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Fresh out of the box: 10 ways to make your OnePlus 10 Pro better

Oxygen OS has tons of creature comforts, as long as you know where to look.

Published onMay 3, 2022

oneplus 10 pro back on white wood
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The OnePlus 10 Pro has arrived, and it has plenty to offer. If you’ve decided it’s time to ditch One UI or iOS for Oxygen OS, however, you might not know exactly where to start. We’ve been fans of the OnePlus Android skin for a long time, and we have some tips to help you set up your phone and make it feel more like your own. Here are the best OnePlus 10 Pro tips and tricks.

See also: OnePlus 10 Pro buyer’s guide

OnePlus 10 Pro tips and tricks

1. Activate the OnePlus Shelf

OnePlus 10 Pro screen showing OnePlus Shelf
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Smartphones have always been about having everything you need in the palm of your hand. Yet, as devices evolve, finding the basics can be harder and harder. That’s why OnePlus went and made it easy all over again. Some might say that it put the essentials on a shelf — get it? The OnePlus Shelf is a customizable drawer for everything from the weather at a glance to quick Spotify controls. In many ways, it eliminates the need for widgets on your homepage because you can cluster them all on the Shelf.

Our verdict: OnePlus 10 Pro review

To access your OnePlus Shelf, swipe down from the top right corner where the battery icon lives. You can tap the settings cog to change your Shelf preferences. If you want to eliminate the feature, you can do so with a simple toggle. By default, the OnePlus Shelf displays a familiar greeting of “Never Settle,” but you can also customize that phrase to a more personal greeting.

2. Embrace the ultrawide camera

Ultrawide camera in hand outdoors
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

OnePlus made a pretty big splash when it announced a partnership with Hasselblad ahead of the OnePlus 9 series. Now, it’s retooled the setup for its latest OnePlus 10 Pro. The changes aren’t quite as significant, but the ultrawide camera has received a bit of an overhaul. It may not be as sharp as its predecessor, but it stretches even further — all the way to 150 degrees. Our next OnePlus 10 Pro tip is to embrace the change — you never know what you might capture.

Want some inspiration? The complete guide to ultrawide cameras

Mastering an ultrawide camera can be tricky, given the extra distortion. It’s even more challenging if you don’t practice frequently. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your composition — it’s a good way to grow as a photographer. OnePlus even added a Fisheye mode if you want to throw your style back to the 90s.

3. Set up Work-Life Balance

OnePlus 10 Pro work life settings
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you share one phone between your work and personal lives, you know how hard it can be to separate them. There’s always a temptation to respond to an email after hours or scroll social media in the middle of your day. We can’t speak for you, but we’re rarely strong enough to separate the two entirely, so this next OnePlus 10 Pro feature is a must-use. It’s called Work-Life Balance 2.0, and it splits your device into two distinct personalities.

See also: The best productivity apps for Android

Work-Life Balance 2.0 resides in the Special Features menu, and it’s usually easiest to find with the search bar in the settings app. From there, you can customize the behavior of your OnePlus 10 Pro based on a few criteria. We set our device to Work mode from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, but you can also filter by location and even by Wi-Fi network. Essentially, Work mode limits your notifications to productivity apps like Google Drive and Gmail, while Life mode lets the fun stuff, like Netflix, through the filter.

4. Check out your screen-off gestures

OnePlus 10 Pro screen showing screen-off gestures
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Gesture navigation is great once you wrap your head around it. It can be tricky to remember what motion has which effect, but OnePlus goes a step further. Screen-off — or lock screen — gestures have been part of Oxygen OS for years now, and they make it easy to access features of your phone without ever unlocking it. All you have to do is draw a particular shape or character, and your OnePlus 10 Pro will respond automatically.

As usual, the fastest way to find screen-off gesture controls is by searching in the settings app. Once there, you’ll see these options by default:

  • Double-tap to wake or turn off screen
  • Draw an O to open camera
  • Draw a V to turn on/off flashlight
  • Music control

Music control is perhaps the most interesting one, as you can manage your playback and skip tracks without ever opening your phone. You simply drag two fingers down the display to pause, almost like a giant pause button. If you want to skip forward or backward, draw an arrow to the right or left instead.

If that’s not enough, you can add commands to the list. You can choose from additional commands like sliding in any of four directions or drawing the letters M or W. The results you can add are to unlock your phone, open an app, or call a specific contact.

See also: Our guide to the coolest Android gestures

5. Buy a new phone case

OnePlus 10 Pro phone cases
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If you’re going to spend the money on a new OnePlus 10 Pro, we highly recommend that you protect it. After all, the phone is still made of glass, and the camera bump keeps getting bigger. One wrong tumble and you could be in the market for some expensive repairs. Luckily, there are plenty of first-party and third-party cases to sink your teeth into. We picked up the Quantum case, which lends a stylized, see-through look at the OnePlus 10 Pro, as well as the Sandstone case to relive the fun materials from the brand’s early days.

