OnePlus 10T Review: This Exists Why?

I’ve reviewed my fair share of OnePlus phones over the years, and I roughly know what to expect, but when the OnePlus 10T showed up I was kinda thrown off, this isn’t a bad phone in a vacuum, but I’m also not sure why it really needs to exist at all.

OnePlus 10T
+ FOR
  • Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 is speedy
  • Thermal performance massively improved
  • 150W charging is utterly insane
  • Main camera is competent
- AGAINST
  • No real need to exist
  • Plastic frame and rear panel don't feel worth the price
  • Good ISP can only do so much with meh sensors

Buy on Amazon UK

Disclaimer

OnePlus UK Sent over this 10T sample for the purposes of review, it was used for 18 days on the Three UK network in the southeast of the UK. The software was OxygenOS 12.1 build no. CPH2415_11_A.03.

OnePlus 10T Review

Quick Links…

Overview 

The first thing to note is that the OnePlus 10T is not an update to the OnePlus 10 Pro, but in fact to the OnePlus 10 that was never released here, however, the OnePlus 10T was initially meant to launch at the same price of £799, however that was later corrected to £629, a much more palatable price for sure.

The OnePlus 10T is a bit of a bizarre device to launch here as there was never the OnePlus 10, but this is what would be a successor to that. This is a cut-down version of the 10 Pro in every single way bar 2 items, the charging speed and the chipset, upping the Snapdragon 8 Gen1 to the 8+ Gen1, and going from an already blistering 80w to a truly insane 150w (125w if you’re in 110v land). But why does the OnePlus 10T need to exist? Is it just to fill a product line? OnePlus’ most expensive Nord phone tops out a £469, maybe they wanted something to slot in between that and the £799 10 Pro?OnePlus 10T Review

Whatever the reason this exists, let’s take a tour of the phone. Starting at the front is the 6.7” 1080p Fluid AMOLED screen, a truly gorgeous screen with a refresh rate of up to 120hz, but unlike the 10 Pro this isn’t infinitely adjustable between 1 and 120hz, this has step points of 120,60 and I believe 10hz. One of the nicer points of the screen that is underrated is that it is a flat panel, with an ever so slight bevel only to the glass right at the edge as it melts into the chassis, a nice touch and something I prefer over curved screens.

The bezels around the screen are relatively uniform, the sides are skinnier than the top and bottom, but the top and bottom are equal to each other, but the corner radii of the screen do not match the corner radii of the glass, and every time I notice it I can’t not notice it for a while. In the centre of the top of the screen is the punch hole for the 16mp selfie camera, an inoffensive little hole moved from the edge. Lastly, there is a little slit between the screen and the frame for the earpiece grate, this little sucker can push a fair bit of sound and I’m pretty impressed with how well the earpiece can boost for stereo sound.OnePlus 10T Review

Moving on to the frame, this is another major change, gone is the aluminium frame and here is a glossy plastic frame, and whilst I’m not against glossy plastic frames, something about this one feels off. I’ve been using the OnePlus Nord 2 for the better part of a year and the frame doesn’t feel as slimy and slippery as this, very much not a fan. On the right-hand side of the phone is the power button, little to no play and definitely, no rattles, requires just the right amount of force to press, very nice. Flipping to the left side is the volume rocker, the same effect here, no rattle, no play and just the right amount of actuation force. What’s missing you might have noticed is the alert slider. This is not the first OnePlus without an alert slider, but it is the first high-end OnePlus Phone since the OnePlus 2 to not have it. 

Going to the top we have the main microphone and a second port that I’m not sure what it is actually from, I couldn’t find any details in the press kit and I’m thinking it might just be extra porting for audio to increase airflow, but that is a shot in the dark. Going to the bottom gives us the USB-C port in the middle for data transfer and charging, the left of that is the speaker grilles, on the right of the USB-C port is a second port that likely hides the main microphone, and then the NanoSIM slot, this tray has space for 2 NanoSIMs but no MicroSD. Weirdly, despite the high-end chip and radio supporting it, there is not a hint of eSIM support here.OnePlus 10T Review

Lastly, we move to the rear, a large sheet of glass punctured in the top left with an incredibly large camera bump, this takes up about ⅔ of the width of the phone and about a ¼ of the height, but unlike the OnePlus 10 Pro which had a solid step between the frame and the camera, the 10T slowly curves the glass up to the camera mound, much like Oppo did on the Find X5 Pro, however, this is a much shallower bump meaning it doesn’t rock nearly as bad. One thing I want to note here is that on my Jade Green unit, this does not feel like glass, in fact, I had to go back to my notes to make sure it was glass, this feels like plastic, it doesn’t wick the heat away from your hand as glass does, it just feels cheap and depressing.

Spec Sheet

  • 163 x 75.4 x 8.8 mm
  • 204g
  • 6.7” Fluid AMOLED
    • 120Hz
    • 1Bn colours (10 bit)
    • HDR10+
    • 2412x1080p
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen1
    • 1x 3.2Ghz Cortex X2
    • 3x 2.75Ghz Cortex A710
    • 4x 2.0Ghz Cortex A510
    • Adreno 730 GPU
    • TSMC 4nm
  • 8/12/16GB LPDDR5 DRAM
  • 128/256 UFS 3.1 storage
  • 4800mAh Lithium-polymer battery
  • 150w SuperVOOC charging 
    • 125w in 110v locales
  • Cameras
    • Main – 50MP Sony IMX766
      • F1.8
      • 24mm
      • 1/ 1.56” sensor size
      • 1.0µ pixels
    • Ultrawide – 8MP
      • F2.2
      • 120-degree FOV
      • 1/ 4” sensor size
      • 1.12µ pixels
    • Macro – 2MP
      • F2.4
    • Selfie – 16MP
      • F2.4
      • 24mm
      • 1/3” sensor size
      • 1.0µ pixels

For a more in-depth look check out the OnePlus 10T on the GSMArena page here

Performance & Use

One of the only positive changes from the 10 Pro to the 10T is the processor swap, whilst the Snapdragon 8 Gen1 from Qualcomm was a powerful chip, the 4nm node from Samsung Foundry wasn’t as polished as Qualcomm would have hoped, leading to higher voltage leakage and higher heat and boy was heating an issue with the 8 Gen1, so for the 8+ Gen1, Qualcomm ported the design to TSMCs N4 4nm node a much more mature and higher regarded process node and you can feel the difference just in the heat production, or rather the near lack of it.

The Core frequencies have been increased, the Coretex X2 core gains 200Mhz giving it a 3.2Ghz boost clock, the Cortex A710 cluster gets a 250Mhz boost to 2.75Ghz and the Cortex A510 cluster gets a 200Mhz boost to 2.0Ghz, so a 10% higher clock speed, but power use is actually down 30%, this is the reason Qualcomm switched nodes, and it is paid off. The GPU also got a fairy big boost as well, 10% on the core clock and 30% power reduction at those higher clocks.

OnePlus 10T Review

However SoC application performance is not the only aspect of performance, there is signal performance and thermal performance (as well as battery performance, but that gets it is own section later on), and thankfully these two sections are nice and sweet. The Snapdragon X65 modem is a bit of a beast here, whilst I can’t test the mmWave performance, as it’s not a thing here in the UK, the Sub6 performance has been stellar picking up even feint signal and keeping it like a death grip but switching over to a stronger Wi-Fi connection when available. One of the things Qualcomm consistently does very well is modems, and it probably has something to do with the fact it is part of the regulatory body that decides the network standards.

Thermally, the OnePlus 10T does a lot better than the 10 Pro. It is the 8+ Gen1 making less heat, but some of it is also the absolutely massive (for a phone) vapour chamber system inside of the 10T. If you really push it, you can get it very hot. I managed to do it when recording video outside in a heatwave or by playing Injustice 2 for long enough, but whereas the 10 Pro got hot in normal use, this was only in extreme or heavy use, which is understandable.

