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This budget Android phone is so powerful, it should be double the price

The Nuu B30 punches well above its weight as an inexpensive phone that feels more like a flagship device.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The NUU B30 Pro
Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Nuu B30 Pro is available now from the Nuu mobile website, for only $299.99.
  • This is a budget phone that - based on looks and performance - I thought would cost a lot more.
  • The camera can be a bit laggy, it's only guaranteed two years of support, no wireless charging, and only supported on select networks.

When I received the Nuu B30 Pro for review, I immediately unboxed it, set it up with my Google account, and fired it up to see what it could do. What I didn't bother to do was look up the price. Why? I wanted to hold that piece of information off until the end, so I could take a stab at the price point based on how the phone performs.

I'm not going to tell you that this new device from a manufacturer you've probably never heard of will outperform your Pixel 8 Pro, but I will say that I was shocked at how inexpensive the B30 Pro is.

$299. That's it.

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When I held this phone in my hand, I was sure it would sell for twice that price. With a sleek curved display, a radiant, blueish backplate (which is protected by Gorilla glass 3), and a feel in the hand that screams "flagship," this phone took me by surprise. It's good. Really good.

I was also surprised that it offered what seemed like a fairly stock Android experience. Nuu has done very little to the UI, so if you're a fan of vanilla Android, you'll be happy to know that's what you get with the B30 Pro.

View at Nuu Mobile

The specs

  • 6.7" curved AMOLED display with a 120hz refresh rate and 2,400 by 1,080 resolution
  • CPU - MediaTek Dimensity 7050
  • RAM - 12GB
  • Storage - 256 GB
  • Cameras - 108 MP main camera with 8MP wide-angle and 2MP macro lenses and 32MP front camera
  • OS - Android 13
  • Dimensions - 6.37 by 2.92 by 0.35 inches
  • Biometrics - on-screen fingerprint scanner
  • Price - $299.99 on the Nuu Mobile Site

As I've repeated, the Nuu B30 Pro feels like it could be serious competition for some of the flagship devices on the market. But that doesn't mean it could take down the best of the best. The main reason for that is the CPU is on the low-end of the scale. In my time using the phone, however, the only time I noticed the lesser-powered CPU was when snapping photos and a bit of lag when watching HD videos on YouTube. Other than that, this phone was snappy, with both animations and scrolling feeling buttery smooth.

Also: This $350 Android phone nearly made me forget about the flagships

Let me address the photo-snapping issue. The lesser-powered CPU didn't cause the B30 Pro to take low-quality photos. In fact, I found the cameras to be more than adequate. The only problem was the processing power. Upon tapping the shutter button, there is a slight delay before the photo is actually captured. At first, this caused me to snap some blurry photos. After I realized what was going on, I could adjust to this quirk and take some fairly good pictures, even in lower light.

A photo of a ZCAM E2 F6 camera taken by the NUU B30 Pro.
Jack Wallen/ZDNET

As for video, I viewed several on YouTube and they were crystal clear, with sound that might not overwhelm you with volume but the quality was as good as any middle-grade phone I've ever used.

Apps installed effortlessly and opened immediately, the on-screen fingerprint scanner was as good as any I've used (except the Pixel 8 Pro), and the display was a dream to look at.

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But by far the biggest caveat to using the Nuu B30 Pro is the rather exclusive list of supported carriers, which includes the following:

  • Gen Mobile
  • Hello Mobile
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Mint Mobile
  • Q Link Wireless
  • SpeedTalk Mobile
  • T-Mobile
  • Tello Mobile
  • Ultra Mobile

You won't be able to use this device on networks like AT&T or Verizon. But if your carrier happens to be one of the above, you're in luck.

ZDNET's buying advice

I've grown to expect disappointment from most budget Android phones, but the Nuu B30 Pro has caused me to rethink that stance. This device is sleek, well designed, and adequately powered for most average usage. And with plenty of RAM and internal storage, this phone could easily sell for twice the asking price.

Of course, the limited available network support means if your carrier is one of the larger networks, this device is a no-go. But for those on smaller networks with smaller budgets, the Nuu B30 Pro should be considered the flagship of low-price Android phones.

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