You might not be as interested in what OnePlus has to offer, and that’s alright. Instead, you can check out our list of the best OnePlus 10 Pro cases below, complete with popular picks from Spigen, UAG, and more.

6. Customize your home screen

OnePlus 10 Pro screen showing customize app icons
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Android 12 is all about customization, and you better believe OnePlus is in on the fun. Oxygen OS hasn’t gone all-in on the Material You changes quite yet, but there’s still plenty to tinker with. You can change most aspects of your home screen, but you have the most control over app icons. OnePlus offers a few different shapes and styles to choose from, and it’s easy to go for a clean, minimal approach. We even decided to hide the app names for the simplest design imaginable — just make sure you remember what each app does.

If you’re ready to take control of your home screen, press and hold on any blank section of your wallpaper. This will automatically open the customization controls, where you can add and remove widgets and apps in seconds. You can switch out your wallpaper, and OnePlus still offers control over how you transition from one screen to the next. Instead of the classic slide, you can roll, flip, and cube from one display to the next.

Customize more: The best Material You apps you can try

7. Pick up some accessories

OnePlus earbuds and charger
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

We often recommend picking up a compatible charger when you buy a new phone, but OnePlus is among the last of a dying breed — you still get a 65W (or 80W internationally) charger in the box. That means you can take the money you would have put towards a speedy new charger and pick up some other fitting accessories to round out your setup. It’s up to you to decide whether that means a new set of Bluetooth earbuds or a new smartwatch, but the choices are nearly limitless.

If you want to show some brand loyalty, OnePlus offers a few different OnePlus Buds, or you can check out the OnePlus Watch. Samsung also provides plenty of competition in the wearables game, even if it means you have to download an extra app. We have plenty of recommendations for you to check out, so here are just a few favorites:

The best smartwatches to buy | The best workout earbuds to buy

8. Try Zen Mode

Zen Mode
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

This might seem like an odd tip for someone who just bought a OnePlus 10 Pro, but it’s important to remember to put your phone down now and again. It can be tough to do, but OnePlus has a way to make the challenge a little easier. Zen Mode is somewhat similar to Work-Life Balance 2.0 in that it controls what your phone will display, but it goes a step further for meditation. It essentially locks your phone to a calming water graphic with soothing music on top. You won’t receive any emails or notifications, and you won’t have access to any apps other than the camera.

Learn more: How does OnePlus Zen Mode work?

OnePlus will still allow you to place and receive calls, but only for emergencies. It’s also important to note that you can’t cancel a Zen Mode session once it begins. Of course, you have complete control over the duration — anywhere from one minute to two hours — but it’s best not to embrace the zen if you’re expecting an urgent or important message.

9. Check for software updates

OnePlus 10 Pro software updates
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

It might seem obvious to check for updates when you get a new phone, and it’s often part of the setup process. However, you don’t always get reminders to look for new software after that. OnePlus has been prompt with patches and fixes for its latest flagship, and the improvements have been noticeable. The first major patch arrived in North America on April 26, 2022, bringing improvements to the fingerprint algorithm, power consumption, and photo quality from the front camera.

Learn more about updates: OnePlus 10 Pro update hub

If you didn’t receive the update automatically, it might be time to check your settings. You can find out if you’re running on the latest version of Oxygen OS by opening the Settings app and scrolling down to About device. Tap on it and look at the rectangular box at the top of your screen. If you have an update, it will be listed there. Otherwise, you should see a message saying “Up to date.”

10. Lock things in your Private Safe

Private Safe
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Privacy is key these days, especially if you let anyone else handle your phone. If you’re letting your kid play with your OnePlus 10 Pro as a handy distraction, you don’t need them messing with work files or other important documents. Hackers are another worry, but the Private Safe from OnePlus is an all-around protection solution. It requires a dedicated privacy password and a recovery question before setting up your secure vault. Once you’ve set up your questions, you can also add fingerprint or face unlock requirements for an extra layer of protection.

See also: The best file managers for Android

Private Safe offers storage for your most sensitive images, audio files, and documents, plus an open-ended section for other files. That means you can protect just about anything from prying eyes, and it couldn’t be easier to access your safe. All you have to do is open an app like Files or Photos and long-press on the command bar at the bottom. This should open your Private Safe and prompt you for your password.

That just about does it for our list of the best OnePlus 10 Pro tips and tricks. If you have a favorite tip or think we missed one, don’t be afraid to let us know in the comments.