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OnePlus 10 and 10 Pro: All the rumors and what we hope to see (Updated: Nov. 23)
OnePlus may have skipped the OnePlus 9T in 2021, but it certainly won’t skip its 2022 flagship series. Unless the company changes its formula, we fully expect these phones to land as the OnePlus 10 and OnePlus 10 Pro sometime in the first or second quarter.
See also: A history of every OnePlus phone so far
There are plenty of big changes coming with the OnePlus 10 series that we already know about. This includes the end of Oxygen OS and the beginning of… something else. OnePlus hasn’t told us the name, but we know the 10 series will come with a “hybrid OS” that will mix Oxygen OS and Oppo’s Color OS.
Outside of software news, though, we don’t know much else. Below, you’ll find a collection of credible rumors we’ve heard about the OnePlus 10 series so far. If you scroll down a bit more, you’ll also see our wishlist of things we want to see from the OnePlus 10 and OnePlus 10 Pro. Be sure to check it out!
OnePlus 10 series: Name and release date
Aside from skipping the OnePlus 4, the company has never altered its naming strategy for its flagship series. As such, we have every reason to believe the OnePlus 10 series is what’s on the way in 2022.
However, this will be a significant release for OnePlus. As mentioned, this phone will come with a new operating system. It will be the first major release after OnePlus and Oppo joined together and would be the brand’s most significant release since the launch of the OnePlus 9 series. With all that in mind, if the company was thinking about changing up the naming formula, this would seem to be an appropriate time.
We could see the next OnePlus flagship much earlier than usual.
That all being said, we have no evidence to suggest anything but the OnePlus 10 series so far.
As for the release date, we have heard a rumor that OnePlus could adopt Oppo’s launch strategy for this next flagship phone. By that, we mean the company could announce the OnePlus 10 in China first and then launch the phone globally weeks or even months later. On the positive side, this would allow us to learn everything about the phone much earlier than usual — possibly in January 2022. On the negative side, it would be a long wait before most of us would be able to get our hands on it.
Thanks to reliable leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer, we already have an idea of what the OnePlus 10 Pro could look like. You can see the images leaked so far above and below.
As you can see, these renders suggest a wild revamp of what a OnePlus phone looks like. The camera module on the rear is the most notable change, with a completely new design.
You’ll also notice the renders suggest only three cameras on the back of the phone. If this ends up panning out, the phone would likely have a wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lens, which would mean the company would abandon its habit of adding monochrome, color filter, or other miscellaneous lenses.
See also: The best camera phones you can get
Outside of that, though, the front of the phone looks about as we would expect. The sides are curved, just like every Pro phone the company has ever launched. The display cutout for the selfie camera remains in its left-aligned position, which is where it’s been since the OnePlus 8 series.
Unfortunately, we don’t have renders yet for the vanilla OnePlus 10. Judging from OnePlus’ history, though, it would probably look very similar to this with only slight alterations, such as a flat display.
Specs and features
We got word of the first major OnePlus 10 Pro specs leak on November 23, courtesy of 91Mobiles and Steve Hemmerstoffer. The OnePlus 10 Pro is expected to arrive with a 6.7-inch Quad HD+ 120Hz display — likely an LTPO OLED panel like we have in the OnePlus 9 Pro.
The phone is said to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, 8 to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, and have 128 to 256GB of onboard UFS 3.1 storage.
The phone could also come with a notable upgrade in battery capacity, from 4,500mAh in the 9 Pro to 5,000mAh. Battery life could have been improved on the OnePlus 9 Pro, so we’re happy to see OnePlus increase the battery capacity here.
An earlier leak suggested the OnePlus 10 Pro could come with even faster charging than we saw on the OnePlus 9 series. The rumor suggests the Pro variant could come with 125W wired charging, which is incredibly fast. There’s no word on the vanilla model, so it could be stuck with the “regular” 65W charging (which is already ridiculously fast).
Back to the 91Mobiles leak. The OnePlus 10 Pro is said to come with three rear-facing cameras: a 48MP main lens, a 50MP ultra-wide lens, and an 8MP 3.3X telephoto lens, which was previously rumored to top out at 30X digital zoom. There will likely be a 32MP front-facing camera for selfies.
