OnePlus 10 Pro review: we are at the top, but not in everything

I have to admit, it's been at least a couple of years that I have been quite disappointed with the top-of-the-range smartphones that the companies have presented. In the sense, ok, they have always had incredible power, but it is as if the market had been stuck at a crossroads for some time, and in some cases the new generations seemed even worse than the previous ones. The fault is certainly also Qualcomm's processors or Sony's sensors but, let's face it, now the top of the Android range are (almost) all the same.

Lately the real "wow effect" is being found more in the mid-range, because it is more and more likely to find yourself buying a smartphone around 500/600 euros, able at least to amaze for its value for money.

And this trend, unfortunately, we are reliving it also in this early 2022. Xiaomi has opened the dance with its Xiaomi 12 (here the review) and Xiaomi 12 Pro (the review will be released very soon), IQOO put his own, and even when the star of today's review was presented, the OnePlus 10 Pro, I immediately had the feeling that it was a model whose biggest novelty was only the appearance.

Using it, however, I had to think again at least a little, especially comparing it to the previous generation: at the cost of spoiling my considerations immediately, not only did I come to the conclusion that this new OnePlus 10 Pro is really able to guarantee the brand a rightful place in the world of ultra-premium phones, but also that those of OnePlus for now have been the only ones to be able (really) to manage the new Snapdragon 8 Gen. 1 properly, a very powerful SoC, but just as complex due to overheating.

OnePlus 10 Pro review: features, display, performance, battery, cameras and availability in Italy

Unboxing - OnePlus 10 Pro

The packaging of the OnePlus 10 Pro it is the usual, typical, beautiful box that the company has accustomed us to: it is red, has a rubberized coating, and is well organized. Inside we find:

  • OnePlus 10 Pro;
  • 80W power supply with USB Type-C input;
  • USB Type-C / Type-C cable;
  • silicone cover;
  • pin for the SIM slot;
  • manuals.

Design and materials

Large 163 x 73.9 x 8.55 mm and weighing 200 grams, the OnePlus 10 Pro it is certainly not among the most compact smartphones of this early 2022, quite the contrary. The new flagship model of the brand is rather bulky and difficult to use with one hand, but although I am more a fan of compact models like the Xiaomi 12, I must admit that the excellent weight balance of the OnePlus 10 Pro it tends to reduce the "annoyance" due to the size, making the handle very comfortable.

And the merit is certainly also of the frosted glass back cover, which continues to be smooth but with a good grip, and which is able to handle fingerprints and any specks of dust particularly well. Which, for example, does not happen with the new, very large and very recognizable camera bump. And I'll tell you right away, I like it a lot: although some users are not of my opinion, this huge square positioned in the upper area of ​​the back cover of OnePlus 10 Pro I think it has its own why, but it is a pity that apparently the specks of dust and fingerprints also like it a lot.

Actually, however, I do not feel I can blame even the people who criticized it in recent days, pointing out that it was only a scenographic thing: because yes, it looks like a configuration with four lenses, but in reality it has only three, it seems that has a circular flash, but instead it's just a typical dual-tone flash. In short, it is clear that those of OnePlus have thought of such a camera bump only with the aim of making the device recognizable, but in my opinion they have hit the target very well.

The power key and the typical physical switch to change the notification modes are positioned on the right side, while on the left there is the volume rocker which is just as easy to reach. The audio is stereo, but not with two symmetrical speakers as in the Xiaomi 12, and this year the IP68 certification disappears. Strange but true.

Display

Compared to that seen in last year's model, the display of the OnePlus 10 Pro it has remained almost the same. The diagonal is 6.7 ", it is still a Samsung E4 panel with a 1440P resolution and a refresh rate of 120 Hz, which means that by upgrading from a 9 Pro to a 10 Pro you will not notice any difference in performance. image (which is still excellent), but there are two differences compared to the previous generation.

First I noticed that the fingerprint sensor integrated into the screen has been positioned slightly higher, making unlocking the device much more convenient, but most importantly, the display of the OnePlus 10 Pro uses an LTPO 2.0 panel, just like the Xiaomi 12 Pro.

Basically, the second generation of LTPO is very similar to the ProMotion, and allows the refresh rate to be managed adaptively from 1 Hz to 120 Hz. Apparently, however, it is a technology that varies a lot according to the management. decided by the brand that uses it and, for example, between the Xiaomi 12 Pro and the OnePlus 10 Pro, there are quite marked differences.

