Since the launch of OnePlus 7 series in 2019, OnePlus would launch a Pro model alongside a value-priced, non-pro model, and a T variant, but this year, the smartphone maker broke away from the tradition and launched only the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G in March. The OnePlus 9 series also had a OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 without a T variant.
Having said all this, OnePlus has always had an advantage over smartphone OEMs like Realme, Xiaomi and Vivo as they were primarily focused on making budget-centric smartphones while OnePlus was busy launching flagship killer phones. Then came the OnePlus Nord and other smartphone makers got a window to jump into the same bandwagon of devices and give competition to OnePlus in the flagship killer segment.
Coming back to the OnePlus T moniker, it could stand for a “turbocharged” model in the very capable OnePlus 10 lineup that was launched in March. Notably, this the first OnePlus T variant since the launch of OnePlus 8T in October 2020. The starting price of the OnePlus 10T is Rs 49,999 for the 8GB+128GB storage model which is less than that of the OnePlus 10 Pro. What makes the OnePlus 10T 5G a powerful smartphone? Find out in my comprehensive review.
OnePlus 10T 5G Design, Display, Looks And Build
There’s nothing new on the outside of the OnePlus 10T when it comes to the design language of the phone, or is it? Even as the OnePlus 10T looks similar to the OnePlus 10 Pro, there are hardware changes such as the omission of fan favourite alert slider and no Hasselblad branding on the rear cameras. However, the changes are so subtle that it is not easy to tell both the models apart. In terms of design material choices, OnePlus has chosen a shiny gloss finish for the Jade Green model of the OnePlus 10T which lacks a premium in-hand feel. To accommodate an affordable price point, OnePlus has also downgraded the metal mid-frame of the OnePlus 10 Pro to a plastic one in the 10T.
The phone has been launched in another colourway, Moonstone Black which comes with a textured back rather than a completely glossy finish, as our Jade Green review unit. The textured finish should be able to keep fingerprints and scratches at bay which the Jade Green model attracted liked a magnet. It is advisable to keep the phone secured in a back cover to protect it from both scratches and smudges. This is a two-handed device for people with small hands. A good thing is that the volume keys and power key have a good tactile feedback have a firm build.
The in-hand feel of the OnePlus 10T is solid and sturdy and the non-metal mid-frame does not make the phone feel flimsy at all. The rear of the phone has a big camera bump which we also saw on the OnePlus 10 Pro and became familiar with. The OnePlus 10T 5G has a flat screen instead of a curved panel that came with the 10 Pro, obviously to cut corners. I personally like the flat display as curved screens can sometimes lead to accidental touches. The panel on the OnePlus 10T is a 6.7-inch full HD AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz which can be brought down to conserve the battery. The peak brightness of the panel is 950 nits, which is where it scores a little less than the 10 Pro. The display is big, bright and everything that makes for a classic OnePlus display. The panel also has support for HDR10+ which fires up while streaming content on Amazon Prime and Netflix.
The OnePlus 10T comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the rear and front and misses out on the Glass 6 or Victus to further make the phone affordable. A lot of its rivals in this price bracket are offering newer versions of Gorilla Glass. OnePlus says the elimination of the fan favourite alert slider was to accommodate better antennas, a bigger vapour chamber and also the insanely fast charging technology. Those who have bought and liked OnePlus phones would sorely miss the dear alert slider that comes in handy for quick toggling between ring, vibration and silent modes.
OnePlus 10T 5G Camera
The OnePlus 10T sports 50MP primary camera along with an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP macro sensor. The main camera, when flexed produced more accurate pictures than the OnePlus 10 Pro. When compared with the pictures clicked on 10 Pro, the OnePlus 10T’s images didn’t pop as much, but they were closer to reality. I appreciate OnePlus for not mincing words and stating that the OnePlus 10T is meant for performance. As mentioned above, while cutting corners, OnePlus also did away with the Hasselblad partnership for the cameras on the 10T and that doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing. The primary cameras produced good pictures with enough details and good colour accuracy. The ultrawide mode is where the camera falters a bit and produced somewhat blurry images at times. I also feel the ultrawide sensor didn’t deliver consistently.
Having said that, the OnePlus 10T’s primary camera does good job of capturing detailed photos with good colour accuracy in both day light and night time. However, the images cliked at night were slightly inconsistent in terms of producing details, and some of the pictures shot in low light were surprising. The camera also tends to overprocess the image in low light conditions. The OnePlus 10 pro, in comparison produces images that pop, and are more appealing to the human eye as well as social media. Those looking for such photography should shell out a little more and invest in the 10 Pro instead on the OnePlus 10T 5G. The lack of a telephoto sensor might put off some prospective buyers. The 2MP macro sensor takes multiple attempts to produce a satisfactory image, but it gets the job done.
OnePlus 10T 5G Battery And Performance
OnePlus wasn’t wrong when it mentioned that OnePlus 10T is about performance. Equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, the OnePlus is a beast when compared to the 10 pro. Games, browsing videos, keeping multiple tabs open in Chrome, music streaming, switch between multiple apps and everything else in between was super smooth. Basically, the OnePlus 10T can handle no matter what is thrown at it. The variant I reviewed had 256GB of onboard storage and 12GB of RAM along with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip make it a powerhouse of a smartphone.
To cater to the growing gaming-centric population, OnePlus has added useful features in the 10T 5G. There’s an all-new 3D cooling system which the company says brings twice the dissipation as compared to conventional phone’s vapour chambers. To further give a boost to gaming, the OnePlus 10T gets a HyperBoost Gaming Engine that promises to cut frame rate fluctuation and improve graphics quality. To sum up, the OnePlus 10T emerges as a great gaming phone with no complaints of heating issues whatsoever.
Talking about battery, that supports the company’s proprietary 150W SuperVOOC charging, is insanely fast. I managed to get 80 per cent of the battery charged after just 15 minutes of plugging the charger in. Charging the phone from 0-100 per cent took a bout 20-25 minutes which can seriously spoil you. The super fast charging capacity of this phone can easily be one of the deciding factors if you’re looking for a great battery and equally good fast charging speeds. The battery capacity is 4800mAh and it easily lasted me almost the entire on a single charge on moderate to heavy usage.
One of the downsides with the phone’s charging was the charging brick which is bulky and heavy, but considering how insanely fast it charges the phone, I am happy to carry it around. Please note that there’s no wireless charging support on the OnePlus 10T.
The phone runs the now “Oppo-fied” Oxygen OS 12.1 built based on Android 12 with the July 2022 security patch out of the box. The handset maker has promised it would get Android 13-based Oxygen OS 13 later this year, but it would only get it after the 10 Pro. Also, there’s no fixed timeline for the rollout of Oxygen 13. In terms of software upgrade, the company has said it would provide three years of major updates and four years of security updates.
OnePlus 10T 5G Final Verdict
The OnePlus 10T 5G is a smartphone that offers very good gaming performance, super fast charging speed, power-packed performance and decent cameras while compromising a bit in areas such as the iconic OnePlus alert slider, no Hasselblad branding and inconsistent night-time photography. The company has also compromised on IP water resistance while cutting costs. However, the fast charging, promised Android updates and top-notch performance make it a very good proposition in this price segment. Those looking to buy a better camera phone should invest in the Google Pixel 6a which clearly compromises on overall performance.