Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are drawing Android enthusiast attention away from OnePlus, but the underdog in this battle of Android phones could be months away from regaining the spotlight.
Competing against Google’s new devices is the OnePlus 10 Pro, a flagship device that saw its full specs leaked online by 91Mobiles in partnership with phone sleuth Steve Hemmerstoffer (who goes by OnLeaks).
If the leaks prove accurate, the OnePlus 10 Pro, which is expected to launch in early 2022 in China before a global rollout, will be a minor update to the OnePlus 9 Pro, one of the best Android phones of 2021. Leaked specs include a 6.7-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which sounds identical to the panel on the OnePlus 9 Pro but is said to have curved edges similar to Galaxy S21 Ultra.
On the rear of the OnePlus 10 Pro is a square camera module that blends into the left side of the device. Housed in that module are three rear-facing cameras: a 48-MP primary lens, a 50-MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and an 8-MP telephoto lens. On the front is a 32-MP selfie lens.
Those keeping close tabs on OnePlus 10 Pro rumours will be disappointed by the lack of a periscope lens for taking telephoto shots. Samsung and Huawei brought this advanced camera technology to their latest flagships, giving users the flexibility to zoom in on distant subjects (at up to 100x zoom!).
Without the extra lens, OnePlus will need to bring some photo processing magic to keep up with its stiff competition. That said, it will be interesting to see how the partnership between OnePlus and Swedish luxury imaging company Hasselblad has evolved since being announced shortly before the launch of the OnePlus 9. With an extra year under its belt, Hasselblad may have had enough time to measurably influence the quality of OnePlus’s phone cameras.
For years, OnePlus has fallen just short of competing against the best phone cameras from Apple, Google and Samsung. Recognising as much, the company dumped more than $US150 ($208) million in its “ongoing pursuit of delivering the best smartphone camera experience.”
Looking behind the lens, the OnePlus 10 Pro will run on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC (a chip that has, up to this point, been widely addressed as the Snapdragon 898), which is expected to arrive by the end of this month. Accompanying the new chip are 8GB of RAM/128GB storage or 12GB of RAM/256GB of storage options.
One noteworthy upgrade is a 5,000 mAh battery, up from a 4,500 mAh cell on the previous model. You can expect at least a full day of battery life considering the OnePlus 9 Pro put up good results in our runtime test. OnePlus’s charging speeds remain unrivalled, so it’s a shame this latest leak doesn’t give us any specifics on the matter, only that it might arrive with record-setting 125W charging speeds.
Getting back to the design, the OnePlus 10 Pro will have a hole-punch selfie camera in the top-left corner of the display. The iPhone-style alert slider and power button are said to be on the right edge, with the volume rocker on the left side. A USB-C port and speaker grille will line the button edge.
OnePlus, once the darling of Android phone brands, is going through a rocky transition phase from offering value picks to flagship models priced similarly to top-end iPhone and Galaxy phones. With Google pricing its Pixel 6 devices so aggressively, OnePlus faces an uphill battle to convince Android users that its phones are still the best value on the market.