Here's how the Pixel 7 accidentally killed the OnePlus 10T

Here’s how the Pixel 7 accidentally killed the OnePlus 10T

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The OnePlus 10T is an odd phone, and I didn’t really like it when I first reviewed it in late September. As I was preparing to review the 10T to see if the weather had been good, I had to swap my SIM card from a phone that is going to cause more problems for the OnePlus phone: the Google Pixel 7.

After using them side by side for a day, the question becomes: is there anything about the OnePlus 10T that should convince you to buy it over the Pixel 7?

The importance of good design

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Appearance has never been the OnePlus 10T’s problem, and that hasn’t changed even from the Pixel 7. Oppo for good measure. The way the camera module blends into the rear panel is very attractive, and straight from the Oppo Find X5 Pro. It’s a beautiful phone.

However, the plastic chassis looks cheap, especially compared to the Pixel 7’s metal chassis and high-gloss rear panel. Take a look at one of the gallery photos below to see how the OnePlus 10T has already picked up scratches, illustrating why it’s a mark against the phone.

Even in boring black, the Pixel 7 is fantastic to look at, and the visor-like camera module is just as much of a standout design feature as the 10T’s camera module. The two phones also have a different shape, with the larger OnePlus phone being easier to manage with one hand, but looking cheaper and less modern than the Pixel 7.

The OnePlus 10T’s fingerprint sensor and face unlock are faster, and importantly, so is charging speed. Plug the OnePlus 10T into the included charger and the battery charges to 100% in 20 minutes; it takes more than three times as much for the Pixel 7 to reach its maximum capacity. I prefer the look and feel of the Pixel 7, but it can’t match the charging speed of the OnePlus 10T, making it one of the main (and only) reasons someone would choose it over the Pixel 7.

Similar performance, different software

OnePlus 10T and Pixel 7 seen from the front.
The OnePlus 10T (left to right) and Google Pixel 7 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The OnePlus 10T has probably the best processor available today, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, and with it comes masses of performance and an impressive level of efficiency. Playing Asphalt 9: Legends for 30 minutes, there is absolutely no worry about speed and power. The Pixel 7 and the Google-developed Tensor G2 processor deliver the same level of performance when gaming, and both phones are generally smooth and pleasant to use.

I don’t really see a difference between the two screens either, although the OnePlus 10T’s 120Hz refresh rate is higher than the Pixel 7’s 90Hz. And since the resolution and pixel density are roughly the same, they are both first-class multimedia phones. There are only small differences when you look closely, with the Pixel 7 appearing a little brighter and with an ever-so-slightly more appealing tone. The Pixel 7’s speakers are better quality though, with more clarity and less distortion.

Now we come to an important difference: the software. The clean and hassle-free install of Android on the Pixel 7 is a world apart from the more complicated and intrusive Android 12-based OxygenOS 12 on the OnePlus phone. There’s a fluid, no-frills approach to menus and navigation on the Pixel 7 that the less intuitive and more boring OnePlus 10T lacks. Although it’s supposed to happen, it’s shocking that the 10T doesn’t have Android 13 yet.

When faced with both phones, I gravitate towards the Pixel 7 when I go to pick one up and check Twitter or a Teams message. It’s generally a little faster, I prefer the animations, and the software has a more modern feel. They both play games the same way, so performance isn’t an issue, but the Pixel 7’s software makes it by far the most enjoyable everyday companion.

The camera quality is not even comparable

Both phones have a 50-megapixel primary camera, but the Pixel 7 has a 12MP wide-angle camera compared to the OnePlus 10T’s 8MP wide-angle shooter, and the 10T’s 2MP macro camera is hardly worth mentioning. . The two main cameras have very different specs, but the best way to understand the differences is to see the photos they take, as they are very different indeed.

The Pixel 7’s camera is simply superb, with a realism the OnePlus 10T can’t hope to replicate. The colors, shadows and tone of the main camera are gorgeous, while the OnePlus phone relies on saturation boost to make its photos grab your attention. The Pixel 7’s HDR effect and the way it balances shadows and detail is a much more mature and visually pleasing way to do the same thing.

The differences are even more noticeable when switching to the wide-angle camera. The OnePlus 10T’s 8MP camera shuns detail like it’s toxic, and photos are pixelated and low-quality when you dare to zoom in. The Pixel 7’s wide-angle camera is much better, delivering plenty of detail and sharpness. It’s absolutely no contest between the two phones when it comes to the camera – the Google Pixel 7 is vastly superior.

Last advantage of the Pixel 7: the price

The cheapest OnePlus 10T is yours for $650 or £630, while the Pixel 7 starts at $600 or £599. I’m not going to water this down: if you’re wondering which phone to buy between these two, you definitely need to buy the cheaper Pixel 7. Using them back-to-back reveals that the two phones are very different and underlines just how much of a step in the wrong direction the OnePlus 10T is for OnePlus.

Does the 10T have swap features? Fast charging is a real reason to buy a OnePlus phone, but not the 10T, as the charging speed is basically the same on the OnePlus 10 Pro – which is a better phone overall. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is also incredibly capable and the phone is available at a reasonable price. My issue with the 10T is that it has a lot of good aspects, but it’s let down on the fundamentals, from the materials to the usability of the software.

When I review a phone that doesn’t reflect what I know the manufacturer is capable of, I often look forward to reviewing it to see if my opinion has changed or if updates have improved it in some way. of another. Unfortunately, the OnePlus 10T hasn’t become a more attractive device in the month since its launch, and its mediocrity is only accentuated by the lower price and impressive capacity of the excellent Pixel 7.

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