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OnePlus 7 Pro review: Bigger and brighter, but is it better?

OnePlus 7 Pro review: Bigger and brighter, but is it better?

Since
its inception, OnePlus has been one of the most beloved companies among
Android users. Its rapid growth was driven by fan input and was
literally molded over time to produce phones its fans wanted to buy.

The
OnePlus 7 Pro feels like the first device from the company that has
truly entered the hyper-premium space. It’s bigger, faster, and more
expensive than any OnePlus device before it. The company clearly
listened to fan input around the design of this phone, but it also added
features made to directly compete with Samsung and Huawei — and it
shows in the price.

Do the new features justify the higher cost,
and will fans stick with the company now that it is trying to compete
more directly with the big dogs?

This is Android Authority’s OnePlus 7 Pro review.

About this review:
I used a OnePlus 7 Pro review unit supplied by the manufacturer over a
period of 10 days. I used the Nebula Blue model with 12GB of RAM and
256GB of storage, running Oxygen OS firmware version 9.5.GM21AA.

OnePlus 7 Pro review: The big picture

The OnePlus 7 Pro is the biggest, fastest, and most expensive device the company has ever offered. Its edge-to-edge display trades the notch for a mechanical pop-up selfie camera, and the new high-resolution 90Hz display looks and feels amazing. In adding these features, however, the 7 Pro trades a key benefit for which the company has traditionally been known: battery life.

OnePlus devices have typically targeted customers who want the best experience at the lowest price. The latest from OnePlus still undercuts the competition in raw price-to-performance, but the 7 Pro doesn’t quite offer all the bells and whistles found in devices like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus or the Huawei P30 Pro.

OnePlus is also launching a standard OnePlus 7, albeit not in the U.S., and that might be a better option for people who prioritize battery life over the display and triple-camera array. The standard model is substantially cheaper than the OnePlus 7 Pro, so if you liked the form factor of the OnePlus 6T you’ll find updated specs at a reasonable price.

What’s in the box

  • Warp Charge 30 (30W) charging brick
  • Red OnePlus USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Clear protective case

The
OnePlus 7 Pro comes with the company’s Warp Charge 30 charger. This is a
30W brick. It doesn’t charge quite as rapidly as Huawei’s 40W
SuperCharger, but it does get close. When you plug the phone in you’ll
see a special animation. It’s nice to be able to top up the battery
extremely quickly. OnePlus says its charger keeps the phone from getting
too hot by converting the voltage to 5V at 6A in the charger itself,
instead of handling the conversion on the device.


The
phone also comes with a cheap clear TPU case. OnePlus’ wide array of
first-party cases are some of the best we’ve used over the years, so we
recommend checking those out to replace the case boxed with the device.


Design

  • 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
  • 206g
  • No notch
  • Curved display edges
  • Pop-up camera
  • Stereo speakers

OnePlus refines its design about twice a year and has done so for the last five years. I’d label the OnePlus 6 as the height of design for its smartphones. It’s clear the company sees curved edges and bigger screens as the preferred design aesthetic, and that isn’t a bad assumption. Both Samsung and Huawei use curved edges on their flagship devices, and while bigger screens and curved edges arguably add a premium look, there’s a point at which screens just feel too big.

The OnePlus 7 Pro has a 6.67-inch display that’s great for consuming media, but doesn’t lend itself to one-handed use. I feel OnePlus should have maintained the body size of the OnePlus 6T — or even gone smaller since there is no notch and very little bezel in the OnePlus 7 Pro. Instead, OnePlus went the other direction.


OnePlus achieves this nearly-bezel-less design by hiding the selfie camera in a pop-up mechanism in the top of the device. The mechanism is quite silent and fast, and you can even use it for face unlock without skipping a beat. OnePlus says it takes 0.53 seconds for the camera to emerge from the housing and 0.65 seconds to recognize your face for unlocking the device. Like Oppo’s Find X, I found this unlock mechanism to be surprisingly fast and accurate. This isn’t 3D face unlock, though, so it may not be as secure as something like the in-display fingerprint reader.

The rear of the device is made of the same soft-touch glass as the OnePlus 6T. It feels more like metal than glass, so depending on your preference you might love it or hate it. The phone comes in Nebula Blue, Mirror Grey, and Almond, depending on your market. The colors are very classy and subtle. A Mirror Blue colorway was announced exclusively for India on July 8, though we may see it show up in other countries in the future.

