Sometimes little things can make a huge impact and it is what has made OnePlus stand out from the crowd all these years. The Chinese smartphone maker shot to fame in an unimaginably short period of time, but not without witnessing a fair share of troubles and mistakes that eventually led to admiring success. I've followed OnePlus from the early days of inception and watched it grow and seeing the brand today, with its sheer confidence, shows the world nothing is impossible.
When I say "seeing the brand today", I mainly refer to the kind of products OnePlus has grown to offer. Long gone are the days when I held the OnePlus One and admired that Sandstone finish that only OnePlus offered. Five years later, I'm holding the company's best smartphone yet - OnePlus 7 Pro - in its satisfying glass beauty that has come a long way since the first handset, both in terms of class and price.
You'll rarely find a person who no longer recognises OnePlus, and the latest OnePlus 7-series has everyone excited. OnePlus officially unveiled the latest and most-anticipated flagship of the year, OnePlus 7 Pro, at an event in Bengaluru. I had the opportunity to test the most premium and priciest OnePlus smartphone every released over the past couple of days and here are my thoughts on the phone.
OnePlus has always demonstrated the best of its capabilities in designing the best smartphone there is to hold and look. OnePlus 7 Pro is a classy masterpiece from every angle and the company has perfected the smartphone to an unimaginable extent. That beautiful, beautiful full-screen display is truly magical and it gets 2K resolution with 90Hz refresh rate, so all those PUBG sessions will never look the same after playing it on OnePlus 7 Pro.
The curved display and the curved back gives a sleek form factor to the device, which is visually appealing and great to hold. But the extra screen real estate sure makes it difficult for single hand use, but I'm willing to compromise on that for the love of a great display. The brightness of the 2K screen can blind you in a dark room, but thankfully adaptive brightness works flawlessly - best I've seen in phones. The colours are vibrant and lively, the screen is bright enough even when you want to use it effortlessly on a bright day. Interestingly, the sides of the screen light up beautifully when a new notification arrives. Simply loved that minimalistic touch.
OnePlus 7 Pro has been the flagship I've always wanted from OnePlus and the company has finally delivered. Better late than never. The overall design is perfect, but it is the little things that really impressed me. The earpiece on top of the display is as if it is not there - just so sleek. The alert slider and power button are on the right side and the volume buttons are on the left, all of them are within easy reach. The USB Type-C button is at the bottom, right next to the stereo. At the top, the pop-up selfie camera housing is invisible unless in use.
Speaking of the camera, OnePlus 7 Pro's triple camera setup on the nebula blue back cannot miss anyone's attention. There's a 48MP Sony IMX586 primary sensor with f/1.6 aperture, OIS and EIS, paired with a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle lens covering 117 degrees and an 8MP f/2.2 lens with 3X optical zoom. This is an ideal setup for brilliant photos and I couldn't agree more. OnePlus has finally heard the cries of millions of people and has greatly improved the camera on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
OnePlus 7 Pro photos have excellent colours, bright and vibrant, high dynamic range even in challenging light conditions and details that cannot be missed. Selfies are just as good. Although I wasn't fully impressed with the Nightscape feature, that's just me stretching hopes after using Google's Night Sight and Huawei P30 Pro. OnePlus Nightscape works best when it is not pitch dark as it requires at least one light source nearby to give you a decent picture. To be fair, OnePlus 7 Pro's nightscape feature doesn't turn night into day as in the case of Huawei and Google phones but brightens the image to retain more details without having people guess whether it is night or day.
The portrait shots are not perfect, but they do a good job at blurring out the background. The wide-angle lens is doing a fairly good job at covering a wider landscape and retaining maximum details. But I was thoroughly impressed with the 3x optical zoom, which retains excellent details from a distance.
Here are a few photo samples I shot during my review:
3x optical zoom
The list of things that amazed me during the review doesn't seem to end here. OnePlus phones have always set the benchmark for performance and what do you think OnePlus 7 Pro is capable of delivering.
OnePlus 7 Pro, with its Snapdragon 855, 12GB RAM and OxygenOS 9, is an absolute beast when it comes to handling multiple apps and tasks, running high-graphics apps without any lags and effortlessly taking care of day-to-day tasks - all while managing power the best way it can. I've played PUBG Mobile on various phones, but nothing is quite like on OnePlus 7 Pro. The dual stereos are a boon for gamers and multimedia buffs. One of my biggest complaints with the 6T was the single down-facing speaker and it's no longer a problem with OnePlus 7 Pro.
There were hardly any instances when the OnePlus 7 Pro gave up on me. In fact, the overall user experience is the best you'll find on any phone and a huge credit goes to the OxygenOS 9. All the new features like screen recording with sound, new zen mode so you balance your digital and real lives, butter-like gestures, SMS aggregation, caller identification and all the existing clean and neat UI features contributed equally towards optimum user experience. And did I mention how great that 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED 2K+ display is, which compliments the OxygenOS quite impressively.
Another thing I noticed to have improved in the OnePlus 7 Pro is the optical fingerprint scanner, which works efficiently and in a jiffy. The whole "Fast and Smooth" mantra is applied to the fingerprint unlocking and face unlocking features in the OnePlus 7 Pro. Despite having a pop-up camera, I rarely noticed the mechanism in work. Overall, OnePlus 7 Pro is a work of art.
OnePlus 7 Pro's 4,000mAh battery is huge in size but the phone doesn't give it away, which is one of the things I liked. Complete with Warp Charge 30 and full day battery life, OnePlus 7 Pro is one of the few phones you can count on. In my tests, I was able to get 22+ hours of extensive usage, which included playing games, streaming videos, browsing social media, communicating on calls and IM apps. OnePlus 7 Pro consistently delivered north of 4 and half hours to 5 hours of on-screen time, which is more than I could ask for.
To test fast charging, I drained the battery completely and charged to 100 percent in 80 minutes. Normally, I would charge for 30 minutes and easily get past a full day of work without having to plug the phone back in until midnight. The OnePlus 7 Pro review box also came with a Warp Car charger, which is brilliant. The fast charging in the car charger matches that of the wall charger, which is something I haven't experienced with any car chargers. It was a life-saving feature as it allowed me to charge the phone to full during my commute to work.
All said, the million dollar question is whether OnePlus 7 Pro is worth its price. Seeing how OnePlus has grown as a brand and how the OnePlus 7 Pro delivers on all fronts, I would easily recommend this flagship as a killer value for money for anyone looking for a premium smartphone in the sub-Rs 60K price range. If you're fine with spending a bit more the next logical and reasonable device is Huawei P30 Pro, but that would require you to increase your budget to over Rs 70,000. OnePlus 7 Pro, on the other hand, starts at Rs 48,999 for the base model, but the unit I reviewed is the one with 12GB RAM and costs Rs 57,999. If you have the budget for it, you cannot go wrong with any of the OnePlus 7 Pro models.