OnePlus 10T is the latest entrant in the company's premium flagship portfolio, giving consumers another option to consider while shopping for a new phone. It's got some cutting-edge features like lightning speed recharging, great cooling tech and blazing performance. All that and more for a likeable price.
OnePlus 10T comes in two main configurations, one with 8GB+128GB and the other's got 12GB+256GB. There's one special edition with 16GB RAM, but that's going to be available at a later date. The base model is priced at Rs 49,999 and the 12GB RAM and 256GB storage cost Rs 54,999. The 16GB RAM variant will retail for Rs 55,999 whenever it's available.
OnePlus continues the trend of "T" series with the 10T by offering a new technology that's not seen even in its flagship. Clearly, the USP of the 10T is its 150W charging, which is insanely fast and outperforms many noted flagships in this category.
Before we get to the review, let's address the elephant in the room. The signature Alert Slider, which controls the sound profiles, has been ditched and the reason for that is likely the space constraint. OnePlus says it has got this incredible cooling technology, its most advanced ever, and a newly designed 360-degree antenna system with a total of 15 antennas to give users strong Wi-Fi and cellular signals. The Alert Slider had to go. We surely miss it, but we can also say that it's a feeling that won't haunt you for the rest of the time you own the device.
OnePlus 10T: Key specs
- Display: 6.5-inch 120Hz Full HD+ OLED screen
- CPU: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
- RAM: 8GB/12GB/16GB
- Storage: 128GB/256GB
- OS: OxygenOS 12.1
- Main camera: 50MP+8MP ultra-wide+2MP macro
- Front camera: 16MP
- Battery: 4,800mAh with 150W SuperVOOC
Things we miss
Alert Slider aside, there are a few more things (rather missing) in the OnePlus 10T that keep it from earning that coveted flagship title. We can't say we miss all the features, but they help keep a fair assessment of the device. In some cases, we'd agree the reason to cut corners is to accommodate the pricing aspect, but in some cases like waterproofing the phone, not so much.
Here's what you won't get with the OnePlus 10T:
- Wireless charging
- Hassleblad branding in the camera system
- Waterproofing or water-resistant certification
- Optical zoom
OnePlus 10T pros and cons
- Unparalleled performance
- Incredible charging speeds
- Cooling system that works to the T
- Competitive pricing
- Beautiful design
- Reliable battery life
- Main camera works good
- Dual stereo speakers
- Ultra-wide, macro cameras not up to the mark
- No Alert slider
- No LTPO display
- Lacks waterproofing certification
OnePlus 10T doesn't go on to experiment much with the design, just like the way it's supposed to be. The burden-less OnePlus design is reflected in every aspect of the 10T's design philosophy. The handset's got a shiny metallic frame with glass on both sides. The rear panel seamlessly fuses into the chassis with its curved sides and the rear camera module is enveloped in the back panel to give a smooth glass look. It's reminiscent of the Find X5 Pro and it's every bit aesthetically pleasing.
When you hold the phone in your hand it feels as premium as it looks. The Jade Green has a smooth glass finish, which feels a bit slippery. The weight distribution is done efficiently, so handling the device for long hours, especially while watching shows isn't tiresome.
The power button is on the right side and the volume controls sit on the left - all of them well within easy reach of the fingers. The USB Type-C port alongside the SIM card tray and stereo speakers take their regular position at the bottom. Overall, the phone's design is one of the strongest USPs of the phone sans the Alert Slider. But what's great about this phone is that you get the premium 10 Pro's design for a bargain. Despite the similar design, OnePlus 10T doesn't get any official IP rating for water resistance.
OnePlus 10T gets a big screen, measuring 6.5 inches diagonally. The OLED display with Full HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate is a premium choice. The bezels are barely visible and the punch-hole camera sits at the top centre. The display is bright and renders accurate colours. We went with the Cinematic Pro mode for a more appealing view, but you can also choose vivid for most use cases. This setting can be found under Display & Brightness > Screen colour mode.
The display also supports HDR10+, making multimedia consumption on OTT a pleasant experience.
OnePlus 10T's display is responsive to touch. We did not notice any non-responsive issues and at 120Hz refresh rate, interacting with the display is a breeze. The lack of LTPO display means the refresh rates won't drop to the bare minimum, rather alternate between 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz. Although it's easy on the eyes and touch, a minimal effect will be on the battery. The display also houses the fingerprint sensor, which is not surprising. But it works flawlessly and a simple tap would instantly take us to the home screen. Every single time.
The screen has a peak brightness of 950 nits, which is decent and works in most cases. Under direct sunlight, reading stuff can get tricky. The auto-brightness works right most of the times, but it seems to auto-adjust to scenes not to our liking.
The dark mode and always-on display look spectacular with their deep blacks. There are dark mode settings to adjust the intensity, but you get the best experience with enhanced mode.
From playing games to consuming multimedia, the OnePlus 10T's display is one that will satisfy your needs.
OnePlus 10T gets a triple camera setup, but only the primary sensor seems to be doing all the heavy lifting. The 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor is a capable one, but it's the same one you'll find on a wide range of phones, including Nord 2T, Nothing Phone 1 and the 10R too. It's wise not to expect much, but it makes up for most use cases. There are two supporting lenses as well, one is an 8MP ultra-wide and the other is a 2MP macro. Again, similar to the 10R. Going by it, it's clear that the camera is not the 10T's biggest strength.
The primary sensor produces crisp images. The colours are punchy and vibrant. The details are well retained with a good dynamic range. The slightly-improved performance appears to be a result of image clarity engine 2.0 in the 10T. For best results, use natural lighting and expect a slight dip in low-light settings. But when night mode kicks in, the results are once again improved.
