The Lowdown - So far!
I’ve had the OnePlus 10T 5G in hand for almost a full week. Figuring there will be at least one more update before it starts shipping in September, it seems irresponsible to do a full review now, so please enjoy this first look.
- Maintains the attractive OnePlus 10 Pro design language
- Latest top-of-the-line SnapDragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform
- Available with up to 16GB RAM with 256GB storage for the same price as the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage version if you pre-order
- Up to 23GB RAM on the 16GB RAM version with RAM expansion
- Gorgeous 6.7″ flat AMOLED display with an adaptive refresh rate that adjusts between 60, 90, and 120Hz
- 160W SUPERVOOC wall charger is included in the box, and it will give you up to 120W charging speeds in North America
- Three major Android OS updates and four years of security updates promised
- No wireless charging
- The alert slider had to be removed on this model to accomplish OnePlus’s goal of delivering higher wattage charging, a larger battery capacity, and a better antenna signal
- Single SIM only
This morning, OnePlus announced its latest flagship, the OnePlus 10T 5G. With up to 16GB RAM and 256GB storage, the brand’s first-ever ultra-thin vapor cooling system, a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform, a 4,800mAh battery, and up to 125W fast-charging in the US, the 10T sounds like an impressive device on paper. Like every other US reviewer, I’ve had mine in hand for almost a full week. Figuring there will be at least one more update before it starts shipping in September, it seems irresponsible to do a full review now, so please enjoy this first look.
Since the first OnePlus device launched in early 2014, OnePlus has created smartphones that many of us found to be compelling, unique, elegant, and for the most part, affordable.
With the 9 Series, it seemed that OnePlus might have given up on the affordable part. Trust me, everyone voiced their displeasure.
We saw a return to more palatable flagship prices with the OnePlus 10Pro, and now we have the even more affordable OnePlus 10T 5G. In many ways, the 10T feels like the true successor to the OnePlus 8T, which is high praise coming from me; I really, really liked that smartphone.
The OnePlus 10T 5G has an impressive list of flagship features, including the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform, a re-designed, 360º closed-loop antenna system with a total of 15 antennas to avoid blind signal angles, and their new Cryo-velocity Vapor Cooling System to prevent overheating.
[I am very excited to dig into these new features, but other than mentioning them, in all fairness, it makes no point to talk about their performance in this half of the review.]
The OnePlus 10T 5G is also the company’s first smartphone to use 150W SUPERVOOC fast wired charging — although, in 110V low-voltage areas like North America, we will only* get up to 125W fast wired charging.
*I’m trying not to laugh as I type that because, in the US, 18W wired charging is still considered a fast charge!
You can get the OnePlus 10T 5G in Moonstone Black or Jade Green, and you can choose 8GB RAM with 128GB storage or 16GB RAM with 256GB storage.
As we have seen on other brands under the BBK umbrella phones, RAM expansion is an option that is available in the settings. RAM expansion uses the available storage memory on your device to expand the built-in RAM by 3GB, 5GB, or 7GB for an even better experience when using processor-intensive apps.
OnePlus sent me the 16GB RAM and 256GB variant; this means that when needed, I have up to 23GB RAM at my device’s disposal, which is pretty freaking stellar.
Since there is no memory expansion slot, getting the 16GB/256GB version seems like a no-brainer, but it does cost $100 more. At the end of this post, you’ll see a pre-order deal going on right now that makes the “better” version even more accessible.
Moving right along to the unboxing …
Inside the box, you’ll find the OnePlus 10T, a wall charger, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, a USB Type-A to Type-C dongle, a SIM tray ejector, a quick start guide, a welcome letter, safety & warranty information, OnePlus stickers, and a (much appreciated) pre-applied screen protector.
[Click on any thumbnail to open the gallery]
While the OnePlus 10T will give you fast wired charging speeds with any powerful PD wall charger and high-capacity capable USB-C cable. To achieve anything approaching the promised 125W charging speeds in North America, you’ll need OnePlus’s slightly larger than average 160W SUPERVOOC wall charger and cable.
Buying one is going to set you back … nothing!
You don’t have to source one because the 160W SUPERVOOC wall charger is included in the box!
At first glance, the OnePlus 10T 5G has a similar design to the OnePlus 10 Pro. I happened to have loved the new style, so I consider this to be a big plus.
However, there are some major differences, starting with the front 6.7″ flat display. I prefer a flat display over a phone with even a slightly curved display, but obviously, this is a personal preference.
Covered with Gorilla Glass 5, the Fluid AMOLED display (2412 x 1080 resolution with 394 pixels per inch) has a 20.1:9 aspect ratio with an adaptive refresh rate that adjusts between 60, 90, and 120Hz, depending upon what you are doing with your phone.
I know the previous sentence contained a lot of jargon, but the long and short of it is that this is a brilliant, large display that is fast, smooth, and very responsive. So far, it has been an absolute joy to use.
The OnePlus 10T 5G is approximately 6.42″ long by 2.98″ wide by 0.34″ thick, and it weighs 7.2 ounces. At the top center is a hole-punch 16-megapixel selfie cam that offers autofocus and electronic image stabilization. An inch-long ear speaker is directly above the camera lens; it works in tandem with the bottom-firing speaker for true stereo sound.
There is a microphone on the top of the OnePlus 10T 5G.
There are no obvious antenna bands around the phone’s frame, which was not the case with the OnePlus 10 Pro or others flagship models that came before it. If you are used to looking for them, it’s a little jarring, but it is also such a clean, attractive look!