Despite the possibility of going down to 1Hz, I have noticed that on the OnePlus 10 Pro the minimum achievable refresh rate is 5Hz (there are 10 on the Xiaomi) but, above all, I found that the refresh rate in LTPO 2.0 depends a lot on brightness. For example, to reach 5Hz in the OnePlus 10 Pro, the brightness must be set to the maximum, otherwise with an average brightness it stops at 10Hz and, even, with a minimum brightness it returns to 120Hz.

On the Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro instead there is a very different behavior, but this is the OnePlus review: we will talk about the behavior of Xiaomi's LTPO 2.0 in its review.

Either way, there is poco to say on the screen of the OnePlus 10 Pro: it is bright, has deep blacks, is contrasted and has a good balance of colors and whites. The images seem almost printed on a sheet of paper. In short, it is a mr display.

Hardware and performance - OnePlus 10 Pro

To animate the OnePlus 10 Pro one thinks about it Snapdragon 8 Gen. 1 which, in our sample, is flanked by 8 GB of RAM of the LPDDR5 type and 256 GB of internal memory of the UFS 3.1 type. And so yes, without going around it too much, it is a configuration capable of guaranteeing maximum performance in practically any operation possible with a smartphone, and that in gaming gives its best also thanks to some improvements introduced by OnePlus type l 'Hyper Response Engine, which decreases input lag, and Ultra Stady Frames mode which makes images smoother when the frame rate decreases and I'll tell you: it works, I like it, we have already seen it in the OnePlus 9RT and I hope that the company integrates it throughout its new lineup.

That said, in the In Proof group with Giz, in which we publish the backstage of our reviews before the official publication, users' questions were very clear: il OnePlus 10 Pro heats up because of Snap 8 Gen. 1? And, consequently, how does it handle thermal throtteling? It seems that by now the vast majority of users who understand a little, are terrified by the temperatures of the new Snap SoC and it is actually, how to blame him?

So let's get to the point: OnePlus 10 Pro it is undoubtedly the smartphone in which the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has been best handled. If you remember the review of the Xiaomi 12, due to overheating I was unable to carry out the AnTuTu stress test, well despite the results of the benchmarks made on this OnePlus are even slightly higher than those of the Xiaomi 12, on the newcomer at home OP I managed to complete the AnTuTu stress test without problems, with a temperature that has of poco exceeded 43 degrees.

If we really want to be honest, the stability of the performance is not exactly the best (take a look at the screenshot of the stress test in the gallery above), but it is a detail that I could not analyze on the Xiaomi, precisely because it became a sort of radiator. So, the point is this, if you want to try a Snap 8 Gen 1, right now the best choice would be to buy OnePlus 10 Pro. Alternatively, you could wait a few months to evaluate the software refinements of other brands.

With that clear, all the rest of the hardware of the OnePlus 10 Pro is of a high standard: the audio in the capsule is good, as well as the reception of the cellular network and the WiFi connectivity. What slightly disappointed me is the stereo speaker system: let's be clear, the audio is of excellent quality, but the choice to use the ear capsule as a speaker made the stereo effect a little unbalanced.

Cameras

A rather frequent question you asked us in Telegram group InProof with Giz is about the cameras: you asked us if the collaboration with Hasselblad this year brought real benefit to the photos and if OnePlus 10 Pro, with this configuration, it is able to compete with the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Indeed, I am of the opinion that the photographic sector has even made a (half) step backwards compared to the previous generation.

Sul OnePlus 10 Pro there are three cameras, there is the main 48 megapixel camera, a new 50 megapixel ultra-wide angle lens and an 3.3 megapixel 8x telephoto lens. The monochrome camera is missing and, ok, no one will miss it, but if the main camera continues to be 48 megapixel with a 1 / 1.43 "sensor, the real step back in my opinion has been made on the ultra-wide. But first things first.

Photographs taken with the main camera of OnePlus 10 Pro they are definitely good, indeed, it must be admitted that compared to last year the company has optimized their performance even more. The photos are rich in details, the contrast is good, the dynamic range management is excellent, and all those problems related to that "greenish" effect that in some cases ruined the shots of the OnePlus 9 Pro have been solved. lens is excellent, and it is both day and night mode photos.

