The word of the day is fast. Fast display. Fast processor. Fast charging. A price that will (hopefully) translate to fast sales.
This is the OnePlus 10T 5G in a nutshell. The latest in OnePlus’ T-series line of smartphones, it’s perhaps the most aggressive pitch at the smartphone gaming market OnePlus has ever made, despite not being a gaming phone. It’s one of the fastest Android phones I’ve ever tested, yet you wouldn’t know it by the price. And it’s yet another awkward entry in the T-series, a line of devices OnePlus doesn’t seem to know what to do with any more (I guess besides try out new technologies or feature sets).
The 10T will start at $649, which is by far one of the best parts of this phone. That’ll get you 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. The model I’ve been testing, along with a bunch of other reviewers, has a massive 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This model will cost $749, which in all honesty is quite a good deal. Early buyers will even get the spec bump for the standard $649 price.
The only thing slow about the 10T is its launch date – it won’t be available until September 1st when preorders go up. Even then, the device isn’t going to ship until September 29th, so anyone who picks this up will be waiting a while to get their hands on it.
In all honesty, I’ve been delighted numerous times during my week and a half with the 10T. But it’s not perfect. You really have to want the “Fast and Smooth” experience OnePlus advertises to look past its shortcomings like the so-so camera, spotty software experience, and
But once you do, I can’t imagine you’ll find any major faults with it, assuming the number one reason you buy it is for its performance. In that regard, it truly is a delight to use. You’ll just have to be okay with a sub-par camera and software that… oof, needs some work.
OnePlus 10T 5G
One of the fastest Android phones around
If your next phone needs to go fast, buy the OnePlus 10T. You'll just have to be okay with sub-par cameras, no wireless charging, and pretty janky software.
Software & Extras
Reader Rating1 Vote
Incredible 125W SuperVOOC charging
Solid all-day battery life
Great screen with 120Hz
Cameras could be better
No wireless charging
OxygenOS 12 sucks
No alert slider
OnePlus 10T specs
Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on front and back, plastic frame, 204g weight
6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED, 2412×1080, 120Hz refresh rate (variable down to 60Hz), up to 1,000Hz touch sampling rate
4,800mAh split-cell battery with 125W SuperVOOC charging (up to 150W in international markets), no wireless charging
OxygenOS 12.1 (based on Android 12, with three years of promised system upgrades and four years of security patches)
Water and dust resistance
Performance: Some of the best on Android
The OnePlus 10T (5G, but I’m not saying “5G” over and over again) ships with a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor. Despite that being a mouthful of a chipset, it’s a solid slab of silicon that helps the 10T achieve excellent performance day-to-day.
Apps are consistently silky smooth, with virtually no stutters or hang-ups when multitasking or using heavier apps. During my testing, I fired up a few games (Asphalt 8, SpellTower, Super Mario Run), flipped between them, then landed in Adobe Lightroom to edit a photo I took. The phone is optimized well enough that I didn’t experience any issues opening those apps and getting right back to where I left off.
Of course, there are a few things at play here, the most noticeable being that 16GB chunk of RAM inside. This is the first phone I’ve used with that amount of RAM, and I can tell you that it feels like it makes a difference. I honestly couldn’t prove that it does, but it feels that way. For example, I’ve tried similar workflows on my Pixel 6 Pro which has 12GB of RAM, and it doesn’t feel as easy to maneuver as it does on the 10T.
OnePlus is also doing a lot of custom work under the hood to ensure everything remains smooth. Their phones are no strangers to advanced cooling systems to ensure airflow is plentiful and nothing overheats, and the 10T keeps that tradition alive with a new 3D Cooling System.
It’s comprised of a cryo-velocity vapor chamber with eight dissipation channels that offer twice the dissipation capacity of other phones with similar chambers. The system also uses 3D graphite that has 50 percent better heat dissipation compared to regular graphite, as well as copper foil to enhance the performance of the 10T while retaining a sleek form factor.
There’s also a new HyperBoost Gaming Engine which – surprise, surprise! – helps with gaming. This feature’s comprised of three elements: a general Performance Adapter (GPA) Frame Stabilizer, a GPU Load Control (GLC), and LSTouch. The GPA Frame Stabilizer helps to reduce frame rate fluctuation during gameplay so everything looks smoother, while GLC improves the efficiency of graphics so they aren’t as power-hungry.
LSTouch powers one of the coolest features of the device: a 1,000Hz touch sampling rate, which makes every tap on the screen feel instantaneous and incredibly responsive. For context, an iPhone 13 has a touch sampling rate of 120Hz, while a Galaxy S22 Ultra can go up to 240Hz.
Of course, it’s hard to distinguish between these rates unless you have all three devices side-by-side, but I can tell you that it makes a difference when gaming. There’s virtually no lag whatsoever between the time it takes to tap a button and for something to happen on the screen.
The 10T also benefits from a custom System Booster which ships in OxygenOS 12.1. It essentially optimizes the chip and software so that boot times are faster and performance is generally better. You also get the latest UFS 3.1 storage which greatly improves read/write speeds compared to other storage tiers.
