OnePlus 10T review: High performance phone that pushes the limits
OnePlus had to make compromises in order to launch the OnePlus 10T 5G. While on the one hand, this smartphone is packed with the latest generation Qualcomm processor and offers a full charge in less than 20 minutes, there is still the rather basic camera module and the removal of the iconic Alert Slider to grapple with. According to OnePlus, this is the high-performance flagship for the second half of the year. Keep reading this review to find out what really drives this smartphone.
- High performance led by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC
- 100% battery life in less than 20 minutes
- Quality 120Hz AMOLED display
- 3 Android updates and 4 years of security updates
- Competitive price
- No IP certification
- No Alert Slider
- Limited camera module performance
- No Hasselblad branding
OnePlus 10T 5G: Price and availability
The OnePlus 10T was announced on Wednesday, August 3, for a starting price of $649 on the 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage variant; and $749 for the 16GB RAM and 256GB storage model. The device will be on pre-order starting today, August 3, on OnePlus' official website, and will be available on Amazon and Best Buy starting September 29.
However, OnePlus is offering early access to those who would like to buy the OnePlus 10T ahead of its open sales in North America. Users who purchase their device on OnePlus.com during early access will receive a free upgrade to the 16GB RAM/256GB storage model for a relatively affordable $649. The early access dates are from August 3-6, 10-13, 17-20, and 24-27, and will be available only on OnePlus.com exclusively.
As part of the OnePlus 10T's official release, the manufacturer is also launching a SuperVOOC 80W Car Charger alongside it. The car charger has USB-A and USB-C ports and will be sold on OnePlus.com starting September 1 for $39 a pop.
Sober and elegant design, but no Alert Slider
The OnePlus 10T is undoubtedly a smartphone with a standard yet elegant design, offering a great grip that makes it really easy to handle with one hand. The Jade Green color variant uses Gorilla Glass 5 to encase it with film applied over the glass to provide a feeling that the back is made of ceramic.
What I liked:
- Sleek and sober design.
- Great grip and easy one-handed use.
- Solid build quality and materials.
What I disliked:
- No Alert Slider.
- No IP certification.
The Moonstone Black model imitates the visual texture of a rock, but actually uses the same glass cover. Depending on the angle we look at the device, we get a shimmering effect that glows as light falls on the glass. And it is exactly in this glass that the camera module is fused to, differing considerably from the OnePlus 10 Pro, which uses an aluminum chassis to accommodate the camera lens.
Overall, both variants have a premium look and provide a feeling of stability in the user's hands. I consider that synonymous with excellent design. However, it is inevitable not to feel the absence of the Alert Slider on the OnePlus 10T, which has been "sacrificed" for the sake of better performance and form factor. The handy switch has been around for several years now and allows users to immediately turn on the silent mode to block notifications.
With a larger battery capacity compared to the first model in the series, the 10T has also been equipped with 125W SuperVOOC fast charging technology. To achieve that, the device requires two charge pumps to prevent it from overheating, making it necessary to double the space to accommodate these charge pumps on the device. And that was OnePlus' first sacrifice on the 10T: removing the Alert Slider in favor of a shorter charging time.
Quality 120Hz AMOLED display
The Fluid AMOLED screen of the OnePlus 10T measures a standard 6.7-inches and offers an adaptive refresh rate that is capable of adjusting between 120 Hz, 90 Hz, and 60 Hz. The screen achieves a maximum brightness of 950 nits and a maximum touch response rate of up to 1,000 Hz.
What I liked:
- 120Hz AMOLED screen and adaptive refresh rate.
- Vivid colors and great contrast.
- High brightness levels.
- Reliable fingerprint sensor.
What I disliked:
In addition, we have HDR10+ certification and native support for 10-bit color depth, offering a screen experience rich in color and an excellent contrast ratio. Unlike the OnePlus 10 Pro, the screen of the 10T is flat, which ensures a second design option for those who do not like curved displays.
The fingerprint sensor is located beneath the screen and is rather reliable in its sensitivity. Although it is quite close to the bottom bezel of the smartphone, there is a functional touch border just above the unlock animation that allows you to unlock the screen without any issues.
Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 underneath the hood
The OnePlus 10T is powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, accompanied by the Adreno 730 GPU that works in tandem with either 8 or 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, as well as 128 or 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
What I liked:
- High performance under different scenarios.
