OnePlus 10: what we want to see

The OnePlus 10 is the next big smartphone we’re expecting to see from the Chinese tech company now that the OnePlus 9T has been confirmed not to exist.

This upcoming premium smartphone will likely launch with a Pro sibling in the first half of 2022 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.

Cut to the chase

(Image credit: Truls Steinung)

  • What is it? OnePlus’ next flagship phone
  • When is it out? Likely the first half of 2021
  • How much will it cost? Likely starting at $729 / £629 (about AU$940)

OnePlus 10 release date and price

The OnePlus 9 launched in March 2021 and was available to buy in most regions including the US and UK by April. As OnePlus operates in an annual cycle, it stands to reason we could see the OnePlus 10 launch in the same window in 2022.

The company doesn’t sell its phones in Australia, so don’t expect a OnePlus 10 release there, though.

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.

News and rumors

(Image credit: Magnus Blix)

All we’ve heard about the OnePlus 10 so far relates to its looks, both of the hardware and software.

OnePlus itself 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.

OnePlus CEO said the new software will combine “the fast and smooth, burdenless experience of OxygenOS, and the stability and rich features of ColorOS.”

Furthermore, a 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.

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

Some phones come with impressive zoom cameras, like the Mi 11 Ultra with its 48MP 5x zoom camera or the Huawei P50 Pro with its 64MP 3.5x zoomer.

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

(Image credit: Truls Steinung)

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

The green OnePlus 9 Pro was the only vaguely interesting-looking member of its family. (Image credit: OnePlus)

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.

  • What are OnePlus phones? Our guide to the brand and its devices
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