There’s a 4,000 mAh battery inside the device, but would be more than enough for a normal phone, but the 7 Pro’s hi-res, ultra fluid screen demands more juice. Battery life isn't bad, like on the iPhone X or LG V40 (those phones would last me barely past dinner time), but the 7 Pro can’t ease my battery anxiety like Huawei phones can. However, when you do need to charge the phone, it can top up really, really fast. OnePlus uses the same charging technology as Oppo, and it’s the fastest in the industry. A 20 minute top-up will add 40% to your battery.
Software: still the best in the business
While OnePlus’ camera hardware lags the Huawei’s and Oppo’s by a bit, in terms of software OnePlus is miles ahead. OnePlus’ OxygenOS is the best Android skin on the market, and many reviewers share my view that it’s even superior to Google’s own plain Android.
So, why is OxygenOS so good? It’s the fastest and most customizable software experience around. The new “dark mode” feature coming to the next edition of Android and iOS that prompted plenty of applause during Google’s and Apple’s respective events? OnePlus has offered that since at least 2015. The phone comes with virtually no bloatware. The in-display fingerprint reader is the fastest around, something even the third party vendor admits is due to OnePlus’ software optimization. The list goes on.
Bafflingly, OnePlus has never offered a one-hand mode — in which the screen shrinks to a smaller size via a gesture — and that’s becoming problematic here because the 7 Pro is one of the largest phone on the market. I can still make do, but I’m hoping OnePlus will address this with the next release.
Cameras: gets the fundamentals right, but falls short in specialty shots
As I mentioned earlier, the 7 Pro’s cameras are mostly fine and will produce some very nice shots that can hold their own against Apple’s and Samsung’s best offerings, the iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S10.
General photos taken in daylight will result in pleasing images. The 7 Pro’s shutter speed is fast (during the day), the camera app is easy to use even with one-hand, and OnePlus’ color science is pleasing to my eyes, neither too oversaturated like Samsung’s or too over-processed and “cold” like Huawei’s.
The wide-angle camera does an admirable job of reducing barrel distortion and is always useful for grabbing shots a normal lens simply cannot. Portrait/bokeh shots and video recording are also on point — edge detection is great for the former and video is stable and smooth all the way up to 4K/30fps.
For the most part, the 7 Pro’s cameras get all the fundamentals right. Casual smartphone users won’t complain — selfies look good; day shots look crisp; portraits look clean.
But if I nitpick, I can easily point out areas in which the 7 Pro’s cameras fall short of the competition. The wide-angle camera’s inability to capture videos leaves me very disappointed. Shooting at night produces solid images, but they fall short of what the Google Pixel 3 or Huawei P30 Pro can do. And the 7 Pro’s night mode, named Nightscape, is bafflingly inconsistent.
Sometimes, nightscape works well and improve an image’s dynamic range and lighting.
Other times, like the below image taken inside the venue of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, it’ll produce an image that looks slightly worse.
And the telephoto lens’ 3X zoom feels underwhelming after having used the Oppo Reno’s epic zooming capabilities. To OnePlus’ credit, the zoom lens can double as a useful macro lens, capturing impressive close-ups like these.
Considering that Oppo and OnePlus have close ties, I really wished OnePlus had found a way to implement Oppo’s Periscope zoom lens on this phone. I have a feeling OnePlus will do just that with the next release.
The OnePlus 7 Pro starts at $660 in the U.S. and roughly that same amount in many parts of the world. In China, it’s cheaper, starting at 3999 yuan ($578). Expectedly, there’s been a divide in reception to OnePlus’ pricing. In the U.S., in which the market is increasingly becoming a duopoly of Apple and Samsung, the 7 Pro’s $660 price is considered a great value. In Southeast Asia, particularly India, however, there has been backlash at OnePlus for that price tag.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is indeed the most expensive OnePlus handset ever, but the phone is also the first true flagship hardware from the company. Previous OnePlus handsets all used recycled hardware from an existing Oppo device. The 7 Pro is the first time a OnePlus handset stands on its own, and that 90Hz OLED screen required specific tuning and software building from the company. This to me is OnePlus taking the next step into true flagship territory.
However, if you simply don’t care about the 90Hz screen, then there are many other cheaper options, the best of which are from OnePlus’ sister companies. The Realme X, for example, has the same 48-megapixel Sony sensor as OnePlus, the same all-screen design, and same in-display scanner, and that phone starts at $270. And on the other end is the Oppo Reno 10X, which is a bit more expensive than the 7 Pro but has a significantly superior telephoto lens that can capture stunning zoom shots.
So yes, there are better value, and better cameras out there. But I think the 7 Pro has a place in the middle, and the best screen and software experience in the industry give it a compelling case.