Should you even consider buying the new OnePlus 10R?
Till now, OnePlus had made its name in the world among users to provide you with cutting-edge specs in a premium-looking design at an affordable price range in terms of Android flagships concerned. OnePlus posed a serious threat to the likes of premium smartphone makers like Samsung and Apple in India a few years back.
However, things have started to change since Carl Pei stepped down from the company and the recent announcement of the OnePlus merger with Oppo. While they have made the OnePlus 10 Pro a premium device for consumers and been expanding its lineup with the Nord series in the budget but OnePlus has shifted its focus to be the best to provide affordable flagships to consumers.
Recently they have launched a new OnePlus 10R in India at a starting price of ₹38,999 with some bank offers to reduce it to ₹34,999 but still, there will be many who cannot avail of it. So, for them spending almost Rs.40k on a smartphone means a lot especially when they have iPhone 12 or Galaxy S21 FE available at Rs.50k.
Specifications & Features of OnePlus 10R
- Display: 6.7 Inches; 120 Hz IRIS Display; Resolution: 2400 X 1080 pixels 394 ppi; Aspect Ratio: 20:9
- Display Features: Hyper Touch Mode, Reading Mode, Night Mode, Eye Comfort Mode, Auto brightness
- Operating System: OxygenOS based on Android 12
- Processor: MediaTek Dimensity 8100 Max
- Battery & Charging: 5000 mAh with 80W SuperVOOC
- In-Display Fingerprint Sensor
- Special Features: Hyperboost gaming engine
- Camera: 50MP Main Camera with Sony IMX766 and 2MP Macro Camera with Dual LED Flash; 16MP Front (Selfie) Camera with Sony IMX471
- Camera Features: Nightscape2.0, Super Macro, UltraShot HDR, Smart Scene Recognition, Portrait mode, Pro mode, Panorama, Tilt-shift mode, Focus Peaking, Filters, Video Nightscape, Video HDR, Video Portrait Timelapse, Hyperlapse Mode
- Alexa Hands-Free capable: Download the Alexa app to use Alexa hands-free. Play music, make calls, hear the news, open apps, navigate, and more, all using just your voice, while on the go.
In the Box
OnePlus 10R, Adapter, Phone Case, SIM Tray Ejector, USB Cable
Let’s talk about the OnePlus 10R and my experience using it for almost 3 weeks as my primary driver now:
Design & Build Quality
There has been a huge debate off-late that why did OnePlus change its core design for its 10R? Some say OnePlus wants to make more profit, some say for a change or some say to reduce pricing, well, I say for all three reasons. In the race to provide a more unique device at less price, OnePlus has forgotten its core design principles.
OnePlus tells they have used the flat edges to improve grip and comfort while also reducing the thickness but I see it’s much heavier when compared to other plastic body phones. It’s just 9 grams lighter than the OnePlus 9RT which has a way better design, a premium touch is completely missing on this OnePlus 10R.
When I compared it with my old Oppo Reno 6, I felt that had a better design than this one while costing both less and having a slightly better design or sleekness. I don’t know why OnePlus didn’t use a glass body, still could have looked much better, personally, I don’t like the new pattern down the camera module especially if you are paying this much money for it.
While making both OnePlus and Oppo phones, the difference between both brands is decreasing, so, the OnePlus 10R’s design doesn’t actually excite me that much. When you use it with a case it’s still bearable but what’s the point of that?
I don’t know if it’s a deliberate attempt to make the OnePlus 10 Pro a better buy but OnePlus needs to keep its roots intact else as the average user ratings on Amazon India say, people are unhappy with the design & build quality and I can’t just deny that.
OnePlus always provides the best displays on its smartphones, especially at this price range and here you get a 6.7-inch FHD+ Fluid AMOLED display with a flicker-free 120 Hz refresh rate. Also, the display can intelligently adjust between 120 Hz, 90 Hz, and 60 Hz depending on the content being consumed to save battery life, a feature of the first-gen LTPO display. The overall quality of the display is good but I feel it is not up to the mark with the iPhones or even the Samsung’s.
I really miss the curved edges which I like in the OnePlus 10 Pro and eventually, the auto-brightness sensor is not at all accurate, don’t know why. Yes, having a maximum touch
response rate up to 1,000 Hz does help during gaming and yes it suits that but I feel the display is pretty much what you expect from a smartphone that costs Rs.40k in 2022.
Being HDR10+ certified means you can watch content in real clarity and be fair I did enjoy watching movies or web series but certainly, I love the OnePlus 10 Pro even more. Also, when you compare it with the OnePlus 9RT this flat-edged display kind of looks downgraded to me and I don’t know if OnePlus did this.
For daily use, the display of the OnePlus 10R is good and works pretty well outdoors as well but in this aspect too you feel a bit deceived as this feels more of an Oppo device. It has a similar design to the Oppo 7 Pro and looks like those flat-edged displays have been blatantly copied, somewhere down my mind I feel the OnePlus originality is missing.
