74

The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro -Review by Dhruv Weaver

  1. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    banner_small.png

    Hi there and welcome!

    I would like to preface my review with a huge thanks to OnePlus for giving me this opportunity. I feel like OnePlus deserves all of credit they get for their incredible respect and attention given to their community.

    I cannot express my gratitude enough, but it’s time to move on to what you are all here to see: reviewing the newest, shiniest, flagship from OnePlus. I would imagine that most of you reading this have already seen the official announcement, or at least seen/read some of the promotional material. So then you probably know how many gigabytes of RAM it has or how many megapixels each camera has. But the question that I will try to answer, that goes beyond what can be explored in a brief promo or shown on a spec sheet, is what the phone is like in real life? Another quick thing before we begin, I am a photographer alongside a tech enthusiast so if anyone wanted a “one-stop-shop” for extensive photography and camera details, this is it! Also, I'm coming from a OnePlus 5 for the last two years so hopefully I can give some insight into what it is like to use the OnePlus 7 Pro from the perspective of someone using a slightly older device.

    If you have any questions or want me to discuss/test something later on in the review, let me know in the comments! I'll try to answer everything I can, and if I don't know the answer, I'll get back to you

    So what will I be covering in this review?

    • Unboxing and First Impressions (in this first chapter)
    • Display and Build
    • Camera
    • Battery
    • Performance and Software
    • The Little Things (and to what extent it meets my needs as something I carry around everyday)
    Onto the unboxing!

    Presentation is everything. And it had better be good after you just spent your money on something. And well... it is a spectacular presentation:



    small_DSC0004.jpg

    When you look at the box, your are greeted by the striking OnePlus Red that highlights the white box. And then mirroring the glamour of the phone itself, the embossed "7 Pro" shimmers under the light.

    small_DSC0006.jpg

    Once the shrink wrap is removed, you just lift the box slightly over the ground and the contents slowly lower as gravity pulls it down, fighting the air rushing into the box to equalize the air pressure. More of the vibrant red is revealed when the top of the box is pulled off, engulfing the solo OnePlus logo.

    small_DSC0007.jpg

    Within the smaller red box is a small card welcoming you into the box.

    small_DSC0008.jpg

    Flip over the card and you will find an invitation letter (I will let you all read this on your own). The card is sitting inside an included clear case, which I will discuss in the final chapter of this review. Also inside the case is the SIM ejector tool, the instructional booklets, and some stickers.

    small_DSC0010.jpg

    After building suspense, with the slow box opening and the welcome letter, the unboxing experience has peaked one's intrigue. And at this point, you are finally presented with the device itself with the slogan "Never Settle" across the front and a little graphic hinting at the under-display fingerprint reader. Pulling on the little tab will lift the device from its carefully molded container.

    small_DSC0011.jpg

    After removing the protective plastic cover, the OnePlus 7 Pro is revealed in all of its shimmering glory. I asked for the Nebula Blue model (8GB/256GB) and it is an amazing color, that shifts in lightness and darkness with even the slightest hand movement, black and blue swirling around.

    small_DSC0012.jpg

    And lastly, but absolutely not least is the Warp Charger. The gargantuan power adapter and the bright red charger (I set it on its side to show the color and packaging) are seated snugly inside their respective spots. Sadly there is no USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter included.

    And that concludes the unboxing! A fabulous presentation indeed.

    My first impressions


    At the time that I'm posting this I have only had the device for a little over 24 hours. And there is already a lot to talk about in the coming chapters, but here are just some quick thoughts off of the top of my head:
    • The display is just stunning. It is smooth and crisp, with excellent colors. I'll go into this a lot more in the next chapter.
    • The performance is just superb. It's not really a surprise, but should be noted.
    • Warp Charging is incredibly speedy.
    • This is a large phone, not huge, but big with a 6.67in screen and fairly hefty at 206g. Now it should be stated that I have relatively large hands, but for me I find this phone comfortable in one hand, but extremely easy to hand with both hands. If you have very small hand, this is a two handed phone - especially when reaching the top.
    • So far the battery life has been good, getting me through the day easily, but not exceptional.
    • The cameras are actually excellent. After a recent update they have improved a lot. I love the freedom the three focal lengths give me. Also the pop-out camera is cool and surprisingly fast, but I don't really ever take selfies.
    • The fingerprint reader is amazingly fast and feels comparable to the reader on the 3/3T/5.
    • The speakers are awesome, like really, they sound absolutely great. And the vibration motor is amazingly precise and pleasant feeling, and there are a bunch of places where it is used to enhance the experience of using the phone.
    _DSC0013.jpg

    _DSC0014.png

    That's all for my first impressions and unboxing part of the review! So far I'm really enjoying the phone, especially the screen and cameras.

