OnePlus usually debuts its new flagship phone in the spring. But this year, the company is switching it up: OnePlus is revealing the new One Plus 10 Pro in Las Vegas this week prior to the flagship’s official launch in China on Jan. 11.
While OnePlus has yet to release official specs and pricing, today at CES OnePlus has provided the first official photos showing off the OnePlus 10 Pro’s design, which is a notable departure from the OnePlus 9 and 9.
Instead of the shiny mirror finishes OnePlus used on the OP9, the OP10 Pro sports a more low-key two-toned aesthetic with a matte finish (available in green or black) highlighted by a large rear quad camera module that once again bears some prominent Hasselblad branding.
While details are light thus far, there are a couple of things we can glean from these images. First is the lack of a rear or side-mounted fingerprint sensor, which implies the use of an in-screen fingerprint reader, along with continued support of OnePlus’ traditional alert slider on the side. The phone looks rather fetching, though the camera module’s shape and placement are quite reminiscent of Samsung’s Contour Cut design on the Galaxy S21. Small kudos to OnePlus for making an attractive phone, but minus a couple points for originality.
However, the main question we have about the OP10 Pro is about its fourth rear camera, which on top of not looking like a typical camera lens also bears a label saying “P2D 50T.” Currently, without any additional info from OnePlus, it’s unclear what the true nature of this fourth camera will be, but based on previous comments from OnePlus co-founder and CEO Pete Lau, who said he wants to improve the cameras on OnePlus phones, this P2D cam looks to be the big feature that attempts to set the OP 10 Pro apart from other flagship smartphones.
My current guess is that P2D is OnePlus’ name for a new type of autofocus system, which uses that fourth camera as dedicated focus sensor instead of being a regular camera. That said, I also wouldn’t be surprised if that 50T stands for a 50x zoom or maybe a 50x macro. Who knows, maybe it’s both (or even all three).
The other little tidbit we can glean from OnePlus’s newly released teaser video (seen above) is that the phone will be powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, which will likely be the dominant processor used in most high-end Android phones this year.
This somewhat unusual announcement timing, the OP10 Pro’s new design, and the phone’s new fancy camera element indicate that 2022 could be the year when OnePlus finally believes it can truly take on the other big Android phone makers like Samsung and Google.
Over the past few years, OnePlus phones have been getting steadily more expensive as OnePlus has added more features and extras to better compete with other flagship devices. And while last year’s OP9 came close, it didn’t quite live up to other high-end Android phones, particularly when it came to low-light photos.
We expect to hear more about the OnePlus 10 Pro later this week at CES prior to the flagship’s official launch in China next week, so stay tuned.