Back in 2020 OnePlus made a splash by signing a 3-year $150 million dollar deal with popular camera maker Hasselblad, that was supposed to lift it to the highest smartphone camera ranks, but the first phone with that – the OnePlus 9 Pro – fell a bit short. Well, one year has passed, and we now finally have the brand new OnePlus 10 Pro with a camera that looks bigger and meaner, and you still have that Hasselblad branding all over.Can the OnePlus 10 Pro take on the very best phones this year ? We’ve got the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Google’s Pixel 6 Pro, and we shot a bunch of photos and videos to test them out against the new OnePlus in real life. After all, what’s important are the final results of each phone’s photos put next to the other.Disclaimer:
OnePlus 10 Pro Camera Specs Comparison
That’s a lot of numbers that can give you a headache, but the takeaway is simple: the main camera sensor on the OnePlus is a bit smaller than on the Pixel, but bigger than the iPhone. However, the iPhone has the fastest f/1.5 aperture to let in more light at night, so things kind of balance out between the three.
The ultra-wide camera is particularly interesting. Last year’s 9 Pro had an industry leading ultra-wide camera, but this new 10 Pro uses a much smaller physical sensor that instead focuses on capturing a super-wide, 150 degree field of view. But while that’s cool, a smaller sensor usually comes with a compromise in quality.
The main camera on the OnePlus offers a wide perspective which works well with landscapes and it provides a very good amount of detail, but you would notice that it aggressively lifts up the shadows and photos from it often look bright to the point of being overexposed. Colors are also often a bit on the bleak side, so photos tend to look a bit undercooked from the 10 Pro.
The iPhone and Pixel both offer more vibrant and impressive colors out of the gate, which is a look that most people would prefer.
ultra wide camera
The new ultra-wide camera sensor on the OnePlus 10 Pro is one of its highlights, but in order to use the full 150-degree view you have to open a special mode in settings, while shooting regularly within the main camera menu, the iPhone actually has a wider perspective.
The OnePlus goes a bit berserk with saturation in some photos with the ultra-wide, a contrast from the bleaker color reproduction with the main camera. Sometimes that works out good, sometimes it can be a bit too much, but at the end of the day, we wish it a bit more consistent.
The 3.3X zoom lens on the OnePlus is nothing to write home about, and you can see that once zoomed in, the camera has a problem blowing up highlights, which is done much better on the other two phones (the kitty fur is blown out on the OnePlus).
Still, the camera that stands out with zoom quality here is definitely the one on the Pixel. Its native periscope 4X zoom lens performs incredibly well, capturing beautiful colors with very little distortion. Even at 10X it delivers superb results.
However, the Pixel absolutely falls flat if you want to photograph people with Portrait mode.
Using the close-up portrait view, detail is completely missing on the Pixel! The OnePlus does a better job, but it also has some issues with skin tones, notice the pink color of the skin and the lack of detail in the face, and we have to give the portrait mode round to the iPhone.
You can choose between a wide and a close up view on the Pixel and iPhone, while the OnePlus only has one fixed field of view which is kind of a middle ground. That’s a bit of a limitation, and colors also appear a bit bleak on the OnePlus. The Pixel and iPhone definitely have the upper hand with front camera quality.
night camera comparison
Finally, at night we see that the OnePlus does not seem to have an automatic “night mode” like the other two, and you are forced to have to manually switch to the separate night mode if you want to get brighter exposures.
We see the same problem with blown out highlights here as well, and overall the OnePlus feels like a big step down from the iPhone and especially the Pixel, which might take a bit longer to capture a night photo, but does so with incredible detail, clarity and dynamic range.
So is the 10 Pro that one big leap that OnePlus needed to finally enter the elite camera ranks?
Well, it’s a very good camera, but also we don’t think it quite lives up to the high expectations. A $150 million dollar deal with Hasselblad, a phone one year in the making, and we certainly expected something with a bit more to show for itself.
You might be able to get far better photos shooting RAW and going into Pro mode, but for regular folks just using the auto settings, the Pixel and the iPhone seem like the far more capable devices. The big problem is the inconsistency: colors sometimes look super saturated on the ultra-wide camera, then completely flat on the main shooter; highlights are often a problem and get blown out; zoom quality is not too impressive, and the zoom camera does not seem to work in videos where it is just no match for the other two.