The latest high-end smartphone from OnePlus is a top-spec device with a good combination of aesthetics and performance, and a price that undercuts rivals. Just don’t sit on it.
The 10 Pro costs from £799 ($899), which is still premium priced but £30 cheaper than last year’s model and £250 less than the parent company Oppo’s Find X5 Pro.
The phone has one of the best 6.7in OLED screens: bright, crisp and colorful with a 120Hz refresh rate to keep things smooth. The glass sides curve to a shiny metal band and a frosted glass back, which feels particularly nice and stops fingerprints creating a mess.
The camera lump in the top-left corner blends into the metal sides and makes for an interesting design element. While big, its curved sides, relatively narrow width and about 200g weight make the 10 Pro comparatively easy to hold compared with similar rivals.
It feels solidly made but durability testing has shown that the phone can snap in half if enough pressure is applied. Don’t sit on it and you should be fine. It lacks an official water-resistance rating, too, but should survive rain, splashes or similar accidents.
Screen: 6.7in 120Hz QHD+ OLED (525ppi)
processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
RAM: 8 or 12GB of RAM
Storage: 128 or 256GB
Operating system: Oxygen OS 12.1 (Android 12)
Camera: 48MP main, 50MP ultra-wide, 8MP 3.3x telephoto; 32MP selfie
connectivity: 5G, eSIM, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2 and GNSS
Water resistance rating: None
Dimensions: 163 x 73.9 x 8.6mm
Very fast charging and solid battery life
The 10 Pro has the same top chip Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip as most high-end Android phones for 2022, performing admirably with a rapid interface and smooth gaming.
Battery life is very good, lasting about 43 hours between charges on average, including three hours spent on 5G. That was with the screen set to the default resolution and actively used for more than six hours. That’s seven hours longer than the nearest rival made by Samsung, meaning the phone will need charging every other night with light usage. It lasts for about five hours of screen on time if the display is increased its maximum QHD+ resolution.
OnePlus rates the battery for at least 1,000 full charge cycles while maintaining at least 80% of its original capacity.
The phone does not contain recycled materials but is generally repairable, with a replacement battery costing about £20 plus labour. OnePlus operates a trade-in scheme and is included in the parent company Oppo’s annual sustainability reports.
Oxygen OS 12.1
OnePlus traditionally had one of the best versions of Android on its phones, OxygenOS. While that is still broadly true on this phone, it is now a tweaked version of ColorOS developed by the parent company, Oppo, as seen on the Find X5 Pro, with a slightly different look and operation.
It is based on the latest Android 12 and will be updated with bi-monthly security patches for four years from release and supported with three major Android version upgrades. That’s reasonable but a year less support than either Samsung or Google, which provide faster monthly security updates, too.
OxygenOS 12.1 doesn’t look quite the same as version 11 from last year but is still a stripped back and fairly slick affair, geared up for western audiences. It has some niggles, including overly aggressive closing of apps running in the background, which is designed to save battery but can delay message notifications or occasionally stop music playing. Pinning apps in the multitasking menu stops them being shut down.
OnePlus’s software is still one of the best of all the Chinese smartphone brands but isn’t quite as top-notch as it used to be.
The 10 Pro has a camera developed with Hasselbladwhich is similar to last year’s 9 Pro: a main 48MP, 50MP ultra-wide and an 8MP 3.3x telephoto on the back, plus a capable 32MP selfie camera on the front
The main camera generally shoots very good images that are well exposed with good color balance. It can struggle in very high-contrast scenes but deals with low-light scenarios well. The ultra-wide camera is equally decent, if a little softer on detail and less sensitive in low light. It can shoot extremely wide or fisheye-style photos with fun special modes, too.
The 3.3x telephoto camera has a decent level of magnification compared with some rivals and is capable of producing fairly sharp shots in good lighting. But it struggles in lower light levels, quickly becoming grainy.
The cameras lack consistency in color and exposure levels, meaning switching between them produces very different photos in the same scenario, but overall the three cameras are solid even if they can’t beat the best from Samsung, Google or Apple.
The OnePlus 10 Pro costs £799 ($899) with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or £899 with 12 and 256GB.
For comparison, the Google Pixel 6 Pro costs £849the Samsung Galaxy S21+ costs £949the Oppo Find X5 Pro costs £1,049the Galaxy S21 Ultra costs £1,149 and the iPhone 13 Pro Max costs £1,049.
The OnePlus 10 Pro is a good alternative to a top-spec Google or Samsung Android phone.
It offers a powerful combination of speed, rapid charging, long battery life and big screen in an attractive, svelte body. The new OxygenOS software is generally good, if not quite as slick as previous versions. You will get four years of software updates from release, which is longer than previous OnePlus phones but a year or more short of Google, Samsung or Apple.
The camera is slightly improved all round and generally very usable but it is still OnePlus’s weakest link, unable to trouble the best in the business.
These slight knocks can be overlooked at £799, which is good value for a high-end phone, undercutting Google’s excellent value Pixel 6 Pro for £50 and the parent company Oppo’s Find X5 Pro for £250.
If you want a good, premium Android phone not made by Samsung or Google, the OnePlus 10 Pro is the one to get.
Pros: Slick performance, good software, good battery life, rapid charging, great screen, solid camera with 3.3x optical zoom, attractive design, reasonable price.
Cons: camera not quite best-in-class, no water-resistance rating, some software niggles, only four years of updates.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism