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OnePlus 10T review

OnePlus' latest smartphone is here, packing more power and a better battery.

OnePlus 10T review
03 August 2022

OnePlus decided to do things differently in 2022. Instead of releasing a standard flagship phone, it went one better, skipping ahead and released the OnePlus 10 Pro.

This device had a nice dollop of innovation, offering blistering charge speeds, a decent camera array and an improved OS.

OnePlus isn't resting on its laurels with the Pro, though, as it has also just announced the OnePlus 10T at its launch event in New York, its first in-person event in some two years.

It might be a mere five months between handsets, but a lot has changed in the smartphone world since then.

The Realme GT NEO 3 has launched to rival OnePlus with its charging times, while the Nothing Phone (1) may be aiming to be top of the mid-range, the CEO of the company is Carl Pei who is ex-OnePlus.

In this new smartphone world, then, how does the OnePlus 10T fare? We've been playing with the device for a few weeks now: here are five things to know...

1. It's OnePlus without the fuss

OnePlus 10T review

The design of the OnePlus 10T is significant for a OnePlus phone as it has a defining feature missing: the alert slider. This physical switch, which arrived with the OnePlus 2, allowed you to mute notifications at the flick of a switch and has been a mainstay on high-end OnePlus phones, so it's a bit of a shock to see it gone.

There is a good reason it's gone, though, and that is to keep the phone both as thin as possible and able to fit in the next-gen charging tech the phone has inside of it. The switch had to go to fit in the bigger battery (up from 4.500mAh to 4,800mAh) and another 'charging pump'.

OnePlus also reckons that the lack of an alert switch makes for better online gaming in landscape mode, as the antenna system has been vastly improved, with some 15 antennas now in the device.

Other than what is missing, OnePlus has kept its other changes to a minimum. It has moved the front camera to the middle of the device and the triple-camera setup on the back has a similar array to the OnePlus 10 Pro but the Hasselblad branding / partnership is nowhere to be seen (more on this later).

The unibody feel of the phone looks and feels fantastic. The device we reviewed was the Jade Green colorway (16GB/256GB) but there is also a Moonstone Black version (8GB/126GB) available.

The Jade Green handset has a smooth glass rear, with a ceramic-like finish and is beautifully premium. The Moonstone Black has a glass black with texture reminiscent of basalt.

2. The 10T has all the right screen specs

OnePlus 10T review

The OnePlus 10T retains the same 6.7-inch screen from the OnePlus 10 Pro and this is a good thing: it's one of the best screens we have tested on a phone.

This is thanks to its 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, HDR in the form of HDR10+ and the support of 10-bit color (which improves vastly the realism in the photos and videos you view on the screen).

In our testing, there was a real vibrancy to Disney Plus' Ms Marvel (an already vibrant show). The darker Doctor Strange 2 still looked colorful on the device, with the HDR10+ doing its thing to make sure that blacks were different shades and not just one inky blob.

3. The upgraded processor is punchy

OnePlus 10T review

Where the OnePlus 10T dominates the OnePlus 10 Pro is with its processing power. The chip inside the 10T is the upgraded Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

The improvements showcased aren't anything to be sniffed at. CPU and GPU performance is around 10% higher than its predecessor and improvements in efficiency mean that you should get an extra hour of gaming out of the 10T or 90 minutes of streaming.

All of this really does make an impact on the battery life of the handset...

4. Battery is better, charging is speedier

OnePlus 10T review

The new chipset really does help with the battery drain of the OnePlus 10T, as does OnePlus' adaptive screen technology and its inclusion of a bigger battery.

Even after a day of doom scrolling, gaming and YouTube watching we were never below 30% on the battery.

The OnePlus 10T also got us out of the habit of charging at night. This is thanks to its support of 150W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition charging.

Not just a superlative name, this charging technology means you can charge the thing in around 20 minutes, with 10 minutes' charging giving you enough juice for your phone to last the day.

It's worth noting that we only got these speeds by turning Smart Rapid Charging (found in the battery settings) off. It was around 25 minutes with this functionality toggled on. It's worth heading to the battery settings as it is here where you can see your battery usage and what is draining your battery.

There are also options to optimise night charging and where you can flick to high performance mode for gaming and the like.

The charging on show here really is impressive stuff, while not quite hitting the heady heights of the Realme GT NEO 3's charging prowess.

The caveat here is that there is no wireless charging on board - something that can be found on the OnePlus 10 Pro.

5. The cameras impress, but we've seen it before

OnePlus 10T review

The OnePlus 10T comes with a triple camera system that has some differences compared to the OnePlus 10 Pro. For a start, the Hasselblad branding has been dropped. There's no word if this means that OnePlus' partnership with the premium camera maker is over or whether it's just been put on ice.

You don't really miss it, though: other than the branding around the lenses and the dedicated pro features in the camera setup, there isn't much missing here. There is still a Pro mode, where you can shoot in both RAW and RAW Plus and toggle ISO, white balance and the like.

The lenses are still fantastic, with the 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS) being standout. The other lenses are an ultra-wide camera and macro camera.

Accompanying the OnePlus 10T’s main camera is an 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 119.9° field of view and a 2MP macro camera with an effective shooting distance of 2-4 cm. These are different from the 10 Pro which had an 8MP telephoto and 48MP Ultra-wide.

Other camera features include Nightscape 2.0, and improved HDR performance. We were impressed with the long exposure feature on offer, where you could choose between using it for moving vehicles, water or light painting. The bokeh effects through portrait mode never felt too forced, either.

There is an option to toggle the background blur from strong to weak, if you feel it is a bit too powerful, though.

OnePlus 10T Final Verdict

OnePlus 10T review

The OnePlus 10T surpasses the OnePlus 10 Pro when it comes to its processing power and battery speed. If you get the Jade Green version, then it also has bigger RAM at 16GB.

But there are some areas it doesn't quite match. The 10T's camera array may have the fantastic main sensor, but the ultra-wide sensor has a reduced pixel count and some will be scratching their heads as to why a macro lens was added and a telephoto lens taken away. Couple this with a lack of Hasselblad polish and this camera setup doesn't feel as strong as what's on the 10 Pro.

The lack of wireless charging and the iconic alert slider may put some off as well.

But, for us, the sheer power of the device and the improvements in battery power and efficiency really do make a difference and made our time with the OnePlus 10T a pleasure.

You can pre-order the OnePlus 10T now. It's worth noting that users who pre-order through OnePlus' official site, you have a chance to win a free OnePlus 10T (8+128GB variant). You will also get a 40% discount on OnePlus Buds Pro and 60% discount on OnePlus Buds Z2. There are trade-in and student discounts also available.

The OnePlus 10T release date is 25th August and the Jade Green (16GB/256GB) version costs £729; the Moonstone Black version (8GB/126GB) costs £629.