Monday, September 26, 2022

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OnePlus 10T 5G – Review

The OnePlus 10T 5G is an odd phone that many people have stated shouldn’t exist and is an unnecessary addition to the current OnePlus lineup. It just doesn’t to seem to fit a reason to be around for many people and fellow tech reviewers. I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to use it for a few weeks now and to try and see where it fits into the crowded market as a whole and also the OnePlus lineup. During this review, I will try and answer that question and give my impressions and thoughts on who this phone is for. 

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

To give a little context and background we have seen the T series of phones before as a follow-up after the main lead phones have been announced for that yearly cycle. Now for some reason, this did not happen with the OnePlus 9 family last year as they had the OnePlus 9 Pro 5G and also the OnePlus 9 5G. I think that this was perhaps OnePlus testing the water. I dont think they found that this release pattern was how they wanted to work which perhaps explains why we have had the 10Pro 5G with all its Hasselblad camera polish but then there has been a spell of nothing until the launch of the 10T which comes without the camera goodness but focus more on sheer performance with a bit more of a gaming focus that we have perhaps seen before with OnePlus. This is I believe one of the reasons why we have the OnePlus 10T 5G. The other comes down to the company wanting to ensure that they stay in the realm of the press and the technology news as nothing gets you noticed as a phone launch does in the mobile tech domain, especially when your price point is as aggressive as the one that OnePlus has stuck on the 10T but more on that later on!

As is the case with all my reviews let’s start with the design and hardware.

Design

For those of you who have read the unboxing post I put out of the OnePlus 10T 5G on launch day, this will all be familiar ground, however, for everyone else, I will cover it again here.

Starting on the right-hand side where we can find the Power key, sadly no alert slider this time around! This is a real shame as it was one of the staples that differentiated the OnePlus flagships from other ones on the market and it was something I did actually use a lot when I carried the phone. Could this be an indication that OnePlus is not thinking of this device as a flagship model?

Well, I have thought about this one for some time during my time with the phone and come to the conclusion that it was a design decision that had to be made to accommodate the internals of the phone. The alert slider is actually quite a large module that needs to be fitted into the side of the phone as it is not just the physical slider that needs to be accounted for but there is also the internal mechanism to allow the slider to convert the slide action into an electrical signal for the phone to interpret. Now if you put yourself in the position of the designer who had been given a brief of cramming this phone with as much power and performance as he can you can see that any way of saving space would be looked at. I think it is for this reason that the alert slider has been given the heave-ho. Will this be a new design language we see on the next “Pro series” models in 9 or so months only time will tell but I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t make a return, particularly on future “T series” devices?

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

Next is the base where we can see the USB Type C 2.0 charging port alongside one of the two speaker grills. Again here we can see another distinct difference in focus from the 10 Pro in that the USB Type C port has received a downgrade from 3.1 to 2.0 indicating again to me that the target audience of this phone from the designer’s viewpoint is not one that would need the capability of USB 3.1. as it is a non “Pro” device. As a side note Apple also adopted a similar policy between their Pro and Standard devices (especially in their computers) so this move is not unprecedented. 

Of course, this port does still support the propriety fast charging technology which is now called SuperVOOC. This phone will charge at 150w when used with the included 160W charging brick. The name may have changed but the technology being used is the same just with a ramp-up in terms of speed.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

 

We also see a sim card slot here which will house 2 sims if required and does have a gasket to enhance waterproofing. We also have a large mic aperture Notice how I mentioned enhance waterproofing. Well, this was because this device does not have an IP rating, unlike its fellow family member’s as this was another area where OnePlus has been able to remove a cost from production and design development. I have not tested how resilient to water this phone is but during my time with it, I have never been concerned about the liguid ingress protection on offer. It even managed to survive having a half can of Monster spilt on it with no ill-effects as far as I can tell and that was 2 weeks ago!

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

Moving around to the left-hand side is where you will be able to find the volume rocker key. Not much more to say on this on apart from it give a good positive clicking action dn is easy to find after the initial first few minutes of adapting form the previous phone I had been using.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

Moving around the top we have got we have got a pinhole mic and again a secondary larger mic. You will have noticed I have referred to oval shaped holes on the phone as additional mic inputs however I am yet too have had this confirmed by anyone, once I have the update I will be sure to include it here as either confirmation or correction as required.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

The rear of the phone contains the camera module, which contains three different camera sensors/lenses. Firstly the primary is a 50MP Sony IMX 766 sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and a 7P lens. Next is the 8Mp f/2.2 aperture Ultra-Wide angle. Lastly, we have got a 2MP macro camera which has an effective shooting distance of 2-4cm. They are also supported by the same dual-LED “ring flash” that was to be found on the OnePus 10Pro 5GOnePlus 10T 5G   Review

Around the front is where we find the 6.7 ” display which has a resolution of 2412 x 1080 with a PPI of 394 and an aspect ratio of 20.1:9. The panel is a flat one and is made up of the same Fluid AMOLED that is found on the Nord 2 5G range.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

It will support up to 120Hz but it will only allow three options of 60Hz, 90 and of course 120Hz. There are a load of other little features about the screen but I will cover those more in the full review.

