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Oh OnePlus! The company has been trying to establish itself as a top-three contender in the smartphone space for what feels like forever. For years now, OnePlus has been persistent in building its brand with that “never settle” attitude that brought high-end features and specs into a device that was modestly priced.
With each new iteration, OnePlus came closer to usurping juggernauts in the space like Apple and Samsung, but never accomplished it. That brings me to its newest flagship, the OnePlus 10 Pro. I’ve spent nearly a month with it, really getting acquainted with what this flagship has to offer. OnePlus wants to tell you it’s rewriting the rules, but I want to tell you whether or not it actually does. Continue on for my full OnePlus 10 Pro Review.
- Dimensions: 163 x 73.9 x 8.55-millimeters
- Weight: 200.5g
- Display: 6.7-inch QHD+ (3216 X 1440) 120 Hz Fluid AMOLED with LTPO
- Operating System: OxygenOS based on Android 12
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform
- RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
- Storage: 128GB UFS 3.1 2-LANE
- Battery: 5,000 mAh
Included in the Box
- OnePlus 10 Pro
- 65W SUPERVOOC Power Adapter
- USB-C Cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Welcome Letter
- Safety Information and Warranty Card
- Screen Protector (pre-applied)
- SIM Tray Ejector
- USB Dongle (Type-A to Type-C )
Design: Sleek Like No Other
Out of everything this flagship has to offer, its design is my favorite. That’s because it’s one of the few smartphones that I can comfortably hold in my hand, without having to stretch my thumbs to hit all four corners of the screen. Measuring 73.9mm wide, it’s narrower than rivals like the iPhone 13 Pro Max (78.1mm) and Google Pixel 6 Pro (75.9mm). Really, it handles way better than most phones I’ve used in the last few years.
Furthermore, I really love the soft-touch matte-like finish with the Volcanic Black version of my review unit because it’s smooth to the touch. Pair that with the pre-applied plastic film screen protector, and you’ve got a phone that doesn’t get smudged like other glass-covered phones.
Call it a signature move, but the camera array on the back is distinctive — better designed than what I see implemented in other phones. Sure, it sticks out a smidgen, but it doesn’t detract from the overall design. You can credit the shiny 3D ceramic rear camera cover for that because it adds contrast to the rest of the phone.
Now, if there’s one thing you shouldn’t overlook, it has to be that the OnePlus 10 Pro doesn’t officially have an IP rating for water resistance. I’m a bit disappointed by this, given how its rivals have premium designs paired with water-resistant constructions.
Display: Feeling a Little Blue
Sporting a 6.7-inch QHD+ (3216 X 1440) AMOLED display, the pixel-dense screen is undoubtedly detailed. Colors are pleasant, even though it tends to exhibit a slightly cooler color temperature — which is evident by the bluish hue when white is displayed. Using a light sensor, I got a peak brightness reading of about 1,004 nits, which made it very visible under daylight conditions.
What’s more, the 120Hz refresh rate gives the OnePlus 10 Pro super-smooth motion when navigating around the software. I’ll also admit that I don’t mind the pinhole design with the front-facing camera, especially when it doesn’t affect how things are displayed.
You can’t go wrong using the OnePlus 10 Pro for watching videos, but somehow I feel as though it lacks the iridescence I see exhibited by the displays with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Google Pixel 6 Pro. It’s not a deal-breaker in any way, but it’s still worth noting.
Software and Performance: Minor Hiccups
OnePlus describes its OxygenOS experience as a simple interface that’s big on textured visuals. I can agree with that, but I don’t feel like it’s remotely different from the stock Android 12 experience you’ll find on other phones.
Although, there’s a fair amount of personalization across the experience — including choosing the shape of the icons or a particular shade for dark mode. Visually, I like the minimalist look of the interface but could do without some of the extra fluff OnePlus adds on. For example, I found it annoying how I would accidentally pull up the OnePlus Shelf whenever I did a swipe-down gesture to access my notifications.
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system paired with 8GB of RAM, the OnePlus 10 Pro performed flawlessly with all your basic tasks. However, it still exhibited some lag whenever I played a graphically intensive game. It’s not super choppy, but nevertheless still noticeable enough for me to make out.