- Great temperature management.
- 16GB RAM variant is available.
- 3 Android updates and 4 years of security updates.
What I disliked:
As well as the fast charging technology, the performance of the OnePlus 10T deserves to be highlighted. This model has a starting price of $649, and in our benchmark tests it achieved excellent results against competitors, including OnePlus' first flagship of 2022. This does not come as a surprise to us.
|OnePlus 10T (SD 8+ Gen 1)||OnePlus 10 Pro (SD 8 Gen 1)||Oppo Find X5 Pro (SD 8 Gen 1)||Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Exynos 2200)|
|3DMark Wild Life||
|3DMark Wild Life Stress Test||
OnePlus claims that this is their high-performance flagship for the year 2022, while the OnePlus 10T is the flagship model when it comes to cameras. I personally fully agree with this definition. On a day-to-day basis, the OnePlus 10T performs wonderfully well, without any overheating issues while getting everything done rather smoothly.
Especially in this OnePlus 10T review, I ran a few sessions of Genshin Impact at both 30 and 60 FPS, with graphics set to high by default. Every single time, the gaming experience proved to be smooth and I didn't have any issues with high temperatures, even when indulging in gaming sessions that lasted for over 60 minutes.
According to OnePlus, in addition to the features found in the Qualcomm SoC, the gaming engine known as HyperBoost optimizes the device's performance based on your current gaming scenario, stabilizing the framerate and accelerating the synchronization between the screen content and the processor. This makes sure that the smartphone's computing system can deliver the best possible performance in all scenarios. However, this function is not unique to the OnePlus 10T, as it is also present in the 10 Pro.
Finally, the OnePlus 10T runs on OxygenOS 12.1 right out of the box. In this sense, it is really similar to what we have already seen on the OnePlus 10 Pro. In other words, it features a clean and intuitive experience. According to the manufacturer, this model will receive three major Android updates and four years of security updates. In addition, OnePlus has confirmed that the device will receive the update to OxygenOS 13 by the end of this year.
A camera without the Hasselblad brand
The OnePlus 10T hits the market with a triple camera system led by the 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor with OIS, which is capable of capturing photos in 10-bit color. Accompanying this sensor is an 8MP ultrawide camera and, interestingly, a 2MP macro camera. At the front, we have a 16MP sensor with EIS. But what is missing here?
What I liked:
- Colorful photos in favorable light environments.
- Nightscape mode.
- Quality of front camera images.
What I disliked:
- Feels as though Hasselblad ditched this model.
- Not a very versatile camera configuration.
- 2MP macro camera is practically useless.
If OnePlus' first sacrifice for this device was to remove the Alert Slider, the second was to drop its partnership with Hasselblad in developing the camera features. To complicate the story further, in order to maintain the visual design of the 10 series, we had the telephoto lens removed and in its place, a basically useless 2MP macro camera was added.
Because of this, the OnePlus 10T's camera configuration is not very versatile and is rather limited, sometimes offering overexposed, over-saturated, and low-contrast images. Here is crystal clear evidence of cost cutting in action.
However, under favorable lighting conditions, the photos captured using the OnePlus 10T's main lens are rich in color, and I personally really liked night shot results using the Nightscape feature. The front camera on the other hand does a good job, with colorful photos and high contrast. The Portrait mode here also retains the edges of foreground objects and the out-of-focus background very well.
100% battery life in less than 20 minutes
The main highlight of the OnePlus 10T is the (super)fast charging technology that OnePlus "inherited" from Oppo. Named 125W SuperVOOC Endurance Edition, the solution allows you to go from 0 to 100% in about 17% minutes. In this regard, OnePlus is way ahead when compared to the competition in the U.S. I am directly referring to Samsung, Google, Apple, and Motorola.
What I liked:
- 125W SuperVOOC charging.
- Adapter included.
- Great temperature management.
What I disliked:
With a capacity of 4,800 mAh, the 10T's battery comprises two cells that enable it to support a higher battery current and offer faster charging speeds. According to OnePlus, the parallel multi-polar structure used in the battery construction reduces the internal resistance of the cell, minimizing the heat generated by the battery during the charging process.
During my tests using SuperVOOC charging, the temperature of the OnePlus 10T ranged between 40 and 45 degrees at the end of each session. The latter value is considered the limit for maintaining the health of the device. There are a total of 13 temperature sensors installed within the OnePlus 10T's battery system that works to detect the charging temperature of the device at any given time.
