OnePlus 10 Pro Review

OnePlus has been on kind of a weird trajectory lately and I’ve kind of already talked about it, but this is the latest, weirdest step. So, I say it’s kind of out because, well, you’re watching this video on YouTube, which is not in China, but this phone is officially landed and launched only in China. So, it’s not out where you’re watching this, but we’ll likely see an international launch at some point this year for this phone. So, I was able to get my hands on this one, thanks to our friends at dbrand. But if you wanted to get one, you have to import it from a site like 28Mobile or something like that. But even so, the software that this phone is running is not the OxygenOS that OnePlus fans have come to know and love in many regions. So basically, this phone might have a OnePlus box, and the OnePlus logo, and a OnePlus red cable, but this OnePlus 10 Pro is more like an OPPO phone than ever before. Now, you might’ve seen all the specs, and teasers, and stuff about this phone as they were coming up to their launch. And I’ll get to all that in a second. But the biggest thing to note, really, is that this phone, this one right here, is literally running OPPO software. So, it has ColorOS, the same ColorOS that an OPPO phone would have. This is ColorOS 12.1. So, the OxygenOS that’s been so important to OnePlus for years that I really liked in the past is not here. So, we’ve got some OPPO-built stock apps, and it’s got a bunch of incomplete menus that don’t have English translations. There’s a bunch of pre-installed Chinese apps that can’t be disabled. This is clearly not meant to be exported to other regions. The default browser is pretty rough. I mean, it’s mostly fine and it does have a lot of customization features. I think the wallpaper color picker is super cool and I’ve gotten Google apps to work other than the Assistant. So I can make my way around, but it’s not ideal. So sort of overhanging all of this is, okay, will this phone have OxygenOS or not when it eventually probably launches internationally? I don’t know, it’s unconfirmed. We don’t have an answer yet. And even though it’s not perfect, and honestly, OxygenOS is more like ColorOS than ever before in its latest version, I still am kind of hoping for it ’cause it’s more complete. Anyway, the one thing that will be the same, no matter where you get this phone in any region, is this new design, this slightly controversial new design. It’s kind of a mixed bag for me. I liked parts of it, I don’t like some other parts of it. So there’s always a difference between seeing it in the renders and the teasers versus actually holding it and feeling it in-person. And I got to say, in-person, it’s a pretty solid design. It’s a nice size, roughly the same size as the last year’s OnePlus 9 Pro. Big, but not too big. It’s got the same smooth satin black finish in this Volcanic Black color. And the other version is this sort of Emerald Green-type of satin finish. And it’s still got all the classic OnePlus shapes and cues: the centered logo on the middle of the back, the speaker and SIM card tray at the bottom, the alert slider, which has just moved up a little bit higher on the phone. Really, the biggest change with this new design is the camera layout. So clearly, there’s a bit of inspiration from what Samsung did with the S21 Series, a little bit of a, “Copy of my homework, but don’t make it too obvious,” going on here. But I do still like Samsung’s version more because it still feels more intentional. One, because it goes all the way up to the corner and it feels like a more integrated part of the design, and two, because of this seam here. So, OnePlus has this awesome satin black in the whole back and all of the rails around the phone are satin, but then it cuts at this seam to do a glossy camera array. And I know we’ve done the stovetop joke about other phones before, but I mean, this one… This one looks more like a stovetop than any I’ve ever seen. It’s actually only three cameras, though. The fourth in the corner is a bicolor LED flash with some texts in the middle that says P2D 50T. Now, if you’re wondering what P2D 50T actually stands for, I asked OnePlus because, I mean, there’s not a whole lot of other texts on the phone. Why did they put this here? Apparently, P stands for phone, 2D stands for second-generation Hasselblad mobile camera system, 50T stands for 50-megapixel triple camera setup. So, P2D 50T just printed… – Okay. – Okay. I don’t see a specific IP rating anywhere for this phone, but it does have the rubber seals around things like the SIM card tray, which the IP68-certified OnePlus 9 Pro also had. So, I’m thinking it’ll also survive normal splashes and stuff, but the only other update on the outside is a small