    Again, if anyone has any questions feel free to shoot them my way, I'd be happy to answer them and help you guys decide on buying this phone. I'm thinking that I'll post the most interesting questions I get at the end of each review in a little Q&A section. Thanks for reading!!
     

    #1
  2. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Stickied Post
    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    The Display and Build

    The display of the OnePlus 7 Pro is perhaps the most exciting, fascinating, and impressive part of the phone. Leading up to the launch, most of my anticipation was towards what the cameras would hold or how good the speakers might sound. But despite the rumors, I was not expecting the display to be anything special, even with the higher resolution and refresh rate. Wow was I wrong.

    This display has blown me away.

    disp3.jpg

    This display has a few things that I would like to go into:

    • 90Hz refresh rate
    • QHD resolution
    • Viewing experience
    90Hz Refresh Rate

    The refresh rate is what will stand out to you the most when you use this phone. Some of my friends asked me when I got the phone, "Can you actually tell the difference?". And the answer is yes, absolutely. Scrolling through the interface feels incredibly smooth. It is very difficult to really describe the effect it has, and you can only really understand once you have tried a high refresh rate display.
    This display, no joke, has actually ruined other displays for me. I was recently using my OnePlus 5 (for the Camera chapter of this review) and I was actually taken aback by how much slower 60Hz is. The new refresh rate really is very noticeable. But, as I'm sure you have heard by now, the resolution can be turned down in settings:

    Screenshot_20190521-125639.jpg

    QHD Display

    The other gigantic change to the display technology OnePlus is using in the 7 Pro is a quad-HD display, or a display with a resolution of 1440 pixels across the short side of the display. With resolution dimensions of 3120 by 1440, this screen is tack sharp. This resolution gives it a pixel density of 516 pixels per inch. That's a lot of pixels. That is over one hundred more pixels in every square inch of the display than in any previous OnePlus flagship, and more than plenty of other devices around.

    And this change is also very noticeable. Despite how good the 1080p screens were on previous OnePlus devices, this one blows them away with clarity and sharpness. Just watch any high resolution content on the screen and it will show just how much sharper this screen is compared to other devices. It also looks good. I have seen some QHD displays with a graininess to them, which can be very distracting when looking at a solid color on the display. That is not an issue here. This screen is very very "clean" with no grain or imperfections. But if you want to extend the already good battery life (which I will cover in a later chapter), you can turn down this setting as well, and operate at Full HD instead of QHD.

    Screenshot_20190521-125646.jpg

    Viewing Experience

    This is one of the best displays to watch content on, hands down. The 90Hz refresh rate and QHD+ resolution make this a great display. But it gets even better... it's full screen! There is no notch, no bezel, no interruptions.

    disp4.jpg

    The screen stretches all the way from one edge to another, filling up the whole front side of the phone with millions of tiny pixels. Pixels that can be controlled individually that is. Like the previous three generations of devices (3/3T, 5/5T, 6/6T) this display is AMOLED, meaning that when something is dark on the screen, those pixels can turn of separately from the rest of your content. This means contrast is superb and battery life can be improved by using apps with dark backgrounds. AMOLED is undoubtedly a spectacular technology for displays, and OnePlus executed the implementation of this display excellently.

    Now as I'm sure most of you have noticed by now the curved sides of the screen. And many people have asked if it causes glare that is distracting or annoying. Many of them speak of poor experience with a previous Samsung device. The curved edges on the 7 Pro are significantly more gentle than what can be found of Samsung devices, with a much less steep curve. But with that, the curve starts a little closer to the center. So to answer the question of whether or not this is a problem, I say no. I don't find the glare that comes of the display to be distracting for two reasons:
    1) The display gets pretty bright outdoors, way brighter than the 5 and a good deal brighter than the 6, and that does do a pretty good job of saving the content of the edges from any glare.
    2) When I'm outside I usually use the device for tasks done in a vertical orientation, and most things are closer to the middle so the glare doesn't really get in the way. And when I'm inside watching videos or doing anything that forces content to reach the edges, I don't find glare to be a problem at all.
    That's not to say there is no glare. There is. But I don't find it distracting.

