OnePlus has managed to capture the hearts and minds of people with each new phone release, and this remains true for the all-new OnePlus 10T Smartphone. From their initial excitement, all the way back in 2014 to the most recent OnePlus 10 Pro, they have managed to deliver fantastic specs for a price few other brands can touch. Now, with the OnePlus 10T, they are trying it once again, bringing a new level of performance and gaming to an already fantastic phone.
The OnePlus 10 Pro launched earlier this year, bringing with it a stunning-looking device that boasted some fantastic specs that compared well against the likes of Samsung, Google and even other Chinese companies like Xiaomi. With top specs of a Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with 512 GB storage and 12 GB RAM, it seemed like a perfect package all for $899 USD. But with their latest offering, they managed to do more than provide a slight increase in performance and have changed many important features of the phone.
The OnePlus 10T smartphone, at first glance, feels very similar to the OnePlus 10 Pro, keeping all the flagship phone design that looked so impressive when it launched. But looking closer, you will see many notable changes that mix up the formula and deliver a different feeling smartphone. First and potentially most notably is the screen on the OnePlus 10T is now flat compared to curved on the 10 Pro. It is minor that many people will not even notice, but this does change the feel of the device.
The other major change that long-time OnePlus fans will take note of is the removal of the alert slider that has been a staple on OnePlus phones for a long time now. The OnePlus 10T smartphone now only has a power button and a volume rocker, forcing you to go into settings to make changes to your notification type. This is one of my favourite perks in OnePlus phones, so I was very sad to see it go.
Design wise, the 10T carries forward the concepts seen on past OnePlus phones, boasting front and back glass that feels great while being used. For review, we got to test out the Moonstone Black variant of the phone, offering a subtle texture that is supposed to evoke the look of flickering sand and is said to be inspired by the texture of basalt. It looks fantastic in person and feels great while in use, giving just enough grip that I never feared dropping the OnePlus 10T when I was using it without a case. The 10T also comes in a Jade Green colour that is said to deliver a ceramic-like finish if you want a more traditional-looking phone.
The camera bump on the back looks almost identical to the 10 Pro; although the Hasselblad branding is no longer present on the side of the triple camera array. It is now simply a smooth black gloss area with the lenses and flash giving a modern look that should appeal to people that like their phones as clean and free from markings as possible.
Much like the 10 Pro, the OnePlus 10T smartphone boasts a 6.7-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 5 FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a peak brightness of 950 nits, and a maximum touch response rate of up to 1,000Hz. Much like on other high refresh rate phones, the OnePlus 10T will adapt based on what you are doing, moving between 120 Hz, 90 HZ and 60 Hz to save battery while still giving the fluid experience you want when it is needed. The OnePlus 10T’s display also has HDR10+ certification and supports 10-bit colour depth. The device even manages to have an in-screen fingerprint sensor that simply works and works incredibly fast.
“The OnePlus 10T feels very in line with many of the higher-priced flagship phones that have been released this year.”
In practice, the OnePlus 10T feels very in line with many of the higher-priced flagship phones that have been released this year. The colours are vibrant and pop, with movies, streaming and gaming all looking phenomenal on the phone. Jumping into some Netflix, the level of detail was hard to beat, especially when HDR content was involved. Gaming felt great with the screen displaying everything in vibrant detail and clarity. The AMOLED helped display crisp blacks and vibrant contrast that made testing the latest games like Diablo Immortal and Fortnite a mobile game lovers’ dream come true.
Running on OnePlus’s own OS known as OxygenOS 12.1 based on Android 12, the OnePlus 10T is powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC processor running at peak speeds of up to 3.2 GHz, with the Adreno 730 GPU that delivers 10% faster GPU speeds and supports HDR gaming. It also, with up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256 GB of UFS 3.1 two-lane storage, gives you plenty of resources for even the most demanding applications. This all boils down to the OnePlus 10T being a powerhouse of performance, able to manage today’s most intense games without stuttering or showing any signs of struggle.
All this power would go to waste if it were not for the OnePlus 10T’s 3D cooling system, which is made to keep the phone cool even under load. The phone boasts the most advanced system ever seen in a OnePlus phone to date. During our time with the device, the phone managed to stay cool even when out in the heat and playing games. Through the time of testing, I never had issues with the phone overheating or even getting hot to the touch. Testing past flagship phones, I found ways to push the phone I was testing to its limit, but somehow the 3D cooling system in the OnePlus 10T smartphone did its job well.
With all this power under the hood, the OnePlus 10T, on paper, is tailor-made with the mobile gamer in mind. To push gaming even farther, OnePlus has also added the HyperBoost Gaming Engine to the phone, which is built to push the limits on how gaming can feel on the go. The engine is meant to address a few areas that limit mobile gaming, and these are General Performance Adapter (GPA) Frame Stabilizer, GPU Load Control (GLC), and LSTouch.
These different aspects manage a lot of what holds gaming back, but to sum it up, the OnePlus 10T looks to reduce frame rate fluctuation, increase the efficiency of graphics rendering and reduce rendering power consumption and increased the responsiveness within games to make the overall experience more fluid and more fun overall.