Altogether, OnePlus’ special efficiency features and optimizations make for an experience that feels faster than most flagship phones on the market, let alone other phones in its price range. However, you don’t really get that sense until you use the phone for yourself.
I say that because any paper metric you read on the 10T can only tell you so much. For example, I ran benchmarks on the CPU and OnePlus’ improvements don’t seem to be represented at all. The Geekbench numbers I got fell behind the Galaxy S22 Ultra which has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and it was more in the vicinity of the Pixel 6’s Google Tensor processor than anything else. As always, the iPhone 13 Pro’s A15 Bionic blew it out of the water.
But I can say that despite this, the 10T feels just as fast as those devices, if not faster. It’s probably one of the three fastest Android phones you can buy, at least in the United States. OnePlus did a tremendous job at optimizing everything from the cooling system to the software to the 8 Plus Gen 1 itself.
Compared to the 10 Pro from earlier this year, the 10T is noticeably snappier in a lot of areas. In my review for CNN Underscored, I found that it performed just as well as any other flagship with no real advantage in the performance category. That shifts with the 10T. Gaming, multitasking, and general purpose applications all feel more responsive and alive, if that makes sense. If performance is your number-one concern and you’re deciding between the 10 Pro and 10T, you should go with the 10T.
The fastest charging I’ve ever seen
Another area where the OnePlus 10T beats the 10 Pro (and every other flagship phone, for that matter) is in charging.
The 10T comes with 125W SuperVOOC wired charging which, if you’re keeping track, is nearly double the speed of the 10 Pro’s 65W charging. It’s about five times the performance of an iPhone or Pixel, and it’s just under three times as fast as what Samsung’s S22 series is capable of.
OnePlus says it can charge the 10T from zero to 100 percent in as little as 20 minutes. Going into this review, I knew this would be the thing I’d pay attention to the most. And lo and behold, their claim reigns true.
I’ve killed this phone numerous times, and every time I do, it only takes 20-25 minutes to get back up to 100 percent. That’s impressive, to say the least. It’s the fastest charging I’ve ever experience on a smartphone, and it has the capacity to change how you charge your phone. While you can continue to plug it in at night or stick to whatever your normal routine is, you also have the option of forgetting to plug it in at night and have it juiced back up before you leave for work in the morning. It only takes 20 minutes, after all.
Unlike the 10 Pro, the 10T doesn’t ship with wireless charging. It would’ve been nice to see fast wireless charging to round things off (or any degree of wireless charging), but I don’t think many people will mind once they experience the sheer speed of 125W wired charging.
Speaking of which, you’re probably curious about the brick. Don’t worry, OnePlus is including a compatible wall wart in the box, and you’ll notice that it says “160W” on it. This is to accommodate the 150W charging support the 10T ships with overseas. The reason it isn’t available in the US is due to limitations in US wall outlets, which international outlets aren’t constrained by. OnePlus says if you bring a 10T from the US to another country and charge it, you’ll get the 150W and remain stuck with 125W – but I don’t see that being a problem for anyone given how incredible 125W charging is.
Design, display, and battery
The rest of the OnePlus 10T is a simple story in defining a OnePlus phone. The 10T is very much so one of those. It looks very similar to the 10 Pro with its large rear camera (stove-top vibes!) and slim form factor, and it boasts a unique exterior thanks to a textured finish on the back (at least on the Moonstone Black model seen here).
The most jarring design decision OnePlus made here was to eliminate the alert slider. After being on its flagship phones since the beginning, the 10T is the first to break tradition and instead rely on volume buttons to control notification sounds. The company knows this decision will be perceived as controversial and has even released a statement on it.
In my meetings with the company, it became clear that OnePlus sees this as a temporary measure. The alert slider was apparently in the way of things like a larger battery, the cooling chambers, and other performance optimizations. Therefore, it had to go. But OnePlus stresses that it sees this as a “technical and design challenge” and that it plans to overcome it in future devices. That means it’ll come back… eventually.
For now, it’s gone, and I must admit that I’ve missed it. After having it on the 10 Pro, I was bummed to not be able to flick a switch to set my phone to vibrate when I needed to. Oh well.
The good news is that the rest of the 10T’s design is mostly positive, assuming you like big phones. There’s a 6.7-inch display that makes the device rather large, although I wouldn’t say it’s unmanageable with one hand. You’ll just need two any time you wanna reach the top.
The quality of the screen is very good, with a 2412×1080 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. OnePlus saved a few bucks by not including LTPO which lets a display ramp down to 1Hz depending on the content being shown (further saving battery life), but I didn’t find it to be a big deal since it still drop to 90Hz or 60Hz when you aren’t scrolling.
It’s obviously an AMOLED display, and with it comes punchy colors and delightfully dark black levels. Limited max brightness also comes with the package, as it’s tricky to see in direct sunlight. Not impossible in any means, just tricky.
The 10T is also limited in terms of where you can take it. OnePlus only got an IP54 rating for the device which, while is enough for light rain, isn’t ideal for any sort of submersion into water for an extended period of time. In other words, try not to drop it in the pool.
