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OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: What's different?

The OnePlus 10 Pro (left) and the OnePlus 9 Pro from the back
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The OnePlus 10 Pro is now here, and there's a lot of ground to cover when checking out its updates compared to the OnePlus 9 Pro. While we really liked the 9 Pro when it launched last year, OnePlus has made several significant upgrades that have made the 10 Pro one of our new favorite phones.

While the 10 Pro gets one fewer camera than the 9 Pro, the quality of the photos should be improved, plus there are new camera modes to try out for more unique shots. Couple that to an updated chipset, a more efficient display and a new faster charging standard, and it's hard to deny the 10 Pro is the phone to go for. But is it worth an upgrade from the 9 Pro to the 10 Pro? That's harder to say.

Read on for a breakdown of the OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro match-up.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Specs

OnePlus 10 ProOnePlus 9 Pro
Display6.7-inch AMOLED, QHD+ (3,216 X 1,440)6.7-inch AMOLED, QHD+ (3,168 x 1,440)
Refresh rate1Hz - 120Hz adaptive, LTPO 2.01Hz - 120Hz adaptive, LTPO
Rear cameras48MP wide, 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto with 3.3x optical zoom48MP wide, 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto with 3.3x optical zoom, 2MP monochrome
Front camera32MP16MP
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 1Snapdragon 888
RAM8GB, 12GB8GB, 12GB
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
Battery size5,000 mAh4,500 mAh
Charging65W/80W wired*, 50W wireless65W wired, 50W wireless
Size6.4 x 2.9 x 0.34 inches (163.0 x 73.9 x 8.55 millimetres)6.4 x 2.9 x 0.34 inches (163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7 millimetres)
Weight7 ounces (200 grams)6.9 ounces (197 grams)
ColorsVolcanic Black, Emerald ForestMorning Mist, Pine Green

*80W wired charging is only available on OnePlus 10 Pro handsets outside the U.S. and Canada. Models sold in these two regions instead have 65W charging

 OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Price and availability

You can buy a OnePlus 9 Pro from various carriers and retailers both in the U.S. and the U.K. The basic model has an MSRP $969/£829, and comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. The more expensive version costs $1,069/£929 and gets 12GB RAM and 256GB storage instead. However both are now available at a discount if you shop around.

That's just as well, since the price of the OnePlus 10 Pro is notably lower, starting at $899/£799 for an 8GB RAM/128GB storage model. That's also as cheap as the Pixel 6 Pro for U.S. buyers, making your choice a fair bit harder. Check out our OnePlus 10 Pro vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for more on the match-up versus Samsung's best.

The OnePlus 10 Pro is currently available for pre-orders. It'll go on open sale on April 5.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Design

There's no noticeable difference between the front of the OnePlus 9 Pro and the OnePlus 10 Pro. Both use curved displays with camera punch-holes in the top left corner. You have to flip over the phones to see the biggest change.

OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The OnePlus 9 Pro had a fairly simple rectangular camera block in its top left corner, with the Hasselblad logo dividing the larger two lenses from the smaller two. The OnePlus 10 Pro extends this block over to the left where it curves over to meet the phone's side rail. OnePlus also has rearranged the three cameras into a square shape on the back of its new phone, with the fourth spot being occupied by the flash.

OnePlus 10 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Checking out the measurements of the phones shows very marginal differences in size and weight. There are only fractions of a millimeter between the height, width and depth of the two OnePlus devices, and just 0.1 of an ounce between their weight. If you're okay with picking a 6.7-inch phone to begin with, there's not a big enough difference to influence your decision

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Display

Both the OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro have 6.7-inch AMOLED displays with QHD resolution. However the new phone has a slightly taller panel at 3,216 X 1,440 pixels, compared to the OnePlus 9 Pro's 3,168 x 1,440.

