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OnePlus 7 Pro Review: Stunning All-Screen Design That’s Worth Every Penny

by Iyzklez
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For years, OnePlus has been nipping at the heels of smartphone giants like Samsung and Huawei with stripped down phones boasting big specs, solid designs, and not much else. And for a lot of people that was totally fine, as it allowed OnePlus to offer up top-notch performance for hundreds less than its competition.

But on the OnePlus 7 Pro, we’re looking at a whole new equilibrium. Starting at $670, not only is the OnePlus 7 Pro easily the most expensive OnePlus phone yet, but it’s also the most luxurious. Between new features like a pop-up selfie cam, a stunning display without any notches or cutouts, triple rear cameras, and that higher price tag, the whole David vs. Goliath narrative of OnePlus trying to take down other flagships doesn’t really hold up anymore. So is the price hike worth it, after OnePlus worked so hard to carve out its place in the mid-range?

OnePlus’ latest flagship phone

Starts at $670

Super all-screen display, top-notch specs, super fast in-screen fingerprint reader, triple rear cameras, blue model is gorgeous, great battery and very fast wired charging

No wireless charging, no official water-resistance rating, low light photos are just OK

In short, yes. Absolutely. While OnePlus has moved up in price, the rise of baby flagships like the Galaxy S10e, iPhone XR, Honor View 20, and others have emerged to create a new $700 battleground to fight over. This is a war to win over people who remember the days of when high-end phones cost closer to $600 or $650 rather than $1,000, but also for people who simply don’t want to drop that much dough on a phone. And out of all of its similarly priced competitors, the OnePlus 7 Pro is the handset I’d throw my money down on.

From the moment you see it, the OnePlus 7 Pro dazzles. In front, it has a huge 6.7-inch 3120 x 1440 display supplied by Samsung, that in addition to blasting out rich, vibrant colors, has also been tweaked to support a 90Hz refresh rate. This makes the OnePlus 7 Pro’s screen one of the smoothest looking displays on the market. Now, just doing mundane things like scrolling through menus or flipping between apps are small joys, as you watch things flick past your eyes in pure, fluid motion.

But then, as your eyes get accustomed to all that, you realize the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn’t have any notches, punch holes, or other distractions to take away from that lovely display. This feeling is almost enough to transport you into the future to a time when no phones have cutouts anymore, and it makes you wonder why anyone ever put up with anything less. OP 7 pro’s screen even has a stronger blue light filter to really cut down on sleep-preventing rays messing with your head at night. All told, the OnePlus 7 Pro’s screen is so good, it alone nearly justifies the $100 bump in price compared to the OnePlus 6T. But of course, OnePlus didn’t stop there.

Wedged just above the display is a thin sliver of an earpiece, which works in tandem with the phone’s bottom-mounted speaker to deliver true stereo sound, something no OnePlus phone has ever had before. OnePlus also upped its already-speedy 22.5-watt Dash Charge power adapter to 30-watts, and then changed its name to Warp Charge to drive home the point. We’re talking about the ability to bring the phone from dead to 50 percent in just 15 to 20 minutes. And with a big 4,000 mAh power pack and battery life that lasted 13 hours and 36 minutes in our rundown test (15 minutes longer than the Galaxy S10e’s time of 13:20), it feels like you’re never more than a heartbeat away from having enough juice to last the rest of the day.

That said, I find OnePlus’ refusal to add wireless charging to the OnePlus 7 Pro downright infuriating. On previous phones, the extra cost needed to add wireless charging made that decision somewhat understandable. Meanwhile, OnePlus says the even the speeds of today’s fastest wireless chargers still fall short of its wired Warp Charge brick, and they are right. But wireless charging has never really been about speed, it’s about convenience, and on a phone priced around $700 with the word “Pro” in its name, wireless charging is something I still think the OnePlus 7 Pro should have. If it did, this phone would be damn near untouchable in this price range.

This is the single best color on any phone so far in 2019.
This is the single best color on any phone so far in 2019.

I’m less bothered by the OnePlus 7 Pro not having an official IP rating for water and dust-resistance. OnePlus claims the OP7 Pro should be more than fine if it gets hit with some rain or even a splash or two. I just wish they would do a better job of explaining how good its water-resistance really is, and maybe even backing that up in its warranty.

I also have to give a shout out to the blue version of the OnePlus 7 Pro (which the company calls Nebula Blue). Its glass back uses multiple layers that absorb light in different ways, giving the phone a frosted appearance that sucks you in like an icy black hole. So even though Huawei still has the best selection of colorways in the smartphone world, the OnePlus 7 Pro in blue is the singular most enchanting color option so far this year.

OnePlus didn’t skimp on the little things and addresses complaints about its previous phones by equipping the OP7 Pro with a beefier vibration motor. The phone adds a handy built-in screen recorder so you can natively save videos of whatever you’re doing on your phone, a feature Google still hasn’t added to stock Android. OnePlus increased the size and speed of the phone’s in-screen optical fingerprint reader, so there’s practically no difference between it and the captive touch sensors found on last-gen phones

Triple rear cameras are the new standard for flagship phones, so it’s nice to see OnePlus really embrace that trend.
Triple rear cameras are the new standard for flagship phones, so it’s nice to see OnePlus really embrace that trend.

In back, the OnePlus 7 Pro now sports triple cameras with its primary sensor boasting a whopping 48-MP resolution in addition to a 16-MP ultra-wide angle camera and an 8-MP telephoto cam with a 3x zoom. This setup adds a whole new dimension to the OP7 Pro’s photo toolkit, which is great for all those times you don’t want to drag a big camera around. However, compared to big dogs like the Pixel 3, Galaxy S10 and S10e (which has the same cameras as the S10 minus the third telephoto cam), OnePlus still can’t deliver the same kind of image quality you get from the big smartphone giants.

In a side-by-side food shot comparison, I found that the OnePlus 7 Pro fell a bit short on sharpness, contrast, and color saturation to both the Pixel 3 and Galaxy S10. It’s not something to be mad about considering the latter two phones’ higher price tags, but the difference is there, even if you might not be able to see it when people upload their pics to Instagram.

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