48

OnePlus 7 Pro Lab - Adam's Review

  1. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 17, 2019

    adamovermeer, May 17, 2019 :
    lab_header.jpg

    Hi everyone,

    I’m Adam, and I’m super excited to be a part of the 7 Pro edition Lab! I’ve got lots of content coming, but I wanted to start you all off with my very first impressions.

    lab_unboxing.gif

    I unboxed my OnePlus 7 Pro this morning, and I’ve been carrying it around all day. After less than 12 hours, here are the things that stood out…


    Straight out of the box, the first thing that I noticed was the color. My 7 Pro is Nebula Blue—and it would be a hard fact to miss. The iridescent blue sheen of the back glass creates a wonderful level of dimension, framed by the matching blue metal rails. I personally find the look stunning. Turning it around, the screen is immediately impressive. I do have many concerns about the practicality trade-offs made to accomodate a truly bezel-less display, but damn does it ever look good.


    Running through the initial data migration side-by-side with my old OnePlus 5, the 7 Pro immediately dwarfs its older brother, despite a minimal footprint increase. On my OnePlus 5, one of my favorite features was the snappiness of both the fingerprint reader and the face unlock. The first thing I tested with the 7 Pro was how it compared, and it is definitely slower in both methods. Of course the face unlock is slower, but the fingerprint reader is too, since the screen has to be awake before it will read my fingerprint. I immediately dug through the settings and found that configuring the ambient display to show when the phone is raised will greatly shorten the fingerprint unlock time, putting it back on par with the 5. This is certainly something I will look into further for my full review.


    The last thing that really stood out to me right away is the sound. When using the phone to watch videos, the sound somehow seems to come from behind my head. The first time I tried—and I promise this is true—I turned around thinking that I had accidentally connected it to a bluetooth speaker behind me. Count me impressed.

    breadboard_unbox.jpg

    So far, my favorite aspect of the 7 Pro is the screen, both for its sheer size and its ability. I haven’t yet got a chance to put the camera through its paces, but I am greatly looking forward to that, and I will keep you all posted! Please do let me know what questions you all have, or if there’s anything you want tested!
     

    #1
  2. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 6, 2019

    Stickied Post
    adamovermeer, Jun 6, 2019 :

    sssss.jpg

    OnePlus 7 Pro Cases - Adam's Review!
    The OnePlus 7 Pro is an absolutely stunning piece of technology, and I hate to suffocate such a beautiful design within the confines of a protective case. However, our phones are fragile, and protection is important. Ask me how I know—I cracked my poor OnePlus 5 because of my dislike of cases. To save you from my mistakes, I wanted to give some insights on the first party 7 Pro cases here.

    First, let me define my three tenants of a good phone case.
    1. Drop protection: The case must protect the screen in case of a drop.
    2. Ergonomics: The case must not be too big or clunky.
    3. Design: The case must be reasonably good looking.

    IMG_20190601_172750.jpg

    To start, the OnePlus 7 Pro actually comes with a clear case in the box, an inclusion that I was very happy to see. The clear case checks off good drop protection and ergonomics, but falls a bit short in design. The case is made from a soft, glossy plastic that is transparent, allowing my Nebula Blue glass back to shine through, which I like. However, it dramatically muffles the iridescent sheen of the blue, and it picks up an unpleasant amount of fingerprints. That is to be expected though, and I still enjoy seeing the blue through a case. Where I do take issue is the front—The plastic looks very noticeable around the screen, contrasting against the dark bezels. Overall it’s a nice case for preserving the look of the Nebula Blue, and I am really glad it was included, but I want something a little more premium.

    IMG_20190605_193643_edited.jpg IMG_20190601_172813.jpg IMG_20190601_172750.jpg

    So what about OnePlus’s first party cases? They were nice enough to include one for me to review: a Karbon Bumper case. It retails for $39.95 on their website, and would ship for free if ordered at the same time as a OnePlus 7 Pro.

