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OnePlus 7 Pro review: an almost unbeatable overall package

Update: Final verdict
OnePlus 7 Pro review: an almost unbeatable overall package

Now it's time to get serious. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Chinese manufacturer apparently wants to move out of the underdog position they have occupied for some time now. The OnePlus 7 Pro clearly aims to be named in the same breath as the Galaxy S10+, P30 Pro and Apple iPhone XS Max. We will show you in our full review whether the OnePlus 7 Pro can establish itself directly into the upper class of smartphones.

Rating

Good

  • Excellent display with 90 Hertz
  • Rapid performance
  • Top processer
  • Very fast charging technology
  • Attractive price
  • Fast operating system

Bad

  • Face Unlock is slow
  • Very large and heavy smartphone
  • No IP certification

OnePlus 7 Pro release date and price

Pete Lau, CEO and founder of OnePlus, will present the new OnePlus 7 series in London. Unlike in previous years, however, the focus is not on one smartphone but on three: the OnePlus 7, the OnePlus 7 Pro and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. The 5G model will be launched only in Great Britain and Finland for the first time, while the other two models will enjoy a worldwide presence.

If you are interested in the OnePlus 7, we also hand our hands on the standard model with its own article. In this one, however, we will concentrate mainly on the OnePlus 7 Pro.

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The OnePlus 7 Pro in three color variants / © AndroidPIT

The new Pro model will be available in the three colors Mirror Grey, Almond and Nebula Blue.

  • The version with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB memory is only available in Mirror Grey and costs $669/£649 
  • All three color variants are also available with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage for $699/£699 
  • The max memory configuration of 12 GB RAM and 256 GB memory will only be offered in Nebula Blue for $749/£799

The OnePlus 7 Pro can be pre-ordered immediately, while delivery will take place on 21 May. But if you want the Almond color version you have to wait until June. 

A hint of Samsung paired with a shot of Huawei

After the price, an appealing design and high-quality haptics are certainly a decisive factor when buying a new smartphone. OnePlus smartphones have had a high-quality feel from the very beginning, but the design has been somewhat plain in recent years. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Chinese manufacturer finally has a product in its hand that can be seen on the red carpet. One might almost think that the OnePlus 7 Pro is a cross between the Huawei P30 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S9+.

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The OnePlus 7 Pro rivals a Samsung or Huawei smartphone in terms of design. / © AndroidPIT

It remains to be seen whether the OnePlus 7 Pro can be described as a smartphone beauty. But you have to give OnePlus credit for the fact that features typical of OnePlus, such as the notification slider, have not fallen victim to the design. OnePlus had to move the SIM card slot from the left side of the housing to the lower housing frame. The dual SIM card slot has become very interesting. Instead of using a long carriage on which two SIM cards sit side by side, OnePlus has found a more compact solution. The SIM card slot of the OnePlus 7 Pro accepts two cards that are stacked on top of each other. Oppo also uses a similarly compact solution in the Reno 10X.

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The OnePlus 7 Pro also offers the usual high-quality feel / © AndroidPIT

Speaking of Oppo: in the past, Oppo and OnePlus smartphones often shared design elements. The OnePlus 6T and the Oppo RX17 Pro were the last to show this. But with the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus seems to want to differentiate itself more from its sister company, because if you look at the Oppo Reno 10X, it can hardly be compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro.

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Wanted or a mistake? The Z in Shenzen is written in capital letters. / © AndroidPIT

When you take a closer look at the back of our OnePlus 7 Pro, you notice something that no OnePlus smartphone had before: the CE logo and the logo for the WEEE directive 2012/19/EU are discreetly applied. These logos have never been seen before on a OnePlus smartphone. This also shows that the Chinese manufacturer is again working a bit further towards the established brands such as Samsung and Co. Interesting little discovery: On our test device Shenzhen was written with a big "Z". Some kind of quasi Easter Egg?

Large and fluid in presentation

Up to now, OnePlus has not quite been able to keep up with the top class when it comes to displays. Although AMOLED panels were installed as of the OnePlus 3, for better battery life the OnePlus has so far remained at FHD(+) resolution, while the competition was ahead with a WQHD display. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the manufacturer is now following suit and is even adding something extra. Thanks to the front camera, which extends in a small motorized unit from the upper frame, the display does not need a notch or hole. In everyday life the proud owner can look at a display with very narrow bezels that covers 93% of the front.

