OnePlus has been slowly but surely changing for years now. Over the past five or six it has slowly raised the prices of its phones to be more in line with the competition, instead of undercutting them. But some of the biggest changes came from OnePlus’ continued merge with Oppo, its parent company. In fact, the two companies have announced that many of their internal teams are merging, meaning we could continue to see the Oppo-fication of OnePlus.
But we’re not there quite yet. While Oppo’s influence can be seen, the OnePlus 10 Pro manages to remain a solid option for those that like OnePlus’ scaled-back feel and high-end features. It’s not the perfect phone, to be sure, but it remains competitive despite the increasingly high price tag, and the fact that its software is changing.
OnePlus 10 Pro
- Great performance
- Solid design
- Good battery
- Excellent display
- A bit expensive
OnePlus 10 Pro design
The OnePlus 10 Pro offers a slightly different design than the last-generation OnePlus 9 series, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some of the design touches, I quite like, though they’re definitely inspired by some of the competition.
Perhaps the most obvious of those design changes is the camera module, which kind of curves around the edge of the phone and into the frame — like the Galaxy S21 and S22 series phones. It looks nice, but it’s interrupted by the fact that the camera module and frame are built from different materials, so it doesn’t quite blend in the same way.
The front of the phone offers slightly curved edges, with Gorilla Glass Victus covering the display. On the back of the phone, you’ll get a frosted matte glass, which is built from Gorilla Glass 5. I really like the look and feel of this glass, and I’m glad there’s glass here instead of metal, as it enables wireless charging. In the sun the frosted glass really sparkles, and it’s a nice touch. Our model is the Volcanic Black color, but it’s also available in Emerald Green. I’m boring, so I prefer the Volcanic Black option.
Around the edges, you’ll get all the buttons and features you would expect from a OnePlus phone. There’s a volume rocker, power button, and USB-C port, plus there’s the ringer switch. Nice!
Generally, I like the overall design of the OnePlus 10 Pro. It looks and feels premium, and it looks relatively unique too, thanks to the larger, square camera module.
OnePlus 10 Pro display
Perhaps one of the best things about the OnePlus 10 Pro is its display. The phone comes with a 6.7-inch display with a 1440p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. Actually, it’s an LTPO display with a variable refresh rate, and OnePlus says that it can scale its refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz, depending on what you’re doing. That will help it cut down on battery usage.
Generally, the display on the OnePlus 10 Pro is excellent. The phone offers a peak brightness of 1300 nits, and I found that it easily got bright enough for use in even direct sunlight.
OnePlus has a new dual-color calibration tech built into the screen’s display too. This should help ensure that it looks more natural at a range of brightnesses.
The display also has an optical fingerprint sensor built into it, and it generally worked quickly and accurately. OnePlus has moved the location of the sensor compared to the OnePlus 9, which had a sensor pretty low on the screen. On the OnePlus 10 Pro it’s a little more reachable and natural, which is definitely helpful.
OnePlus 10 Pro performance
The OnePlus 10 Pro is a flagship phone in 2022, and it offers all the features you would expect. You’ll get the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, coupled with 8GB of RAM. During testing, the phone performed excellently, loading apps in a snap, and handling multitasking like a champ.
Of course, excellent performance is to be expected. But OnePlus has taken things a step further for this particular phone, with a new heat dissipation system that relies on a customized vapor chamber on both sides of the motherboard. The result? The phone performs better in benchmarks than any Android phone I’ve tested to date. It doesn’t reach the heights of the iPhone 13 series, but as far as Android phones go, the OnePlus 10 Pro is among the top-perfoming devices.
So what does that mean? Basically, the phone will be able to handle all your gaming and multitasking needs, and it should remain a relatively high-performing device for at least a few years before it really slows down.
OnePlus 10 Pro battery
The OnePlus 10 Pro is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery, and I found that it was easily able to last a full day of even relatively heavy use, and often part-way into the next day. It doesn’t have a multi-day battery like some other phones, but the battery should be more than big enough for the vast majority of users. I generally ended a day of normal use with around 40-50% of the battery remaining, though as someone who spends most of the day in front of my laptop, I’m not the heaviest of users.