The OnePlus 10 Pro (left) and the OnePlus 9 Pro from the front

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The bigger difference comes in with the refresh rates. While both phones have adaptive refresh rates from 1Hz to 120Hz, the underlying tech differs. The OnePlus 9 Pro uses an original version of the LTPO display layer, whereas the OnePlus 10 Pro uses LTPO 2.0. While this doesn't unlock any new features, this makes the 10 Pro's display the smoother and more efficient of the two.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Cameras

Technically, OnePlus has taken a step backward with the cameras on the OnePlus 10 Pro by arming it with one less camera than the OnePlus 9 Pro.

oneplus 9 pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Starting with the rear arrays, both the 10 Pro and 9 Pro use 48MP main cameras, 50MP ultrawide cameras, and 8MP telephoto cameras with 3.3x optical zoom. The OnePlus 9 Pro adds to this by also featuring a 2MP monochrome sensor, designed to give additional texture to black and white photos. However we never found this sensor to be particularly useful, so we won't miss that lens on the OnePlus 10 Pro.

The OnePlus 9 Pro introduced OnePlus' partnership with camera maker Hasselblad, and that's continued with the OnePlus 10 Pro's second-gen color tuning by the Swedish camera company. The joint effort bore fruit last year as it made OnePlus' historically weak photography much more competitive, so how are thing different this time?

In this main camera shot of the Palm House at Kew Gardens, we can see an immediate difference in the brightness of the shot. The colors look to be pretty much the same, but the 10 Pro's given us a much more appealing scene.

Using the same cameras in night mode, this image of a garden shed is again brighter when taken with the OnePlus 10 Pro. The OnePlus 9 Pro has a much greener tint to its image, which perhaps makes it more accurate even if it is a bit dim.

Moving now to the ultrawide cameras, and the Color Transfer sculpture by Liz West in Paddington, we see a reversal in that the OnePlus 10 Pro's not as bright as the OnePlus 9 Pro. However the 9 Pro has taken it too far, which you can see in the lost detail in the stone lit by the shaft of light coming in from the right side. It would have been good if the 10 Pro had been a touch brighter though, in order to make out the colors of the panels on the leftmost third of the sculpture.

Back at Kew Gardens, I managed to get a telephoto shot of a peacock strutting around the Japanese Garden. We're back to the OnePlus 10 Pro providing a brighter shot, except this time it's had more serious consequences for the 9 Pro. The dimmer image combined with the small 8MP sensor means you lose a fair bit of detail in the rocks, gravel and the peacock's feathers.

OnePlus 10 Pro cameras

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lastly, we come to the front cameras, where there's been a subtle change. The OnePlus 10 Pro's front camera now uses a higher resolution 32MP sensor, rather than the OnePlus 9 Pro's 16MP sensor.

What I notice in this selfie shot, taken outside Queen Charlotte's Cottage at Kew Gardens, are the improved colors on the OnePlus 10 Pro's shot. It's far more attractive than the drab tones of the OnePlus 9 Pro.

While the basic stats haven't changed much, OnePlus has introduced some new tricks for its latest flagship. The OnePlus 10 Pro can now shoot in RAW format for easier editing, and it offers 10-bit color photography, a Move Mode for more expressive videos and Master Style photo pre-sets. The ultrawide camera can now also shoot at a 150-degree angle, as well as the normal 110-degree one, to fit even more into your shot.

While there haven't been earth-shattering upgrades between the cameras on the onePlus 9 Pro and those on the OnePlus 10 Pro, the 10 Pro definitely takes better photos. Add in the extra versatility above, and there's no question it offers a better photography experience.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Performance and 5G

As you'd expect, OnePlus has updated its silicon to the best currently available from Qualcomm. The OnePlus 9 Pro used a strong Snapdragon 888 chip, but the OnePlus 10 Pro uses its successor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which should offer more computing power and greater power efficiency.

Like the OnePlus 9 Pro, OnePlus is offering the OnePlus 10 Pro with either 8GB RAM and 128GB storage,  or 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. The 12GB version is only on offer outside the U.S. though.

