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Technology Mobiles and Tabs 21 May 2019 OnePlus 7 Pro review ...

OnePlus 7 Pro review: King in its class

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AARON ALMEIDA
Published May 21, 2019, 6:25 pm IST
Updated May 22, 2019, 10:39 am IST
The latest from OnePlus has a lot going for it but has some drawbacks. But in this case, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is a huge improvement over the OnePlus 6T.
 The OnePlus 7 Pro is a huge improvement over the OnePlus 6T.
Rating:

If there was a single brand we had to pick out from the top of our head that’s made the most impact in the smartphone world in the recent past then it has to be said that OnePlus is the brand. Over the last few years, the Chinese smartphone giant has literally built itself from obscurity to be called the best in its class. Every year, the launch of a new OnePlus device is akin to a bi-annual holiday and we expect it to send shockwaves throughout the technosphere.

This year, with the launch of the OnePlus 7 Pro, the brand not only launched a new handset but introduced features that weren’t before seen in mainstream smartphones at the price it was launched at. The OnePlus 7 Pro can be compared to a beast amongst mortals as it comes with a large immersive 90Hz HDR10+ display, brilliant cameras, UFS 3.0 storage, and overall speedy performance.

 

While the general aim for every flagship is to be the best there is, OnePlus shows that it can be the best even by pricing the handset extremely competitively. This is what separates the OnePlus 7 Pro from the competition.

We had spent a few days with this model and to say we were left impressed is an absolute understatement. To know our detailed thoughts on the OnePlus 7 Pro, read on below.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

Design, Build

The OnePlus 7 Pro is a huge improvement over the OnePlus 6T, a handset which we fell absolutely in love with. However, with the OnePlus 7 Pro, you get a device that not only performs far superior to its predecessor, or anyone out there but also looks good.

The OnePlus 7 Pro features a large 6.67-inch display and the first time you see it, we won’t fault you for falling head over heels in love with it. The brand has left no stone unturned here and have added a futuristic design on the rear complete with a vertically stacked triple-camera set up that not just follows the OnePlus ethos, but also a beautiful amalgamation of current Android favourites such as the Huawei P30 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10. And that’s not where the similarities end. The handset features a curved glass panel giving you a refined smartphone experience; all coming together at a price that’s lesser than its rivals. But we shouldn’t be surprised as OnePlus is known for providing the best features with a superior design all at a price that undercuts the competition. And for flagships that don’t cost as much as a OnePlus handset, this brand trounces them in every possible manner letting them eat their dust.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

This is a large handset and even though it's this big, it surprisingly doesn’t feel that cumbersome to carry around. Single-handed usage isn’t really possible unless you have extraordinarily large hands. But we don’t see this as a problem as you pretty much know what you’re getting into when opting for this device. If it’s a smaller device you’re looking for then the OnePlus 7 could be an ideal handset for you.

There is a slight camera bump on the rear and the brand needed this to house a 48MP primary sensor. While it's not as big as say the Nokia 8.1, you would require to use the supplied case to let it rest easily on its back. While it is great that OnePlus included a case in the packaging, we would have preferred if it was of better quality. The flap that covers the port doesn’t always stay put and this leaves a lot to be desired.

OnePlus 7 Pro first impressions

The handset comes in three colour options — Nebula Blue, Almond and Mirror Gray.  We received the Nebula Blue variant and we can’t stress it enough how classy this colour looks. Ever since renders of the handset leaked online, we hoped for the Nebula Blue version to reach our desk and we were absolutely thrilled when this was the variant we received. The Almond variant is different and we see a few takers for this colour too. The Mirror Gray variant will undoubtedly be the most popular of the lot simply for the fact that it looks black and this is the most-opted for colour in every OnePlus release. A point to mention here is that the Blue version has a beautiful matte finish which helps in keeping fingerprint residue at bay. We wish that all newer handsets come with this sort of finish as opposed to a glossy back which can’t be kept clean no matter how careful you are.

While there are several new features implemented in the OnePlus 7 Pro, it does retain design traits that are OnePlus specific such as the mute slider, the volume rockers on the opposite side of the power button and the USB Type-C port located at the bottom. With these features, those upgrading from a previous generation OnePlus will feel right at home.

OnePlus 7 Pro first impressions

OnePlus has also thrown in an immersive audio experience by introducing this handset with stereo speakers and that’s not all. The brand has also teamed up with Dolby to ensure you have the best audio experience from the handset.

To sum up this section, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a beautiful looking handset and in fact, one of the best-looking smartphones available in the market so far. Our only issue with it is the lack of an IP certification which would keep our mind at ease in case of accidental water damage. Although, OnePlus does state that it has provided some amount of protection against rains.

