In terms of technical aspects, OnePlus didn’t make any major changes. It has been very well present in Europe and India, and especially in the last few years, with a wide range of midrange devices that perform just as well as their price suggest they should. The company seems to have had a rather lower profile in the US in recent years, however, the company is still very strong in the EU.
There’s a change in the air with the OnePlus 10T, a $649 phone that focuses on delivering high performance.
This phone serves a niche well, and it delivers what it promises. It doesn’t appeal to everyone, but that’s the beauty of it.
- Top-shelf chipset and performance
- Seriously fast wired charging
- Heat dissipation system works well
- Pointless 2-megapixel macro camera
- Water-resistant, not waterproof
- Photo exposure can be hit-or-miss
One of the most important highlights of the 10T’s spec sheet is the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor that stands out among the rest of the features. Despite being highly capable, this chipset isn’t the best at all, but it is the best that you’re likely to find in a smartphone in 2022.
There is no doubt that the 10T has it, and it is cheaper than $700. This tells you a lot about the capabilities of this phone, which is a good thing to know. There is also fast wired charging on board – 125W in the US, and it only stops there because our power outlets are not designed to handle higher voltages, so there’s no way to charge the power bank faster.
A more telling aspect of the 10T is what’s missing: there is no wireless charging onboard, nor does the camera system carry the Hasselblad branding, as on the 10 Pro flagship. You will be able to enjoy the big, fast-refreshing OLED screen that anyone can enjoy, but you will need to look elsewhere if you want some extra features like wireless charging.
If you want the best performance out of your phone without having to spend $1,000 on it, then the 10T is the right phone for you. That’s exactly who OnePlus is aimed at, so I’m sure you’ll be pleased to hear that they are indeed back in the market.
The base model OnePlus 10T comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage – no microSD card slot is included. Also available in North America will be a 16GB RAM / 256GB storage version for $749. This is an extremely competitive set of specifications, especially for a price where 6GB of RAM is more typical. When I tested the 16GB version, it handled intensive tasks as if it were a $1,000 phone.
It’s so easy to tap and scroll through virtual 3D home tours on Zillow’s mobile site. It’s a great way to window shop for houses just for fun (who among us doesn’t like to look at them on occasion). It took me about 30 minutes to get through Diablo Immortal without encountering any major issues other than, maybe, an angry fire-breathing monster that I had to strike into submission with a seven-sided strike before it could escape. Occasionally, as I change into a new area, my framerate is a little shaky, but it’s not a distracting sudden drop that breaks your concentration and breaks the flow of what I am doing.
Compared to other games, Genshin Impact has very smooth gameplay and hardly ever drops frames. With OnePlus 10T, it seems to work very well with the game, which is one of the two it says it’s optimized for with framerate stabilization technology.
It is also important to point out that the 10T’s fast wired charging system lives up to all of its promises. There is a charging brick that comes with the phone, as well as a USB-C to USB-C cable, and the AC adapter is also a substantial size, so you can tell it was built to handle business when you pick it up. I would like to emphasize how impressive the charging speeds are: blink, and you will miss the phone charging up to 30 percent within a few minutes.
As soon as I started charging, I saw 60 percent charge within 10 minutes, and as soon as I finished charging, I saw a full charge. The speed of the charger can change the way you think about your phone’s battery life: if you’re willing to carry the charger, you can easily extend its battery life by several hours by simply plugging it in. You don’t have to feel guilty about how much time you spend playing games or streaming videos even if you live away from a power source most of the time.
Battery life is also good. I consistently found that the 4,800mAh battery lasted for about 60 percent of the day of moderate use. This phone performed best on cellular data with high performance mode enabled – and who wouldn’t when it comes to this kind of phone? By default, the fastest screen refresh rate mode is used. This is a moderate use day; if you plan to play games heavily, which is one of this device’s primary uses, then you will need a late afternoon recharge to avoid single-digit battery life.
Every 10T comes with an IP54 water-resistance rating, regardless of where it is purchased. On previous OnePlus devices, there was sometimes an implied IP rating since it has one at T-Mobile but not the unlocked version, which has been a source of confusion.
In fact, it is IP54 certified, which means it is protected against dust intrusion and water spray rather than being completely submerged. This falls well short of the IP68 rating on most flagship devices, but it’s a bit of protection against accidental splashes.