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The OnePlus 7 Pro gets by without notch or hole for the front camera. / © AndroidPIT

The new display was developed in cooperation with Samsung and is now called Fluid-AMOLED. With a display diagonal of 6.67 inches, it is enormous and, for the first time in a OnePlus smartphone, also nestles around the longitudinal edges. It is interesting to note that the notification LED returns thanks to the curved display edge. Similar to Samsung's Note or S series, this one lights up briefly when news arrives. The solution is not like a dedicated LED that flashes permanently, but at least the feature is back at the community's request and can be refined later with software updates.

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Thanks to 90 Hertz refresh, you can scroll through content as smooth as butter. / © AndroidPIT

Another premiere for a OnePlus display can be found by navigating to the settings. Besides the resolution, which is set to the native WQHD resolution of 3,120 x 1440 pixels by default, there is also an energy-saving Full-HD+ resolution. There is also the option of switching the refresh rate.

The result: scrolling through long content and playing compatible games is a lot of fun on the OnePlus 7 Pro. With the OnePlus 7 Pro you have the feeling that when the 90 Hertz mode is activated, the display is much more fluid, especially with fast movements.  With the OnePlus 6 and the 6T, both of which I have used for a long time in the recent past, just like with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, it feels more like the display slows down the picture output, even though they are three fast smartphones.

Finally fast and usable

With the fingerprint sensor, OnePlus continues to hold on to the optical sensor. To improve the detection rate and speed, however, OnePlus provides the 7 Pro with a sensor enlarged from 6 millimeters to 7. In addition, three lenses were used instead of two. According to OnePlus, the new optical sensor is almost as fast as the old capacitive sensor of the OnePlus 6. The OnePlus 7 Pro should be unlocked within 0.21 seconds. In the first test, OnePlus can actually deliver. The fingerprint sensor is fast. The newly gained speed and the fact that Face Unlock now needs a touch longer due to the pop-up camera ensures that the fingerprint sensor is used more frequently again in everyday life.

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The optical fingerprint sensor  / © AndroidPIT

Fast as usual

If you were to ask a OnePlus user which feature or component you particularly like about a manufacturer's smartphone, it is very likely that the software is the most frequently mentioned. Even the editorial colleagues here at APIT, who have used a smartphone from OnePlus before, say that there is hardly a better manufacturer's skin than OxygenOS. It is close to Stock-Android and yet there are many tricks of OnePlus that users will appreciate, but mainly the speed of OxygenOS is addictive.

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OxygenOS always inspires with its speed / © AndroidPIT

For fanatical gamers and Zen masters

At this speed, OnePlus doesn't have to screw much anymore. Instead, OnePlus maintains new features or drills out recently introduced features. One of the latter is Game Mode. This was extended and there is now a fnatic mode. This was created together with the long-time eSport company fnatic. In this mode the whole system is switched to undisturbed gaming enjoyment, all notifications are muted, background activity is reduced to a minimum and the hardware is trimmed to high performance.

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Game Mode now has an option developed with the eSport Clan fnatic. / © AndroidPIT

Beside the Game Mode, there is also the Zen Mode. With this one, you achieve the opposite. If the Zen mode is activated, your smartphone will go into a kind of deep sleep for 20 minutes. No messages or calls are passed through and the phone does not unlock. Only emergency calls can be made in Zen mode.

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Digital Detox a la OnePlus is called Zen Mode. / © AndroidPIT

Full steam ahead

The parade discipline of a OnePlus smartphone was and still is performance. Every OnePlus smartphone, except the OnePlus X, always had the best hardware available on the market at the time of release. The OnePlus 7 Pro also continues this tradition.

Inside the OnePlus 7 Pro is Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 with Adreno 630 GPU. Depending on the variant, the RAM has 6, 8 or 12 GB accompanied by 128 or 256 GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The main memory is currently only used in the OnePlus 7 Pro and should be able to show its advantages in the performance measurement. The hardware in combination with OxygenOS catapults the OnePlus 7 Pro past Huawei's P30 Pro and Samsung's Galaxy S10+.

