OnePlus 10R review: OnePlus comes out of its skin with a budget flagship
Over the years, I’ve tried all the OnePlus flagships as well as the R and T versions which seem to arrive soon after each new edition of the smartphone. I used to think I understood this cycle to a great extent, but how quickly the OnePlus 10R arrived even surprised me. OnePlus has a justification though: wanting to offer a superior phone to younger users who may not have as much to spend as those the OnePlus 10 Pro is aimed at. So the OnePlus 10R is like a flagship and we can all hope buyers will get the idea.
OnePlus 10R specs: 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED 120Hz HDR10+ display | Dimensity 2100 Max chipset | 80W/150W Supervooc Charging | 50MP main camera sensor (f/1.8, 24mm) | 8MP ultra-wide sensor (f/2.2, 15mm) | 2MP macro sensor (f/2.4) | 5000 mAh battery (80 W charging version) or 4500 mAh battery (150 W charging version)
OnePlus 10R Price in India: Rs 38,999 for the 8GB + 128GB version | Rs 42,999 for the 12GB + 256GB version | Rs 43,999 for the 150W / 4,500 mAh version
Even the cheapest OnePlus phones stick to a design language that emphasizes its brand recognition in the market. The OnePlus 10R looks different in many ways, however. For one thing, it doesn’t have the notification slider which for me is a very unique OnePlus feature that a lot of buyers are looking forward to. Next, the phone has very edgy sides, unlike the smooth edges the brand is used to.
And to top it off, the Cyclops like camera module at the end is interesting, but again very different from the brand promise. None of these are really negative and could be OnePlus simply changing its design language to suit Oppo’s larger narrative. But the company has to be a bit careful about how this will be perceived by potential buyers.
The back panel of the phone has a distinct design with lines running down from the bottom of the camera module. On the other side is a matte finish with the brand logo shining through. I liked how light the phone was to hold and it feels very solid in the hand thanks to the same sharp edges.
The 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED display lives up to what you’d expect from OnePlus. The 120Hz refresh rate means gamers have another reason to love this phone. The audio output is good and does not disappoint given the screen quality.
OnePlus 10R review: what’s good?
Let me start with the USP of this phone – this phone has 150W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition charging for its 4500mAh battery. Yes, you read that right: 150W. Now, that charger is in many ways bigger and certainly heavier than the phone itself. While it’s hard to ignore the convenience of a phone that can take a day in about 15 minutes, I’m not sure everyone wants a block this size in their bag.
So when I was traveling to Jaipur recently, I kept this charger at home and packed an old OnePlus 65W charger for the trip. But what the 150W charger can do is amazing, and I watched in awe as the battery level increased by a percentage almost every two seconds. The phone ends up fully charging in 17 minutes flat. Magic.
Since this is a phone that sticks out a bit from its grain, OnePlus has also teamed up with MediaTek to power it with the new Dimensity 8100-Max. After using the phone for almost two weeks, I can say that nothing is stopping MediaTek from finding itself powering more flagships in the future. The phone is capable of handling all tasks and multi-tasking like a dream to switch between apps as you wish. The phone is also super cool, especially since I used it to play games like Extreme Balancer 3 on a hot summer bus trip where outside temperatures were pushing 45 degrees Celsius.
Then there’s the 50MP camera which makes its presence felt whenever you see the back of the phone. The 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro lenses almost dissolve into the background under the size of the 50MP camera. With so much space used, I’m a little surprised it’s not an ultra-wide lens, as OnePlus could have delivered a special experience here.
However, the 50MP camera does a good job of delivering sharp images in all conditions. I was walking around clicking pictures at Bishangarh fort on a hot summer afternoon and some of the pictures were stunning.
OnePlus 10R review: what’s wrong?
The OnePlus 10R comes preinstalled with Oxygen OS 12.1. But as I used the phone, I felt like there was something different about this version of Oxygen OS. I’m not sure I can identify it, but from the user interface (UI) on the home screen to notifications and settings, it doesn’t look very OnePlus. The phone’s macro lens takes a bit of time to focus on subjects. OnePlus may need to release an update for this camera to find its bearings.
OnePlus 10R review: Should you buy?
If you’re on an Android budget and want to step up a gear then this is a good phone to consider given that it has everything you need in a flagship, a feature that really is cutting edge – the 150W charger – and that too without burning a hole in your pocket. I’m not sure I can recommend it to people who have used OnePlus flagships before, as it’s a phone a bit outside of OnePlus Skin. But after getting used to it, I’m sure they too will settle down too.