The OnePlus 7 Pro may not be a budget flagship phone, but it definitely offers the best 'value for money', says Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is loaded with the latest hardware and priced cheaper than its mighty competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S10 series, the Google Pixel 3 series and the Huawei P30 Pro.
It might not have the best camera but it can give stiff competition its competitors with its speed, efficiency and the new 90Hz display.
While it has focused on the essentials, it does not have the premium software AI gimmicks and additional hardware features like wireless charging and IP rating for dust and water resistance.
Let's assess if the OnePlus 7 Pro fits your needs; the model we reviewed was Nebula Blue, with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB ROM.
The phone has very thin bezels at the top and bottom and subtle 3D curves which melt on the left and right edges, making it resemble an all screen.
The back is made of curved glass with gradient colour, giving it a premium look and feel.
Though the back appears to have a matt finish, it is susceptible to fingerprints.
The 206g phone feels a little heavy in your hand but you will get used to the weight.
Due to its glass built and weight, the phone also feels slippery; it is advisable to apply a skin or use the protective cover provided in the box.
At 6.4", the phone is little taller than its counterparts.
It retains the alert slider, which is handy to toggle between the silent, vibrate and ringing mode.
The optical in-display fingerprint sensor for unlocking the phone is faster than its predecessor, provided you place your finger properly, but slower than the conventional fingerprint sensor.
A drawback of the in-display fingerprint sensor is that the unlocking of the phone becomes a two-stage process.
The conventional fingerprint lets you unlock the phone without waking it but, for the optical version, you have to raise or tap (depends on the settings) or press the power button to activate or light up the optical sensor so that it can read the fingerprint.
As the front of the phone is completely occupied by the screen, the front selfie camera is hidden inside the body and pops out when triggered through the camera.
The 6.67" curved OLED display is bright and vibrant.
The auto brightness sensor takes care of the brightness needed in different lighting conditions. In direct sunlight, however, the display seems little dull.
The 90Hz screen's refresh rate gives a fluid UI experience; you need to see it to believe it.
The phone is powered by the latest and fastest processor, Snapdragon 855 by Qualcomm.
It is backed by 12 GB of RAM and the latest UFS 3.0 ROM for storage.
It handles long gaming sessions very well without any heating issues.
The OnePlus's Oxygen OS is smooth, fast and responsive.
The OS is not heavy on skinning or bloatware like many other manufacturers and has value-added feature like accent colours and screen recording.
The phone does not show any lag. I rather enjoyed how, if you swipe up or down in between the screen, it brings up the notification tray or the app drawer respectively.
OnePlus phones have improved over the years in the camera department.
Though you cannot call it the best camera phone in the business, the latest OTA update has bought substantial improvement in the OnePlus 7 Pro camera; now, it can give competition to many top contenders.
The camera may not replace your DSLR but can definitely make you a popular social media photographer.
The rear trio cameras do a decent job of shooting photos and video in daylight and low light conditions.
The first camera
The first camera has an ultra wide angle lens with a 16 MP sensor and f/2.2 aperture.
The lens support a 117 degree wide field of view to shoot landscapes and wide photos.
This camera lens does not have OIS or EIS, but supports tap to autofocus.
When pictures are taken in low light, they are smoothened on the fly by the software to reduce the noise.
The second camera
The next main camera has a wide lens with Sony IMX586, a 48 MP sensor and a f/1.6 wide aperture. It supports EIS and OIS for taking pictures and video.
The wider aperture and combination of EIS and OIS helps produce better pictures in low light.
The third camera
The third camera, which is a multi-functional one, comes with a telephoto lens, an 8 MP sensor, a f/2.4 aperture and support OIS.
It is used for taking portraits with bokeh or background blur effect.
It is also used for the 3X optical zoom.
The ultrawide and telephoto lenses exhibit some noise when you zoom into the pictures taken.
The camera overall
While the camera captures natural colours beautifully in daylight, the images produced are not as sharp as I would have liked them to be because the camera does some post-processing to smoothen them.
But it's nice that the camera auto focuses quickly.
The main sensor produces detailed images in day and low light; the images are almost 'what you see is what you get'. This makes it fun to shoot in low light.
The nightscape mode is used to shoot the night landscape or still life pictures in low light.
The mode works quickly in well-lit conditions but, when the light is dull, you need to wait and hold the camera steady until the phones captures the scene, otherwise you will end up with a blurred photograph.
In this mode, a lot of post processing is done to brighten the image. As a result, the image loses its finer details but looks fine unless you zoom in.
If you are keen to improve your photography skills, the Pro mode is the best tool you can have.
It allows you to control focus, aperture, ISO (light sensitivity), colour temperature, shutter speed and the exposure compensation.
Sadly, the ultrawide and the telephoto cameras are not available in this mode.
Instead, you can use the main 48 MP camera and can opt for the digital zoom. This mode also supports shooting in RAW.
The phone can shoot up to 4K at 60 frames per seconds.
Only the main camera is available for the video mode which means, again, that you cannot use the ultra wide and telephoto lenses; you can, however, digitally zoom in up to 10X.
You can also take slow motion videos up to 1080 at 240 frames per seconds and 720 at 480 frames per seconds.
Flash can be enabled while taking slow motion videos.
You can shoot time-lapse videos, but having the option to change the frame intervals would have been an added advantage.
The image stabiliser works well in 1080 and 4K at 30fps, but doesn't handle shakes well while shooting in 1080 and 4K at 60fps.
The front camera
The 16 MP sensor camera with f/2.0 aperture lens is hidden at the top and pops out when you select the front camera through the camera app.
The front camera is also used for the face unlock feature.
If the lock function is set, it pops up when the screen is tapped or the power button is pressed.
The unlocking is quite fast but the face unlock assistive lighting -- needed in low light conditions -- is missing.
The fingerprint option is the best for unlocking the phone, as the face unlock only uses the front camera which is less reliable (Phones nowadays use 3D and IR sensors to strengthen face unlock).
The smart drop protection retracts the camera when the it detects a fall in order avoid any damage to the pop-up camera.
The front camera also supports the HDR mode for photos.
There also a beautification option which smoothens the skin tone up to three selectable levels.
The portrait mode is available for both front and rear cameras with the beautification option, but it does not support flash.
The front camera supports video at 1080p resolution.
The selfies taken in portrait mode are good. The edge detection is almost perfect, but it blurs some parts of the edges of the subject, especially the hair.
The built-in stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos generates fantastic 3D surround sound for a phone. It is a good addition when watching movies or your favourite video content.
The 4000 mAh battery lasts for the whole day on heavy usage, one-and-a-half day on low usage or six to seven hours of screen time.
The 30 watt Warp charger is fast; when I tested it, it charged the phone in less than one-and-a-half hours from zero to hundred per cent.
If you consider the price and compare it with other flagship phones, this is the best deal you can get. It's fast, smooth, well balanced and value for money.
|OnePlus 7 Pro|
|6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage||Mirror Gray||Rs 48,999|
|8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage||Mirror Gray, Nebula Blue, Almond||Rs 52,999|
|12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage||Nebula Blue||Rs 57,999|