Camera: Good, Not Great
Much like its competitors, OnePlus has made its mission to be a top contender in the camera department. One peek at its triple camera system may be enough, but it’s made more poignant by the Hasselblad name etched into the cover. Here’s a quick breakdown of the specs.
- Primary Camera: 48MP f/1.8
- Ultra-wide camera: 50MP f/2.2 with a 150-degree field of view
- Telephoto camera: 8MP f/2.4 with 3.3x optical zoom
If there’s one thing I can say, it’s that the camera software was unpredictable during my experience. I’ve had it completely crash several times, forcing me to restart the phone entirely at one point because the app wasn’t opening correctly. Even though it plagued me this entire time, I’m hoping software updates can resolve it.
Apart from that, the performance is what I expected. It’s good, but it’s good not enough to dethrone juggernauts in this space, like the Pixel 6 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max. When there’s ample lighting, the OnePlus 10 Pro puts out detailed images with saturated-looking colors. It also has a tendency to over-sharpen, resulting in some photos having an artificial quality to them.
Under low-light situations, it struggles to retain the details, but yet somehow manages to boost the exposure to brighten up the scene a bit. Clearly, there’s a compromise with the details because the overall look is muddy.
And lastly, while I do appreciate the versatility of this camera system, particularly going from wide-angle to telephoto, the latter’s performance pales in comparison to the Pixel 6 Pro. I can get much closer and capture more detail with the Pixel 6 Pro’s telephoto lens. Despite all of this, I’m inclined to say that you can still draw out more details from the photos if you spend time editing them later on.
Over on the video side, I’m happy to report that it’s made future-proof with the addition of 8K video recording. I know that not everyone will make use of this, but as a content creator, I like the flexibility of being able to crop the video later on in post. It does a decent job with capturing crisp details, but I did notice how noise becomes more prevalent in the shadows.
Battery Life: 65W Super Fast Charging
Stuffed inside its sleek body is a 5,000 mAh battery, which in my experience delivered better than average results. In my testing, it was more than capable of getting me through a solid day of heavy usage — usually hovering around the 20% mark right before bedtime.
Others may feel that it’s not any longer than other flagships, but I was more impressed with its recharge time. Using the included 65W charger that OnePlus packages in with the phone, it was able to go from 1% to 100% in 60 minutes. Even more impressive, it was able to go from 1% to 10% with just 5 minutes of charging.
This comes in handy when you’re in a bind and pressed for time. So, the next time you’re waiting for your double espresso macchiato to be made, you can use that time to quickly recharge the OnePlus 10 Pro to top it off.
OnePlus 10 Pro Review: Our Verdict
Frankly, I’m bummed that the OnePlus strategy of undercutting the competition in price is gone. What we’re left with here is a flagship phone that’s not too different from what its rivals are offering. That’s made more concrete with its $899 price, which is the same cost you’d pay for the Google Pixel 6 Pro.
Besides its slim overall size and speedy battery recharge time, there’s nothing out of the ordinary that puts it over the edge compared to its competitors. It’s not to say that you shouldn’t buy it, but it’s become too generic and not innovative enough to push it ahead of the pack.
So Should You Buy It?
Of course. It’s still worth buying because it has everything you’ll want in a flagship while maintaining a sleek, gorgeous-looking design.
- Perfectly sized for one-handed use
- Beautifully designed
- Super fast recharge time
- Lacks water-resistant construction
- Tendency to over sharpen photos
- Softer looking photos under low light
How Long Will It Last?
Like I said, the OnePlus 10 Pro feels incredibly solid in the hand. There was a lot of love and attention paid to every detail, but it lacks the water-resistant constructions that other phones offer. OnePlus does offer a 1-year limited warranty if it fails due to defects.
What Are Some of the Alternatives?
OnePlus certainly continues to be a top-tier smartphone maker, but here are some alternatives worth thinking about.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
One of the best Android smartphones you can buy right now is the Google Pixel 6 Pro. If you love capturing photos and video, you’ll love the results of this camera system.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Over on the iOS side, the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max continues to cement itself as the phone to beat because of its well-rounded performance, stunning design and capable cameras.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
When it comes to features, no other phone offers as much as the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. From its crazy space zoom camera to the return of the S Pen stylus, I’d go so far to say it’s the benchmark phone to beat at the moment.
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