OnePlus 7 Pro review: A device that will fascinate first-time premium users

Topics OnePlus

It is hardly a secret that Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus had been aiming for the premium smartphone segment for a while. With the recent launch of its OnePlus 7 Pro, the company finally forayed into the segment, pitting itself directly against the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Mindful of the fact that a premium smartphone must have more than just its specifications, the company has in the OnePlus 7 Pro gone beyond the regular stuff like three-side bezel-less front profile, a huge screen with a faster refresh rate and enhanced colour rendition, mechanical selfie camera, choice of three different optics in rear-camera module, etc.

Going by the highlights on paper, one might quickly call the OnePlus 7 Pro a complete package. But is it? Let’s find out:

Design (3/5)

The OnePlus 7 Pro is huge, bulky and heavy. The phone’s design has a tinge of novelty, thanks to a bezel-less, notch-less and obstruction-free front profile, but its back looks similar to that of its predecessor, the OnePlus 6T. There, of course, is a new colour theme – Nebula Blue. There are some surprise elements thrown in, such as the metallic chassis in the same colour as its glass body, a motorised pop-up front-camera module sitting on top and coming out only when the selfie camera is activated or when the phone needs to recognise the face to unlock. These elements go well with the phone’s overall design, earning it some brownie points as a compete one in the premium smartphone segment. 

Display (5/5)

The OnePlus 7 Pro might not have the best design, but it has an immersive screen that you just cannot stop looking at. The phone’s 6.67-inch AMOLED panel is the first among OnePlus smartphones to boast a QHD+ resolution. However, it is not just the resolution but also the refresh rate of 90Hz and HDR10+ support that bring the on-screen content to life and make it look lively.

The phone’s on-screen content looks sharp, transition flow is smooth, scrolling does not show stutters and multimedia content looks immersive. Besides, the screen’s quick refresh rate and HDR10+ support also improve the smartphone’s gaming prowess by a lot, making it even better than some of the gaming smartphones.

To put it plainly, the OnePlus 7 Pro has the best smartphone display among the present crop. Period.

Camera (3/5)

If you have used OnePlus smartphones previously, you would know that their camera modules are good but not the best in their segments. The OnePlus 7 Pro is not better in this respect than other OnePlus devices. The phone has a versatile rear-camera module with three optics – 48MP (regular), 16MP (ultra-wide) and 8MP (telephoto). It uses the same set-up that most flagship smartphones also do, but the OnePlus 7 Pro’s camera performance does not match those of other premium smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus or Huawei P30 Pro.

The phone’s primary camera locks autofocus quickly, takes shots with negligible shutter lag, and captures the scene with good details and texture. As a result, the shots come out properly focused and with lots of details. What the camera struggles to capture is the colour tones, shadows and highlights. The camera’s nightscape mode for low-light shots is also not as capable as the night mode of other premium smartphones.

The front camera, on the other hand, is a good improvement and seems to be on a par with other smartphones in the segment.

Overall, the OnePlus 7 Pro cameras on the front and back are capable optics but nowhere close to other premium smartphones.

Performance (4/5)

Performance has always been at the core of OnePlus smartphones’ strength and the OnePlus 7 Pro follows in that line. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 system-on-chip (SoC), it boots Android Pie-based OxygenOS 9.5, features universal flash storage 3.1 (UFS 3.1), and has several modes and features built in for sleek performance. All of these as a package results in a smooth performance in handling day-to-day operations or running heavy-duty tasks like gaming or multimedia editing. The phone also boasts liquid cooling, which keeps its thermals under control even when you use it for extended hours.

Battery (3/5)

The OnePlus 7 Pro is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery, which seems underpowered for this power-packed performer. Given that the phone has a huge screen of QHD+ resolution and a refresh rate of 90Hz, it is understandable that the screen would be one of the main reasons for draining of the battery. Besides the option to lower the screen resolution to fullHD+, you can also set the resolution to adaptive and improve the on-battery time to an extent without hampering the screen experience. Unfortunately, there is no adaptive or dynamic mode for screen refresh rate, which can either be set to 90Hz or 60Hz. At 90Hz, it drains the battery very quickly, and at 60Hz the experience goes for a toss.

For good on-battery time, the phone needs to be set for an adaptive resolution and 60Hz refresh rate. With these settings, the smartphone has a decent 12 hours of on-battery time. Thankfully, the phone supports Warp Charge fast-charging technology, which takes half an hour to replenish the battery from zero to 60 per cent, and then 100 per cent in less than two hours.

Verdict (3.6/5)

Priced at Rs 57,999 (12GB/256GB), the OnePlus 7 Pro is an expensive affair, but a worthy one. Its design, though, might not impress everyone, and the camera modules might seem inferior to other premium devices. Except these, the phone has everything that you expect from a premium flagship smartphone. It is also the only non-gaming smartphone that matches the performance of gaming-centric smartphones. 

People already using premium smartphones might not appreciate the OnePlus 7 Pro so much as those moving from midrange to premium flagship with the OnePlus 7 Pro.

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