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OnePlus 10 — early rumors and the upgrades we want

OnePlus 10 pro concept renders
(Image credit: LetsGoDigitsl)

The OnePlus 9T is officially dead, and that means there isn’t likely to be a new OnePlus flagship until the launch of the OnePlus 10 next year. We don’t know exactly why the 9T isn’t happening, just that it isn’t.

But that means we have to look forward and see what OnePlus could have in store for us when the OnePlus 10 (and likely the OnePlus 10 Pro) arrive. Details are still scarce, but here’s what we know so far.

OnePlus 10 release date speculation

 We haven’t heard anything about when the OnePlus 10 will be released, but it’s likely going to arrive in early 2022. The OnePlus 9 series launched in March, roughly a month earlier than the OnePlus 8 series arrived the previous year. Our guess is that OnePlus will stick to a similar release window with the OnePlus 10. 

OnePlus 10 design

OnePlus 10 pro concept render front and back

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

According to one early leak, the OnePlus 10 is going to be a “polished series 9”, suggesting that the phones wouldn't look that different from the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro that arrived earlier this year.

Normally that sort of description is what we’d expect from a T series phone. But now that the OnePlus 9T has been officially cancelled, it makes sense that OnePlus may recycle that process for the OnePlus 10 series.

OnePlus 10 software

The OnePlus 10 is going to see a big change for the OnePlus lineup, thanks to the company having a closer relationship with sister brand Oppo. Both companies are set to merge its respective flavors of Android, OxygenOS and Color OS, into a single, unified smartphone operating system. 

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed that the OnePlus 10 will be the first OnePlus device to use the new operating system when it launches. It was also announced that older OnePlus devices, up to and including the OnePlus 8, will be able to upgrade eventually.

"By combining our software resources to focus on one unified and upgraded operating system for both OnePlus and Oppo devices globally,” Lau said. ”We will combine the strengths from both into one even more powerful OS: the fast and smooth, burdenless experience of OxygenOS, and the stability and rich features of ColorOS."

Presumably this means that the still-unnamed OS will keep the same clean near-stock Android experience of OxygenOS, which will be a relief to long-time OnePlus fans.

OnePlus 10 camera

OnePlus 10 pro concept render camera module

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

We haven’t heard much about the OnePlus 10’s camera system just yet, though based on previous phones we can make some informed guesses about what might be on the way.

The main thing we do know is that the phone will likely come with Hasselblad branded cameras, just like the OnePlus 9 series. The two companies committed to a three year partnership focussing on camera software, color tuning and sensor calibration. 

Since the OnePlus 9 was the first phone to feature Hasselblad cameras, and since both announced length of the partnership, it’s almost certain that the OnePlus 10 and even the OnePlus 11 will as well. After that? Who knows. But we won't see what happens there until 2024.

It’s also possible that the OnePlus 10 will come with three cameras, as has been the case with the OnePlus 9, 8T, 8, and 7T. Meanwhile, we’d expect that the OnePlus 10 Pro would come with at least four, like the OnePlus 8 Pro and 9 Pro. 

What those lenses might be isn’t clear, since OnePlus has been a little inconsistent, but we can certainly expect to see wide and ultrawide angle lenses on both phones. Possibly a telephoto lens, with optical zoom, on the Pro.

Renders from LetsGoDigital show off a OnePlus 10 with a circular camera module and quite large camera lenses. However it’s not clear what these renders are based on, and it’s likely that the OnePlus 10 that goes on sale won’t look like this.  

The latest tidbit of camera information comes courtesy of a Weibo post, which claims the OnePlus 10 Pro will get a 5x optical zoom range, trumping the 3.3x zoom of its predecessor. That would give it the zooming capabilities to challenge the likes of the iPhone 13 Pro. We'd take this with a pinch of slat as the rumors is a little vague, but the more zoom range for OnePlus phones would be much appreciated and would seem like a smart upgrade. 

Of course, OnePlus will need to ensure it does plenty of work on the image signal processing and computational photography side to be in with a chance of earning a spot on our best camera phones list. 

OnePlus 10: What we’d like to see

OnePlus 10 pro concept render back

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Official water resistance ratings: OnePlus has never been particularly fond of IP water resistance ratings, only releasing two phones with one over its lifetime: The OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro. It’s about time OnePlus followed the rest of the phone industry and offered it on both OnePlus 10 models.

Faster wireless charging: OnePlus was always slow to take up wireless charging, and the first non-Pro device to get it was the OnePlus 9. Unfortunately it only had 15W wireless charging speeds, compared to the 9 Pro’s 50W. Even if the OnePlus 10 isn’t quite as fast as the 10 Pro, we still need more than a measly 15W.

No gimmicky cameras: Whether it’s a macro lens, monochrome lens, or something equally as pointless, OnePlus has a history of fluffing its cameras with an extra lens that doesn’t do very much. It’s worse when the genuinely useful telephoto lens is sacrificed as a result. We just hope the OnePlus 10 range doesn’t fall into the same trap.

More camera improvements: While the OnePlus 9 range made huge advances in camera performance, OnePlus is still lagging behind the likes of Apple and Google. We hope that the OnePlus 10 keeps that momentum going, and makes similarly large leaps in post-snap camera processing.

Keep the pricing low: Flagship phones seem to be getting more and more expensive, and OnePlus is no exception. However, the company has always had more to offer at lower price points, and we’d like to see that continue. Yes the iPhone 13 Pro may be $999, but that doesn’t mean the OnePlus 10 Pro has to be as well. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.