OnePlus 7 Pro Benchmark Comparison

  OnePlus 7 Pro (WQHD with 90 Hz) Huawei P30 Pro Samsung Galaxy S10+
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme 5.374 3.990 4.371
3DMark Sling Shot Vulkan 4.758 3.995 4.276
3DMark Sling Shot 6.958 3.228 4.503
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited 65.808 35.981 56.128
Geekbench 4 (Single / Multi-Core) 3.419 / 10.773 3.283 / 9.750 4.175 / 10.031
PassMark Memory 31.375 30.190 19.777

In addition to the brute performance of the system, there are two other little things that sweeten everyday life with the OnePlus 7 Pro. First of all, the ability to locate it. OnePlus provides the 7 Pro with dual-band capabilities for both the US GPS and GPS/A systems as well as the European Galileo satellite network. Technically, this means that the accuracy of the position determination is reduced from 10 to 15 meters to only 1 to 1.5 meters and the position can be determined faster. In addition, this increases the location accuracy in closed buildings, so that one is better equipped for indoor navigation. During our test in Berlin, which also included closed rooms, the location was determined very quickly and accurately.

The second notable innovation is the LTE speed. During our measurement on the T-Mobile network in Berlin, the Qualcomm X50 modem with LTE Cat 18 support in the downstream and Cat 13 in the upstream achieved 213 Mbps for downloads and 59 Mbps for uploads at their peak. These are good speeds but could turn out differently on other networks and tariff models.

Finally: Wi-Fi calling and VoLTE

With every new OnePlus smartphone or even with every OxygenOS update we searched in vain for the switches to activate VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling in the settings. With the OnePlus 6 the options already appeared in countries like Great Britain, but in the other European countries, we were left behind. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, these functions seem to have been released in Germany as well. We have tried them out with SIM cards from the three major network operators and both VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling are available in Germany! Check your local region for this support and let us know if you have it in the comments below.

At last a tidy sound

A visual experience is only half as good if the audio experience does not accompany it. The OnePlus 7 Pro has at least one improved sound experience, as the smartphone now outputs stereo sound. To achieve this, the smartphone was fitted with a conversation loudspeaker, which is now also used as a loudspeaker for multimedia content. The sound is fine for a smartphone with stereo speakers, but clearly better compared to mono speakers.

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There is no jack connection and not even a dongle from OnePlus. / © AndroidPIT

If you don't want to sound your immediate surroundings, then you have to use a Bluetooth headset, as the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't have a 3.5 mm jack socket. There's not even a dongle from OnePlus to comfort us.

More cameras for more creativity

Finally! OnePlus gives the 7 Pro more variety or better said options in image design. The 48-megapixel main camera is supported by an ultra-wide angle lens with 117 degrees aperture and 16 megapixels. There is also an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. The retractable front camera features a Sony IMX471 that shoots Selfies with 16 megapixels. In summary, the triple camera of the OnePlus 7 Pro consists of the following units:

  • 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.6 aperture, optical and electronic image stabilization
  • 16 MP ultra-wide-angle camera (117 degrees FOV), f/2.2 aperture
  • 8 MP zoom camera (3x optical), f/2.4 aperture, OIS
  • Multi-autofocus system: PDAF, CAF and laser autofocus
androidpit oneplus 7 camera
Three cameras with different focal lengths create more creative freedom in image design. / © AndroidPIT

For the main camera, OnePlus does not use an unknown sensor, but with the Sony IMX586, a sensor that is currently very popular with Chinese smartphone manufacturers. Honor, Xiaomi and Oppo use the same sensor. The OnePlus 7 Pro should therefore produce similar image quality results as the Oppo Reno 10x, Honor View 20 and Xiaomi Mi 9. So it depends more on the software, and OnePlus has actually improved some of the software.

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The front camera is cleverly hidden so that the display is not interrupted by a notch or a hole / © AndroidPIT

On the surface of the camera app, OnePlus has left almost no signs that much has changed. Rather, the algorithm was tweaked under the hood. When you take photos, you realize that OnePlus has worked a lot on the software. As long as you don't shoot in Pro mode, photos are always taken with 12 megapixels and thus four pixels are combined to one "superpixel". This should increase the quality of the photos, especially for night shots. If you look at OnePlus on its own, there is significant progress in quality in bad lighting conditions. While the OnePlus 6 and 6T required a very steady hand for night shots, the OnePlus 7 Pro now takes night shots very quickly. The processing still takes a little longer than Huawei, though.

