I am very torn in talking about the new OnePlus 10T. Because yes, it is true that in general when the brand releases a mid-year update it does so with a slightly more snappy product than its latest flagship with a handful of slight refinements, but with the OnePlus 10T it is as if various features had to be sacrificed to focus everything on speed and maintain a price that is not exactly cheap, but at least competitive.
The newcomer at OnePlus is animated by the new Snapdragon 8+ Gen. 1, has an excellent 120 Hz display and super fast charging, but he had to say (temporarily) goodbye to the typical Alert Slider (and this happens for the first time time), water resistance and, above all, wireless charging. All shortcomings that in a smartphone that starts from a base price of 719 euros are perhaps a bit too much. And no, the absence of collaboration with Hasselblad doesn't interest me in the least.
In short, I am very torn in talking about the new OnePlus 10T. Also because we are talking about a good product that winks at gaming and that in everyday use is absolutely pleasant to use but that the company has included in a price range in which the competition is fierce: there it is Asus' Zenfone 9, the Motorola Edge 30 Pro, not to mention all the top of the range that have now fallen in price and the Google Pixels.
OnePlus 10T review: top hardware, but with some sacrifices
Design and materials
From the point of view of design, OnePlus 10T continues to follow the path of the OnePlus 10 Pro (review here), but with some rather important differences. The camera module continues to be the most distinctive element of the smartphone and has been inserted into a large cutout embedded in the back cover of the smartphone with very smooth lines. I like it but, you know, tastes are personal.
It is available in two colors: Moonstone Black, which the back cover features thin grooves that are very pleasant to the touch (which make it look almost like a vinyl record), and Jade Green which is the color we used for this review. And regardless of the color, both versions have a back cover protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 glass.
The volume rocker has been positioned on the left frame at a height that is perfectly reachable even when using the smartphone with one hand, while on the right side there is only the power button. No Alert Slider, therefore, and it is the first time this has happened since 2015. The reason for this choice was underlined by the company itself: apparently, OnePlus would have renounced the very comfortable slider for audio modes to make room for some of the characteristics that characterize OnePlus 10T, such as ultra-fast charging, a larger battery, and improvements to the phone's antennas.
It makes sense, but then not so much especially considering that it is a 163 × 75.4 × 8.75 mm smartphone. In short, if they really wanted to, I'm sure they would have found a way to integrate the slider, instead they preferred to give up one of the few features that made OnePlus unique. Pity.
The display of the OnePlus 10T is an excellent 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED, with a fullHD + resolution and an adaptive refresh rate that can reach a maximum of 120 Hz. Of course, it is not an LTPO type panel and has a pixel density per inch of 394 ppi, but it has a good peak brightness which in our tests exceeds by poco the 870 nits, and is compatible with HDR 10+.
In short, we are talking about a quality screen, with well-saturated and contrasted colors, a good balance of shades and a brightness capable of making it usable even in direct light conditions which, among other things, can be deeply customized: c ' it is also a “Pro” mode with which you can select a cinematic profile that manages to cover 100% of the P3 range and make the most of the native depth of the panel, which is 10 bit.
Then it has another gem. OnePlus 10T it is one of the few smartphones in this price range (except the top of the range of Xiaomi) to have a sampling frequency of the touch of 1000 Hz which, as we will see, tends to greatly improve the typing experience with the virtual keyboard and, above all, the experience involved. Finally, a note for the brightness and proximity sensors: they are not virtual and work very well in reading light.
Hardware and Performance
As anticipated, OnePlus 10T is part of the new generation of smartphones powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8+ Gen. 1. The attempt with which the brand tried to solve all the deep problems of the first Snap 8, abandoning Samsung and entrusting the production to TCMC with a 4 nm process. And, by now you will have understood, they have succeeded. Sure, this Snap 8+ is probably what the previous version should have been, but the important thing is that in the end they got there and kept their promises.
The RAM memory of the device can be 8 Gb or 16 GB and is of the LPDDR5 type, while the internal memory can be 128 GB or 256 GB and is of the UFS 3.1 type. In short, without turning around, OnePlus 10T is one of the fastest smartphones on the market, with which you can perform any operation without any slowdown and which is able to play games like Genshin Impact much better than the OnePlus 10 Pro, and with less overheating: with the 10 Pro I remember being successful to reproduce the game at maximum graphic definition with an average of about 50 fps and temperatures ranging from 45 to 49 degrees, while on the OnePlus 10T (with the same settings) the average framerate comes very close to 60 fps and the temperature barely exceeds 45 degrees.
