OnePlus 7 Pro review – A supersonic smartphone but does it justify that higher price?

OnePlus 7 Pro review – A supersonic smartphone but does it justify that higher price?

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OnePlus 7 Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

OnePlus continues to shake up the market with smartphones that pack premium features without a stupendously high price.

This has been the OnePlus business model right from the off but now the Chinese firm is changing things up a little with the launch of its much more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro.

This device is taking aim at the likes of the Galaxy S10 and Huawei P30 Pro with some impressive specs and ultimate flagship features.

The question is, should OnePlus have stuck with their original game plan of offering exceptional low-priced smartphones rather than going after the top-end of the market?

To find out, Express.co.uk has been putting the OnePlus 7 Pro through its paces and here’s our full review.

PROS • Stunning all-screen design • Unbelievably fast • Good battery life • Improved fingerprint scanner • Still good value for money
CONS • Not convinced by the pop-up camera • It’s very big • No wireless charging • Main camera still falls behind its rivals

THE DESIGN

OnePlus has always delivered when it comes to design and the OnePlus 7 Pro continues that tradition.

The team behind this device have done an exceptional job as this new smartphone is quite simply stunning.

With a screen that wraps itself around the entire front of the device – and with no notch in sight – it’s really hard to fault the appearance of this latest flagship.

And it’s not just the front that looks mighty fine as spin the 7 Pro around and you’ll find a premium finish with a rear case that is covered in Gorilla Glass 5 for added protection.

We tested the Nebular Blue model which is definitely our pick of the bunch.

This option features multiple layers of glass which brings a striking two-tone appearance that definitely makes it stand out from the ever-growing crowd of new smartphones.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

OnePlus 7 Pro features a stunning new design (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

Along with looking good, you’ll also find all of the buttons in just the right place and the soft curved edges make it incredibly comfortable to hold.

We genuinely love the overall look of the 7 Pro but we are not sure that it will suit everyone.

Firstly, at over 6.3-inches it’s a massive device and definitely not one for pockets of skinny jeans or something you’ll easily use one-handed.

There are people who clearly want and love a larger phone but we’d recommend heading to a store first to check you’ll cope with its gargantuan size.

With the OnePlus 7 Pro being so big it’s also pretty heavy.

This added weight does give the phone a premium build quality but it’s something to be aware of before rushing to upgrade.

Although we do have those minor design niggles there’s no question that the 7 Pro is the best-looking phone OnePlus has ever made and its gorgeous appearance makes some of the competition look decidedly bland.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

OnePlus 7 Pro includes a stunning fully edge-to-edge screen (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

SPEED, POWER AND DISPLAY

OnePlus continues to boast about the power and speed of its devices and it has every right to brag.

The 7 Pro is one of the fastest phones we’ve ever come across with it offering an experience that, we know, you’ll find very hard to beat.

Its silky smooth performance makes this phone an absolute joy to have in your hand and we honestly can’t think of any digital task it won’t cope with.

Apps, games and all your favourite websites load in a flash and this phone is so quick your fingers will struggle to keep up.

And it’s not just the premium Qualcomm 855 processor that makes this phone fast.

OnePlus has made some huge improvements to how you view things on this giant screen with this device now offering a 90 Hz refresh rate.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

OnePlus 7 Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

There’s very few gadgets that can match this display technology which provides a lag-free and super smooth look as you scroll through your content.

Along with being very fast, the screen also offers an excellent viewing experience especially as there’s no notch getting in the way.

Playing videos or watching a movie is a visual treat and we’ve been left hugely impressed by what OnePlus has created.

This Fluid AMOLED display is vibrant and sharp and if you like your images to appear full of colour and contrast then this 6.7-inch beauty is up there with the best of them.

When using the device at night, there’s also the addition of Night Mode 2 which filters out short-wave blue rays and reduces the brightness to make things more comfortable for your eyes when the lights get low.

If you buy a OnePlus 7 Pro we guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by just how fast and bright this phone is and the shear speed is one of the biggest reasons to consider buying one over all of its Android rivals.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

The OnePlus 7 Pro features a triple rear camera (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

OnePlus 7 Pro review

The OnePlus 7 Pro includes a standard camera along with a telephoto and wide angle lens (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

CAMERA AND THAT POP-UP SELFIE SNAPPER

Like most modern smartphones, OnePlus has opted for a triple rear camera on the back of the 7 Pro.

These consist of a 48-megapixel main sensor along with an ultra wide and dedicated telephoto lens.

This setup means you get the option to shoot a huge array of different images using the phone in your pocket.

Along with those trio of lenses, there’s also something called UltraShot which uses unique algorithms to try and produce the best images possible.

Although OnePlus has made huge strides to make their cameras better they have never quite managed to beat the competition and we’d say the same on the 7 Pro.

That’s not to say that this device isn’t good at snapping images but it just lacks the extra punch that some of its rivals now offer.

All of the images we took on the 7 Pro offer plenty of detail, colour and contrast but there’s times when it just doesn’t cope as well as it should.

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

OnePlus 7 pro review

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test

OnePlus 7 pro review camera test (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

In perfect lighting conditions, you’ll find this new phone is a good as anything else on the market but shoot an image when things are more testing and this phone definitely begins to struggle – especially when your subject is heavily backlit.

With its Nightscape setting, low light photography is improved but this mode is still not as capable as devices such as Google’s Pixel 3 which manages to shoot clear photos in almost total darkness.