Basically, photos taken with the OnePlus 7 Pro are good. The two additional focal lengths now allow more creative freedom. Objects in the distance can be brought closer than with an iPhone XS or even a Samsung Galaxy S10+, which both "only" having a 2x optical zoom. The ultra-wide-angle lens allows you to capture beautiful landscapes. All test images shot with the OnePlus 7 Pro can be viewed in high resolution using the following link:

Will the OnePlus 7 go the distance?

The battery of the OnePlus 7 Pro is generously dimensioned at 4,000 mAh. Such a battery should ideally bring the smartphone over an average day. But with the OnePlus 7 Pro, one has to consider that the display is set to maximum resolution and also maximum refresh rate in the factory settings. Manufacturers such as Samsung, for example, usually ship smartphones with a lower resolution ex works to ensure longer battery life. In the battery test from PC Mark, the OnePlus 7 Pro endured almost 8 hours of continuous operation. For comparison: Huawei's P30 Pro managed almost 14 hours, while Samsung's Galaxy S10+ managed a little more than 10 hours.

But benchmarks are, as always, only one side of the coin and everyday life is different. In our test, we used the OnePlus 7 Pro once in QHD+ with 90 Hertz and once in FullHD+ with 60 Hertz over a whole day. During the display-on time, this everyday test resulted in a battery life of 5:02 hours and 5:53. By reducing the resolution and the refresh rate, it is, therefore, possible to gain additional battery life. OnePlus, as it is normal in the industry, will certainly optimize the battery life with the help of software updates after the sales start. Also, the intelligent battery management of Android 9 still has to adjust to my usage behavior.

If the 7 Pro does run out of power on the road, the included power adapter should be handy. The new power supply is identical to that of the OnePlus 6T McLaren and charges the smartphone with Warp Charge 30. Within 78 minutes, the OnePlus 7 Pro is charged from 0 to 100 percent. Within 30 minutes, 54 percent of the 4,000 mAh battery is already charged.

OnePlus 7 Pro technical specifications

Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm
Weight: 206 g
Battery size: 4000 mAh
Screen size: 6.67 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 3120 x 1440 pixels (515 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels
Rear camera: 48 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 9 - Pie
User interface: Oxygen OS
RAM: 8 GB
6 GB
12 GB
Internal storage: 256 GB
128 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.84 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0

A successful bid?

Should the premium smartphone aficionado now prefer a OnePlus 7 Pro to a Samsung Galaxy S10+ or a Huawei P30 Pro? Above all, OnePlus worked on the camera software for the 7 Pro and is catching up in big steps. However, compared to the Huawei P30 Pro and the Google Pixel 3 XL, it is still not quite as good as it could be in terms of post-production. But this circumstance is no deal breaker because with the total package of sheer performance, an outstanding display, software that comes very close to the Android Stock experience and the price, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a smartphone for the Champions League.

In addition, the product extension for OnePlus makes sense to have a lighthouse product in the assortment in addition to the OnePlus 7, which is a technically revised 6T, which contains many features demanded by fans and the community. Only the enormous dimensions and weight could become something that would put off potential pro buyers. 

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8 comments

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  • storm 5 months ago Link to comment

    And now the faked specs begin to be revealed. OnePlus doesn't have 3x optical zoom. They crop the image from 2.2x zoom.

    No software update will fix this.

    We know they lie about performance numbers.

    There's always another snafu with OnePlus.


  • Nixe phone with full of specifications.


  • storm 5 months ago Link to comment

    glass sandwich for the loss.


  • I am sure there are consumers out there willing to spend money on the OnePlus 7 pro .... I am not one of those consumers. I know it has nice specs that are competitive against the latest iPhone and Samsung, but the price OnePlus is asking for doesn't include the same protection against water (I would have preferred a punch hole camera in the front screen versus the pop up camera at top). I still prefer a headphone jack - obviously Google was listening with its Pixel 3a and 3aXL because they put them back in - but like I said there are consumers who will welcome this latest OnePlus (I'm just not one of them). 🤷🏼‍♂️


  • Yeah, with HIGHER prices. "oh! but not as expensive as apple/samsung". So? They had a great business model. Affordable good phones, but have become like all the rest. "Flagship" pricing.

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