OnePlus 7 Pro review: Over the past few years OnePlus has gone with dogged perseverance after one single goal: offer an Android flagship without compromising on features at the best possible price. And this strategy has clearly worked for the company, which now lords over the premium segment in India with the largest market share of phones that are priced over Rs 30,000.
When every other company was trying to push up volumes with affordable phones, OnePlus stuck to its one phone strategy — well, for most of the time if you forget the OnePlus X — and kept slogging away at the same price point, pushing it up a bit with every upgrade. Now, the overall increase in the average selling price of smartphones in India has meant the company has a larger chunk of consumers who have the appetite to spend on a premium phone.
With the new OnePlus 7 series, especially the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company will now offer a choice for customers in this group.
OnePlus 7 Pro price in India: Rs 57,999 (12GB with 256GB version)
OnePlus 7 Pro specs: 6.67-inch QHD+, 90 Hz display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor | up to 12GB RAM | up to 256GB storage| 48MP + 8MP+ 16MP | 4,000mAh | Oxygen OS 9.5
OnePlus 7 Pro review: Design and Display
The moment you switch on the OnePlus 7 Pro, the display stuns you. With a 90Hz refresh rate, this is one of the best, most fluid, displays I have seen on a smartphone. It is also quite bright at 800 nits, but still struggles a bit when you are using it under bright sunlight. OnePlus has packed the kind of live wallpapers that can bring this screen to life.
The screen is also curved, almost blending into the edges. While the curve does not offer any additional value, I did find that some content was not fitting into this screen — especially with Instagram stories — and some bits in the edges were getting cut.
The other thing you will notice is that this phone is on the heavier side, maybe thanks to the 4000mAh battery. But this power makes the OnePlus 7 Pro weighs about 210 grams. Also, the display, with its curved edged, is something you will need to protect so put behind some good protection.
Plus, with the great display you also get dual speakers now with Dolby Atmos support which gives it a spatial feel when the audio needs it.
OnePlus 7 Pro review: Camera
The OnePlus 7 Pro’s camera is one reason a lot of people will look at this phone as a serious option. And there is a lot on offer here. To start with, OnePlus has gone for a mechanical pop-up selfie camera. As soon as you switch to the front camera a periscope-like apparatus on top of the phone comes out, ready to click your selfies. On the screen, just under where this camera is, a blue light flashes as if to alert you of what is going to happen. The theatre of all this is fascinating.
The 16MP camera, however, clicks regular photographs and does not really pop out in terms of results. The triple camera set up in the rear does not have any theatrics. But it awes with the stunning results on offer. The wide-angle camera fascinated me the most with its 117-degree angle and slight fish-eye kind of feel.
But, anything mechanical worries me. Not because it will wear away in time, but because moving parts are more prone to getting affected from other factors like dust, moisture or even falls.
The sensor in the middle offers 48MP details and can be used to click photos that are good enough to be used on magazine covers — yes, this is the point OnePlus is trying to make. The performance in low light was particularly stunning, with the kind of details on offer, even when you are clicking in near darkness. Then the zoom lens takes you really up close to the subject without any distortion or noise as this is all optical. Overall, this three-camera combination is great and deserves a review of its own.
OnePlus 7 Pro review: Performance and UI
The OnePlus 7 Pro is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and is a beast that does not stutter, stall or slow down at any point. It is also a real cool customer and does not heat up whatever you do with the phone. When it comes to benchmark scores, there are very few phones above the OnePlus 7 Pro.
We need to consider the fact that this particular model is pushing 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, which is a rarity so far. To handle all of that and still be smooth is quite an achievement.
The smoothness that OnePlus strives for is not just thanks to hardware. The Oxygen OS on the phone also goes a long way to ensure there are no barriers for use. In fact, when it comes to accessibility features, I have not seen flagships that give so much thought to make the phone easier to use for all. From font size to read out options, the OnePlus 7 Pro offers a host of customisations for the differently abled users, and this might end up being a USP for this phone.
Despite being close to pure Android, the OnePlus 7 Pro offers enough customisation to take the software experience to a whole new level. For instance, there is a hidden apps folder when you swipe from the app tray where you can stash away the apps you don’t want others to see. In fact, this is also a good way to stow away the apps that you don’t need to open all the time. Then there is the interesting Zen Mode, which literally locks down the smartphone for 20 minutes so that you can take a break. And there is no way to unlock this once you have started. Very interesting.
I have to mention that the fingerprint scanner on this phones display actually works even with wet fingers, which is quite an achievement at a time when wet fingers mean even screens become unresponsive.
OnePlus 7 Pro review: Battery
The OnePlus 7 Pro comes with a 4000 mAh battery which gives the phone its weight. This also means the phone can have a screen on time of 12 hours, with 4G running. On regular use, you will certainly get over a full day with regular usage and this is great for any flagship phone.
OnePlus 7 Pro: Should you buy?
Yes, if you are looking for a top-notch flagship and don’t really want to spend top dollars. Let’s say the OnePlus 7 Pro is as good as the Samsung Galaxy S10+, but not as expensive and maybe without all the ecosystem paraphernalia, Samsung will offer. Based on a few days of usage, I would call it the best Android in this price range, one that offers you a great display and camera, plus dependable overall performance.
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