Finally, the OnePlus 10 Pro will reportedly feature an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, just like the OnePlus 8 Pro and 9 Pro.
See also: The best Android phones you can get
We can also assume the phones will land with Android 12. However, as stated earlier, we have no idea if the included skin will be called Oxygen OS 12.
OnePlus 10 price and availability
In 2021, the OnePlus 9 started at $729, while the Pro started at $969. These were the most expensive flagships from the company ever. Considering we expect the specs and features of the OnePlus 10 series to match the 2021 models, it’s reasonable to assume we won’t see the prices drop lower than that.
However, the Google Pixel 6 series threw a bit of a wrench into the works for Android smartphone pricing. With the Pixel 6 starting at just $599 and the Pixel 6 Pro starting at $899, the Pixel 6 series is now one of the best bang-for-your-buck lines on the market. Inevitably, OnePlus will need to respond to that. Could this mean lower pricing in 2022? It’s possible.
As far as availability goes, OnePlus usually makes its flagship phones available in all of its supported countries. The ongoing chipset shortage, though, could force the company’s hand in 2022 when it comes to wide availability. We’ll need to wait and see how that pans out.
OnePlus 10 series: What we hope to see
In the rest of this article, we’re going to tell you all about what we hope to see most from the OnePlus 10 series. To be clear, these are not leaks or rumors (which we covered above) — this is merely a wishlist of features we hope to see in the new line.
Don’t ditch the camera formula
With the OnePlus 9 Pro, we finally saw OnePlus shed its reputation for offering less-than-stellar camera systems. Sure, the vanilla OnePlus 9‘s system wasn’t anything to write home about, but the top-end hardware and software of the OnePlus 9 Pro made it one of the best camera phones of the year.
Honestly, all OnePlus needs to do now is to not muck it all up with the OnePlus 10 series. The formula it has now works. By that, we mean the wide, ultra-wide, telephoto, and monochrome sensors on the OnePlus 9 Pro and that same setup (minus the telephoto) on the OnePlus 9.
See also: Our OnePlus 9 series buyer’s guide
Granted, we would love to see OnePlus ditch the monochrome sensor and instead invest more resources into improving the ultra-wide and telephoto experiences. A few rumors suggest this could be a possibility. We’d also love to see a telephoto lens of some kind on the vanilla OnePlus 10. However, something tells us this won’t come to be. The best we can hope for is for the company to not drastically alter its new approach.
We also hope to see some more development from the Hasselblad partnership. The color accuracy of the OnePlus 9 series was pretty great thanks to Hasselblad software tweaks, but we want to see more software tweaks — and we also hope Hasselblad will somehow put its stamp on the hardware too.
Better battery life
The battery life on the OnePlus 9 series isn’t terrible. However, it’s not great, either. This is pretty interesting when you consider OnePlus has in the past had a pretty solid reputation when it comes to battery life. We’re not sure what happened in 2021, but battery life just isn’t up to snuff.
With the OnePlus 10 series, we hope the company can rectify this problem. It might involve chipset throttling (more on that in a bit), or it simply might involve putting bigger batteries in the phones. Whatever the case, flagships such as these shouldn’t suffer from poor battery life.
Ultimately, though, putting in bigger batteries might be the only real solution. The Google Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, for example, have batteries that are significantly bigger than the one in the OnePlus 9 Pro. However, the 4,500mAh battery in the OnePlus 9 should continue to be adequate in the OnePlus 10.
Speaking of battery life…
Give us a charger in the box
Apple started the new trend of not including chargers with your smartphone purchase in 2020, with the launch of the iPhone 12 series. Since then, Samsung and Google have followed suit, but OnePlus hasn’t buckled… yet.
We can only hope OnePlus doesn’t succumb to the trend in 2022 with the OnePlus 10 series if it sticks with its Warp Charge standards. We expect the phones to offer a ridiculous 125W charging speed (at least with the OnePlus 10 Pro). If your phone supports charging speeds that fast, but you need to buy a OnePlus-made charger separately to see them, that’s not cool.
