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Should you buy the OnePlus 10 Pro? Here’s what the reviews say

Is the latest OnePlus flagship worth your cash?

oneplus 10 pro smartphone on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

OnePlus has released its latest flagship device, the $899 OnePlus 10 Pro, which goes on general sale on April 14. This year, it’s the only OnePlus flagship we’re getting, with no non-Pro model in the range.

This will be the first time OnePlus has released only one flagship since 2016. It’s got all of the hallmarks of a flagship device, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, 5G support, lots of cameras, and a high-refresh-rate LTPO OLED screen.

With only one flagship, the more expensive version, OnePlus will have to nail this handset. Let’s find out what the reviewers are saying.

Design

two oneplus 10 pro handsets on a flat surface
Image: OnePlus

Let’s get down to it. The OnePlus 10 Pro looks every bit like a flagship device. Both the Volcanic Black and Emerald Forest colors look gorgeous, and the all-glass enclosure is classy.

So is the ceramic surround on the camera bump. It’s got a 1440p LPTO AMOLED screen at 6.7-inches, with a 1-120Hz dynamic refresh rate.

That glass back is Gorilla Glass 5, so it’s probably pretty scratch resistant. It’ll probably break if dropped but such is life with glass-enclosed phones. Android Police says that the back is “sometimes too slick” but that won’t matter if you put a case on it.

The Verge notes that only the T-Mobile version has an IP68 rating. The unlocked version doesn’t officially have any weatherproofing rating, but OnePlus did tell them that “there’s no build quality difference between the unlocked phone and the one on T-Mobile’s shelves.”

All of the reviewers mention how “fast and responsive” the under-screen fingerprint reader is, which is a good thing. Many previous devices with this tech were glitchy or slow to register, so OnePlus got things right here.

Power and performance

oneplus 10 pro in green color on purple background
Image: KnowTechie

With the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and 8GB of RAM, you’d expect flagship performance. You’ll get it too, but it depends on which flagship you’re talking about. Thanks to OnePlus’ tweaks for battery life, you’ll get closer to the power of a Snapdragon 888. Yeah, last-gen’s flagship.

That said, Forbes found that it outperformed the Galaxy S22 Ultra, and was also impressed by the way variable frame rates were implemented during gaming. Power isn’t everything, after all.

HotHardware has tons of benchmarks if you like that kind of thing, which put the OnePlus 10 Pro in a bit of a mixed bag of performance.

It did well on gaming-related tasks though, and the minor performance hits for everyday use might not be noticed. Flagship processors are so fast these days that most apps don’t really task them.

Battery

oneplus 10 pro battery
Image: OnePlus

The 5,000 mAh battery inside the OnePlus 10 Pro “easily [got] me through a day of moderate (and even some heavy) use,” according to The Verge. That was even with “every battery-draining setting I could think of.”

That could be because OnePlus seems to have “applied an across-the-board throttle” to the OnePlus 10 Pro, according to Android Police. You can turn this off though, by selecting “high performance mode” on the Battery settings page.

Still, that throttle works in your favor for battery life. Android Police got six hours of screen-on time, spread over two days. I can’t remember the last time any of my phones lasted two days…

Oh, and that battery can recharge in no time, thanks to 65W SuperVOOC charging, and 50W AirVOOC wireless charging. You’ll have to pony up $70 for the 50W AirVOOC charging stand though.

How’s the OnePlus 10 Pro’s Camera?

oneplus 10 pro on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

With OnePlus deepening its collaboration with Hasselblad, you’d expect quality images from that striking camera bump. The main 48-megapixel sensor is the same one as used last year in the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, so maybe there are some software tweaks to be had.

Wired said they saw “some improvements” over last year’s OnePlus 9 Pro. Daytime shots were mostly good, but low-light images were lacking at times. Oh, and it uses the HEIF format to save images in 10 bit, which means issues with compatibility once you want to edit them.

CNET put the OnePlus 10 Pro up against the iPhone 13 Pro, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and the Pixel 6 Pro. They were limited to the main camera here, but found it was “generally excellent.” The ultra-wide and telephoto lenses don’t bring the same level of image quality, however.

That’s much the same story from other outlets, like The Verge. They found night-mode photos “weirdly over-brightened,” and that tendency to over-expose also bleeds through to daytime photos. Their official line? “It’s tough to recommend this phone when the Pixel 6 Pro is right there.” Ouch.

Should you buy the OnePlus 10 Pro?

While OnePlus has made a pretty decent Android smartphone, you need to know what you’re missing if you buy. The biggest thing? 5G only really works on T-Mobile in the U.S. Yes, the phone is powered by the latest Qualcomm 5G modem.

That said, it doesn’t support mmWave (the fast 5G) in the U.S., so you’re limited to low- and mid-band 5G. That works perfectly on T-Mobile but is a mess on any other carrier.

OnePlus doesn’t even want to try getting their new flagship certified to work with AT&T’s 5G, and Verizon’s certification is a work in progress.

Again, this is a $900 phone. How anyone at OnePlus thought that releasing this handset to the US market with limited 5G support was a good idea is beyond me. Buy a Pixel 6, or maybe one of Samsung’s S22 range instead.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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