The OnePlus 10 Pro launches this week for the U.S. at a virtual event March 31, and there's one flagship that really stands in its way if OnePlus wants to claim the title of best Android phone. And that's the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Don't get me wrong. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is a great device, and it's also quite affordable at just $899, but the real litmus test for OnePlus is whether it can take on the ultimate premium Android flagship.
Based on what we've heard so far about the OnePlus 10 Pro after its launch in China earlier this year, it sounds like a formidable device. You get a 6.7-inch 120Hz adaptive display, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 power, blazing charging speeds and more. There's still some unknowns about OnePlus 10 Pro — such as its U.S. price — but here's some ways it could beat the Galaxy S22 Ultra and truly stand out.
OnePlus 10 Pro can blow away Galaxy S22 Ultra price
The OnePlus 10 Pro U.S. pricing has not yet been announced, but we're anticipating that it will be cheaper than the Galaxy S22 Ultra's steep $1,199 price tag. The previous OnePlus 9 Pro cost $1,069 — a $969 version never materialized in the U.S. — but we're hoping OnePlus goes even lower this year. An $899 price, for example, would put the OnePlus 10 Pro on a par with the Pixel 6 Pro and make the new OnePlus phone $300 less than the S22 Ultra and $100 less than the Galaxy S22 Plus.
In China, the OnePlus 10 Pro starts at 4699 yuan, which is roughly $738, but we don't think the phone's price is going to be that low in the U.S.
Way faster charging — with charger in the box
The global model of the OnePlus 10 Pro supports 80W charging, which is rated to fill its huge 5,000 mAh battery from 1% to 100% in just 32 minutes. The bad news is that the U.S. version will be limited to 65W charging. As reported by GSM Arena, this is because "80W SUPERVOOC does not currently support 110 or 120-volt AC power – the typical standard for power outlets in the region."
The good news is that 65W charging is still very fast, and it should beat the 45W charging offered by the Galaxy S22 Ultra. For example, the S22 Ultra got to 67% in 30 minutes, but last year's 65W OnePlus 9 Pro got from empty to 50% in 15 minutes and to 99% in 30 minutes. So we expect similar performance from the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Plus, unlike Samsung, the fast charger will be offered in the box with the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Very capable cameras — except zoom
The OnePlus 10 Pro should be able to give the Galaxy S22 Ultra a run for its money when it comes to photography. It packs a 48MP main camera, 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto lens and a 32MP front camera. It largely loses out on resolution to Samsung, but it could beat the S22 Ultra in other ways.
For one, the OnePlus 10 Pro offers a special ultrawide mode that goes up to 150 degrees, which will let you capture more of a scene than the S22's Ultra's 120-degree FOV.
OnePlus also promises 10-bit color support from all the rear lenses and a Pro mode for shooting in 12-bit RAW. However, the Galaxy S22 Ultra does 16-bit RAW photos.
The one area where OnePlus trails is zoom, as you get 3.3x optical and 10x digital, compared to 10x optical and up to 120x digital for the S22 Ultra.
More captivating design (and less bulk)
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is one elegant-looking phone with its cameras that nearly blend into the back of the handset. But the OnePlus 10 Pro is a head-turner in its own right. Yes, there's a prominent square block of lenses on the OnePlus, but the the contrast of the cameras against the body pops, and we like the two colors: Volcanic Black and Emerald Forest. The Galaxy S22 Ultra does have more color options, though.
More important, the leaked specs for the OnePlus 10 Pro point to a lighter and more compact phone than the Samsung. We're talking about the difference between 6.42 x 2.91 x 0.34 inches and 7 ounces and a whopping 6.43 x 3.07 x 0.35 inches and 8 ounces. So the OnePlus 10 Pro should be easier to use with one hand.
Longer battery life
The OnePlus 10 Pro has its work cut out for it if wants to outlast the Galaxy S22 Ultra, but OnePlus can definitely pull it off. On the Tom's Guide battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over 5G, the S22 Ultra lasted 10 hours and 11 minutes in 60Hz mode and 10:02 in adaptive mode.
The OnePlus 10 Pro has the same size 5,000 mAh battery, but it's certainly possible OnePlus can cross the 11-hour mark and make our best phone battery life list. Stay tuned for our full test results.
It's always an uphill battle when you have an upstart like OnePlus challenge Samsung, but the OnePlus 10 Pro can definitely make some waves with its new flagship. The most important differentiator will likely be the price, as OnePlus will need to seriously undercut the S22 Ultra to stand a chance.
Assuming the OnePlus 10 Pro is cheaper, the phone will still need to deliver on performance, cameras, display quality and battery life if it wants to take down the champ. Stay tuned for our full OnePlus 10 Pro review.