Last month, OnePlus officially confirmed what we had suspected for some time: there will be no OnePlus 9T. It’s the first time the firm has skipped on a T-series handset since the line was introduced in 2016, meaning that fans are going to have to wait until 2022 to see what a next-generation OnePlus flagship looks like.
But one advantage of skipping the bi-annual update is that the change between generations can appear that bit more transformational. And now we’ve got our first rumor of what the OnePlus 10 may offer, beyond being “polished series 9 models.”
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On Weibo, the leaker Bald Panda (translated by Bing as “pandas are very calm,” so take your pick) claims that the OnePlus 10 Pro will offer a 5x optical zoom, allowing owners to take better quality photos from distance. “Son beats father, use 5x periscope on OnePlus 10 Pro," Google’s enigmatic translation reads.
The father in this case is, presumably, the OnePlus 9 Pro, which currently maxes out at a 3.3x optical zoom on its Hasselblad-branded cameras. It performs well too, with Phones Editor Jordan Palmer giving the phone’s zoomed photography the nod over the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus in his OnePlus 9 Pro review. “While both phones do well with zoom, I have to give the OnePlus the victory here simply because of how much more accurate its image is,” he wrote.
Upping the OnePlus 10 Pro’s optical zoom to 5x would bring it in line with other Chinese rivals like the Huawei P30 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra. Notably, however, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is capable of a 10x optical zoom, taking very impressive pictures indeed. Presumably the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (which may or may not be the Galaxy Note 22) will match or improve on this when it launches, potentially early 2022.
It will probably beat the OnePlus 10 Pro to launch, with one leaker hinting that it may even be unveiled as early as December. The OnePlus 10, meanwhile, is expected in early 2022, going by previous OnePlus phone launches. Hopefully the absence of a OnePlus 9T means the OnePlus 10 series will continue this pattern with an even earlier reveal in 2022.
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Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.