If you're looking to buy an Android smartphone, a brand that many people consistently recommend is OnePlus, due to its combination of hardware and software that is made available at a competitive price. Now, the OEM isn't exactly how it used to be a few years ago, but in 2022, it still creates some of the most value-for-money phones around the globe, a choice few of which are also available in North America.
The numbered flagship lineup — OnePlus 10 Pro stands the latest — and the budget-oriented Nord Series have all delivered consistently, and you'd be just fine picking any device on offer. However, the year-on-year launches and the more minor price differences can make it a task to choose a phone. Thus, this article goes over the best OnePlus phones available in 2022 to help you make the right decision.
Best Overall Phone: OnePlus 10 Pro
OnePlus 10 Pro marks a return to the OnePlus we know and love in some ways, making for a smartphone option worth considering if you wish to have the best device from the OEM. It brings a 6.7-inch QHD+ display to the table with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. Its implementation of a 2nd generation LTPO panel allows the display to go as low as 1Hz, promoting greater efficiency for features like the always-on display. The panel is also one of the best due to its 10-bit color depth and 1300 nits of peak brightness.
Driving the graphics on this unit is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, supported by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage — a 12/256GB model might be available based on your geographical location. And powering this whole system is a massive 5000 mAh battery. The software's working with this cell even lead to Jaime Rivera calling it the battery life king in his full review.
Speaking of camera hardware, the OnePlus 10 Pro features the 2nd generation Hasselblad camera, which uses a 48 MP Wide, 50 MP Ultra-wide, and 8 MP Telephoto. And in year two of its three-year partnership, the work put into the camera algorithm shows with the device now producing images with its unique aesthetic.
The OnePlus 10 Pro gets a lot of the core features correct, and at $899, it is priced well, as it competes against devices like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max, both of which cost upwards of $1000. The Google Pixel 6 Pro is a worthy competitor, but if you're in a region without Google's smartphone, the OnePlus 10 Pro will be an even easier recommendation!
OnePlus 10 Pro 5G
OnePlus 10 Pro ships with a 6.7-inch QHD+ display that uses a 2nd generation LTPO panel. It also features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and aims to deliver a unique camera experience with a 150-degree Ultrawide camera and implementations from the second year of the Hasselblad partnership. For $899, it offers capable hardware that can hold its own in the sea of flagship smartphones.
An Alternate to the Latest Flagship: OnePlus 9 Pro
If the $899 price tag on the OnePlus 10 Pro is a hard pill to swallow, you can look back upon last year's flagship, which isn't that different and even offers more RAM and storage. Last year, when OnePlus asked users to fork out $1069 for the device, it received a bit of negative sentiment, though it marked OnePlus' shift to a company making bonafide flagships.
But in 2022, it can be had for $799 or less, making it quite valuable for its asking price. And maybe, if you look around or wait for a deal, you might even find it for a lower price.
OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a 6.7-inch display that refreshes at 120Hz and has 10-bit color depth and QHD+ resolution. The only differences between this unit and the one on the 10 Pro are that the older generation LTPO limits the 9 Pro's minimum refresh rate to 10Hz, and it has a lower peak brightness of 1100 nits.
Powering the smartphone is the Snapdragon 888 chipset and a 4500 mAh cell. And you can pick it up with 12GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Speaking of camera hardware, you'll find a 48 MP primary wide camera, a 50 MP ultra-wide camera, an 8 MP telephoto, and a 2 MP monochrome shooter. Flip around to the front, and housed within the hole punch is a 16 MP shooter — this system also comes with Hasselblad branding and is quite capable.
OnePlus 9 Pro
The OnePlus 9 Pro is the alternative to consider if you're looking for more storage on your smartphone. A lot of its hardware is similar to the new OnePlus 10 Pro and will provide a smooth user experience. Its camera system uses the first-generation Hasselblad camera, and the device comes with a battery that will allow for a full day of use.
