REVIEW – I’ve been a happy member of team iPhone since the summer of 2020. But lately, I’ve been craving a change of pace, so I jumped at the chance to review the OnePlus 10 Pro 5g smartphone. I was very interested in testing out its Hasselblad camera module because I use my phone for a camera more than I use it to make calls! Let’s check out this new Android phone from OnePlus to see if it has caused me to jump back into Andriod after almost 2 years of iOS.
What is it?
The OnePlus 10 Pro 5G is a smartphone that is powered by OxygenOS which is based on the Android 12 operating system.
What’s in the box?
- OnePlus 10 Pro 5G
- 65W SUPERVOOC Power Adapter
- Type-C Cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Welcome Letter
- Safety Information and Warranty Card
- Screen Protector (pre-applied)
- SIM Tray Ejector
- USB Dongle (Type-A to Type-C )
Display Aspect Ratio: 20.1:9
Display Type: 120 Hz Fluid AMOLED with LTPO, Support sRGB, Display P3, 10-bit Color Depth
Display Cover Glass: Corning® Gorilla® Glass
5G Chipset: X65
GPU: Adreno 730
RAM: 8GB LPDDR5
Storage: 128GB UFS 3.1 2-LANE
Battery: 5000 mAh
Warp Charge: 65T (10V/6.5A) 50W Wireless Charging
Pixel Size: 1.12µm
Lens Quantity: 7P
Focal Length: 23mm equivalent
Ultra-Wide Camera Sensor: JN1
Sensor Size: 1/2.76″
Lens Quantity: 6P
Pixel Size: 1.0µm
Autofocus: Multi Autofocus (All pixel omni-directional PDAF+LAF+CAF)
Video: 8K video at 24 fps; 4K video at 30/60/120 fps; 1080p video at 30/60 fps; Super Slow Motion: 1080p video at 240 fps, 720p video at 480 fps; Time-Lapse: 1080p at 30 fps, 4K at 30 fps, Time-lapse: 1080p at 30fps, 4K at 30fps
Autofocus: Fixed Focus
Video: 1080p video at 30 fps Time-Lapse
Video Supported Formats:
Playback: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265 (HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM, Recording: MP4
Image Supported Formats: Playback: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, WEB, HEIF, HEIC, DNG; Output: JPEG, DNG
4×4 MIMO, 4CA, Support up to DL Cat 18 (1.17Gbps) / UL Cat 18 (200Mbps)
GSM：B2, 3, 5, 8
WCDMA：B1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 19
LTE-FDD：B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 66, 71
LTE-TDD：B38, 39, 41, 46, 48
5G NSA：n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n25, n28, n30, n38, n41, n66, n71, n77
5G SA：n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n25, n28, n30, n38, n41, n66, n71, n77
MIMO：B1,2,3,4,7,25,38,40,41,48,66, n1, n2, n3, n7, n25, n38, n41, n66, n77
Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, Support 2.4G / 5G，Support WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2, support aptX & aptX HD & LDAC & AAC
NFC: NFC enabled
GPS Positioning: GPS (L1+L5 Dual Band), GLONASS, Galileo (E1+E5a Dual Band), Beidou, A-GPS
Audio Supported Formats:Playback: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY, AC3, EAC3, EAC3-JOC, AC4, Recording: WAV, AAC, AMR
At first glance, you might mistake the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G for a Samsung Galaxy phone. Honestly, most smartphones that are currently on the market have a very similar outward appearance. At least when you look at them with the display turned off. 🙂
When you flip the OnePlus over to view the back of the phone, you are greeted with a large camera bump that features 3 lenses and a ring light style flash.
The phone is available in black or green and as you can see, I was sent the black version. The back of the phone’s Gorilla Glass 5 has a cool matte finish that has a bit of sparkle to it. I love that it isn’t a fingerprint magnet, but it’s pretty slippery.
There is also the OnePlus logo in the center.
The right edge of the phone has the power switch and a 3-position alert slider switch that allows you to easily toggle between vibrate, silent, and ring modes for alarms and calls.
The alert slider has knurling so it’s easy to find the button with your finger when you want to activate it in the dark.
On the other edge of the OnePlus 10 Pro G5 smartphone is a one-button volume rocker switch.
On the top edge of the phone, you’ll find a microphone/speaker.
On the bottom of the phone, there’s the SIM card slot, another microphone, speakers, and a USB-C charging/data port.
You can charge the OnePlus with a Qi charger or you can charge it crazy fast with the 65W SUPERVOOC power adapter which is included with the phone.
Like the previous OnePlus 9 Pro, the 10 Pro smartphone also has a Reverse Charge feature which when enabled, turns the OnePlus into a Qi charger so that you can place another Qi-enabled phone on its back to charge it. I tested this with my iPhone 13 Pro Max and it worked fine even when both phones were in thin cases.
Like previous OnePlus phones, the 10 Pro 5G’s 6.7 inch display has slightly curved sides. When it comes to colors and blacks, this display is bright and vibrant. Even set to a low brightness level, this phone’s display shines (metaphorically). When you go outside on a sunny day, you’ll be able to see everything on the screen too.
In the image above, you can see the hole-punch camera in the upper left corner. You can also see the always-on display which can be enabled if you like using your phone as a clock. This is a feature that the iPhone could really use!
The always-on display options include the large clock shown above, as well as an interesting visual timeline of your phone activities, and other clocks.