On the ultra-wide, however, those of OnePlus have totally changed their strategy. The 9 Pro was one of the best smartphones of 2020 in terms of ultra-wide angle, thanks to its FreeForm lens and large 1 / 1.56 "sensor. It used an excellent sensor and optics, which in the OnePlus 10 Pro have been abandoned in favor of a super-boosted 150 ° fisheye lens which yes, in some cases is able to guarantee super fun shots thanks to the huge Field of View, but which qualitatively has taken many steps backwards and does not even integrate the autofocus.

Let's be clear, in good lighting conditions the photos taken with this ultra-wide lens are still of a good standard, the management of the dynamic range and color is good, and if you use the "traditional" mode the lens is used as an ultra -wide more traditional also thanks to the software processing that "cleans" the image. But there are problems due to the fisheye that no artificial intelligence algorithm will ever be able to manage due to the chromatic aberrations along the edges of the photos, or to some halos that could appear if you shoot in night mode with light sources in the frame. In short, the idea is not bad and it is to be appreciated that OnePlus has tried to create something different, but the results could be better.

And 3x zoom is also a bit controversial. Again, the main limitation of this camera is the sensor size: a feature that tends to make handling of the dynamic range worse when compared to that of the other two cameras. Fortunately, however, the telephoto lens is also optically stabilized, which makes it possible to take decent images, both day and night. As I see it, they could have worked better on this zoom too, because the fact that it is neutered by a sensor that is not quite up to it sometimes makes the shots rather lacking in personality.

The videos are all in all good, they can be recorded at the maximum resolution of 8k at 24 Fps, but even here there are differences based on the camera used: the main one has no resolution limit, but with the telephoto lens you can record only in 1080p, while with ultra-wide it is not possible to record video in fisheye mode. And this is a pity, because if it could have been done, this OnePlus 10 Pro it could have generated images similar to those of an action camera. Sin.

Software

The Global, the one officially distributed also here in Italy, of this one OnePlus 10 Pro comes with onboard Android 12 with OxygenOS 12.1, and this is the real difference compared to the Chinese version distributed with ColorOS, a ROM with many advantages but which continues to be not the right solution when used in our country, at least as far as I'm concerned.

It is also true, however, that the OXYGEN the more time passes, the more it collects similarities with the coloros but this can only be a PRO: the interface is always very clean and traditionally similar to Google experience, with the addition of a few extra features, such as a game mode, aesthetic customization opportunities, and much more.

As usual, a reliable software suitable for those looking for both simplicity and a range of customization possibilities without necessarily overdoing it.

Battery

Under the body, OnePlus 10 Pro hides a huge 5000 mAh battery which, together with the LTPO 2.0 display, allows it to obtain a slightly higher autonomy than that obtained with the OnePlus 9 Pro. To give practical examples, half an hour of video playback with 120 Hz display and medium / high brightness would drain the battery by about 13%, while playing CoD for the same time at maximum graphics settings would drain about 14% of the charge. From this point of view, the results obtained by OnePlus are not bad.

What puzzled me, however, is the charging speed, and I come straight to the point: I remember that with the OnePlus 9 Pro it took about 30 minutes for a full charge, but on the OnePlus 10 Pro in my tests it took 33. Ok, the battery is bigger, but the charger is also more powerful which is capable of delivering 80w of power. Good performance of 50w wireless charging.

Price and conclusions

OnePlus 10 Pro officially arrives in Europe through the company's store at a slightly higher price than the Chinese variant already available for a few weeks; there is talk of € 919,00 for the 8 / 128GB version and € 999,00 for the 12 / 256GB variant

But summing up, how is this OnePlus 10 Pro? It is undoubtedly the best smartphone with Snap 8 Gen 1, and on that one there is poco to do. Compared to the previous generation, the touch and feel this time is really a premium phone, and in some features those of OnePlus have really made progress.

Too bad for the lack of IP certification, for the charging speed which is practically the same as that of the 9 Pro and for the choice made for the ultra-wide: taking pictures with a field of view of 150 ° is really fun, but the he absence of the Freeform lenses seen in the 9 Pro is felt quite a lot. And then, come on, OnePlus should have given way to be able to record videos as well.

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