Display

Being a flagship, there are a plethora of selling points; but for us, the major reason what impressed us about the OnePlus 7 Pro is the gorgeous display. The display is not just large, it’s downright stunning. Upon first glance, you see that the device offers an immersive display and when watching videos on it, it is a sight to behold.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

The 6.67-inch QHD+ (2K+) Fluid AMOLED display is everything you didn’t know you wanted in a handset until you get it. With having a 90Hz refresh rate, you get such smooth animations dancing across the screen whether its playing graphic intensive games or watching videos or even just staring at the animation that appears on the home screen. All these things show that OnePlus is back and better than ever with the 7 Pro.

The OnePlus 7 Pro has curved edges on the screen which is similar to Samsung’s Infinity display that’s been around for some years. However, with the OnePlus 7 Pro, you get an all-screen display with no bezels or a punch-hole cut-out for the camera. This model has a vivo-style pop-up camera that's just off-center on the top edge.

OnePlus 7 Pro first impressions

For those worried about the mechanism of the selfie-camera failing, you will be pleased to know that this has been extensively tested by the brand and they claim that even if the camera is deployed 150 times a day, you’d still be able to use it for over five years without it giving any problems. An interesting point to note is that if you happen to drop the handset with the pop-up camera elevated, it will automatically retract in a fraction of a second as this motion of freefall is detected by using the handset’s accelerometer and gyroscope.

The OnePlus 7 Pro also comes with Night Mode 2.0 which helps in protecting your eyes when viewing content with the lights out. This is similar to what Apple does with its True Tone display. This technology, though small is a huge benefit as it suppresses the number of blue rays that affect your vision. This is not just beneficial to your eyesight but also helps in you getting a better night’s rest. OnePlus has also managed to drop the brightness levels down to a mere 0.27 nits which helps your eyes even in complete darkness.

OnePlus 7 Pro first impressions

Speaking of brightness levels, the OnePlus 7 Pro’s display is super bright which is beneficial while accessing the handset in direct sunlight as viewing content is completely manageable without any strain. In what may come as good news for you pixel hounds; the pixel density here is rated at 516ppi which helps in providing a crisper visual experience. Few handsets can match up to the display of the OnePlus 7 Pro which makes it our initial contender for smartphone of the year.

The device also comes with HDR10+. This means it is a far superior version of the HDR10 standard that is found in flagship devices from Samsung, Apple and more. This is the first handset to have this insane capability in tow. With HDR10+, the display does all it can to get the most out of every frame where you can expect images on the screen to have a lot more punch, be a lot more dynamic as well as add a fair amount of depth. So, basically what you get is the whites being a lot brighter and the black levels appearing a lot deeper without being exaggerated or unreal. This essentially gives you a more lifelike picture that’s immersive.

Performance

The OnePlus 7 Pro is powered with the latest beast — Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 855 processor and runs on Oxygen OS 9.5.2 that’s built on Android 9 Pie. Based on a 7nm process, this octa-core Kryo cores that are clocked at 2.84GHz making it up to 45 per cent faster and consumes up to 20 per cent less power than the previous generation Snapdragon 845 chipset. Paired with an Adreno 640 GPU, you get a 20 per cent improvement in performance over its predecessor. This chipset is built for AI and is capable of powering AI capabilities in the camera, gaming, power management and more. Besides, it is also more intuitive than the previous generation.  

OnePlus 7 Pro first impressions

The RAM on the handset peaks at 12GB which essentially gives you a very smooth interaction with apps in the background as well as data that needs to be transferred and processed. As expected, being a powerhouse of a device, the OnePlus 7 Pro can easily handle a host of open apps that are open without slowing or stuttering in performance.

During our tests, playing games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG felt amazing even with the settings maxed out. This handset managed to overcome whatever we threw at it without any faltering. While PUBG mobile fared well, we did notice some minor framing issues while playing Fortnite; however, this is just nitpicking here.

OnePlus 7 Pro first impressions

As a casual user, you won’t find any major difference between the OnePlus 6T and the 7 Pro. However, this is a performance-oriented device and it has it in heaps. For all your go-to apps, the 7 Pro stores it in its memory, so pulling up apps are much faster and boy, does it load fast. In comparison to other flagship devices out there, there is not much difference in performance but if coming from an older handset you’re bound to notice the speed differences. We also ran our benchmarks and while it may not top the charts, it is an overall speedy device that can be described as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Software

OxygenOS gets a bump in features. This time, OnePlus, like always, is ensuring that you get the best out of an Android handset, without compromising on performance or battery life. While the primary focus of this device is on performance, OnePlus has added some valuable features as well such as Screen Recorder and Zen Mode.

