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OnePlus 7 Pro Review: a supersized device for the tech connoisseur

Pros

  • Gorgeous screen with high refresh rate
  • High performance, ideal for hardcore gamers
  • Clean and beautifuly designed system interface

Cons

  • A very big phone
  • No wireless charging
  • It has no water or dust resistance certification

Since the debut of the OnePlus One, five years ago, the brand has cultivated a loyal customer base that swears by the design, reliability and performance of its devices.

Their approach has always been to make phones with best in class specs and smart compromises that make them almost as good as the latest iPhone or Samsung flagship but at around half the price.

This “Flagship Killer” strategy has paid off handsomely, but the OnePlus 7 Pro shows that the Shenzhen-based company is now ready to compete at the highest level and is unafraid to release a device priced at almost £800 in its highest specced version.

OnePlus 7 Pro out of the box The OnePlus 7 Pro out of the box. It comes with a fast charger, USB cable and plastic transparent case.


First impressions and design

  • A beast of a phone with a curved edge to edge screen
  • Sandblasted Matt blue or Mirror Grey
  • A pop-up selfie camera means no notches or hole in the display

OnePlus 7 Pro camera lenses back square No swirly reflections or patterns here but simply a highly reflective gun-metal grey.

OnePlus 7 Pro side in the sun No chance this phone can be used comfortably with one hand.

OnePlus 7 Pro screen - never settle

The OnePlus 7 Pro is an undoubtedly large phone. It's slightly taller, if not wider, than the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and even the Galaxy Note 9. At over 200g, this phone is also a hefty piece of ridiculously smooth glass and metal.

The glass back and front display curve smoothly, making it look great but feel a touch slippery. Luckily it comes with a transparent case in the box to protect it.

The huge display is unhindered by notches and sits within an extremely thin frame. The diagonal size is 6.67-inches, but making a comparison with similarly sized devices can be tricky given the way it curves.

OnePlus 7 Pro bottom USB-C port, speaker grille but no headphone jack.

At the bottom of the device you’ll find a USB-C port that supports fast charging. But unlike the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S10, there is no audio-jack.

OnePlus 7 Pro selfie camera close up Given OnePlus' proven record of creating reliable devices and the excellent build quality of this phone, the longevity of the pop-up camera shouldn't be a worry.

Instead of cutting out part of the screen, the selfie camera in the OnePlus 7 Pro is hidden within its body.

The front camera is not just for selfies, and most of its up-down cycles will happen when used for face recognition, leading to potentially hundreds of pop-ups a day.

According to OnePlus, the pop-up camera has been tested over 300,000. So even if used 150 times a day, you can rely on it for over five years.

The camera is also designed to protect itself against accidental drops. The mechanism makes use of the motion sensor to detect whenever the device is in free-fall and will retract the camera for protection.

The high build quality of the 7 Pro and excellent reliability record of OnePlus are enough to assure me that the mechanism is likely to last. But I would still be mindful to avoid water or dust could finding their way inside.

If you’re curious about how the motorised selfie works, you can see its internal workings in this video:

OnePlus 7 Pro 3-way switch side Using the three-way switch on the side, you can quickly flick between Silent, Vibrate and "Ring" Modes. Why this feature, loved by OnePlus customers, is not standard on all Android phones is a mistery.

Build Gorilla Glass front and back. Aluminium frame
Weight 206g
Dimensions 162.6 mm x 75.9mm x 8.8 mm
Screen size 6.67 inches
Resolution HDR10+ 1440 x 3120 pixels
Pixel Density 516 ppi
Technology Fluid AMOLED

Screen and Sound

The OnePlus 7 sports a 6.67-inch full AMOLED screen with QHD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate.

OnePlus 7 Pro screen on resting hero A curved screen may or may not offer a more “immersive viewing experience”, but when it comes to smartphone design nothing screams modern handset design like an Infinity Display™.

The curved display, a feature introduced by Samsung in its Galaxy series, has become a design element that was only adopted by a few super premium devices. It may not necessarily translate into a better user experience, but it surely makes the OnePlus 7 Pro look as expensive as the best out there.

Comparisons with the luxe Galaxy S10+ are inevitable, but the similarities don’t stop at the screen curves around the sides.

OnePlus 7 Pro game This is screen, is bigger and better than anything out there right now.

Like the Galaxy S10, it uses AMOLED technologyand has an almost identical resolution (QHD+) and pixel density. So it's amazingly bright, even when you're using it outside on a sunny day.

The OnePlus, however, has one feature that puts it ahead of the Samsung flagship as well as almost any other phone out there. A 90Hz refresh rate.

