Summary: The OnePlus 10T is a fast-charging, mid-range phone with excellent performance but mediocre cameras
- 160W charging with charger supplied
- Great battery life
- Very quick
- Cameras are middling
- No IP rating
- No telephoto lens
The OnePlus 10T is a remarkable smartphone. That’s not because it has a great set of cameras, nor that it looks wonderful or that it’s faster than any phone that has gone before it. No. Its most notable achievement is how fast it charges.
Using the supplied USB-C cable and SuperVooc 160W charger it will charge to 50% in just eight minutes and 100% in around 20 minutes. Battery life is also pretty darned good but, assuming you can find a plug socket and you haven’t left your charger at home, it doesn’t really matter if your phone runs out of charge in the middle of the day.
OnePlus 10T review: What you need to know
Indeed, the 10T charges even faster than OnePlus’ more expensive flagship model. The OnePlus 10 Pro (£799) “only” uses 80W SuperVooc charging and takes around half an hour to reach full charge. That’s a whole ten minutes more.
This is an impressive upgrade and reason alone to choose the OnePlus 10T over the Pro in my view, but what’s even more impressive about the 10T is that it’s actually quite tough to see what the other differences are.
The OnePlus 10T’s display is the same size, measuring 6.7in across the diagonal, and uses a 120Hz AMOLED panel, just like the 10 Pro. The resolution is lower at 2,412 x 1,080 (versus 3,216 x 1,440) but you’d have to have pretty good eyesight to tell the difference at normal viewing distances.
The 10T is actually the more powerful phone, too, featuring the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC versus the regular 8 Gen 1 inside the Pro.
The key differences are that the 10T lacks an optical zoom camera on the rear and doesn’t have Hasselblad colour calibration – it only has regular wide (50MP, f/1,8) and ultrawide (8MP, f/2.2, 120-degree) cameras. It also misses out on an official IP rating.
OnePlus 10T review: Price and competition
The final subtle difference between the Pro and the 10T is that there’s no 512GB model in the UK. That means us Brits have only two variants of the OnePlus 10T to choose from.
The Moonstone Black model is the cheaper of the two at £629, and this comes with a textured matte finish, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The Jade Green model, on the other hand, costs £729 and has a glossy rear, 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. We were sent the latter to test for this review.
At these prices, the main alternative is the Google Pixel 6, which despite launching for £599 is now available for £450 at the time of writing and is on the cusp of being superseded by the Pixel 7. The Pixel 6 comes with 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and a 6.4in display.
The Samsung Galaxy S22, meanwhile, also has a 6.4in screen, 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage and costs around £600. The surprisingly good Asus Zenfone 9 is also a competent rival, and this costs £649. Of all these alternatives, only the Galaxy S22 comes with a telephoto camera lens, while the others pair a regular wide camera with an ultrawide.
OnePlus 10T review: Design and key features
At first glance, the OnePlus 10T looks much like the 10 Pro. At the rear it has a similar “induction hob” camera housing eating into the top-left quadrant. The edges are wrapped with a chromed, colour-matched frame, and at the front is a centre-mounted hole punch selfie camera interrupting a 6.7in display. Both phones weigh around the same – a smidge over 200g – and both are about the same size and thickness.
There are differences, of course, but they’re subtle. The display doesn’t have curved edges like the 10 Pro – it’s flat from edge to edge – and it uses Gorilla Glass 5 for protection instead of Gorilla Glass Victus. The rear glass (Gorilla Glass 5 again) bulges gradually to meet the camera bump rather than neatly butting up against it.
Sadly, there’s no IP rating, where the 10 Pro was certified to IP68. OnePlus says the 10T is splashproof but, with no official rating, you’d be advised to keep it away from moisture as much as possible.
Around the edges of the phone are more changes, not that you’d spot them if you weren’t already au fait with OnePlus phones of yore. You’ll find the volume rocker and the power buttons in the normal places – on the left and right edges respectively – plus a speaker grille, nano-SIM card slot and USB-C port on the bottom. There’s no 3.5mm jack or provision for microSD expansion, but those aren’t unusual omissions.
If you’ve ever owned a OnePlus phone, however, you’ll have spotted that I haven’t mentioned the trademark three-position “do not disturb” slider switch. That’s because there isn’t one. Citing lack of space in the chassis as the main reason for its absence, OnePlus has removed it. This is a shame, I think, as it’s something I’ve really enjoyed about OnePlus’ high-end smartphones in previous years.
However, you’ll only miss the feature if you’re moving up from a OnePlus 9 or an older handset and I don’t think the lack of it is enough reason to choose the OnePlus 10 Pro over the cheaper 10T.
OnePlus 10T review: Display
The same holds true for the 6.7in, 2,412 x 1,080 display, which isn’t as sharp as the 10 Pro but still performs more than adequately. It’s an AMOLED display, so the contrast ratio is effectively perfect, with rich and vivid colours and support for important stuff such as HDR 10+ and 10-bit colour. It also refreshes at up to 120Hz, just like the 10 Pro.
