OnePlus has used its T-line to create affordable alternatives to its numbered series (like the OnePlus 8T) or slightly improved versions that make the most of several months of technical progress (like the OnePlus 7T phones).
The OnePlus 10T is the first – it costs less than its predecessor, and while it’s an upgrade in some respects, it’s weaker in many more areas.
In some ways, it is a more advanced version of the OnePlus 10 Pro, which was launched in early 2022. It charges super fast with 150W, a newer chipset, with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 and newer software. OnePlus has emphasized that the mantra of the 10T revolves around speed.
However, the phone also has a few downgrades. The cameras just aren’t that good, the battery doesn’t last that long, and the fingerprint sensor isn’t all that reliable – at least from our anecdotal tests. In addition, the 10T does not have a curved-edge screen like the 10 Pro.
The 10T isn’t much cheaper than the 10 Pro either, and that’s before you take into account that the OnePlus 10 Pro’s asking price is already falling.
We’re still testing for our full OnePlus 10T review, but in the meantime, here are our first impressions of the device.
OnePlus 10T release date and price
The OnePlus 10T costs $649 / £629 for 8GB RAM and 128GB storage – there is also a 12GB model in India, while the 16GB/256GB version costs $749 / £729. As you know, since you’ve read the introduction to this review, the OnePlus 10 Pro is only a tad more expensive (assuming you buy it at full price).
So OnePlus is clearly positioning the 10T as a slightly more budget version of the older flagship – if the brand dropped the ‘T’, the name would be perfect.
The phone was launched on August 3, but won’t go on sale until August 25 in Europe and September 29 in the US.
OnePlus 10T design and display
The shared DNA between the OnePlus 10T and 10 Pro is most apparent in the phone’s design – they are very similar.
The OnePlus 10T has the same square camera bezel, the same sleek glass back and of course the same large OnePlus logo. However, if you look more closely, you can see a few differences.
In a move that could upset OnePlus fans, the company chose to drop the alert slider on the phone – this was the little toggle that allowed you to toggle between silent, vibrate and full audio modes, and it was a cool feature. on his devices.
There’s an on-screen fingerprint scanner here, but we found it curiously temperamental – often several attempts were needed to unlock the device.
Another change that might upset people is using a flat-edge screen instead of a curved-edge screen, which means the phone isn’t as comfortable in the hand. Finally, the front-facing camera has moved from the top left corner of the screen to the top center, but that’s not really an issue.
That screen is a 6.7-inch FHD+ 120Hz HDR10+ panel – OnePlus can always be trusted to use great screens on its phones.
However, the sheer size of the screen can make it annoying for those with small hands – even with medium-sized mitts, we had to use both hands to use the device.
OnePlus 10T cameras and battery life
Of all the downgrades of the OnePlus 10 Pro, the 10T’s cameras are arguably the most disappointing.
The 50MP main camera uses the Sony IMX766 sensor. We’ve praised this sensor before for being good for low-light photography, but that’s because it’s usually featured in budget phones. We rarely see it in copies at this price.
That’s accompanied by an 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro sensor – the former is fine, while the latter is basically useless. We’ve seen phones at half this price offer the exact same camera array (like the Realme 9 Pro Plus, from OnePlus’ sister brand), so it’s a bit disappointing to see such an expensive phone appearing with these cameras.
In its defense, OnePlus is betting on ‘speed’ for this phone, and cameras clearly don’t fit in there. And the cameras are… well, they’re fine. Photos are quite saturated, bordering on oversaturated at times, but they’re definitely social media worthy as long as the lighting is right.
The lack of zoom is disappointing, especially when you consider that even the optical zoom range of the 10 Pro is limited. Without a telephoto lens, you rely on digital zoom when you narrow the distance, which comes out to a meager 10x. It’s not quite the 30x zoom of the Samsung Galaxy S22 for the same price.
Some Hasselblad camera modes have been scrapped, especially as this is the first numbered OnePlus phone in a while that doesn’t take full advantage of the partnership with the camera brand. These were all pretty niche modes though, so that’s okay.
Regardless this is not a camera phone so don’t buy it if you are a big fan of mobile photography.
When companies make smartphones, they often have to choose between battery capacity and fast charging – the larger the battery, the less room there is for charging technology. And OnePlus has clearly opted for fast charging with the 10T.
The OnePlus 10T has a charging power of 150W, a super fast speed that almost no phone reaches at the moment. OnePlus estimates that at this speed, the phone will go from empty to full in just 19 minutes – that’s incredibly fast. In the US, charging is a little slower at 125W, we should point out.
Why do we use OnePlus’ estimate instead of our charging tests? Well, that’s because this fast charging has to be enabled with a software update that wasn’t pushed to phones during our testing – that’s something we’ll need to use for our full review. It’s worth pointing out that the phone only runs on 80W by default – you’ll need to enable full speed in the settings menu. This is to maintain battery health.
The sacrifice for this fast charging speed is that the battery life is very poor. The capacity is 4,800 mAh, which is actually quite large, but for whatever reason, the phone is really struggling to keep it up.
On an average day, the phone would be more or less dead by the time we went to bed – that’s not great for battery anxiety, and heavy use can cause it to need a second charge later in the day.
OnePlus 10T performance and specifications
The OnePlus 10T is a very powerful phone thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. This latest top-end Android chipset is even more powerful than the non-Plus version in the OnePlus 10 Pro.
It is paired with, as we said, 8 GB, 12 GB or 16 GB of RAM. OnePlus says that top RAM model supports 30 apps running simultaneously, but we can’t imagine a usage scenario where that would ever be useful. You probably just need to use the storage space or price to decide which phone is for you.
Still, the phone is great for gaming, with enough power to get that graphics and frame rate all the way up. The large screen makes it doubly useful for a quick game of Apex or PUBG.
The software here is OxygenOS, OnePlus’ fork of Android, with a few extra features like a Zen mode to reduce distractions and a swipe-down dashboard for some extra features.
OnePlus has promised that OxygenOS 13, based on the unreleased Android 13, will arrive by the end of 2022, with some design and feature tweaks. It’s coming to the 10 Pro first, but the 10T will get it soon after.
An annoying software problem here is that OxygenOS is clearly designed around the phones with an alert slider to change the ringing status, and it’s not as convenient to do this in the software as on other phones. You have to open the volume slider and instead of pressing the same button as on almost every other mobile device ever made (just above the volume bar on the screen), it’s another option lower down. This took us quite some time to figure out.
We can’t help but be disappointed with the OnePlus 10T. Sure, the specs list brings with it some upgrades, but the things that actually affect the user experience seem to be affected by most of the downgrades.
Despite having a processor that delivers faster benchmark scores, the Plus version of the Snapdragon chipset feels identical in everyday use to the non-Plus version used in the 10 Pro. The same can be said about charging – despite the 150W charging being a lot faster than the 80W of the 10 Pro on paper, in practice charging speeds are only about 10 minutes faster. That’s not a huge amount of time considering many of us leave our phones plugged in for eight hours every night.
The downgrades like the weaker cameras, the flat screen and the poor battery life affect the way you use your phone much more, making this feel like a bad imitation of the OnePlus 10 Pro.
We’re not done with all our testing of the OnePlus 10T yet, so we may end up liking the device a lot more. But for now we have to recommend the 10 Pro on this.