Best Non-Pro Device: OnePlus 9
In a market filled with options like Google Pixel 6, the upcoming Pixel 6a, and the Galaxy S21 FE, we don't expect many to be looking at other phones. But OnePlus 9 is a device worth keeping an eye on because of its hardware setup and the fact that there isn't any indication of a OnePlus 10 coming to market.
OnePlus 9 features a 6.55-inch FHD+ display that refreshes at 120Hz (not adaptive) with a flat design. Handling processing is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, and it's supported by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. And to power the entire system, OnePlus packages a 4500 mAh split battery supporting Warp Charge 65T.
The camera hardware here isn't a one-for-one match to the 9 Pro and loses out on critical features like Optical Image Stabilization. These omissions make it difficult to justify this phone against the Pixel 6, but if you're looking for performance, this smartphone has its beat. And against the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, the software experience here makes it an option worth considering.
Coming back to the camera array, the setup includes a 48 MP primary shooter and a 50 MP ultrawide. There is also a monochrome camera alongside this hardware, completing the "triple camera" system, but we'd not expect it to make much of an impact.
The OnePlus 9 offers a compelling package with its 6.55-inch FHD+ display and Snapdragon 888 chipset. It is a device that's affordable and accessible.
Best Budget Phone: OnePlus N20 5G
The OnePlus Nord lineup allowed the brand to make once again devices that competed in the market by offering a greater price to performance ratio like the devices from its beginning years. As part of the Nord lineup, OnePlus also sells the Nord N series, which focuses on revamping the entry-level market with options making newer technology more accessible.
The Nord N20 5G moves forward with this ideology and replaces the Nord N10. It offers a large 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with an in-display fingerprint sensor. And is powered by a 4500 mAh cell that comes in tow with 33W fast charging support — plus an adapter in the box.
OnePlus is bundling a 64 MP primary sensor and two 2 MP sensors, one Macro and one Monochrome for cameras. On the front, you will find a 16 MP camera. Handling all the images and applications processing is the mid-range Snapdragon 695, which is quite capable and supports 5G.
If you need a budget phone that can handle any action asked of it without breaking a sweat and has a premium design, the OnePlus Nord N20 5G is the option to buy.
OnePlus Nord N20 5G
OnePlus Nord N20 5G packages a lot of great hardware into a device that plays the role of an entry-level device perfectly.
Best Import: OnePlus 9RT
Last on this list is the OnePlus 9RT. Part of the OnePlus 9 Series, the 9RT is a device that only made its way to two geographical locations — China and India. But we feel it picks up features from its parent phones, creating a combination that offers the best of two worlds.
It uses specific components from the 9 Pro and others from the OnePlus 9R, a device that is more or less a OnePlus 8T.
The 9RT comes with a more squarish look and feel when compared to the 9 Pro and features a 6.62-inch FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Powering the smartphone is a Snapdragon 888, with a dual-cell 4500 mAh cell.
The camera hardware on this smartphone is a mixed bag that performs well. While I'm personally not a fan of OnePlus' decision to use an Ultrawide camera in its primary lens, the sensor does produce outstanding results on well-focussed subjects. The actual 16 MP ultrawide camera is an okay addition that does manage to capture decent images in well-lit conditions. The front camera on this smartphone is a 16 MP sensor that remains in line with the average performance OnePlus has always delivered with this sensor.
The OnePlus 9RT will cost you about $100 lesser than the OnePlus 9. So, if you're willing to not worry about factors like warranty and maybe connectivity in some cases, the 9RT is a better device to buy due to its premium build quality!
OnePlus 9RT is the best device to import if you're looking for a flagship-level experience with hardware. It comes with great build quality and a spec sheet that puts it at the top with other sub-$500 smartphones.
Alternate: OnePlus Nord 2T
OnePlus Nord 2T
The OnePlus Nord 2T is a follow-up that matches its predecessor well, offering refreshed specifics in almost every criteria, giving users a more well-rounded option. It comes with the Dimensity 1300, an FHD+ 90 Hz AMOLED screen, and a modest 4500 mAh battery.