OnePlus 10 Pro hands-on review: A solo Pro with little sparkle

The UK’s OnePlus aficionados may have thought they were getting the company’s latest handsets earlier than expected when the 10 and 10 Pro were unveiled in January - but so far the devices have only gone on sale in its native China.

What’s more, while the larger of the two new handsets - the 10 Pro - has been on display at MWC 2022, the standard model was missing from the company’s booth. It appears that only the Pro version is coming to Europe, and indeed the UK, when it's released in March.

OnePlus 10 Pro hands-on review: Design

When users do get their hands on the OnePlus 10 Pro, they may feel like we did at MWC because the device is far more impressive in person than it has been in its advertising. The camera assembly, which looks like a small sheet of black metal, has a lovely glow under certain lighting and the Hasselblad logo is less prominent than it was on the 9 Pro. The device also comes in green and black shades, with a matte finish that has a slight rubbery texture.

We can’t say the design has improved all that much over the 9 Pro, which was already a big hit at IT Pro, but the 10 Pro is still a very attractive device. The corners and sides are smooth and neatly rounded, the display has super thin bezels and also features a tiny cutout for the selfie camera. There’s also the company’s squared logo, which only really shows when it gets a nice bit of light to reflect.

A photograph of the OnePlus 10 Pro's camera assembly

OnePlus 10 Pro hands-on review: Display

While the design has some significant changes, the screen appears to be exactly the same; a 6.7in AMOLED panel with a 3,216 x 1,440 resolution. This isn’t a bad thing as the 9 Pro showcased a strong grasp of the sRGB colour space, and it’s also kept the LTPO technology that allows the display to adjust its refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz. This is an awesome feature that gives you that smooth scroll for social media, but not for certain video content where it's not needed as much.

While it's hard to tell with the naked eye whether there are any improvements compared to the 9 Pro, the display looked very sharp in person. It also looked bright and we expect a strong score here as it again has HDR+ capabilities.

OnePlus 10 Pro hands-on review: Specs and battery

There are new things on the inside, with the OnePlus 10 Pro switching to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, which is matched with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The 8 Gen 1 chip is similar to Qualcomm’s 888 processor found in the 9 Pro, in that both are 4nm chips. We fully expect a super score for multi-threaded performance here - maybe not on the same level as the iPhone 13, but it could well be one of the fastest Android devices of the year.

Power-wise, the OnePlus 10 Pro has a chance of lasting a little longer than the 9 Pro, as it has swapped out the 4,500mAh battery for a 5,000mAh one. Though the 9 Pro managed over 17hrs in our intensive video test, other smartphones in the premium bracket lasted much longer, such as the S21 Ultra which went beyond 22hrs.

Whatever length the battery does last, users can be reassured with OnePlus’ trusty charging cable and plug which gives 80W of fast charging. The 65W charger on the 9 Pro was an absolute monster, taking its battery from less than 5% to full in just over 30 minutes. Plus there’s also 50W of wireless charging, which is the same as the 9 Pro.

A closeup of the OnePlus 10 Pro's display

OnePlus 10 Pro hands-on review: Features

Featurewise, the OnePlus 10 Pro is still rocking the OxygenOS flavour of Android, with the red and white “Never Settle” mantra displayed proudly on the screen. It may not be as fun and quirky as what we find on the Google Pixel, but OnePlus does at least have a user interface that’s easily identifiable as OnePlus; you can spot it from a mile off, which you can’t say for devices from some of the other Chinese manufacturers, such as Realme, Honor and even Huawei.

The 10 Pro also supports Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and a fingerprint reader under the display. It wasn’t activated on the units we got our hands on, and we didn’t particularly want to lock it for everyone else, but this was one of the best features on the 9 Pro. It was super snappy and came with a choice of magical effects for when your finger hits it.

OnePlus 10 Pro hands-on review: Cameras

For the second year running, OnePlus has collaborated with the Swedish camera brand Hasselblad. This appears to be mostly with the camera software and also includes the company’s signature orange shutter button, but it was something that worked well last time around. The 9 Pro was not exactly perfect in this department, but it was a noticeable leap compared to older OnePlus offerings.

In its rear camera array, the OnePlus 10 Pro has a 48MP wide lens, a 8MP 3 x optical zoom telephoto lens and a 50MP main camera which is ultrawide with a 150-degree view. There’s also a 32MP selfie camera. The wider scope of the main camera is the only real change from the 9 Pro, and it might not deliver a great deal more quality. You may also be questioning the fourth hole on the camera array, but that is a ring flash.

We can vouch for the quality of the OnePlus 9 Pro’s cameras, but they weren’t in the same league as what we’ve seen on the iPhone 13, the S21 and the Google Pixel 6 Pro. And, unless Hasselblad has made some major improvements to the software, that sadly might be the case again here.

A closeup of the OnePlus 10 Pro's camera assembly

OnePlus 10 Pro hands-on review: Early verdict

We like the OnePlus 10 Pro but what we have here is a minor update and a complete lack of clarity. According to the company’s blog, only the Pro will be coming to India, North America and Europe for the time being and although that’s slated for sometime in March, an exact date is still unknown. There’s also no regional pricing for Europe, but going by its recent offerings it could be upwards of £800.

If it’s OnePlus you’re after, the 9 and 9 Pro might serve you and your wallet better. However, if you do want the 10 Pro, there are a lot of plus points, such as its 80W fast charger and crisp display. Our first impression of the OnePlus 10 Pro is good, but it is lacking that wow factor this time around.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.