The phone charges incredibly quickly too. The device is technically capable of charging at up to a whopping 80W, however OnePlus says the 80W charging brick isn’t available in the U.S. because it hasn’t been tested using a 120V power outlet. You’ll still get a 65W charging brick though, which still means excellently fast charging speeds. And, like the OnePlus 9 Pro, the device supports the 50W wireless charging you can get from OnePlus’ Warp Charge 50 Wireless Charger.
OnePlus 10 Pro camera
The OnePlus 10 Pro represents the second year of OnePlus’ three-year agreement with Hasselblad, however, it offers much of the same hardware as last year. You’ll get a 48-megapixel main camera, with an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with 3.3x optical zoom, and a 50-megapixel ultrawide camera that offers up to a hefty 150-degree view. This is perhaps the biggest differentiator between the OnePlus 10 Pro and other phones, including the OnePlus 9 Pro.
Generally, I found the camera capable of capturing relatively detailed and vibrant photos the vast majority of the time. While the hardware is similar between this phone and the last-generation OnePlus 9 Pro, the color-tuning is a little different. Photos are a little brighter, and a little warmer too. Getting brighter images is a good thing, but getting warmer ones comes down to personal preference. I like the color-tuning of the OnePlus 10 Pro though.
The 150-degree ultrawide camera is a little buried in settings, but it’s fun to play with a little. It’s not a mode that you’ll reach for often, especially given the distortion at the edges of phones taken. But again, it’s fun to play with, and you might get some cool effects from it.
The phone is capable of recording 4K video at up to a hefty 120 frames per second, or even 8K video at up to 24 frames per second. Video quality is fine, though not as good as the iPhone.
OnePlus 10 Pro software
There have been a lot of concerns about OnePlus’ approach to software over the past year or two. It makes sense. OnePlus and Oppo announced last year that they would be integrating some of their teams, and some assumed this would mean a single software experience across all OnePlus and Oppo phones. When asked about this, OnePlus was quick to point out to me that only the codebase of OxygenOS and ColorOS would be the same — and that OnePlus phones would still ship with OxygenOS, and Oppo devices would still ship with ColorOS. We’ll have to wait and see how long that remains true, but for now, the OnePlus 10 Pro does indeed ship with OxygenOS.
Generally, I found OxygenOS on the OnePlus 10 Pro to be similar to the OxygenOS that we’ve come to know and love. It’s clean and stripped-back, and relatively easy to navigate. There are some differences between the software on the OnePlus 10 Pro and that on previous-generation phones — but they’re mostly minor. One difference I didn’t like was the lack of support for circular app icons, which was standard on previous versions of OxygenOS.
The OnePlus Shelf has moved once again — and now you’ll access it by swiping down from the top right corner of the display. The shelf may be useful for some, but I don’t use it all that much.
It’s clear that OnePlus is changing, but it remains to be seen how long it can remain loyal to its fan base. The OnePlus 10 Pro, thankfully, doesn’t represent the end for the OnePlus we know and love. Instead, it proves that OnePlus is still building high-end phones that look and feel premium while retaining that scaled-back software experience.
I really wish there were a standard OnePlus 10 — and one still might be released. But while the $900 price tag for the OnePlus 10 Pro isn’t bad, the Galaxy S22 is the phone to get for those who want flagship performance at a decent price. For those extra features, however, like the higher-resolution display and triple camera system, the OnePlus 10 Pro is an excellent option.
There’s tons of competition in this space. If you want a top-performing phone and don’t necessarily care as much about the extra features, then go for the Samsung Galaxy S22 or the Google Pixel 6.
Perhaps the biggest competition to the OnePlus 10 Pro, however, comes from the Google Pixel 6 Pro. The Pixel 6 Pro offers an even more Google-centric software experience, with Google’s class-leading cameras. The OnePlus 10 Pro, however, seems to offer a slightly better battery, along with faster performance, and because of that, it’s probably the phone to get.
Should I buy the OnePlus 10 Pro?
Yes. The OnePlus 10 Pro is an excellent option in its price range, and slightly edges ahead of the likes of the Google Pixel 6 Pro.