Review: the OnePlus 10T offers flagship speed for a midrange price

Technically, OnePlus didn’t go anyplace. Particularly in Europe and India, it’s been very a lot current over the previous few years, placing out midrange gadgets that carry out higher than their value factors point out. However within the US, it seems like the corporate hasn’t fairly had the identical profile in recent times.

That’s altering with the OnePlus 10T, a $649 telephone centered on delivering excessive efficiency. It’s a well-defined area of interest, and the telephone follows by means of on its guarantees. It isn’t all the pieces for everybody, and that makes it good.

If there’s one standout on the 10T’s spec sheet to learn about, it’s the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor. It’s a extremely succesful chipset — the easiest you’ll find in an Android telephone in 2022. And the 10T has it for lower than $700. That tells you numerous about what this telephone’s complete deal is. There’s additionally very quick wired charging on board — 125W within the US, and it solely stops there as a result of our energy retailers aren’t designed to deal with increased voltages.

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What’s lacking from the 10T is equally telling: there’s no wi-fi charging and no Hasselblad branding on the digital camera system, just like the flagship 10 Professional presents. There’s a giant, fast-refresh charge OLED display that anybody can respect, however for added niceties like wi-fi charging, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The 10T is a telephone for individuals who care about getting the most effective efficiency they’ll with out spending $1,000. If that’s you, then you definately’ll be very blissful to listen to that OnePlus is certainly again.

A top-of-the-line processor and really quick wired charging headline the 10T’s spec sheet.

To accompany that top-shelf Qualcomm processor, the bottom mannequin OnePlus 10T consists of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage — with no microSD card slot for growth. There’s additionally a 16GB RAM / 256GB storage model for $749, each of which can be bought in North America. These are extraordinarily aggressive specs, particularly for the worth the place 6GB of RAM is a extra widespread place to begin. I examined the 16GB model, and it handles intensive duties like a $1,000 telephone would.

I can faucet and scroll seamlessly by means of digital 3D residence excursions on Zillow’s cellular web site (who amongst us doesn’t window store for a brand new home for funsies?). I performed Diablo Immortal for half-hour with out encountering any main issues, apart from, like, an indignant fire-breathing monster that I needed to seven-sided strike into submission. The framerate is slightly shaky at instances as I transfer into a brand new space, however it’s refined — not a distracting sudden drop that breaks your stream.

With Genshin Influence, gameplay may be very clean, and dropped frames are uncommon. It’s one in all two video games that OnePlus says it’s optimized the 10T for with a framerate stabilizing know-how (the opposite is PUBG Cell), and it appears to work very effectively.

It actually places the “brick” in charging brick.

The 10T’s quick wired charging does all the pieces it guarantees, too. The telephone ships with a charging brick and USB-C to USB-C cable, and the AC adapter is heavy sufficient to let it means enterprise if you decide it up. Charging speeds are nothing wanting spectacular: blink, and also you’ll miss the telephone charging as much as 30 p.c in underneath 5 minutes.

Inside 10 minutes, I noticed a 60 p.c cost and a full cost inside 20 minutes. That form of pace can form of change how you concentrate on your telephone’s battery life: in the event you don’t thoughts carrying the charger, then you’ll be able to simply add a number of extra hours of use with even only a few minutes at an influence outlet. You don’t need to be valuable about how a lot time you spend gaming or streaming video, even in the event you spend most of your day away from an influence supply.

Past that, battery life is nice. The 4,800mAh cell persistently lasted by means of a day of average use with about 60 p.c cost left within the tank. I examined it largely on mobile information with excessive efficiency mode enabled — and why wouldn’t you with a telephone like this? — utilizing the quickest display refresh charge mode (on by default). That’s a day of average use; in the event you plan to do a good quantity of gaming, which is a key use case for this gadget, then you definately’ll want that fast, late-afternoon recharge to keep away from single-digit battery hell.

The 10T carries an IP54 water resistance score irrespective of the place on the planet you purchase it. That’s been a degree of confusion on earlier OnePlus gadgets that may generally have an implied IP score as a result of the identical telephone at T-Cell has one, however the unlocked model doesn’t. IP54 it’s, which protects in opposition to mud intrusion and water spray — not full immersion. That’s effectively wanting the IP68 waterproof scores on most flagship gadgets, however it’s slightly insurance coverage in opposition to unintentional splashes and higher than nothing.

One factor you received’t discover on the 10T: OnePlus’ signature alert slider. The corporate’s clarification is that with a purpose to give the telephone’s chipset and warmth dissipation system sufficient area, it needed to lower the slider. It’s additionally going to nice lengths to emphasize that simply because this telephone doesn’t have an alert slider doesn’t imply that it’s gone endlessly. Nonetheless, it’s a fan favourite, and leaving it out is little question an unpopular transfer among the many OnePlus devoted. For what it’s value, I acquired by simply positive with out it as I used the telephone.

