This upcoming premium smartphone will likely launch as part of the early-year wave of top-end smartphones, with the Samsung Galaxy S22, Xiaomi 12 and Oppo Find X4 expected to be close contemporaries and rivals.
We haven’t heard too much about the OnePlus 10 just yet – there are a few leaks, which we’ll share below – but rumors will probably start up soon, particularly in the new year ahead of the phone’s debut.
We’ve also drawn up a wish-list of features we want to see in the OnePlus 10, including changes from previous phones and added extras from rival devices, which would give the OnePlus 10 and 10 Pro a better chance of getting a top review score.
OnePlus 10: cut to the chase
- What is it? OnePlus’ next flagship phone
- When is it out? January is confirmed
- How much will it cost? Likely starting at $729 / £629 (about AU$940)
OnePlus 10 release date and price
The OnePlus 10 Pro will debut in January 2022, according to the company’s CEO Pete Lau. This was revealed in a post on Chinese social networking site Weibo where Lau wrote, “10 Pro, see you in January”.
We don’t know anything else yet, so we’re not clear whether this will be a China-only launch. Previously, rumors have suggested the OnePlus 10 series will debut in China first and then come to the rest of the world at a later date.
Lau’s post is specifically around the OnePlus 10 Pro, which may suggest the company will be splitting its launch in 2022 to reveal each phone on a seperate date.
If the China-only launch comes first, leaks have suggested we’ll then be able to buy this phone in the US or UK around March or April 2022. The company doesn’t sell its phones in Australia, so don’t expect a OnePlus 10 release there.
With regards to price, the OnePlus 9 series started at $729 / £629 (about AU$940) for the lowest-spec base model, and went up to $1,069 / £929 (about AU$1,400) for the top-spec Pro model, so expect a range of prices between those figures for the handsets.
Of course, the new phones could shift the price up or down a little way, but since the OnePlus 10 doesn’t sound like a huge reinvention, we wouldn’t expect this shift.
Design and display
One screen detail has already been confirmed, with Pete Lau (the CEO of OnePlus) saying the OnePlus 10 Pro will use LTPO 2.0, to allow for a smoother screen than ever before.
Beyond that, one leak suggests the design of the OnePlus 10 and 10 Pro will be pretty similar to how the 9-series equivalents looked, just with some polish here and there.
OnePlus phones don’t have the most radical designs in the world, so that’s no surprise there.
That said, a more recent leak shows the possible back of the OnePlus 10 Pro, complete with a very different camera design, as you can see below.
Sooo… I’m back from the Future again, this time with the very first and early look at the #OnePlus10Pro in form of stunning 5K renders!On behalf of @ZoutonUS -> https://t.co/OPSs1ray1P pic.twitter.com/A6h1EfT98aNovember 9, 2021
The source of this leak claims the render is based on a photo of the phone, and added specs of a 6.7-inch 1440 x 3216 screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 20:9 aspect ratio.
We’ve since seen a more detailed leak of the OnePlus 10 Pro, showing the phone in full from all sides, as you can see below. According to the same source, the phone has dimensions of 163.0 x 73.8 x 8.5mm (or 10.3mm including the camera bump).
And now we’ve also seen an aluminum dummy unit of the OnePlus 10 Pro, and it matches the images above, but gives us a much clearer idea of how big the phone is in someone’s hand.
Camera and battery
We don’t know much about the camera of the standard OnePlus 10, but a leaker claims the OnePlus 10 pro will have a triple-lens camera with a 48MP main sensor, a 50MP ultra-wide one, and an 8MP telephoto one with 3.3x optical zoom. Those incidentally are the same specs as the OnePlus 9 Pro.
That said, there’s some disagreement here, as the source of the aluminum dummy unit further up in this article claims the phone has a quad-lens camera, though that seems unlikely based on the leaked images we’ve seen.
We have heard these camera leaks backed up though, with one leaker sharing those specs and adding that the phone will get 80W wired and 50W wireless powering.
That’s not the only disagreement though, as a source called Bald Panda on Weibo (that’s a Chinese social networking site) has also suggested the phone will come with 5x optical zoom, rather than 3.3x, so we’re not certain what to expect on the camera front yet.
As for the OnePlus 10 Pro’s front-facing snapper, that’s rumored to be 32MP, which would be a big upgrade in terms of megapixels on the OnePlus 9 Pro’s 16MP camera.