    Another part of the viewing experience people ask about is distortion on those curved edges. Unless you are looking at the device off angle, it looks fine, and it's only when you tilt the phone to an uncomfortable angle that there is any color shift. And for distortion image-wise, I'm not really bothered by how the image wraps around the sides. Some people may absolutely hate curved screens, and that is perfectly fair, but I highly recommend you look at the device in person and try it for yourself before ruling out the device, because the display is incredibly high quality and the rest of the phone is incredibly pleasing to use.

    Speaking of high quality, the phone has some very high quality picture profiles and display options. The settings provides a much more useful and in depth color profile selection tool than before:

    Screenshot_20190521-125542.jpg

    I have mine set to the P3 mode, but others may like other profiles, and that's the beauty of having the option to choose. Another really, really nice thing about this menu is the ability to customize the white-point of the display. I found that at it's default, the screen was a little too cool for my taste, so with a simple slider, I adjusted it to my desire. I really appreciate being able to tune the temperature individually from the color profile.

    Finally, the last major element of the viewing experience on the OnePlus 7 Pro is HDR 10+ support.

    Screenshot_20190521-125739.jpg

    Obviously it can't be demoed with a screenshot here, but with the setting turned on (and it is off by default interestingly), colors in apps that support HDR and HDR 10+ look amazing. It isn't just simply turning up the saturation, it is showing extra details that can't be shown by a standard display. It is a really pleasant effect, and is again a feature that really can only be experienced to truly appreciate.

    And that's it for the display! I'm really quite impressed with what OnePlus has done here, and it is a great display, I don't think it is at all overrated.

    The Build

    I just spent an eternity on the front of the device, but how about the rest of it? This phone is absolutely fabulously constructed.

    Let's start with the sides of the device:

    build2.jpg

    build3.jpg

    The aluminum frame of the OnePlus 7 Pro is just incredibly beautiful. It has this mesmerizing polished gradient going all the way up the side of the phone, from light blue to a deep blue on the verge of becoming purple. It's like watching a time-lapse of the sky from midday to night. On the edges of the device are all of the usual buttons, power, and a volume rocker. And of course the alert slider, which is on the same side as power. The volume rocker has shimmied up its side of the phone a bit which makes left handed use no longer awkward when it comes to adjusting volume with your thumb. But I will say that this has also made adjusting volume with your right hand a little uncomfortable. I think the placement was probably best where it was on the 6T, sort of a middle ground between this and the 6, which was a little too low. But this is definitely not a big deal and if you prefer to use your phone in two hands, this obviously won't be an issue. It's really not a big deal for me with one hand, but I do have fairly large hands.

    Next up, the back:

    The rear panel on my Nebula Blue model is absolutely stunning. I described it in my unboxing section, but it is still causes just as much jaw-dropping as before. The powerful blue sea with hints of deep purple at the top is so pleasing to the eye. It can't really be described, so I'll stop using my words and just let you observe with these photos:

    build1.jpg

    build4.jpg

    That's all folks! I think I have written down all I can think of regarding the display and the build of the 7 Pro. Please let me know if you have any questions at all and if you want me to cover something in-depth in a future review, I'll be sure to do that!

    I'm currently working on Part 3: The Camera, so stay tuned for than in the next couple of days.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019

    #2
  3. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 31, 2019

    Stickied Post
    Dhruv Weaver, May 31, 2019 :
    The Camera

    The OnePlus 7 Pro's triple camera system has been the most discussed and strangely controversial aspect of the device. With numerous threads with titles like "The YouTube reviewer gods have said that this camera is absolute garbage!!". Threads like this are incredibly misleading and are inaccurate, and also are either written by people who don't own the phone or don't understand how to take or photos or that a smartphone camera is not going to replace their DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. As someone who uses professional grade camera gear on a daily basis and has experience shooting on a multitude of cameras, from janky medium format film cameras to modern APSC DSLRs, I can say with confidence that this is a good - no, great - camera, and anyone who purchases this phone will be happy with it.

    I have debated with many forum users who don't understand one or both of these two key things:
    1) How to take photos that are worth discussing. I saw someone saying that the camera was bad and the proof they provided was an off-kilter photo of their feet. C'mon people.
    2) Modern smartphone cameras, especially the ones on the 7 Pro have excellent hardware, any complaints about quality can be fixed via software. So many people see a YouTuber (whose review came out at launch) say the camera isn't as good as others, and refuse to accept that things can change through a software update, as they have. Also an influencer's opinions are not objective fact.