Last but not the least, talking about the display, I did note that OnePlus has not provided any official Gorilla Glass rating on this OnePlus 10R and that was the same case with the OnePlus 10 Pro. There’s a tempered glass pre-applied which to be fair somehow resisted a drop but my 10 Pro couldn’t resist, so if you genuinely care about the display, please use it with screen protection.
Performance & Gaming
The one key area where I feel OnePlus never lets down its users is the performance, it always tries to pack a serious amount of horsepower as the pricing can offer. I am glad that at least the OnePlus 10R is not a cut-down in terms of performance for providing the device at a lesser price, featuring a custom-made MediaTek Dimensity 8100-MAX chipset.
The OnePlus 10R‘s 3D Passive Cooling System featuring the largest vapour chamber in
any OnePlus smartphone to date does make a difference in terms of performance. The chipset is also very efficient while during normal workloads and doesn’t heat up much, even better than I saw with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 inside the OnePlus 10 Pro.
As you see in the Geekbench test, the OnePlus 10R posts really good scores initially at 872 points in single-core and 3348 points in multi-core. Now, with multiple benchmarks, it reduces somewhat but not drastically as it was noticed in the OnePlus 10 Pro powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 suggesting this smartphone has one of the best thermal solutions.
If you don’t know, the MediaTek Dimensity 8100-MAX octa-core chipset offers CPU speeds up to 2.85 GHz and 11% improved multicore performance compared to the previous generation. Also, the GPU improvements are considerably higher and now this paired with 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256 GB of UFS 3.1 high-speed flash storage results in a flagship experience in this price range.
During the heavy AnTuTu 3D benchmark you see there is only a 1.1 degrees Celsius increase in temperature which is really impressive and a power draw of just 3%. If you see the scores are considerably higher, in the flagship zone, scoring 7,20,6095 points where the GPU poses some serious scores comparable to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC of the OnePlus 10 Pro.
I am even amazed to see the Dimensity 8100 Max scoring 5,473 points in the 3DMark Wild Life benchmark posted an average of 32.8 frame rates which are really impressive. The huge improvement you see with new-age MediaTek chips is just amazing and even the CPU throttle test will show you how the smartphone is able to sustain its performance.
As you see in the 50 threads test spanning over 15 minutes the CPU here throttled to 93% of the total performance while in the 100 threads test for the same time it throttled to 83%. This is a truly impressive performance, especially when compared with Snapdragon chipsets which we think are more power-efficient but the case is different here.
Overall, the OnePlus 10R will not disappoint you at all in terms of performance and in terms of gaming as well in Apex Legends Mobile I thoroughly enjoyed my continuous gaming sessions at high fidelity. You won’t believe I was easily being the Champion in every Battle Royal I was playing, indeed this OnePlus 10R is highly recommended if you love mobile gaming.
OnePlus has already made its name to provide the best cameras on its flagship smartphones and even on affordable flagships like this OnePlus 10R. However, does it really gives you that edge in real-world usage? Let’s find out:
OnePlus is again boasting of a triple camera setup wherein the primary lens is the 50 MP Sony IMX766 sensor, the same used in the OnePlus 9RT. However, I am disappointed to see the company downgraded the Ultra-wide camera which was 16MP in its predecessor and now it’s only an 8MP ultra-wide camera with a 119° field of view. Honestly, I still don’t know why they give that gimmicky 2MP macro lens which continues in this OnePlus 10R as well.
The rear camera performance is decent especially outdoors with a slightly bluish tone and though the color reproduction is not as great as you see on the OnePlus 10 Pro but is good enough. The OnePlus 10R also excels in daylight shots but sometimes struggles in Portrait shots and also Nightscape photos are very inconsistent.
Here are some daytime shots:
As you see in the shots, overall it’s pretty consistent when the condition is suitable for it and if you travel a lot you will like to use this to shoot during broad daylight. It also accurately captures objects with details but is not comparable to the OnePlus 10 Pro’s cameras which are much more consistent.
Sometimes especially if you shoot while travelling you will notice the camera blurs out or overprocesses some scenes which again fixes with another shot. In some shots, I was blown away with the quality while in some I pitied the OnePlus 10R’s camera, so kind of a mixed bag for me. Also, I did like the food photos and did a good background blur as well as to object detection.
Coming to human subjects, normal photos were coming pretty well with average bokeh but there were no issues in terms of color reproduction and other things. However, during portrait, I noticed the OnePlus 10R’s rear camera was inconsistent and while the edge detection was good but the original colours were blown out.
While Portrait shots during the night look really ugly and you cannot expect anything better but I saw iPhones and even Samsung phones to produce better photos at night. Here are some more night mode photos:
I extensively tried out the night mode in various scenarios and you will see the decent quality in many but some of the images were horrendous and I don’t know what the primary camera or the software was trying to do. I hope OnePlus fixes all the camera issues with software updates because this is more of an image processing issue rather than a camera hardware problem.
Last but not the least, talking about the selfie camera of this OnePlus 10R, I feel this is the most consistent of all but still it messes around with the skin tones and original colors which I think OnePlus needs to fix. Portrait selfies too look very cool as our editor friend @anupammodak02 poses in for the test and most are good but at night struggle a bit again!
