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

The OnePlus 10 Pro (left) and the OnePlus 9 Pro
(Image credit: OnePlus)

With the OnePlus 10 Pro fully unveiled at long last, it's time to see how this new flagship compares to last year's OnePlus 9 Pro. A OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro comparison reveals a pair of OnePlus flagship phones through and through, with some noteworthy improvements to check out on the newer device

While it's still early, the OnePlus 10 Pro looks to be a major refinement of what OnePlus did with the 9 Pro last year. There are new photography tricks to try out (although one less rear sensor on the OnePlus 10 Pro), an improved display, an upgraded chip and even faster charging. Really the only problem with the OnePlus 10 Pro is that you can't buy it outside of China yet, though that's going to change in the coming months.

Read on for a breakdown of what's changed since the release of the OnePlus 9 Pro and the arrival of the OnePlus 10 Pro.

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
Storage128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
Battery size5,000 mAh4,500 mAh
Charging80W 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

 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.

We don't have prices for the OnePlus 10 Pro yet, except in Chinese yuan: 4,699 yuan for the basic model and 5,299 yuan for the top model. The good news is that both of these prices are cheaper than the launch prices of the OnePlus 9 Pro, which suggests we may see a small discount compared to last year.

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: OnePlus)

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 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 should make 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.

OnePlus 10 Pro

(Image credit: OnePlus)

On the front, there's also 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. This should allow for extra detail in your selfies.

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.

The OnePlus 9 Pro introduced OnePlus' partnership with camera maker Hasselblad, and that's continued with the OnePlus 10 Pro. The joint effort bore fruit as it made OnePlus' historically weak photography much more competitive, although low-light photos were still noticeably lacking compared to rival phones. Hopefully this will have been addressed with the OnePlus 10 Pro. 

We'll have to wait until the OnePlus 10 Pro is available to us for a review before we give these phones a proper comparison in this area. But from the looks of it, the 10 Pro should be the better camera phone compared to the 9 Pro.

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. In China, there's also an 8GB RAM/256GB storage model, but models like that haven't come to the global market before and we don't expect it to this time either.

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. Could that extra battery land the OnePlus 10 Pro on our best phone battery life list? Considering that the OnePlus 9 Pro lasted a better-than-average 10 hours and 40 minutes on the same test, the signs are encouraging.

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.

Both the OnePlus 9 Pro and the 10 Pro feature 50W wireless charging as well. 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 9 pro wireless charging

(Image credit: OnePlus)

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 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 will come with OxygenOS 12, an Android 12 skin that was worked on by both OnePlus and its stablemate Oppo. 

OxygenOS 12 borrows many elements from Oppo's own ColorOS, which OnePlus uses on its phones in China. You can update the OnePlus 9 Pro to this version, but that phone may still be on version 11 out of the box.

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. Hopefully when the OnePlus 10 Pro arrives outside of China, we'll be in for a much smoother experience.

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: Outlook

This OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro comparison is a bit early, given that it'll still be months until the OnePlus 10 Pro arrives for us to actually compare it properly with the OnePlus 9 Pro. On paper though, the OnePlus 10 Pro should easily be the better purchase, if you don't need a phone right away. And given that the OnePlus 9 Pro is already on our best phones and best Android phones lists, the 10 Pro looks set to take over those spots.

The OnePlus 10 Pro's faster charging, 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 seems bound to be better, too.

The OnePlus 9 Pro has the advantage of being available right now. The price has already dropped too, and will likely keep dropping once the OnePlus 10 Pro is available, but remember that buying older phones means you get less time with it before it stops getting full OS updates. If you like to keep your phones for a while, it may be best to wait for the 10 Pro, but if you switch more frequently, taking the 9 Pro will save you a little money in the short term.

Richard Priday

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. 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.