OnePlus 10 Pro review: An almost great smartphone with long battery life
A decent effort from the Chinese brand, although it no longer offers the best value for money
The Chinese brand OnePlus has been something of a dark horse in the UK. While it doesn't have the star power of Samsung and Apple, it does boast a dedicated customer base that loves its affordable hardware.
Its latest handset, the OnePlus 10 Pro, is the successor to the critically acclaimed 9 Pro. Our first impression when we saw the device at MWC 2022, was that the 10 wasn't all that different to the 9. But with a review unit now in our hands, that opinion may change.
OnePlus 10 Pro review: Design
To begin, the OnePlus 10 Pro comes with a rather classy design, particularly where the camera system is, with a smooth sheet of metal housing a triple-lens set-up, emblazoned with a shimmering Hasselblad logo along the side. Unfortunately, the camera section is the only real difference compared to the OnePlus 9 Pro, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing. 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. And, there is the company's squared logo on the back cover, which only becomes noticeable when it gets a bit of light to reflect.
What's more, it feels a lot different to almost everything else on the market, thanks to a slightly rubbery texture on the casing. Fair warning, though, it isn't actually rubber – it's glass with a matte finish – and it will shatter should you drop it. That is pretty much the case for most smartphones and the main reason to get a case and or cover. Although, the back has Gorilla Glass 5 protection and Gorilla Glass Victus on the screen, so it should offer plenty of scratch resistance.
OnePlus 10 Pro review: Display
There is a luminous 6.7in OLED panel on the 10 Pro, with a 3,216 x 1,440 resolution. It also supports the LTPO technology that allows the display to adjust its refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz. This is a great addition as it gives you that smooth scroll for social media, but keeps it low for video content where it's not needed as much. This ultimately helps regulate battery use.
Under our calibrator, the 10 Pro showcased 99.8% of the sRGB colour space, which is slightly above last year's 9Pro (99.7%), but not enough to notice any bump in quality. It is more than a match for the iPhone 13 (97.7%) and just that little bit more colour accurate than the Google Pixel 6 Pro (99.1%).
The display is also capable of handling most lighting conditions, with a peak brightness of 459cd/m2. Again, that is a match for the Pixel Pro (475cd/m2) and the iPhone 13 (414cd/m2). In day-to-day use, the automatic brightness controls kept the screen visible no matter where we took it, and there was very little need to move the brightness toggle all the way up ourselves.
OnePlus 10 Pro review: Specs and performance
Inside the 10 Pro is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor that can be matched with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. Much like the 9 Pro's Qualcomm 888 chip, the 8 Gen 1 has been developed in a way that allows for more power to be housed in a smaller space. However, it appears that the 9 Pro has a more efficient CPU.
In GeekBench 5, the 10 Pro notched single-core scores of 976 and 3,449 for multi-threaded workloads. That is actually down compared to the 1,132 and 3,557 results the 9 Pro managed. It looks a lot worse when compared to the A15 Bionic chipset in the iPhone 13 which hit 4,688 for multi-threaded performance.
It feels somewhat harsh to involve iPhones in these comparisons, simply because its CPU is out-benchmarking everything, by a long way. But OnePlus are no longer the affordable upstart of old and the 10 Pro is similar in price to the iPhone 13. So the latter, in this regard, offers that little bit more value for money. Though from our own use, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a perfectly speedy device capable of handling multiple apps and intense workloads.
OnePlus 10 Pro review: Battery
As mentioned above, the 10 Pro has a power-sapping 120Hz display and that same technology in the 9 Pro affected its battery life. However, OnePlus has increased battery size, switching out the 4,500mAh unit in the 9 Pro with a 5,000mAh power source for the 10 Pro.
That does appear to have paid off; under our looped video test, where a video file is played over and over with the phone's brightness levels set to 170cd/m2, the 10 Pro lasted 21hrs and 39mins – over 4hrs more than the 9 Pro. What's more, the Pro outlasted the iPhone 13 (18hrs, 5mins) and the Samsung S22 Ultra (20hrs, 15mins) making it one of the best phones for battery life for 2022.
As such, the 10 Pro is a bit of a workhorse and will often make it into a second day before it needs a charge. However, should you need to top up the battery earlier than expected, the Pro becomes even more impressive. With its 80Wh Supervooc flash charger the 10 Pro can go from 0% to full in around 30-minutes.
OnePlus 10 Pro review: Features
When it comes to features, the OnePlus 10 Pro is well stocked, though not everything is easy to use and it is missing an IP rating. The device sports OxygenOS over Android 12 – Android 13 updates are available – and it is still one of the best-looking mobile interfaces around; it isn't as customisable or quirky as the OS on Google's Pixel range, but it still has a more recognisable UI compared to other Chinese manufacturers like Realme, Honor and Huawei, which all seems to be working from the same blueprints.
There is a fairly decent multi-screen function, which is activated by opening one app and swiping up the screen with three fingers. It rarely works the first time and takes a few goes to get going. However, once that first app converts to half a screen, it works fine. It isn't as good as the application on the S22 – or the Fold 3 – mainly due to the limits of the screen size. But it's suitable for sending messages while keeping video running.
Elsewhere, the 10 Pro has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and a fingerprint reader under the display. Again, there is a choice of special effects to select for the fingerprint reader, which is very speedy and fuss-free. Similarly, its facial recognition technology is very good, though it does struggle in low light settings.
OnePlus 10 Pro review: Cameras
Like Huawei and Leica, OnePlus has forged a fruitful relationship with Swedish camera brand Hasselblad. For the second year in a row, the pair have worked together to kit the 10 Pro out with DSLR-like camera software. Sadly that still includes an ugly orange shutter button, but in every other area, it's a great collaboration.
The 10 Pro houses a rear camera array with a 48MP wide lens, an 8MP telephoto one with 3 x optical zoom and an ultra-wide 50MP main camera. There is also a 32MP lens housed in the screen. On paper, there isn't much change from the OnePlus 9 Pro aside from the ultra-wide lens which is capable now of capturing images in both 110-degree and 150-degree fields.
For video, the 10 Pro can shoot 8K footage with up to 24fps or in 4K with up to 120fps, which is a big improvement on the 9 Pro. Beyond that, though, there is very little of an upgrade here. It's a decent camera setup, capable of capturing crisp photos, but there isn't anything on the OnePlus 10 Pro to trouble Samsung, Apple or even Huawei.
OnePlus 10 Pro review: Verdict
It is fair to say that OnePlus no longer offers the best value for money when it comes to smartphones. While its devices have gotten better, the 10 Pro still has room for improvement to really warrant its price.
The display is great, the processor snappy, and it has longer battery life than most. However, there's still work to be done with the camera technology and that may well be the deciding factor for consumers. The OnePlus 10 Pro is a good handset, but there's much better value for money elsewhere.
OnePlus 10 Pro Specifications
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 5G (4 nm)|
|Screen resolution||1440 x 3216 pixels, 20:9 ratio|
|Pixel density||525 ppi|
|Screen type||LTPO Fluid2 AMOLED, 120Hz, HDR10+|
|Front camera||32MP, f/2.2 wide|
|Rear camera||48MP, f/1.8, 8MP, f/2.4 telephoto, 50MP, f/2.2 ultra-wide|
|3.5mm headphone jack||No|
|Connection type||USB Type-C 3.1|
|Storage options||128GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|Dimensions (WDH)||163 x 73.9 x 8.6 mm|
|Operating system||Android 12, OxygenOS|
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