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OnePlus 10 Pro review: A balancing act

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OnePlus 10 Pro was being said to be a very important device for the company. The smartphone was believed to be the last turning point of OnePlus towards Oppo. However, this did not happen. We’re still left with a OnePlus device that tries to be itself. There’s a lot to talk about about the OnePlus 10 Pro, from the polarizing design to the Hasselblad 2.0 camera performance. The device sits comfortably in the premium range and is competing with both tried and tested brands like Samsung and Apple, as well as some relatively new brands like iQoo and Realme.

The delayed launch has also pinched a lot of OnePlus loyalists in countries other than India and China. Will the OnePlus 10 Pro be able to compensate for that delay? let’s find out.

oneplus 10 pro design and ergonomics

The design of the OnePlus 10 Pro could be polarizing

The design of the OnePlus 10 Pro is easily one of the most polarizing aspects of the smartphone. I had seen a lot of pictures and videos before the final performance and my thoughts didn’t change much after receiving the review unit. We had the Emerald Green variant. The Camera Island design is a bold move from OnePlus. I personally like the more simple OnePlus 9RT-like design. However, many people to whom I showed the device liked the unique camera island along with the emerald green rear panel.

Both the back and front of the phone are made of glass. The rear panel has a frosted finish. It does a great job of keeping fingerprints and blemishes away. The only drawback is that it tends to be a bit slippery. This can be easily resolved by using the cover bundled with the smartphone. Considering I’m not a fan of Emerald Green, in my opinion, the phone looked a lot better with the cover on.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The OnePlus 10 Pro (in) became famous after YouTuber Zack Nelson put the device through an endurance test. He is popularly known as JerryRig Everything. In the test, he imported OnePlus 10 Pro from China. During a twist test, he literally cut the phone in half. I didn’t want to put that kind of pressure on my review unit. However, I can verify that the device did not bend after applying light force.

Compared to the previous generation OnePlus 9 Pro, the OnePlus 10 Pro feels well balanced in terms of weight distribution. Good weight distribution and slim bezels actually make it feel a lot more compact than it actually is. The massive 6.7-inch display and equally huge 5,000mAh battery also manages well within the footprint of the device.

oneplus 10 pro display

oneplus 10 pro display, oneplus 10 pro design

OnePlus 10 Pro display is bright and vibrant

OnePlus 10 Pro is the first device from the manufacturer to get an AMOLED LTPO2 panel. This means that the refresh rate can vary from 1Hz to 120Hz according to the content on the display. The 6.7-inch panel could reach a peak brightness of 1300 nits and it seemed more than enough for the bright outdoors.

The 2K display is sharp and fun to use. The default is on FullHD+. You have to change it to 2K resolution in settings. A screen guard comes pre-installed with the phone but OnePlus has given Gorilla Glass Victus for protection.

The curve at the edges of the display is minimal and hits the right spot when it comes to the viewing experience and ergonomics. Touch response feels snappy, thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate.

oneplus 10 pro performance

OnePlus 10 Pro comes with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. It was one of the first few devices to be launched with a Gen 1 chip. But, by the time it was launched in India, there was a strong line-up of competition waiting for the 10 Pro. The chipset itself has been facing some criticism for throttling issues as well as heating. However, the OnePlus 10 Pro balances the thermals without compromising on performance.

In terms of gaming, whatever you throw at it, it will go further. I played both New State and BGMI with UltraHD graphics and at peak frame rates. The device handled it with ease. After 10 minutes of gaming at this graphics setting, your device will warm up but not be uncomfortable to hold. The temperature remained almost constant for the next 15 minutes of gaming.

In its day-to-day operations, OnePlus remained true to its core. The phone felt snappy. You can also adjust the animation speed to make it feel faster. Since OxygenOS is here to stay, for now, OnePlus loyalists won’t feel like they’re moving to a new UI.

oneplus 10 pro battery

oneplus 10 pro, oneplus 10, oneplus 10 pro battery

The OnePlus 10 Pro Back Cover that comes with the device. (Image: Danny D’Cruz)

The OnePlus 10 manages to retain the 5000mAh battery unit. Battery life came as a surprise to me. The LTPO2 display seems to be doing its job really well. In my testing, the device lasted more than a day. Despite playing the game on high settings for about 40 to 45 minutes, the phone did not turn me off. Instead, it lasted me another half day without charging. With light to moderate usage, you can extend this to 2 days of battery life as well. This battery experience is quite rare in the world of flagships.

The phone gets 80W fast charging support with a charging brick. The phone managed to give me a day’s battery life in 15-20 minutes of charge. While the OnePlus-Oppo merger has gone back into limbo, the charger still says SuperVOOC instead of the usual Dart charging on OnePlus devices. The underlying technology is the same.

oneplus 10 pro camera

oneplus 10 pro camera, oneplus 10 pro design

The gas burner camera design is available in OnePlus 10 Pro. Image: Danny D’Cruz

The OnePlus 10 Pro camera is a key feature due to the brand’s partnership with Hasselblad. However, the camera still remains the strap holding OnePlus’ real flagship capability. The color science has definitely improved with the new camera module. Shots taken on OnePlus are quite accurate in terms of tone. In addition, there is a glitch that still remains. Colors differed significantly in photos clicked using the 150-degree wide-angle lens and the primary 48-megapixel lens. OnePlus should be rolling out a fix for this problem.

Daylight shots are as great as expected, as with most other flagships in this price range. Low-light photos capture enough light and tones are accurate. However, the camera loses details to keep the noise level down. It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker though.

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oneplus 10 pro camera sample

OnePlus Camera UI is one of the fastest in the segment. You will definitely get the satisfaction of a quick click. Pro mode is also very easy to use. OnePlus still offers a pan mode for some unique looking frames. The telephoto lens is just 8-megapixels but you won’t be able to find a lot of flaws there.

OnePlus has upgraded the selfie camera to a 32-megapixel unit from last year’s 16-megapixels. The details are good but the images are not the sharpest in this segment. OnePlus does a good job of avoiding using excessive skin smoothing.

Decision

oneplus 10 pro colors, oneplus 10 pro design

OnePlus 10 Pro in Emerald Green

OnePlus 10 Pro has entered the Indian market a bit late as compared to its primary competition for the year 2022. However, the decision to keep OxygenOS alive may encourage long-term OnePlus users to jump to its latest and greatest. The 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant costs Rs 66,999 and the 12GB RAM, 256GB RAM variant costs Rs 71,999. This price brings it very close to the Samsung Galaxy S22 series. iQoo 9 Pro is another device with similar price and specifications. The Realme GT 2 Pro will also try for the same position. What works for the OnePlus 10 Pro is the balance the device strikes between performance, performance, battery, and camera. Not a hard choice to recommend.

OnePlus 10 Pro after review: A balancing act first appeared on BGR India.

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