It must be said, however, that those of OnePlus have been clever about the management of this Snap 8+. Now, it must be said that the dissipation system designed by the brand for its new smartphone works very well, but it is by looking at the benchmark results that we realize what the OnePlus engineers have done to "tame" the new Qualcomm SoC.
When I did the first benchmarks on the OnePlus 10T, I took it badly. Because, despite the new SoC, the new smartphone of the Oppo sub-brand scored 1055 points in Single-Core and 3398 points in Multi-Core on GeekBench and 872875 points in AnTuTu. Rather low scores, especially considering that the OnePlus 10 Pro (with the smooth Snap 8) scored 1002 points in Single-Core and 3353 points in Multi-Core on GeekBench and 941653 points on AnTuTu.
Strange, isn't it? But after some more in-depth tests, I was able to understand why by analyzing the graph deriving from the AnTuTu stress test: you will notice how, in 15 minutes of testing, the temperature has not undergone any substantial increase, but because actually the CPU performance and Operating frequencies of the Cores were abruptly curbed by OnePlus. In a nutshell, in "normal" mode (and now you will understand why I use this term), the brand has opted for a super conservative management of the Snap 8+, limiting the processor and pushing it to touch many points of minimum at 20%, with an average of about 50% of real performance.
And after seeing these bad results, I asked myself: how is it possible that I managed to get those performances in the game, with such a neutered SoC? But the answer is much simpler than it seems, and it can be found in the smartphone settings. Because it is by entering the section relating to the battery and activating the high performance mode that things change profoundly.
In fact, with this setting, OnePlus 10T scored 1032463 points in AnTuTu, and the result of the AnTuTu stress test has also changed profoundly. As you can see from the image above, by activating the high performance mode the management of the SoC is totally different: practically, for the first 10 minutes of the test the CPU cores worked almost at maximum, and the performance rose to an average. 80%, and then settle at 60% for the last few minutes of the test. So, some trhottling is there, but it's more than normal and overall system performance isn't affected.
Now, the question arises: it goes without saying that an average user doesn't get to activate the high-performance mode every time, so how come when you start a game (without activating the mode) you get these results? The answer is in the game mode: in my tests I noticed that, when activated, the device is immediately set in the high performance mode. Mystery solved: she is a crafty one. Perhaps also due to the presence of some software functions such as the GPA which reduces the fluctuation of the framerate during the game, the GLC or an algorithm that controls the load on the GPU optimizing consumption and performance.
But I honestly don't understand why, especially considering that with "Normal performance" over the course of the test OnePlus 10T it had a temperature increase of 4.5 ° and a battery drain of 4%, which is the same as it had in "High Performance" mode, with a temperature increase of 4.1 °. In a nutshell, the choice of the brand is useless, and if they had thought of making it go to the maximum by default they would have made a fairer choice. Also because there is a massive passive dissipation system with a vapor chamber with 8 channels and various layers including a 3D graphite sheet which, technically, should dissipate 50% better than a normal graphite layer.
And after this pippone, let's get back to the obvious. Good audio in the capsule, excellent connection to cellular networks and fast WiFi networks, and good stereo audio which, however, is also generated using the ear capsule. The fingerprint sensor under the screen is also quite fast, and it is ultrasonic.
As for cameras, I get straight to the point: with the OnePlus 10T the company could have gone a little further than it did. Ok, in the brand's new smartphone the collaboration with Hasselblad disappears (goodbye my dear collaboration, I won't miss you), but the fault of the slightly subdued performance of the photographic sector of the OnePlus 10T they do not depend on it.
Assuming that the presence of a 2 megapixel macro I think is the most useless thing of the smartphone, in reality the real "limit" of these cameras is hardware: OnePlus 10T integrates an optically stabilized 766 megapixel Sony IMX50 main sensor, flanked by an ultra-wide 8 megapixel fixed focus sensor. Practically, OnePlus 10T it has the same cameras as the OnePlus Nord 2T (review here) which, in turn, were the same as the OnePlus Nord 2 (review here) which is now less than 300 euros.
