OnePlus built a reputation for selling smartphones with premium flagship specs at almost half the price but its true battle cry has been to “Never Settle”. At first, that meant never settling for exorbitant price tags but sometimes that means also never settling for less than what your hard-earned money can buy. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company is trying to move away from that “more affordable flagship” image and pave the way towards an “ultra premium” future. That said, you might be surprised as how much the OnePlus 7 Pro stays true to the company’s spirit and goals regardless.
The overarching theme of the OnePlus 7 Pro can perhaps be described as “change”. Almost everything about it is a break from the past. Take, for example, the new design with curved edges on the back as well as the front, a hallmark of most high-end phones these days. It makes the OnePlus 7 Pro prettier and a bit more comfortable to hold but, at the same time, it also increases the risk of damage when dropped. Fortunately, OnePlus does include a clear rubber case in the box.
The screen, however, is perhaps the biggest change here. That’s not even considering the nearly complete absence of any bezel (more on that later). For the first time, OnePlus has finally jumped on the QHD+ train, at least for the OnePlus 7 Pro. Add to that the 90 Hz refresh rate and a 6.67-inch AMOLED panel, and you’ve got the makings of a bright, colorful, gorgeous, and responsive screen. Sure, OnePlus could have gone for 120 Hz like the Razer Phone, but then it would have to settle or an LCD screen instead. Remember, “Never Settle”.
The bezel-less design of the OnePlus 7 Pro screen is thanks to what could be its most contentious feature: that rising and sinking front camera. It’s a 16 megapixel f/2.0 camera that produces acceptable output. OnePlus also promises it has tested the motorized mechanism 300,000 times. The construction is sturdy and even has a neat trick where the camera quickly retreats into the body if the phone’s sensors detect a fall. It definitely sounds perfect on paper, but there will always be some nagging concerns about its durability and, perhaps more importantly, its speed.
The triple cameras on the back are less controversial but equally new, at least for OnePlus. The team is comprised of a 48 megapixel main sensor with OIS, an 8 megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens also with OIS, and a 16 megapixel f/2.2 117-degree ultra-wide-angle camera. Here are some sample shots in regular light, wide-angle, and low-light situation.
The OnePlus 7 Pro produces decent photos but it is one area where the company could do a lot more to improve. It may have the hardware down but it still needs to fine-tune the software, especially when auto HDR is involved.
Speaking of software, OnePlus still sticks to OxygenOS, its slightly modified version of Android. It’s nearly close to vanilla, save for some special features like the new “Fnatic mode” for gaming, a tie-in with an e-sports brand of the same name. The OnepPlus 7 Pro is definitely capable of handling all that with the Snapdragon 855 beating inside. Presuming you don’t tax it too much with those games, however, the 4,000 mAh battery can surprisingly last you almost 2 days. And that’s with 4G LTE turned on. When you do need to charge, the 5V/6A Warp Charge 30 promises it will be short and sweet and, most importantly, safe.
Most of these won’t be new to fans and onlookers who have been keeping an eye out for OnePlus’ next big thing. Many expect these new features to bring the OnePlus 7 Pro closer to the high-end premium phones. We’ll let the prices speak for themselves.
6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage (Mirror Gray) – $669
8 GB RAM + 266 GB storage (Mirror Gray, Nebula Blue) – $699
12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage (Nebula Blue) – $749
Let those numbers sink in for a moment. With the 8/256 GB model being the middle ground (and the only one with both color options available), the OnePlus 7 Pro still undercuts most if not all premium flagships to date. Sure, it may not have the fancy cameras of the Huawei P30 Pro or the Galaxy S10 5G, but there’s isn’t anything terrible about it either. It’s still a flagship killer of sorts, just not the cheap flagship killer people have become used to after 5 years.
There’s also the OnePlus 7 that tones down the features a bit for the sake of price. That includes just having a 1080p screen with a notch, only two cameras, and a 3,700 mAh battery. Sadly, that won’t be available in the US. Instead, OnePlus will extend the life of the OnePlus 6T, based on popular feedback apparently, and shave off $30 from it. That means $549 for the 8 GB + 128 GB model and $599 for the 256 GB storage upgrade, both from OnePlus’ online store. In OnePlus’ mind, this allows them to offer customers a premium option as well as an ultra-premium choice. For a price, of course.