Things have been pretty weird on the flagship front with OnePlus this year. In an unusual move, the company unveiled the OnePlus 10 Pro in China first, robbing other markets of any surprise or excitement. By the time it launched in the rest of the world two months later, the 10 Pro delivered a solid flagship experience, but didn’t offer great value. $899 is a lot of money for a phone with just 128GB of storage.
Stranger still, the OnePlus 10 Pro arrived without a OnePlus 10 to fill the affordable flagship ranks. Yes, the OnePlus 10R exists, but it’s limited to markets like India. Back in 2019, the OnePlus 7 Pro also came to North America without a cheaper model in tow, but the OnePlus 7 was announced in other markets, followed by a global release of the OnePlus 7T. Which brings us to the OnePlus 10T, the company’s affordable flagship for 2022.
The OnePlus 10T is basically a OnePlus 10R 150W that packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC and borrows the OnePlus 10 Pro’s design language. So, is that a good thing? Is the OnePlus 10T the affordable flagship you’ve been waiting for? Read my review to find out.
Hardware and design
Put the OnePlus 10T and the OnePlus 10 Pro side-by-side, face down, and you’d be hard-pressed telling them apart at a glance. The 10T inherits the 10 Pro’s design language down to a T (pun intended), and even comes in similar colors: Moonstone Black and Jade Green. Look closer, though, and you’ll notice some important differences. Gone are the 10 Pro’s Hasselblad branding and metal frame. Instead, the 10T settles for plastic.
More importantly, the 10T lacks OnePlus’ signature alert slider, which is highly disappointing. The company says it removed this feature to free up space for the dual charge pumps required by the 150W charging system, and to make room for an extra antenna along the right edge, which improves networking performance when playing landscape games. Frankly, we’re not convinced this was the right compromise.
At least the 10 Pro’s design language is still fresh today, thanks in great part to that unique camera pod, which is home to the 10T’s 50MP main shooter, 8MP ultrawide, 2MP macro, and LED flash. The textured glass back returns for the black model, and feels wonderful. In front, the curved edges of the 10 Pro’s screen make way to a completely flat 6.7-inch display with a center punch hole for the 16MP selfie camera.
As for that plastic frame, it’s home to the power / lock key on the right side, and the volume rocker on the left. The main speaker, USB Type-C port (USB 2.0), primary mic, and (single) SIM tray are mounted along the bottom edge, while the secondary mic and the other speaker are located on top. When it comes to water and dust resistance, the OnePlus 10T is rated IP54, making it basically splashproof.
The OnePlus 10T boasts a completely flat 6.7-inch 10-bit FHD+ (2412 x 1080 pixels, 394ppi, HDR10+) AMOLED panel with a 20.1:9 aspect ratio and a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s a beautiful screen that delivers punchy colors, inky blacks, wide viewing angles, and minimal bezels. Plus, at 950 nits peak, it’s bright enough to handle the California sun. As a bonus, the 1000Hz touch response makes this display ideal for gaming.
On the imaging front, the OnePlus 10T features a 50MP f/1.8 1.0-micron main shooter (using Sony’s excellent IMX766 sensor) with PDAF and OIS, an 8MP f/2.2 1.12-micron 120-degree ultrawide, a 2MP f/2.4 1.75-micron fixed-focus macro, and a 16MP f/2.4 1.0-micron selfie camera. There’s nothing special going on here, and no Hasselblad partnership. Main shooter aside, those are pretty basic camera specs for a flagship.
Shooting modes include portrait, night, pro (manual controls), 50MP, panorama, macro, long exposure, and tilt-shift. Night mode is available across the board, but pro mode only works on the main camera. All shooters capture stabilized video (with stereo audio). The main camera supports up to 4k 60fps, but the ultrawide is limited to 1080p 30fps. Ditto the front shooter, which disappointingly also maxes out at 1080p 30fps.
Video modes include ultra-stable (up to 1080p 60fps), movie / pro (manual controls, 21:9, up to 4k 30fps), slow motion (main, 1080p 240fps and 720p 480fps), time lapse (up to 4k 30fps), and dual view (main plus selfie, 1080p 30fps). There’s no way to record video with the macro – not that you’d really want to, considering its low quality. The camera interface is standard OnePlus (ie. similar to Oppo’s), and is mostly intuitive.
The OnePlus 10T snaps lovely photos, especially with the main shooter. We’re big fans of Oppo’s camera tuning and color science, and with the OnePlus 10T, Oppo’s imaging expertise shines through. Pictures are sharp, with accurate colors and proper exposure. By default, the main camera uses 4-to-1 pixel binning to improve dynamic range and low-light performance, and outputs 12.5MP images (with 2.0-micron pixels).
Selfies taken with the OnePlus 10T are pretty nice, and portrait mode works well. Zoomed shots look fine up to 3-4x, but anything beyond that starts to lose detail. Videos are generally pleasant, but don’t really match what’s possible with today’s best flagships. Still, considering that on paper, the OnePlus 10T basically packs mid-range shooters, I’m impressed with the results. Clearly, OnePlus put some effort into this camera system.
