OnePlus is in a period of upheaval.
The Chinese company lost its co-founder, Carl Pei, in 2020, and it has been through a turbulent merger with Oppo over the past year. No one outside the company knows what the future of OnePlus will look like, but its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 10 Pro, seems to suggest whatever this new OnePlus era will be.
OnePlus is part of a large conglomerate of smartphone companies under the BBK umbrella. In the same way that General Motors runs a bunch of car companies, all the BBK brands choose from the same spare parts box and manufacture similar products, but they target different markets. OnePlus’ BBK affiliates Oppo, Vivo and Realme are Chinese-focused, and iQOO is focused on India. OnePlus has been the western-oriented wing of BBK. The launch countries for the OnePlus One were the US and Europe, which made a lot of sense. The three largest smartphone markets are – in order – China, India and the United States.
Now that the Oppo merger is happening, it’s hard to say that OnePlus is still focused on the West. OnePlus 10 Pro debuted three months ago in China and is only now coming to the US shores. Even after this delay, the device is not released in the US with all features intact.
The primary way that OnePlus differs from its competitors is with “Warp Charge”, the company’s proprietary fast charging technology. OnePlus 10 Pro enhances that technology by bringing 80W Warp Charging. But OnePlus did not make a new 80 W Warp Charger for the US market, so US customers have to settle for last year’s charger, which is only 65 W. There’s nothing stopping OnePlus from making an 80 W charger that works with the American 120 V power system; the company simply did not.
|SPECIFICATIONS OVERVIEW: OnePlus 10 Pro|
|SCREEN||6.7 inches, 3216 × 1440 OLED, 120 Hz|
|U.S||Android 12 with Oxygen OS Skin|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|NETWORK||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC,|
|BACK CAMERA||48 MP head
8 MP 3.3x telephoto
50 MP wide angle
|FRONT CAMERA||32 MP|
|SIZE||163 x 73.9 x 8.6 mm|
|START PRICE||$ 899|
|OTHER INVENTIONS||65 W fast charging, wireless charging, on-screen optical fingerprint sensor|
BBK already has three other Chinese-focused brands, so OnePlus’ prioritization of China could signal a bit of a retreat from the US market. The Oppo merger also feels like a rebuttal of the original OnePlus strategy. OnePlus was once important enough to be an independent company under BBK, and now it is not.
The merger of OnePlus and Oppo also provides an awkward and unclear future for OnePlus’ software. OnePlus and Oppo each have their Android skin. OnePlus traditionally stays close to stock Android designs and adds extra features (though the company has moved away from this strategy over time). Oppos Color OS, like many Chinese Android skins, is all about Apple envy and looks like a fake version of iOS.
In July 2021, OnePlus and Oppo announced that they would merge their opposite Android skins, and said the move would help companies produce faster updates. In December 2021, we got the first look at this unified direction with the Android 12 update to the OnePlus 9, and it was a bit of a disaster. Just last month, Oppo and OnePlus announced that the software merger was canceled.
So no, OnePlus did not make 10 Pro software in a month; it was mostly created according to the old plan. No one knows what the Android 13 update plan for this phone will look like, but you will get three years of major software updates. Blowing up your software department and then trying to reconstruct it a month before a device launches is disruptive, and I can not say that I expect major updates to go smoothly while OnePlus finds out what it wants its software for. .
It is in this context that we bring you our OnePlus 10 Pro review. The annual smartphone update cycle stops for no one, even if your business is in the midst of a full reboot.