The phone you’re using right now is probably running at a standard 60Hz refresh rate, and I am sure that you’re okay with it.

Until you experience a 90Hz like on the OnePlus 7 Pro that is.

High refresh rate translates in a very smooth feel when browsing apps, scrolling through web pages or playing games that support it like Asphalt 9 and plenty others. Everything feels more responsive, but most importantly, it reduces eye strain.

OnePlus 7 Pro display settings The OnePlus 7 Pro has an extensive set of preferences for its display. The more common Vivid and Natural modes are joined by an advanced colour calibration as well as Enhanced Video mode and specific configurations such as Reading and Night Mode.

OnePlus 7 Pro gameplay immersive A large screen unhindered by notches, high resolution and unrivalled refresh rate gives you the most immersive experience for both games and videos.

The wonders of this screen don’t stop here; the display settings can be customised to fit any requirements when it comes to brightness or colour profile.

As well as adaptive brightness, display preferences include a Night Mode in which both the colour temperature and brightness can be adjusted separately. There's also a Reading Mode for an e-book style experience and an advanced Colour Calibration.

Both refresh rate and resolution can be set to adjust automatically for application such as full-screen videos or manually reduced to enhance battery life.

Overall quality and performance are close to both the Galaxy S10+ and Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but the OnePlus is the only one that offers a clean edge-to-edge display with notches or holes to host a selfie camera.


Camera

  • 48MP Main camera but only available in Pro Mode
  • Optical Image stabilisation on all but the wide-angle lens
  • Automatic scene detection is rather basic

The OnePlus 7 Pro has a familiar triple-camera setup similar to the one found on the Galaxy S10+ or the Huawei P30 Pro.

OnePlus 7 Pro camera lens close up A close up of the three camera lenses, despite what the layout suggests, only one is capable of 48MP and never in auto mode.

The primary lens is the standard smartphone wide-angle with a 1.6/f Aperture. It's capable of capturing 4:3 ratio images at 48-megapixel and has both Optical and Electronic Image Stabilisation.

The highest resolution is only available when going into Pro-Mode and can be a tad cumbersome to use. It also requires good lighting for the best results and will also exclude any zooming. In Standard Mode, the main camera shoots at 12MP and results have plenty of detail.

OnePlus 7 Pro camera interface The camera app is simple and clean and the Pro-Mode is easy to use.

A telephoto lens, equivalent to a 78mm standard, lets you get closer to the action without loss of quality thanks to the 3x Optical zoom, also complemented by Optical Image Stabilisation.

The third lens is an Ultra-Wide-Angle, equivalent to a 13mm standard, that can capture a 117 degree-wide field of view.

It is comparable to the one found on the Huawei P30 Pro but below the amazing 123-degree that can be captured by the wide-angle lens on the Galaxy S10.

There's no Optical Image Stabilisation on the Wide Angle so make sure you keep a steady hand, Or, if you really care about super-sharp images in any condition, get a gimbal stabiliser.

OnePlus 7 Pro camera modes You can access the camera modes menu by swiping up. All the standard modes like Panorama and Slow Motion Video are present and correct.

The camera on the OnePlus 7 Pro is a massive step forward compared to its predecessors. Images are sharp, low-light results are much improved, and both the 3x zoom and wide-angle lens make it a very versatile device when it comes to photography.

OnePlus 7 Pro selfie close up Selfies are good but not great with low-light performance behind the best.

Main Camera 48MP (16MP in Auto Mode) f/1.6
Wide Angle 16 MP, f/2.2
Telephoto 8MP f/2.4 3x zoom, 78mm equivalent
Selfie Camera 8MP
Optical Image stabilisation On Main and Zoom only

Performance and battery life

  • Best device for gamers
  • Basic battery management
  • No wireless charging

OnePlus 7 Pro gaming 2 The OnePlus 7 Pro is the perfect device for the serious gamer.

OnePlus 7 Pro gaming mode The sheer number of gaming specific settings and optimisation option reveals the great care OnePlus has taken to please hard-core gamers.

OnePlus 7 Pro game Fast loading and smooth graphics are not the only features that make gaming great. A liquid cooling system ensures that OnePlus 7 Pro will not overheat when subjected to long period of play.

OnePlus 7 Pro battery management Battery management tools are basic compared to what you find on other premium phones.

OnePlus 7 Pro Fnatic gaming mode OnePlus has collaboare with Fnatic, a professional gaming and e-sports brand to design a gaming mode in which even the network usage priority is given to the game you're playing.

