This new OnePlus 10 rumor has me worried — but I hope I'm wrong

OnePlus 10 Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A standard OnePlus 10 may still be on the cards, despite the OnePlus 10 Pro launching all by itself with no sign of a non-flagship variant. 

Yet as good as the OnePlus 10 Pro is, I'm still holding out hope for a more affordable OnePlus 10 model, which could sport a few of the Pro's best features for a lower price. While this new rumor suggests that the phone may exist, sadly it might not be the one I've been holding out for.

Leaker Yogesh Brar claims that a device that's possibly the OnePlus 10 is being readied for a "limited release". This phone will allegedly use a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chipset, rather than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip found in the 10 Pro. Altogether, that's a mix of good news and bad news.

I've argued before about the need for a OnePlus 10 to provide an alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Google Pixel 6, so assuming this phone comes with a similar $800 or lower price-tag, that's great. I'm not so keen on the sound of a limited release though. That could mean the phone doesn't make it to the U.S. or the U.K., like the entry-level OnePlus 9R last year, depriving users of an alternative to the established Android options. 

The bigger question though is what the Dimensity 9000 chipset will mean for the phone's performance. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has performed well in our testing, both for the OnePlus 10 Pro and for other flagship Android phones with the chip, so why change it out? 

Benchmarks for the Dimensity chip show it's almost or equally as powerful as the Snapdragon chip. Plus, I was impressed by the increased power on offer in the OnePlus Nord 2's Dimensity 1200-AI chip compared to the Snapdragon equivalents. If the OnePlus 10 does come with this Dimensity chip, perhaps it can manage the same feat.

Some of my other must-have features for the OnePlus 10 aren't mentioned in the rumor. That includes things like the same long-lasting 5,000 mAh battery, speedy 80W (or 65W charging for the U.S), the smooth 120Hz QHD display or the second-gen Hasselblad camera tuning. While a cheaper model may have to ditch some of these standout features to save component costs, keeping as many of these as possible would help sell the phone in a crowded Android phone market, and would show that OnePlus is serious about keeping to its flagship-killing origins.

Brar also mentions the OnePlus 10 Ultra, a model we've heard a few rumors of before. Given the OnePlus 10 Pro has changed its aim to a lower-priced part of the market, perhaps it does make sense for the company to offer a new model to battle with the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro. Particularly if this OnePlus 10 Ultra gets even more powerful cameras like a periscope telephoto snapper as rumored

It's hard to figure out exactly what OnePlus has in mind because of its new release strategy for the 10 Pro and its new merger with Oppo, which will likely continue to impact how the company releases products. I hope that the base OnePlus 10 is real, and does go on sale in the U.S. and U.K. Even if the Dimensity chip isn't as powerful, as long as the other best parts of the OnePlus 10 Pro experience remain in place, it'll likely be another great option for Android phone buyers.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.