The "1-Minute" Review
- No 3.5mm headphone jack
- So-so audio
As the top-shelf model of OnePlus’ mid-2019 lineup, the OnePlus 7 Pro looks to compete with the best models of the year from the bigger names out there. It also offers a few fun features -- such as a pop-up front camera, in-screen fingerprint scanner, and 90Hz display.
Is the phone a good value? Does it offer more than a few flashy features? Reviewers tested the phone and are weighing in. Let’s see what they’re saying...
The phone uses the common glass and metal design from many of this year’s top releases. Reviewers loved the curved edges and the subtle sheen to the colored rear panel. However, some noted the phone was slippery and most called it a fingerprint magnet.
There are also scuffs and scratches on an all-glass phone to worry about. However, the phone includes a case in the box and ships with a pre-installed screen protector. So the phone should handle rides in your pocket or bag with grace.
Gadget Byte praised the phone’s design, saying, “The OnePlus 7 Pro design is fantastic, there’s no doubt on that front. Its glass back and curved edges, combined with the heft give it a prime look and feel. The curved edges make the frame thinner, which is easier to grip, despite its large size.”
This size was the only potential downside mentioned. Even with the longer aspect ratio, the phone is big. So those with small phones might find it frustrating and it’s not fitting in the pocket of your skinny jeans.
Around front, you’re greeted with a 6.67-inch AMOLED display running at 1440-by-3120 pixels. But it’s not just a high-resolution display. It also supports HDR10 and HDR10+ and has a 90Hz refresh rate. This means motion and scrolling is silky smooth.
Reviewers found both features work to great effect. Whether you’re scrolling through social media, diving into a game, or streaming HDR content, the screen will impress.
T3 loved the screen, saying, “It’s not always noticeable when you’re swiping around the home screen, but whenever you’re scrolling through a list the [90hz refresh rate] looks breathtaking. The animations look smoother than any other smartphone display. This is easily the best handset on sale right now to mindlessly scroll your Twitter and Instagram feed, bar none.”
There’s also an in-screen fingerprint sensor which received great reviews for both accuracy and response speeds.
Overall, the screen appears to go toe-to-toe with the best releases of 2019.
Pairing a 2.86Ghz Snapdragon 855 processor with 6, 8, or 12GB of RAM -- depending on your variant you choose -- OnePlus has created a phone that performs at the top of the charts -- both in benchmarks and in real-life use.
The speed is only enhanced by the increased frame rate and optimized software. From swiping between pages and bouncing between apps to playing the latest games and downloading large files, reviews indicate the phone performs flawlessly.
Tech Nave tested the phone running some of the latest games and had great things to say, including, “Without a doubt, the gaming experience was fantastic. The PUBG Mobile gameplay ran very snappily and smoothly without lag or any frame drops even if it was set to the highest setting (it does not support Ultra HD graphics yet). It worked well for both Honkai Impact 3 and Final Fantasy IX that are both graphically demanding too.”
It’s not often that reviews consider the software a high point for a phone. But with the OnePlus 7 Pro, the included Android 9.0 Pie with OxygenOS does just that. Reviewers loved the subtle tweaks and optimizations with many questioning why Android can’t be as fluid and seamless as OxygenOS makes it by default.
T3 summed up opinions well, saying, “... If you’re looking for the best showcase of what Android OS can be, look no further than the OnePlus 7 Pro.”
The phone is available with 128GB or 256GB of storage. While this is more than enough for most users, the phone doesn’t support microSD storage expansion. So if you like to download media for offline viewing or listening, play a lot of games, or want additional future-proofing, opting for the larger option is a good idea.
But the storage isn’t just large, it’s also fast. OnePlus opted for UFS 3.0 storage -- some of the fastest on the mobile market. This further accentuates the performance of the processor and the fluid display providing some of the fastest access times and shortest load times on a mobile phone in 2019.
While the triple rear camera with a 48MP standard lens, 16MP ultrawide lens, and 12MP telephoto lens look super impressive, reviewers found image quality only slightly above average. That’s not to say it’s a bad camera, just that other top-shelf releases do better.
The camera has issues with white balance and dynamic range occasionally. However, it receives respectable reviews on detail, color accuracy, and ease of use -- especially in well-lit conditions. It also gets okay marks for low-light and night photography as long as you’re using the Nightscape mode.
Reviewers also loved the camera interface, with Android Authority saying, “The OnePlus 7 Pro camera app strikes the perfect balance between ease of use and advanced feature availability.”
The front camera left many reviewers polarized. The 16MP front-facing camera pops-up up out of the phone to avoid a screen notch on the display. Some reviewers questioned the long-term durability of the pop-up camera and others found the noise it made while extending or retracting annoying.
T3 summed up thoughts on the front-facing camera well, saying, “There’s no getting around it, the selfie camera drawer is a really inelegant solution. It looks weird, not least because it’s slightly off-centre at the top of the device and it makes an infuriating wrrizzz noise every time that it emerges. We definitely got more than our fair share of odd glances on public transport as the pop-up noisily hoiked itself out of the phone...”
Reviews show the 4000mAh battery is more than enough to keep even power users running for a full day. And with proprietary Warp Charge 3.0 30w fast charging, you can bring the phone from empty to 50% in roughly 20 minutes.
The biggest complaint was the lack of wireless charging. While the phone’s glass design should support it, OnePlus did not include the feature.
The phones two large front-facing speakers put out plenty of sound. However, some reviewers noted the sound was shallow, and the soundstage was less than impressive despite including Dolby Atmos. Still, for watching YouTube videos, placing calls, or other light use, it’s more than enough.
If you’re looking to improve audio quality by plugging in your favorite headphones, you might run into issues as there is no 3.5mm headphone jack and OnePlus does not include an adapter in the box.
There is, however, Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX support for the best experience when using the latest wireless headsets.
What Hi-Fi was impressed overall, saying, “The OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t have the sonic spaciousness, subtlety or rhythmic knack of the iPhone XS Max, XS or even the 8 Plus, but by smartphone standards it still makes for a reasonably entertaining and insightful listen.”
Reviews all agree the OnePlus 7 Pro competes with 2019’s best releases for performance, design, software, and included features. While it loses some ground for camera quality and audio, the 90Hz display and speedy storage make it an ideal option for those looking for a phone where performance is everything.
What Hi-Fi says, “If you were expecting OnePlus to have cut corners with the 7 Pro to achieve such a competitive price point, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Apart from a few minor issues, such as the absence of the 3.5mm headphone jack and the lack of waterproofing, the 7 Pro is a force to be reckoned with.”
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