Ever since the launch of the OnePlus 3, the company has been all about power packed performance. There’s no doubt that the Chinese smartphone maker has managed to disrupt the flagship segment, and even though the company may not admit it, OnePlus has become Apple and Samsung’s worst nightmare. Well, here’s more bad news for them – OnePlus has decided to push the envelope further by launching a flagship phone, not a flagship killer, and it’s called the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Priced dangerously close to the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the iPhone XR, the 7 Pro is available in three variants – 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage for `48,999, 8 GB RAM + 256 GB storage for `52,999 and, if you want to go full beast mode, 12 GB RAM + 256 GB Storage for `57,999. So, what makes the 7 Pro stand apart from its rivals? And is it still a value for money proposition? Well, let’s find out...
Stunning 6.67-inch display
It’s well-known that Samsung displays are the best in the business. That’s also the reason why they also make AMOLED screens for Apple iPhones. Now, OnePlus has joined the party, as the 7 Pro sports one gorgeous 6.67-inch curved display without the infamous notch. The bezel-less display boasts a QHD+ resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels, which provides crystal clear details. My condolences to OnePlus 6T owners, for the new 7 Pro makes its previous generation phone look and feel like one belonging to ancient times.
What makes this Super AMOLED display stand out is the refresh rate of 90 Hertz – in most phones, it’s 60 Hertz. This means that the screen refreshes 90 times a second, ensuring smoother interactions and experience while scrolling through apps and even offering better gameplay. During our time with the phone, we could straight away feel the difference while scrolling – it felt more responsive and faster. Even while swiping through photos on Instagram, images looked less blurry. 90Hz also makes texts clearer.
OnePlus continues to use the on-screen virtual fingerprint sensor, which is faster than the 6T. According to OnePlus, the sensor surface area beneath the display is 36 per cent larger and can unlock the phone in mere 0.21 seconds, as against 6T’s 0.34 seconds. It certainly is lightning quick. And what about the Face Unlock feature? Well, the 7 Pro has borrowed the motorised pop-up camera that we have previously seen in Vivo and Oppo. So, all you have to do is wait for the selfie camera to pop up and unlock the phone. This whole exercise doesn’t take too long, but it’s nowhere near as fast as the fingerprint sensor.
Sleek, premium look
As mentioned earlier, the edge to edge screen just puts the 7 Pro in the same league as the Galaxy S10. It really manages to stand out. Our review phone was in Nebula Blue colour with a matt-metal finish, which gave it a premium look. A word of caution, though – the phone is as slippery as a fish in water, and it weighs 206 grams, which means it’s not one of the lightest phones around either. So, a cover for your new 7 Pro would be a prudent investment.
Even though the box comes with a transparent case, it doesn’t really do justice to this phone. Last year with the 6T, OnePlus gave the 3.5mm jack the boot and, of course, there’s no looking back now. This also helps OnePlus sell their in-house ear pods – Bullets Wireless 2 and the USB Type-C Bullets. OnePlus continues to skip features like wireless charging, and the phone still isn’t waterproof.
Great news for all those who love to stream videos on their phones, the 7 Pro’s dual speakers offer crystal clear sound due to Dolby Atmos.
For all audiophiles, the 7 Pro now boasts of a stereo speaker powered by Dolby Atmos. Like in a movie theatre, you can actually hear the sound in the background quite clearly. We, however, would advise you to not increase the volume too high, as it does have a tendency to crackle.
OnePlus’s Achilles heel has always been its camera. It’s not that they don’t have decent cameras, it’s simply that they fail to produce earth-shattering results. With a triple camera setup at the rear, the 7 Pro will definitely draw the attention of a lot of potential customers. This setup consists of Sony’s IMX596 48-megapixel sensor with f/1.6) aperture, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle with f/2.2 aperture and a 117-degree field of view and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3X optical zoom.
Not only does the 16-megapixel selfie pop up camera ensure there isn’t any notch on the display, but the camera is dust resistant too.
The main 48MP sensor is Sony’s flagship IMX596 with f/1.6 aperture, 1/2-inch sensor size and OIS. The camera setup looks solid on paper, and things get even better when you capture a variety of shots with the 10MP wide-angle lens offering a 117-degrees field of view with f/2.2 aperture and the 8MP telephoto lens with 3X optical zoom.
Before we get into the details, first and foremost, we’d like to clarify that the primary camera uses a sensor through a process called Pixel Binning – it basically takes pixels into a 2x2 grid, combining four pixels into a one single pixel using the 48MP sensor. The advantage of this is that the primary camera captures photos that are slightly brighter than the actual image, and it also captures sharper and more detailed images. But all this is possible only in good lighting. Therefore, when it comes to exposure, the 7 Pro does a decent job, but it doesn’t quite retain the natural brightness and textures. So, it doesn’t capture the most detailed images sharpest in the business. The trick here is to adjust exposure, which improves photo quality.
The 3X telephoto zoom lens is the highlight of the rear three camera set up as it captures photos with clarity, stability and sharp in-depth details.
The 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens isn’t as wide as that of the Samsung S10+, but it manages to capture decent landscape photos. Photos captured by the 7 Pro are excellent for social media platforms and no one would bother to bat an eyelid, but if you compare it with the competition or put the photos under a professional’s scanner, the details and texture of the photos are still not on par with those of the Samsung S10+ or even with images captured by the Huawei P 30 Pro’s 20-megapixel ultra-wide lens.
In my opinion, the 8-megapixel 3x telephoto zoom lens is the best out of the three rear cameras, as it not only zooms accurately without any distortion but also captures details and colours without overdoing the saturation levels.
In Nightscape mode for low light and Portrait mode, the 7 Pro lacks the details and doesn’t offer the natural blur effect as its competitors do. And lastly, the 16-megapixel has improved a lot from the 6T, as it doesn’t suddenly make you fair, but there’s a slight blue tinge that’s quite noticeable.
Fast and furious
As expected, the 7 Pro runs on the latest Snapdragon 855 processor. Our review phone came with 12GB RAM, which allowed me to successfully watch Netflix, while simultaneously downloading heavy games like Asphalt 9 and running a number of apps. It never stalled or slowed down to catch a breath.
The 7 Pro has been launched with Universal Flat Storage 3.0 memory, which is basically designed for hardware like smartphones and offers twice the bandwidth of the current UFS 2.1 standard. The UFS 3.0 allows data transfer speeds of up to 23.2Gbps
One of the secrets behind OnePlus’s success has been and still is its OxygenOS, which runs on Android 9.0 Pie. It’s light and has a minimalistic design – it’s one of the best customised Android-based operating systems around.
As promising and tempting as the 12GB RAM version is, we believe the 8GB RAM trim will be the mainstay for the OnePlus 7 Pro. This phone looks very premium, whether it’s the gorgeous edge-to-edge display or the build quality. In terms of performance, it’s one of the fastest Android phones, and for a mainstay phone, it offers plenty of gaming options, which will not disappoint gamers out there. With a refresh rate of 90Hertz, it comes with a huge 4,000mAh battery. The camera setup is a big step forward for OnePlus, and it honestly doesn’t disappoint you at all, but yes, when compared to other flagship models, it’s maybe the third or the fourth best. With genuine upgrades and new features, the 7 Pro is certainly the most value for money premium phone on the market.