    IMG_20190601_172556.jpg

    But is it worth it? Well, it checks off my drop protection and ergonomic requirements just fine, feeling slightly nicer in the hand over the included clear case due to the matte finish. The design is much more premium, with a subtle carbon fiber weave and a soft finish. It does bother me that the blue of my phone shows through around the cameras at the back, disturbing the flow of the gray weave, but that would be negated if you had the Mirror Gray phone. Most importantly to me, it looks way better on the front of the phone, with the slim black border blending nicely into the bezels of the 7 Pro. I have switched between both cases during my time with the 7 Pro, and greatly prefer the Karbon Bumper because of much more subtle front border, allowing me to ignore it and focus on the beautiful screen.

    IMG_20190605_200128.jpg IMG_20190601_172619.jpg IMG_20190601_172556.jpg IMG_20190605_193738.jpg

    As far as 3rd party cases go, I don’t have any yet. I had a Spigen on my OnePlus 5, and loved it, but the Spigen design language doesn’t mesh well with the vertical cameras of the 7 Pro. I did just order a dbrand Grip case, so please let me know if you want to hear my impressions of that when it comes.

    Feel free to shoot me any questions, and stay tuned! Full review should be out tomorrow!
     

    #14
  3. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 7, 2019

    Stickied Post
    adamovermeer, Jun 7, 2019 :
    header.jpg

    OnePlus 7 Pro - The Full Review

    From the moment it came out of the box, it was clear to me that the OnePlus 7 Pro is a special phone.

    It isn’t just that it has a 90Hz QHD+ AMOLED screen, 3 rear cameras, a pop-up selfie camera, an in-screen fingerprint reader, more RAM than my first phone had in storage or the speed of a million starships. It is the feeling you get when all of that is packed into a sleek piece of metal-and-glass that sits in your hand. It is impressive and powerful, and also completely crazy and unique. It is a phone for adventures, and if you have the OnePlus 7 Pro in your pocket, you will be unstoppable.

    IMG_20190529_130256_Bokeh.jpg

    Build

    The build quality is immediately impressive. The iridescent blue sheen of the back glass (my OnePlus 7 Pro is Nebula Blue, by the way) creates a gorgeous level of dimension, framed by matching blue metal rails. The anodizing on the rails is equally as vivid as the back glass, giving the phone a powerful presence. It feels futuristic and sci-fi, and the iridescent blue absolutely loves sunlight. I was pleased to learn that OnePlus includes a clear case in the box, so I can keep my phone protected and still admire the Nebula Blue. For more thoughts on the included case and OnePlus’s bumper cases, check out my case review!

    breadboard_unbox.jpg

    Back to the build—the weight of the 7 Pro gives it a very premium feel, although sometimes I like how light my OnePlus 5 is in comparison.the 7 Pro is taller than my OnePlus 5, but I am glad to see that it is not wider, maintaining a comfortable feel in the hand. The buttons are placed well, with the notification slider and power button landing right where my thumb wants to be, and the volume rocker within reach of my index finger, although a bit high. The omission of a headphone jack is a sad reality these days, and one I will admit fits this phone’s futuristic styling. What is less acceptable is that it doesn’t include a 3.5mm adaptor in the box, an omission I am much less pleased with. I personally still use wired headphones, but even if I didn’t, I need the 3.5mm input to plug the phone into my electronic drumset for playing to songs, and lots of speakers still require a 3.5mm input. I don’t mind using an adaptor, but one should definitely have been included. On the opposite side of the audio experience, I am surprised and delighted to see stereo speakers show up on the 7 Pro, and they actually sound great! I do really wish the bottom speaker was front-firing like the top one, as it is annoyingly easy to mute when holding the phone.

    The vibration motor is much nicer than my OnePlus 5, with more modern and tactile feedback. I do want to say a quick “rest in peace” for the notification light, which does not appear on the OnePlus 7 Pro. Interestingly, I miss less than I thought I would, but I still miss it.

    IMG_20190529_130639_Bokeh.jpg IMG_20190529_130745_Bokeh.jpg IMG_20190601_172410.jpg IMG_20190601_172813.jpg IMG_20190529_125347.jpg IMG_20190529_125305.jpg IMG_20190529_125336__01__01.jpg

    Its hard to get this far without addressing the display. Because it takes up the entire front of the phone, it pushes a lot of other features around, forcing the biggest compromises on this phone. So before I go over my thoughts on the screen, let’s look at what we have to lose.

