OnePlus 7 Pro – The Best Premium Smartphone?
If you’re familiar with OnePlus, you might know it as a company that portrays itself as an underdog, never willing to settle and keeping on delivering what its community demands at great price points.
But with the 7 Pro, OnePlus has declared that it’s no longer an underdog and that it wants to challenge the top dogs in the business with a phone that, on paper, has earned the chance to take on the big boys.
But the question still remains that whether the 7 Pro is the best premium smartphone available right now and do the new features justify the higher cost?
Here’s my take on the new OnePlus 7 Pro:
One of the things that distinguishes a premium smartphone from regular phones is its overall build quality. The phone has to feel like it deserves to cost as much as it does and the 7 Pro does exactly that and it is a pretty big step up from any other OnePlus phone. First of all, it’s huge. It’s all screen with a 6.67 inches display with curved edges. Overall the materials used are pretty premium and it feels rock solid in the hand but it still has the signature OnePlus cut-outs: no wireless charging, no 3.5 mm headphone jack and no official IP rating for water resistance but then OnePlus literally posted a video of them dropping it into a bucket of water. Where it differentiates itself from others in terms of build quality is at the back with the matte finish, iridescent colours and a vertical array of cameras.
Anyways, there are some specific things that make the 7 Pro standout and those are Display and Speed.
The OnePlus 7 Pro has the first 90Hz 1440p OLED display in any phone, anywhere which OnePlus calls Fluid AMOLED and it will spoil anyone who uses it to the point where they wouldn’t want to use any other phone. It’s pretty bright, enough to be viewable in pretty much any environment. It’s HDR10+ certified, pretty colour accurate and it’s huge with a 6.67 inches display and the shape of it is definitely new for OnePlus as it is now following the footsteps of Samsung and Huawei with the glass on the front and back curving in towards a metal rail that runs all around the frame giving it a modern full screen, bezel less look.
With no bezels and no notch you might be thinking: “Where’s the front facing stuff?”
The pretty decent earpiece speaker grill is up at the top in the slot and it has the same optical fingerprint reader that was there in the OnePlus 6T, sitting right underneath the glass but this time around it is 30 percent larger and feels just a little bit quicker and the selfie camera is a motorized pop up style 16 MP camera with an f/2.0 aperture.
But the question really is that can normal people tell the difference between this 90Hz display and the typical 60Hz display?
For me, the answer is 100 percent yes, specially in things like scrolling and pretty much any and every animation and in all the games and apps that support the high refresh rate but then like Carl Pei, OnePlus Co-Founder said “Explaining 90Hz is like trying to explain what falling in love feels like. It’s impossible to explain if you haven’t experienced it. But once you do, you realize it’s probably one of the best feelings in the world.”
Apart from the best in class display there are some other things on the spec sheet which makes the 7 Pro feel even faster:
- Snapdragon 855 (7nm) with Adreno 640 GPU
- 6/8/12GB of RAM
- UFS 3.0 128/256GB Storage
- Warp Charge 30 (0 to 48% in 20 minutes)
- 4000mAh Battery
So, all these things along with the 90Hz display make the OnePlus 7 Pro the most responsive, snappy fluid phone one can use right now and although, on paper it has a pretty promising 4000mAh battery but it becomes obvious that the higher refresh rate coupled with the QHD+ resolution hits the battery life pretty hard and so you get 5 to 5.5 hours of screen on time depending on your usage which isn’t that great but it will get the job done for most of the users and will last a complete day.
The big let-down for OnePlus phones for the past couple of years that have prevented users from saying that their phone belongs to the flagship category is the Camera. So, this time around OnePlus has gone with a new camera system having three cameras on the back. One standard 48 MP camera with an f/1.6 aperture and OIS, one 16 MP ultrawide camera (117 degree field of view) with an f/2.2 aperture and one 8 MP telephoto camera with 3x zoom having an f/2.4 aperture and OIS. It’s still the biggest weakness of this phone but it’s not as drastic as it was before. It’s definitely not a horrible camera. In fact, it’s good enough for most people, it has plenty of detail because of the resolution, it’s inconsistent with the exposure though and tends to bias towards overexposure sometimes, even blowing out highlights and not saving them with dynamic range but still they look fine for most of the times especially in daylight or whenever you have good lighting conditions. It can feel a little off and a little darker when there’s no ideal lighting. Nightscape works pretty well to bring back shadow information and detail in night shots. What’s disappointing is the ultrawide camera, it’s noticeably softer than the main camera, slower to focus and has white balance inconsistency but at least it’s there and maybe OnePlus will be able to fix it with software updates in the future.
Until that happens, the camera is still the weakest part of the 7 Pro which is quite fascinating because the software otherwise has been one of the strongest parts of their phones for years. OxygenOS has been great, it’s clean, lightweight and smooth and definitely still adds a lot of features that most of its users like which perfectly blend in with its high-end specs. It now has an upgraded haptic vibration motor which is excellent and sits right up there with the Pixel which until now had the best haptic vibration motor in any Android phone. What’s cool is that in the software they built in an automatic free fall detection system, so if you are taking a selfie or if you just take it out of your pocket and while you drop it by mistake, it will automatically close the pop up camera to protect it from breaking.
It’s so easy to compare the OnePlus 7 Pro with the familiar flagships like Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, iPhone XS Max, Huawei P30 Pro, etc. but those phones all start at or around ₹70,000 whereas the 7 Pro starts at ₹49,000. So, in 2019 a base price of ₹49,000 for the 7 Pro is actually pretty massively undercutting the other flagship phones and somehow, OnePlus growing up and making their most expensive phone of all time by far is actually because of the landscape in 2019 still looking like a pretty good deal. Bottom line, I think people are really going to like it and it’s because of the three main things: the Display is Awesome, the Speed is incredible and the Price is Low.
I think OnePlus has done an awesome job by making some compromises, just like everybody else, but they’re the right ones and that the 7 Pro is by far the best premium smartphone one can buy right now.
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