Handy with the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G

The OnePlus 10 Pro 5G is the latest flagship from the company, which continues to keep its eye on photography. There are many notable features of the phone, from performance improvements to incredibly fast charging and software tweaks with OxygenOS 12.1. The most compelling case for the 10 Pro 5G, in my opinion, is the camera system, which is a second-gen Hasselblad partnership.

I’ve had some time to use the new OnePlus 10 Pro 5G and have experienced utter delight several times using the camera. The phone uses a OnePlus-exclusive 48-megapixel Sony IMX789 sensor, but its ability to shoot in 10-bit color is a really visible improvement. If you like unusual perspectives, there’s also a 150-degree ultrawide camera with fisheye mode.

Most cell phones have fused around certain premium specs – and that’s true here too. Don’t get carried away by the hype. But at the end of the day I like the pictures I took with the 10 Pro 5G. If mobile photography is your thing, then this phone is at least worth considering.

TL;DR

advantages:

  • More vivid photos with 10-bit color
  • Solid battery life

disadvantage:

  • Largely unchanged design from last year’s 9 Pro

Order from OnePlus.

Hasselblad camera system

The camera system supports 10-bit color recording for better color reproduction in photos.
TYLER HAYES

The OnePlus Pro 5G has three rear lenses, including telephoto and ultra-wide. All three support 10-bit color recording. It’s a small technical detail, but in practice it means that it handles 64 times more colors than cameras that record in 8-bit color, the standard used by most mobile phones. More color creates more realistic and vivid photos.

I immediately compared photos from different phones, capturing the same scene under the same lighting conditions, and I could see the color difference. The effect isn’t always strong compared to other images taken with other phones, but I generally found the 10-bit color images to be more desirable.

10 Pro 5G Pro
Capturing 10-bit color helps capture more realistic, richer-looking images. This photo has been converted from HEIC to JPEG to upload here.
TYLER HAYES

It’s worth noting that you need to enable 10-bit color in the settings to get started. If you do this, the photos will then be saved in HEIC (High Efficiency Image File Container) format rather than JPEG format. However, since Apple supports HEIC on all of its devices, using this photo format is not too restrictive and wide adoption is becoming more common.

OnePlus advertises that its ultra-wide 150-degree lens is wider than most others that use a 120-degree field of view. Yes, I could see the difference, but that wasn’t my point here. Personally, I don’t care how a fisheye filter looks either.

If you’re a pro or like to tinker with camera settings, there’s a Hasselblad Pro mode that lets you adjust a range of settings, for example, to achieve the perfect white balance. It’s not me, and it’s not most consumers, but it’s there for the small group of users.

The 10 Pro 5G’s camera system isn’t magical enough to blow the iPhone 13 Pro, Galaxy S22 Ultra, or Pixel 6 Pro away, but it has carved out a reason for its existence. It’s a wonderful camera for a phone.

OnePlus 10 Pro 5G
The 10 Pro 5G also features a 150-degree field of view lens to capture even more of the area around you in pictures.
TYLER HAYES

Other properties

While I didn’t particularly notice the intricacies of the new processor or the screen, which dynamically adjusts between 120Hz all the way down to 1Hz depending on the content, I did notice the other benefit of these technologies: battery life. I was impressed by its longevity in both standby and continuous use.

OnePlus 10 Pro 5G
The 10 Pro 5G has a screen refresh rate of 120Hz, which can ramp down to 1Hz depending on the content being viewed.
TYLER HAYES

If you manage to drain the battery, the 10 Pro 5G still supports a very fast charging speed of 65 watts with a cable. It also supports 50-watt AirVOOC wireless charging — more than double the iPhone 13 Pro. I don’t have a supported charger to test this out, but the one on the OnePlus website is $70. So be aware that it is not cheap.

Even after gambling on the phone, which I allowed my son to play, the device stayed pretty cool. It wasn’t hot and only slightly warm. I’m not sure if this is actually the result of optimizations to the internal design or if it wasn’t used intensively enough. In any case, a cooler phone is always more comfortable to use.

The new mobile software OxygenOS 12.1 comes with the phone. The company touts OnePlus Shelf, Work Life Balance 2.0, and an improved Dark Mode as notable new features. To me, the operating system doesn’t feel all that different from stock Android – a definite plus. The Shelf is a quick way to access a panel-like area. It reminds me of Control Center on iOS or even macOS. It’s practical, but mostly unobtrusive.

Should you buy the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G?

The OnePlus 10 Pro 5G has significant improvements over its 9 Pro 5G, but on the whole this is an iterative phone. Anyone who has been tempted by the latest OnePlus phones will continue to stare at this latest device. (It’s really nice that OnePlus is keeping the physical toggle for turning the ringer volume on and off.)

I like the overall package this phone offers. I personally love the addition of 10-bit color to my shots, and most of the time it’s extremely noticeable to my eyes. This feature, along with all the other premium specs, makes the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G a wonderful phone.

But in relation to this year’s other competing flagship phones in the US, I’m not convinced the 10 Pro 5G offers enough differentiation, even starting at $899, to steer most consumers away from Samsung, Apple, or even Google.

Order at OnePlus from $899.

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