OnePlus 10 Pro Preview

Intro

OnePlus has historically had two major releases per year, one in the spring and the other in the fall, but it skipped the fall release last year, so we didn’t get the updated “T” model. The reason for this is that OnePlus is evolving: it is becoming more integrated with parent company Oppo, and now, after a long wait, the first flagship phone under that new closer connection has arrived, and it is… stunning!

The OnePlus 10 Pro is a large, 6.7-inch flagship phone with a whole new design that clearly draws camera inspiration from the Galaxy S21 series, but it’s about more than just looks. With a clean software that feels amazingly zippy, perhaps the fastest fingerprint reader in the industry, top-of-the-line chipset, and charging so fast that it leaves Samsung and Apple in the dust, this phone clings to the OnePlus principles that made the company great.

THE ONE QUESTION THAT OnePlus must address this year, as it has in past years, is whether or not this camera is ultimately good enough. Is it capable of competing with the greatest phones on the market? Let’s see what we can find out!

OnePlus 10 Pro Preview

OnePlus 10 Pro


OnePlus 10 Pro Preview

Display measurements and quality

In terms of biometrics, the 10 Pro has an optical type fingerprint sensor built into the screen, which is the fastest of these in-screen fingerprint scanners! It’s precise and almost instantaneous, which is extremely astounding. If we were to make a direct comparison, it would have to be with Samsung’s ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, although OnePlus is substantially faster, while Samsung’s method feels slow in contrast.

The fingerprint sensor has been raised higher on the 10 Pro than on prior OnePlus phones, which we think is a smart decision because it makes it simpler to access. The one drawback with optical fingerprint scanners is that they must light up in order to function, which means they may cause some blindness if used in bed at night. However, I normally tilt my phone away from my face at night, so this problem is easily avoided.

Face recognition is also done via the front camera, and it works far faster than you’d expect: it’s almost instantaneous. Keep in mind that we’re using image-based face recognition, which isn’t as secure as Face ID on an iPhone, but it can be useful and can be configured to operate with a mask.

Performance and Software

OnePlus 10 Pro Preview

The OnePlus is as powerful as Android phones get in 2022, thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. Unlike Samsung, which uses different processors depending on the market, the OnePlus uses Snapdragon across the board, which is fantastic.

We were really interested in this new processor, and the OnePlus is the first phone we tested with it, so we were surprised to see such poor benchmark scores at first. The phone, it turns out, is set at lower chip speeds by default, and you’ll have to go into the settings to change that. On our ColorOS versions, we had to go to Settings > Battery > Advanced to find the “High Performance” feature, which was only found there. When you enable it, the chip’s full power is released, and you can see what it’s capable of. Strangely, we discovered that rebooting your phone returns it to the default throttled state, which is an annoyance for people who want the maximum performance at all times.

Single-core performance improves by roughly 10%, but multi-core performance improves only little.

We should point out that benchmarks don’t do the OnePlus justice: it’s lightning quick, and the animations on it are silky smooth. This is, in our opinion, the fastest Android has to offer right now, thanks to a fantastic gesture navigation implementation. OnePlus, you did a fantastic job!

We were apprehensive that the phone might overheat during GPU benchmarks, and it did, but we haven’t noticed any serious overheating concerns so far. The phone throttled more visibly after 10 minutes of the 20-minute Widlife Extreme Stress test.

We should also mention the software, because this is not the OxygenOS we were used to seeing on prior OnePlus phones. It’s Android 12 with ColorOS overlaid on top, which is owned by Oppo, but it’s not much different. Although some recognizable features are absent, the speed and animations are unaffected. We expect the OnePlus 10 Pro’s worldwide model to have slightly different software, so we’ll update this section after we’ve tested it.

Summary and Final Verdict

OnePlus 10 Pro Preview
The OnePlus 10 Pro is, at the end of the day, a step ahead, but not a tremendous leap. We had high hopes for the camera, and although you do get some cool features like 4K120 and 8K video capture, the stabilization isn’t quite up to standard, and the color science could need some work. On a personal note, despite all of the hype and expectations, I believe this phone falls short of the mark. However, it’s possible that we’re just being unusually critical as reviewers.
There’s a lot to like about the 10 Pro as well. Its speed is unrivaled in the Android camp, and the UI, notably the animations and movements, has a finesse we normally associate with a single fruit brand. We enjoy the new design, and OnePlus deserves credit for maintaining the cool little details like the Alert Slider. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is also included in the 10 Pro, which is a welcome upgrade, especially for gamers.
Should you purchase it? Well, we’ll have to wait till the international model arrives and consider its pricing before passing judgment, but for what it’s worth, the OnePlus 10 Pro is shaping up to be more of what you already love about OnePlus, but not quite the game-changer that some would have hoped for. If your phone is getting old and you don’t need the best camera, it’s worth considering.