You won’t find OnePlus’ signature alert slider on the 10T. The company explains that the slider needed to be cut so the chipset and heat dissipation system had enough space. It also emphasizes that just because this phone lacks an alert slider doesn’t mean that it’s gone forever. It is still a fan favorite, so eliminating it would undoubtedly be unpopular among OnePlus fans. When it comes down to it, I managed just fine without it.
A high-performance chipset and fast charging also make the 10T suitable for heat dissipation. The OnePlus 3 has the largest vapor chamber of any of its devices to date, according to OnePlus. This thing has 3D graphite and copper foil, and I’m not quite sure what that all means, but I can say it works pretty well. During the 15-minute download of Genshin Impact (with the animated loading screen on), the phone gets very warm to the touch, but it’s not excessively so.
Similarly, after playing Diablo Immortal for 20 minutes, the phone is noticeably warm, but comfortable to use. I only noticed the phone getting very warm when I left it on a soft surface like a couch cushion while doing some intensive tasks, like downloading massive game files. The cooling system really can’t work if it’s smothered, though; it really can’t do its job when it’s overloaded.
OnePlus 10T’s OLED display offers 1080p resolution at a top refresh rate of 120Hz, and it is spacious at 6.7 inches. The device’s edges are curved, but the panel itself is flat. The screen won’t drop below 60Hz due to its LTPO design, but it will adapt to 60, 90, and 120Hz automatically to minimize battery drain. Additionally, the screen doesn’t have the most powerful brightness, but it’s still good enough to see in direct sunlight with 950 nits of brightness.
For biometric unlocking, the Pixel 6A comes with an excellent in-display fingerprint reader – after using the Pixel 6A’s less responsive reader for a while, this one feels lightning fast. Speed is the foundation of this device, and it fits right in.
The number of years that Google and Samsung agree to support devices with software updates has increased in recent years, and OnePlus is following in their footsteps. There are no guarantees on how long the 10T’s support will last. It’s not quite as long as some Pixel and Galaxy devices, which get up to five years of security updates. I would consider that good, and I think the 10T will be well prepared when it receives its last security patches in four years.
The camera system on the 10T feels a bit afterthought, but that’s not a bad thing. It has all the hardware I’d expect from a midrange premium smartphone: a 50-megapixel camera with stabilization, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and a 16-megapixel front camera.
A 2-megapixel macro camera on the back panel is nigh useless, since it has a low resolution and no autofocus. There is something thrilling about wondering whether your photograph will be in focus. The company could have done us all a favor and included a close-focusing ultrawide instead, but instead, it didn’t.
OnePlus spokesperson Spenser Blank explained in a press briefing that the company wanted to position the phone differently from the 10 Pro, which boasts Hasselblad branding. That Hasselblad logo probably doesn’t come cheap, and the integration of Hasselblad isn’t exactly going to improve OnePlus’ cameras. There’s not much to be gained from that.
So in summary, the cameras on the 10T are just average: good light photos look nice, but low light photos aren’t great either. Cameras often take several shots before the right answer is found, but eventually they do. The exposure can also vary a little – I took three pictures of my husband and son that were overexposed, and then finally a fourth that had the right exposure and skin tone.
In moderate lighting, the shutter speed stays high enough to get a good number of crisp pictures with moving subjects. There is a night mode that provides good color and detail in static subjects in low light. Similarly, video recording has some squirrely exposure issues, but clip quality is fine up to 4K/60p.
A good thing about the OnePlus 10T is that it’s not a phone that’s trying to be everything for everyone. In the US, there aren’t many other options available at the same price point. The Pixel 6 is a little more expensive than the $599 Pixel 6 with the same amount of RAM and storage, but the screen is bigger (if that’s your thing) and the refresh rate is smoother at 120Hz.
The Pixel 6 doesn’t offer the combination of fast charging and extremely fast charging, and that’s a feature you’ll definitely be disappointed in.
There isn’t anything special about the 10T, despite what OnePlus might claim in its marketing. Most people should choose the Pixel 6 at this price range, which is below the $849 Samsung Galaxy S22. There are a better camera, a more robust waterproof design, and more frequent software updates for a longer lifespan in this device, as well as a more comprehensive set of features.
