All smartphone manufacturers promise to help us get things done faster. As a result, there are plenty of competing flagship smartphones on the market – the iPhone 13, Galaxy S22, and Pixel 6 to name a few – that ensure a snappy mobile experience in a sleek design. The OnePlus 10T deviates only slightly from this formula. It spans both the premium and mid-range markets, combining the fastest Android processor available and the best standard screen refresh rate with superior battery performance and charging speed.
However, with a starting price of $649, the 10T also falls squarely into the more affordable mid-range spectrum of smartphones. Will that budget-friendly price, combined with its top-of-the-line processor, screen and battery, be enough to push the OnePlus 10T past its flagship competition when pre-orders start on September 1? let’s find out
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Built to last
When I took the OnePlus 10T out of the box, I was surprised that it didn’t weigh as much as I thought it would. My daily driver is the thick iPhone 13 Pro Max at 8.46 ounces. The OnePlus 10T’s 7.2-ounce weight made it feel more like a smartphone meant to be used, as opposed to one meant to live in a trophy case. Its weight, or relative lack thereof, could be a good thing for anyone looking for a larger phone that won’t weigh down their pockets…or force them to tie the drawstring tight on their sweatpants. (Ask me how I know that.)
The OnePlus 10T, equipped with Gorilla Glass 5 protection on the front and back, has a 6.7-inch OLED display that fits perfectly into its frame. At 2412 x 1080p, the screen resolution might not offer the clarity of premium smartphones with 1440p displays, but the 120Hz refresh rate more than makes up for it. As a result, there is noticeable speed and smoothness in scrolling, transition effects, and on-device animations.
Oh, and symmetry-conscious users will be pleased to know that the OnePlus 10T’s 16-megapixel selfie punch-hole camera is centered at the top of the screen and just below the barely-there speaker grille.
It’s nothing special to look at, but it looks like it could take a beating.
Credit: Molly Flores/Mashable
On the right side of the 10T you’ll find the power/sleep button, while the volume rocker occupies the opposite edge. It’s worth noting that the phone doesn’t have an additional “alert slider” like its OnePlus 10 Pro sibling – but that shouldn’t be a huge problem. Sure, it’s an extra step of pressing the volume rocker up or down to see additional on-screen volume options, then tapping the Musical Note button to mute the volume. But that’s not on my nitpick list when it comes to increased productivity in a smartphone – to each their own.
The choice of casing/bezel material is another area where the OnePlus 10T shows its mid-range roots. I was expecting a “shiny” metal bezel around the device that would be comparable to other flagship devices like the Google Pixel 6 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy Ultra 22. Instead, you get a plastic frame.
As for the back of the OnePlus 10T, its symmetrical and impact-minimizing camera/flash arrangement is a very nice touch for those who appreciate a minimalist aesthetic. The phone’s textured glass back is another of those unexpected but appreciated design features. And if you don’t want to use a case, you probably don’t have to worry about scratches or scuffs on the back when you put the phone on… anything. Unfortunately, the OnePlus 10T doesn’t give you a huge range of color options: it’s only available in moonstone black and jade green.
Another feature that keeps the OnePlus 10T just outside of the premium range is its IP54 rating, meaning it can withstand dust and a syringes or two of water, but will run into trouble if submerged. Which sounds fine on the face of it, as long as you don’t compare it to other flagship devices like Google’s Pixel 6 range or Samsung’s Galaxy S22, which offer more robust IP68 dust and water resistance.
Fast performance and long battery life
The battery life of the OnePlus 10T is impressive. As a self-described heavy smartphone user, I can confidently say that the 4,800mAh battery held in my hands like a champ. I was able to use the phone for a full day and still had 30 percent charge left before I went to bed.
For this review, I performed the typical daily battery drain functions. Basically, I did what any regular smartphone user would do: I watched a huge amount of YouTube and TikTok videos throughout the day, in addition to using Google Chrome for web browsing and Google Drive for managing cloud documents.
There is no wireless charging here. But what do you expect for the price?
Credit: Molly Flores/Mashable
When the OnePlus 10T needed charging, I was able to charge it to over 50 percent in under 30 minutes using the included USB-C cable and 160W SuperVOOC power adapter. Adjusting battery settings like high power mode, battery usage optimization, sleep-standby optimization and night charging optimization could lead to even better battery/charging performance results. However, the OnePlus 10T lacks wireless charging. His inclusion would have been a nice touch, but maybe next time.