The OnePlus 10 Pro’s display has an in-display fingerprint sensor and like 99.9% of the fingerprint sensors that I’ve tested, this one won’t work with my alien physiology. So I unlock this phone with my face. The facial recognition sensor works fine during the day in a well-lit area, but in the dark, it doesn’t work at all. This sucks for me personally, because I’m an early morning under the covers phone user.
The OnePlus 10 Pro 5G makes a big deal about its partnership with Hasselblad, so I was expecting to like the camera better than the camera on my iPhone 13 Pro Max. The OnePlus 1o Pro 5G features 3 lenses. On the top left corner is the 48MP main lens, the top right is the 50MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and the bottom left lens is the 8MP telephoto lens.
The stock camera app is as easy to use as most other stock camera apps. It does offer a lot of settings though.
I don’t have any complaints about using the camera to take pictures but it’s the pictures themselves that don’t always spark joy so to speak. Let’s check out some examples.
Selfie camera samples (click for larger view)
Other image samples (click for larger view)
The images from the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G remind me of images from Samsung and Huawei phones. The colors are way too vibrant and not true to life. The sky in the images above was blue that day but not that blue. The images look cool, but just not realistic.
1080P video sample
I read somewhere some people were complaining about image stabilization in the video but it seems ok to me. I am not really able to dell that much of a difference with the Ultra Steady feature enabled vs. disabled. Note that when you enable it, the video resolution is downgraded to 1080P.
8K video sample
YouTube converted the 8K sample to 4K.
The OnePlus 10 Pro 5G doesn’t have a macro mode either which is a deal-breaker for me since I use my phone for my product photography for reviews. I can get around it by using the telephoto lens, but the experience isn’t very good compared to my iPhone 13 Pro Max’s macro mode.
User interface and apps
OxygenOS is kind of like Samsung’s One UI. It’s an extra layer of features that have been layered over the top of stock Android.
I’ve been away from Android for a couple of years so I’m not well versed in stock Android right now which might be a good thing for this review because I went into it with pretty much a clean slate.
For the most part, it looks like Android and quacks like Android, but there are some things that annoy me about the interface. The biggest one is what OnePlus calls its Launch Shelf. This is a pull-down menu that is activated when you swipe down from the top right corner. It’s sort of like the swipe right from the home screen widget page on the iPhone.
The Launch Shelf can be customized with widgets and that’s all well and good but I kept activating it inadvertently which annoyed me, so I just turned it off.
Luckily OnePlus doesn’t fill the phone with a bunch of unnecessary apps like some other phone makers do, so I can’t complain much about bloatware.
Overall performance and battery life
With only 8GB of RAM and 128GBs of storage, the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G is a downgrade from the OnePlus 9 Pro that we’ve reviewed previously and that had 12GB of RAM and 256GBs of storage.
I noticed that the phone would automatically close some apps in the background which was annoying.
When it comes to battery life, I had no problems getting through a full day using this phone for a wide variety of tasks. If you don’t mind recharging it using a cable and the included 65W SUPERVOOC charger, the phone charges from 1 to 100% in about 34 minutes.
Making and receiving calls with the OnePlus 10 Pro
It seems like making and receiving calls is the least used function on smartphones (for me) these days, but I tested this feature and had no issues with either side of the calls that I placed or answered.
If you’re an AT&T customer you might not want this phone
The OnePlus 10 Pro doesn’t have 5G support on the AT&T network because the phone does not have millimeter-wave antennas. However, you can use the OnePlus 10 Pro on AT&T but only with 4G LTE, 3G, or 2G. Check out this article from CNET for more info. Note that this phone works great with T-Mobile (the carrier that I use) and OnePlus just let me know that the phone has been certified with Verizon for their 5G network too.
OS and security updates
OnePlus has a bad track record of sticking to its promised rollout of security updates every 2 months. Where Samsung and Google roll out monthly updates, OnePlus sometimes lags behind by months.
Then there are OS updates. OnePlus is only offering 3 major Android OS updates and 4 years of security updates compared to Samsung’s 4 OS updates + 5 years of security updates, and Google’s 3 OS updates + 5 years of security updates.
What I like
- Great battery life
- Very fast charging with the included 65W AC adapter
What I’d change
- The camera needs a better macro mode
- Face ID needs to work in the dark
- Support for 5G on AT&T (I’m not sure this can happen)
- Include dual SIM feature like previous OnePlus phones
If you want a flagship quality Android smartphone that isn’t from Samsung or Google, I’m afraid that I wouldn’t choose the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G. Why? For me, the main reasons are that the camera doesn’t have a good macro mode and that’s a feature I need. It also drives me crazy that I can’t unlock the phone with my face in the dark. Then there’s Android and how it doesn’t work as seamlessly with my MacBook as my iPhone does. By that, I mean that when I use my iPhone to take pictures for reviews, I can select them and press the AirDrop button and they upload to my MacBook within seconds. With Android, I have to install the Android File Transfer app and use a USB-C cable <ack!>
Other reasons that I can’t recommend the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G include the fact that if you’re an AT&T customer, you won’t be able to use this phone with 5G, and then there’s the issue with slow security updates and OnePlus is only promising 3 major OS updates for this phone. For these reasons, I find it tough to recommend this phone and I’ll be sticking with my iPhone for now.