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OnePlus 10 Pro rumors: China's phone launch offers early look for the worldwide release

The next OnePlus 10 Pro phone is technically out, but there's still much to ponder as we await its international release.

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The OnePlus 10 Pro.
Zouton/OnLeaks

The OnePlus 10 Pro is having a slow-drip approach toward its eventual worldwide release. The Chinese model of the phone was revealed during CES 2022, and has since gone on sale in that territory. But the first videos of this phone, which have begun to hit the internet from anyone who managed to import it, are revealing new details that may or may not end up appearing in the OnePlus 10 Pro's international release. 

The phone is much anticipated for a variety of reasons. The OnePlus 9 was one of our top phones of 2021, achieving a CNET Editors' Choice award for its solid performance and reasonable price. The OnePlus 10 Pro will also be the first phone to feature a combined operating system that merges OnePlus' OxygenOS with Oppo's ColorOS, intended to provide a more unified flavor of Android 12 for future OnePlus and Oppo phones.

We've scoured the internet for the most credible rumors and put together what we expect to see from the next flagship OnePlus phone, from its international launch date to design, display and cameras. The phone is expected to shortly have stiff competition from the rumored Samsung Galaxy S22, expected to launch at a Samsung event on Feb. 9, along with 2021's iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro.

Here then is what we expect from the OnePlus 10 Pro and the rumored OnePlus 10. We'll be keeping this article updated as more information comes to light so check back if you're excited about the new phone. Keep in mind that all rumors should be taken with a pinch of salt.

OnePlus declined to comment on this rumor story.

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The OnePlus 10 Pro's cameras.

OnePlus

When will the OnePlus 10 Pro launch?

The OnePlus 10 Pro launched in China in January 2022, following its reveal during CES 2022. While China is the first market to receive a version of the OnePlus 10 Pro, a leaker suggests that the worldwide release of the phone could be coming later in the first quarter of the year.

According to Yogesh Brar (via TomsGuide), the OnePlus 10 Pro is expected to get its international release in March 2022. Brar's tweet claims that its release would follow a European launch of the OnePlus Nord N20, and come ahead of the launch of the unified version of Android 12 uniting Oppo and OnePlus' operating systems. The OnePlus 9 series launched in March last year, going on sale in April, so this time frame could make sense.

It's also possible that international launch details could come during the MWC mobile tech show. Typically, OnePlus hasn't had much of a presence at MWC, but since being absorbed into Oppo, we expect to see more of OnePlus at these industry trade events, particularly as the rumored launch dates coincide with the events so neatly.

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While the OnePlus 9 Pro was good, it was the solid performance and more affordable price of the base OnePlus 9 that won an Editors' Choice.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Will there be a OnePlus 10?

There is little information out there regarding a base OnePlus 10. However, since the OnePlus 10 Pro is real, it would be strange if a step-down model didn't eventually make its way to an international release. The "base model" and "pro model" strategy has been employed by OnePlus and many other phone makers for years now, and we expect OnePlus would likely continue it.

Historically, a base OnePlus model would keep several of the features in the Pro, such as the new unified version of Android 12, fast-charging and a similar processor. But would possibly have a slightly smaller screen or fewer cameras to create a more affordable model.

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The OnePlus 10 Pro in black.

OnePlus

OnePlus 10 Pro size, design, display and battery

From a hardware perspective, the international version of the OnePlus 10 Pro is expected to be identical to the model released in China. The phone includes the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, has the Snapdragon X65 modem that supports several 5G networks, 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, a 6.7-inch OLED display with a maximum 120Hz refresh rate and a similar rear camera setup to the OnePlus 9 Pro. The rear cameras include a 48-megapixel main camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto camera and a 50-megapixel ultrawide camera. The front-facing camera will improve from the OnePlus 9 Pro, moving to a 32-megapixel camera up from last year's 16-megapixel.

The phone comes in a seafoam Forest Green and a matte Volcanic Black, and inside will include a 5,000mAh battery with 80-watt wired fast charging. The battery is the largest that OnePlus has ever included in a phone, and the charge speed time is estimated to go from 1% to a full charge in 32 minutes. Wireless charging speeds are also expected to be fast from a 50-watt wireless charging mode, estimated to take 47 minutes from 0% to 100%.

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While the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro cameras were capable, they weren't up there with the best, despite the Hasselblad partnership.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

OnePlus 10 software 

OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau confirmed that the phone will run entirely new firmware, formed from a combination of OnePlus's existing Oxygen OS and sister brand Oppo's ColorOS. In a media briefing attended by CNET, Lau explained that the operating system will take the "fast and smooth" and "clean and lightweight" elements of OnePlus' OxygenOS and the "reliable" and "feature-rich" parts of Oppo's ColorOS to create a fresh experience for OnePlus phone users.

A peek of this combined OS may or may not be what we're seeing on the OnePlus 10 Pro's model for China. Marques Brownlee posted Thursday a look at an imported OnePlus 10 Pro, and he found that the software as it currently stands is essentially Oppo's ColorOS, without any of the OnePlus branding and software tweaks that OxygenOS is known for. He also noted that the power brick included with this model steps back to a USB-A to USB-C cable, which is odd since recent OnePlus phones make use of a USB-C to USB-C charger for the Warp speed charging that OnePlus is known for.

It's possible that the unified operating system combining elements of both Oppo and OnePlus software is still in the works, planned for a debut with the international release of the OnePlus 10 Pro.

Both operating systems are based on Android, which will likely bring with it many of the new features available in Android 12 with a few tweaks related to this edition of ColorOS.

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Although OnePlus has the affordable Nord series in Europe, we hope that it keeps a sensible pricing structure for the 10 series.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

How much will the OnePlus 10 cost?

Prices aren't known at the time of writing but we expect them to stay broadly the same as with the 9 series. The base 9 Pro (with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage) cost $969 at launch, while the upgraded version (12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage) cost $1,069. The base OnePlus 9 came in at a more reasonable $599.

Although these prices slightly undercut the prices of its main rivals, they're hardly the "affordable" prices the brand was originally known for when it entered the market. Whether its closer ties with Oppo will help it offer solid specs for even less money remains to be seen.

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