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Is the cheaper OnePlus 10 Pro price tag worth the trade-offs?

Discounts are nice, but cheaper is not always better.

Published onApril 4, 2022

OnePlus 10 Pro top down view of the back panel
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Good news for the more budget-conscious, the OnePlus 10 Pro can be yours for a quite reasonable $899. That’s $70 less than last year’s entry-level model and $170 cheaper than the 12GB OnePlus 9 Pro that US buyers were stuck with. A price cut is a rare thing to see these days, especially given OnePlus’ history of hikes. However, if you read our OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 10 Pro showdown, you probably spotted that the lower cost has resulted in several downgrades this generation.

The lack of an IP68 rating for global models is the most glaring omission. OnePlus finally gave customers one of their most sought-after features last year, only to row back on the cost of certification for the 10 Pro. T-Mobile customers in the US remain the exception. OnePlus didn’t go the whole hog on expensive Gorilla Glass protection either, opting for Victus on the front but Gorilla Glass 5 on the back. Not a great look when the Google Pixel 6 Pro is fully encased in Victus for the same price, while the cheaper Samsung Galaxy S22 boasts Victus Plus on the front and back. Both are IP68 rated too.

Without an IP rating, UWB, or mmWave 5G, the OnePlus 10 Pro is missing popular features at this price.

OnePlus has cut a few corners in the wireless department as well. There’s no Wi-Fi 6E specification or ultrawideband support, something you’ll find on the Galaxy S22 Plus that only costs $100 more. 5G mmWave is no longer supported in the US, but this will predominantly affect just a small section of Verizon customers. Although the benefits of mmWave are still up for discussion, it’s yet another missing feature that’s common on rival handsets.

Then there’s the smaller ultrawide camera sensor, lack of 80W charging for North American customers, and the absence of a retail date for the 12/256GB variant in some markets. The brand hasn’t improved its upgrade commitment to match the likes of Apple, Google, and Samsung either. Of course, the phone touts a small selection of generational improvements, including a newer processor. But despite the lower price points, those add up to a not-quite best-in-class package. That’s a takeaway reflected in Android Authority’s OnePlus 10 Pro review.

Our verdict: OnePlus 10 Pro review – A lukewarm response to blazing competition

OnePlus 10 Pro vs Google Pixel 6 Pro cameras steep angle
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The phone may be fine enough when viewed in isolation, but you have to look at the broader picture when making an expensive purchase. There are always some trade-offs when shopping below $1,000, but OnePlus’ latest flagship has more than most.

The Pixel 6 Pro, for example, might not have the fastest processor or charging speeds, but it makes up for it with an excellent camera setup and long-term update pledge, making it good value at $899. Likewise, the Galaxy S22 doesn’t have all the trimmings of its larger siblings, but it offers a little bit of everything with no glaring drawbacks for a cheaper $799. Similarly, Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Plus might charge slowly by comparison but provide blistering performance, a robust camera setup, IP rating, UWB, and mmWave for just a fraction more at $999. Ultimately, there’s stiff competition around the $899 price point, and OnePlus’ rivals balance their compromises better.

There's stiff competition at $899 and OnePlus' rivals balance their compromises better.

Maybe OnePlus couldn’t win whichever way they went? Pack in all the bells and whistles, and the price would have been as high, if not higher, than last year. Try to keep the cost down, and the phone ends up a little rough around the edges. Of course, the OnePlus 10 Pro will have some appeal to the brand’s faithful and fast-charging fanatics, who might consider it a decent buy thanks to its $70 discount compared to last year.

But what do you think? Is the cheaper OnePlus 10 Pro price tag worth the trade-offs?

Is the cheaper OnePlus 10 Pro price tag worth the trade-offs?

1340 votes

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