For now, though I can say this display is a good display and I really like using it.

The last thing to mention on the top is the top speaker which hides just below the bezel and it actually sounds reasonably good given the constraints of the space it occupies certainly good enough for Zoom calls etc.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

That concludes the hardware tour. Now that I have taken to going through hardware detail in a bit more detail and depth I am drawn to the similarities between this device and the Nord 2 5G as there is a lot that this very similar to that device in terms of the specs, the screen and the camera setup. Some may even be inclined to say that this is where this phone may fit as a Nord 2 Pro, above the Nord 2 and below the 10 Pro, an interesting thought but requires a bit more pondering on that one I think. 

Specifications

NAME OnePlus 10T
COLOR Moonstone Black, Jade Green
DIMENSIONS Height 163mm
Width 75.6mm
Depth 8.8mm
Weight 204 grams
DISPLAY PARAMETERS Size: 6.7 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2412 PPI 394
Aspect Ratio: 20:9
Refresh Rate: Variable between 1Hz to 120Hz
Type: Fluid AMOLED Display
PERFORMANCE Operating System: Oxygen OS 12.1based on Android 12
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4nm)
GPU: Adrenoa 730
RAM: 8 or 16GB
Storage: 128 or256GB
Battery: 4800 mAh (non-removable)
Charging: Fast charging 150W, 100% in 19 min (advertised)
MAIN CAMERA – REAR 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS
ULTRA WIDE CAMERA -REAR 8 MP, f/2.4, 24mm, 120˚ (ultrawide), 1/4.0″, 1.0µm
MACRO CAMERA -REAR 2 MP, f/2.4, (macro)
FLASH Dual-LED dual-tone flash,
VIDEO 4K video at 30 fps / 60 fps
1080p video at 30 fps / 60 fps
720p video at 30 fps / 60 fps
Slow Motion:
1080p at 240 fps / 720p at 480 fps
Time Lapse:
1080p at 30 fps / 4K at 30 fps
FEATURES Nightscape 2.0
Ultra HDR
Smart Scene Recognition
Portrait Mode
Pro Mode
Panorama
Tilt-Shift Mode
Long Exposure
Dual-View Video
Retouch
Breeno Scan
Movie Mode
Cat/Dog Face Focus
RAW
RAW+
Filters
Super Stable
Video Nightscape
Video HDR
Video Portrait
Focus Tracking
Timelapse
FRONT CAMERA 16 MP, f/2.4, 24mm (wide), 1/3″, 1.0µm
VIDEO 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS
CONNECTIVITY BAND 2G Bands
GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Bands
HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS)
4G Bands1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 38, 39, 41, 46, 48, 66, 71
5G Bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 25, 28, 30, 38, 41, 48, 66, 71, 77 SA/NSA
Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A, 5G
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
BLUETOOTH 5.3, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
GPS Yes, with A-GPS. Up to tri-band: GLONASS (1), BDS (3), GALILEO (2), QZSS (2)
NFC NFC enabled
SENSORS Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Colour spectrum
PORTS USB 2.0, Type-C,
Dual nano-SIM slot
BUTTONS Gestures and on-screen navigation support
Volume key
Power key
AUDIO Dual stereo speaker
Noise cancellation support

Hardware

This is where OnePlus is really hoping that they can draw in the specs aficionados. There are a couple of key areas where the OnePlus 10T separates itself from the masses. As normal I am going to go through these key areas as otherwise, the phone is your normal glass-fronted rectangle chock full of some very shiny hardware. So the key features I wish to talk about are.

  1. Battery and charging
  2. Processor
  3. Back panel

So the first thing I want to cover is the battery and the charging as this is the first OnePlus device in the European market that has got the first 150w charging speed. This is down to the use of the new SuperVOOC 150W fast charging system which is a propriety system that has been developed by the OnePlus and Oppo partnership. We have already seen the SuperVOOC charging technology on some of the OPPO lineups of phones. This is a name change for the OnePlus as previously they called their charging technology was called Dart charge.