It doesn’t have the same levels of claimed peak brightness as the 10 Pro, which supposedly goes all the way up to 1,300cd/m² during HDR playback, but we measured it peaking at 476cd/m² in everyday usage, which is perfectly acceptable in most environments. Colour accuracy is fine as well, with a Delta E colour variance score of 1.49 against sRGB in the phone’s Natural colour mode.
As usual, OnePlus makes the most of the AMOLED technology by supplying a number of always-on screen options – information that appears on the screen while the phone is in standby – but this does appear rather dimly so it can be difficult to read in bright light.
Word to the wise, it’s also rather bizarrely not “always on” by default – you have to switch it into “All-day” mode if you want it to do that. In the default Power Save mode it will turn off if you leave the phone lying still for more than eight seconds.
OnePlus 10T review: Performance
Surprisingly, the chipset driving the OnePlus 10T is actually a small upgrade on the one behind the more expensive OnePlus 10 Pro. It uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which according to Qualcomm has 10% faster CPU and GPU performance, allied to better efficiency, promising improved battery life.
In testing, that performance increase was reflected only in the single-core Geekbench 5 results, which makes sense as only the single Performance core has received a clock frequency bump to 3.19GHz. That’s all well and good, but even here this is not an improvement you’re likely to notice in day-to-day use.In the GFXbench graphics tests, the average off-screen frame rates also indicate an increase in power although, as usual with OnePlus phones, the onscreen test didn’t pick up the 120Hz display, so at native resolution it’s only showing 60fps here.What’s even more encouraging is that the OnePlus 10T is also longer lasting. In our video rundown test, with the display locked to a brightness level of 170cd/m² and flight mode engaged, it lasted 24 hours dead on before powering down. That’s a good two hours longer than both the OnePlus 10 Pro and the OnePlus 9 from last year. It’s even further ahead of the Pixel 6 and the Zenfone 9, both of which put in disappointing showings in this particular element of testing.And more impressive than this is the speed at which this phone charges. Using the 160W SuperVooc USB-C charger included in the box, the OnePlus 10T charges from zero to 100% in around 20 minutes.
This makes it among the fastest-charging smartphones we’ve ever tested (the Xiaomi 12 Pro’s 120W is quoted at 18 minutes for a 100% charge), and it’s even quicker if you only need a quick boost to get you home as it charges to 50% in around eight minutes. What’s more, it doesn’t seem to heat up too much while doing so, which is a seriously impressive feat of engineering and an important consideration for long-term battery health.
OnePlus 10T review: Cameras
So far, I’ve largely had positive things to say about the OnePlus 10T compared to its more expensive sibling. However, the camera setup is one area in which it definitively isn’t superior. The first problem is that there’s no telephoto camera. All you get is a 50MP (f/1.8) wide camera, an 8MP (f/2.2) ultrawide camera with a 120-degree field of view and a rather pointless 2MP macro camera on the rear. There’s also a 16MP (f/2.4) selfie camera on the front.
Compared with the 10 Pro, which has a 50MP ultrawide camera with a 150-degree field of view and an 8MP 3.3x telephoto, this is a paltry selection. The quality isn’t particularly impressive either, especially when compared with the phone that has perhaps the best camera in this price bracket, the Google Pixel 6.
Don’t get me wrong, the photographs the OnePlus 10T captures look fine. But there are a number of weaknesses that mean it lags behind its rivals. In good light, for instance, detail capture is great but there’s a tendency towards overexposure and the colours can be a touch over-vibrant.Portrait mode is pretty good, too. In the comparison below you can see it does at least as good a job as the Pixel of cutting out my face and hair – although detail capture is a bit soft – and it’s a fair bit ahead of the pricier iPhone 13 Pro, which blurs out the tuft on the top of my head.The phone’s Night Mode, meanwhile, is a mixture of the deeply average and the poor. In addition to taking quite a while to capture as it fires off multiple frames and combines them, there’s a severe lack of detail and, once again, a tendency to overexpose the image. In the below comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro is the winner, although the Pixel 6 isn’t far behind. It captured much more detail than the OnePlus 10T, whose image is a blurry, mushy mess in places.For video, it’s a much more impressive story. The camera is not only able to shoot 10-bit 4K video at 60fps fully stabilised, but the digital zoom is smooth and the quality is excellent. Shifts in auto exposure can be a little abrupt when moving from light to dark scenes and you’ll need to be sure you’ve got a good level of charge when shooting as in the highest-quality settings the battery drains fast.
Otherwise, quality is decent and if you drop the resolution down to 1080p you can also apply a reasonably convincing fake background blur, too.
OnePlus 10T review: Verdict
The OnePlus 10T gets a lot of things right. It’s a fast-charging, long-lasting, super-responsive phone with a vibrant, smooth display. It looks great and it doesn’t cost the earth, either.
It does have its flaws, however. The cameras aren’t as good as they are on the Google Pixel 6 (£450), despite the fact that the 10T costs more, but there’s also no telephoto camera when the Samsung Galaxy S22 (£600) comes with one for about the same price. Not to mention that it doesn’t have an IP rating.
Ultimately, even taking into account such weaknesses, the OnePlus 10T is still a mighty fine mid-range smartphone. If you’re the type of person who often finds their phone has run down to an unusably low level of charge and you need a bit of a blast before leaving for work or returning home, then this is the ideal handset.