OnePlus 7 Pro review: an absolute beast in every way

Guardian Technology 31 May 2019 06:00
The OnePlus 7 Pro is a massive, all-screen phone that sets new standards for speed and smoothness on Android. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The OnePlus 7 Pro is the firm’s largest, most expensive and most premium phone yet. While not that cheap, it still undercuts the competition by some margin, while offering sheer speed and a stunning notchless display that even its most expensive rivals can’t touch.

Starting at £649, the OnePlus 7 Pro is £150 more expensive than last year’s 6T or its 2019 refresh the 7 (non-Pro). It’s also significantly bigger.

The 6.67in QHD+ AMOLED screen is absolutely massive and runs at a refresh rate of 90Hz, meaning the screen updates 90 times per second – which is 50% faster than most phones and a first for an OLED screen. The difference is immediately noticeable, even simply scrolling in apps, web pages and between home screens. You quickly get used to it, of course, until you try to go back to a 60Hz phone.

OnePlus 7 Pro review
No notches or other interruptions in the screen thanks to the pop-up selfie camera, but there is a thin speaker at the top. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Sheer speed

The OnePlus 7 Pro is the ultimate enthusiast-pleaser on paper, with its specifications reading like a fanboy wish list. It has Qualcomm’s latest top Snapdragon 855 processor with your choice of 6GB, 8GB or 12GB of RAM; 6GB is good, 8GB is ideal for 2019, and 12GB is total overkill.

Oxygen OS 9.5 is OnePlus’s latest version of its customised Android software based on Android 9 Pie, and only features a few small changes since the version 9 on the OnePlus 6T.

The OnePlus 7 Pro has the firm’s second-generation in-display optical fingerprint reader, and it is significantly faster and more accurate than that used in last year’s OnePlus 6T.

Cameras have traditionally been a weak point for OnePlus phones. The OnePlus 7 Pro’s triple camera system combining a 48-megapixel main, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera is a significant step up.

  • It looks really good in blue, but even better in the limited edition almond

  • There’s a sharp edge in the bottom corners of the phone where the glass meets the metal

  • Auto-brightness often went too dim in normal indoor lighting requiring manual correction

  • It was too easy to invoke the pin code entry screen when shooting photos while the phone was locked

  • The new motion wallpapers are gorgeous

  • OnePlus’s alert slider, toggling between silent, vibrate and ring, continues to be excellent

  • The stereo speakers are some of the best

  • There’s a 5G version available too

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