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OnePlus 7 Pro hands-on: making a bid for the big league
OnePlus 7 Pro Hardware Review 12 min read 3 comments

OnePlus 7 Pro hands-on: making a bid for the big league

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 first hands-on test whether the OnePlus 7 Pro can establish itself directly into the upper class of smartphones.

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. If you are looking for a fluid everyday or gaming experience, you should leave the preset 90 Hertz. If the OnePlus 7 Pro is to be used for a longer time without charging, the refresh rate can be reduced to 60 Hertz. But to be honest, who buys a OnePlus 7 Pro and uses it with the handbrake on? It's a pity that at the time of the handset test there was no possibility to manually assign the refresh rate to individual apps and above all games on our test device, as is possible with gaming smartphones such as the Razer Phone 2 or the ASUS ROG Phone.

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.

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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 one achieves 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 Qualcomms 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. We still owe you detailed performance measurements with the help of benchmark programs in this hands-on, as the software does not yet fully correspond to the final version. However, we will deliver them with the final test report in a few days.

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.

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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, which is not yet available at the time of our hands-on. The camera test will therefore only be delivered in the final test in a few days with the final software. Hopefully you can then do without the installation of a Google camera port from the XDA forum. With the OnePlus 6 and also the 6T, such a porting has delivered much better photos than the OnePlus itself.

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

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.

With our test device, we could already detect a measurable difference in the previous test period. Even just by reducing the frame rate from 90 Hz to 60 Hz, the OnePlus 7 Pro can achieve almost 50 minutes more display usage time. Until the end of the test a few data and benchmark measurements are still missing.

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.

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
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? Yes, no expense has been spared on the body, but the camera still remains a question mark. Especially for night shots, a Huawei P30 Pro and even Google Pixel 3 achieve outstanding results that OnePlus has yet to prove itself against.

As far as the product expansion is concerned, it makes sense for OnePlus to have a high-end flagship product in its range in addition to the OnePlus 7, which is a technically revised 6T. With this smartphone, they want to show that they can operate on the same level as the big three smartphone manufacturers. And in this, the OnePlus 7 Pro is quite successful.

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  • 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.