OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging

OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
  • OnePlus 10T was launched today at a price of ₹49,999
  • OnePlus 10T is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 + Gen 1 SoC.
  • The smartphone comes with a 4800mAh battery and comes with a 160W SuperVooc charger.
It’s that time of the year when OnePlus has topped up its premium smartphone portfolio with the OnePlus 10T. It’s the third smartphone in the 10-series from the company, and unsurprisingly, it has taken a different approach than usual this year. In April, we saw the launch of the flagship OnePlus 10 Pro; later that month, we also got the OnePlus 10R. There’s no base variant like the OnePlus 9 (no OnePlus 10), and similar for the first time. Instead, the brand has released an R and T variant for the device. It started as a yearly or mid-year update, this is the quickest we have seen a T-variant for a flagship device to come out. So, what does the OnePlus 10T misses out on or add for the consumer? How does it differentiate itself from the other two variants? I answer these questions in my review.

Price & Availability

OnePlus 10T starts at a price of ₹49,999 for the 8GB RAM & 128GB storage variant. There is also a variant with 12GB RAM & 256GB storage available for ₹54,999. And finally, a variant with 16GB RAM & 512GB storage is available for ₹55,999. You can pre-order the OnePlus 10T from today, and buy it from August 6th on Amazon and OnePlus’s official website.

OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
OnePlus 10T's design resembles OnePlus 10 Pro

OnePlus 10T breaks away from the tradition of a completely new style treatment we have seen lately on T variants. I say this because the 10T looks identical to the 10 Pro, with minor changes noticeable only after close observation. So far, a couple of my peers have confused it with the 10 Pro. That's good news for 10T buyers since you are getting the premium appeal at a discounted price.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
OnePlus 10T is a chunky device at 203 grams.

Complimentary Tech Event
Transform talent with learning that works
Capability development is critical for businesses who want to push the envelope of innovation.Discover how business leaders are strategizing around building talent capabilities and empowering employee transformation.Know More
It does not carry the Hasselblad badging, but the camera island is identical and flush like the 10 Pro. Initially, I was not a big fan of this design, but it does grow on you. The similarity also means you get a premium feel while using it. The OnePlus 10T feels solid in hand and definitely makes its presence felt. It doesn't feel like a nerfed-down variant, at least from a design standpoint. The color variant with me is the Jaded Green, a lighter shade of the emerald green we see on the 10 Pro. While this color looks decent, I personally found the moonstone black color more attractive.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Camera module on OnePlus 10T wobbles, but putting on a case solves the issue to a large extent.

The phone is also well built, with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection in the front and back. Note that the Pro variant has the superior Gorilla Glass Victus. Still, it's a good addition and does its job well; the difference isn't as noticeable. Although it is a big-screen phone and a bit heavy at 203 grams, the weight distribution is satisfactory. The in-hand feel is also acceptable. However, note that users with small hands will have difficulty reaching both corners of the screen.

The build quality also convinces you to use the device without a case, but like with most phones, the aluminum edges tend to take scratches over time.

It misses the official IP rating. Yes, it is a revised variant of the flagship, but the price tag never comes under the budget segment bracket. So, skipping on providing an official IP rating is a surprise in 2022, to say the least.

Another major turn-off for me was the absence of the alert slider, which is used to change sound profiles. In my Nord CE 2 review, I pointed out that the alert slider is OnePlus’s hardware identity, which helps it stand apart. And even then, I was worried that this trend of skipping it would jump over to the main line-up someday. And so it did. Signs were there when it was absent on the 10R, with the general understanding that it’s a budget device, but skipping it on 10T confuses me. There can be more ways of differentiating between the flagship and other devices, like skipping on wireless charging, which this phone does. More comments later, but skipping out on a signature feature is a bold move. OnePlus says this is not the end of the alert slider, and I hope they stick to their word. I can rant about it more, but I am aware that a general consumer might not bother much with it since it doesn’t affect the overall user experience. However, as a reviewer, it’s important to show my concern.

