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These days, it's rare that I'm truly wowed by a phone. This is mostly because so many devices have become so good over the past few years. And after using Pixel phones for some time now (my daily driver being a Pixel 6 Pro), I feel like I've been spoiled…especially when it comes to cameras.
So when I receive a OnePlus 10 Pro to review, my initial thought was it would wind up being yet another standard affair with another Android phone that either doesn't stand up to what I've been accustomed to using or doesn't impress me enough to think there might be something better.
My original plan was to do a general review of the OnePlus 10 Pro. However, my colleague, Sandra Vogel beat me to that particular punch in her review, "OnePlus 10 Pro review: A superb screen heads up an excellent-value specification." With that in mind, I thought I'd take a different approach and review the one aspect of the device that impressed me so much, I am seriously considering dropping the Pixel 6 Pro and moving to the OnePlus 10 Pro.
The aspect in question is the camera.
OnePlus paired with Hasselblad to tune the camera. Why should this matter? First off, Hasselblad cameras have taken some of the most iconic photos of the century. What makes Hasselblad cameras so unique is their massive sensors, which lead to larger pixels, lower noise, and a wider dynamic range. Hasselblad has been in the industry since 1841 and has a storied history of making some of the most remarkable cameras in the world. Those modern Hasselblad cameras can easily cost you over $30,000 and the results they produce are second to none.
So when OnePlus partnered with Hasselblad to fine-tune the cameras for the 10 Pro, it's a big deal and the results show it.
Before we dig into the actual review, let's have some specifications for the camera. The OnePlus 10 Pro includes the following:
Main camera - 48 MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 1/1.43", 1.12µm, multi-directional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS 8 MP, f/2.4, 77mm (telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3.3x optical zoom, 50 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 150˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.76", 0.64µm, AF. Features include Hasselblad Color Calibration, Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, panorama. Video options are 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, Auto HDR, gyro-EIS.
Selfie camera - 32 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/2.74", 0.8µm. Features include Auto-HDR. Video options are 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.
Let me start off by sharing the first photo I took with the OnePlus 10 Pro. This photo (Figure 1) was taken in dim light using the Portrait mode.
What I find to be so remarkable about this photo was that it was just a quick click and zero attention to the composition or lighting. To me, that's part of what makes the OnePlus 10 Pro camera so great -- you don't have to think all that much about what you're doing. You point and click and the camera takes care of the details.
Of course, it's much more than that. You have options…and plenty of them. You can take photos with the following options:
Night - for photos in dim light.
Video - standard video.
Photo - standard photo.
Portrait - photos with an in-focus subject and blurry background.
Pro - allows you to take full manual control over things like ISO, Shutter, EV, Focus, and White Balance.
PANO - panoramic photos.
Movie - gives you full manual control over settings for video.
Slo-Mo - standard slow-motion video.
Time-Lapse - time-lapse video.
Long Exposure - allows you to adjust exposure time from 0-12 seconds.
Duel-view video - allows you to shoot video from both front and rear-facing cameras.
150 degrees - allows you to take photos in a 150-degree field of view (which is quite wide).
Tilt-shift - allows you to take still photos that change the orientation or position with respect to the film or image sensor (think "miniature faking").
XPAN - wider than panorama and with more intricate details.
So, clearly, you have tons of options for shooting photos or videos with the OnePlus 10 Pro.
As for some sample photos, Figure 2 was done using the Photo option and the Selfie camera.
Figure 3 is that of the plants growing out of the aquarium in my office.
Figure 4 was my poor attempt at highlighting the tilt-shift feature (which is never really easy to nail).
Another incredibly impressive feature of the OnePlus 10 Pro (that I can't really show here) is the Slo-Mo video. I wasn't expecting to be nearly as impressed with this as I was. But taking a slow-motion video of one of my cats walking was utterly amazing. The fluidity of motion and the incredible detail was truly awe-inspiring.
I seriously did not expect to come away from this impressed with the OnePlus 10 Pro. It had been a number of years since I'd kicked the tires of a OnePlus phone, so I wasn't expecting to be blown away. The reality, however, was a phone that includes the camera to beat in 2022. I'd be shocked if any phone manufacturer will be able to best what OnePlus has produced in this calendar year.
If you're looking for a new phone that packs some serious punch in the camera department, I would highly recommend giving the OnePlus 10 Pro a try.