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OnePlus 10T review: get fully charged without being overcharged
OnePlus, with its 'Never Settle' slogan, offers the 10T that conveniently settles right in between Google Pixel 6a and Samsung Galaxy S22
🆕 I got to test out the new OnePlus 10T and we’re launching a new review format, which aims to be a much quicker read and incorporate long-term testing (see the bottom). I’ll apply a score when I’m comfortable with that testing (next week).
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🏆 Review score: To be applied ahead of the September 1 pre-order 🏆
➡️ The Shortcut skinny review
📱 What? A new cheap OnePlus phone with top speeds and groundbreaking fast charging. It’s more advanced than the Google Pixel 6a, but cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S22.
1️⃣ Who? OnePlus makes affordable top-specced phones twice a year
📆 When? September 1 pre-order, September 29 release date
🌎 Where? Launching worldwide; Amazon, Best Buy and OnePlus in the US
🤔 Why? It’s cheaper than the OnePlus 10 Pro and many other Android phones at this spec level. Great for gaming on a budget with a speedy chipset and fast charging
💵 How much? Just $649 (8GB+128GB), $749 (16GB+256GB)
🌈 Jade Green (left) and Moonstone Black (right)
I prefer the Moonstone Black with its rough textured back. It’s glass, but the matte finish calls back to the sandstone finish of the OnePlus One
🏗️ Glass back, but frame made of plastic
Metal frame remains exclusive to OnePlus 10 Pro
📺 6.7" Full HD+ AMOLED flat display (not curved)
⏩ 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
🤫 No alert slider (present on all prior OnePlus phones)
📸 50MP main camera
👐 8MP ultrawide camera
🔍 2MP macro lens
🤳 16MP selfie camera
No Hasselblad branding
🤖 Android 12
⚙️ Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset
🗄️ 128GB or 256GB storage
🐏 8GB or 12GB RAM (also a 16GB RAM option)
☝️Under display finger print sensor
🔋 4,800mAh capacity
⚡150W fast charging (upgrade from 80W)
🏃♂️ 28% in 3 mins
🏃♂️ 67% in 10 mins
🏃♂️ 100% in 19 mins
🙅♂️ Still no wireless charging
❤️ What I like about the OnePlus 10T
💰 Price is right: A $649 top-specced phone during the midst of inflation? It’s launching at the right time for Android upgraders who can’t afford the OnePlus 10 Pro and can dial back on what the Pro version offers.
📺 Large display: 6.7 inches is a great size for this price, and even though a vocal minority of people want smaller phones, sales prove otherwise. And I don’t care that it’s “just” Full HD+ instead of Quad HD+. The latter sucks up more battery life and offers no discernible benefit on a smartphone screen. Here’s the big secret: Samsung flagship phones tout that Quad HD+ spec, but come with Full HD+ turned on by default (few people notice).
🏗️ Design: I really like the Moonstone Black version of the OnePlus 10T. It is a deliberate callback to the OnePlus One (for a company that just said “You've let us know when you think we've lost our way. We hear you loud and clear."). Its rough texture and matte finish almost have me forgiving OnePlus for the fact that there are only two colors.
⏩ 120Hz adaptive refresh rate: This makes up for the fact that the Google Pixel 6a is just 60Hz for people who care about silky smooth displays when scrolling. Better yet, gamers will appreciate that it has a 360Hz hardware touch response rate when most phones top out at 240Hz.
⚡Charging: OnePlus 10T has 150W fast charging (but 125W in the US), which actually one-ups the pricier OnePlus 10 Pro which can do an admirable charging at 80W (65W in the US). The 10T has a slightly smaller battery (4,800mAh vs the Pro’s 5,000mAh). Fast charging makes up for that shortfall.
📸 Triple-lens camera: OnePlus has had solid cameras, but never ‘the best’ compared to Apple, Samsung and Google. I’ve gotten to test out the 50MP camera that rivals (but doesn’t beat) the Samsung Galaxy S22 (and I hear rumors that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 launching next week will have the same camera).
🎮 Great for gaming: The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz hardware touch response rate are a top-notch combo for an Android phone. Specifically, Qualcomm's newer Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset has proven to offer the best performance and less heat among new Android smartphone phones vs the Snapdragon 8, which is ideal for gaming.
🥶 Next-gen 3D cooling system 2.0: OnePlus touts a new vapor cooling system that’s 63.8% larger than its previous cooling systems and covers 100% of hotspots within the phone. Just as important, it has eight heat dissipation channels. My real-world testing has shown even cooling, although you’ll still feel some heat if you try. At the launch event, I did see the Glacier Mat Case that’s likely to further dissipate heat (but I haven’t tried that yet).
🤔 Why I'm skeptical about the OnePlus 10T
🤼 Competition: The Google Pixel 6a is a sub-$500 phone that you’ll likely consider if you’re on a budget. It has a smaller 6.1-inch display, is only 60Hz and tops out at 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage when OnePlus 10T over indexes on performance. That said, Google’s AI-backed camera is superb for the cheaper price. It depends on what matters to you.
🤫 No alert slider: This is the first OnePlus phone without an alert slider (I liked that that mimics the iPhone mute switch on an Android phone. It was a great feature, but OnePlus said the motherboard forced it to ax the beloved physical switch. For shame!
🤥 No lie: my TechRadar article from 2017 – This OnePlus 5 feature should be on every Android phone – shows I loved the alert slider.
🔍 2MP macro lens: Super-close-up photos can be fun to snap, but at such a super-low resolution, this is another phone that tries to dedicate a camera to niche macros shots and doesn’t live up to the hype. I’d much rather have a telephoto lens.
🙅♂️ No wireless charging: If you don’t use it, you don’t care. But the OnePlus 10T is missing wireless charging, a feature that’s become standard on many phones at this price. I’d rather have the alert slider back, but this is also on the list (just further down).
🌈 Only 2 Colors: Usually cheaper phones get fun colors, but you’re limited to black and green here. As much as I really like the Moonstone Black, I’d prefer at least 2-3 more color choices.
👨🔬 My long-term OnePlus 10T testing plan
Because reviews don’t end on launch day
🪨 Durability: Living with the OnePlus 10T over time is really the only way to properly test this phone, which has that plastic frame, but glass back. That’s one of the reasons it’s cheaper than the OnePlus 10 Pro, which has a metal frame, and I’m wondering how much it matters long-term. Expect this to go in the Pro or Con section above, depending on how it turns out over time.
📸 The camera: I stuck the triple-lens camera in the “like” section. It doesn’t match the Pixel 6a and Galaxy S22, but it does come closer than past budget OnePlus phones – even without that Hasselblad branding. It could get better over time (OnePlus is known for post-launch camera updates). I want to do more side-by-side comparisons in the lead-up to the September 1 pre-order date. Aside from the meh macro camera, the photos are solid for the price.
🧑🔬 The battery: 4,800mAh is a solid battery capacity and I don’t expect to be hurting for power by the end of the day. Part of that is down to the efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The 150W (125W in the US) charging is here and I’m looking forward to testing that out over the next few weeks.
🧊 Glacier Mat Case: There’s also a new case that’s cooling looking in more ways than one. It’s an unnecessary extra for most people given the next-gen cooling system (mentioned above). This is a smartphone, not a PC gaming rig. But if this rids the world of lag among pro mobile gamers who demand flawless performance, I’m all for it. I’ll try to get ahold of one.