OnePlus

OnePlus 7 Pro Review


The OnePlus 7 Pro is in my opinion the best all around Android phone that you can get and in a lot of cases, even the best smartphone that you can get! 

I tested this phone for more than a month and here is my full in-depth review with my final conclusion on the OnePlus 7 Pro!

Ok, so there are 6 sections in this review – Design, Display, Camera, Performance, Special Features & Battery Life and I want you to keep it’s $670 or £650 price point in mind throughout!


DESIGN

Starting off with the design – oh boy! I think the OnePlus 7 Pro is by far the best smartphone that you can get today, design wise.

It’s manufactured just like any other premium smartphone – we have a full metal frame surrounding the phone – it’s not stainless-steel like on the iPhone X’s and XS Max, it is actually made out of polished aluminium but it does feel very sturdy and premium. 

Both the back and front are made out of glass and they both curve around the frame in the exact same way. The transition between the black the frame and the front is almost seamless – you can still feel the frame protruding, but it feels much more unified than on the Galaxy S10+ for example. 

The glass back on the OnePlus 7 Pro

The glass back on the OnePlus 7 Pro

Now when it comes to how it feels in the hand..ehh..not that great!

Out of all the smartphones that I’ve used in 2019 – the iPhone XS Max, the S10, the S10+, the Pixel 3XL, 3a & 3a XL and even the regular OnePlus 7 – the 7 Pro feels very very chunky and a bit uncomfortable to hold in one hand – which I don’t really like.

The OnePlus 7 Pro (Left) vs the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Right)

The OnePlus 7 Pro (Left) vs the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Right)

Now it’s not just the massive 6.67” display that’s the cause of this, it’s also the thickness of the device. At 8.8mm thick – this is a full mm thicker than the S10+ and 1.1mm thicker than the iPhone XS Max. If you added a case to this, such as the new OnePlus Nylon Case, the 7 Pro would then measure 10mm or 1cm thick. 

In addition the OnePlus 7 Pro is also quite heavy in the hand. It weighs 206g which is 2g lighter than a XS Max but 31g heavier than an S10+.

Personally – I didn’t really notice the extra weight at all, only the thickness but some of the reviewers that I’ve spoken to, that also had the 7 Pro early, did say that they noticed the weight straight away – so that’s something to keep in mind.

The 7 Pro also comes in 3 colors; Nebula Blue, Black and Almond.

Mine’s the Nebula Blue color which I absolutely love however I usually go with black on any of my devices so that’s my personal choice, but I do think this Nebula Blue looks gorgeous, especially in the way it reflects the light. 

But there’s also that a Almond colored one which I do love a lot. I haven’t seen it in person but from the stills that I’ve seen, it looks incredible.

So design wise, even though I don’t like the thickness of the 7 Pro, I love everything else about it and I still think that this is the best designed phone on the market right now – so much better looking than the iPhone XS Max or the S10+, both of which have obstructions in the display, such as the notch or the camera cutout which take away from the viewing experience.

The 3 colors of the 7 Pro (Photo by OnePlus)

The 3 colors of the 7 Pro (Photo by OnePlus)

 

DISPLAY

Screen.PNG

Not only do I think that this is the best design on a smartphone at the moment, this is also the best display that I have ever seen on a smartphone to date!

So it has that larger 6.67” AMOLED panel I mentioned earlier, which is manufactured by Samsung, with a resolution of 3120x1440, making it OnePlus’s highest resolution display yet. It has a PPI of 516, quite a bit higher than the 458 on the iPhone XS Max, text is just crystal clear and everything you do on this phone simply looks stunning. And since this is an OLED panel you also get perfect black levels and amazing rich colors for when you’re watching content.

The panel itself is made from Gorilla Glass 5, not the Gorilla Glass 6 that the Galaxy S10 has. Now I do have one scratch already this is from about 3 weeks of daily use compared to my S10+ that I’ve used daily for more than 2 months and it’s still flawless.

But you see, these are not the reasons why I think that this is the best display on any smartphone. There are 2 other reasons why I think that.

The Infinity Panel is what allows the 7 Pro to have a notch less display

The Infinity Panel is what allows the 7 Pro to have a notch less display

The first being the fact that there is no notch or camera cut-out at all on this! Thanks to this, you can enjoy FULL SCREEN content without ANY interruptions at all! This is something that we were hoping for in 2020 or even later but OnePlus has already managed to do it, by using Samsung’s New Infinity Display technology.

The second reason why I think that this is by far the best display on any smartphone, is the refresh rate. You see, the 7 Pro has a 90Hz refresh rate panel vs the 60Hz that regular smartphones have. This means that you get 50% more frames for the animations that you see on the display which means that everything you do is 50% more fluid than on other smartphones. So scrolling through the menus or through a website is buttery smooth, everything feels and looks amazing! A night and day difference from a Galaxy S10 or even an iPhone XS Max.