So with all this in mind, the OnePlus 10T demonstrated that, while there were a lot of buzzwords used, the end result lived up to the hype. Jumping into Diablo Immortal was a fantastic experience. The game looked stunning even in darker areas, with it holding up to even the biggest boss fights and hoards of monsters. The AMOLED screen made sure everything looked positively stunning, showing off just how good the game could look, and the responsiveness made sure I never felt held back by the mobile experience.
Jumping over to Genshin Impact and Fortnite, the experience was just as impressive. Both are much more intensive experiences and push phone hardware far beyond what Diablo Immortal can do, yet the OnePlus 10T kept the hardware cool even during intense battles or while experiencing some incredible mobile spectacles both online worlds offer.
The audio was also impressive, with dual stereo speakers delivering some clear audio that helped the games feel much more immersive as I tried to push the phone. Granted, the OnePlus 10T does work well with Bluetooth earbuds and headphones, but there are times you want just to enjoy the full experience out-loud, and the 10T delivered well beyond what I would have expected, especially from the size.
This brings us to one of the more interesting features I did not expect would make a difference in everyday use, the new 360-degree antenna system. Honestly, I expected this to be an interesting back-of-the-box feature that, in real life, would never be noticed. I can say I was wrong now. While testing the phone, I never had an issue getting a signal, either LTE or Wi-Fi. The OnePlus 10T managed to get a solid signal everywhere I tested; even locations other phones, like the 10 Pro, would struggle to find any reception at all.
Everything in the OnePlus 10T has seen an improvement compared to the 10 Pro, from gaming to the camera. The 10T features a new triple camera array that includes a 50 MP f/1.8 main shooter, 8 MP f/2.2 Ultra-Wide Camera and a 2 MP Macro Camera that give a range of options for people that love to use their phone as their camera.
The real show-stopper here is the 50 MP Sony IMX766 main camera with a 1/1.56 inch Sensor Size. The camera is made to capture photos in both low-light and brightly lit conditions and managed to deliver some very impressive shots that show just how far OnePlus has come with its cameras. It is now much harder to find things to criticize with the photo outputs. While they are not as true to life as what you can find on the Google Pixel 6 Pro, or as vibrant as what Samsung has managed with the S22 Ultra, it fits somewhere in the middle, boasting good colour reproduction, plenty of detail in any condition you try and use the phone.
The new full 10-bit colour mode also increases the vibrancy and colour detail, especially compared to most phones on the market. OnePlus has taken the criticisms seriously and finally made it much easier to recommend their phones to people that live and die by their smartphone’s camera.
As with most smartphones, the main camera will be where most people spend their time, but I was very impressed with just how diverse the range of sensors on offer was with this phone. While many people love the telephoto on their smartphone, I have always found an Ultra-Wide to be much more useful. We all have situations where you want to capture the awe and splendour of a location, giving a sense of the scope of the photos you take while on the go.
Conversely, the macro camera, with shooting distances of 2-4 cm, is built for people that love to capture images of their food or other treats they experience while out and about. Both are infinitely more useful than a telephoto and make the OnePlus 10T a great choice for people that want to document their lives.
“The OnePlus 10T boasts some incredible fast charging, especially when using the included 160W SUPERVOOC Power Adapter.”
With all the power and performance on both the camera side and gaming, it is great to see OnePlus did not neglect the battery at the core of the experience. The 4,800 mAh dual-cell battery gives far more than the standard day of power with web browsing, gaming and social media. On most days. I would get to the nightstand with an impressive 55 percent remaining of the charge. Even when pushed, the OnePlus 10T smartphone managed well over 24 hours without the need to worry about a charger.
Even with the longevity, the OnePlus 10T boasts some incredible fast charging, especially when using the included 125W SUPERVOOC Power Adapter (other regions will see a charger with up to 150W). The charger is able to give a full day’s charge in only 10 minutes, with a full 1-100 percent charge in only 20 minutes. It is so fast that I was worried about problems due to the level of power flowing into the phone, but OnePlus has taken measures to ensure the phone lasts even at these speeds.
OnePlus has outlined there are a series of technologies working behind the scenes to keep the OnePlus 10T working for years to come. Tech like the Smart Battery Health Algorithm and Battery Healing Technology work together to ensure the 10T’s 4,800 mAh battery retains at least 80 percent of its original capacity even after 1,600 charge cycles—around four years of use—making it a phone that lasts until you are ready for an upgrade.
OnePlus devices were starting to lose some of their lustre, feeling like another phone in a sea of similar-looking products. With the 10T, OnePlus feels like they have found their footing, bringing a phone that delivers where it needs to while keeping what worked with the past instalment.
The camera is finally ready for prime-time, gaming has never handled better, and the overall experience with the phone feels flagship ready, with a unique look that I have not seen in the competition. There is a lot to like about the OnePlus 10T, and with a price that is significantly less ($899) than what you would find from Apple, Samsung or Google, it is hard to deny that the flagship killer label may finally be ready to make a return.