OnePlus makes some of the best first-party cases on the market, and with most any smartphone you’re probably going to want to use some protection. Here are some good options.


The
OnePlus 7 Pro has one speaker grille on the bottom of the device, and
another embedded in the top bezel. OnePlus was able to hide the top
speaker in the crevice between the aluminum frame and the display, and
it doesn’t take up much more physical space than the bezel itself. This
allows for a nearly edge-to-edge display, with only the slimmest chin on
the bottom.


On the right side of the frame, you’ll find the power
button and classic physical mute switch, and on the left, you’ll find
the volume rockers. The phone is fairly bare otherwise, save for the
pop-out camera in the top.

The bottom of the device also houses a
USB-C port. To the left of that, you’ll find a dual-SIM slot, but there
is no Micro-SD card expansion in this device. You won’t find a headphone
jack, either.

The screen is made of Gorilla Glass 5, so while it
isn’t the absolute newest glass on the market, it’s still relatively
shatter resistant. 


Display

  • 6.67-inches
  • 3,120 x 1,440 Quad HD+ resolution
  • 19.5:9 aspect ratio
  • HDR10 / HDR+ Certified
  • 516ppi
  • 90Hz AMOLED display

Most flagship devices are now using OLED displays, and OnePlus is looking to reinstate its “Flagship Killer” prowess with a high-quality Samsung AMOLED panel. This enables things like an always-on display and enhanced battery performance in apps with AMOLED modes. There’s a certain magic of having only the necessary pixels illuminate to display notification information on your display.

This isn’t a standard Samsung AMOLED display, though. OnePlus is using a 90Hz panel in the OnePlus 7 Pro, which means animations and movement look more fluid than they would on a 60Hz screen. We’ve seen manufacturers such as Razer ship devices with high refresh rate panels, but Razer opted for an LCD panel where OnePlus chose AMOLED. The 7 Pro won’t force apps to run at 90Hz, but apps and animations that support 90Hz look noticeably smoother than they would on a phone with a slower refresh rate.


OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro

This
is also the first device OnePlus has sold at the Quad HD+ resolution. I
don’t usually mind smartphones sticking with 1080p, especially since
many apps and content default to that resolution anyway. Since the
OnePlus 7 Pro costs more than previous devices and the screen is
noticeably larger, it’s nice to see the spec bump.

The display on the OnePlus 7 Pro is one of the best smartphone displays I’ve ever used. Colors are bright and vivid but not overly saturated. DisplayMate even gave the OnePlus 7 Pro an A+ rating, which is the highest score awarded to the company. The 90Hz screen makes a bigger difference than you might think, playing well into the “fast and smooth” motto that OnePlus professes. Even scrolling through the app drawer feels fluid.

This panel is also HDR10 and HDR+ compatible, meaning it can properly display content with more color and contrast information between pure black and pure white. Services like Netflix are actively adding HDR content for consumption (the OnePlus 7 Pro comes with Netflix pre-installed.) While I’m not a fan of pre-installed third-party software of any kind, it’s clear OnePlus wants consumers to experience HDR10 content on this device. HDR content, by the way, looks good, particularly very dark content such as Stranger Things.


Performance

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
  • Octa-core
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 8GB or 12GB of RAM
  • 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.0 Storage
  • No expandable storage

The OnePlus 7 Pro continues the company’s heritage of delivering one of the smoothest experiences on the market. Nearly all the device’s components are on the bleeding edge, including the newest premiere processor and fastest storage on the market. The combination of the capable hardware and wonderful software makes performance on the OnePlus 7 Pro great.

In day-to-day use, OnePlus offers a number of features that
help the device fly. It does things like keep key app data in the
memory to make apps launch faster, and this makes a big difference. The
device is well optimized, and I never once felt a stutter or slowdown
during my time with it.


In benchmarks, the OnePlus 7 Pro scores
well. It achieved a score of 361,038 in AnTuTu. In 3DMark, it achieved
a score of 5,412 and 4,814, respectively, in OpenGL and Vulcan. In
Geekbench, it nabbed 3,411 and 10,628 for the single-core and multi-core
tests, respectively. In Gary’s Speed Test G, the OnePlus 7 Pro finished
the course in 1 minute 33 seconds, tying the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
exactly.