    Alright, I think I have expressed my frustration with the community when it comes to discussing cameras. Moving on to what I think of the camera:

    The Popup Camera

    _DSC0002.jpg

    _DSC0004-2.jpg

    Personally I rarely take selfies. I think that opting to use a popup camera is good for a couple of reasons. The first one goes back to the fact that I don't really take selfies... so for my
    personal use it doesn't make sense to obstruct parts of the display with a piece of hardware I won't miss. And then the second reason that this could be seen as a good change, is for the people who are really concerned about privacy, they don't have to worry about apps always spying on them (from Android Pie onward apps actually can't utilize the camera or microphone in the background, just to be clear to those concerned) with the camera. I actually haven't kept any photos I've taken with the front facing camera, and I'll try to gather some sample images very soon after posting this review and I'll insert them here:

    Images coming soon

    There is a very obvious potential downside though; durability. For those who use the selfie camera a lot and/or use face unlock the motor will obviously undergo more wear. Although, OnePlus says that this mechanism is protected from debris and water via a gasket, which you can see in teardown photos and videos. And to address the issue with the motor itself and the fact that mechanical parts like this wear down, OnePlus has said that their testing certifies it for 300,000 cycles, which translates to at least five years of use if you take 150 selfies a day, raising and lowering the camera each time. With a little math, this translates to it taking about 411 selfies (again, where you raise and lower the camera each time) in order to wear it out in two years. Sounds pretty solid to me. I'm perfectly alright with this hardware decision, and unless you take over 400 selfies a day you'll be absolutely fine.

    The Triple Lens Camera System

    camera1.jpg

    This is an excellent set of sensors, all rendering fantastic image quality and contains a useful variety of focal lengths. I think the best way to showcase the cameras is not with words but by actually showing you what they look like. The way thise will work is I'll link some comparison photos through Juxtapose (per recommendation of @meatandy) between the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 6, Pixel 2XL and the OnePlus 7 Pro, and then discuss what trends the 7 Pro exhibits. All were shot in auto mode, with no edits or exposure compensation, unless otherwise specified. Please note that some images were taken before the latest update. Also, apologies if any of the comparisons don't line up perfectly, it is pretty difficult to match everything up.


    OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 7 Pro

    *use the links to compare the images*

    https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxt...html?uid=00a51fc4-8353-11e9-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27
    comp2.jpg

    Main lens: This is a perfect example of the excellent HDR across the frame,
    while still retaining details and color accuracy. You will also notice that the lens on the 7 Pro has little to no distortion and vignetting, compared to the OnePlus 5 and details are sharp edge to edge, unlike some professional glass.

    https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxtapose/latest/embed/index.html?uid=e3524b7a-8354-11e9-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27
    comp3.jpg

    Telephoto lens: First, I would like to preface this by saying that I honestly don't care that the lens isn't technically optically a 3x zoom, although I would like to see an option in settings that allows us to choose between the zoom mode being optical or this hybrid zoom, allowing the possibility of slightly less zoom but higher resolution. It wasn't right for OnePlus to say that this is 3x optical zoom, but they did advertise it as an 8 MP sensor, which is what the 13 MP sensor becomes after the hybrid zoom crop. These photos are comparing what you would get with 3x crop on both devices, and should represent the difference between the two telephoto cameras in terms of both color and detail. That difference is that the 7 Pro has considerably more detail, and the colors in the 5's photo are way too cool and green.

    https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxt...html?uid=86ae4862-8357-11e9-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27
    comp4.jpg

    Nightscape (OnePlus 7 Pro only): Nightscape clearly makes a huge difference. It takes a scene where almost nothing is visible and actually presents something. This was a very challenging scene for Nightscape, and it is very dim, but that's because this was handheld and the room was nearly pitch black. For those who don't know, if your mount the device on a tripod or another stable surface, Nightscape will take a 20-30 second long exposure which I think is just the coolest thing!!

    Next phone.

