It has a powerful CPU, 16GB of RAM, a high refresh rate display, a frame rate stabilizer specifically designed to improve gameplay, and a complex cooling system. No, I’m not describing a gaming platform or console, just the OnePlus 10T smartphone.
OnePlus’ newest handset is a little weird. Where most smartphones push the image capture envelope, the OnePlus10T’s camera system feels fair, especially when compared to its big brother, the OnePlus 10 Pro.
That’s not to say OnePlus didn’t publicize its Sony sensor and lens capabilities when it launched the phone on August 3rd. The highlight, however, was in the games and all the hardware, software, and even accessories built to support it.
Let’s start with the mobile CPU. While this is a relatively affordable OnePlus model, starting at just $649 / £629, the 6.7-inch device is powered by Qualcomm’s latest: the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, which is reportedly 10% faster and 30% more energy efficient than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
That might not make this CPU any faster than, say, Apple’s A15 Bionic, but it’s within walking distance. As I’ve noted in previous device reviews, top-of-the-line mobile CPUs have enough power for most tasks, even CPU-intensive ones like multi-stream 4K video editing, with plenty of room left over for more.
However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a phone, at least below $800 / £800 (you pay $749 / £729 for the 16GB RAM model), so geared towards gaming. Leaving aside the fast CPU and massive amount of RAM, there’s also the insane cooling system.
How will the #OnePlus10T keep its cool? A new vapor chamber cooling system pic.twitter.com/9RpNHImm3lAugust 3, 2022
OnePlus spent a lot of time during the launch event describing this wild 8-channel system in exhaustive detail. Even the name is exaggerated: The Next-gen 3D Cooling System 2.0. The second-generation ultra-thin vapor cooling system covers almost the entire back of the phone and, according to OnePlus, can reduce the phone’s temperature by 5 degrees in one minute.
Even when I’m not playing on a smartphone (I’m all for PUBG and Asphalt, but OnePlus is hot on League of Legends), I’ve noticed that the backs of the phones are getting quite hot, especially in the general CPU location. Cooling is a good idea, and given that we play console-level games on these pocket-sized devices, it’s probably necessary.
I’ve read enough reviews about PCs and graphics cards to understand how frustrating it can be to suffer from dropped frames or crashes during competitive play. This is the first time I’ve come across a phone that looks to manage mobile game frame rates so they don’t drop below a certain threshold during intense gameplay. That’s console, PC-level stuff.
Gamers can get a special cooling case for the #OnePlus10T pic.twitter.com/ozwFlw6S4GAugust 3, 2022
If there was any doubt that OnePlus is launching the OnePlus 10T as a mobile gaming platform, it was cast aside when the company introduced its cooling case.
That’s right, the OnePlus 10T has its own Glacier Mat Case (first introduced with the Oppo Find X5 Pro – the Oppo and OnePlus devices are essentially made by the same company). The case has a special hydrogel layer that supposedly can absorb heat and radically lower the phone’s temperature.
What does all this mean?
The OnePlus 10T looks like a good Android smartphone, perhaps above average (it will be even better when it comes to OxygenOS 13), but I don’t think it’s the smartphone for everyone. It’s an affordable mobile console for mobile game fans who play more than just Bejeweled.
Also, what’s cooler than a textured glass, amyrite Moonstone Black gaming rig?