Battery

  • 4,000mAh
  • Warp Charge 30 (30-Watt, 5V/6A)
  • No wireless charging

The
OnePlus 7 Pro uses a 4,000mAh battery, up from the 3,700mAh cell in the
OnePlus 6T. This is counteracted by the larger, higher-resolution
display and faster refresh rate. Disappointingly, this resulted in worse
battery life during my time with the phone. OnePlus says the two phones
should have similar battery life, but I got about 5.5 hours of
screen-on time with the 7 Pro compared to the 6.5 to 8 hours I got with
the 6T. That’s a significant drop.

If
you reduce the resolution and refresh rate of the display — a trick
often used by power users — you can achieve much better battery life, as
long as you don’t mind the less dazzling experience. While it’s nice to
have the option to toggle these settings to optimize longevity, I’m not
sure regular consumers will know to do it. I would have preferred to
see OnePlus prioritize battery life over the display.


OnePlus’s Warp Charge 30 charger helps top off the device quickly, without generating too much heat. The 7 Pro uses a special liquid cooling system to prevent heat build-up during intense usage. I only found it got warm during an extended time plugged into the Warp Charger. In daily use, it never got too hot, even while multitasking.

How fast charging really works


Fast charging is a must have feature in today's phones. It keeps our
batteries topped up through busy days. However, there are a variety of
different standards from different companies. Some only work with
specific …

Unfortunately, OnePlus did not include any wireless charging in the 7 Pro. Though wireless charging hasn’t completely taken off in many markets, it would have been nice to see this “flagship” feature included, especially since the company increased the phone’s price by a substantial amount. OnePlus told Android Authority it has confidence in the charging speed of its wired connection. Meanwhile, OnePlus competitors such as Xiaomi have not only added wireless charging to their phones, they’ve also unveiled fast wireless chargers. OnePlus needs to step it up.

Camera

  • Standard: 48MP, f/1.6, OIS
  • Pixel-binned images at 12MP
  • Wide-angle: 16MP, f/2.2, 117-degree FoV
  • 3x Telephoto: 8MP, f/2.2, OIS
  • Pop-up Selfie Camera: 16MP f/2.0


Update, July 9: The OnePlus 7 Pro received a fairly large camera update on June 7. The software patch is supposed to improve image quality across the board. Our impressions below still stand.

OnePlus
has never been known for making impressive cameras and, unfortunately,
that remains the case with the 7 Pro. The photos it produces aren’t bad,
and in good light, it can snag some nice shots, but if the light you
feed the lenses drops even a little bit the images end up washed out and
muddy.

Three cameras should be the standard for flagship smartphones in 2019.


Notice how I said lenses? OnePlus has adopted the three-camera configuration on the back of this phone. You’ll find a standard, wide-angle, and telephoto trio with various resolutions and apertures. After using similar setups on phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 Pro, I’m really glad OnePlus went this route. The versatility three lenses afford you is amazing, and I can’t see myself going back to a two-lens setup, let alone a single lens.


The standard lens is probably the best of the bunch, with the new 48MP sensor taking in more light thanks to pixel binning. This results in sharper, brighter photos. The 3x optical telephoto lens delivers quite good results, too, and I didn’t notice a significant loss in quality. The wide lens feels a bit too wide for most circumstances, but it works wonderfully for landscapes.

In
general, I really liked the color profile of images produced from this
device. Photos have a nice exposure, but weren’t particularly
overexposed or oversaturated. The level of sharpness seemed pretty
exceptional in good light. Images are sharp but not too sharp, and they
looked natural overall. In low-light circumstances, though, the camera
really fell apart and images of simple things like people became muddy.


If OnePlus wants to compete head-to-head with the other flagships on the market it really needs to make low-light performance better. The Pixel 3a — which costs only $399 — makes most every other flagship camera seem horrible when you weigh the price. I’d like to see OnePlus up its low-light game.


The
OnePlus camera app is very simplistic and easy to use. You’ve got most
everything you need within a tap, and you can access extra settings by
swiping up from the bottom of the viewfinder. Pro mode will allow you to
get technical with the camera, while Nightscape allows for better
dynamic range at the cost of extra shooting and processing time.


Just
like on the OnePlus 6T, Nightscape shots are really made for preserving
highlights, but not for brightening shadows like other devices. OnePlus
says it’s improved the processing, but the results seemed the same as
the OnePlus 6T.