Other design factors are generic; on the left side, you will find the volume rockers, and on the right is a power button. You will find a USB Type-C charging port on the bottom, with a speaker grill and SIM card slot on either side. The OnePlus 10T supports two nano SIMs.

OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
You get a 6.7-inch FHD+ Fluid AMOLED display on the 10T

OnePlus has not cut any corners with the display of the 10T. It’s a 6.7-inch 2412 x 1080P Fluid AMOLED screen with a max refresh rate of 120Hz. With practically no bezels and a punch-hole outlay, it’s a classic OnePlus screen. Big & bright, and beautiful to look at. The color reproduction is accurate with the output looking crystal clear. Blacks are very deep, and I have not noticed any out-of-place white patches on the screen that might spoil my experience.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
OnePlus 10T has a max refresh rate of 120Hz, and a standard refresh rate of 60Hz, the display is smooth to interact with.

It also supports HDR10+, which kicks in when you watch content on OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. So the experience of consuming content with the 10T is at par with higher-end devices. I have been watching one movie every day since I got it, along with watching Youtube videos, and I have no complaints so far.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
The display retains details and natural colors.

The display is also responsive and is yet to miss out on any of my commands. Interacting with the device is easy, and you work in unison with it. Initially, the in-display fingerprint sensor was missing out frequently, not identifying my thumb. However, this issue was fixed once I deleted it and fed it into a new biometric. And now it works effortlessly. This was one of two minor bugs I noticed on the device.

The peak brightness on offer is 950 nits, which is lower than the one on 10 Pro, but still, it’s decent. However, reading off of it can be tricky if the sun is directly over you. Also, I don’t really prefer the auto brightness on the 10T. It seems to miss out on the brightness level I like and seldom gets it right.

Coming back to the positives, it’s a delight to play games with this display. The 120Hz refresh rate with standard OnePlus screen responsiveness adds a solid punch to the experience. Switching the axis, changing your weapons in a game, or simply reading something on a web page it’s all fluid and easy.

There is also an always on display on the 10T, which is not surprising. It’s the standard OnePlus interface, but as useful as it always is. Overall against the QHD+ panel on the 10 Pro, this FHD+ panel holds up pretty well.

The display is paired with a dual speaker set-up which is really loud and crisp. The earpiece doubles up as one of the speakers, and the other one is bottom-firing. The audio output is also detailed and has decent treble to it as well. A common problem persists, though, with the bottom-firing speaker being covered when you hold the device.

Software Experience
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
OnePlus 10T runs on Android 12 out of the box

OnePlus 10T runs on Android 12 out of the box and combines it with Oxygen OS 12.1. Right off the bat, the Oxygen OS maintains its legacy, and we see minimal bloatware on the device. Then, of course, the OnePlus store apps and Netflix are there that can be uninstalled.

OnePlus has mastered the Oxygen OS by now, and the experience on the 10T is mostly stable.

You can do quite a bit with the aesthetics on the 10T, with the phone allowing you to customize themes, colors and app icon designs. I personally like keeping my icons small and in the pebble outlay. It just looks better on the screen.

The app icon animation is subtle, and the overall experience is quite intuitive. Of course, I can’t forget to mention the infamous - shelf on the 10T—a drop-down shortcut widget that can be accessed from the top right corner. I think this feature is still the same, and I find it productive. Setting up emails, looking up messages, and having a calendar make my life easier. Of course, you can turn it off from the menu if you are not a fan.

Time and again, I did notice some resemblance to Color OS, especially with notifications and customizing themes. Of course, I wouldn’t have been aware of it, but since I have just gotten off using the Oppo Reno 8 Pro, it was easier for me to point it out.

While the performance is primarily stable, one bug was frequently seen. For example, when I record a video on Instagram, it starts with frames dropping, especially with stories. I used the Reno 8 Pro to cross-check and didn’t face this issue. Maybe an OTA update will fix this for good.