I am really happy to see that we are now starting to see these faster-charging speeds on phones however the issue I have here is that the use of the Propreit technology does limit the usefulness of the charger for powering other devices. It would be awesome if, for example, I could use the SuperVOOC 160W charger to charge my Chromebook however as the SuperVOOC 160w charger does not support Power Delivery that will not work so it means I still have to rely on my trusty Anker Mini GAn charger. As for the battery itself, this is designed to that it works as a two-cell system which will allow for faster charging as you are no longer having to cram the power into one battery. It does mean that you have to carry out some cell balancing near the end of the charging cycle. This however is all taken care of by the SuperVOOC charger and minimal heat actually gets transferred to the device when it is under charger load.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

In terms of speed to recharge the phone, its advertised rate is 19 minutes to fill the 4,800 mAh battery and a day’s charger from 1o minutes of charging. These speeds are awesome and it makes up for the lack of one of the biggest convenience features of the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G device and also the preceding 9 Series. This is also a downside of the bigger battery technology and the larger heatsink as they were not able to fit in a wireless charging coil. More on this later on though when I cover the cons

Next up have the processor which is again another of the main attractions of this device. OnePlus have managed to put a Snapdragon 8+ gen 1 into the phone which means that it is packing the latest and greatest in terms of chip performance and power. insert snapdragon image here I have not got another Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 device available to draw a direct comparison against, but I can say with a certain degree of confidence that this phone is fast and it feels it in normal day-to-day use. I was never left wanting when I was trying to load apps and move through the UI. The only time i was left wanting was when I was in a weak signal area and I was being let down by the mobile network signal. This was something that did happen when I was touring the southwest coast of Wales on a recent trip. I was trying to push this phone so I tested opening multiple apps in sequence to see if I could get it to stutter at all. performed this test of the Pixel 6 Pro that I run as my daily driver as well and the results are shown in the video below.

As we can see from the video and as I expected there is some slight difference in the speed of the apps opening once a few apps are open. This will of course be affected by RAM as well, with the Pixel 6Pro having 12 GB of RAM and the OnePlus 10T having 16 GB of RAM. These differences in RAM However should not come into effect until the apps are being “reopened” For the first opening of the app the device should be essentially just working on the power of the processor with minimal support from the RAM. It also has to be stated that the Pixel 6 Pro is on Android 13 whereas the OnePlus 10T is running on Android 12 so there will, of course, be differences due to the way that these respective Operating systems deal with cache memory usage etc.

Put simply if you are looking for speed over anything else then you want a phone with the SnapDragon 8+ Gen 1 inside it which is exactly what OnePlus has delivered and just to make it extra punchy, they slathered a massive 16GB of RAM on top. That is the same amount of RAM as my Macbook Pro 14! With that being said the difference was not as marked as I expected it to be.

I also found that the phone was plenty fast enough for even my moderate gaming needs, admittedly these don’t extend much further than the odd game of World of Warships and Alto’s Odessy but the phone was slick to l0ad up the game and the UI was buttery smooth, this was no doubt helped along by the crisp 120Hz refresh rate of the screen which allowed the gameplay to be smooth and stutter-free.

Next is a bit of a weird one that I would normally not cover in the hardware section of a review but I feel that this needs to be mentioned. The back panel of the phone. it is not what most people think in that it is not made out of Toughened glass or indeed any glass. it is on the other hand made up of a type of plastic known in the “tech world as Glastic” it has some of the properties of Glass but is made out of a plastic composite.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

This is a distinct departure from what we have seen before with the OnePlus Flagship lineup. While it doesn’t necessarily feel as premium it does actually bring some benefits that I feel do get overlooked by some reviews. As the material used is not as dense it does not block the radio signals in and out of the phone meaning that you will not find an antenna break line anywhere on the outside of the phone. This is also due to the outside of the frame being made of plastic as well. In theory, this should allow for a near 360-degree antenna coverage and it should be better than say the likes of the Pixel 6 Pro.

While this was true for mobile signal and Wi-fi as far as I could tell. I did find that the phone really struggled to maintain a GPS signal in some of the areas in South Wales when I driving between our cottage and the various sites we wished to visit. I also had this occur in possibly the flattest of all counties East Anglia! As such I don’t think that problem is due to not having a line of sight to the Satellites but potentially more to do with how good the GPS radio is and where it is positioned on the device. I have asked to see if fellow reviewers have had a similar experience as I did but they have not been able to confirm this or not.

Those are really for me the real differentiators between this and some of the similar phones that are being offered at these price points. There are of course two other things that need to be addressed which I do think are things that OnePlus users will miss. The first is of course the most obvious. I am of course talking about the alert slider or more accurately the lack of one. This feature has been a staple of the Oneplus Flagship lineup since the very first OnePlus One was released to the market. It was even present on the OnePlus X which was sadly the only ever version that we saw of that device. This is the 1st OnepLus device I have ever encountered without this brilliant feature and I have to say it is something that I miss.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

Alert Slider we miss you!

