The last time OnePlus released a ’T’ branded phone was back in October 2020 when it announced the OnePlus 8T.
The Chinese company’s approach to its T phones is an iterative improvement over its numerical headliner. In this case, the OnePlus 10 Pro that was released in March.
Therefore, you can rest assured that if you’re a 10 Pro (or even a 9 Pro) owner, you can skip this update without missing anything.
In fact, to the casual observer its tricky to decipher much difference between the 10T and the 10 Pro. But they’re there if you look closely.
The 10T has a flat 6.7-inch OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate rather than the curved one on the 10 Pro. It doesn’t look as attractive – in my opinion – but it easier to type on. And while the panel is flat, the device’s edges remain curved.
Sadly, despite it looking like the 10 Pro, the dimensions are in fact a little bit different. Which means you won’t be able to fit a 10 Pro case onto a 10T phone if you did decide to switch.
The protruding camera bump is more integrated into the sweeping glossy ’Jade Green’ Gorilla Glass 5 back of the phone than was the case on the 10 Pro. The latter’s camera system felt bolted on in a much more industrial way.
Perhaps the biggest change in terms of design is the omission of the notifications slider on the right-hand side of the phone. This little physical switch has become a staple of OnePlus handsets and allows you to quickly shift into silent mode.
OnePlus told me the reason removed the switch was quite simply as a space-saving measure. The company faced a bit of a backlash for the decision and insists it hasn’t killed it for good. Which is a relief because it’s always one of those little additions that I’ve found helpful in the past.
Why is OnePlus so interested in freeing up space? Because the hallmarks of this phone really are all on the inside.
Prioritising speed and power above all else, OnePlus has fitted the OnePlus 10T with a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chip. Which is, at present, the best of the best when it comes to processors inside Android phones. That power is backed by 8GB of RAM on the ’Moonstone Black’ version and 16GB on the ’Jade Green’ sample I’ve been testing.
In terms of storage space, the former offers up 128GB while the latter provides 256GB. If possible, I would advise paying extra for the upgraded version because there’s no microSD slot available and 128GB can fill up quickly if you’re installing big games or shooting a lot of video footage.
OnePlus is pricing the 10T competitively, given it’s using the latest Qualcomm processor. Your entry-level black 8/128 model will cost £629 while the 16/256 green model sets you back £729 SIM-free. Those are very agreeable prices for what you’re getting and seems to hark back to the days of OnePlus swooping in and undercutting rivals like Samsung and Apple.
In real terms, that level of power under the hood means you can run the most demanding apps and games without a stutter. In fact, you can have up to 30 apps running simultaneously in the device’s memory and skip back and forth between them without picking up any discernible lag.
With the screen automatically adjusting between 60Hz, 90Hz and 120Hz to conserve power, I was flipping happily between apps like WhatsApp, Twitter and YouTube before diving into a graphically intensive game like FIFA mobile. And because the display offers 10-bit colour and full HDR10+, the graphics look incredibly rich and detailed.
But nothing sums up the experience of the OnePlus 10T for me than the battery charging situation. Keeping the phone running is 4,800mAh battery spread across two cells. There’s a lot of cooling going on inside to make sure the 10T works as smoothly as possible. According to OnePlus, you’ll get 26 hours of use on a single charge. I found that, with maximum usage (gaming, streaming, brightness up, Bluetooth connections active, etc) I was able to drain it in under a day.
However, when it comes time to plug it in, the 10T’s party trick comes out to play.
If you attach it via USB-C to the bundled 150W ‘SuperVooc’ charger, this phone will power up in a staggeringly-fast 19 minutes. That’s right: from 0-100% in less than 20 minutes. It’ll go from 0-50% in just eight minutes. The rub is that there’s no wireless charging.
And that situation sums up the phone a bit for me. I think, on balance, I’d prefer less performance with wider usability than ultimate power delivered through one laser-focused method. The argument is that charging the 10T this fast negates the need to plug in often – but it also requires you to remember to take the charging brick with you. At any rate, hats must be tipped to the OnePlus engineers for coming up with such insanely fast charging.
The last area of slight concern is the triple-lens camera system. It’s good, no question. But it’s not as good as the similarly-priced Pixel 6.
OnePlus has opted for a 50-megapixel wide-angle lens an 8-megapixel ultrawide lens and a 2-megapixel macro lens instead of the 10 Pro’s telephoto. There’s also no Hasselblad involvement with the 10T, so you won’t find any evidence of the legendary camera maker’s input in terms of filters or features.
The photos kicked out by the 10T are colourful and detailed, if not spectacular. Because of the lack of a telephoto lens, you’ll be left with using the digital zoom if you want to get closer to a subject without moving your feet.
As with previous OnePlus phones, there’s the Night Mode for when the sun goes down. The low-light pictures I captured were pretty good at filling the void of darkness, eliminating the noise and bringing out detail.
Unfortunately, the macro lens seems to be a bit of a wasted opportunity as the close-up shots….well, weren’t really that close-up.
Have a look at a few of the images below to see the camera performance of the OnePlus 10T.
Is the OnePlus 10T a good buy? It is if you’re only looking for one thing: the most power you can get at a reasonable price. It’s good value for money if you just want to be able to run power-hungry apps, enjoy a good screen and marvel at the wired charging.
But it’s certainly the case that compromises have been made. The lack of an alert slider, wireless charging and any official IP waterproofing may be of concern to those that want a well-rounded gadget. Likewise, the camera is middling and there’s no option to increase storage with a microSD card.
If OnePlus wants its ‘T’ devices to be all about speed then it’s succeeded completely with the OnePlus 10T. Unfortunately, my feeling is that modern smartphone customers probably want more than just performance when considering a purchase that will likely be used each and every day for the next two, three or four years.
OnePlus 10T: The details
The OnePlus 10T offers a solid phone for a decent price (Credit: OnePlus)
Name: OnePlus 10T
Price: £629 (8/128) £729 (16/256)
- Insanely fast wired charging
- Affordable price point
- Top-class processing power
- Great screen
- No wireless charging
- Average camera performance
Where can I buy one? You can get it directly from OnePlus here.
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