Oppo-owned phone brand OnePlus introduced OnePlus Ace Pro on Tuesday, the latest device in its gaming lineup. The new phone is a local Chinese version of the OnePlus 10T announced on August 3 for sale in overseas markets.

Why it matters: Chinese smartphone makers are introducing high-performance phones at lower prices. The cheapest phone with Qualcomm’s newest high-end chip was the Realme GT2 Master Explorer Edition, released in July, and the OnePlus now provides a much larger RAM with the same starting price of RMB 3,499 ($520).

  • Ace Pro partnered with Unity, a popular gaming engine, to optimize gaming performance.

Details: Built with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and unique cooling tech, the core performance can be promising for gamers, but the model also compromised other specs such as the display. Li Jie, president of OnePlus in China, said at the release event that the firm expects sales of its new Ace series to reach millions of units in China. For comparison, the brand’s number series sold 2.4 million units in China, 36Kr reported on Wednesday (in Chinese). 

  • The phone has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with 1080p resolution and a 120 Hz refresh rate, but it does not fully support the battery-saving adaptive refresh rate technology that rivals in this price range have.
  • For the cooling system, Ace Pro introduces a large vapor chamber panel and special cooling materials like graphite and diamond thermal gel.
  • The phone has also been verified by Tencent for exclusive use in its League of Legends: Wild Rift and PUBG Mobile events. Previously, OnePlus has partnered with Tencent for the premiere launch of League of Legends on mobile with a 120 Hz refresh rate. 
  • However, optimizations for special titles and devices require a lot of work. OnePlus found a way to do this work at the gaming engine and hardware level. 
  • To optimize the phone’s performance for demanding gaming titles, OnePlus used technology from Unity, which powers 76% of mobile game titles. Through Unity’s Adaptive Performance interface, the phone can run faster when the game needs more computing resources by reducing frame drops in certain game scenarios. 
  • The battery and charging specs are typical for mid-end to high-end phones, and is built with a 4800mAh battery, supporting 150W speed charge tech.
  • The Ace Pro with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage sells for RMB 3,499. The 16 GB RAM models are available with 256 GB or 512 GB of storage and are priced at RMB 3,799 and RMB 4,299, respectively. 
  • For fandom, OnePlus also worked with miHoYo to bring a Genshin Impact limited model to market in October.

Context: The Ace series was a product line of Oppo. OnePlus took over this year and has since launched three models targeting gamers.

  • Oppo first introduced the Reno Ace in 2019 and made Ace an independent product line in 2020 with the Ace 2. The two were notable for their charging speed, one of the fastest among rivals.

Ward Zhou is a tech reporter based in Shanghai. He covers stories about industry of digital content, hardware, and anything geek. Reach him via ward.zhou[a]technode.com or Twitter @zhounanyu.