OnePlus managed to traverse the emotional rainbow from excited to apologetic to confident in New York this morning: excited for the launch of its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 10T; Apologies for the lack of important hardware and software features and; confident that it is offering a device that can exceed customer expectations with an ultra-fast processor and ultra-fast charging, all at a starting price of $649. But there’s a lot more to unravel than just that.
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1|
|advertisement||6.7″ AMOLED 2412 x 1080 @ 120Hz adaptive|
|ports||USB 2.0 (Type-C), Single SIM|
|operating system||Oxygen OS 12.1 with Android 12L|
|Front camera||16 megapixels f/2.4|
|reversing cameras||50 MP f/1.8 Sony IMX766 main camera with OIS, 8 MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle at 120°, 2 MP macro|
|connectivity||5G (below 6 GHz), LTE (4G), WCDMA, GSM, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6, NFC|
|Dimensions||163 × 75.4 × 8.75mm|
|Colours||Moonstone Black, Jade Green|
|Load||125W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition in US (with 160W PD compatible adapter)|
|pricing||$649 and $749|
|RAM and storage||8GB LPDDR5 RAM + 128GB UFS3.1 storage / 16GB + 256GB|
|Micro SD card support||no|
In all honesty, the company has outdone itself and every possible media narrative by clarifying the best and worst aspects of the OnePlus 10T ahead of today’s launch event. But just because issues have been acknowledged doesn’t mean they don’t deserve context.
On the plus side, there’s a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset (a great one in other phones we’ve seen so far), an option for 16GB of RAM, and a 160W SUPERVOOC adapter in the box that powers the device boosts a beefy 4,800mAh battery in no time thanks to our 120V on-board network, even at a lower 125W in the US. OnePlus also gets bonus points for making a PD-compliant SUPERVOOC car charger that can somehow pull 80W out of that old cigarette lighter — it costs $39. The 10T will also employ parent company Oppo’s Battery Health Engine and a dedicated power management co-processor to extend battery life.
The main camera features the 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor, which works fairly well in a number of other devices including the Find X5 Pro, Nothing Phone 1, and Asus Zenfone 9. There’s no Hasselblad branding or tuning to be found here, but it’s fine up in the air as to whether that matters. OnePlus values a good display for its phones, though, and with HDR10+ support, as well as a 120Hz max refresh rate and 1,000Hz touch sample rate, this AMOLED panel should do well.
Of course, it’s not just roses in this garden. You may think the company has lost its way. Don’t worry, the people there know that – they said it on stage.
The Alert slider, a signature attraction for OnePlus fans, isn’t here. The company has posted a full-page regret saying the switch has been swapped away to make room, valuable as it is in a phone, for many of the good things we just talked about, while still being a one maintains acceptable thinness and handfeel.
We reached out to OnePlus knowing people would ask for an increase in thickness or something similar. The company referred us to its prepared statement, which you can read below. It leaves open the possibility that future devices will have an alarm slider again.
Why doesn’t the OnePlus 10T have an alert slider?
Since the introduction of the OnePlus 3T, our T nomenclature has stood for a holistic
Performance upgrade for users. With the OnePlus 10T, we wanted to take this concept to the next level by taking the device’s upgrades beyond pure speed improvements. To achieve this goal, a necessary compromise was the removal of our signature alert slider, which gave us the necessary space inside the device to add new, meaningful technologies that significantly improve the OnePlus experience while maintaining a thin and light design maintain form factor .
Based on feedback from the OnePlus Community forum and the OnePlus Open Ears forums, we know that our users expect high charging performance, large battery capacity, and better antenna signal from OnePlus devices. To excel in each of these three areas, the space inside the phone must be occupied by new technology.
The OnePlus 10T is equipped with 150W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition in India and Europe. In North America, the device comes with 125W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition. To deliver both charging standards and super-fast charging speeds, the OnePlus 10T needs two charging pumps. For comparison, all OnePlus phones with 80W SUPERVOOC charging or lower wattages only need a single charging pump to reach their super-fast speeds. This means that with the OnePlus 10T we are doubling the footprint for the device’s charge pumps, limiting the space inside the device to the alarm slide.
In addition, we’ve worked to ensure that the OnePlus 10T’s super-fast charging is supported by the largest battery possible. Without increasing the thickness of the device, the maximum battery capacity we could have packed into the OnePlus 10T would have been 4,500mAh while keeping the alert slider. So, to increase the device’s battery capacity – to provide a key feature that we know is important to our users – we removed the device’s alarm pusher and made other tweaks to increase its capacity up to 4,800mAh.
Gaming is an integral part of performance. With the OnePlus 10T, we’ve added an improved gaming antenna that delivers better signal performance when the device is held horizontally – the way most mobile titles are played. The addition of this new antenna system was also made possible by the removal of the device’s alarm slider along with other tweaks.
To achieve the three technologies highlighted above, our design team increased the layout utilization rate of the OnePlus 10T’s motherboard from our typical standard of 74% to 78%. While the alarm pusher appears to be a very small component, it actually has a relatively large impact on the device’s motherboard area – it occupies 30mm². To ensure the OnePlus 10T delivers in the areas we know our users value most – high charging performance, a large battery capacity, and better antenna signal while maintaining the alert slider, we should have stacked the device’s motherboard, what would have been made the device thicker. That’s why we decided to remove our signature warning slider this time around, allowing us to deliver these technologies while maintaining a premium hand feel.
Our product team plans to overcome this engineering and design challenge in future devices so we can deliver enhanced technologies while maintaining our signature warning slider. While the OnePlus 10T doesn’t have the alert slider, that doesn’t mean it will be removed from all future OnePlus devices.
Another question we ask ourselves: What’s wrong with software? The company took its time to support OxygenOS 13 – and its “aquamorphic” hints – at the event, but with the required stable version of Android 13 still under wraps (likely until September) and with the older OnePlus 10 Pro coming first set to receive the update, we’re not surprised to hear some concerns from software geeks who feel three operating system upgrades, starting with OxygenOS 12.1 and Android 12L, just isn’t fair. It’s especially a downside as the phone won’t be making it to consumers for at least another month. At least 10T owners get bi-monthly security updates for four years.
Pre-orders for the OnePlus 10T and its accessories begin September 1, with the base model priced at $649 and the top model priced at $749. Amazon, Best Buy and OnePlus.com will be the focal points. Sales (and presumably shipping) will begin on September 29th. OnePlus will contact carrier availability at a later date.
Accepting the purchase, however, depends on your willingness to give what OnePlus asks for: your forgiveness and trust. Perhaps our official rating can help in your decision making.