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OnePlus 10 Pro review: Business as usual

(Pocket-lint) – Plenty is always expected of OnePlus flagship handsets. While it’s again true for the new OnePlus 10 Pro, though, the questions being asked are changing slightly due to its relationship with its parent company, Oppo.

Over the past year or so, the pair have become much more aligned. OnePlus is now officially a sub-brand, and shares both software teams and R&D with its parent. And though there are still differences in how the smaller details are presented within OxygenOS and ColorOS, the lines have undoubtedly begun to blur.

That’s not always a negative thing, of course, but discovering the extent to which this model compares to Oppo’s latest flagship, the Oppo Find X5, is more pertinent than ever.

Like any new launch, the 10 Pro also presents a great opportunity to right some of the wrongs from previous generations. OnePlus flagship phones have dazzled us in the past, but it’s also true that a couple of caveats usually hold them back from true greatness – particularly in camera performance.

So, does the closer relationship with Oppo help the OnePlus 10 Pro become the flagship dark horse to consider, or is this business as usual? We find out.

Our quick take

In almost every way, the OnePlus 10 Pro is a very good smartphone. In fact, we have no serious complaints about it. The display is bright and smart, and the internal power ensures the 10 Pro retains that OnePlus feel of “fast and smooth” we’ve come to expect. Even the cameras are strong this year.

However, despite all of its strengths, the 10 Pro also doesn’t blow us away in every area. Ultimately, OnePlus hasn’t quite produced the holy grail – a flawless flagship phone without the price tag – but it does get pretty close. And, if we’re honest, it’s allowed a little bit of leeway due to that asking price being much less than the flagship options from Apple, Samsung and, of course, Oppo.

So, in many ways, you get exactly what you pay for. There are some battery life concerns and camera quirks that might make the odd person want to jump up to the next price bracket, but we suspect almost all comers will find the 10 Pro an absolute delight to use.

Design and build

  • 163 x 73.9 x 8.55mm, 200.5g
  • Volcano Black and Emerald Forest colours
  • Gorilla Glass 5 rear – Gorilla Glass Victus front

The OnePlus 10 Pro’s premium finish pays homage to previous generations. It’s a glass back – Gorilla Glass 5, to be precise – but there’s a silky matte finish, reminiscent of the sandstone finishes of the past. At least, in appearance. It doesn’t have the rough, gritty texture of those original finishes. But if you really want it, you can still get it in the form of a Sandstone Black case.

There are two colours, Volcano Black and Forest Green, and the black has a shimmer to it – it’s easy to see why it was called Volcano Black, and it really is an attractive colour. The green has a similar soft, shimmering finish (that’s the colour we’ve been using during our testing).

There are no shiny, glossy models this year, and that’s no bad thing. The softer matte finish never picks up any visible fingerprint smudges. The only part we’ve had to regularly wipe clean is the polished camera housing.

The camera expands, with a huge squared section on the rear housing the lenses and meeting the edge of the phone and wrapping into the frame. Have we seen that before? Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra did similar in 2021. Except, rather than a long rectangle shape, this unit is more square and takes up more than half the width of the phone’s rear.

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Ajmal Solangi is a Tech writer specializing in the intersection of tech and reviews. He likes tech news, mobile unboxing, reviews, gadgets, and more.

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