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OnePlus 10 Pro vs older OnePlus phones: Should you upgrade?
The OnePlus 10 Pro has finally launched in international markets to take on the best phones out there. Besides the revamped design and updated processor on offer, it also features an upgraded second-generation Hasselblad-tuned camera system. While OnePlus flagships almost always undercut the competition, they’ve slowly crept up in price over the years. Thankfully, the company has reversed that trend this time around, even if only by a small amount. Pricing aside, though, let’s take a look at how the 10 Pro stacks up against its predecessors and discuss whether or not you should upgrade from an older OnePlus smartphone.
Our verdict: OnePlus 10 Pro review
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 6/6T and older
Even though the OnePlus 6 and 6T still come across as quite modern-looking smartphones in 2022, their internal specifications are definitely starting to look a bit dated. Most mid-range smartphones on the market today, including OnePlus’ own Nord 2 (not available in the US), will likely outperform the 2018-era Snapdragon 845 processor.
Even setting aside the differences in performance, you’ll find tons of minor usability improvements moving to a newer smartphone like the 10 Pro. The OnePlus 6T’s in-display fingerprint reader, for example, was decently quick for its time but is nothing impressive by modern standards. The OnePlus 10 Pro’s 65W fast charging (80W outside North America) also overshadows the company’s older Dash Charge technology. Finally, the 60Hz FHD+ display certainly shows its age in 2022, and the limited peak brightness and HDR capabilities don’t help either.
More importantly, though, sufficient time has passed for the OnePlus 6 series to reach its end-of-life status. In other words, OnePlus will not offer any more software updates going forward, leaving its users on Android 11 forever. That’s not a problem as such, but you will definitely start to see newer smartphones pulling ahead in terms of software features pretty quickly. It also means you won’t see security patches, which leaves your phone open to any later vulnerabilities in Android.
The OnePlus 6 series will no longer receive any Android updates, making it dated in terms of both hardware and software.
Price or value is about the only downside to a potential upgrade from the OnePlus 6 or 6T. At $899, the OnePlus 10 Pro is slightly cheaper than many other flagships. However, it’s still hundreds of dollars more than what you likely paid for either phone back in 2018. You do get a much more loaded spec sheet, of course, but only you can decide if that’s worth the cost of admission. Regardless, if you still have a OnePlus 6 or 6T, we recommend you upgrade soon.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 7 series
The OnePlus 7 Pro (and the 7T Pro later on) was the company’s first foray into the premium smartphone market, with higher price tags than ever before. While the regular OnePlus 7 and 7T only offered iterative improvements over the OnePlus 6, the Pro models offered QHD+ displays and a significantly more premium design than any previous OnePlus smartphone — provided you don’t mind the aggressively curved display. Still, depending on whom you ask, the distinctive pop-up front-facing camera is a far more elegant solution than ugly notches or punch-holes.
This generation also marked the first time OnePlus embraced higher refresh rates, with all models (except for the OnePlus 7) sporting 90Hz displays. While this year’s OnePlus 10 Pro sports a faster 120Hz display, keep in mind that the upgrade will be far less noticeable than the jump from 60Hz to 90Hz. However, you’ll still find other upgrades too, including 5G connectivity and a significantly more robust set of cameras. You also get a 25-30% larger battery, helping you make it to the end of a heavy day more comfortably.
The OnePlus 7 Pro lacks some modern conveniences such as 5G and wireless charging. Camera quality also lags behind most modern smartphones.
Finally, while the OnePlus 7 Pro offered a capable triple-camera setup, it wasn’t the best on the market even back then. OnePlus’ color science has also improved leaps and bounds in the years since. You can thank the company’s partnership with famed camera brand Hasselblad for that.
The OnePlus 7 series will receive its final major software update sometime this year, bringing the devices up to Android 12. It should still receive security patches for another year, but don’t expect Android 13 or feature updates. To that end, it might make sense to upgrade to the OnePlus 10 Pro while these older phones still have some resale value.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro not only brought 5G to the company’s smartphone lineup but also introduced long-sought-after features like wireless charging and an IP68 ingress rating (something the OnePlus 10 Pro lacks unless you buy it from T-Mobile). The OnePlus 8, meanwhile, only got an updated SoC (with 5G) and a slightly larger battery compared to its direct predecessor.