    Of course the first thing that goes is the navigation buttons. On the 7 Pro they can be replaced with either the standard on-screen buttons or gestures, but neither really feels right. I refuse to use the on-screen buttons as they waste screen real estate just as much as physical buttons would, and then there would have been no point in removing them. So, then, I use the gestures—but they really aren’t ideal either. The upward swipe for home is fine, but I really wish “back” was a swipe from the side, not a swipe up from a corner. The differences between swiping up for home or swiping up part way for apps is also very clunky. While I have found myself slowly growing accustomed to the subtleties of the different gestures, they really don’t feel like an elegant solution.

    After the buttons, we have to address the fingerprint reader. I personally like that they put the fingerprint reader under the display instead of on the back or the side, and I’m certainly glad it wasn’t completely removed. However, I was concerned that the speed of the fingerprint reader might suffer for being behind the screen. Indeed, when I first got the phone, it was slowed down a lot by the fact that the screen needs to be on before it can read a fingerprint. A simple solution is turning the “raise to wake” feature on for the ambient display, so the phone is ready to unlock every time it’s picked up, a solution I have employed since day one. I shot out the 7 Pro’s fingerprint reader against my old OnePlus 5, and with the ambient display on, the 7 Pro is actually a hair faster.

    finger_normal.gif finger_8th.gif

    We come then to the Face Unlock, one of the most eye-catching features on the 7 Pro. I was certainly a skeptic, and was expecting to hate it. I was surprised to find that while it certainly is a compromise, it’s my favorite compromise I’ve ever made. Of course, I have to give up the speed of my OnePlus 5’s Face Unlock. Even with the 7 Pro’s camera set to pop up as soon as the power button is pressed (a setting that I don’t like) it is slow. I was a very frequent user of face unlock on my OnePlus 5, so this is a sacrifice that I will feel. However, I have to admit that the sheer spectacle of the motorized pop-up to me is a great consolation prize. The mechanical whir and the look of a camera rising out of the frame is a fascinating feature, and has impressed everyone I have showed. It seems reasonably sturdy (although I still have doubts as to whether it will hold up through the years), and it gets bonus points for retracting automatically when it detects the phone is falling.

    popup.gif

    Display

    Now, finally, we reach the display. The reason we made so many sacrifices to design. The headline feature of the OnePlus 7 Pro.

    The experience of owning the OnePlus 7 Pro, since the second it came out of the box, centers on the display. It dominates the physical design of the phone, and defines the experience for everything you will do with it. It is, in a word, stunning.

    IMG_20190601_172750.jpg

    In terms of design, it has every single feature I could want. It feels as if OnePlus went down the list of every possible thing they could put into a display and just checked all of them.

    Crazy good resolution? Check. No notch or bezels? Check. AMOLED screen? Check. Super high refresh rate? Check.

    So, certainly impressive on paper. But how does it hold up in daily use? So far: impressively. The contrast and clarity of the AMOLED screen make the 7 Pro phenomenal for all content consumption, from photos to games to videos alike. Despite the curved edges, I haven’t had any accidental presses, and it is still possible (although not entirely comfortable) to reach to every corner with just one hand.

    The one drawback that surprised me a little bit about the display was its impact to the battery life. This phone doesn’t feel significantly better in terms of battery life than my 2 year old OnePlus 5, despite having a larger battery. I suppose that comes with the territory of a 3120x1440 resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate, but I’m still hopeful there could be some optimization down the road. I have the resolution set to dynamically switch depending on the content, but I keep the refresh rate at 90Hz. It has a standard 60Hz mode, but I think the phone should be experienced at its full performance, and quite honestly, I’m happy to give up some battery life for such a gorgeous display.

    The other downside of the 7 Pro’s screen I have is how it has spoiled me. When I go to pull files off my OnePlus 5, the bezels feel claustrophobic, something I had never felt before. Most content online is bordered by obnoxious black bars, and I end up cropping my YouTube videos to fill the whole screen, which loses some vertical content but fills my field of vison a lot better, and looks fantastic.