It was not something that I used every day as I work in an environment where it is required to not have my phone ringing or pinging away constantly. Honestly, i used to use it as something that i would absent-mindedly fiddle with in my pocket more often than not but on the occasion where I did need to quickly change my alerts to loud or silent it was just great to have the facility to do so with a simple slide of the switch. I have asked for the reason for its exclusion on this phone and the cited reason was that the space it takes up is being used for seeking out the extra battery size without making the phone thicker or wider. I am not 100% that I buy this but whatever the reason it is not there it stings a bit to not have it on board as it was a genuinely useful feature that people loved, it was also something that was a big standout feature for OnePlus as it made the phones different. I do hope that they can find a way to get it back on board for the OnePlus 11T if they are going to go down that route next year.

The second big omission for me is the lack of QI Wireless charging. I feel that for a phone of this level and also this price point wireless charging is a must-have as people have now come to expect it on their devices. Again I understand from a design point of view it would have added extra bulk to the rear of the phone and it would have also added weight. However with all that being said QI Wireless charging has been a normal way of people charging phones these days with most new cars now either featuring it or at least having it as an option. This for me is an indicator that technology has moved out of the niche domain and into the mainstream as the car industry can in certain terms be quite a bit behind that of the mobile tech industry. I am aware that OnePlus, has the technology to include this even with the SuperVOOC Wireless charging technology that was seen on the OnePlus 10 pro earlier on this year so this is just a cost-saving exercise in my mind and it is one that I feel they didn’t need to do. If I am paying over £700 for a phone I expect it to be near flagship grade and this requires in my eyes at least QI Wireless charging onboard.

Finally, another commission that is not as major as the other two mentioned above is the lack of the official IP rating on the phone as again this is just something that has come to expect for this price point these days. Now I know that while the phone has not got an IP rating the phone is at least splash resistant as I mentioned earlier this test phone has had an energy drink shower!  Surely in terms of the scale that OnePlus is hoping to shift these phones, it would have not cost that much to get the official rating, so instead of scrimping next time around just send it through the testing and certification process, please!

So that wraps up my thought on the hardware side of the phone. Now it is time for the cameras!

Camera

I have seen a lot of people who have been hating the Oneplus 10T for the camera which they are stating is a massive negative on the phone. I have seen some reviewers who are actually calling out OnePlus and saying that this is now the decline of OnePlus! Now whilst I don’t necessarily agree with that extreme judgement, I am not sure that the direction Oneplus have taken with the 10T’s camera is the correct way to go. don’t get me wrong i actually think that camera setup is absolutely fine and i am very happy with the result. i mainly take a lot of wide-angle photos or landscape shots and the camera has performed really well in these scenarios of choice. During the review period, I was lucky enough to away on a “staycation” in South Wales. As such, I was able to really catch some outstanding scenes with this camera and I would like to share the with you if I can.

OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review
OnePlus 10T 5G   Review

As you can see there is quite a good mix of various different styles of photos in the mix here and I was suitably impressed with these images and many more that I have taken in my time with the phone over the few weeks I have had use of it. 

Now, none of this should come as a surprise as the camera being used here are essentially the same as those found on the OnePlus Nord 2 5G that I reviewed near the end of last year. I really enjoyed using that camera and I have really enjoyed using this one as well. The sensors are accurate and the time between shots is quick using the software is easy and does allow you to switch into the more advanced stuff if you wish to. Now I have not had the opportunity to use the Oneplus 10 Pro 5G with all the Hasselblad software that came on that phone but I did test these features when I was using the Oneplus 9 Pro 5G and I honestly would have preferred that they were not on that phone as in my eyes all they did was add to the cost of an already expensive phone. 

I suppose what I am saying is if you like your camera relatively simple and easy to use without having to put a massive amount of thought into what you are doing then this is exactly that. If you want a pro Grade camera with enhanced functionality then consider a Oneplus 10 Pro 5G however i think you may be better served with something in the Sony Xperia lineup as they are really honing in on full-featured Cameras on their latest releases but you are paying a premium for this. I think in this vain this is why the Pixel phone lineup has also appealed to me as it is a simple and intuitive camera UI that actually takes some damn fine images.

On the video front, the camera is again absolutely serviceable without needing to be something fancy and shouty. I very rarely use the video on my phone and I will really only use it to capture footage on the rare occasion when something catches my eye. this waterfall was one of these moments.

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