We tested the OnePlus 10 Pro: the most important mobile in OnePlus history

The OnePlus 10 Pro marks the beginning of a new era for the manufacturer; one in which you will try to find your own site in an increasingly competitive market with increasingly popular ‘sister brands’.

Starting a new era means, inevitably, that the ‘usual’ OnePlus no longer exists. That became abundantly clear when co-founder Carl Pei left to create the spectacularly designed, and when the development teams at . The current OnePlus is a brand more focused on ‘synergizing’ with the rest of the BBK group brands: Oppo and Realme; It is no coincidence that many of its launches, such as the recent one, are adapted versions of mobiles of those brands.

Therefore, analyzing the OnePlus 10 Pro as if it were from the same OnePlus that gave us some of the best phones in Android history is somewhat unfair. No, this is not a “OnePlus like the old ones”, but does it need to be? Can’t it just be a good mobile? That’s what I had to discover in my test.

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That is the feeling that the OnePlus 10 Pro has given me: that it would like to do different things to find its place within the market and the BBK organization; but at the same time you are somewhat limited by the parts you have to use. The design, which in its day was the fundamental pillar of OnePlus, is a good example of this internal confrontation.

The austere and elegant aspect of the OnePlus 10 Pro, either in the Volcanic Black (black) color of the unit that I have tested, or in the Emerald Forest (green), is broken by the set of cameras, a decision that in its day sparked some discussion on the internet. The effect is as if the cameras “come out” from the side of the mobile, as they are housed in a compartment with a glossy treatment compared to the matte one on the back.

It is a design that has given much to talk about, both good and bad; Personally, I don’t dislike it, although I fully understand that someone may find it ugly: I think the lack of symmetry is largely to blame, and perhaps removing or lowering the brand logo could help. But I think that those criticisms of the design would disappear if everyone could have the mobile in their hands.

The OnePlus 10 Pro is one of the most comfortable and easy to wear I’ve tried, despite the large screen size. Part of the culprit is the ‘roughness’ of the back, which not only gives a very attractive matte appearance, but also feels very good in the hand. But what I really liked is the way that OnePlus has implemented the curved screen, which is basically not implementing it. It sounds weird, I know. Although the OnePlus 10 Pro uses a curved screen, the side borders are relatively thick, so the panel doesn’t completely cover the lateral curvature; that can be seen as a bad thing, and I have no doubt that it is cheaper to do it that way, but in my case, I don’t like curved screens, I see it as the perfect balance. You have a certain curvature that adds a lot of elegance to the device, but you don’t suffer from the usual problems like unnecessary touches or image distortion.

In short, I consider this to be a beautiful mobile, although not striking at first glance.

Nothing to object in hardware

It is also a powerful mobile, and although it may not seem like it, the design is related to this. Like most high-end Android phones, the OnePlus 10 Pro uses Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1; and like the rest, it has had to deal with the big problem of that chip, which gets too hot. In many of the models that I have tried, this translates into discomfort when we run heavy apps (with the Realme GT 2 Pro I got to ‘burn’ my fingers).

I think OnePlus’s implementation of this processor is the best I’ve seen so far, because it doesn’t get as hot and that allows the processor to be ‘at full throttle’ for longer as it isn’t forced to reduce power to avoid hardware damage.

The tests that I have carried out have confirmed this theory, both the synthetic ones and the real ones. In ‘benchmarks’ apps it has achieved good scores, one of the best so far on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mobile and therefore, the best on an Android mobile that it has tested so far. It’s a performance that carries over perfectly to real applications, especially in video games, where I’ve noticed less ‘hitting’ (or none at all) in the most demanding titles.

In fact, when it comes to hardware, I have no complaints whatsoever with the OnePlus 10 Pro. All the components are at the level of a high-end mobile, of what we could expect from a mobile that has to face the best. From the market. The screen is another example, a large 6.7-inch OLED panel that is perfect for watching movies and series thanks to its great treatment of colors. The execution of HDR content is good, if somewhat variable, in the sense that in some videos I have been pleasantly surprised, and in others I have missed a higher brightness. In the settings we can find an option “HDR brightness video mode”, which can help stabilize the brightness when we play HDR video, but it is something that should come by default.

