OnePlus 10 Pro — 5 reasons to buy and 3 to skip

OnePlus 10 Pro reasons to buy and skip
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The wait for the OnePlus 10 Pro to show up in the U.S. and U.K. is over. OnePlus is now taking orders for its latest flagship, with the phone arriving on April 14. That means it's time to make a decision about the OnePlus 10 Pro — should you get this phone or look elsewhere for your next handset?

As you'll see in our OnePlus 10 Pro review, OnePlus has certainly made a compelling case for this flagship, which we rate among the best Android phones you can buy right now. The design is eye-catching, the performance on par with rival Android flagships and the price is right. Any of those factors would be reason enough to get the OnePlus 10 Pro.

Still, you've got good reason to hesitate, too, as the OnePlus 10 Pro does have its share of flaws. And there are plenty of other devices on our list of the best phones that may be more to your liking.

Here are the reasons to buy and skip the OnePlus 10 Pro.

OnePlus 10 Pro: Reasons to buy

OnePlus 10 Pro cameras

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OnePlus' cameras are better than ever

Starting with the OnePlus 9 series last year, OnePlus forged an agreement with lens specialist Hasselblad to improve the cameras on its flagship phones — long an area where OnePlus had lagged behind the phone makers it hoped to take on. The move immediately paid dividends, as the OnePlus 9 Pro featured vastly improved cameras. That trend continues with the OnePlus 10 Pro.

Specifically, the images captured by the 48MP main camera on the OnePlus 10 Pro can hold their own when compared to anything the best camera phones capture. We like how the ultrawide angle lens gives you the option of switching to a 150-degree field of view if you want to capture all the surrounding details or if you prefer the 100-degree FOV for minimal distortion around the photo's edges. You can also shoot in 10-bit color if you like, while a revamped Pro mode supports 12-bit RAW and boosted dynamic range.

OnePlus 10 Pro camera capturing fountain

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Forget the old argument that OnePlus' cameras just can't compete with the ones on the leading smartphones. The OnePlus 10 Pro cameras are the best OnePlus has ever featured.  

OnePlus 10 Pro goes a long time on a charge

Lots of flagship phones offer big batteries. Count the OnePlus 10 Pro among that group, thanks to its 5,000 mAh cell. But having a big battery and getting the most out of it are two different things — fortunately, the OnePlus 10 Pro excels at the latter.

OnePlus 10 Pro web browsing

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Our battery test is a pretty demanding one, in which we set a phone's display to 150 nits and then have it surf the web over cellular until it runs out of power. Plenty of perfectly fine phones have faltered when asked to pull off that task. The OnePlus 10 Pro, however, was more than up to the challenge. It lasted 11 hours and 52 minutes, beating the average smartphone by around 2 hours and landing a place on our best phone battery life list.

Even more impressively, the OnePlus 10 Pro produced that time with its adaptive refresh rate featured enabled. Other phones with screens that refresh at 120Hz can experience a hit on battery life, but that's simply not a factor with the OnePlus 10 Pro.

Extremely fast recharging

While we're on the subject of the OnePlus 10 Pro battery, you won't have to wait around a long time when it's time to recharge. The OnePlus 10 Pro marks the debut of OnePlus' 80W SuperVooc, which, as the name would imply, lets phones charge at 80W speeds. 

OnePlus 10 Pro power port

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Using the included charger — yes, unlike Apple and Samsung, OnePlus still ships a charger with its flagship phone — we saw some eye-popping recharge times with the OnePlus 10 Pro. After 30 minutes of charging a drained phone, the indicator on the OnePlus 10 Pro was back to 93%.

And that's even with us unable to take full advantage of 80W SuperVooc speeds — 110 and 120-volt AC power outlets can't handle 80W charging, so we're restricted to 65W charing. OnePlus says the difference is only a matter of a few minutes, so we can let that slide.

A great display

If you like ample screen real estate, you'll love the OnePlus 10 Pro. It offers a 6.7-inch screen with a 3216 x 1440 resolution. Even better, the variable refresh rate can scale up to 120Hz when your onscreen activity will benefit from a faster refresh rate (such as scrolling through a website or watching a video). When the onscreen activity is static, the refresh rate drops down to 1Hz, in a battery-saving move.

OnePlus 10 Pro playing video games

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It's worth noting that OnePlus has paid extra attention to color calibration on the OnePlus 10 Pro, and we've found the colors pretty pleasing when we tested the phone. More importantly, the OnePlus 10 Pro features separate calibrations at 100 nits and 500 nits, so that colors stay accurate even as the screen brightens and dims.

Great features for the price

After botching the price of the OnePlus 9 Pro — that phone cost more than $1,000 in the U.S. — OnePlus has set things right with its new flagship. The OnePlus 10 Pro starts at $899, which matches the price of the Pixel 6 Pro and beats the price of both the Galaxy S22 Plus and S22 Ultra. Those latter two phones run on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, the same chipset that OnePlus uses, so the OnePlus 10 Pro gives you comparable performance for a lower cost.

OnePlus 10 Pro compared to Galaxy S22 Ultra

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And OnePlus hasn't cut too many corners to reach that price, as you can see from the features outlined above. For a phone maker looking to siphon away customers from Apple and Samsung, that's a winning strategy and perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to buy the OnePlus 10 Pro.

OnePlus 10 Pro: Reasons to skip

No 5G on AT&T

While the OnePlus 10 Pro supports 5G connectivity, that support is incomplete. AT&T customers who want to use the OnePlus 10 Pro won't be able to enjoy faster 5G connectivity — like, at all.

The OnePlus 10 Pro does support T-Mobile's 5G network, and the phone maker is working with Verizon to certify the phone with that carrier's 5G service. But AT&T customers should look to other top 5G phones if they want a device that's compatible with their carrier.

The telephoto lens remains a weak spot

We like the OnePlus 10 Pro's cameras, we really do. But if there's any area that could stand to see some improvement in future OnePlus, it's with the 8MP telephoto lens.

A photo of the OnePlus 10 Pro

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The problem starts with that megapixel rating. A mere 8MP is pretty skimpy, especially compared to the dual 10MP lenses on the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the 48MP sensor that the Pixel 6 Pro uses. As a result, zoom shots taken with the OnePlus 10 Pro didn't look as sharp or as detailed when compared to similar photos from other camera phones.

You'll be able to make do with the OnePlus 10 Pro's telephoto lens, should you decide to get this phone. But there are more powerful options available, too.

Confusing water resistance ratings

One of the ways OnePlus reduces costs on its flagships is to avoid getting a certified water resistance rating when it can, as that can add to a handset's price. OnePlus says phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro can stand up to water, but we have no IP certification to back up that claim.

Or at least we don't for the unlocked version of the phone. T-Mobile plans to sell a version of the OnePlus 10 Pro with an IP68 water resistance rating, which is good news if you plan on getting the phone from that carrier, but not so good if you want the unlocked model. We wish OnePlus made water resistance less of a guessing game.

OnePlus 10 Pro bottom line

Pick up the OnePlus 10 Pro and you'll get a full-featured premium device at a great price. That said, the lack of 5G compatibility on AT&T network, the lackluster telephoto lens and the missing water resistance rating on the unlocked version of the phone may turn off would-be customers. If those factors are important to you, you'll want to consider other device, but overall, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a great addition to the Android landscape.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.