When OnePlus unveiled their first smartphone, the “flagship killer” OnePlus One, it disrupted the entire thought process of buying a phone. They proved that you don’t have to sell a kidney to have flagship level specification on a smartphone. Then came the OnePlus 2, and the OnePlus 3. From there began a downward spiral for OnePlus. These new phones were not Flagship killer. Rather, they were just Flagship, with a flagship price as well. The OnePlus 7 Pro seems to solidify that.
Taking a closer look at the OnePlus 7 Pro
Now don’t get me wrong. The OnePlus 7 Pro is a gorgeous device. It packs a lot of the features that one would expect in a flagship device. Unfortunately, that also comes at a significantly higher price. But lets first take a look at the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Right off the bat, the first thing you notice is the display. It’s a 6.67” 1440×3120 display that is HDR10+ certified. In addition, it also has a 90hz refresh rate. This means that interactions with the display such as screen animations and transitions are significantly smoother. The HDR10+ certification means details on screen are crisper and brighter than previous devices. OnePlus calls it a Fluid AMOLED screen because of, well the fluidity and the way the display curves to the body of the device.
The OnePlus 7 Pro also takes “full-screen display” to the next level. It packs an almost bezel-less design. You would also notice that there’s no notch, or earpiece or any other sensor on the display. It’s all-screen, all the time. So then what about those selfies?
Well, the OnePlus 7 Pro packs a 16MP front camera via a pop up mechanism that activates as soon as you switch from the rear camera to the front camera. The earpiece and speaker are located at the top of the display and positioned in such a way that they’re almost invisible.
What’s under the hood of the OnePlus 7 Pro?
If you’re a hardware junkie (like myself), you’ll be happy to note that the OnePlus 7 Pro comes with an Octa-core Snapdragon 855 CPU and upto 12GB of RAM. In terms of storage, you can go upto 256GB for internal storage. Keeping to OnePlus’s traditions, there’s no expandable storage. The display also houses a fingerprint sensor that is supposed to be faster than current implementations of under display sensors. All this plus UFS 3.0 storage means apps open and close blazing fast.
In the camera department, the OnePlus 7 Pro comes with a 48MP primary lens, a 16MP ultra wide lens and an 8MP telephoto lens. This means the camera has a 3x optical zoom and almost 117-degrees for a wide angle shot. Basically you can fit more of the frame into your shot.
Making sure all this hardware has enough juice to last the day is a 4,000mAh non-removable battery. Warp Charge makes an appearance once again with upto 30W of charging power. In simple terms, a 20-minute charge will give you almost 50% of battery.
Other features include USB 3.1, Type C. Dolby Atmos Sound, Bluetooth 5.0 and stereo speakers as well. What’s missing is a 3.5mm audio connector, and wireless charging.
Great hardware alone, a flagship does not make
OnePlus devices have been known for their almost stock Android experience and the OnePlus 7 Pro does not disappoint. The device ships with Android 9.0 Pie skinned with OnePlus’s OxygenOS. If you’re an OnePlus user, then you’ll see familiar features such as the Shelf, and gestures that OnePlus has made famous in OxygenOS.
Taking digital wellbeing to another level, OxygenOS on the OnePlus 7 Pro has a feature called Zen mode. Think of it as a boosted DND mode. Rather than muting all sounds and notifications till the user determines, Zen Mode will actually make almost all phone features unusable for 20 minutes. This is to let the user takes a break from their smartphone.
The best part is, once activated, there is no workaround to deactivate Zen Mode until 20 minutes are up. This includes restarting the device as well. While in Zen mode, you can, however, capture photos and videos. Also incoming and outgoing emergency calls will also work.
Is the OnePlus 7 Pro a Flagship Killer though?
This is where things get interesting. The one thing that set OnePlus apart from the competition was its pricing. However, at a starting price of $669 and a fully decked out price of $750, these are a far cry from the original OnePlus One that was only $300. As the price of smartphones rise, so does the cost of OnePlus devices. You would think that in an attempt to give all the flagship features, OnePlus would also reduce the price, but that is not the case.
While it is still cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and iPhone XS, the OnePlus 7 Pro is not a flagship killer. It’s just a flagship. On the other hand, devices such as the Pocophone F1 and even Google’s recently unveiled Pixel 3a can be considered actual flagship killers. While the Pocophone F1 packs a previous generation Snapdragon 845 and upto 8GB of RAM, it can still battle with the best of them with devices with those specs, at almost half the price.
Similarly, while the Pixel 3a has a lower processer and RAM, it packs the same camera unit as the flagship Pixel 3. So if taking photos is your primary focus (pun intended) and you don’t want to fork over a ton of cash, for $400, the Pixel 3a is definitely a good option.
So yes, I do feel that the OnePlus 7 Pro is a tad overpriced and not in line with what OnePlus initially offered. But then again, considering the other options in the market such as the Galaxy S10+ and the new iPhones, the OnePlus 7 Pro is actually a good option. That is of course, until you try to buy it in Sri Lanka and realize that you’ll have to sell a kidney anyway.
If you’re willing to fork over the cash, you can head over here and preorder your own OnePlus 7 Pro.
What do you think about the OnePlus 7 Pro? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.