one. It’s the new display, same size at 6.7 inches with the top-left corner selfie camera cutout and an optical fingerprint sensor that’s nicely higher up on the phone. I was wondering why last year’s is so low and I never really got an answer, but this one is in a nicer spot, for sure. Anyway, it’s the same resolution, 1440p, same max frame rate, 120 Hertz, but this is an LTPO2 panel. Meaning, it can modulate all the way down to one Hertz instead of 10 Hertz. So, it can save even more power than earlier LTPO displays. Definitely looking forward to seeing pretty much every high-end phone make this same upgrade this year. Then, inside, this phone does have pretty much all of the high-end specs that you’d expect from a OnePlus flagship phone. Now, this isn’t the full review. I’m not daily driving this phone because half the software is in Chinese and it’s kind of hard for me to do that, but this does give us a pretty good idea of how it’ll perform. And I mean, with high-end specs, there aren’t really any surprises here. It’s got the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, new naming scheme for the new generation of four-nanometer chips. First phone I’ve tested with it, it’s very similar in performance of the Snapdragon 888, with a bump in the GPU department and most significantly, better AI and ML performance. So, you can imagine as the highest end, non-custom silicon chip you can get in a phone, combined with the high refresh rate display, UFS 3.1 storage, LPDDR5 RAM, it’s gonna perform very well. There’s even a RAM Extender feature that you can use, so you can sort of carve out some of that fast storage to act like extra RAM if you want to. Basically, I have thought for a few years, actually, that OPPO’s ColorOS has some of the better animations of any Android skin, and that’s still true. So, things are very smooth and responsive here across the board. And then the bonus is some slightly better gaming performance and a new image signal processor, which should improve the cameras. Which, speaking of the cameras, how are they, right? This is a new… I mean, the design very much highlights these new cameras and the Hasselblad logo is right there. So, does it deliver? Well, basically, the camera housing might’ve gotten a redesign, but the actual camera system is almost the same as last year. So, it’s the same 48-megapixel main camera, the same eight-megapixel 3.3x telephoto camera as last year, and a new 150-degree ultra wide. So, the new second-generation Hasselblad mobile camera system is… as far as we can tell, the same mobile camera system, plus a new ultra wide. Unclear if there’s any new lenses or anything going into the hardware, but that’s what we get. Okay, got it. So, my initial impression shooting with it are the actual quality of the images is still pretty good. I mean, we know what this main camera is capable of, which is some pretty nice shots and daytime lighting plus the larger sensor, giving real shallow depth of field, plus a little fringing with some close-up subjects, but that’s not a surprise here. But whatever’s in focus in the middle of the frame or near the middle of the frame gets pretty good detail and sharpness and it looks fine. I was looking for some new color science, maybe. Maybe the second-generation Hasselblad stuff has more to do with image processing. And colors and dynamic range, I think, are still good. Not too overprocessed, but nothing dramatically better than expected here. The colors from the ultra wide are definitely a bit different from the primary camera and it’s definitely not as sharp, but that can improve a bit with software updates. I just found the shutter speed not very fast. So, you gotta really hold still and take photos of still subjects, but, hey, not all subjects stay still. So, in my initial testing, like object photos and still scenes are no problem, but people and pets get a little more blurred sometimes, especially in lower light. The selfie camera, though, is actually new. 32 megapixels, not super wide and not really noteworthy in the quality department in my opinion, but, hey, y’all wanna know about the selfie camera. So, there you go. This Hasselblad partnership is more than just image quality, though. It’s also about features. And so, the new ultra wide is a new feature. And if you just open the Camera and just switch to the Ultra Wide, it’ll look exactly the same as any other, but it varied in the settings. There is a 150-degree Ultra Wide mode that lets you get really, really wide and take advantage of that new sensor and lenses. It does a pretty good job not distorting things too much considering how wide it is, which is very impressive at this angle. So, even if the photos aren’t super sharp, they’re still unique and pretty