Coming back, 10T also brings a future-proof promise on board since OnePlus ensured three Android updates and four years of security updates on the device.

OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
10T gets an upgraded chipset over 10 Pro, Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1

OnePlus 10T is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, an upgrade over the 8 Gen 1 chipset we see in the 10 Pro. While the performance upgrade is not something to rave about, it does overcome the shortcomings of its predecessor.

The supporting hardware choices are also favorable. For example, the variant with me packs in 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Put these specifications together, and you get a performance that leaves very little room for complaints.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
You can expand the RAM on 10T by 7GB

Let me start with the hardcore performance output. I have been gaming on the 10T daily for about two hours, which involves COD mobile and Genshin impact. The graphic settings on COD mobile were maxed out, with very high visual quality and maximum out refresh rates.

I saw minimal to no frame drops in the game, and the 120Hz refresh rate of the display came in handy. The phone does heat up after 35-minutes, but not to the point where you can’t hold it. The gaming experience was primarily stable, and you will have a good time playing games on it. Here I would like to mention Genshin Impact significantly; the big display adds a punch to the game's open world.

I also tried video editing with the Kinemaster app on the 10T. Again, I used the basic unpaid version for basic video editing. This involved putting cuts on the video feed, splitting the video, and adding transitions. Keeping the limitations of the unpaid version of the app aside, the performance on the 10T was top-notch. There was no limitation on the app's functionality, and the exports were also quick.

Coming to everyday usage, the specs on 10T are overkill for most users. This device doesn't seem to miss from casual social media to web browsing. I surfed the internet and had multiple tabs open on Google chrome, yet I could switch between them easily.

The RAM management on the 10T is unsurprisingly good. I so far have not used the expanded RAM management feature on the phone that can take it to 19GB. Personally, this RAM expansion feature is for hardcore gamers who want maximum performance output from the device. Otherwise, the base 12GB DDR5 RAM holds the applications for long durations, including heavy apps like COD mobile and social media apps like Instagram. Chrome tabs and web pages stick around for long periods as well. Sometimes I would open a tab after three days, and the phone would take me to the exact paragraph where I left it.

The internal storage on my review unit is 256GB which is sufficient for most users. However, if you are planning to buy the 10T, I suggest using this storage option instead of the 128GB. Considering that media files and applications will take more space, especially if you shoot in 4K. The higher-end variant with 16GB RAM and 512GB internal storage is for special use cases requiring a performance-intensive spec sheet or simply a larger storage.

Before closing this section, it’s time to touch on the battery life of the OnePlus 10T. Packing in a 4800 mAh battery, this device supports 160W SuperVooC fast charging. I am getting a screen on time of anywhere between 9 hours to 10 hours with casual usage. This involved half an hour of gaming, emails, social media, and occasionally watching Youtube. However, the screen on time was reduced to 8 hours when I played extensively on the device. These numbers are satisfactory given the screen brightness was at 100% and the refresh rate was maxed out. In layman's terms, a casual user can charge the phone after a day of usage, while a heavy user might need to plug it in once in the evening.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
The 160W SuperVooC charger can charge device from 0-100% in 25 minutes

Charging time on the OnePlus 10T is its strongest USP. The 160W SuperVooC charger juices up the devices from 0-100% within 25 minutes. The brand claims its 19 minutes. However, the real-time number with active internet connectivity differs very slightly. A point to note here is that the phone supports 150W charging. I also have to point out that the phone warms up significantly when you put it up on charge with the 160W adapter. However, OnePlus claims it won’t affect battery health thanks to the intelligent battery health algorithm.

Overall the battery situation on the OnePlus 10T is favorable. However, wireless charging could be one feature the brand could have added to the device. While I prefer wired charging solutions, especially with such fast charging, a section of consumers like placing their phones on charging pads. This can be a move to cut costs and eventually distinguish between the 10 Pro and 10T. So users who don't need wireless charging can save money and go for this one.

