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OnePlus 10: what you need to know about the phone that doesn’t exist

The OnePlus 10 isn't going to join the OnePlus 10 Pro....
black and white striped textile
Photo by Mitchell Luo

There isn’t going to be a OnePlus 10. 

During an exclusive MWC 2022 media briefing which TechRadar attended, OnePlus confirmed its flagship 10 series would consist of just one phone – the OnePlus 10 Pro.

The OnePlus 10 Pro launched in China at the start of the year, but many expected the Chinese brand to introduce a slightly cheaper variant without the ‘Pro’ branding. 

However, for the first time since 2016, OnePlus has opted to have a solo flagship handset. It means when the 10 Pro hits North American, Europe and India in March, it’ll have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to winning over consumers.

It’s not an entirely surprising development. It was odd when OnePlus only announced the 10 Pro in China, and further suspicions were raised as a non-Pro variant hadn’t even been heavily leaked, which is unusual for a high-profile handset.

There won’t be a OnePlus 10, but OnePlus’ cheapest 5G phone ever will launch this year

OnePlus 10: cut to the chase

What is it? A rumored flagship phone which we now know won’t launchWhen is it out? Never, it doesn’t existHow much will it cost? Nothing, it doesn’t exist

We’d only seen limited OnePlus 10 rumors and leaks in the build up to the firm’s confirmation that the phone doesn’t exist. You can read these below.

OnePlus 10 release date and price

There’s no news on exactly when the OnePlus 10 will be unveiled, but the OnePlus 10 Pro got a China-only launch on January 11, so we’d expect the standard model will be hot on its heels.

Perhaps it will be unveiled at the OnePlus 10 Pro’s global launch, which is rumored to happen in March or April. Our best guess would be in or around March, as that’s when the OnePlus 9 range was unveiled.

However, while that could be when we’ll see this phone in the US and the UK, the company doesn’t sell its phones in Australia, so don’t expect a OnePlus 10 release there.

Later in 2022, we could see a OnePlus 10T, as precedent dictates, but one rumor suggests a OnePlus 10 Ultra could also be on the way. We don’t know much about this potential handset, but it could borrow lots of technology from Oppo phones.

With regards to price, the OnePlus 9 started at $729 / £629 (about AU$940) for the lowest-spec base model, so we might see a similar starting price for the OnePlus 10.

Of course, the new phone could shift the price up or down a little, but since the OnePlus 10 doesn’t sound like a huge reinvention, we wouldn’t expect a big shift.

Design and display

We haven’t seen what the OnePlus 10 will look like yet, but one leak suggests the design of the OnePlus 10 will be pretty similar to how the 9-series equivalents looked, just with some polish here and there. OnePlus phones don’t have the most radical designs in the world, so that’s no surprise.

That said, we do know what the OnePlus 10 Pro looks like, and the standard OnePlus 10 may well have a similar design. You can see how the OnePlus 10 Pro looks in the two images below.

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: OnePlus)

The design includes a Hassleblad-emblazoned camera module on the rear of the phone, curving out from the aluminum frame.

The 10 Pro comes in black or green and we can see the notification slider next to the camera bump, with the power button just below it on the same side.

As for the screen, there’s no news there, but the OnePlus 10 Pro has a very similar screen to its predecessor, which might mean the OnePlus 10 will as well. In which case it could have a 6.55-inch 1080 x 2400 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Camera and battery

We don’t know much about the camera of the standard OnePlus 10, but the OnePlus 9 had much the same cameras as the OnePlus 9 Pro, just without the telephoto lens, so the same thing might be true with the OnePlus 10 and 10 Pro, and we know what cameras the latter has.

There’s a 48MP main camera, a 50MP ultra-wide one with a 150-degree field-of-view, and an 8MP telephoto one – the last of those being the snapper the OnePlus 10 is least likely to get. The front-facing camera could also be the same based on past form, which would mean a 32MP one.

We’d imagine many of the modes and features would be the same too, including a Fisheye mode, an improved Pro mode, a RAW+ format (which basically has all the editing potential of RAW format paired with OnePlus’ computational photography), and Master Style mode, which lets you shoot in various visual styles tuned by pro photographers.

When it comes to the battery, we don’t know what the capacity of the OnePlus 10’s battery will be, but based on past form it could be the same as the OnePlus 10 Pro’s, meaning 5,000mAh. Charging power might be the same too at 80W, but we’re not certain yet.

