August 12, 2022
OnePlus 10T 5G first impressions: Things have changed

OnePlus is not just a phone brand, it is a personality brand. The company has carved a niche for itself among Android enthusiasts and power users with its “Never Settlement” motto and flexible yet slick software. Even as its rising popularity pushed it into the mainstream and prices kept rising, it remained different enough to keep its fans happy. However, all that is changing now. OnePlus has been amalgamated with sister company Oppo, their software efforts have been merged, and this distinction is eroding.

The brand new OnePlus 10T 5G is a bit trickier as the ‘T’ designation is usually used for a mid-year refresh, but there was no OnePlus 10. It is newer than the OnePlus 10 Pro (Review) and has some features that may be considered more modern, but is being launched as a successor. In terms of price and condition, the 10T 5G starts at Rs. 49,999 for the base variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. There is an option of 12GB RAM and 256GB storage for Rs. 54,999, and if you want to go up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, it is priced at Rs. 55,999.

So what do you actually get? Is this an old phone or has OnePlus found a new way to stand out? Here are our first impressions about the OnePlus 10T 5G.

Instead of the usual tall OnePlus box, we now have a pretty standard design. It includes a protective case, a red Cable Club membership card, some stickers, and a letter from OnePlus in addition to the phone, a massive 160W charger, and a red USB Type-C cable.

You can see that there is some similarity to the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G in the way the camera is arranged, but instead of a separate band, the back panel of the 10T 5G is slightly bulging. You will also see how reflective the rear panel of this phone is. The volume buttons are on the left, the power button is on the right, and there’s no alert slider. There are small speaker and mic holes at the top, and at the bottom you’ll find the dual-SIM tray, USB Type-C port and primary speaker.

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OnePlus 10T 5G in two finishes – Moonstone Black (top) and Jade Green (bottom)

I didn’t feel very premium with the 10T 5G, even though the rear is made of glass. It is quite heavy and heavy at 8.75mm thick and 203.5g. The phone is available in a slightly textured Moonstone Black finish, but we have a glossy Jade Green here.

All variants of the 10T 5G support 150W charging, and if you’re concerned about security, OnePlus has a laundry list of measures it takes, which we’ll talk about in our full review. You can use the included brick to charge other devices, including some laptops, as it’s compatible with USB-PD at up to 45W.

During the setup process, you’ll see privacy and personalization options. You can choose a system font, set security, and even practice navigation gestures. We see a few preloaded apps including Netflix, OnePlus Community, and Game Manager. The unit runs on OxygenOS 12 based on Android 12.1 with July security patch. If you dig through the settings you will find some personalization options. Considering that OnePlus has also just announced OxygenOS 13, it is unfortunate that the 10T 5G doesn’t ship with it.

OnePlus calls the design of the 10T 5G “burdenless”, which is supposed to convey a sense of purposefulness and precision. It’s an euphemistic way to soften a fairly controversial blow – OnePlus has abandoned the familiar alert slider, one of the most visible ways to differentiate itself from other Android players. This simple switch clearly needed a lot of space within the body, and OnePlus says it chose to prioritize those few square millimeters for battery capacity, better cooling, and better antennas. It’s likely that there was some cost savings for the company as well, but much like “boldly” losing the 3.5mm headphone jack years ago, I really don’t see how this improves anything for the user.

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The lack of an alert slider will probably annoy some long-term OnePlus fans

Other features that OnePlus thinks its fans can’t live without, even at this price level, include wireless charging, an official IP rating, and eSIM support. Even the Hasselblad camera branding has been removed. Considering that it built up its fan base with “never settle down” as its battle cry, it’s quite a surprise. OnePlus says the 10 Pro 5G is still the prime choice for those who want great camera capability, while the 10T 5G will be more preferred by gamers and fast-charging enthusiasts.

On the plus side, you get the top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC with an elaborate cooling system, a staggering 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. OnePlus says you can have over 30 apps running in the background so you can always pick up where you left off with the top-end variant.

The 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED panel features full-HD+ resolution, 120Hz peak refresh rate, and an integrated fingerprint sensor. The borders are thin all around, and there is no thick chin. It supports HDR 10+ and is made of Gorilla Glass 5. The OnePlus 10T 5G also packs a 4800mAh battery, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and GPS.

The main rear camera uses a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 sensor with optical stabilization and has an f/1.8 aperture. There’s also a very basic 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera and a 2-megapixel macro camera. The front camera has a 16-megapixel resolution. These specifications aren’t exactly persuasive, but OnePlus promises rich detail even in low light thanks to 10-bit color capture support and better processing algorithms. Video recording goes up to 4K 60fps.

Earlier OnePlus’ most recent launch, the 10R (Review), is physically identical to the Realme GT Neo 3 (Review) and doesn’t quite fit the OnePlus mold. Now, the launch of 10T 5G continues on the same path and raises a lot of questions. what’s that for? Where does it fit in relative to the heavily discounted OnePlus 10 Pro 5G? Are the tradeoffs worth it? And most importantly – is OnePlus still OnePlus?

Beyond that, we’re in the process of testing the 10T 5G to see how it balances its SoC power with camera quality, battery life, charging speed, design, and of course, the OxygenOS experience. Stay connected to Gadgets 360; A detailed review is due very soon.

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