OnePlus 10 Pro: A Gorgeous Snapdragon Flagship Android Phone With Delightful Camera Chops
The onslaught of Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered flagship phone launches continues today, with the smartphone enthusiast favorite OnePlus stepping out officially in the US with its OnePlus 10 Pro. The China phone manufacturer previously announced the device for Asian markets back at CES in January this year, but is now commencing with its US debut. This new premium Android handset is the culmination of a bunch of solid evolutionary refinements and thoughtful feature adds, including a second generation Hasselblad-tuned camera system that really dials in color vibrance and accuracy. But before we dive into pixel peeping, let’s explore the OnePlus 10 Pro’s hardware setup, industrial design and software package.
OnePlus 10 pro: A Sleek, Well-Engineered Beauty With A Killer Display
What you’re looking at above is the OnePlus 10 Pro in its Volcanic Black finish, which is strapped with matte frosted texture on Gorilla Glass 5 for its rear backing. What’s great about this finish is that it not only feels smooth and slightly less slip-resistant in the hand, but it also completely resists fingerprints and smudging.
In fact OnePlus’ own black, textured rubber case for the device picks up more grime, almost tempting you to live on the edge and rock this phone without a case. Indeed the rear finish of this phone is that nice, and it also comes in an Emerald Forest green that sparkles, if that’s more your kind of jam. The rest of the design is an all metal, glass and ceramic affair that OnePlus claims is built to endure. The rear camera module of this phone is not only tastefully stylized and low profile but it’s also covered in ceramic that OnePlus notes provides 30% greater scratch resistance. Finally, above you can see the Alert Slider button returns here again, a thoughtful feature I personally find very useful, allowing you to drop the phone into Silent, Vibrate or Ring modes with ease.
Another great feature that returns for a second coming is OnePlus’ excellent LTPO (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Oxide) AMOLED display technology that affords the phone a 1Hz to 120Hz variable refresh rate; and it’s a beauty.
OnePlus has consistently delivered great display technology in its flagship devices for generations now, and the 10 Pro takes things to another level with Dual Color Calibration at both 100 and 500 nits brightness (1300 nits peak). What this means is that it’s been dialed to deliver better color accuracy in varied lighting conditions and I’d have to agree the setup here is really nice. You get the usual deep contrast and punchy saturation of AMOLED here but right out of the box the color balance and accuracy seems perfect and in need of no adjustment. However, various tools and settings are there to tweak things, if you want to enable Eye Comfort low blue light support or Bright HDR Video mode, for example.
Regardless, this near-bezelless 6.7-inch QHD+ (3216×1440 resolution) display is simply fantastic and, strapped with Gorilla Glass Victus, is definitely a highlight feature of the device. It’s HDR 10+ capable and easily as nice as Samsung’s LTPO technology in the Galaxy S22 series, which stands to reason, as this panel is manufactured by Samsung as well. The design setup and display here is also the reason this phone is so size efficient in the hand. Comparatively, Google’s also 6.7-inch Pixel 6 Pro almost feels gargantuan and has a much more pronounced waterfall curve on its display. In short, OnePlus really nailed the visuals here.
OnePlus 10 Pro Keeps Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Cool And Performant
Under the hood of the OnePlus 10 Pro is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Mobile Platform SoC (System On Chip), along with 8GB of LPDDR5 memory and 128GB of UFS 3.1 Flash storage. I would have liked to see OnePlus offer a 256GB option in the US as well, but apparently that’s not in the cards. Regardless, OnePlus did go the extra mile with the 10 Pro’s cooling solution, resulting in better sustained performance over heavier, extended workloads. OnePlus notes the 10 Pro’s cooling system is the largest of any of its devices to date, and sports a custom vapor chamber with copper foil and copper carbon on both sides of the motherboard, with a new graphene cooling film as well. The result is that Qualcomm’s Snadpragon 8 Gen 1, with its new more powerful AI Engine and significantly faster Adreno GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), performs well in this phone and it holds up better over time than Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series.
In the graph above, the OnePlus 10 Pro slots right in the mix with other recently released Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powered devices. You’ll note it’s also significantly faster than the Pixel 6 Pro, at least in gaming workloads. In terms of general CPU performance, the field of current-gen devices here will be much more closely matched, though Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon excels in AI-infused workloads like computational photography processing and gaming. That said, again, the OnePlus 10 Pro’s thermal solution seems to be a cut above as well…
Here, the 3DMark Wild Life Stress test shows the OnePlus 10 Pro maintains about 65 percent of its performance over a 20 minute continuous loop of the benchmark. It also maintained that performance up to the 8 minute mark and the bled off fairly gracefully, unlike we saw with the Galaxy S22 that bled off 50% of its performance and did so more quickly, starting at the 3 minute mark.
In addition, for gamers, the OnePlus 10 Pro also has features called GPA Frame Stabilizer and O-Sync. Frame Stabilizer works to monitor frame rates as well as CPU and GPU resources, such that if a frame rate drop occurs, it does so gracefully over time, instead of dramatically in a jarring way to the user. It seems to work fairly well actually, as evidenced in the chart above. O-Sync, as its name hints, synchronizes frame output from the Snapdragon chip to the 10 Pro’s variable refresh rate display, for a smoother, more jitter or tear-free experience, similar to the way variable refresh rate PC gaming technology works.
