At the end of last year, OnePlus outlined the strategy it is taking with its phone launches going forward. The numbered flagship series sits at the pinnacle of the Chinese manufacturer's offerings, with R series models — OnePlus 9R and 9RT — targeted at regional markets. The Nord and Nord CE series are aimed at the mid-range category, with Nord N models making up the entry-level.
To reflect this change, OnePlus is doing things a little differently in 2022. The OnePlus 10 Pro is already official in China, with the phone launching three months earlier than usual. The flagship is set to make its way to global markets in early Q2, and it will be joined by two models in the OnePlus 10 lineup: the standard OnePlus 10, and the OnePlus 10R.
A few leaks from earlier this month suggested the OnePlus 10 would feature MediaTek's Dimensity 9000 chipset, but that is not the case. I confirmed with an insider source that it is the OnePlus 10R that will be powered by the Dimensity 9000. This is the same source that revealed that the Nord 2 is running the Dimensity 1200, so I have a high degree of confidence in the legitimacy of this information.
OnePlus 10R specs
OnePlus exclusively offered Snapdragon chipsets on its phones for the first seven years of its existence, but with the Nord 2, it switched to the MediaTek Dimensity 1200. That wasn't an isolated incident; by the time the Nord 2 was released, OnePlus already committed to using the Dimensity 9000 in the OnePlus 10R.
The Dimensity 9000 is interesting because it has the potential to go toe-to-toe with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. The chipset has the same core configuration that sees the Cortex X2 alongside A710 and A510 cores, and there's a Mali-G710 with ten shader cores.
As to why OnePlus is using the Dimensity 9000 in the OnePlus 10R and not the OnePlus 10, it has to do with North America. The Dimensity 9000 has an integrated 5G modem with global 5G bands, but it is limited to Sub-6 and lacks mmWave connectivity. With U.S. networks relying on mmWave for 5G coverage and OnePlus intent on strengthening its ties with T-Mobile and Verizon, the lack of mmWave connectivity made the Dimensity 9000 a non-starter for OnePlus in the region.
That's why the chipset is debuting on the OnePlus 10R, which will be limited to Asian markets. As for the rest of the hardware, the OnePlus 10R will have a 120Hz AMOLED display, and at least 8GB of RAM along with 128GB of storage. I should have the camera details shortly, so stay tuned for that.
OnePlus 10R launch date and pricing
According to my source, OnePlus plans to launch the OnePlus 10R at the end of Q2 2022. The reason for the delay is due to the OnePlus 9RT; OnePlus initially meant to introduce the device in India back in October 2021, but issues with OxygenOS 12 pushed the launch to January.
OnePlus is positioning the 9RT as the go-to device in the $500 to $600 category for the time being, and to that effect, it has pushed back the launch of the 10R to ensure the upcoming phone doesn't cannibalize sales of the 9RT.
As for availability, the OnePlus 10R will debut in China and India, and at this moment I haven't received any information to suggest it will make its way to other countries.
The OnePlus 9R sold in decent numbers in India, and by going with MediaTek for the 10R, OnePlus could be a little more aggressive on the pricing front; doing so would give it a sizeable advantage against the best mid-range phones from Samsung and Xiaomi.
There's still some ways to go before we know what the 10R will retail for, but what we've seen so far with the OnePlus 10 Pro — the device retails for $50 less than the 9 Pro in China — indicates OnePlus is focusing on value as a key differentiator this year.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.