2022 Winners and losers: OnePlus
A quick search of our database yields 14 OnePlus devices released this year, which is 6 more than last year. Maybe next year will be different, although it’s hard to predict how the new strategic partnership with Oppo will work out. But what about the devices it released this year? Here are the hots and nots from 2022.
Winner: OnePlus 10T
OnePlus made a bit of a mess out of its 10 series. There is no vanilla OnePlus 10, and despite much talk, an Ultra model never materialized. Instead, the OnePlus 10T followed the OnePlus 10 Pro, but not exactly as another flagship offering, but rather a notch below.
Still, the OnePlus 10T brought top-level performance thanks to the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset and some of the industry’s fastest charging, coupled with solid battery life. Its screen is bright and smooth with a 120Hz refresh rate. The phone also has nice stereo speakers and an all-around competent camera setup.
The lack of the signature OnePlus alarm slider, official IP rating and wireless charging alienated fans, but these are compromises you can live with considering the price. Its popularity alone confirms it.
Loser: OnePlus 10 Pro
The higher you aim, the fewer mistakes you are allowed to make. An example – OnePlus 10 Pro. It enjoys some popularity as the company’s current flagship offering, yet it’s nowhere near as competitive as the 10T.
The 10 Pro’s biggest shortcoming is undoubtedly the camera setup. Not only did it not bring meaningful upgrades over the 9 Pro, it even downgrades the ultra-wide unit to a smaller sensor without AF and macro functionality. It brought the fisheye effect, which is cool, but if we had to have only one of them, it would be the 9 Pro’s device.
Then there’s also the whole unfortunate situation with the ColorOS-ification of OxygenOS, which you can read more about here.
The OnePlus 10 Pro is still a well-rounded phone, and perhaps in isolation our opinion of it would have been slightly better. But it just bit off more than it could chew.
Winner: OnePlus Nord 2T
The OnePlus Nord 2T doesn’t change too much compared to the Nord 2. But in a mid-range segment hit hard by the supply chain issues, it did just enough to be a success.
It has an attractive double-glass design, solid 90Hz OLED display and great performance thanks to the Dimensity 1300 chipset. Also on the “plus” list – loud stereo speakers, solid battery life with fast charging, and an excellent main camera. The warning slider is also present.
Loser: OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G
Offering cheaper alternatives to your popular phones is a great way to lure more people into the ecosystem, but you have to be careful what corners you cut.
Its 120Hz IPS LCD isn’t very good in terms of performance and inconsistent when it comes to high refresh rates. The back lacks an ultra-wide camera and technically only has the one usable shooter, and it comes without 4K video recording. And the alarm slider we keep mentioning is also absent here.
Winner: OnePlus Nord 20 5G
In a rather interesting twist, we have the Nord 20 5G in the winning corner. A phone that really isn’t all that different in terms of raw specs, but it all comes down to context. Unlike the saturated markets where the Nord 2 Lite 5G will compete, its Nord 20 5G sibling is meant to be the affordable OnePlus option in the US. It’s a completely different market where carriers are king, and the Nord 20 5G is a great deal on contract from T-Mobile and Metro.
As we said, the Nord 20 5G is not that different from the Nord 2 Lite 5G. It has the same Snapdragon 695 5G chipset and a similar lack of camera setup with no ultra-wide and only one actually usable camera. Its battery pack is smaller at 4,500 mAh, but it still manages good battery life and fast charging speeds. And it swaps out the 120Hz LCD panel for a 60Hz OLED with brighter, more vibrant visuals, which is a decent little upgrade, no doubt about it.
Still, the main takeaway is that phones never exist in isolation, and the market either makes or breaks them.
Loser: OnePlus 10R/Ace
Two names of the same phone with Ace available in China and OnePlus 10R slated for global release. Both are also very similar to the Realme GT Neo 3 and are available in either a 5,000 mAh battery variant with 80W charging or a 4,500 mAh with 150W charging.
We don’t have much to say about the phone other than it’s another case of an unfortunate camera downgrade from its predecessor. The OnePlus 10R also suffers from an unfortunate number of software issues like stuttering and slowdowns. On the positive side, we like the design of the phone. Its screen is also great, which is why the Dimensity 8100-MAX powers it. So with enough software polish, we could see this moderate loss turn into a moderate win for OnePlus.