With the Screen Recorder feature, you can now simultaneously capture video and audio that’s currently happening on your device. This can be useful for showcasing your gameplay on YouTube. Apart from this, there is also the ability to record external sound through the microphone where you can give a voice over if needed. OnePlus highlights recording an office meeting and victories in games as the chief uses of this screen recording feature; however, as a user your options are endless.

In Zen Mode, OnePlus wants you to focus on life as a whole and moments away from your handset. In today’s day and age, this feature is extremely handy as we are so tethered to our smartphones we miss the simple joys of life. When you enter Zen Mode, which like the Screen Recorder Mode can be accessed through the drop-down quick settings; your phone will be unavailable for use for 20 minutes. When this mode is enabled you can make and receive emergency calls as well as capture photos. This allows you to tune away from your handset for a total time of 20 minutes.

Apart from the above-mentioned features, Oxygen OS is one the best Android skins that have ever existed as it has quite useful additions that are vastly different from the unnecessary bloatware found on other custom skins. 

OnePlus 7 Pro live images leak online.

Cameras

The cameras on the OnePlus are really great and if you are faced with the proposition of choosing a smartphone with great shooters, then you can rest easy as the OnePlus 7 Pro has performances in spades even though you won’t get Google Pixel 3 performances. The primary camera here is a Sony IMX586 48MP camera which is a ½-inch sensor that features a custom-made 7-element lens that has an aperture value of f/1.6 and a pixel size of up to 1.6μm. You also get OIS and EIS here which allow you to capture the crazy amount of details in most lighting conditions.

The second sensor found here is a telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. This is an 8MP telephoto lens that allows you to get closer to the subject without the loss of any detail. This lens features an f/2.4 aperture and a 1μm pixel size that allows for depth while shooting portraits. This lens is also backed by OIS. Lastly, the third sensor has a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens with a whopping 117-degree field of view and an f/2.2 aperture. Apart from being a great snapper for landscape shots, the addition of this lens will help with capturing group shots that are always handy for social media.

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

Our views of the cameras here are quite positive as it managed to capture a lot of detail in well-lit environments. At night time or indoor shots, we observed that the handset did enhance the image by adding a lot of brightness to shots. This can appease those who want to click party shots at clubs or bars as you can expect the images to be well illuminated no matter how dark your environment is. For those who want a more natural look, then you may not enjoy the low light shots captured by the OnePlus 7 Pro as it enhances the image.

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

OnePlus 7 Pro camera samples

The pop-up selfie camera features an f/2.0 16MP lens that aims for crisper and clearer selfies. During our testing, we found that with video calls, the front-facing camera takes in a lot of light which ensure that the party on the other end can see you clearly without any shadows. In well-lit areas, the OnePlus 7 Pro’s front-facing camera truly shines with skin tones appearing natural and a lot of detail present. It also manages to render accurate images without over-enhancing your features in the form of beautification. While shooting bokeh images, the handset’s edge detection isn’t the best and some of the areas which are supposed to be in focus get blurred out. This can put off those who want crisp shots with this camera setting.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

Battery

The OnePlus 7 Pro is fitted with a 4000mAh battery and it comes with support for 30W fast charge. Apart from delivering a battery top-up in a short amount of time, with Warp Charge 30, you get a constant temperature that is maintained even while using the handset during heavy gaming as well as during binge TV watching sessions. An advantage that Warp Charge 30 has over the competition is that it does not slow down the charging speed which is capable only if you use the supplied charging brick and cable. Any other fast charger will not give it this speed or these functionalities. The only thing lacking in this handset is wireless charging which is becoming a commonality on flagship devices these days.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

Verdict

Coming with a starting price of Rs 48,999 for the 6GB/128GB variant and topping out at Rs 57,999 for the 12GB/256GB version, the OnePlus 7 Pro offers a hot of features that you will not find on any other flagship out there which makes it our top contender for the flagship of the year. While the triple rear cameras are decent and the pop-up selfie camera has finally come to OnePlus, our main pick for this handset is the gorgeous display it has on offer. This screen itself sets it apart from the competition and has to be experienced to be believed. It’s rare that you find such a beautiful immersive display in a price point that’s a lot less than its major rivals.

This handset is a powerhouse and built to perform; and if you have ever used a flagship handset from OnePlus in the past, you will realize how painfully slow it is in comparison. To sum up our review the OnePlus 7 Pro, this handset mops the floor with its rivals and can actually be classified as the king in its class.

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