The OnePlus 10T is a sub-flagship offering from OnePlus and an affordable sibling to this year’s 10 Pro. While there are a few compromises on the spec sheet, you get some interesting improvements as well, including the fastest Android chip and 150W fast charging. I have been using the OnePlus 10T for over a month and let’s find out if it’s the best phone in the market in the 50K price range.
Design: The OnePlus 10T sports a sheer bold look that catches your attention. Hold it up and you’ll appreciate the phone’s symmetrical construction as the handset borrows its design inspiration from its flagship sibling. If you see it from a distance or while having the plastic case on, the 10T looks exactly like the OnePlus 10 Pro. However, it does differ in more than one way. While the 10 Pro had a separate ceramic piece for the camera module, the back panel on the OnePlus 10T, protected by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5, blends seamlessly with the main base. You feel no transitions between the camera module and the base as both the sections are now moulded in one piece — something that we have seen in Oppo’s Find X devices. The second and the most startling design difference is in the finishing at the back. The 10T shuns matte frosted treatment for a reflective glossy one. As subjective as it can be, it looks more attractive from a distance but a little overdone from close.
That said, the OnePlus 10T is still one of the most elegantly crafted smartphones in the market. Those who’re not fans of glossy panels can go for the Moonstone Black variant which has basalt-like texture. Also, the new phone ditched the useful alert slider that has remained a permanent feature in virtually every major OnePlus flagship since the OnePlus 2. The rest of the things are the same. The right side of the phone houses the power button while the volume rocker is placed on the left. At the bottom there’s a USB Type-C slot, speaker grille, and SIM tray that supports two nano SIMs and no microSD. With 8.8mm thickness and weighing 204g, the new OnePlus phone may not be amongst the slimmest or lightest device around but still it’s comfortable to hold, thanks to the form factor and good grip.
Display: The smartphone boasts of a sprawling 6.7-inch Full HD+ display which is vibrant and sharp. The Fluid AMOLED panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2412 pixels qualifies to be one of the best displays in this segment. However, it’s flat, and doesn’t have LTPO support with adaptive control between 1 and 120 Hz refresh rate. This appears to be the same screen that has been used in the OnePlus 10R. With a peak brightness of up to 950 nits and touch sampling rate of up to 1,000 Hz, it’s a slight downgrade compared to the 10 Pro’s panel. OnePlus phones are traditionally known for good-looking screens, and the one on the latest offering supports a billion colours and HDR10+. It delivers rich contrast with solid black levels, the colours are also very well calibrated – neither too cold nor too warm.
Whatever multimedia content I played on the OnePlus phone appeared sharp and crisp. Also, it’s a 120Hz screen which is standard in this range. The panel dynamically switches between 60, 90, and 120Hz refresh rates. Every scroll, every swipe on the display remains seamless and smooth while using the device and playing graphic intensive games. So, movie lovers and gamers, I expect, would be in hog’s heaven and have no complaints when it comes to the quality of the display and the colours it produces. The display is protected with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on top.
Camera: The OnePlus 10T flaunts a triple camera setup at the rear. The fourth cutout on the camera module houses the flash, just like the 10 Pro. It houses Sony’s IMX766 sensor as the main camera with 1-micron pixels, OIS, and an f/1.85 aperture lens. There’s an 8MP ultra-wide lens, and a junky 2MP macro lens. The primary 50MP camera takes stunning shots with accurate colour balance, great details and good dynamic range. It locks the focus quickly and captures the frame with almost no shutter lag. While the 10T misses out on Hasselblad co-branding but OnePlus’s camera tuning makes it a capable shooter across lighting conditions. In good light, images captured with the 10T typically look crisp and vibrant, without any colour tint.
In artificial light, the camera keeps the brightness but increases the exposure to enhance the image and it works well. The wide-angle lens with a 119.9 degree field of view gets the job done almost every time and is able to bring up the details while preserving the colour information. Night shots I captured with the 10T also come out decent if not the best as the camera sometimes has a tendency to overexpose images. At the front there’s a 16MP selfie camera that takes decent social media-ready selfies most of the time.
Processor: The OnePlus 10T is powered by the inescapable Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, having a maximum clock speed of 3.2GHz. The latest Qualcomm chip, based on the 4nm fabrication process, is 10% faster than the regular 8 Gen 1 processor used in flagship Androids at the start of the year. The new processor, clubbed with Adreno 730 GPU and OnePlus’ largest cooling system, is also more power efficient and settles the throttling issues. That said, these specs offer plenty of processing power for power users. The 10T handles heavy multitasking with ease and you won’t feel any lag or stutter while using the phone during your daily tasks. In the gaming test, heavy graphics consuming titles like BGMI, COD:Mobile, Genshin Impact and Asphalt 9 run smoothly as the handset delivers more seamless and stable performance than the rival smartphones.
It plays my favourite eFootball 2022 seamlessly where even the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra struggles to maintain proper frame rates. The smartphone boots on Android 12 with Oxygen OS 12.1 skin on top of it. I’m not much impressed by the latest software from OnePlus that borrows customisation and appearance from the ColorOS but as there’s no better option available when it comes to a good OS other than Pixel phones’, it works for me. The 10T’s brisk performance is complemented by a generous 12GB of RAM stuffed alongside, and 256 of internal storage. From having tons of apps open in the background, streaming media on Netflix and Prime Videos, and using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the 10T did not miss a step when it comes to smooth operation.
Battery: The 10T comes with a decent 4800 mAh battery which can easily get you through a day and half with average use including web browsing, social media, streaming music and taking photos. If you’re a power user who likes to play heavy games, the battery can still take you throughout a day, thanks to the efficient processor. The major highlight of the OnePlus 10T is the 150W SuperVOOC charge support. It powers the cell from 0 per cent to 80% per cent in less than 15 minutes, if you need to quickly plugin for some juice. However, there’s no wireless charging support, something that may upset power users.
Should you buy the OnePlus 10T?
The OnePlus 10T packs in the fastest CPU available for Androids, a gorgeous display, a well-rounded camera with a few areas for improvement, and it also comes with fast charging support. That said, the OnePlus 10T is not perfect but gets the job done for anyone who wants an all-round performer for a price less than the top-tier flagships.
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