In terms of video quality with OIS support, the quality of the video is quite good and overall it’s satisfactory for those who love to take outdoor or travel videos, shoot vlogs, etc. This is a decent camera performance overall but I would have loved some more improvements over last-gen but considering the price reduction, you can’t ask much.
OS & Software
The best part about being a OnePlus phone is still you do get OxygenOS and as confirmed by its CEO earlier, they will not kill it as per their claims. However, you do know new OxygenOS has some ColorOS elements, especially the Camera app but this is what it is, better than MIUI or Realme’s OS.
The OxygenOS 12.1 on this OnePlus 10R comes with a clean UI and a complete redesign along with new features centred around work, rest, and play. Also, if you love Android, the good news for you as the OnePlus 10R will receive three major Android updates and
four years of security updates.
Buttons/Ports & Connectivity
One of the key things this OnePlus 10R misses out on has to be the Alter Slider which I really enjoyed using on a OnePlus device. I don’t understand why the smartphone giant has removed it this time with the squared-off design, practically without this, it feels more of an Oppo phone than a traditional OnePlus smartphone.
In terms of other buttons and ports, you have the typical volume +/- keys, power key and yes you have a slim slot along with a speaker grill at the bottom and a USB Type-C port for charging. In terms of connectivity, you get WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 support along with NFC if you like to use it.
Overall you won’t be disappointed in terms of connectivity because I used it with multiple devices, constant WiFi calling and a lot more but never did this OnePlus 10R struggle.
Audio, Earpiece & Microphone
The OnePlus 10R does feature dual stereo speakers along with Noise cancellation support and the audio output is more than decent, not the best you hear from a flagship device but better than most average mid-range smartphones. Also, the earpiece used here is fine and if you take a lot of calls you will surely not get disappointed as I enjoyed calling others without any issues.
The microphone quality of the OnePlus 10R is also good because most of the time I was talking during calls and meetings even while I was outdoors, there were no troubles on the other end, however, this also depends on where you are calling and the network reception.
For this OnePlus 10R, the network reception is also pretty good but the rest depends on your network carrier.
Battery life & Charging
Coming to the very much hyped 150W SuperVOOC charging support on the Rs.44k variant of this OnePlus 10R, does it make any difference in daily life? Well, no, because the advertised 17 minutes charging doesn’t happen in real life, it took me almost 30 minutes or more to charge it to 100% but if you turn on the Rapid charging option this reduces but still, it is more of a hype than coming into use actually.
This “special variant” also has a lesser 4,500 mAh battery than the 80W SuperVOOC variants, as in the base variants, which sport a 5,000 mAh battery. Though the difference is very minor but still worth noting of the adapter itself is a brick which I hated to carry as it was very heavy and bulky.
I love the 80W charger I had with the OnePlus 10 Pro and I was charging this one with it most of the time, so don’t necessarily spend more money just for the super-fast charging marketing hype unless you want to carry it a brick with you for some minutes of fast charge. The base variants with 80W SuperVOOC charging could take 40-45 minutes but it’s still bearable considering the great battery life you will get.
Also, lastly talking about the battery life, the efficient MediaTek chipset inside this does make a difference because it easily lasted me a day even with heavy usage and gaming. An average user who will even purchase the base variant could easily expect one and a half to two days of battery life easily from this new OnePlus 10R.
Now, this is the most crucial question which I would answer or make it easier for you to take the decision, whether you should buy the new OnePlus 10R or not?
Honestly speaking, the biggest letdown on this smartphone has to be the design which I still cannot digest on a OnePlus device. This is not the design or premiumness you expect from a device that costs Rs.40k and if it was priced along with discounts at Rs.30k, I would have still understood but sarcastically, the OnePlus Nord CE 2 which was also made out of plastic had a better design.
Genuinely I don’t know what more we have to see from OnePlus due to this Oppo merger but I do get a feeling that this is a genuine attempt to make its Pro lineup look much better than this affordable flagship lineup. Killing this lineup in the years to come will hurt OnePlus the most because it was known to provide the best flagship experience at affordable prices.
Still, this is how it is, no Alert Slider, plastic body, mediocre cameras but with blazing-fast performance, however, the consistency along with the practicality of the OnePlus 10R is totally missing. I still think OnePlus 9RT was a great phone for the price and I hope OnePlus sticks to the previous design philosophy rather than doing experiments because it still has a good brand image among fans so please don’t ruin it.
Should you buy the new OnePlus 10R? Unless you are a die-hard OnePlus fan who can digest this new design and bear with all the pros and cons mentioned earlier, buying it with ICICI bank discounts at Rs.35k would be a better option.
Also, if you don’t have that crazy charging love, the base variant offers more value otherwise, do let us know your experience with this device in the comments down below, for more queries do mail or comment to us about this OnePlus 10R.
Buy from here (standard edition): https://amzn.to/3Or6Ifh
Or Get this 150W SuperVOOC charging variant with 12GB RAM & 256GB Storage: https://amzn.to/3xqJIWu