A comparison of the displays between the OnePlus 7 Pro (Top) and the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Bottom

A comparison of the displays between the OnePlus 7 Pro (Top) and the Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Bottom

The only downside that I found in terms of the display, is that it doesn’t get as bright as the S10’s and I’ve also found that the S10 does indeed deliver richer colors when watching content on YouTube and better HDR tone mapping but these are only noticeable when comparing the 2 side by side, other than that – this is an outstanding display!

CAMERA

Ok, time to talk about the camera because this has always been the most controversial thing about OnePlus phones. They offered great specs, great performance but the downside has always been the camera, it just didn’t compare with Google, Samsung or iPhone cameras, and with the 7 Pro it’s pretty much the exact same story. 

On the back we have a triple lens camera module, similar to the S10+ or the Huawei Mate 20 Pro or P30 Pro but we have a main 48MP f/1.6 aperture sensor. However, this never takes pictures in full 48MP resolution and instead you get 12MP images out of this. The 2nd module is an 8MP f/2.4, 3X optical zoom one, but it’s actually just 2x optical zoom and the rest is done with that 48MP sensor. This means you get 3x “lossless” zoom essentially. Finally, the 3rd module is a 16MP f/2.2 aperture wide angle module which I do like a lot, since you can get so much more in the shot.

Camera Comparison between the OnePlus 7 Pro and XS Max. Note the lack of definition on the bushes in the OnePlus 7 image

Camera Comparison between the OnePlus 7 Pro and XS Max. Note the lack of definition on the bushes in the OnePlus 7 image

In day time it’s pretty good! It’s very comparable to competition. I did find the images to be a bit too soft which is ironic considering that these should be the sharpest with that 48MP sensor, when the other 3 smartphones all have 12MP sensors.  The HDR processing is decent as well but not as good as on the competition.

The night shots were actually better than I expected, better than on the iPhone XS Max but not as good as the S10+ or Pixel 3XL.

It’s video capabilities were also really good as well. It has superb stabilisation and 4K 60 video recording, I loved taking videos on this, however it was nowhere near as good the XS Max.

So the camera hardware is pretty good, definitely not the best one out there but still good. However OnePlus did released about 3 noticeable camera upgrades since it came out including; improved HDR, Night Mode capabilities and video recording, so it is definitely a better camera now.

The OnePlus 7 Pro’s pop-up front camera

The OnePlus 7 Pro’s pop-up front camera

Ok, but what about the front facing camera? How is it or more importantly where is it? Well, in order to make that display truly notch and punch hole-less OnePlus included the camera underneath the display and it uses a motorized pop-up system in just 0.53 seconds. It does close automatically in case you drop your phone, and according to OnePlus it will withstand over 300,000 openings and closings which should last you for at least 5+ years.

You can use it to unlock the phone but it’s not as secure as a fingerprint reader, so I personally would avoid it. 

Quality wise I really do like this front facing camera. It’s a 16MP f/2.0 aperture sensor and it takes some very good shots. In some cases even better than the Pixel 3 and the iPhone XS Max.

So overall we have good hardware, but the software needs more tweaks. Luckily OnePlus is releasing constant software updates to improve the camera and considering that this is a $670 phone, the camera’s more than capable enough for that price. 

 

PERFORMANCE

But what about the Performance?

Well, I’m happy to say that out all of the upsides that the performance on this phone is my favourite by far!

Spec wise, this thing is fully packed. We have the Snapdragon 855 Processor, 128GB of storage as the baseline and 6GB of RAM and then you can also get a higher end 256GB version with 12GB of RAM which is absolutely nuts!

The cooling pipe found in the OnePlus 7 Pro (Source: JerryRigEverything)

The cooling pipe found in the OnePlus 7 Pro (Source: JerryRigEverything)

The 7 Pro is noticeably faster by a large margin than my S10+, Pixel 3 and even my iPhone XS Max which costs double of what the 7 Pro does. Apps launch in just a fraction of a second, and they stay open in the background for ages, I could go back 15 apps and still find the app fully open which is crazy! If you combine this with the 90Hz refresh rate display, the new UFS 3.0 storage (this makes it the only smartphone in the world which gives you read speeds up to 1.7GB/s), and OnePlus’s OxygenOS (which is slightly modified version of stock android that lets you change the accent colors, navigation bar and more), then you have the fastest smartphone on the planet! 

Also, if you’re into gaming, this is an amazing device to play your games on. With that 90Hz refresh rate panel, you can game up to 90 fps, connect gaming controllers, and you even have a 10 layer heat pipe in the 7 Pro, which helps keep temperatures down during long gaming sessions. 

Overall, performance wise, this is the best smartphone that you can get at the moment, for day to day use at least.

SPECIAL FEATURES

When it comes to Special Features the 7 Pro is lacking, but I’ll start with what the OnePlus 7 Pro does have.

