OnePlus 10R 5G (150W Endurance Edition) Review: Identity Crisis
OnePlus recently launched its 10R 5G in India. The new phone is the successor to the the OnePlus 9R (Review) and is priced just below this year’s OnePlus 9RT (Review). However, it looks very different from anything the Chinese smartphone maker has designed so far. On one hand, it does look unique, and newcomers to the OnePlus brand might find it attractive, but on the other hand existing OnePlus customers might be a little disappointed. The 10R 5G has some interesting hardware that OnePlus has put together, and this is especially true for the 150W Endurance Edition of the phone that I received. So are OnePlus’ new design approach and hardware choices good enough to warrant that Rs. 43,999 sticker price in India?
OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) price in India
The OnePlus 10R 5G is available in two models with either 80W or 150W charging. The 80W model has two variants, one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage priced at Rs. 38,999, and the other with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage priced at Rs. 42,999. The 150W Endurance Edition model is priced at Rs. 43,999 and offers 12GB of RAM plus 256GB of storage. The 150W charging model also has a smaller 4,500mAh battery compared to the 5,000mAh battery in the 80W model.
In my opinion, it makes more sense to get the Endurance Edition rather than the 12GB variant of the regular model, unless you favour a higher capacity battery over faster charging. The OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) is available only in a Sierra Black finish and you don’t get the Forest Green option that you do with either variant of the regular model.
OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) design
The OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) looks identical to the regular model and even weighs the same 186g, despite having a slightly smaller battery. This is quite light for a mid-range premium smartphone, mainly due to its polycarbonate frame and back panel. The 10R 5G series does not feature wireless charging, like some other smartphones in this segment, which also contributes to these phones’ 8.2mm slim bodies. There’s also no official IP rating, which could be a dealbreaker for some people, as smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G (Review) and the Apple iPhone SE (2022) (Review) do have this.
The design of the OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) looks very contemporary, with flat sides, straight lines, and sharp edges. It looks unique and definitely stands out from the company’s other offerings. I think the only other OnePlus smartphone that has stood out from the rest of the lineup as much as this one was the OnePlus X (Review) from 2015.
The rear panel of the OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) has a matte finish, just like the frame, but there’s also a pinstripe pattern on the left half, which can be seen through the glass portion of the rear camera module. While the back panel and the frame are excellent at resisting fingerprints, the camera module is a smudge and dust magnet and gets very messy after a few minutes of use. It isn’t easy to clean up either.
While the OnePlus 10R 5G looks unique and is built well, it’s not the most comfortable to hold because of the frame’s edges. The use of polycarbonate definitely makes it light, but it lacks a certain premium feel. This is especially unfortunate given that the OnePlus 9R and the 9RT both have metal frames and glass backs. The 10R 5G’s display is made using Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 and is also prone to fingerprints. Lastly, this phone is missing the all-important Alert slider, which is used to change sound profiles and has been a signature feature on every other premium OnePlus smartphone.
There’s a OnePlus logo in the bottom right corner of the back panel, and this is the only design element that a OnePlus fan might associate with, as the rest of the design is a big departure from nearly every design aspect of previous smartphones from this brand.
OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) specifications and software
The OnePlus 10 5G (150W) has the same specifications as the regular model, except for the battery capacity and charging speed. Both models share the same SoC, which is the MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Max. Just like the Dimensity 1200-AI SoC in the OnePlus Nord 2 (Review), the company has customised a few algorithms for the 10R, which is what the ‘Max’ suffix denotes. According to OnePlus, the customised Dimensity 8100-Max SoC is supposed to help with better AI performance, more stable gaming performance and improved Nightscape video. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and the usual satellite navigation systems.
As for software, there’s OxygenOS 12.1 which is based on Android 12. While it has all the OnePlus elements (Shelf, Canvas lockscreen, OnePlus Sans font, etc), it looks very similar to RealmeUI as we’ve seen on the Realme GT Neo 3 (First impressions), especially the Settings app. This is primarily due to OnePlus’ new management structure and its decision to merge OxygenOS with ColorOS. RealmeUI is a derivative of ColorOS too, which explains the similarities.
The theming engine in OxygenOS 12.1 works as expected, matching the accent colours of the system, widgets and keyboard to the selected wallpaper. With the new and useful Android 12 widgets, such as conversations, screen time, etc. that can be pinned to the homescreen, I found the OnePlus Shelf feature distracting at best so I disabled it after accidentally activating it a few times when attempting to pull down the notifications tray.
I liked the fact that this phone had only two preinstalled third-party apps out of the box. Both Netflix and Spotify turned out to be useful, but can be uninstalled if not needed. There are, however, several OnePlus-branded defaults such as Clone Phone, Community, Recorder, and Zen Mode which cannot be uninstalled. All said and done, OxygenOS still manages to look clean and is easy to use despite having multiple OnePlus customisations.
OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) performance and battery life
The OnePlus 10R 5G (150W)’s software performance was smooth and fluid with regular use. I experienced no lag when opening apps and while multitasking. Its 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED panel has a 120Hz refresh rate. It showcased punchy colours and was legible clearly even under sunlight. Streaming movies on the OnePlus 10R 5G was a good experience but the phone did not allow HDR streaming on Netflix when I tested it. Regular content looked just fine and the stereo speakers sounded loud and balanced.
As for benchmarks, OnePlus’s customised MediaTek Dimensity 8100-Max SoC performed on par with the competition. In AnTuTu, the OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) managed to score 6,95,094 points. It also achieved 881 and 3,567 in Geekbench’s single- and multi-core tests respectively. The 10R 5G Endurance Edition scored well in GFXBench’s graphics benchmarks, managing 60fps and 44fps in the T-Rex and Car Chase scenes respectively. However, these scores do fall short when compared to the Xiaomi 11T Pro (Review) or the iQoo 9 SE (Review), both of which feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 SoC and are priced similarly.