In benchmark testing with the Geekbench 5 CPU test, the 10 Pro scored 995 single core and 3482 on the multicore test. That's actually lower than the 1,126/3,685 score the OnePlus 9 Pro managed, but this could be due to the difference in RAM between our review units. Fortunately the 10 Pro thoroughly beats the 9 Pro on the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited graphics benchmark, scoring 10,221 points with an average frame rate of 61fps, compared to 5,755 and 34.5fps.

Both of the Snapdragon 8 series chips come with 5G compatibility as standard. However due to different U.S. carriers using different 5G bands, compatibility with the OnePlus 9 Pro was inconsistent. We can only hope that OnePlus sorts this issue out in time for the OnePlus 10 Pro's global launch.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Battery and charging

The OnePlus 10 Pro scores two victories over the OnePlus 9 Pro in this category. First off, the OnePlus 10 Pro offers a larger 5,000 mAh battery, compared to the 4,500 mAh battery in the OnePlus 9 Pro. That has landed the OnePlus 10 Pro on our best phone battery life list, with an impressive result of 11 hours and 52 minutes running at 120Hz on the Tom's Guide custom battery test. OnePlus 9 Pro lasted a better-than-average 10 hours and 40 minutes on the same test, but the 10 Pro marks a substantial improvement.

OnePlus 9 Pro review

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As for charging, OnePlus has improved on the OnePlus 9 Pro's already strong 65-watt wired charging by taking it up to 80 watts. Even accounting for the battery capacity increase, OnePlus still promise the 10 Pro will go from empty to 100% charged in 32 minutes. The OnePlus 9 Pro made it from 0% to 99% in 30 minutes when we tested it.

However that 80W speed is not available in the U.S. or Canada. Because OnePlus' charging system doesn't work with the different frequency of AC electricity used in these countries, the 10 Pro comes with a 65W charger instead, according to an official post on the OnePlus Forum. That's disappointing news but 65W is at least still plenty fast, filling the phone to 93% in 30 minutes.

Both the OnePlus 9 Pro and the 10 Pro feature 50W wireless charging. This tech takes 30 minutes to charge the OnePlus 9 Pro to 70%, assuming you're using the correct charging stand. Since it has a larger battery, it takes 47 minutes to 100% fill the OnePlus 10 Pro.

OnePlus 10 Pro in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unlike rival phones from Samsung, Google or Apple, OnePlus still ships its phones with charging bricks included. So you'll have access to these crazy wired charging speeds without needing to pay extra. 

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Software

Here's where one of the sneakiest differences between these two phones lies. The OnePlus 9 Pro launched with OxygenOS 11, OnePlus' take on Android 11. The OnePlus 10 Pro comes with OxygenOS 12, an Android 12 skin that was worked on by both OnePlus and its stablemate Oppo. 

OxygenOS 12 introduces some updates like a new gesture to summon the Shelf, OnePlus' screenful of widgets that behaves like an iPhone's Control Center; and a more customizable dark mode that lets you pick from three different options.

OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

When we tested OxygenOS 12 at launch on a OnePlus 9 Pro, we were less than pleased with how many rough edges we found. We're glad to see that the rough edges have been smoothed off.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Outlook

On paper, the OnePlus 10 Pro should easily be the better purchase given many of its upgrades over the OnePlus 9 Pro. And it has taken over its predecessor's spots on our best phones and best Android phones lists.

OnePlus 10 Pro cameras

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The OnePlus 10 Pro's larger battery, increased performance and more efficient display are all key reasons why it'll make for a better phone for most people. And unless you really want the 9 Pro's monochrome sensor, photography on the 10 Pro is better, too. If you're outside North America and can use the faster charging standard too, then there's another reason to go for the 10 Pro.

The OnePlus 9 Pro still offers many similar features to the 10 Pro though, which means it's probably not worth you upgrading if you already own a 9 Pro. While it may be tempting to do so, the OnePlus 9 Pro remains a capable smartphone even a year after launch. You're likely better off waiting another year before upgrading, or looking at a Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or Google Pixel 6 Pro if you want a great but different Android experience.

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio 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.