Specs and features

We know that the OnePlus 10 Pro uses the top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, as probably will the standard OnePlus 10. This is the successor to the Snapdragon 888 and is likely to power many of 2022’s flagship Android handsets.

In the case of the OnePlus 10 Pro we also know for sure that it will have fast LPDDR5 RAM, NFC, and that it will run Android 12 overlaid with OxygenOS 12. 

It’s likely that the OnePlus 10 will be the same in all cases here, but that hasn’t been confirmed. The RAM amounts may also be the same, which would mean up to 12GB included, along with up to 256GB of storage.

The phone is also bound to support 5G – that hasn’t been confirmed but it’s a standard feature in the range.

What we want to see

This wish-list for the OnePlus 10 series is based on what we did and didn’t like about the OnePlus 9 series, and what smartphone rivals are doing.

1. A zoom photo renaissance

Some phones come with impressive zoom cameras, like the Mi 11 Ultra with its 48MP 5x zoom camera or the Huawei P50 Pro with its 64MP 3.5x zoomer.

The OnePlus 9 didn’t even have a zoom camera, and the Pro’s snapper was a relatively measly 8MP 3.3x offering. Sure, that’s not terrible, but if you’re spending lots of money you’d want a bit more than that.

We’d like to see the OnePlus 10 pack a telephoto camera, even if it’s just 12MP or 2x zoom, with the OnePlus 10 Pro packing a periscope snapper with 4x or 5x zoom and a higher-res sensor. Though even that wouldn’t help the Pro rival the big dogs, with the S22 Ultra likely to have super-zoom and the Xiaomi 12 possibly having a Pro sibling too, it’d at least be more worthy of its cost.

2. Expandable – or more – storage

(Image credit: Truls Steinung)

The only ‘con’ that both our OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro reviews had in common was the lack of expandable storage. So if you bought a 128GB smartphone, you can’t extend the space with a memory card, and instead need to rely on cloud storage if you want more.

While expandable storage isn’t necessary for most users, phone power-users – the type who’d likely buy a Pro phone, for example – might want the extra space for photos, files, or loads of apps.

Alternatively, perhaps the storage space could be improved. The OnePlus 9 phones come with a max option of 256GB, which is a lot, but not much compared to 512GB or 1TB iPhone 13s. Some people just need lots of storage.

3. Faster charging

Both the OnePlus 9 phones have 65W charging, which is very fast compared to your iPhones or Samsung Galaxy devices… but not quite as speed as rivals from companies like Xiaomi or Huawei.

Granted, 65W is faster than most people will need, but some power-users would likely enjoy the ability to juice up a smartphone in even less time. For example, the recent Xiaomi 11T Pro can power up in just 17 minutes.

Perhaps OnePlus could use this kind of super-fast powering on the 10 Pro, or at least find a competitive powering speed to stay in line with the competition.

4. Better colors

The green OnePlus 9 Pro was the only vaguely interesting-looking member of its family. (Image credit: OnePlus)

If you look at the color options of the OnePlus 9 series, or in fact most devices from the company in general, you’ll see the usual gamut: black, white, maybe a light blue. There’s nothing really interesting there.

We’d like to see OnePlus follow suit with the iPhones, and get a little bit weird in its colors. Let’s see pink. Let’s see red. Let’s see gold.

Sure, vibrant phones are known to sell pretty poorly compared to boring-colored ones, but in a world where most smartphones look near-identical, brands are going to have to look to color sooner or later in order to stand out.

5. Something to come from this Hasselblad co-operation

In 2021, OnePlus announced that it had partnered with Hasselblad for the 9-series cameras. Lots of phone companies partner with camera brands for their snappers, but it wasn’t exactly clear what the Hasselblad partnership would bring for the OnePlus 9.

In the end, it turned out… not much. However OnePlus did suggest that this co-operating would take some time to come to fruition, with the OnePlus 9 series just the first of many handsets to benefit from the collaboration.

Hopefully, with the OnePlus 10 series we’ll see the fruits of OnePlus’ and Hasselblad’s labor. Perhaps we’ll see some new camera modes, or bespoke lenses that impress us. Months after the OnePlus 9 launch we saw a few Hasselblad-centric features brought to the phones, and it’d be great to see the OnePlus 10 launch with something like this.

What are OnePlus phones? Our guide to the brand and its devices





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