Let's be clear, the quality of the photos is always more or less convincing, at least when using the main camera, and it is clear how much the OPPO-Realme-OnePlus triptych has managed to optimize Sony's sensor: the management of the dynamic range is good, HDR is never too invasive, and images are always well saturated. But it lacks that extra something to be defined as excellent, for a smartphone that still costs more than 700 euros.
And even at night the results are the same. Also thanks to the optical stabilizer, photos taken with the main camera of OnePlus 10T they are good and very pleasant to look at but, whether you are shooting during the day or shooting at night, the gap with the ultra-wide camera is very marked: with the ultra wide-angle lens it is very evident that you are using a less bright lens with an unstabilized sensor with fixed focus. Which, then, leads to a decidedly different management of lights, as well as the management of dynamic range and colors. Personally, then, I would have preferred that OnePlus had eliminated the 2 megapixel macro, in favor of a zoom that is not too pushed, like a 3x. But, at that point, he would have had to opt for another sensor.
Good videos, which reach the maximum resolution of 4k at 60 fps, and which I particularly liked in terms of stabilization, especially with the main camera. The handling of the dynamic range is good, the colors pleasant and it is also possible to shoot with an AI mode that optimizes the scene settings (but only with the main sensor). With the ultra-wide instead, the lack of the optical stabilizer is struggling a little, but the EIS does a great job.
In short, as for video, even at night, the whole OPPO experience is particularly felt, and the results I must admit are quite good.
To animate OnePlus 10T Android 12 customized with the OxygenOS 12.1 takes care of it which, as far as I continue to like it stylistically, continues to be a little confusing since OPPO and OnePlus have merged. The good news, however, is that the brand includes three major Android updates and 4 years of security patches, which is not bad.
The graphic style is very similar to what we find in the ColorOS and some of the functions we have already seen in OPPO smartphones are integrated, such as Zen Mode, but there is also the OnePlus Self, which however is activated with a swipe towards the low starting from the right corner, making it a bit confusing and rather uncomfortable.
In short, without going around it too much: I like the graphic interface of the OxygenOS, it is clean, fluid, fast and on OnePlus 10T it practically never slows down: the smartphone is one of the smoothest and fastest I have had the opportunity to try in recent times. What just doesn't drive me crazy is the graphic and functional inconsistency born after the union of the OPPO and OnePlus GUIs, which could have been handled better.
Battery and recharge
The battery and charging the OnePlus 10T however, they are amazing. Under the body, the smartphone hides a double-module 4800 mAH battery which, although not among the most capacious in the category and is able to overcome about 6 hours of screen on with a very stressful use, is accompanied by a super charge. fast that the brand called UPERVOOC Endurance Edition at 150 Watts, which allows reload from 1 to 100% in about 19 minutes. And it does so thanks to an algorithm called Smart Battery Health Algorithm that constantly controls the flow of current and regulates it with great precision and thanks to a continuous regeneration system of the electrodes that occurs during charging. And it works really well.
What has left me perplexed, however, are the autonomy in relation to the conservative management that OnePlus has decided to give to the SoC, but I am more than aware that it is a factor that an average user will not even feel, but above all the absence of any wireless charging system: I know that many of you will think that this is not a big loss, but I am of the opinion that such a smartphone deserves this technology. Sin.
Price and considerations
The selling price of OnePlus 10T is 719 euros for the 8/128 version and 819 euros for the 16/256 version. It will be on sale starting from August 25th and can be pre-ordered starting from August 11th on Amazon and OnePlus.com taking advantage of an interesting promo: a 40% discount on the OnePlus Buds Pro and 60% on the OnePlus Buds Z2, as well as being able to win other gifts such as covers and screen protectors. Finally, registered users of the Red Cable Club will receive triple the Red Coins by pre-ordering the 10T.
And let's get to the point: it is a smartphone of excellent quality, with performances that can reach very important values that the company wanted to optimize even for those who want a device to play. It is well built, has a great flat screen and super fast charging which in this price range is not that obvious to find.
However, it lacks that extra something to be defined as the return of the flagship killer, but it is one of the smartphones that at least come closest to the "old OnePlus": it is really a shame that the company has renounced the IP certification, the recharge wireless and did not do something more on the cameras because, if he had given the attention they deserve to these little things, even the old fans of the brand would have been satisfied. And, dear OnePlus, give us the Alert Slider back.