With the release of the OnePlus 10 Pro, comes the inevitable contest of OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro. The OnePlus 9 Pro is, of course, the previous OnePlus flagship. But, as is the way of the mobile phone world, the crown never sits for long in one place. Step forward the new reigning champion, the OnePlus 10 Pro.
Of course, we know it's going to be better than its predecessor. Every year, the new generation of a handset comes with improvements to things like cameras, processors and displays. That isn't in doubt. But the big question is just how much of an improvement is there? Gone are the days of generation-defining upgrades that change the conversation...although that hasn't stopped us hoping in the case of the iPhone 14,iPhone 15, and Samsung Galaxy S23.
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Nowadays, changes are far more subtle, iterative, and in many cases, don't justify upgrading from one generation to the next. We'll take a look at some of the key differences between the OnePlus 10 Pro and the OnePlus 9 Pro. You can decide for yourself whether that applies in this case.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro: Specs and Performance
Let's start with the basic spec sheets, so we can compare the two handsets:
The OnePlus 9 Pro offers the following:
- Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED, QHD+ (3168x1440)
- Refresh Rate: 1Hz - 120Hz adaptive, LTPO
- Chipset: Snapdragon 888
- RAM: 8GB or 12GB
- Storage: 128GB or 256GB
- Battery: 4500 mAh, 65W wired charging, 50W wirless charging.
- Rear Cameras: 48MP wide, 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto with 3.3x optical zoom, 2MP monochrome
- Front Camera: 16MP
- Size: 6.4 x 2.9 x 0.34 inches, weight is 197 grams
In comparison, the OnePlus 10 Pro offers:
- Display: 6.7-inch AMOLED, QHD (3216x1440)
- Refresh Rate: 1Hz- 120Hz adaptive, LTPO 2.0
- Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
- RAM: 8GB or 12GB
- Storage: 128GB or 256GB
- Battery: 5000 mAh, with 65W wired charging in the US and Canada, 80W wired charging outside these regions, and 50W wireless charging.
- Rear Cameras: 48MP wide, 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto with 3.3x optical zoom
- Front Camera: 32MP
- Size: 6.4 x 2.9 x 0.34 inches, weight is 200 grams
As you can see, there are plenty of similarities, plus a few significant differences. But what does that mean in performance terms?
The most important difference is the new processor in the OnePlus 10 Pro. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is the successor to the Snapdragon 888 that is found in the OnePlus 9 Pro. This will offer increased computing power, and potentially improved efficiency. Some are suggesting it may be up to 20% better than its predecessor, although we won't know for sure until it's out in the wild.
Both phones offer the same choices in terms of RAM and storage, and both phones offer 5G compatibility as standard. However, how well they work on 5G is very much dependent on the 5G frequencies of each network.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro: Price
Prices are yet to be officially confirmed for the OnePlus 10 Pro, with the exception of China: for 4699 Yuan, you can get the 8GB/128GB model, while 5299 Yuan will get you the 12GB/256GB version. These prices are slightly lower than the launch price of the OnePlus 9 Pro in China.
If the same principle applies around the world, then we may see a slight reduction in the launch price of the new phone, compared to the old one. As a reminder, the OnePlus 9 Pro was launched at $969/£829 for the basic model, and $1069/£929 for the higher specced version. Anticipate the OnePlus 10 Pro being in this ballpark.
The days of OnePlus being a 'flagship killer' because of its relentlessly aggressive pricing are gone. These are much closer to 'true' flagship prices now.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro: Camera
Cameras are one of the most important features of a phone these days. And perhaps confusingly, the OnePlus 10 Pro actually has one camera less than the 9 Pro. That 2MP monochrome sensor has been removed, potentially because it wasn't popular enough.
Otherwise, the sensors appear to be exactly the same, with the exception of the ultra-wide lens, which offers a wider 150-angle. Both devices use Hasselblad for colour tuning.
We can expect the new camera to offer improvements in terms of its software, to hopefully lead to better results. But the facts are that the basic numbers don't speak to a huge change.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro: Display
Again, the changes here are relatively small. Both phones offer the same size of AMOLED screens. Both have QHD resolutions, and both have 120Hz variable refresh rates.
The OnePlus 10 Pro does offer LTPO 2.0, which is a newer version of the tech in the 9 Pro. LTPO displays allows a phone to offer superb refresh rates and resolution, without compromising too much on battery life. So an enhanced version of this may improve what was an already superb screen, as well as extend battery life. Which, conveniently, is what we'll be discussing next.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro: Battery Life
The battery is one area where there is a potentially significant difference between the two handsets: The larger 5000mAh battery in the 10 Pro should, in theory at least, extend the time you can go between charges. But a lot will depend on how efficient the display and the processor are.
In terms of fast charging, OnePlus was already excellent. But they've ramped this up even further, with the ability to charge at up to 80W, vs a maximum of 65W on the 9 Pro. Given how fast they charged anyway, this definitely goes in the 'nice to have', rather than the 'essential' category. But the potential combination of longer battery life and even shorter charging times is never a bad thing.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro: Design
In terms of how the two devices look, there is one notable difference in the camera module. The standard rectangular block in the top left corner of the 9 Pro has been replaced with a squarer set-up. This then wraps around the side of the phone, in a much more striking fashion.
Other than that, changes are relatively modest. Both phones have the same dimensions, with the 10 Pro coming in slightly heavier. Presumably, this is down to the larger battery.
The 10 Pro also comes with Gorilla Glass Victus, which is tougher than the Gorilla Glass 5 that is on the 9 Pro. Both phones have IP68 water and dust resistance.
OnePlus 10 Pro vs OnePlus 9 Pro: Verdict
When comparing the two devices, they obviously have a lot in common, with a few key differences. But as we said at the beginning, annual phone releases tend to produce fairly small changes between generations. And this feels very much like more of the same. Small changes, rather than a great leap.
There are obvious changes in terms of battery size, processor, charging speed and camera set-up. But on the other hand, the displays, the cameras themselves, and the overall design seem to be largely the same.
It won't be until we see the 10 Pro out in the wild that we'll know for sure just how much of a difference these changes make. Or don't make, as the case may be.