    OnePlus 6 vs OnePlus 7 Pro

    https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxt...html?uid=61b859e2-8359-11e9-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27
    comp1.jpg

    Main lens: The difference in contrast and colors is striking in this image. The OnePlus 6 undoubtedly over-does the HDR in my opinion. It just loses too much of the character in the subject. Along with this, the 6's details are much softer than the 7 Pro. If you look at the Juxtapose, you can see that the 7 Pro picks up all of the tiny specks inside of the flower.

    https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxt...html?uid=1645d14e-835c-11e9-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27
    comp2.jpg

    Main lens: This is again an example of how the OnePlus 6 has a really aggressive HDR algorithm, that almost gets rid of the natural contrast in a scene. Meanwhile the 7 Pro still has better HDR, recovering more shadows and highlights, but still dials in an appropriate amount of contrast. Looking closer at the image, the 7 Pro again renders more detail than the 6, which was already better than the 5.

    No Juxtapose link for this one because it is impossible to match the images without significant edits:
    portrait_comp.jpg

    Portrait mode: The most obvious difference between these two in portrait mode is the field of view in portrait mode. Contrary to what some people may think is better (because it fits more into the frame or something), a tighter lens like what the 7 Pro is using is much more like how most portraits are taken. So as someone who takes portraits typically with a 50mm prime lens or a telephoto-zoom lens, I really like that the OnePlus 7 Pro does this. Now one thing I really, really, really don't like are the fake "bokeh balls" that the OnePlus 7 Pro has. They look absolutely abysmal and that is something the OnePlus 5 and 6 do much better and more naturally. I'm not sure what's up with that, but please OnePlus, fix this.

    Last but not least...

    Google Pixel 2XL vs OnePlus 7 Pro

    Everyone is familiar with the Pixel's incredible and rightfully praised image processing. I don't have a Google Pixel 3 on hand so I couldn't compare that one, but I think that the 2XL is pretty similar aside from a few features. So how does the 7 Pro compare?
    I would argue that it does really well, and potentially it is better in many ways.

    https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxt...html?uid=41aae0aa-8360-11e9-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27
    comp1.jpg

    This is the quintessential comparison that basically tells the story of these two cameras. The Pixel is very contrasty and punchy, while the OnePlus 7 Pro is a bit more flat but natural. The Pixel's photos is basically how I might edit the photo taken by the 7 Pro, but is not representative of real life. This is why I prefer the 7 Pro's camera; it is natural and leaves a lot of room for editing. Both are practically identical when it comes to detail - The OnePlus is doing no more of the "watercolor thing" than the Pixel is.

    https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/juxt...html?uid=f88145f2-8361-11e9-b9b8-0edaf8f81e27
    comp2.jpg

    We again see the same trend with colors and contrast in this photo. But actually it should be noted that the 7 Pro grabbed focus much better than the Pixel did. That is something that I haven't mentioned yet, the auto-focus. The 7 Pro uses a complex system that combines laser, contrast, and phase-detect auto-focus. This leads to an auto-focus system that works really well, and has gotten much better than on previous firmware.

    Summary

    This camera is fabulous. If anyone reading this comes across a thread or a comment that claims that the cameras are bad on the 7 Pro, point them here. I especially appreciate the pro mode that OnePlus has in their camera app. It is very intuitive but also very powerful - also thanks to that new (awesome) haptic motor, turning the dials makes the phone make these really satisfying clicks as you pass over each slight adjustment to a dial. I'm really pleased with this camera, and
    I don't have any doubt that I will always have a great camera with me, whether I have my camera bag with me or not.

    Finally, here are some more sample photos, and as much as I would like to post them here, right in the forum post, unfortunately they will be compressed a lot so please just follow the link at the end of the post for a variety of more carefully composed photos, that showcase all three lenses - all are shot in auto mode with no edits. Speaking of which, I didn't talk about the wide angle lens very much, and frankly I haven't used it all that much, but it is a lot of fun, and I'm sure that the next time I find myself in a place with a vast landscape or where some comedic or dramatic distortion would work, I will use it. It is an excellent lens, and I like that the camera has a bunch of great options for taking photos.

    Here is the link:
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Cy71h0T5XHsKhKSWAPlKuqy8k7KfIN_l?usp=sharing

    And of course, please feel free to ask questions in the comments of this thread!
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2019

    #56
  4. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 7, 2019

    Stickied Post
    Dhruv Weaver, Jun 7, 2019 :
    Battery Life, Software, and Performance

    Battery Life

    The battery, after the camera, was a very polarizing feature of the device. MKBHD, probably the most respected tech reviewer around, said that he got around 4 hours of screen-on time. Whereas others, like Dieter Bohn from The Verge, got between 6 and 7 hours of screen-on time. One person's assessment can not give you an accurate idea of what kind of battery life you would experience, so it is important to consider the usage styles of the person providing the statistics. MKBHD is known for (and stated in a recent video) using his devices at high to max brightness, so unless you use your phone like that, his assessment of the battery life won't apply to you.

