms of value, the Nord N200 is hard to beat at $239. No wonder it makes it to our list of the best cheap Android phones in 2022.

About author

Kishan Vyas
Kishan Vyas

A loyal Android user since Android 2.1 Eclair. Direct inquiries to [email protected]

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