FYI: OnePlus still appears to be working on a foldable phone.
Heading into the OnePlus 10 Pro global launch event yesterday (March 31), we already knew all about the major new features arriving with the latest OnePlus flagship. Since the phone maker previewed the phone in January for the OnePlus 10 Pro launch in China, we knew all about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset powering the phone, the continued partnership with Hasselblad (and the camera improvements that promises) and the fast-refreshing display. All those features combined to paint a picture of a device ready to take on the best Android phones, if not the best phones overall.
But one piece of the puzzle was missing — how much the OnePlus 10 Pro was going to cost in the U.S. OnePlus supplied the answer during its March 31 live event, and the answer should please anyone looking for an alternative to high-priced flagship devices.
The OnePlus Pro 10 will cost $899 for the version of the phone with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There's also a 12GB/256GB model in the works, but that's not arriving until later at an unspecified price.
OnePlus 10 Pro price: How it compares to other phones
The $899 cost of the OnePlus 10 Pro is reason enough to celebrate, though. That price falls squarely between the $799 Galaxy S22 and $999 Galaxy S22 Plus. (For that matter, it's also right between the identically-priced iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models.) But when you consider all the features OnePlus has packed into its new flagship, a more interesting comparison to one of Samsung's flagships is with the $1,199 Galaxy S22 Ultra.
True, the S22 Ultra offers a built-in stylus, and its cameras performed slightly better than the OnePlus 10 Pro in some of the head-to-head shots we took. But the S22 Ultra's cameras aren't significantly better, and the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicon powers both Samsung and OnePlus devices. What's more, the OnePlus 10 lasts longer on a charge and offers a faster recharge speed than the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
In other words, you can get a comparable phone for $300 less when you opt for the One Plus 10 Pro, and all you're really giving up is the brighter display of Samsung's phone, a built-in stylus and a squint-to-see-it superiority in some photos. That's a trade-off a lot of people would happily make to save that kind of money.
The OnePlus 10 Pro has some company in the area of lower-cost Android flagships. Google also prices the Pixel 6 Pro at $899, and the cameras on that phone are clearly superior to what OnePlus has to offer, even with the advances made due to the Hasselblad partnership. In other categories, though — such as performance and battery life — the OnePlus 10 Pro is a more appealing option. So the choice between the two phones really comes down to how highly you prioritize cameras.
Righting the OnePlus 9 Pro's wrong
There's another phone we need to compare the price of the OnePlus 10 Pro to — last year's OnePlus 9 Pro. Looking back on that phone. it's safe to say that OnePlus got it completely wrong when it came up with the OnePlus 9 Pro's price tag.
As a reminder, last year's OnePlus flagship cost $1,069 — much more than comparable devices from Samsung and Apple. Part of the problem was that OnePlus had planned to put out a less expensive version of the OnePlus 9 Pro, with less memory and storage, but that model never materialized in the U.S. Even so, the $969 price for that version of the OnePlus 9 Pro was pretty hefty, and much more than OnePlus is charging for this year's phone.
Coming up with the right price is important for any device maker. But when you're outside the Apple-Samsung phone duopoly, it's even more crucial to set a price that makes smartphone shoppers willing to look beyond the iPhones and Galaxy devices of this world.
The OnePlus 10 Pro faces some formidable competition from other devices. But based on its price alone, it looks like the upstart phone maker has some fight in it yet.