CES 2022

Is the OnePlus 10 Pro bringing back the classic sandstone finish?

OnePlus' 2022 flagship phone might throw it back to the original OnePlus One. We say might because OnePlus won't tell us... yet.


If the design of the OnePlus 9 Pro bored you, then hopefully OnePlus can redeem itself with the OnePlus 10 Pro launching on January 10.

Sandstone is back? — One of the design distinctions that made the original OnePlus One stand out was its “Sandstone” finish. The grippy and, well, sandstone-like texture was unlike the metal, plastic, and glass phones Apple and Samsung were making. Does the OnePlus 10 Pro have a sandstone finish?

Maybe? All we have are these press images of the OnePlus 10 Pro and it sorta looks like a sandstone finish. But it could just be an optical trick. We asked OnePlus for details on the material, but the company isn’t saying anything... yet. So sandstone or not sandstone? Or something sandstone-ish like the material on the Pixel 5? Your guess is as good as ours for now. We hope it’s sandstone, though. Other than not knowing what the texture of the rear is, the OnePlus 10 Pro also comes in a green frosted glass finish.

Update: According to OnePlus, the OnePlus 10 Pro comes in two colors: Volcanic Black and Emerald Forest. Volcanic Ash is described a:

Inspired by an endless sea of sand dunes under a moonlit sky, special micro-crystals resemble glittering sand grains across a dream-like landscape. The purity of the black surface invokes a desire to explore the deep and dark silence.

So the back is not sandstone, but “micro-crystals” that look like “glittering sand grains.” As for Emerald Forest:

This colorway captures the first morning sunray transforming dew into shimmering crystals suspended in air. Echoing the passage of time, angled micro-crystals simulate the interplay of light and shadow, evoking stillness and tranquility.

And there’s more. Per OnePlus, the new camera bump is made of ceramic:

Mirrored ceramic and matte frosted glass create a seamless visual flow. Embedded within the curved ceramic edge, the Hasselblad logo converges light and shadow creating an evocative statement without words.

Why ceramic? According to OnePlus, the “fracture toughness of ceramic is 13 times that of glass.”

Check out this green OnePlus 10 Pro.OnePlus

China release first — For the first time ever, OnePlus’ flagship phone is launching first in China. You don’t need the company to tell you why. China has been the world’s largest smartphone market since 2012. Launching in China sends two messages: 1) OnePlus is serious about expanding in China (2020’s China-exclusive Cyberpunk 2077 OnePlus 8T was only the start) and 2) OnePlus and Oppo are basically one now; the integration of resources for both hardware and software last June means the two are now joined at the hip and as such, OnePlus must bat for the home country first like Oppo does.

Now, that’s a good-looking smartphone.OnePlus

Hasselblad triple cameras — Many weren’t happy with the OnePlus 9 Pro’s generic-looking camera bump. Samsung at least tried something different for the Galaxy S21 series with its “contour cut corner” camera lens. The OnePlus 10 Pro borrows this contour cut corner to a certain extent — the bump that encases the triple-lens camera system melts over and connects to the metal frame. At first glance, the Hasselblad camera array looks like it has four lenses, but the fourth hole is the LED flash with “P2D 50T” inscribed in the center. OnePlus says the P stands for “phone,” the 2D for “second-generation Hasselblad camera for mobile” and “50T” for the OnePlus 10 Pro’s 50-megapixel triple-lens rear camera. Umm... okay.

Assuming OnePlus isn’t faking everyone out, the telephoto lens could get a big upgrade. That would be good since the one in the OnePlus 9 Pro is pretty bad. The OnePlus 9 Pro’s pointless 2-megapixel monochrome lens looks to be removed.

The OnePlus 10 Pro’s triple-lens camera.OnePlus

Rumors suggest the front-facing hole-punch selfie camera will get a resolution bump. The OnePlus 9 Pro has a 16-megapixel selfie camera; leakers claim the OnePlus 10 Pro will have a 32-megapixel selfie camera.

Of course, boosts in resolution won’t matter much if the image processing isn’t up to snuff. With its Hasselblad partnership, hopefully, OnePlus has tuned the OnePlus 10 Pro’s computational photography so that it can compete with the incredible iPhone 13 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro cameras.

The OnePlus 10 Pro has an all-new triple-lens camera bump design and comes in two different colors. OnePlus

OnePlus staples — OnePlus has yet to announce full specs for the OnePlus 10 Pro, but the press images do show a few features that are returning. Specifically, OnePlus’ signature Alert Slider for notifications is present.

There’s a USB-C port on the bottom for fast charging. OnePlus hasn’t announced how fast its Warp wired and wireless charging is, but it’s safe to say it can’t be slower than the 65W wired and 50W wireless charging in the OnePlus 9 Pro.

I knocked the OnePlus 9 Pro for its weak battery. Despite having a 4,500 mAh battery, the phone drained quickly thanks to its 120Hz display. (Not even LTPO could help conserve power to compete with the Galaxy S21 Ultra.) 91Mobiles, a reliable site for phone leaks, claims the OnePlus 10 Pro will come with a larger 5,000 mAh battery.

Do want.OnePlus

Other unconfirmed specs from 91Mobiles include a 6.7-inch QHD+ display with 120Hz refresh\rate, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, 8GB/12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB/256GB of UFS 3.1 flash storage, and IP68 water and dust resistance. The site also says the OnePlus 10 Pro will have a 48-megapixel main camera, 50-megapixel ultra-wide, and 8-megapixel telephoto lens. These are the same resolutions as the cameras in the OnePlus 9 Pro; image quality could improve thanks to improved processing and upgraded sensors.

Expect the OnePlus 10 Pro to ship with Android 12 reworked as OxygenOS 12. OnePlus’ unified codebase with Oppo means OxygenOS 12 is less stock than ever before (China gets ColorOS 12), but this isn’t surprising to OnePlus users. Even Google’s Pixel 6 is not stock Android anymore.

How much? — We don’t know how much the OnePlus 10 Pro will cost. But we’d bet good money it won’t be less than the OnePlus 9 Pro, which started at $969.

For now, we just have the above images and video to salivate over.