Camera & Samples

What makes the OnePlus 10T weird is that it doesn’t share the camera with the 10 Pro… at all, in fact, the camera setup is identical to that of the OnePlus Nord 2T, except with a 16MP front-facing camera, so that is a 50MP Sony IMX766 main camera, an 8MP Ultrawide camera and a 2MP depth camera. Two of these are useful and the third is there to show it’s fun to play the camera numbers game. What is interesting here is with it being the same setup as the Nord 2, we get to see how much the ISP (image signal processor) makes in these scenarios, and y’all, it makes a difference.OnePlus 10T Review

The Nord 2 is my daily driver when not reviewing phones and the Dimensity 1200 has a competent ISP in it, but putting those cameras in a phone with a great ISP goes to show what you’re missing. They’re sharper, the AF lock is quicker, the mode switching is faster, the lens switching is faster everything just works better. It can’t take a mediocre lens like the ultrawide and make it stellar, but it can make the experience of using that mediocre lens better.

The main sensor, an IMX766 from Sony is at this point just part of the BBK parts bin for camera sensors, but it is a good sensor only recently surpassed by the IMX800 for mid to high-end camera sensors, the 10T locks in white balance and exposure quickly and the autofocus is, for the most part, spot on. It struggles in areas of very fast movement, such as fast dogs or plants moving in the wind, but most of the time I got a clear crisp shot out of the 10T

The ultrawide is, to me, disappointing, not because the 8+ Gen1 didn’t do much, it is because OnePlus gave it such a meh sensor, to begin with, this is an over £600 phone, and you gave it the same ultrawide sensor used in sub £300 phones, it’s just insulting honestly. Sure it works here and it works even better than in the Nord, but it should, but it isn’t worthy of a £629 phone, let alone the £799 that OnePlus originally wanted to charge for this. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 gives it faster autofocus and makes the white balance quicker to adjust, but it is still soft, and it is still only 8MP, you can only do so much with that resolution, and what is more annoying is that OnePlus didn’t match the lenses up with each other better, so switching from the main to the ultrawide, or vice versa is still jarring and juddery.

The Macro camera gets this sentence, it exists, and that is all it deserves, seriously. OnePlus shouldn’t be happy with the camera experience here it is barely acceptable, the main is good, the ultrawide is just passable, and this macro is a bloody joke,

On the selfie front, it is a bit better, but mainly because almost no phones have good selfie cameras, and dropping from the barely optimised 32MP sensor of the Nord 2T to the well-optimised sensor and ISP of the 10T makes up for the hardware differences between the two. it is a soft image, but the lighting is handled better, though I wish that OnePlus had a better tuning algorithm for dealing with Highlights, the UK is dealing with an “unprecedented” heatwave right now and all this bright light is kinda messing up selfies taken with the 10T.

Video wise the 10T does what it can with the sensors it has, but weirdly enough it tops out at 4K60, we know the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 can do more than this, heck the OnePlus 10 Pro did more than this, this is a conscious software choice by OnePlus and honestly makes this feel much more like the OPnePlus Nord Pro than the 10T.

4K30, 1080p60 and 1080p30 all do relatively well here, but the 1080p30 suffered much more than I thought It would, I can’t give a particular reason why, a part of me thinks it has something to do with storage speed and access but I haven’t gotten any response yet. Either way, I would avoid shooting in 1080p30 if you can avoid it and shoot in 4K30 if you can, even though for phone video I think 60fps looks better because you can slow it down in post-processing.

Software

OnePlus has come under fire a lot lately for OxygenOS, for how close it has become to ColorOS and for their betas being so buggy that “unshippable” would be an understatement, but I am one of the people that is happier the more that OxygenOS merges with ColorOS, and I’m personally looking very forward to OxygenOS 13 on Android 13 later this year, but until then, the 10T ships with OxygenOS 12.1 on Android 12 and the July 5th security patch.

OnePlus 10T Review

I find talking about manufacturer skins very difficult these days, because “stock android” doesn’t really apply to anyone, Google’s version of Android on the Pixels isn’t “stock android” anymore, it is the google experience with pixel-specific features, Samsung has OneUI, Xiaomi has MIUI and Oppo has ColorOS. There is no “right way” to do a UI, but there are plenty of UX pitfalls that companies fall into.

OxygenOS 12.1 has a lot of customisation but not in the way OxygenOS of the past did, where that used to be balls to the wall and let you change anything, now it is a bit more hand hold-y, you can change system accent colours, you can change the fingerprint unlock animation, the font etc. it is not so much that customisation options are being taken away from you, it is that the ones that are being shown off more are in a much more user-friendly way and for normal people to change their phone a bit more to their liking easier.