Concerning the safety of the 125W SuperVOOC solution, OnePlus offers two technologies to extend the battery life of the OnePlus 10T: the Smart Battery Health Algorithm and Battery Healing Technology.
The former can track and control the maximum charge current and ensure it stays within a safe range to reduce the likelihood of dead lithium cells over time, while the latter allows electrodes to be repaired continuously during charge cycles. As reported by the manufacturer, these technologies ensure that the OnePlus 10T battery maintains at least 80 percent of its original capacity after 1,600 charge cycles, which is equivalent to four years of use. Only time will be able to tell whether such a claim holds water.
The device also uses intelligent charge management, where the charging capacity is divided into two individual charge pumps, which allows heat to be reduced when charging using SuperVOOC technology. This happens in the last 10% of the battery (from 90-100%) when the current and voltage are adjusted.
Finally, we still have a smart charging chip inside the OnePlus 10T that is able to recognize the incoming current and voltage and then provide the proper charge to the battery. So don't be surprised to see 160W as the voltage of the OnePlus 10T's SuperVOOC charging adapter.
When it comes to battery life, I was able to use the device for a full day and still finish the day with about 20% of the charge remaining. However, this varied depending on how demanding the hardware was during day-to-day use. During a 1h 13m gaming session of Genshin Impact, for example, 12.39% of the battery was consumed, amounting to exactly 594 mAh.
OnePlus 10T Technical Specifications
|OnePlus' second flagship in 2022|
|Product||OnePlus 10T 5G|
|Colors||Moonstone Black and Jade Green|
|Dimensions & weight||163 × 75.37 × 8.75 mm and 203.5 g|
|Display||6.7-inch fluid AMOLED x 1080 pixels, 120 Hz|
|Memory||128 GB ROM and 8 GB RAM
256 GB ROM and 16 GB RAM
|CPU & GPU||Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|OS||Android 12 with OxygenOS 12.1|
|Battery||4,800 mAh | 125W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition | USB Power Delivery|
|Audio||Two stereo speakers | No 3.5 mm jack | Playback: MP3, AAC, APE, AMR, WAV, MID, OGG, FLAC, WMA Recording: WAV, AAC, AMR|
The OnePlus 10T was built with a focus on performance. However, without the gamer appeal of the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro or the Redmagic 7S Pro it is difficult to position this model among smartphones within this niche. So I will use OnePlus executives' interpretation here: this is a high-performance smartphone and there is no one better than gamers to tell it is so.
As with previous editions of the series, the "T" in the device's name stands for "Turbo." The handset is powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, offers OnePlus' 125W SUPERVOOC charging technology, and up to a dozen software optimizations to eke even more out of the hardware. Add to that two RAM and internal storage variants, and you're likely to find no competition in the US market when it comes to performance and cost options.
On the other hand, while this means having a performance gain over the OnePlus 10 Pro, we have a considerable downgrade in the camera module. The partnership with Hasselblad has been dropped in this model. In addition to that, one of the most celebrated features of OnePlus' smartphones is not available on the 10T: the Alert Slider!
That said, the OnePlus 10T is a great smartphone. It is both fast and reliable to use. However, so is the OnePlus 10 Pro and it offers a higher quality camera and an experience that is far closer to the essence of the brand... at a very similar price point. When the OnePlus 10T hits stores, the OnePlus 10 Pro will cost $799. In other words, there is a $150 difference here.
Finally, in the OnePlus 10 Pro review, my colleague Antoine Engels lamented the fact concerning the continued loss of OnePlus' identity in its flagships continues to happen over time. For me, the OnePlus 10T is the ultimate example of that... so far!
The OnePlus 10T is one of the most affordable smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. It's also a rare example of a device that manages to harness this processor. It also has very fast charging. But for all other mobilespecs, it's unremarkable, and on top of that, it's lost its unique silent mode switch solution. It retains the problems of previous OnePlus devices - like the "crooked" HDR in the camera, the hertz screen adjustment and the slow USB Type-C connector.
But at a discounted price, it is a better deal than getting expensive mid-rangers like the Galaxy a54
The only good thing I can say about OnePlus phones is that they're good candidates for Lineage Microg. Well supported there and you get to dump the buggy software for something reliable and private, if you're up for flashing a phone and dodging Google.