    So what is my usage like? With school out for the summer, my day consists of many activities, but I am using my phone a lot more than I would during normal days when I have class, so keep that in mind. My days are usually 50% listening to YouTube Music or Google Play Music (depending on what music is or isn't available on each one, ugh) with my Bullets Wireless earbuds. The rest of the time I'm using my phone is spent taking photos, watching videos on YouTube, reading the news, texting with friends, sometimes editing my DSLR's high resolution raw photos in Lightroom Mobile when I'm not at home, and of course browsing the forums. I will also occasionally use Google Maps for navigation. I'm currently teaching myself Flutter for Android and iOS app development, so for these past few days my 7 Pro has been tethered to my computer for quite some time, offsetting the battery statistics, but I have enough data points from previous days to come to a conclusion for this usage style.

    So what is my battery life like? Here's my usage from the first week:

    Screenshot_20190521-173724.jpg

    Screenshot_20190522-174759.jpg

    Screenshot_20190518-210632.jpg

    At this point in my usage the battery was definitely good, with well over 4, and even 5 hours of screen-on time. As the phone learned my usage patterns it got even better...

    Screenshot_20190528-191228.jpg

    Screenshot_20190531-193122.jpg

    As you can see, screen-on time is not a problem whatsoever. Without topping up at any point. And now feels like a good time to reveal my screen settings; the entire time that I have had the phone I have left it at 90Hz and QHD+ (where it adjusts these settings based on content but stays here for most use), and still gotten on average 8-9 hours of screen-on time. Remember, I have also been using mostly Bluetooth audio as well and have left location services on.

    You can turn down the display settings as I discussed in my display review and probably get two days of battery out of this, but at full resolution and maximum refresh rate, I can easily get a whole day's worth of use.

    Standby time is also fantastic. I often wake up after 7-9 hours of sleep the battery only drops 2-3%. There are really no complaints to be had with this battery.

    And when my battery is running low, or I just need a quick top-up, I use Warp Charge. It is really incredibly fast, and just like with OnePlus' fast charging (formerly known as Dash Charging), it has changed my charging habits. Before Dash Charging I would have to charge my phone overnight, but then I started charging it in the morning. But now with Warp Charging, I can just plug in for less than an hour before I go out and get from dead to a nearly a full charge. And if you want to just quickly top up, it takes only around 20 minutes to get about 50% charged. Super impressive. I do wish they included Qi wireless charging so I could charge easily in the car or just have that convenience, but it is what it is. And I'm okay with not having this since, besides the car, I don't really have any wireless chargers around, but I know some people really like this feature.


    Software/Performance

    I used a OnePlus 5 before the 7 Pro so I am not surprised by how excellent Oxygen OS is. The software team's efforts to build a smooth, fast, and simple skin over Android show. For those not familiar with Oxygen OS, it is a very light skin over "stock" Android that, in my opinion, is actually better than the way Google designs their version, unlike all other skins. I really, really like it. It provides the perfect mix of useful features and impeccable performance.

    The first new feature I really like is Zen Mode. Previously, when I wanted to disconnect and just focus on something else I would have to put the phone into Do Not Disturb, but that could just be turned off at any point if I felt like going back to my phone. With Zen Mode, you can't leave until time is up. This is a great tool for those who have trouble staying off of their phones or just want to take a break from the everlasting hailstorm of notifications in their lives.

    zen.jpg

    The next feature that I really appreciate is screen recording.

    record-settings.jpg

    This is something that should have been here from the beginning, but it's better late than never. It's great for easily sharing things that can't be captured with a screenshot (or even a scrolling screenshot). Or for showing off the gesture system:



    The gestures, while at first I didn't like them, after just a day of using them they felt extremely natural and smooth. I recommend this for people wanting to make full use of the screen.

    These are the two standout new features introduced to Oxygen OS with this phone. And I could go on and on with the endless benefits of OnePlus' excellent take on Android. Another neat thing that is new with this phone, and exclusive to the design is how the edges light up with a new notification:

    GIF-190606_215431.gif

    As nice as this is when the phone is right in front of you, I do wish there were an alternative to the notification LED of old. What if they lit up just a few pixels to simulate a notification light? I hope they do something like this, the LED is much missed.