    In all, the display is a gorgeous spectacle. Pretty much every reaction I have gotten from friends and family about the phone is how pretty the screen is, and it is my main takeaway from the phone as well.

    IMG_20190601_172556.jpg IMG_20190601_172802.jpg IMG_20190601_172750.jpg

    Cameras

    The last thing I want to touch on is the cameras. The 7 Pro has three: a main sensor, a telephoto sensor, and a wide angle sensor.

    The main camera is impressive, and really shines in high contrast shots with rich colors. It likes clouds and sunlight, which suits my photography style quite nicely. It also has a liking for lens flares, which I am more than happy to exploit.

    IMG_20190520_193845.jpg

    The telephoto lens is not something I use regularly on its own, but I do use Portrait Mode a fair bit. The Portrait Mode on the 7 Pro is significantly more zoomed in than on my OnePlus 5, a change that I am not pleased about. It also has been having issues focusing on a subject for me, although OnePlus has been addressing this, and other camera issues, in software updates. I have found that the depth of field in normal photo mode with a close subject is sometimes preferable to the processed Portrait Mode, which was surprising to me. I used portrait mode a lot on my OnePlus 5, but I am not yet sure if I will use it on the 7 Pro with the closer frame, especially since the normal photos can get a shallow depth of field if the subject is close enough.

    IMG_20190520_193413_Bokeh.jpg

    Finally, we get to the wide angle lens, the camera feature that I was most concerned about. It sounded to me like a gimmick, a little-used sensor just to fill in some features. Surprisingly, in practice, I have found that the wide angle lens really holds its own, and it has earned itself a permanent spot in my toolkit. I don’t use it for every shot, but for those that need just a little more “pop” in the framing, the wide angle lens is a great option to have. I would actually prefer it to the telephoto lens if I had to eliminate one of them, which was not a conclusion I expected to make.

    It is worth noting that the cameras have been having a few problems, and that they are slowly being addressed in updates. I had some pictures in the first update that a strange sharpening around tree leaves, something which has improved already. I am surprised these issues made it into the release, but I am very happy to see OnePlus being responsive and continuing to address these problems. The camera should have had more work put into it before launch, but it bodes well for my long-term ownership of the 7 Pro that OnePlus has been so willing to continue to improve its performance based on community feedback.

    IMG_20190519_120609.jpg IMG_20190519_121632.jpg IMG_20190519_121919.jpg IMG_20190519_203143.jpg IMG_20190520_194148.jpg IMG_20190520_194353.jpg IMG_20190520_200435.jpg IMG_20190521_110753.jpg IMG_20190521_120757.jpg IMG_20190517_102439.jpg IMG_20190519_115422.jpg IMG_20190523_155126.jpg IMG_20190527_121647.jpg

    Conclusion

    It has been an absolute pleasure reviewing the OnePlus 7 Pro for you all. I could not have asked for a better phone to review. Not just because of how good it is—but because there were aspects of this phone that genuinely concerned me as a fan of OnePlus’s Never Settle design practice, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to test it out for myself.

    The move to an all-screen phone creates a lot of problems, and I wasn’t sure if the all-screen experience was worth all the sacrifices that had to be made. Personally, I still feel the effect of many of the compromises. Yet, something about all its quirks makes it endearing. I can’t tell you for sure if the all-screen experience is worth everything you have to give up, as I’m not sure yet myself. What I can tell you is that this is the best display on planet Earth right now, and that I have never loved a phone more.

    IMG_20190516_190127__02.jpg
     

    #16
  4. manuel19 KitKat May 17, 2019

    manuel19, May 17, 2019 :
    Nice unboxing! Really like the 'animation' you did there. Looking forward to reading the rest of your review
     

    #2
  5. ChrisX0z Gingerbread May 17, 2019

    ChrisX0z, May 17, 2019 :
    Good shot with all the "goodies" and the sheen you mentioned does pop nicely
     

    #3
    buntycubal and G_plusone like this.
  6. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 17, 2019

    adamovermeer, May 17, 2019 :
    Thank you! Yeah, it's definitely an eye catcher! It's hard to do it justice in pictures since it is such a "fluid" shimmery effect
     

    #4
    buntycubal and ChrisX0z like this.
  7. ChrisX0z Gingerbread May 17, 2019

    ChrisX0z, May 17, 2019 :
    Same with the OP6T Mirror Black, i usually take my carbon case off & show everyone.
     