impressive. And then, you can hit this button and get in that full on all the way Fisheye Circle Image mode to capture everything. No video capture in this mode. I think that would have been cool, like sort of reminiscent of old skate videos. But yeah, this is pretty sweet. There’s also the Hasselblad XPan Mode to shoot in that 65:24 aspect ratio, reminiscent of a classic Hasselblad camera. And there’s a new Pro mode with some raw formats, which is great, and a new Long Exposure mode, cool. But overall, as you can tell, not a huge difference in the camera department. Basically, if you weren’t sold on last year’s phone, then this one’s not gonna change your mind. But I think I can wrap this up with one thing that did improve dramatically, and that is the battery. So, without getting much thicker or bigger, this phone is now packing a 5000-milliamp power battery and upgrades to 80-watt wired charging plus 50-watt wireless charging, which is sick. So, usually, you get a huge battery, but not-so-fast charging or a medium-sized battery, but with ultra-fast charging. It’s sort of like pick and choose. This is really impressive. This is basically combining the best of both worlds. So, from a low battery, you can add about 60% charge in 15 minutes, which, on such a big battery, can last you an entire new day. And even if you don’t have a heavy day of use, I haven’t really used this phone for very long, but you can already tell. This bigger battery, combined with the LTPO2 display, is gonna reward lighter usage days with a much longer screen on time. I feel like there’s something different about this charger, though. I mean, this is the old one. This, it’s a little more squared off. It’s still got the red cable. It’s still the same size. Oh, right. It’s an OPPO charger. So, as part of the melting of the OPPO and OnePlus brands, the OPPO-effication of OnePlus, as we’ve talked about, yeah, they switched literally to a SuperVOOC charger. It says it on their site. That’s the name of OPPO’s fast-charging tech. It’s no longer a warped charger that OnePlus used to ship with everything. Now, honestly, the name of the charging tech doesn’t really bother me that much, but the most annoying part is it switched back to USB-A. This is a USB-A charger now. All of these warped chargers were USB-C. And so, now, we’ve gone back, so I can’t use USB-C to USB-C cables anymore. I have to use this cable. So, this is annoyingly backwards. I mean, the fact that the phone does come with the charger and the box is, sadly, bonus points for this phone. That’s what you have to do when 80-watt charging is one of your features is nobody has an 80-watt charger. So, you have to throw it in. But yeah, here you go, it’s a USB-A charger. Also, if you wanna do that 50-watt AirVOOC Wireless Charging, that is a separate extra OPPO Wireless Charger. It’s still a super impressive battery, though. And you know what else is super impressive? Channel sponsor Cash App. So, Cash App is impressive not just because it’s the best way to send, spend, and save money, but also, it comes with a debit card that you can fully customize and then Cash App will laser print and mail it to you whatever your fancy design. And the card comes with three discounts to places you love called Boosts. So, you’re definitely gonna wanna check out Cash App if you haven’t already. The link is below. You can use code MARQUES for $15 and $10 will go to Girls Who Code. Appreciate you, Cash App. So, almost exactly one year ago today, it was January last year, I did a, “What Happened to OnePlus?” video and I was basically talking… I’ll link it below. It’s just talking about how they went from a very enthusiast, focused company to a very normal company making normal phones. It didn’t really stand out in quite the same way. And this is their most normal phone yet. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad phone at all. It’s actually quite good and lots of the stuff that I’ve always liked about OnePlus phones are still here. It’s got the fast and smooth stuff. It’s got the high refresh rate display, great performance, and high-end specs. Really, really fast charging on a massive new battery, and of course, decent cameras. Still got the alert slider, great haptics. So, it’s got a lot of good stuff, but we don’t have an international launch. So therefore, we don’t have a real price for this phone yet. So, I gotta withhold any of my official review-type judgment until then. Like, if it ends up being seven, eight, $900, which is probably about where it’ll land, I could see it being pretty reasonable, but anything higher than that, it’s competing with the big dogs and I think anything lower than that would be a surprise.

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