When it comes to the battery, we don’t know what the capacity of the OnePlus 10’s battery will be, but one source claims the OnePlus 10 Pro will have a 5,000mAh one, while another adds that it could support 125W charging.
Specs and features
First up, there’s a confirmation of a feature from OnePlus itself. The company has confirmed the 10-series phones will debut brand-new software, which will combine the company’s own Android fork called OxygenOS, with that of its sibling Oppo’s ColorOS, following the merger of the companies.
The OnePlus CEO said the new software will combine “the fast and smooth, burdenless experience of OxygenOS, and the stability and rich features of ColorOS.”
The company has also more recently confirmed that the OnePlus 10 will use the top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset. This is the successor to the Snapdragon 888 and is likely to power many of 2022’s flagship Android handsets.
Elsewhere, a leaker has claimed that the OnePlus 10 Pro will have a 8GB or 12GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage, and an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. So far we haven’t heard any specs rumors for the standard OnePlus 10 though.
What we want to see
This wish-list for the OnePlus 10 series is based on what we did and didn’t like about the OnePlus 9 series, and what smartphone rivals are doing.
1. A zoom photo renaissance
The OnePlus 9 didn’t even have a zoom camera, and the Pro’s snapper was a relatively measly 8MP 3.3x offering. Sure, that’s not terrible, but if you’re spending lots of money you’d want a bit more than that.
We’d like to see the OnePlus 10 pack a telephoto camera, even if it’s just 12MP or 2x zoom, with the OnePlus 10 Pro packing a periscope snapper with 4x or 5x zoom and a higher-res sensor. Though even that wouldn’t help the Pro rival the big dogs, with the S22 Ultra likely to have super-zoom and the Xiaomi 12 possibly having a Pro sibling too, it’d at least be more worthy of its cost.
2. Expandable – or more – storage
The only ‘con’ that both our OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro reviews had in common was the lack of expandable storage. So if you bought a 128GB smartphone, you can’t extend the space with a memory card, and instead need to rely on cloud storage if you want more.
While expandable storage isn’t necessary for most users, phone power-users – the type who’d likely buy a Pro phone, for example – might want the extra space for photos, files, or loads of apps.
Alternatively, perhaps the storage space could be improved. The OnePlus 9 phones come with a max option of 256GB, which is a lot, but not much compared to 512GB or 1TB iPhone 13s. Some people just need lots of storage.
3. Faster charging
Both the OnePlus 9 phones have 65W charging, which is very fast compared to your iPhones or Samsung Galaxy devices… but not quite as speed as rivals from companies like Xiaomi or Huawei.
Granted, 65W is faster than most people will need, but some power-users would likely enjoy the ability to juice up a smartphone in even less time. For example, the recent Xiaomi 11T Pro can power up in just 17 minutes.
Perhaps OnePlus could use this kind of super-fast powering on the 10 Pro, or at least find a competitive powering speed to stay in line with the competition.
4. Better colors
If you look at the color options of the OnePlus 9 series, or in fact most devices from the company in general, you’ll see the usual gamut: black, white, maybe a light blue. There’s nothing really interesting there.
We’d like to see OnePlus follow suit with the iPhones, and get a little bit weird in its colors. Let’s see pink. Let’s see red. Let’s see gold.
Sure, vibrant phones are known to sell pretty poorly compared to boring-colored ones, but in a world where most smartphones look near-identical, brands are going to have to look to color sooner or later in order to stand out.
5. Something to come from this Hasselblad co-operation
In 2021, OnePlus announced that it had partnered with Hasselblad for the 9-series cameras. Lots of phone companies partner with camera brands for their snappers, but it wasn’t exactly clear what the Hasselblad partnership would bring for the OnePlus 9.
In the end, it turned out… not much. However OnePlus did suggest that this co-operating would take some time to come to fruition, with the OnePlus 9 series just the first of many handsets to benefit from the collaboration.
Hopefully, with the OnePlus 10 series we’ll see the fruits of OnePlus’ and Hasselblad’s labor. Perhaps we’ll see some new camera modes, or bespoke lenses that impress us. Months after the OnePlus 9 launch we saw a few Hasselblad-centric features brought to the phones, and it’d be great to see the OnePlus 10 launch with something like this.