Overall the 7 Pro’s camera is very capable and will be perfect for most smartphone users – it’s just not quite reached the photographic prowess of some of its more expensive rivals

OnePLus 7 Pro review

The OnePlus 7 Pro features a pop-up selfie camera (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

That pop-up camera!

So what’s the deal the pop-up selfie camera?

This seems to be the direction some smartphone makers are heading in a bid to rid the screen of any irritating notches.

OnePlus has included a 16-megapixel snapper on the 7 Pro which magically appears when you hit the selfie button on the screen.

This all happens very quickly and we doubt you’ll ever miss a shot of your face using this retractable snapper.

In many ways we actually quite like this technology as we’d rather have that stunning screen without a black camera notch or hole-punch messing things up.

However, how this mechanism stands up over time is a concern.

OnePlus says it has tested this pop-up camera over 300,000 times without it ever failing – that’s the equivalent to using it 150 times a day for five years.

Although we can’t back that claim up, during our tests we’ve had no issues with this pop-up camera and it even retracts if it senses the phone has been dropped – clever stuff!

OnePlus 7 Pro review

OnePlus 7 Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

BATTERY LIFE AND CHARGING

Tucked inside the OnePlus 7 Pro is a giant 4,000 mAh battery which supplies a decent amount of power.

During our extensive tests, this new flagship easily got us through a day and you may even find you can head into a second 24-hours without needing to charge it.

When the battery does finally run flat there’s a very quick way of topping it back up.

OnePlus supplies its new Warp Charger 30 with the Pro and this power pack can pump it from flat to around 40 per cent in just 20 minutes.

Although this charger is pretty bulky there’s no doubting that the speed it offers is hugely impressive and certainly helps when you want to dash out and realise your phone is flatter than a very thin pancake.

Overall, the OnePlus 7 Pro’s battery and charging are excellent but it’s worth noting that there’s no option to wirelessly refill it which is a shame.

OnePlus 7 Pro

The OnePlus 7 Pro features Warp Charge (left) which is much bigger than the standard Dash Charger (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

SECURITY

This latest OnePlus continues to feature an embedded fingerprint scanner under the screen which is definitely faster and more accurate than before.

There’s not been many times that this sensor has let us down and that’s a good thing as you are unlikely to want to use facial recognition on this phone.

OnePlus has always used the front-facing camera for its face unlock but that’s now become a little harder due to this snapper now being hidden inside.

It basically now means to use this technology the camera has to pop-up to grab that image of your face.

It’s only a tiny bit slower than before but that delay is probably enough to stop you using it.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

OnePlus 7 Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

IT’S GOOD BUT WHAT’S MISSING?

There’s no question that there’s plenty to like about the OnePlus 7 Pro but it’s worth noting some big missing features.

Perhaps the greatest of these has to be that lack of wireless charging.

Almost all modern flagships now include this technology and refilling your phone without the need for wires continues to grow in popularity.

Not having this easy way to charge is not a deal-breaker but we can’t help feeling OnePlus should have included this feature in its latest phone.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is aimed at taking on the likes of Samsung, Huawei and Apple who all pack wireless charging inside their phones and that means this is one area where it can’t keep pace.

Another thing that’s lacking is any official news that it’s water-resistant.

OnePlus is keen to point that its Pro should survive if it gets damp but it’s not backing up that claim with an IP rating.

OnePlus 7 Pro review

OnePlus 7 Pro review (Image: EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS)

NEW EXTRAS IN OXYGEN OS

We’ve always been a fan of Oxygen OS with OnePlus doing a very good job of making this operating system very user-friendly and bloatware free.

Now Oxygen OS is getting even better with new features such as Screen Recorder and Zen Mode adding to its appeal.

There’s also an updated Gaming Mode which enhances the graphics and also boosts the RAM to help apps run far more smoothly on the screen.

PRICE

OnePlus has shaken the market in recent years with it offering devices that are packed with features but don’t arrive with a ridiculously high price.

However, things have got a little more expensive with the OnePlus 7 Pro starting from £649.

That’s quite a jump but this phone still offers huge value for money especially when you compare it to the competition.

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 starts from £799 and the new P30 Pro will set you back £899.

Even Sony’s new Xperia 1 comes with an £849 price tag which makes the 7 Pro look like an absolute bargain.

This is the most expensive phone OnePlus has ever made but we think it’s worth every penny.

OnePlus 7 pro review

X (Image: PH)

VERDICT

There’s no question that the OnePlus 7 Pro is the best phone OnePlus has ever made.

The glorious screen, supreme power and upgraded camera all make this a hugely appealing smartphone.

Good battery life and that impressive Warp Charging are both things fans will love and there’s very little not to like about the 7 Pro.

There are a couple of niggles including the lack of wireless charging and this is a very big device that definitely won’t suit all pockets.

The pop-up camera is also a concern although it’s worth the risk for that glorious and notch-free display.

One final thing to note is the price as this phone is more expensive than anything OnePlus ever made before with the most feature-packed model – which includes 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage – costing over £790.

However, you if you opt for the entry-level model you can buy the 7 Pro for under £650 and, considering what’s inside, that’s a still very good value for money.

OnePlus has become renowned for producing incredible phones at a cost that makes the competition look decidedly expensive and they’ve done it again with this flagship.

Yes, the OnePlus 7 Pro pushes the price to a new level but this is a mighty smartphone that justifies every single penny.

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