The new OnePlus phone has an incredibly powerful processor but comes at a high cost.
The OnePlus 10T is 2022’s most pointless phone. Harsh? Perhaps. But the 10T is a jumbled mess that OnePlus should not have bothered with. It’s based on the excellent OnePlus 10 Pro and is meant to be a high-end smartphone with an even more powerful processor to deliver the best performance possible. It sort of does, to a point.
However, in order to gain that slight (and frankly, insignificant) extra speed without raising the price, it sacrifices important features such as screen quality, design, and camera. As a result of all of these compromises, the 10T feels less premium.
In the US, the OnePlus 10T costs $649 and £629 for a model with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, which is less than the OnePlus 10 Pro’s original $899 base price for a similar memory and storage configuration. However, OnePlus also announced a price reduction for the 10 Pro, bringing its starting price down to $799.
The phone I reviewed has 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it costs $749 and £729. (This price is roughly equivalent to AU$1,280.) However, the 10T does not replace the 10 Pro, and if you’re reading this article to decide which to buy, I strongly advise you to do so instead. Especially if the pricing is similar in your region.
What makes me dislike this phone so much? Let’s start with the ostensibly increased power. The OnePlus 10T is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and a massive 16GB of RAM, making it an absolute powerhouse. However, in benchmark tests, it only achieves marginal gains over the Pro.
OnePlus 10T Has Slippery, Shiny Aesthetics With Premium Feel
The 10 Pro is already powerful enough to handle whatever you throw at it. When I played demanding games like Genshin Impact, Asphalt 9: Legends, or PUBG on high settings, there was no discernible difference between the 10 Pro and the 10T. The overall performance of the interface is the same, and the extra power won’t help you post a TikTok video faster or make better-looking photo edits in Snapseed. So, what’s the point? It’s like choosing a 170 mph sports car over a 160 mph one, even though you’ll only drive it to work and back on 60 mph roads.
The display has a lower resolution, with a pixel density of 394ppi compared to the 10 Pro’s 525ppi, which also makes colors look better. Because the screen on the 10T is flat rather than curved at the edges, it lacks some of the premium feel. And the back is just as bad, with a glossy cover that’s slippery to hold and collects more fingerprints than an entire season of CSI. I’ll take the 10 Pro’s sophisticated-looking sandblasted back any day. The alert slider has also been removed, which I won’t miss, but longtime OnePlus fans will be disappointed.
In pursuit of that power, the cameras suffer as well. Because OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad does not extend to the 10T, the camera hardware is reduced to a 50-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and a useless 2-megapixel macro lens. It’s a big step down from the 10 Pro’s 48-megapixel main, 50-megapixel ultrawide, and 8-megapixel telephoto. The 10T’s camera screen has a 2x zoom toggle, but it digitally crops into the image. The results aren’t as impressive as those obtained with the 10 Pro’s 3.3x optical zoom lens.
It’s not that the 10T can’t take good photos (it can, in good light), but it can’t compete with the 10 Pro, especially when it comes to ultrawide shots. It’s a shame you have to give up camera prowess for an arguably redundant speed boost.
The battery charging capacity of the 10T is increased to 150 watts, up from 80 watts in the 10 Pro. On paper, this should allow the phone to charge from empty to full in about 20 minutes, whereas the 10 Pro will take about 30 minutes. Sure, the 10T is faster, but the 10 Pro is already one of the fastest-charging smartphones on the market. I don’t believe an extra 10 minutes will make a significant difference in my life. You don’t need to budget for a compatible 150-watt fast charger because one is included in the box.
The battery life is comparable to that of the 10 Pro. Both phones dropped from full to 92 percent after an hour of YouTube streaming over Wi-Fi at maximum brightness. You won’t struggle to get a full day out of it, but it will take very little time to charge it if you do run out of power later in the day.
The phone ships with Android 12, and an upgrade to Android 13 is expected “before the end of the year,” though the 10 Pro will get it first for some reason.
The 10T’s problem is that OnePlus rushed it out to claim that it has the most powerful chip in its phone, despite the fact that the chip is already available on other handsets that cost even less. The 10 Pro was released in April of this year, and now it has a new iteration less than four months later.
At a time when we should be applauding companies for not launching unnecessary products and wasting resources for the sake of bragging rights, OnePlus has taken the opposite approach. It rushed out a product that offers little advantage over its existing – and excellent – 10 Pro.
Instead of launching these shambles, I’d prefer to see the company keep those new features, refine them, and pack them into a full flagship replacement early next year. One that does not force you to compromise on specifications and performance elsewhere.
OnePlus has let me down. I can confidently say that the OnePlus 10 Pro (rather than the 10T) is the phone to get if you want the best all-around experience the company has to offer.