First off, fast charging is insanely fast on this phone! It uses OnePlus’s proprietary Warp Charging 30 technology which charges the 7 Pro at 30 Watts and you get 50% charge in just 20 minutes which is insane! This is the fastest fast charging on any smartphone at the moment. Also the charger does come bundled inside the box, unlike Apple’s. 

We also have stereo speakers now with a side facing speaker on the bottom and then the earpiece also acts as speaker itself. The sound quality is good, not as good as the S10+ or the Xs Max, but very close.

Also, I love the fingerprint sensor on this. It’s not an ultrasonic fingerprint reader like on the S10, but an Optical one, which is inferior from a hardware perspective since it uses a camera rather than soundwaves to read your fingerprint, but it is much faster than the S10+ one. I’d say it was the fastest and most accurate fingerprint reader I’ve ever used on a smartphone to date.

OnePlus have added a new haptic engine to this which is amazing. It’s very similar to the one inside the Pixel 3 which means that you not only get haptics or small vibrations when using some UI elements, but you also get the best typing experience on any smartphone which is also thanks to that large 6.67 inch display.

You can easily mute your phone or turn vibration on using the mute switch, which only Apple uses aside of OnePlus, as far as I’m aware at least. This means using a hardware switch rather than having to do it from the UI. 

However, the 7 Pro it does lack in a lot of areas where others don’t.

For example if you really care about a headphone jack, there isn’t one here. I actually prefer wireless headphones but I can see why this could be a huge downside for some.

There’s also no microSD card support at all which again, not really a downside for me since I mostly use cloud storage and everyone should, but if you need more than 256GB then a Samsung phone is one of the last few options left. 

But the main downside here for me is that there is no wireless charging at all on the 7 Pro. Now OnePlus’s excuse for this was that their Warp Charging was much faster, which I agree it is much faster than any wireless or even wired charging standard that we have today. But after using so many smartphones with wireless charging, I’ve even installed wireless changing pads in my home and office and the fact that I cannot use my OnePlus 7 Pro with any of them is very disappointing. You might expect this from the regular OnePlus 7 but not the Pro. Yes, I know wireless charging isn’t great but it‘s extremely convenient and for convenience purposes, I’m willing to accept a slower charge. 

The Pixel (Left) has an Always On Display whereas the OnePlus 7 Pro (Right) requires a tap to wake

The Pixel (Left) has an Always On Display whereas the OnePlus 7 Pro (Right) requires a tap to wake

Another issue is that there is no Always On Display at all on this. Always On is one of my favourite features ever, in a smartphone. Being able to see the time displayed, all the time, or the notifications without having to tap the display to see them is such a brilliant thing to have. Samsung has had this for years, Google has it, even LG has it but Apple and OnePlus don’t. And whilst you can install some 3rd party Always On Display apps they will just kill your battery in a matter of 2-3 hours. I just couldn’t find one that worked well enough.

Now, there is also no official water resistance rating on this device. OnePlus did say that they did that in order to keep the cost low, which makes sense. They did add some rubber seals to the ports so technically it is water resistant to rain and splashes, but we just don’t know to what extent. So I wouldn’t use this anywhere near a swimming pool or even listen to music in the shower, like I do with my S10 or XS Max. This isn’t a big downside since manufacturers don’t cover water damage anyways, but it still gives me a piece of mind if it has an official rating. Otherwise, like I said, I tend to avoid using this near water or steam. 

 

BATTERY LIFE

When it comes to battery life, the 7 Pro comes with a pretty big 4000mAh battery. Which does last me for quite some time but it’s not as large as my S10+ which has a 4100mAh battery. However, it definitely lasts me longer than my XS Max does.

Having that insanely fast 50% charge in just 20 minutes is a life saver but this also means that I need to pack that Warp Charger every single time I travel with the 7 Pro because since Warp Charging is a proprietary technology, the 7 Pro does not support the more common USB type C Power Delivery standard. So you need that Warp Charger every time you travel, if you want that 50% in 20 minute charge. If you didn’t take it you could use a MacBook charger for example, but the 7 Pro would charge very slowly

But for me the biggest downside to the 7 Pro’s battery is that it doesn’t support wireless charging.

CONCLUSION

So overall what’s my opinion on the OnePlus 7 Pro?

Well, it’s definitely not perfect. It lacks many features that other high end and even some low end smartphones have today, such as wireless charging, an Always On Display or a great camera. I mean the Pixel 3a which costs half of what the 7 Pro does, has a much better camera. 

But it does have the best display in a smartphone, the best daily performance on a smartphone, the best fast charging in a smartphone and also in my opinion, the best Android Overlay in an android phone which is even better than Google’s stock android since it does give you more customisation.

And considering that it does all that at almost half of what an iPhone XS Max costs that is seriously impressive so, good job OnePlus!