Side note, if you want the full benchmark gauntlet of data, head on over to HotHardware for Myriam Joire’s review that has copious runs on the OnePlus 10 Pro from all angles.
In terms of 5G speed and connectivity, the OnePlus 10 Pro is up to the task, especially as Sub-6 networks speeds improve, as you can see on Google Fi here, which is strapped to T-Mobile’s network in our area. However, another omission that might be more of an issue for some is the lack of 5G mmWave (Millimeter Wave) support. Though Qualcomm’s chipset definitely supports multi-gigabit mmWave connectivity and speeds, OnePlus chose to save cost and thus the 10 Pro supports only Sub-6 5G connectivity on T-Mobile and Verizon. Also, if you’re on AT&T, the OnePlus 10 Pro will unfortunately only connect via 4G LTE as it’s not currently 5G certified on that carrier.
OnePlus 10 Pro Camera Performance: In A Word, Excellent
In terms of camera performance, as my headline suggests, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a real delight. There are a ton of features going on here that would take a novel’s word count to detail, so I’ll spare you but the triple shooter camera array on board really delivers, in conjunction with even more refined Hasselblad color tuning. The primary shooter is a 48MP (megapixel) f/1.8 aperture camera with OIS and EIS (Optical and Electronic Image Stabilization), and is powered by the excellent Sony IMX789 sensor. The Ultra-Wide shooter on board is a Samsung ISOCell JN1 powered 50MP f/2,.2 aperture camera with an exceptionally wide 150 degree field of view. Finally, there’s a dedicated 8MP f/2.4 Telephoto camera with OIS, thankfully, and a 32MP fixed-focus selfie cam on board. All told, there’s a lot of solid hardware here that really delivers, in conjunction with well-optimized software and excellent color calibration.
The OnePlus camera app is clean and intuitive, as is the rest of OnePlus’ OxygenOS 12 actually, that sports a very light skin over Android 12 and some interesting features. For example, there’s Medium Dark Mode setting you might want to check out and the OnePlus Shelf, a collection of widgets on a single panel that gives you quick access to weather, a step counter, storage and data use, a quick note taker, as well as other quick app access features. But enough chatter; let’s take a look at some camera samples…
As you can see, from Portrait mode, to mixed lighting with a significant detail challenge and Night Mode shooting, the OnePlus 10 Pro renders excellent results with great color accuracy. Especially in the Portrait mode shot of the Les Paul guitar, with its rich antique gold sunburst stain and maple wood flame grain, colors are true and vibrant. The same can be said for the challenging Night Mode shot of the horse-drawn tanker wagon, with all of the nuances of the red tank, weathered wagon wheels and faded wood captured really well. It’s clear, the OnePlus and Hasselblad partner ship is beginning to pay off now with quality color science and calibration.
The Telephoto shot of the geese also shows solid image stabilization and low noise. Meanwhile, the 150 degree Ultra-Wide Angle shot, though barrel distortion is part of the deal, captures a cool looking effect, also with solid color reproduction and minimal noise. There’s also a Fish Eye lens shot mode as well, if you really want that stylized barrel view perspective. For video, all rear cameras OIS or EIS stabilized video at up to 4K 60FPS for the primary and telephoto cameras. The primary shooter also can capture video at 4K 120FPS and 8K 24FPS. You can also engage both the front and rear primary camera now in Dual View mode, for a composited video shot with you and your surroundings combined. This could be a very useful tool for business use or a lot of fun for friends and family.
All in, the OnePlus 10 Pro really impressed me with its computational photography prowess, and in fact I prefer it to the Pixel 6 Pro’s occasionally muted color reproduction.
OnePlus 10 Pro Battery Life, Charging And Final Thoughts
In terms of battery life, I’m still putting the phone through its paces a bit but I would say, with its 5000 mAh battery, the OnePlus 10 Pro will get the job done nicely for all but the most demanding battery mongers. Anecdotally, I had no trouble getting through an active work day of fairly heavy on-off mixed use, and topping off with OnePlus’ ridiculously-fast 50 Watt wireless charging made battery life a complete non-issue.
And for its $899 MSRP, with the phone, OnePlus includes a 65W wired power brick that will top the phone off from 1 to 100% in just 34 minutes. In a day when big brands like Apple and Samsung have stopped shipping power bricks with their phones altogether, it’s refreshing and OnePlus’ price point here stands on even more competitive footing as a result.
All told, I’m pretty impressed with the new OnePlus 10 Pro. It’s a powerful, performant Android flagship with a great industrial design and robust cooling system. It’s camera system delivers great results that rival some of the best smartphone cameras on the market currently, and its value proposition with an included 65 Watt fast charger is strong. My only reservations would be the lack of mmWave 5G support, a missing 256 Gig storage option and the fact that AT&T users won’t currently realize 5G connectivity at all. However, short of any of those caveats resulting in a show-stopper for you, I’d easily recommend this new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Android flagship. The OnePlus 10 pro is a great new premium Android phone with very few compromises and impressive all around performance.