OxygenOS 12.1 has the prototypical (now) ColorOS colour scheme of red black and white, and I have, with help from Google and Material You changed the colours of the red accents to a sort of greenish teal thanks to one of the colours in my wallpaper, then from that I decided to change the background on my keyboard to a very pale blue to contrast with the greeny teal, it is very fun and something I’ve become a fan of.

Battery

The battery performance of the 10T is great, but that’s to be expected, it lasted me all day and well into the second day only needing a charge at about 3 pm, what’s good about this is that when it comes to recharging you can use the absolutely astonishing 150w SuperVOOC charger that is included with the phone. First off, the brick itself is a USB-C brick, no USB-A here, and it is tiny, well tiny for a 150w brick, this is about the first of first gen 45w USB-C chargers. Not only does it support 150w SuperVOOC (which is 20v at 8a) it also supports USB-PD at 45w, which is 20v at 2.25a, I do wish it had 65w USB-PD support, but hey seeing as most just have a 15w fallback or nothing, this is very appreciated.

OnePlus 10T Review

You do have to use the special USB-C cable that OnePlus includes in the box, you can’t just use any USB-PD cable you have, sadly as many, even if rated for 20v, will not be rated for 8a, as the USB-PD 3.0 spec only officially supplies 100w of power, so the 150w is technically breaking USB-PD specifications. OnePlus states that the 10T can get a day’s worth of power in 10 minutes, but that a full charge takes just 19 minutes, and I can tell you that I have accidentally fully charged the OnePlus 10T by going to make coffee, and decided to also make toast, that extra few minutes seriously makes a difference when it charges this fast, so whilst it might only last me a day and a half, the time needed to get another day and a half of use is less than a coffee break, so charging overnight is kinda redundant. However, if you do want to charge overnight, OnePlus has put in a battery saver mode that stops charging at 80% and then will trickle charge the last 20% when it knows you wake up, so if it hits 80% at 1 am and it knows you wake up at 7 am, it’ll stay at 80% until 6:15 am and charge that last 20% for when you wake up at 7, pretty neat.OnePlus 10T Review

If you’re worried about pushing 150w of juice into a phone (even one with a dual cell battery, so each cell receives 75w) I don’t blame you, but OnePlus has put in a metric buttload of safety precautions into this device, it’s so confident that it is rating the battery to keep 80% of it is originally capacity after 1600 cycles, double that of competitors and it is own previous products. With a plethora of thermal sensors, machine learning algorithms and gyroscopes (it’ll charge faster face down so heat can dissipate through the rear faster) the OnePlus 10T should be a battery monster and a battery health monster, even in spite of the charging speeds it comes with.

Final Thoughts

So overall I’m pretty positive about the experience of using the OnePlus 10T, but my overall impressions are still the same, why does this exist, if you have to have the latest and greatest chip and the faster charging, are you really going to be willing to give up the build quality, the camera and the screen?

OnePlus 10T Review

If you absolutely have to have the fastest chip and the fastest charging, you aren’t going to find another device with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 for £629, and the closest ones are going to be other BBK brand phones for similar prices. But in this price range, there is a lot of competition, currently, you can get the Pixel 6 Pro for £649 (down from £849) which is going to be a better camera experience, software experience, software upgrade experience and better build quality, but it has a weaker chip and much slower charging. Apple has the 13 Mini for £679 with a better build, better screen, better camera, better accessory ecosystem, and a better chip, it only loses out on battery and charging.

If you want to go cheaper you can get the Realme GT Neo 3 150w, which for £599 is almost the exact same phone as this, but with a MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoC and a metal build, with the better build quality and a chip that trades blows performance wise and makes even less heat than the 8+ Gen1. The OnePlus 10T is not bad when looked at in a vacuum, but we don’t shop for phones in a vacuum, so, tell me, why does this exist? Because I’m really not sure, and I’m not even sure 10T is the right name, this feels much more like a Nord Pro to me.

About Domenico Lamberti

Technology has been a big part of my life for years, whether it be ripping the family computer apart to see how it worked, playing with the new phones that Dad brought home from work. Senior Reviewer for MTT.

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