The
selfie camera is where the OnePlus 7 Pro gets both interesting and
surprisingly good. The selfie cam physically slides out of the device.
We’ve seen this kind of mechanism in Vivo and Oppo phones in the past,
but this is one of the first with this design to come to the U.S..
Images are sharp and have great color reproduction, and the lens is wide
enough to fit a lot of people in the frame. 

If you drop the
device while the camera is open, it will retract back into the phone,
keeping it from taking damage on impact. The camera closes extremely
quickly, and I tested this by dropping it repetitively on a pillow. This
worked every single time. OnePlus added a gasket around the camera to
keep dust and liquids out, but I found dust on the module nearly every
time I opened it, which means some debris is still getting inside. I
wouldn’t use the selfie camera in the rain for fear of water damaging
the internals.


OnePlus 7 Pro selfie

The
design is no doubt set to be controversial due to the unique mechanical
design, and we’ll have to want and see how consumers react to it. It’s
the trade-off you have to make when creating a full-screen phone.


Video quality on the 7 Pro was good, and I liked the ability to switch cameras while recording. The low-light performance seemed better in video mode than it did in photo mode, and audio quality is good, with audio that feels full and well-bodied. Color is not as punchy as we’ve seen on some other devices, such as the Google Pixel 3, but that’s because OnePlus’ color science is a bit flatter. If you want to see a low-light video sample, check out the clip above.

Software

  • OxygenOS 9.5
  • Android 9 Pie

OxygenOS hasn’t changed significantly since the OnePlus 6T, but that’s not a bad thing. OnePlus has a tremendous track record of keeping its devices up to date with the latest version of Android. Even the OnePlus 3T is running Android 9 Pie, so if you buy a OnePlus 7 Pro you can feel confident your phone will be supported for a long time.

In my opinion, OnePlus makes the best Android skin of any manufacturer.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is running OxygenOS 9.5 based on Android 9 Pie, the latest publically available Android version. OnePlus was one of the first companies to get an Android Pie beta up and running on its devices, so it’s likely the OnePlus 7 Pro will see Android Q soon after it becomes available in final form.

OxygenOS
is the best Android skin I’ve ever used. It’s clean, lightweight, and
has useful additions that aren’t just bloatware or gimmicks. This
includes things like reading mode, which makes the display black and
white while reading, and gaming mode, which prioritizes data throughput
to select apps and restricts certain notifications. OnePlus is great at
listening to its community and crowdsources new features that actually
bring value to consumers.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is introducing a few
new OxygenOS features, which will likely make their way to other OnePlus
devices in the future.

The first new feature is a built-in screen recorder. This is a feature that Android users have been clamoring for and that Google will eventually add to Android Q. The feature is already available in the iPhone and the Huawei P30 Pro, so we’re happy to see it reach more devices.

OxygenOS 9.5 introduces a new setting called Zen Mode, which puts your phone into a 20 minute “paused” state. This means you can’t use your device or receive notifications, though you can still make and receive emergency calls. Even if you restart the phone, it will remain locked until the 20 minutes have fully elapsed. Community feedback directly inspired this feature thanks in part to Google’s Digital Wellbeing initiative.

The
final change to OxygenOS in the OnePlus 7 Pro is the introduction of
Night Mode 2.0. This filters out the blue light that keeps you awake at
night, and OnePlus managed to reduce screen brightness to just 0.27
nits.


Audio

  • No headphone jack
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dolby Atmos certified

The
OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t have a headphone jack, but it does have stereo
speakers. These speakers are Dolby Atmos certified, but I found the
sound to be lacking. The phone definitely gets loud, but it doesn’t
sound great at high volumes and lacks bass. The Dolby Atmos
certification is certainly at work here though, because stereo
separation on video with stereo audio is great. I recommend cupping your
hand to direct the bottom speaker audio toward you though because the
top speaker sends audio directly at you while the bottom speaker sends
it away from you.

OnePlus is selling some new Bullets Wireless 2 Bluetooth headphones, which we’ve got a review for as well, but you’ll have to get some USB-C headphones or an adapter if you want to go wired.