Camera Performance
OnePlus 10T comes with a triple rear camera set-up. The primary sensor is a 50MP Sony IMX766 sensor, which we see on Nord 2T and Oppo Reno 8 Pro. Then there is an 8MP ultra-wide sensor with a 119.9-degree field of view and a 2MP macro sensor. No Hasselblad tuning is involved, but the performance is second to none.

Starting with the primary camera sensor. This is my third encounter with the IMX766 in 30 days; I saw it first on the Nord 2T, then on the Reno 8 Pro and now the OnePlus 10T. And the experience has gotten better with every device.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
In natural lighting conditions the primary camera retains great details with little over saturation

On the OnePlus 10T, the image results were crisp. The images maintained details, and the color reproduction was close to the actual subject. There were times when I could notice visible oversaturation, especially for colors like blue and green, but mostly the results were satisfactory. OnePlus has employed an image clarity engine 2.0 on the 10T, which captures multiple images and selects the best one for final output. This feature works well, considering I took various pictures from a moving car, and the photos were well-detailed.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Bokeh effect is executed well with accurate edge detection

I must mention the shutter speed; 10T’s camera is dependable if you have to cover faster movements. The burst mode images will be clicked in tandem with the subject in the frame and you will get your preferred shot.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Higher-shutter speed allows OnePlus 10T to click images quickly.

OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Colors are under saturated in indoor shots

The ultra-wide camera on the 10T produces similar color tones that we see on the primary camera. This helps you adequately cover an area without losing out on color tones.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Images taken indoors lose out on details

Macro camera performance is underwhelming. The camera requires us to find the perfect space between the subject, and even then, it takes multiple attempts to get an ideal shot. The colors are also undersaturated and the images have rainbowing around the subject. This is not its strongest suite if you are considering 10T for macro photography.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Macro shots on OnePlus 10T requires multiple attempts

Other camera features like portrait mode deliver decent results when used under natural lighting conditions. The edge detection is satisfactory, and there is no halo around the subject. However, the performance goes down substantially in artificial lighting.

Nightscape on the OnePlus 10T leaves a lot to be desired. Image results are usually missing out on details and seem to have just a brightness boost. Some shots can be good, but that depends on multiple conditions.

HDR functionality on the camera works well, though. The image maintains a decent balance when clicking images involving vivid colors.
OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Images with HDR maintain a decent balance of colors

OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
HDR shots can take a time for best results

The video prowess of the OnePlus 10T is surprisingly good. The video output is relatively stable and one can record smooth flowing shots easily. This aspect has been substantial across 1080P settings and 4K as well. Sometimes, colors on the video feed are oversaturated, but that’s mostly limited to artificial lighting conditions. The audio recorded with the video feed is also on point, and you can make good quality videos for social media with the 10T.

There are other camera features like panorama and dual video mode, both of which are executed flawlessly.

OnePlus 10T Review: Toned down flagship with unbelievably fast charging
Front camera doesn't beautify selfies by default

The front camera is a 16MP shooter, which breaks away from the constant problem I have noticed in the OnePlus devices. It gets the skin tone right. Yes, the pictures are oversaturated sometimes, but at least they are not filtered up to look artificial. If you are a fan of filters and AI touch-ups, then there are options here for that as well. You can squeeze your cheeks to skin tones here. As I have mentioned, I am not a big fan of this, but if you are, that’s good news.

OnePlus 10T tries to capture the best of the OnePlus line-up and put it in your palm at a more affordable price. It achieves that by providing you with plenty of power, overkills with charging speed, and a camera performance that will keep you interested in clicking pictures. This is a device for users who want stable performance for the long term with a promise of getting respectable performance in all areas. So, if you can skip the Hasselblad camera set-up, reverse wireless charging, and a slightly better display on the 10 Pro, the 10T is a balanced choice.