What's impressive about the camera is the shutter speed, which lets you capture moving subjects. Static images come out pretty nice. Using portrait mode, one can get a nice soft bokeh with subjects well in focus. It can be tricky to use portrait mode for moving subjects, like a toddler or a pet. But with some extra effort, a good shot is always around the corner.
The ultra-wide sensor is not comparatively good, but it's not too bad either. There's often a struggle with details and dynamic range in low light, but the good thing is that night mode is supported on the ultra-wide mode. We've noticed variation in colours, especially bright ones, when clicking photos in different modes like portrait and regular. Naturally, there's more accuracy in the Photo mode. You can see its example in the camera samples below.
Of the three sensors, the 2MP macro sensor is the weakest. In fact, its existence appears to be merely to fill a spec sheet. The macro mode is unusable in low light, but with good lighting, it requires some effort to get those up-close shots. OnePlus could've rather achieved the macro using ultra-wide close-focus and went with a depth sensor.
OnePlus adds additional camera modes such as dual video, movie and long exposure, all of which work as intended. But let us reiterate, if the camera is your priority, look elsewhere. The 10T is more performance-oriented than a phone you carry to capture the sunset.
Check out the camera samples below:
We are finally getting to some good parts here. No doubt, the OnePlus 10T is a beast of a performer. It's got the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which is the best in the industry right now. That paired with 12GB RAM spells absolute power.
For day-to-day tasks, you don't have to doubt the capabilities of the 10T. From calls to IMs and internet browsing to multimedia, it's got all covered. We haven't noticed any lags or performance glitches, either with the system or the software so far. Although, the numerous notifications and agreements could take a rest once in a while. We'd have about 10 apps in the background running all the time and switching back and forth between them was quite seamless. The same goes for tabs on the Chrome browser, which would be a minimum of 6 and go as high as twice that number and it worked just fine.
Given the performance-centric nature of the phone, we tested it with various games during our review. Genshin Impact worked flawlessly without any frame drops. There was one instance of lag, but it was an isolated incident in several hours of gameplay. The same goes for Asphalt 9 and CoD Mobile. Both games worked very well and the graphics were terrific. One thing we noticed different with the 10T is the heat dissipation. The cooling system in the 10T is not a gimmick as it works to its best capability.
We did notice the phone getting warm on heavy tasks, but not to an unbearable extent. This was evident while downloading the excess files in the Genshin Impact with the animation screen on.
Like the 10 Pro and 10R, the OnePlus 10T get treated with OxygenOS 12.1. The phone will get three major Android updates, including the Oxygen 13, and four years of bi-annual security updates. It's not too bad.
As for the OS itself, it works efficiently. There are plenty of customisation options for users and all the OxygenOS exclusives like Shelf for organising, HyperBoost for gaming, RAM Boost, and more are there to use. There may be some resemblance to ColorOS, but it's not too evident. The signature OnePlus OxygenOS takes over those hints of ColorOS fractions. But we are more eager to try out the OxygenOS 13, so stay tuned for another software review later this year.
OnePlus 10T's audio performance is also good. The dual stereo setup is ideal for binge-watching and even gaming. If the bottom-firing speaker on your left when held in landscape, the audio will be muffled but put it on right and you can play games with ease.
We saved the best for the last. OnePlus 10T's battery is not entirely great, as the battery life is just like you'd get on any smartphone of its specs. What's remarkable is the charging speed, which makes up for any reservations we might have about the battery life.
With 4,800mAh, the smartphone can get you by the day, unless you're heavy on gaming and binge-watching. We managed to get 6 hours of screen time with mixed usage, which we find quite reasonable. If OnePlus is using the power-efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, it is also ditching the LTPO display. It kind of cancels out each other. But the end result is you, the user, get pretty decent battery life.
In terms of charging, OnePlus' claim of 19 minutes to fully charge the phone holds entirely true. It goes from 1 per cent to 100 per cent in under 20 minutes, which is insane. But for testing purposes, we drained the battery completely, so much so that it wouldn't turn on until plugged in. Even with that level of a drained battery, the phone managed to charge in less than 30 minutes. In just two minutes, the battery was charged enough to turn it on. Normally, other fast-charging phones would take 5-6 minutes. Now, the phone went all the way to 100 per cent at a consistent speed - all while maintaining a warm temperature in 27 minutes. This has been something of a challenge for other phones. So kudos!
We did a more realistic charging test. When plugged the phone for charging at 15 percent, which is the lowest most people would go on a regular basis, it took just 15 minutes to reach 100 percent. For daily users, you can charge the phone for as little as 8-10 minutes and use it moderately for a whole day without having to worry. In just five minutes, the phone charged over 50 percent.
It is natural to be concerned if such high-speed charging will hurt the battery. OnePlus has a promise that the phone is good for 1,600 full charges while maintaining at least 80 per cent of the original capacity. Simply put, you won't have a battery problem for at least 5 years give or take.
OnePlus 10T has its strengths, which gives it an edge over rivals. With the exception of the camera, the OnePlus 10T is a complete flagship. The 10T is focused on performance and delivers just that with no compromise. The battery charging speed is excellent and makes for otherwise average battery life. The performance is next to none. Gamers and casual users can get the most out of it.
OnePlus had to cut some corners here and there, but as we went on using the phone, we didn't really miss the Alert Slider. But OnePlus should've considered putting an official IP rating and optical zoom in the phone.
OnePlus software game is quite strong so far. The design and display are up to the OnePlus standard. At its asking price, the 10T is quite literally a good OnePlus phone you can consider if the 10 Pro seems out of your budget.