    There is so much more to cover here with the operating system, from the handy screen-off gestures to the fancy EQ menu for your audio accessories (yes, including Bluetooth devices!). But I think the biggest one to make sure I make clear is the absolutely stunning performance. It is
    unbelievably snappy.

    Like I said, this isn't my first OnePlus phone (my OnePlus 5 is still as buttery smooth as it was on day one nearly two years ago) and because of the excellent performance, this certainly won't be my last. I hear so many people say that "Android is slow" or "Android is buggy", but to those people I say this; try a OnePlus device. Even though the phone has a heavy spec sheet, OnePlus does what other phones, even with the same specs, don't. They optimize the software. Even Google hasn't gotten this right with the infamously buggy Pixel 3 series. I'm really not just saying this to suck up to OnePlus, I'm giving my honest opinion here; Oxygen OS is the only operating system that is this smooth, and stays this smooth.

    This life-long positive net performance is of course thanks to the incredible software team working on these devices. Just a few days ago I got a beta update for the Launcher that kinda broke the status bar, so I reported it as a bug. Then, I'm not exaggerating, they fixed it within the day. This dedication to customer satisfaction is incredible, and is really the biggest reason that everyone should consider getting a phone that runs Oxygen OS.

    Speaking of updates, this phone is a part of the Android Q Beta Program, so it will likely be one of the first phones to get this update because of the head-start on development OnePlus has.

    I'm really pleased with Oxygen OS, and I think anyone who buys this phone will be incredibly happy with the speed and utility of the device, all thanks to the software.

    I know I didn't cover every detain of the software, but if you have any questions about it or any other aspects of the device, please let me know!
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019

    #84
    faisal.sidekick and johneebee like this.
  5. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer Jun 7, 2019

    Stickied Post
    Dhruv Weaver, Jun 7, 2019 :
    The Little Things

    This chapter is the wrap up to this review, where I'll discuss all of the little touches that don't entirely fit in any one of the previous chapters. I'll also discuss how this 7 Pro meets my needs and where I want to see improvements.

    The "biggest" little thing for me is the new and improved vibration motor. There's no way to describe the feeling, except by saying that it's really precise and snappy. And OnePlus has made sure that you notice this change. All throughout the UI, the new haptics can be felt. My favorite is when you're in the Pro mode of the camera and when the dials are turned, the motor makes a clicking feeling, as if you were turning a real dial. It is also used when you press the shutter, and whenever I use another device to take a photo, I feel like something is missing to give me that confirmation that I took the photo. The vibration motor can also be used in games, and for people who actually enjoy playing games on their phones it will be really cool. This is definitely one of the best vibration motors out there, maybe second only to the iPhone.

    Another really important part of the phone are the new stereo speakers. Put simply they are actually amazing. It is really one of those things that you need to experience to know what I mean, but the speakers create this "bubble of sound" and somehow actually emulate a surround sound system. This is a gigantic step up from previous devices, and if you like to listen to music or watch videos out loud, these won't disappoint. If you get to try out the device, I recommend you watch the "Unfold" Dolby Atmos demo, it's really cool. I basically never used the speakers on my previous phones because the audio from the speakers just wasn't enjoyable, but now I find myself wearing a grin whenever I listen to the speakers.

    build_speakers.jpg

    The Alert Slider is really useful. If you use a OnePlus device, you probably already know that this is a really handy feature, but for those who have never used a device with a switch for adjusting notification profiles, this feature will simplify the hassle of turning the volume all the way down or using a settings toggle. I can just flip the switch to whatever setting I want, and easily silence my phone. And because it's a physical switch, I can just check to see which setting it's on while it is in my pocket. I don't know why more companies don't do this. Speaking of buttons, the power and volume buttons are very satisfying to use. You rarely hear people raving about a button, but these are actually great buttons.

    The under-display fingerprint reader is actually very fast. I compared it to my OnePlus 5's reader, which was known for it's speed, and the 7 Pro actually unlocks a bit faster. You do have to keep your finger on the sensor the whole time, whereas with the OP5, you could just tap it, but the actual unlocking and authentication process is faster on the 7 Pro. For the first week or so, it did tend to misread my fingers, but with more use, and after letting it learn my fingerprint better, I find it fails less often then the capacitive one on the OP5. I will say that these optical sensors, while fast, tend to fail when your fingers are wet. It's not the end of the world or anything, but it's just something that can slow you down sometimes.