Gaming performance was quite good overall. The phone did not get too hot even when playing games such as Call of Duty: Mobile or Asphalt 9 Legends at the highest graphics settings. Indeed, performance wasn’t as fluid as what I’ve experienced on competing devices, but this phone was capable enough. For a premium smartphone, Asphalt 9 Legends’ 60fps mode was missing, a feature that is available on devices with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 SoC. The 120Hz display’s touch sampling rate (up to 720Hz) was adequate after tweaking some settings in the Games app.
The OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) ships with a 160W charger, which managed to charge the device from a zero to 100 percent in 19 minutes. This is very close to OnePlus’ claimed charge time of 17 minutes. The rapid charging mode has to be enabled in the phone’s battery settings, since it is switched off by default. Enabling this will show a warning on the screen, stating “Your device will charge faster, but may get a little warmer during charging.” In my experience the phone did warm up but did not get too hot to the touch.
To make sure that the phone and its battery remain in good condition when charging, OnePlus has included a Battery Health Engine feature which is exclusive to the 150W model. According to OnePlus, this is designed to extend the battery’s lifespan so it’s able to hold the same level of charge in the long run.
The OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) lasted about a day and a half even with gaming-heavy usage. The phone managed 18 hours and 9 minutes in our HD video loop test, which was quite good for a premium smartphone.
OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) cameras
The main camera of the OnePlus 10R 5G (150W) features Sony’s tried and tested 50-megapixel IMX766 sensor which has optical image stabilisation (OIS). The sensor is identical to the one in the OnePlus 9RT (Review) and was also used in the OnePlus 9 Pro (Review) and OnePlus 9 (Review) for their ultra-wide-angle cameras. The 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera in the OnePlus 10R 5G seems like a downgrade from the 16-megapixel camera in the 9RT in terms of resolution. The 2-megapixel macro camera is also the same as on the previous model. Selfies are handled by a 16-megapixel camera.
As for the camera interface, it looks typically OnePlus with all important controls on the left side, along with the three-dot button, which slides out to reveal more options.
The OnePlus 10R 5G’s primary camera captured crisp and clear photos in daylight. Dynamic range and detail were good too. Close-ups of plants looked sharp and a bit saturated. The ultra-wide-angle camera managed decent pictures but dynamic range in daylight along with colour tones looked quite different from those of the primary camera. There was a noticeable loss of detail towards the edges of the frame, along with some barrel distortion.
Subjects in selfies looked a bit overexposed and I noticed a ‘dream-like’ effect when shooting during the day. They also weren’t as sharp or detailed as I expected. Switching to Portrait mode on the selfie camera resulted in a similar level of detail but with good edge detection. Using the macro camera was tricky and getting a good shot was mostly a hit or a miss. The results were average at best.
When using Auto mode in low light, the camera automatically took slightly longer exposure shots when needed. Photos taken with the primary camera looked quite good. Noise was under control but some minor highlights near strong sources of light weren’t exposed properly. Nightscape mode took longer exposures and captured brighter images with even more detail and dynamic range, which brought the exposure of brighter areas under control. The ultra-wide-angle camera captured blurry and fairly unusable photos with odd colour tones in low light. Selfies in low light had average quality and Portrait mode captured really noisy photos.
Videos captured with the OnePlus 10R 5G (150W)’s main camera at 1080p looked decent in daylight, with good dynamic range for the most part but detail was on the lower side. I tried using the AI Highlight feature (works only at 1080p 30fps) in brighter scenes, but I noticed a lot of flickering, so the footage was not really usable. Videos captured at 60fps (1080p or 4K) appeared slightly smoother but seemed to lack stabilisation. Selfie videos came out looking sharp at 1080p 30fps (maximum resolution) but had blown-out backgrounds when shooting against the light.
In low light, video quality was impressive with low noise, but had the same stabilisation issues I noticed when shooting in daylight. The AI Highlight feature did brighten up night video but added plenty of noise in the process. I preferred the output of the regular mode.
There’s plenty to like about the OnePlus 10R 5G (150W Endurance Edition), provided you aren’t a big OnePlus fan. Those new to the brand or wanting to upgrade to a OnePlus phone for the first time will probably not miss the iconic Alert slider. The 10R 5G has a crisp 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display, enough processing power to run demanding games, a main camera that’s capable in low light, good battery life, and a 150W charging system that works as advertised.
To a OnePlus fan, the missing Alert slider and the familiar OnePlus hand-feel will feel strange. Whether the phone’s design looks good or bad is highly subjective but I did not like its sharp edges, as it wasn’t very comfortable to hold. It also does not feel premium for a smartphone priced at Rs. 43,999. Indeed, it appears that OnePlus has cut quite a few corners.
There’s plenty of competition to choose from, many of which offer better value. iQoo’s 9 SE (Review) offers better performance (with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC) and equally good cameras starting at Rs. 33,990. Xiaomi’s 11T Pro (Review) (from Rs. 38,999) also packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, capable cameras (108-megapixel sensor), a larger 5,000mAh battery with 120W charging, and also Dolby Vision playback for streaming video. Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE 5G (Review) (at Rs. 39,999) seems to offer great value for a premium smartphone, with wireless charging and an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance. And then there’s the Realme GT Neo 3 (First impressions), which has pretty much identical hardware to the OnePlus 10R 5G (150W), but costs Rs. 1,000 less.