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ONEPLUS 7 PRO REVIEW

The OnePlus 7 Pro has a few surprises behind its stunning all-screen front, unblemished by a notch cutout or punch-hole camera. It hides a novel pop-up selfie camera and offers a 90Hz screen refresh rate that makes games and movie-watching look extremely fluid. Even if it doesn’t have the best camera phone, it has features that Apple and Samsung aren’t giving you in 2019, and performance to match. One more surprise, though: this new OnePlus phone now costs almost as much as the iPhone XR and Galaxy S10e.

 

DISPLAY:

This is where OnePlus has put the most work into its new phone, and it shows. There’s more screen, and more fluidity, here than on almost any phone we’ve tested to date. The OnePlus 7 Pro will be the first true all-screen phone that most of the world will be able to buy – there’s no notch and no punch-hole blemishes.

Its bezelless 6.67-inch display is only half the story. OnePlus calls its display ‘Fluid AMOLED’, touting a refresh rate of 90Hz instead of the usual 60Hz. We experienced smoother motion when watching TV and playing games, and also found that simply scrolling web pages looked better. It’s hard to go back to 60Hz after experiencing the OnePlus 7 Pro at 90Hz.

The OnePlus 7 Pro has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio that stretches from top to bottom, making it easier to get sucked into a fast-paced racing game on this screen. But, as mentioned, its tall proportions mean it’s not ideal for anyone who’s looking for a smaller phone.

DESIGN:

The OnePlus 7 Pro design is almost everything you want from a smartphone. It has thin black bezel screen outline, curved edges, and glass build, with the tapered edges coming to a fine point, making it easy to grasp the thin frame. It’s hard not to like holding this big phone, even if it does take two hands to operate it comfortably. And if you’re afraid of dropping it, OnePlus has included a clear plastic no-frills case in the box.

OnePlus 7 Pro’s colors are glossy Mirror Gray and the more appealing Nebula Blue gradient in a matte finish, although, as mentioned, your choice of color is dependent on which storage/RAM combination you opt for. 

We love the psychical alert slider on the right side. There’s also no Bixby button to mistake for a volume-down button on the left side; OnePlus sticks an on-screen Google Assistant shortcut in the bottom-left corner of the lock screen,

What the OnePlus 7 Pro lacks is a 3.5mm headphone port. No wireless charging and microSD card slot. It’s not officially IP-certified water-resistant, though the theory is that this is just a way to save money and it’ll do fine with a normal dunk.

POP-UP SELFIE CAMERA:

The camera pops out of the top of the OnePlus 7 Pro’s body with a faint mechanical whir, but only when the camera app is active and in selfie mode. Otherwise, it remains hidden.

What’s neat is that if you drop it – or pretend to drop it like we did to trigger the gyro sensor – the pop-up camera actually retreats back into its protective shell while in free-fall. It’s still a part that can break, but this is a well-thought-out safety measure to minimize risk.

It thrives in well-lit environments, smooths skin way too aggressively in dim lighting, and overall has superior HDR compared to the front camera in other phones in this price range. It’s a step up from the more ghostly, often blown-out selfie photos we got using the OnePlus 6T

 

CAMERAS:

Good news: we found that the OnePlus 7 Pro triple-lens rear camera captures vastly better photos than its predecessors, even if it isn’t always close to being the best camera phone.

Its 48MP camera with an f/1.6 aperture leads the charge, exhibiting more texture, less shadow, and slightly warmer colors than last year’s OnePlus phones. Gone are the occasionally ghostly and often muddy looking pictures in favor of brighter, sharper images, especially in ample light.

Here’s why still isn’t the best: in dim light, it’s often too warm and amps up skin smoothing to compensate for noise – no one wants an airbrushed face with a red glow in a restaurant photos. The portrait mode here is uncomfortably tight, a lot more so than the OnePlus 6T, and lacks clarity in low light.

Night Sight mode is back for low-light shots, and it’s been improved. Specifically, it’s tempered to not blow out white lights in mixed-lightning night shots. 

The 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens offers 3x zoom with optical image stabilization (OIS), capturing far off subjects.

OnePlus 7 Pro 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens we found ideal for landscape photos, but soft edges.

With the OnePlus 7 Pro we have a good but not flawless smartphone camera. Its triple-lens configuration offers shot variety, but its biggest attribute is the fact that it fixes the problems experienced with last year’s OnePlus cameras.

CAMERA SAMPLES:

PERFORMANCE:

It’s among the fastest Android phones we’ve tested, tied with the LG G8 and nearly as fast as the Samsung Galaxy S10 series.

It’s the mighty Snapdragon 855 chipset that delivers a nice boost in clock speed, and up to 12GB of RAM that offers a high ceiling. We had no problem running apps, while downloading games, and watching a video all at the same time. That said, most people should be fine with the 8GB version of this phone. The OnePlus 7 Pro is built for performance. 

Extending its horsepower, there’s a 10-layer liquid cooling system underneath the glass hood to prevent the phone from getting too hot, while there’s also a new haptic vibration motor to provide instant feedback with new levels of granularity. The RAM boost, cooling system and enhanced vibrations combine to make this a solid gaming phone. 

There’s one more secret weapon in the OnePlus 7 Pro specs: it’s the world’s first phone with UFS 3.0 storage. This means it has faster read and write speeds, so while OnePlus persists with not including a microSD slot, the transfer speeds from the beefy internal storage options are 20x faster than those from the external card format that’s popular among other Android phones.

SOFTWARE:

Oxygen OS is OnePlus’ software skin running on top of Android 9.0 Pie. It offers a light amount of alterations to Google’s operating system, with a minimalistic flat design and the extras that are here are really likable changes.

New with the OnePlus 7 Pro software suite is a built-in screen recorder. You can capture everything that’s happening on your display if you want to. 

OnePlus has its returning Extended Screenshot tool, and it’s reintroduced with more scrolling screen fluidity thanks to the OnePlus 7 Pro’s 90Hz refresh rate – gone is the jerky motion of stitching and moving down a long web page

The OnePlus 7 Pro is close to pure Android, it has fun software extras, and it’s easy to use. Best of all, the company has been quick to update to new versions of Android

BATTERY:

There’s a hefty 4,000mAh battery inside the OnePlus 7 Pro, and it’s been solid enough to get us through a full day of normal use.

We never found ourselves frantically hunting for a power socket over the course of a day, but we did need to make sure we had the Warp Charge 30 charger with us overnight – and that’s where the real OnePlus 7 Pro news is, battery-wise: it’s the fastest-charging phone we’ve tested, hitting over 90% after an hour’s charge in multiple tests.

The oversized Warp Charge 30 adapter and cable that are included in the box took us from 0% to 34% in just 15 minutes, then to 60% after 30 minutes, and we reached 100% in 1 hour and 23 minutes. We found that regular USB-C adapters provided much less impressive speeds.

BUY IF YOU...

You love entertainment on your phone
You want that wow factor
You don’t want to pay a lot for a fast phone

DON'T BUY IF...

You want the hands-down best camera
You want a small phone
You want a true budget phone

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