If you own the regular OnePlus 8, upgrading to the OnePlus 10 Pro may seem tempting — you gain wireless charging, a newer processor, and a much more capable display. OnePlus also offers a much more versatile camera setup on the 10 Pro, with a dedicated telephoto camera and a unique 150-degree ultrawide lens. The OnePlus 8 was also the last smartphone to feature OnePlus’ previous-generation Warp Charge 30 technology. The OnePlus 10 Pro is at least twice as fast when it comes to charging speeds and has a larger battery capacity as well.
While one can justify upgrading from the regular OnePlus 8, the decision is less straightforward if you own the Pro model instead.
On the other hand, if you currently own a OnePlus 8 Pro, you might not find an upgrade as worthwhile. Unless you really need the 10 Pro’s faster charging or the improved camera capabilities, chances are that you won’t notice any major speed improvements from the upgrade. Having said that, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has managed to deliver impressive year-over-year gains in the GPU department, so you’ll likely appreciate the additional grunt in games.
With the series set to receive at least one more Android update, it’s also not quite at its end-of-life status just yet. If you’re a happy OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro user today, you may very well be able to squeeze another year out of your device. At the very least, you should consider waiting until a more compelling upgrade path opens up or look out for a sale.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro
The OnePlus 9 revived the company’s tradition of trickling down premium features to its affordable models. Compared to the OnePlus 8, it gained wireless charging (in most markets), a 120Hz refresh rate, and faster 65W charging. Even if the OnePlus 9 didn’t blow the competition out of the water, it was an extremely well-rounded package.
Read our full comparison: OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 10 Pro
The OnePlus 9 Pro, meanwhile, marked the first time that OnePlus turned its attention to camera performance — and commanded a premium price tag in the process. This was also the first year the company partnered with Hasselblad. In our reviews of the OnePlus 9 Pro, and even the regular 9, we came away largely impressed by the camera performance on display. While not without its flaws, it was a promising first showing.
The OnePlus 10 Pro shares the same primary camera and many other specs with the OnePlus 9 Pro.
This year’s OnePlus 10 Pro doesn’t exactly offer a brand-new camera setup. You get the same IMX789 primary sensor as last year. That isn’t a bad thing, to be clear, as it still manages to deliver excellent results in a variety of scenarios. The ultrawide camera, however, drops autofocus capabilities in favor of a unique 150-degree field of view. Finally, OnePlus ditched the mostly pointless 2MP monochrome sensor. Overall, the OnePlus 10 Pro’s camera hardware isn’t a dramatic leap forward from the 9 Pro, and in the case of the ultrawide is potentially a step back.
OnePlus 9 series buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know
Having said that, the OnePlus 10 Pro does have a few clear advantages over its predecessor. More specifically, this year’s model offers a 10% larger battery, Qualcomm’s latest SoC, marginally faster 80W charging (outside North America), and superior Gorilla Glass Victus on the front. Curiously enough, though, the company stopped short of offering an IP rating for OnePlus 10 Pro models not bought via T-Mobile — breaking a two-year tradition in the process.
We haven’t received any indication that a regular OnePlus 10 will make its way to shelves anytime soon. In other words, unless you’re willing to enter a higher price tier, the OnePlus 9 has no direct replacement yet. And even if you do make the jump, the upgrades likely won’t blow you away. With two remaining years of software updates on the horizon too, an upgrade shouldn’t be too high on your list of priorities.
Should you upgrade to the OnePlus 10 Pro?
As we’ve alluded to already, the OnePlus 10 Pro offers relatively modest upgrades over the OnePlus 9 Pro, and is in some ways inferior when you factor in the lack of a universal IP rating and the downgraded ultrawide camera. However, those coming from an older flagship like the OnePlus 7 Pro from 2019 will find plenty to appreciate here. From the improved display and cameras to the significantly larger battery capacity, the OnePlus 10 Pro does a lot of things right vs older OnePlus phones. And even if you’re not a current OnePlus user, the 10 Pro’s slightly lower starting price of $899 may seem appealing versus other $1,000 flagship smartphones.