What aren’t limiting are the antennas in the 10T. OnePlus includes 15 separate antennas that wrap around the entire phone so that you can get optimal wireless connections regardless of how you’re holding it. It’s obviously to improve the gaming experience, but I did notice that cellular connections were generally stronger than they were on the 10 Pro.
Oh, and if you’re paying attention to 5G, note that there’s no mmWave support here – only sub-6GHz.
There’s an ultrasonic fingerprint reader under the display that’s been reliably snappy during my review process, and the dual stereo speakers sound full and loud. The buttons are nice and click, and the device’s weight of 203.5 grams makes it comfortable to hold yet hefty enough to add a premium feel.
Battery life has been very reliable. The 4,800mAh battery OnePlus includes lasts me a full 16-hour day each and every time I unplug it in the morning. I actually had to work during the day to drain it by spending more time on Twitter (not my smartest choice, I know), and I was only able to get it down to 30 percent by the time I hit the sack. Usually, I’ll end the day with 50-55 percent left, which means this phone could last two days on a charge if you’re careful enough.
I’m not sure if all-day battery life is a good trade-off for losing the alert slider, but I didn’t really mind it.
I’m not sure how else to describe the OnePlus 10T’s cameras other than completely average. There’s no two ways about it, I don’t think anyone will be buying this phone for its shooters.
That’s not say they’re bad. The 10T comes with a perfectly capable 50MP f/1.8 Sony IMX766 main lens, which can take nice-looking photographs in any well-lit environment. Images are generally balanced pretty well with good color reproduction and contrasts, although HDR processing can get overblown occasionally. At night or in darker conditions, the sensor struggles a bit to get enough light to produce a shareable image. Still, at $649, it’s not bad.
It’s the two other cameras that are disappointing, to be honest. The 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide is 119.9-degrees wide which is nice to see, but that’s the only good quality. Detail and clarity take a huge dip compared to the 50MP main sensor, with images coming out less sharp and flatter. Meanwhile, the 2MP macro camera is virtually useless, producing potato-quality photographs that aren’t worth capturing despite being able to get up-close with subjects.
The 16MP f/2.4 selfie camera is fine (expect for at night), and video quality is acceptable at 4K/60fps as long as you stick with the main lens.
Notice how I haven’t said the word “Hasselblad” yet. That’s because OnePlus didn’t partner with them on this phone. When asked about it, the company seemed to indicate there were two factors at play: they paid far more attention to the performance of the 10T than the cameras, and their Hasselblad partnership lasts three years. I’m assuming it probably ended with the introduction of the OnePlus 10 Pro, which the company says is the phone to buy if you’re deciding between it and the 10T and want better camera quality.
OnePlus includes enough features in the camera app to make up for the lack of a Hasselblad integration such as a Pro mode, Nightscape 2.0, Video Nightscape, Smart Scene Recognition, RAW+ support, Video Portrait mode, and Focus Tracking. However, you can tell that the company didn’t prioritize the camera this time around.
The dream OnePlus phone is one with the 10 Pro’s Hasselblad shooters and the 10T’s performance, but that doesn’t exist here. The 10T is clearly designed for those who value performance more, and if that’s you, you’ll have to be okay with sub-par camera quality.
OxygenOS is still really rough
I didn’t like OxygenOS 12 on the OnePlus 10 Pro, and I don’t like it any more on the 10T.
It’s not the same OxygenOS I used to drool over a few years ago. The version on the OnePlus 6T was specifically one of my favorite iterations thanks to its close-to-stock-Android approach while keeping its own features lightweight and enjoyable to use. Now, the system is bogged down by a launcher whose mechanics are totally off (trying to swipe away the app drawer can take anywhere between 1-15 swipes), a Shelf that can be accessed like Control Center on the iPhone which is not nearly as good, and a UI that’s much closer to something like Samsung’s One UI.
This is likely caused by the failed merger between OxygenOS and sister company Oppo’s ColorOS. The two systems were destined to share a code base with one another before the merger was called off earlier this year, yet it doesn’t seem like that cut-off made much of a difference.
At the time of writing this review, I have yet to see OxygenOS 13 which is being unveiled onstage during OnePlus’ event. I’ll update this review when I have more thoughts on the future of the system. For now, I can tell you that I find it extremely difficult to use the OnePlus 10T because of how much I dislike OxygenOS 12. I wish OnePlus would go back to its roots by simplifying its software rather than over-complicating things just for the sake of change.
Anyone who wants an Android phone and the best performance they can get should look at the OnePlus 10T. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this phone is probably more capable performance-wise than most Android phones in the United States, and it has the potential to be one of the best phones of the year because of it.
The cameras are sub-par, the software experience is still incredibly rough, wireless charging is missing, and there’s no alert slider. If you can look past that, you’ll get a phone with fantastic speeds, the best wired charging capabilities of any phone in the States, a nice screen, and a premium design for a price that’s perfectly accessible.
OnePlus did a lot right with the 10T. If it continues going in this performance-driven direction, I can only imagine the 11T next year could be even better. Until then, this is a great buy for anyone who wants to go fast.