    #5
  8. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 17, 2019

    adamovermeer, May 17, 2019 :
    I can't blame you! The 7 Pro comes with a clear case which is very thoughtful, but it still mutes the color noticeably.
     

    #6
  9. ChrisX0z Gingerbread May 17, 2019

    ChrisX0z, May 17, 2019 :
    Yes i saw that and my only gripe with clear cases is the usual dingy tone they get if you're not like ocd wet wiping it everyday.
     

    #7
  10. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 17, 2019

    adamovermeer, May 17, 2019 :
    I definitely found that to be true even within a few hours. I'll try to dig deeper into that soon, plus I can compare with the karbon case I have.
     

    #8
  11. Bouncer71 Lollipop May 17, 2019

    Bouncer71, May 17, 2019 :
    Great start and nice short unboxing..!

    Marked to follow the rest of your review..! 8D
     

    #9
    script, buntycubal and adamovermeer like this.
  12. ChrisX0z Gingerbread May 17, 2019

    ChrisX0z, May 17, 2019 :
    Pictures of the trim would be nice!
     

    #10
  13. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 17, 2019

    adamovermeer, May 17, 2019 :
    Noted! I'll try to get some of those in for you soon!
     

    #11
    ChrisX0z likes this.
  14. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 21, 2019

    adamovermeer, May 21, 2019 :
    I've been posting all the photos I've taken so far on @adam.over.2 on Instagram if any of you want to check those out! some of those will also end up here soon!
     

    #12
  15. G_plusone Marshmallow May 21, 2019


    #13
    buntycubal and adamovermeer like this.
  16. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 7, 2019

    adamovermeer, Jun 7, 2019 :
    compheader.jpg

    OnePlus 7 Pro vs. My OnePlus 5: What Am I Giving Up?

    When I switched from my Samsung Galaxy S5 to my OnePlus 5, the OnePlus was a clear upgrade in every single category, completely blowing my old Samsung out of the water. But now, going from my OnePlus 5 to the brand new OnePlus 7 Pro, it is no longer a unanimous upgrade. So—what exactly am I giving up?

    Some of the trade-offs are obvious, like the loss of a headphone jack and physical navigation buttons, both of which I will address in my full review. What I want to focus on here are the areas where I wasn’t sure which phone was actually better. To me, during my use of the 7 Pro, the two areas that needed in-depth testing were the speeds of the Fingerprint and Face Unlock, and the new Warp Charging.

    IMG_20190601_172046.jpg IMG_20190601_172351.jpg IMG_20190601_172440.jpg IMG_20190601_172410.jpg

    Fingerprint and Face Unlock

    When I first got my OnePlus 5, the speed of the fingerprint sensor made it feel like a phone from the future. Face Unlock impressed me even more, opening almost instantly. I knew that the OnePlus 7 Pro’s motorized camera would make the Face Unlock much slower, as can be seen in my test below:

    face_normal.gif face_8th.gif

    This is a reasonable trade-off for a bezel-less screen, but I was concerned that the fingerprint reader under the glass would be slower that my OP5 too. And indeed, when I first got the 7 Pro, the fingerprint reader was very slow. This was because it required the screen to be on before reading my fingerprint, whereas my OP5 did not. I quickly found that if I set the ambient display to wake when I picked up the 7 Pro, it would then be ready to read my fingerprint whenever I took the phone out of my pocket or lifted it from a table, saving me a lot of time. However, I still couldn’t tell if it beat my OnePlus 5, so I shot a side-by-side video in both normal speed and 1/8th speed.

    finger_normal.gif finger_8th.gif

    So, as it turns out, the 7 Pro is slightly faster! Of course, my hands are not perfectly precise, but I did it several times and the 7 Pro was consistently a tiny bit faster, although the difference is only perceptible in 1/8th speed video. The tapping of the 7 Pro screen at the beginning is to simulate it waking when I pick up the phone.