The OnePlus 10T 5G utilizes what OnePlus calls a 360º Antenna System, through which 15 antennas form a 360° antenna system to deliver stronger Wi-Fi and cellular signals in whichever orientation the phone is being used. I’ll cover how this new antenna performs in the second part of this review.
On the right side is a power button and a … nope, that’s it. Can you guess what’s missing?
Okay, I won’t make you guess. The alert slider that has become a signature feature for OnePlus phones is not present.
Before anyone complains, there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for its absence. OnePlus has been very open about the fact that the alert slider had to be sacrificed on this particular device because OnePlus wanted to make this T-series all about more than just performance.
Based on feedback from its community, OnePlus knew its users wanted to see the following things moving forward: higher wattage charging, a larger battery capacity, and a better antenna signal.
The new technologies in the OnePlus 10T 5G needed a bit more room inside the device; to not deliver a thicker or heavier smartphone, the necessary trade-off was the removal of the alert slider.
As OnePlus put it, if they had kept the alert slider, they would have had to stack the 10 T’s motherboard, making the phone thicker.
I’m going to admit right now that while I’ve come to expect seeing the alert slider on OnePlus devices. Even so, I’m so used to having to use the on-screen volume controls on other Android devices (that obviously don’t have this feature) I don’t even remember to use the alert slider when I’m on a OnePlus!
However, OnePlus knows their community loves that slider. Hence, their official stance is that they will overcome the technical and design challenges that they ran into while trying to keep the alert slider in the OnePlus 10T 5G and that just because it’s not in this device “does not mean it will be removed from all future OnePlus devices.”
So if the alert slider being gone is an absolute deal breaker for you, the OnePlus 10T 5G will not be the OnePlus phone for you, but you will see its return in future models.
Moving right along …
On the bottom of the phone, there is a single SIM tray, a microphone, a USB Type-C port, and a bottom-firing speaker. It’s disappointing that OnePlus is still limiting its users to just a single SIM and no eSim support, but it is what it is.
On the left side, there is a volume rocker.
OnePlus sent me the 10T in MoonStone Black; OnePlus said that the black version’s unibody rear glass cover was specifically inspired by the basalt’s texture. I had no idea what that meant until I found some basalt texture images online, and okay … I see it.
Using a process called LDI craft, the rock’s texture is recreated on the OnePlus 10T’s rear glass cover that delivers an excellent in-hand feel. Then, a process called dual-AG craft is used to create the effect of flickering sand that shines differently depending on the angle light strikes it.
The gorgeous back glass has a vertically linear texture; when the light hits it, the smartphone’s back comes alive with sparkles. I love this effect; the glass doesn’t show any fingerprints or smudges, and like the 10 Pro’s back glass, it’s beautiful enough that I wish it didn’t need to go into a case.
There are three rear cameras on the OnePlus 10T 5G, including a 50-megapixel IMX766 main camera that includes PDAF autofocus and optical image stabilization, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera with autofocus, and a 2-megapixel macro lens.
I’ll talk more about the cameras in the second part of the review and give you photography examples then, but it’s fair to say that so far, I’ve been really pleased with the photos I have taken.
I’m not going to talk about the OnePlus 10T 5 G’s battery life or its speed and performance in this first part of my review because I have literally only had the OnePlus 10T 5G since Thursday last week. In that time, an OTA update has already been pushed, and I suspect that at least one more update will be pushed before everyone can get their hands on them in September.
But I will comment on charging power.
OnePlus says that the 150W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition charger can take you from 1-100% in just 19 minutes. Because of our 110V outlet limitations in North America, it won’t be quite that fast in the US. Even so, it takes less than 30 minutes to go from flat to full, which is still ridiculously fast!
The OnePlus 10T 5G ships came with Android 12 and the Oxygen OS 12.1 overlay; they promise three major Android OS updates and four years of security updates. These OS updates are not terrible, but I am disappointed that the Google Pixel 6a offers one more year of security updates than the 10T.
The OnePlus 10T 5G will be available in two configurations: 8GB RAM and 128 storage for $649, or 16GB RAM with 256GB storage for $749. Both versions are now available for pre-order on the OnePlus site, with early shipping starting on September first and open sales starting on September 29th.
Speaking of the pre-order option, you might want to get that order in as soon as possible! Not only because you’ll get the earliest access to your phone on September first, but because OnePlus will send you the 16GB RAM with 256GB storage for the price of the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage, and you’ll receive 0% APR with 24-month installments. Sweet!
The OnePlus 10T 5G starts at $649; it is available for pre-order directly from the manufacturer. Early shipping will begin on September 1st.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Maintains the attractive OnePlus 10 Pro design language; Latest top-of-the-line SnapDragon 8+ Gen 1 Mobile Platform; Available with up to 16GB RAM with 256GB storage for the same price as the 8GB RAM with 128GB storage version if you pre-order; Up to 23GB RAM on the 16GB RAM version with RAM expansion; Gorgeous 6.7″ flat AMOLED display with an adaptive refresh rate that adjusts between 60, 90, and 120Hz; 160W SUPERVOOC wall charger is included in the box, and it will give you up to 120W charging speeds in North America; Three major Android OS updates and four years of security updates promised
What Needs Improvement: No wireless charging; The alert slider had to be removed on this model to accomplish OnePlus’s goal of delivering higher wattage charging, a larger battery capacity, and a better antenna signal; Single SIM only