OnePlus 7 Pro specs

 OnePlus 7 Pro
Display6.67-inch AMOLED
3,120 x 1,440 QHD + resolution
516ppi
19.5:9 screen ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
HDR10 / HDR+ certified
90Hz display
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 855
Octa-core, 7nm
GPUAdreno 640
RAM6GB/8GB/12GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB/256GB
UFS 3.0
CamerasRear cameras
Main: Sony IMX586 48MP, f/1.6 aperture, OIS
Wide: 16MP, f/2.2 aperture, 117 degrees
3x Telephoto: 8MP f/2.4 aperture, OIS
Video: 4K resolution video at 30/60fps

Front cameras
Main: Sony IMX4791 16MP, f/2 aperture
EIS: Yes
Video: 1080P video at 30fps

AudioUSB 3.1 Type-C
No headphone jack
Strereo speakers
Dolby Atmos certified
Battery4,000mAh battery
Non-removable
Warp Charge 30 (5V, 6A)
IP ratingN/A
SensorsOptical In-screen fingerprint sensor
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Proximity
Ambient light sensor
Electronic compass
Sensor hub
NetworkLTE: Supports 5xCA, 64QAM, 256QAM & 4x4 MIMO,
up to DL CAT16 (1Gbps)/UL CAT13 (150 Mbps) depending on carrier support

NA/EU: FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66/71
TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41/46
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
CDMA: BC0/BC1GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

CN/IN: FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/1213/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/66
TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
CDMA: BC0/BC1
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

ConnectivityWi-Fi: 2x2 MIMO, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0, support aptX & aptX HD
NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galile
WLAN
SIMDual nano-SIM slot (single on T-Mobile model)
SoftwareOxygenOS based on Android 9 Pie
ColorsMirror Grey, Nebula Blue, Almond
In-boxScreen protector (pre-applied)
Translucent phone Case
OnePlus Fast Charge Type-C cable
OnePlus Warp Charge 30 power adapter
SIM tray ejector
Quick start guide
Safety information

Value for money

Compared
to the $1,000 price point that has become standard for flagships these
days, the OnePlus 7 Pro is still a value-oriented phone. For the money,
it undercuts the competition in regards to raw power, UI, and build
quality even if it does miss out on some things. This is still
definitely a flagship device, but it makes trade-offs some users may not
be happy about.

If you’re a user who wants an incredible camera, great battery life, wireless charging, officially rated water resistance, or a headphone jack, you’ll have to cough up a bit more dough for something like the Samsung Galaxy S10e for $749 or S10 for $899. But if you’re just focused on speed, a great UI, and a huge, bright screen, the 7 Pro is still a decent deal.

Want a big phone with a great camera at a great price? It’s hard to beat the Pixel 3a XL. At $470, it offers stock Android, consistent updates, good battery life, and arguably the best camera on the market.

Those willing to part ways with even more money for an amazing camera and performance, the Huawei P30 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus ($999) and Pixel 3 XL ($899) are all worth taking a look at. They offer best-in-class optics you just can’t get anywhere else, save maybe the Pixel 3a.

OnePlus is also offering a standard model OnePlus 7, which has a similar frame to the OnePlus 6T but offers a newer processor and the new 48MP camera from the OnePlus 7 Pro. This device isn’t available in the U.S. right now, but it’s definitely worth taking a look at. Check out our full comparison here.

You
can pick up the OnePlus 7 Pro at Gearbest store for only $928.51.

OnePlus 7 Pro review: The verdict

Starting at $669, the OnePlus 7 Pro is the company’s most expensive device yet. While the OnePlus 7 Pro may not necessarily offer the same camera, battery life, and extra features as the Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30 Pro, and Google Pixel 3 XL, it makes up for it in performance, build quality, and that clean user interface.

Overall,
the positioning for this device is quite weird. It’s still a lot
cheaper than the competition, but it skips a lot of fundamentals that
many users find important. Its camera is pretty good, but suffers in low
light. The battery life is average at best. You can’t officially use
this phone in the shower. There is no headphone jack. Nor is there
wireless charging. If these are all things you need, you’re going to
have to pay for a pricier flagship to get them.

OnePlus devices
used to feel like no-brainer recommendations to me. They offered
cutting-edge specs and an amazing user interface at half the cost of the
competition. With the incomplete mix of features in the 7 Pro, the
phone feels like just another option in an increasingly crowded market.
You’re really going to have to weigh what you value before jumping in
with your eyes closed. Thanks for reading Android Authority’s OnePlus 7 Pro review. 








OnePlus 7 Pro 4G Smartphone 8GB RAM 256GB ROM International Version


$928.51


$928.51













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