Reception and audio
I tested the OnePlus 10T primarily on T-Mobile’s 5G network in San Francisco and New York City, as well as Telus’ 5G network in Vancouver (Canada), and didn’t run into any issues with calls or data speeds. Unlike previous OnePlus flagships, the OnePlus 10T is compatible with all three major US carriers (4G LTE and sub-6GHz 5G), which is great news. There’s no mmWave 5G support here, but that’s a minor omission.
The OnePlus 10T’s stereo speakers (earpiece in front and driver on the bottom edge) sound fantastic. While this phone lacks a standard headphone jack, it supports both analog and digital audio devices over USB Type-C for wired listening, plus aptX HD and LDAC codecs for a high-quality Bluetooth wireless audio experience. In addition, the OnePlus 10T features Dolby Atmos enhancement for movies, music and gaming.
Performance and battery life
With a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip under the hood, the OnePlus 10T delivers blistering performance. It’s paired with either 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage or 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage – but no microSD support. While it handled my usual suite of apps without skipping a beat, its gaming performance impressed me the most. The OnePlus 10T feels like a gaming phone.
Lack of shoulder buttons aside, OnePlus clearly had gamers in mind with this handset. Beyond the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1’s snappy performance, the OnePlus 10T features a 360-degree, 15- antenna system that maximizes network performance no matter how the phone is held. In addition, the cooling system was optimized to provide twice the heat dissipation of the vapor chambers found in traditional flagships.
The remaining specs are pretty standard for a performance-focused handset, and include sub-6GHz 5G, CAT 20 LTE, dual-band WiFi 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.3 (LE), NFC, and dual-band A-GPS/ GLONASS / BeiDou / GALILEO positioning. The OnePlus 10T also comes with the usual array of sensors, plus an optical in-display fingerprint scanner that’s quick and accurate – just like face unlock. Haptics are excellent, too.
As for battery life, the OnePlus 10T packs a 4800mAh battery (two 2400mAh cells in a series/parallel configuration) that easily lasts an entire day under normal use. That’s pretty decent. But what’s really outstanding here is SuperVOOC 150W wired fast charging, which delivers a 1-100% refill in a brisk 19 minutes! And while the OnePlus 10T lacks wireless charging, it comes with a SuperVOOC 150W charger in the box.
There’s a catch, however: the OnePlus 10T only supports SuperVOOC 150W wired fast charging in regions with 220V mains power, like Europe, India, and China. In markets with 120V outlets, like here in North America, wired fast charging drops to 125W. Still, that means a 1-100% charge only takes just 24 minutes.
When it comes to software, the OnePlus 10T initially shipped with OxygenOS 12 running on top of Android 12, but is starting to receive OxygenOS 13, which is based on Android 13. Despite sharing code, design, and features with Oppo’s ColorOS, OnePlus’ OxygenOS still delivers a wonderful user experience. It remains fast and polished, and offers helpful customizations without deviating too far from stock Android.
Surprisingly, OxygenOS 12 still looks and feels very similar to OxygenOS 11, which first shipped back in 2020. You can read more about it in my OnePlus 8T review. What’s more significant, however, is that OnePlus is now promising four years of OS upgrades and five years of security updates, so the OnePlus 10T will likely be useful for several years before ending up in a landfill. If OnePlus follows through, that’s a pretty big deal.
Also, my unlocked OnePlus 10T review unit was mostly devoid of bloatware. It only came with two third-party apps pre-installed – Netflix and TikTok – which were easily removed. Of course, that’s on top of the usual roster of pre-installed apps from OnePlus and Google. Just don’t be surprised if T-Mobile’s version is significantly more contaminated with bloatware.
Is the OnePlus 10T a good phone?
At first glance, the OnePlus 10T’s value proposition is a little confusing. While it’s certainly more affordable than the OnePlus 10 Pro ($649 vs. $899), it’s not nearly as well-rounded. Sure, it cranks performance up to eleven and delivers incredibly fast charging, but it also makes compromises in other key flagship areas – the mid-range camera system, the plastic frame, and the lack of wireless charging or alert slider.
But there’s another angle here, which really brings the OnePlus 10T into focus. What if instead of being an affordable flagship shrouded in “ultimate performance” marketing, the OnePlus 10T is actually a gaming phone masquerading as an affordable flagship? In other words, what if instead of being a Pixel 7 ($599) competitor, it’s more of a RedMagic 7S Pro ($729) competitor? That makes a lot more sense to me.
Other than missing shoulder buttons, the OnePlus 10T checks all the gaming phone boxes – blazing performance, 150W fast charging, a beautiful 120Hz display, excellent speakers, a “3D graphene” cooling system, and a 360-degree antenna system. So, if that’s what you’re after, I highly recommend the OnePlus 10T (currently $599). If you need something more balanced, however, check out Google’s Pixel 7 (currently $499).
OnePlus 10T price
The OnePlust 10T is currently on sale in the U.S. for $599 at OnePlus.