    Warp Charge vs. Dash Charge

    IMG_20190606_153028.jpg


    When I first tried Dash Charge on my OnePlus 5, its speed blew me away, and I was excited to hear that it would be upgraded further in the 7 Pro. I was not as excited to learn that the power brick had been made substantially larger than the already bulky dash charger. During my time with the 7 Pro, I have been hard pressed to identify any noticeable increases in speed.

    I set up a side-by-side test between my OnePlus 5 and my OnePlus 7 Pro, recording their charge levels in 5 minute intervals from 1% to 100%. It is worth noting that my OnePlus 5’s battery is nearly two years old, and its ageing may impact its charging performance. Both phones were plugged in at the same time and both were on but not used during this test. Within 5 minutes, the OP5 was at 10% and the 7 Pro was at 14%. 15 minutes saw the OP5 at 30% and the 7 Pro at 37%, and by half an hour the OP5 had reached 57% and the 7 Pro had reached 63%. The 7 Pro hit 100% after an hour and a half, and the OP5 hit 100% after an hour and forty two minutes.

    The 7 Pro stayed ahead throughout, but not by enough to be noticeable in daily use. So why is the new Warp Charger so much bigger? Well, the OnePlus 5’s battery has a 3300 mAh capacity, whereas the OnePlus 7 Pro’s battery has a much larger 4000 mAh capacity. If the OnePlus 5 supported Warp Charge, it would be take it from 1% to 100% in just an hour and fourteen minutes, saving half an hour over Dash Charge. The 7 Pro’s battery is a lot bigger, and that extra capacity takes more time to charge.

    IMG_20190606_153709.jpg

    Interestingly, the 7 Pro’s larger battery is weighed out by its higher resolution and refresh rate, keeping the battery performance roughly on par with the OP5 in daily use.

    As always, feel free to shoot me your questions, and stay tuned!
     

    #15
  17. elanglois Lollipop Jun 9, 2019

    elanglois, Jun 9, 2019 :
    Just an FYI. You can get a Bluetooth to AUX adapter for your older music electronics, basically upgrading them to be wireless rather than having your glass phone dangerously tethered to something.
     

    #17
  18. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 9, 2019

    adamovermeer, Jun 9, 2019 :
    Of course, and I think that Bluetooth should be pushed to replace the 3.5mm jack across the tech industry. I am totally okay with the OnePlus 7 Pro lacking a headphone jack, but I think that the inclusion of an adaptor is still necessary to interface with all the various older technologies, and a simpler solution to a Bluetooth adaptor.
     

    #18
    AdikartaDasa likes this.
  19. elanglois Lollipop Jun 9, 2019

    elanglois, Jun 9, 2019 :
    We aren't in agreement.

    Bluetooth uses lossy compression. You've already lost some quality from mp3 or other compressions, now you will lose more from bluetooth. And don't mention aptX, its still lossy, not aptX HD since if your original source material wasn't HD then you are now just ʾmaking upʾ data. Upsampling is a joke.

    Bluetooth also has a bit of latency.

    I would say WiFi (no compression needed) using UDP (low latency) is better for audio, but it will drain your battery.

    As for the dongle, they don't include it because so many people either already have USB C headphones or Bluetooth headphones. Why increase the cost? Studies have shown that wired headphones are now used by either musicians (low percentage) or people that buy low end phones. Those buying high end flagships use Bluetooth.

    My main gripe about the dongle is that they should make a split dongle available so that you can charge while playing music, but it appears that the phone may not be capable as third party products that do this specifically say that it won't work on Oneplus phones like the 6T.

    I have a pair of Bullets C on the way.
     

    #19
  20. adamovermeer The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 9, 2019

    adamovermeer, Jun 9, 2019 :
    I think a split dongle would be nice, and I did have a few moments during my testing where I wanted to charge and listen at the same time, but since Warp Charge works so fast I just charged it up for a few minutes and then went back to listening. Not a perfect solution but in practice I really wasn't that bothered.

    Personally I am a musician, and through that lens I really do wish that a dongle had been included. I heard from several of my fellow reviewers that also were disappointed by the lack of an adaptor, so time will have to tell if it should have been included or not.
     

    #20