OnePlus 7 Pro review: Plus one for the features and the cost
In what has been a short yet momentous journey, OnePlus has indeed come a long way. Till now it was following a tried and tested path — launch two phones every year with tweaks here and there — but for the first time the company has changed its strategy. It has launched not one but two smartphones — OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 — at the same time to give multiple offerings. OnePlus seems to have taken a leaf out of Apple, Samsung and Google’s book to have an ‘affordable’ premium device.
What makes this even more interesting in OnePlus’ case is that the whole premise on which OnePlus has been built is ‘offering flagship experience at not-so-flagship prices’. The OnePlus 7 Pro is a new territory for OnePlus as it is the most expensive phone ever launched by the company. Will that be an albatross around OnePlus’ neck or has the company delivered a phone that will not only strengthen its position in the market and worry competition? We used the OnePlus 7 Pro for a while to find out the answers to all these questions and more. Here’s our review:
As delicate as it looks, OnePlus 7 Pro is indeed a heavy smartphone once you pick it up. We did find it heavier than Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones. That may primarily be because of the larger battery, use of denser metal construction and even a separate retractable camera module. Nonetheless, the device feels balanced and it indeed is easy to use. It’s definitely sleeker than before and taller as well with a 6.7-inch screen size. The ‘premium’ feel comes largely because of the all-glass front with curved sides and zero distractions in the form of notches or punch holes.
We had the Nebula Blue colour variant, which is also the most marketed variant by the company this year. It’s not your typical gradient Blue look at the back but a mix of two shades that change based on the light reflection. It’s not as flashy as it may sound and looks good mainly because of the multi-layered glass back design which is not glossy but more of a frosted glass look, which was introduced with OnePlus 6’s Silk White colour variant. The material also does a good job in hiding the fingerprints and smudges.
Talking about the interface, OnePlus has given special attention to its OxygenOS 9.5 this time. The OS based on Android 9 Pie not only boasts of improvements but also some new features that are particularly good. For starters, you finally get the screenshot editor, which is a nifty yet long overdue addition. It doesn’t have many features but whatever is there, it’s useful and exactly what most users would need to quickly edit them and share.
Another feature introduced this time is the Zen Mode, which is OnePlus’ aim to let you achieve your work-life balance. You won’t find it in the Settings app though but it is possible to activate it from the notification drop down. Take it as a kind of a challenge. When you activate Zen Mode, the smartphone mutes phone calls, notifications and locks all the apps except for the camera, for 20 minutes. You can still receive phone calls and make emergency calls though. It’s just OnePlus giving the users an option to not stay glued to your smartphone.
This comes in addition to some Digital Wellbeing features including Wind Down and Grayscale feature in Wind Down. For those unaware, Wind Down aims to keep you cut off from your smartphone while sleeping. It’s nothing new in the world of smartphones but is definitely a value addition in OnePlus smartphones, provided how addictive these powerful devices can become.
As for gamers, they get an improved Gaming Mode this time that takes care of graphics on light and dark colours in a game and delivers better haptic feedback, something we did find impressive and better than most of the Android smartphones. A major credit for improved haptic feedback goes to the new vibration motor inside the OnePlus 7 Pro. As confirmed by the CEO Pete Lau, there’s an ‘industry leading’ X-axis motor that we found really well balanced in ringtones and alerts besides gaming. Activating the mode also gives you the option to experience the Fnatic mode as well. This mode not just blocks all notifications and calls but also restricts background to boost the game and stop secondary SIM to enhance the network. Gaming mode is slightly less strict and shows call notifications, choose how the notifications should be shown on screen, enhances the the display and more.
Some other addition that may go unnoticed by users are 10-layer liquid cooling system. This, in addition to ample RAM, UFS 3.0 storage and Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, didn’t heat-up the smartphone even for once. There’s also a 10-layer liquid cooling inside so even playing graphic-intensive games for hours shouldn’t be something to worry about. So that’s a thumbs up right there.
While the bezel-less QHD+ 6.7-inch screen with HDR10 support is enough to make content immersive, OnePlus has gone ahead and included stereo speakers for the first time in the smartphone. And yes they are two different speakers instead of just one main speaker and the secondary resonating speaker. Add, 4000mAh battery on top of this and you may have a winner.