OnePlus 7 Pro zen mode If you need to take a break from goblin slaying and just look at the clouds, Zen Mode will lock you out of your device, with no exceptions, for twenty minutes to force you to relax.

OnePlus 7 Pro parking tool Swiping right on the home screen will bring up a customisable widgets menu including timer, notes and Calculator. You can add Calendar, Weather and anything else that is available from the widget menu. By default, you'll find a useful tool that can help you find your car when you park in unfamiliar places

When it comes to performance, OnePlus devices have never failed to impress, and 7 Pro is no exception.

Its processing platform is very similar to the one used by both Samsung and Huawei flagships. So if you’re a power user, a gamer or you simply can’t stand your device to feel sluggish after a new Android update, the OnePlus 7 Pro will likely delight you even in the basic version with 6GB RAM.

The entry 6GB model, which retails for £649, comes with 128GB. Which is a very decent amount for most people, but perhaps might not be enough for real power users.

An additional £50 will get you an upgrade to the 8GB RAM, which will improve overall performance when running apps. But it also comes with 256GB of storage. I consider it a worthy upgrade if you want to install all the latest games and apps and not worry about space for the next couple of years.

The software and user interface is an area where the OnePlus 7 Pro truly shines. Oxygen OS lacks the mass appeal seen on Samsung’s Own One UI. But it's exceptionally well designed, with virtually no clutter or unnecessary utilities and has a general feel of efficiency.

Most importantly, it's designed for speed with things like “RAM boost” an auto-enabled feature that allocates memory use to certain apps according to your usage.

And it boasts by far the most sophisticated gaming mode I have ever seen, with a high level of customisation that will undoubtedly excite dedicated gamers. There's even an advanced mode developed by E-sports company Fnatic, which goes as far as prioritising SIM card usage for low latency gameplay.

Oxygen OS is overall still an Operating System that appeals to more tech-aware users. But that's not to mean that it is not user-friendly. Quite the opposite in fact, as the interface is beautifully clean. And, once you get past the unusual location of some of the system preferences, you’ll have no problem navigating your way around the plethora of options and utilities available.

What it lacks is some of the handholding that's common in other popular devices. A one-hand mode, for instance, which can be useful in such a large device, is absent. And some of the more powerful tools like Parallel apps, that allows you to use a cloned version of an app with a different account, is hidden in the Utilities drawer with no explanation for its purpose.

The motorised selfie camera, large screen and high refresh rate can expect to place a massive demand on the 4,000mAh battery. This is an decent sized battery for a phone of this size and will get you comfortably through one day of use.

Given the extra care given to system options, there is precious little when it comes to battery management. You’ll find Adaptive Battery, present on all phones running Android 9.0 and which limits usage by apps that you don’t use often.

And the standard battery saving mode restricting apps and system performance when the battery charge goes below a certain level.

If you find yourself in need of a top-up, the included charger can give you over 50% of the charge in around half an hour.

OnePlus 7 Pro charging The Warp charger delivers over 50% of battery within 30 minutes

RAM 6GB/8GB/12GB
Storage 128GB or 256GB
Battery capacity 4000 mAh
OS and Version Android 9 (Pie) - Oxygen OS

Security and Biometrics

  • Very fast on-screen fingerprint but it you need to wake up the screen first
  • Amazingly fast facial recogntion even if it requires the motorised camera to lift

On-screen fingerprint unlocking is a technology still in its infancy, and so far even the best have failed to offer a seamless experience that is as fast and reliable as the traditional sensor.

The on-screen sensor, seen on last years OnePlus 6T, has been upgraded, together with an improved algorithm and better lens.

The result is a genuinely fast response, but it still requires the screen to be activated for it to work. It happens automatically when the phone is picked up, or you can trigger it by tapping anywhere on the screen.

This delay can result in some frustration, so my advice is to use it together with face recognition for trouble-free, fast unlocking.

Face-unlocking uses the pop-up selfie camera, and it's amazingly reliable. In a week of use I have never seen the “Face not recognised” message once. And despite it requiring the activation of a moving part, it's comparable in speed to what we have observed on the likes of the Huawei P30 Pro or Galaxy S10.


Value and verdict

Bolder in its innovations, with a magnificent screen and possibly the best Android interface out there, this is a leap forward for OnePlus.

A powerful processing platform, the 90Hz screen refresh rate and the vast array of gaming-specific performance enhancements, make this the perfect device for the power user and gaming enthusiast.

OnePlus 7 Pro selfie camera out back

OnePlus 7 Pro gaming

Category: Reviews
Tagged: oneplus
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