Hopefully, OnePlus doesn't succumb to the trend of ditching chargers.
However, OnePlus hasn’t met an industry trend it didn’t eventually adopt. Notched displays and the removal of the headphone jack both come to mind in this regard. Taking that into account, it might seem inevitable OnePlus would eventually ditch the in-box charger. We hope it holds out as long as possible while it continues to offer speeds that open charging standards aren’t capable of hitting.
Let’s get some stronger glass
Despite initially promising a $969 model of the OnePlus 9 Pro, it later went back on that decision, leaving US buyers with only a $1,069 phone — not the highest in the flagship sphere, but still a large enough sum to leave a dent in your wallet. Yet, even with that price, the front and back of the phone are composed of Gorilla Glass 5.
Not only is that not the top-of-the-line glass series from Corning, but it’s not even that company’s second-best product. If OnePlus is going to sell $1,000 smartphones, it needs to put some higher quality glass on those phones.
The back can be Gorilla Glass 5 if needed as a cost-saving measure, but the front of the OnePlus 10 and 10 Pro at least needs to be Victus. Ideally, though, OnePlus will match the (almost $200 cheaper) Pixel 6 Pro and offer Victus on both sides.
What’s so crazy about this is that the OnePlus 7 Pro also had Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back. That 2019 phone started at just $669! By the time the OnePlus 10 series lands, it will have been close to three years since we saw the OnePlus 7 Pro, with multiple price jumps since. It will most definitely be time to update the glass.
A controller for throttling
Of all the items on this list, this one is the most likely to materialize. OnePlus even promised it would roll out a throttling controller with Oxygen OS 12. However, we’ve yet to see the controller materialize, and there’s no saying what could happen with the “hybrid OS” we expect to see in 2022.
For a little background, OnePlus found itself in hot water in 2021 when it came to light that Oxygen OS purposefully throttles the Snapdragon 888 chipset within the OnePlus 9 series. Essentially, OnePlus considers the Snapdragon 888 to be too powerful for simple tasks such as sending out a tweet. In those situations, Oxygen OS tones down the chip’s output to save on battery life.
This sounds like a good idea on paper, but OnePlus didn’t let anyone know this was happening and didn’t give users any way to control it. With the OnePlus 10 series, the phones should have the ability to control this throttling out-of-the-box. That way, if users don’t want the throttling to happen, they can shut it off.
Granted, the Snapdragon 898 (as we expect it to be called) could be more power-efficient compared to the Snapdragon 888. If so, it’s possible no throttling would be necessary. However, if OnePlus is going to be doing any kind of throttling on the OnePlus 10 series, it had better give users total control over that throttling.
We need more storage
This is the third year in a row I’ve written one of these “what we hope to see” articles for the next OnePlus flagships. Every year, I’ve had this hope on the list, and every year, OnePlus has disappointed me.
Maybe 2022 will be the big one? OnePlus has never offered a phone with an internal storage capacity higher than 256GB. However, Apple, Samsung, and even Google are now offering flagship phones with 512GB options, so maybe OnePlus will finally buckle under the pressure?
Now, many folks out there don’t need 512GB of internal storage and will find this a silly request. If all you use your phone for is browsing social media and snapping a few pics here and there, 128GB is plenty. However, some people shoot a lot of videos. With the 8K shooting mode of the OnePlus 9 Pro (that will almost certainly carry over to the OnePlus 10 Pro), that 128GB can fill up fast. Even 256GB might not be enough, especially if you’re also downloading Netflix videos, music playlists, high-end mobile games, and more data-heavy media.
OnePlus has held out on this for far too long. If it wants to play in the big leagues with Apple, Samsung, etc., it needs to match what those big players offer, and they offer 512GB options. Apple even has 1TB options for the iPhone 13 Pro series! Get on the ball, OnePlus.
Those are the rumors and what we hope to see from the OnePlus 10 and OnePlus 10 Pro! Be sure to stay tuned to this page, as we will update it as more rumors leak.