At least, what does come by default is the charger in the box, something that you will appreciate because this OnePlus 10 Pro is compatible with 80 W SuperVOOC charging; so charges from the 5,000 mAh battery last a mere half hour in my tests. It is one of the fastest on the market, although there are already some that have exceeded the 100 W barrier, such as the .

Cameras: They’re okay, but they don’t deserve the hype

It is obvious that OnePlus wanted to give importance to the cameras and its alliance with Hasselblad, despite the fact that it is no longer exclusive (Oppo also has cameras with that brand); hence the inclusion of the name of the famous Swedish manufacturer, but OnePlus goes a step further by including the acronym “P2D 50T” in the flash, as if it were a secret code, but the truth is that it is something stupid: P stands for “Phone” , phone, “2D” means “second generation Hasselblad mobile” and “50T” means “50 megapixel triple-lens camera”.

It’s not just nonsense, it’s also a lie: the main camera is 48 MP, the wide angle is 50 MP, and lastly, the telephoto lens is 8 MP. It seems that OnePlus is shooting itself in the foot with the marketing of the cameras, because once you ignore the brand and the code, the truth is that they are not bad, but they are not as good as one would expect with so much promotion.

Interestingly, the main sensor is the least surprising, more than anything because it is the same Sony IMX789 that we have already seen in other OnePlus phones and the competition. The photos you get are good, and OnePlus’s algorithms do well not to touch them too much, although that’s a negative point when the scene isn’t the best. Nothing surprising or that we have already seen dozens of times just in the last year.

More striking is the wide angle, not so much because of the higher resolution (which does not translate into sharper images), but because of the 150-degree angle that we can activate and that allows us to capture practically everything in front of us; albeit at the cost of some edge distortion, as expected. Finally, the telephoto lens will help us when it comes to capturing distant details, but I’ve seen too good implementations (from Samsung or Huawei, for example) for this one to be worth mentioning.

Software: a new era

The most controversial, negative and worrying aspect of the OnePlus 10 Pro is, without a doubt, in its software, the new OxygenOS 12; It is the first version developed based on Color OS, the system used by Oppo mobiles, and the result of merging the development teams of both brands.

I’ll be honest: not good. It’s several steps back from the software advances made by OnePlus when it was developing its own Android layer. But I also have to say that it has the potential to go back to what it was, it’s just that OnePlus (and probably Oppo) will have to work a lot to get there.

The design is one of the many symptoms of this union. Although the general lines continue to have that OnePlus style, such as the colors or the font, some things do not change at all compared to its ‘brother’ Color OS; for example, the round icons, which we have associated with the OnePlus brand for years, have been replaced by square Oppo icons.

At least it includes some interesting new features, such as a new widget menu that we can open just by swiping down on the right side. It’s really useful if we don’t want to fill the home screen with widgets, since it allows us to display all the information we need at once; It is an addition that I liked a lot. It’s also a relatively lightweight system that doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary additives, and it’s able to make good use of the power of the Snapdragon processor.

In exchange, we lose many of the options and functions present in past versions. The camera app, for example, is exactly the same as Oppo’s, and therefore there are fewer options and the ones that exist are harder to find. The same can be said for the configuration menus and the few pre-installed apps.

But the worst part is that the implementation of OxygenOS 12 is clearly lacking development time, and that affects the operation of the excellent hardware used. The biggest flaw is in the management of the refresh rate of the screen. Like other mobiles, this OnePlus 10 Pro is not really constantly displaying the screen at 120 Hz; to save battery life, it’s capable of going down to 60 Hz, 30 Hz, or even 1 Hz if the image is still. But the implementation of the algorithm that controls this could be improved, and it’s easy to see how the screen hits “jumps” just by being in menus. It is also very noticeable when we put a YouTube video and we want to read comments or continue looking for videos in the meantime; at such times, the app’s interface stutters and doesn’t respond as well to our touches as it does at the speed of the video.

My hope is that these types of problems will be fixed with future updates; is a…

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