In the 10T, OnePlus has created a phone that is good for the money, even if most people won’t enjoy it. The US market has room for that.
OnePlus 10T Specifications
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1|
|Rear Camera||50 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP|
|Front Camera||16 MP|
|Launch Date||August 3, 2022 (Official)|
|Operating System||Android v12|
|Custom UI||Oxygen OS|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1|
|CPU||Octa core (3.2 GHz, Single core, Cortex X2 + 2.75 GHz, Tri core, Cortex A710 + 2 GHz, Quad core, Cortex A510)|
|Display Type||Fluid AMOLED|
|Screen Size||6.7 inches (17.02 cm)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2412 pixels|
|Pixel Density||394 ppi|
|Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)||88.18 %|
|Screen Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass,|
|Bezel-less display||Yes with punch-hole display|
|Touch Screen||Yes, Capacitive Touchscreen, Multi-touch|
|HDR 10 / HDR+ support||Yes, HDR 10+|
|Refresh Rate||120 Hz|
|Height||163 mm Compare Size|
|Build Material||Back: Gorilla Glass|
|Colours||Jade Green, Moonstone Black|
|Resolution||50 MP f/1.8, Wide Angle, Primary Camera(23.6 mm focal length, 1.56″ sensor size, 1µm pixel size)8 MP f/2.2, Ultra-Wide Angle Camera(1.12µm pixel size)2 MP f/2.4, Macro Camera|
|Sensor||Exmor-RS CMOS Sensor|
|Autofocus||Yes, Phase Detection autofocus, Continuos autofocus, Laser autofocus|
|Flash||Yes, LED Flash|
|Image Resolution||8150 x 6150 Pixels|
|Settings||Exposure compensation, ISO control|
|Shooting Modes||Continuos Shooting|
High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)
|Camera Features||Digital Zoom|
Touch to focus
|Video Recording||3840×2160 @ 30 fps|
1920×1080 @ 60 fps
1280×720 @ 480 fps
|Video Recording Features||Dual Video Recording|
|Resolution||16 MP f/2.4, Wide Angle, Primary Camera(24 mm focal length, 1µm pixel size)|
|Camera Features||Fixed Focus|
|Video Recording||1920×1080 @ 30 fps|
1280×720 @ 30 fps
|Quick Charging||Yes, Super VOOC, 150W: 100 % in 19 minutes|
|Internal Memory||128 GB|
|Storage Type||UFS 3.1|
Network & Connectivity
|SIM Slot(s)||Dual SIM, GSM+GSM|
|SIM Size||SIM1: Nano, SIM2: Nano|
|Network Support||5G supported by device (network not rolled-out in India), 4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G|
|SIM 1||4G Bands:TD-LTE 2600(band 38) / 2300(band 40) / 2500(band 41) / 2100(band 34) / 1900(band 39)|
FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 900(band 8) / 700(band 28) / 1900(band 2) / 1700(band 4) / 850(band 5) / 850(band 18) / 850(band 19) / 800(band 20) / 850(band 26)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz
|SIM 2||4G Bands: TD-LTE 2600(band 38) / 2300(band 40) / 2500(band 41) / 2100(band 34) / 1900(band 39)|
FD-LTE 2100(band 1) / 1800(band 3) / 2600(band 7) / 900(band 8) / 700(band 28) / 1900(band 2) / 1700(band 4) / 850(band 5) / 850(band 18) / 850(band 19) / 800(band 20) / 850(band 26)3G Bands: UMTS 1900 / 2100 / 850 / 900 MHz 2G Bands: GSM 1800 / 1900 / 850 / 900 MHz
|SAR Value||Head: 1.176 W/kg, Body: 0.924 W/kg|
|Wi-Fi||Yes, Wi-Fi 802.11, a/ac/ax/b/g/n/n 5GHz, MIMO|
|Wi-Fi Features||Mobile Hotspot|
|GPS||Yes with A-GPS, Glonass|
|USB Connectivity||Mass storage device, USB charging|
|Audio Jack||USB Type-C|
|Fingerprint Sensor Position||On-screen|
|Fingerprint Sensor Type||Optical|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer, Compass, Gyroscope|