The fingerprint and face recognition features of the OnePlus 10T are also surprisingly fast. In fact, accessing the phone with Face Unlock was so fast that I wonder if security decreases when using it as the primary method of accessing the phone. In any case, it is safest to use either fingerprint or PIN unlocking if you are very concerned about device security.
For this review I had the privilege of testing the OnePlus 10T variant with 16GB RAM/128GB storage which combined with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor made everything I did on this device fast. From countless apps (and browser tabs) open, to downloading and streaming media, to interacting on Twitter and Instagram, the OnePlus 10T hasn’t missed a step when it comes to fast performance.
Good but not great cameras
You won’t find that Hasselblad photo magic here.
Credit: Molly Flores/Mashable
Similar to other current flagships, the One Plus 10T has three rear-facing cameras. The 50-megapixel main camera is capable of producing solid low-light images, but it tops out at 10x optical zoom compared to the 30x optical zoom of the similarly priced Samsung Galaxy S22.
There’s also an 8-megapixel ultra-wide and a 2-megapixel macro camera that will get the job done, but that’s it. After taking several pictures and comparing them to other smartphones I own (e.g. iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 Pro Max), it is clear that the OnePlus 10T produces high-quality images that are bright and sharp. However, similar images taken with the iPhone appear more colorful and detailed.
The One Plus 10T has a respectful 16-megapixel front camera that works well in natural and low-light situations. I actually preferred the image quality of the front-facing camera images over similar images captured with my iPhone 13 Pro Max, as there was more detail (and fewer shadows) in the shots.
Taken with OnePlus 10T in natural outdoor lighting
Credit: Terrance Gaines/Mashable
Shot with the iPhone 13 Pro Max in natural outdoor lighting
Credit: Terrance Gaines/Mashable
The OnePlus 10T has some camera tricks not found on other devices. There’s a “dirty lens warning” setting that can detect if a fingerprint smudge or other particles could be preventing a clear shot. There’s also a dual-view video feature that lets you record from the rear and front cameras at the same time.
While the OnePlus 10T has some snazzy camera setups, it lacks the Hasselblad partnership of the OnePlus 10 Pro. This feature boost would have given this smartphone an even more premium flagship feel with additional pro-level camera settings and modes.
The Android competition
The One Plus 10T starts at $649. But for just $799, you can opt for its “bigger brother,” the OnePlus 10 Pro, which has a better 3216 x 1440 display, wireless charging, and a Hasselblad camera system. Are nicer cameras and the privilege of wireless charging worth an extra $150? People looking for a high-end smartphone at a great price might not think so.
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is another Android brand if you don’t want to be exposed to the Apple ecosystem. For $849, the Galaxy S22 offers multiple color options (compared to just two on the OnePlus 10T) and also has better camera specs: 50-megapixel rear, 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and 10-megapixel telephoto. However, it only has 8GB of RAM and a comparatively smaller 6.1-inch screen, but you still get a 120Hz refresh rate.
For a true Android experience, there’s always Google’s Pixel 6 with a 6.4-inch screen priced at $599 ($50 cheaper than the 10T). One of the Pixel 6’s best features is the Real Tone camera feature, which accurately captures different skin tones and other color differences. Although Real Tone alone might not add enough value to make you choose it over the 10T. Also, the Pixel 6 only offers a dual-camera system on the back, with wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses and 8GB of RAM. Given that, the One Plus 10T is still an argument worth considering.
OnePlus 10 Pro rivals the Pixel 6 Pro for its money
The final result
The focus of the OnePlus 10T is speed and in that regard it delivers. Its processing power combined with solid battery life and fast charging sets it apart from other mid-range competitors for the price. However, the 10T’s cameras and overall design aesthetic still keep the device one foot in the “average” bucket – at least when compared to competing Android flagship devices.
To use basketball term, the OnePlus 10T makes more mistakes than mistakes. If ultra-fast performance at a reasonable starting price of $649 is important to you, the OnePlus 10T is just above mid-range (but just below flagship) and a worthy smartphone to consider.