There’s a matte-finish glass panel again — and no Hasselblad branding in sight.

With a high-powered chipset and quick charging, OnePlus has taken care to incorporate a severe heat-dissipation system on the 10T. OnePlus says that it comprises the biggest vapor chamber in any of its gadgets up to now. There’s 3D graphite and copper foil, and I don’t fairly perceive what all meaning, however I can say this: it really works pretty effectively. The telephone heats up, for certain — quarter-hour into downloading the 15GB Genshin Influence (with the animated loading display on), and it’s heat to the contact however not alarmingly heat.

Identical goes after 20 minutes of Diablo Immortal: the telephone is noticeably heat, however it stays snug to make use of. The one time I seen the telephone getting very heat was once I left it on a tender floor like a sofa cushion whereas doing a little intensive process, like downloading huge recreation recordsdata. That’s extra on me, although; the cooling system actually can’t do its factor when it’s being smothered.

The OnePlus 10T presents a spacious 6.7-inch OLED with 1080p decision and a prime refresh charge of 120Hz. The panel itself is flat, although the gadget’s edges are curved. It’s additionally not an LTPO show, which implies it will probably’t drop right down to extraordinarily low refresh charges, however the display will adapt robotically between 60, 90, and 120Hz to reduce the drain on the battery. It’s additionally not the brightest display I’ve come throughout, however its peak brightness of 950 nits is nice sufficient to maintain it seen in direct daylight.

Within the display is an excellent in-display fingerprint reader for biometric unlocking — after utilizing the Pixel 6A’s a lot much less responsive reader for a number of weeks, this one feels lightning quick. On a tool whose complete premise is constructed on pace, it feels proper at residence.

Corporations like Google and Samsung have elevated the variety of years that they’re committing to supporting gadgets with software program updates, and OnePlus has adopted swimsuit. It’s not providing fairly as lengthy help — some Pixel and Galaxy gadgets rise up to 5 years of safety updates — however it’s promising three OS model upgrades and 4 years of safety updates for the 10T. That’s not wonderful, however it’s good, and the 10T ought to be capable of sustain effectively 4 years from now when it will get its final safety patches.

The digital camera system on the 10T seems like a little bit of an afterthought, and that’s truly positive. It has all the {hardware} I’d hope for from a premium midrange telephone: a 50-megapixel predominant digital camera with stabilization, an satisfactory 8-megapixel ultrawide, and a 16-megapixel selfie digital camera. There’s a 2-megapixel macro digital camera on the again panel that’s nigh ineffective, with its very low decision and glued focus. If you happen to like questioning whether or not your photograph goes to be in focus, then you definately’ll have a good time with it. In any other case, OnePlus may have carried out us all a favor and included a close-focusing ultrawide as an alternative, however it didn’t.

The Hasselblad branding is conspicuously lacking, and in a gaggle press briefing, OnePlus spokesperson Spenser Clean defined that the corporate wished to place it in another way from the higher-priced 10 Professional. Honest sufficient – utilizing that Hasselblad emblem in all probability doesn’t come low cost, and the Hasselblad integration hasn’t precisely improved OnePlus’ cameras by leaps and bounds in any case. Not a lot of a loss there.

All that is to say that the cameras on the 10T are simply common: images in good mild look good and are acceptable in low mild. It generally takes the digital camera a number of pictures to get to the correct reply, however it will get there ultimately. For one, publicity can drift round slightly — I took three images of my husband and son that look slightly too overexposed, after which lastly, a fourth with the correct publicity and pores and skin tones. It retains shutter speeds excessive sufficient to get a good variety of sharp pictures with transferring topics in average lighting. In very low mild, there’s a succesful evening mode to convey out some good coloration and element in static topics. Publicity is slightly squirrely in video recording, too, however in any other case, clips look good as much as the 4K/60p max.

The OnePlus 10T doesn’t attempt to do an excessive amount of.

The OnePlus 10T isn’t a telephone that tries to be all the pieces for everybody, and I feel that’s nice. It’s well priced, and within the US, there’s not an entire lot else accessible on the similar value level. It’s slightly pricier than the $599 Pixel 6 with the identical 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage configuration, however the display is larger (if that’s one thing you’re into) with a smoother 120Hz refresh charge. If the extraordinarily quick charging appeals to you, then that’s a mix of options you undoubtedly received’t get from the Pixel 6.

The 10T isn’t an all-around class chief, and regardless of what OnePlus’ advertising would possibly say, I don’t suppose it actually units out to be one. On this value vary – which is a tick beneath the $849 Samsung Galaxy S22 – the Pixel 6 continues to be the most effective guess for most individuals. It presents a greater holistic characteristic set, together with a greater digital camera, extra sturdy IP68 waterproofing, and extra frequent software program updates for an extended lifespan. OnePlus made a telephone that’s good for the cash within the 10T, even when it’s not good for most individuals. Within the US market, there’s room at that desk.

Pictures by Allison Johnson / The Verge