    GIF-190607_131554.gif
    (also there are a bunch of really neat live wallpapers)

    The storage is really fast. While it doesn't seem like something that might actually matter, the faster storage means apps install and launch a lot faster. Installing an app (not including the download since that varies based on your area and WiFi strength) takes about one to two seconds.


    That's about all of the little touches that I have noticed so far, but I'll update this if I find more or remember any others that I forgot to mention.

    How does the phone meet my daily needs?

    I think this phone is absolutely excellent. I haven't found my self thinking, "this phone really badly needs..." the exclusion of wireless charging is a shame, but I don't use it anyway, so it's not a big deal for me. I have heard a lot of people complain about the phone not having an IP rating, but that is actually just a number, and none of the companies flaunting a rating actually offer a warranty for water damage, so having that rating doesn't ensure you will get your device repaired anyway. But OnePlus does say that the device has been "bucket tested" which means that you'll be fine using the phone in the rain or if you accidentally drop your phone in the sink. The only thing I really want to see is video for the wide angle lens, and pro mode for the wide and tele lenses.

    As a photographer I'm really enjoying this camera. No, it won't replace my SLRs and DSLRs, but I feel confident that no matter where I am, I will always have a capable camera. The lens versatility is also really appreciated and I like that this is a trend in smartphone cameras. There was a new update released yesterday, and the camera just got even better. I think I'll update the camera chapter a little later with some new samples. And as a student, unfortunately it's the summer now, and I only had the phone for the last week or so of class, so I can't really test it for that lifestyle, but I think that features like Zen Mode are really useful, and the fact that Warp Charge can charge up the 7 Pro so quickly means that when I forget to charge the phone the night before, I can just leave it to charge while I get ready, and have enough battery power to make it through the day. Speaking of which, the battery will make it through the day, and if you are a lighter user or don't mind turning down the resolution and refresh rate, this will easily be a two day phone.

    I am genuinely happy with the OnePlus 7 Pro, and had I not been given the privilege to get the device for free, I would have bought it. I can't recommend this device enough. It got a lot of bad press for the camera because the "DxOMark update" wasn't out yet, but I have no problem saying that this is an excellent camera. I sent some friends a photo I took with the phone (unedited) and told them I took it on a DSLR, and they all said that it looked great. Here it is for context:

    IMG_20190606_190949_Bokeh.jpg

    If you are avoiding this phone solely because of the camera, don't. It really is excellent and all of the "armchair experts" (as @KeepTransisting refers to them) criticizing the camera either expect large-sensor camera quality or don't know how to take photos. As I keep saying to people, if I hand my DSLR to any random person, chances are they won't know how to use it, and will say that the camera is bad. "A good craftsman never blames his tools" as they say.

    I take so long talking about the camera because it is the most important aspect of a phone to me, and it is for a lot of people, but there are a lot of people spreading misinformation about this camera because they don't know what they're talking about. This camera will be more than enough for everyone, so don't let this be what keeps you from buying the phone. And for me, this phone checks off all of the boxes for me; it has a great camera, excellent battery life, a best-in-class display, pristine software, and amazing hardware.

    That's about it for my review for now! As time goes on I'll add to parts of my review I either forgot to mention or edit things that have changed due to software. Now it's time for a shameless plug: if you like my photos, you can see more on Instagram at @dhruvweaver, and if you want to download full resolution photos I have taken, you can get those at unsplash.com/dhruvweaver. Thanks for reading this and thanks to OnePlus for giving me the opportunity to do this. There will also be an AMA in the near future with all of the Lab reviewers, after we have all used the phone for a whole month. And as always, feel free to message me any questions or leave them in this thread, and I will answer them to the best of my knowledge.
     

    Attached Files:


    #87
  6. eye842 KitKat May 18, 2019

    eye842, May 18, 2019 :
    You don't need to do that, you can always ask a mod to sticky your posts (they did so in previous LABs). All sticky posts will appear right after your first post ;)
    We won't see your reserved post updates as a new post either.
     

    #3
  7. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    Thanks! I also heard that from other reviewers. I'll remove them to clean it up.
     

    #4
    DMack1885 and eye842 like this.
  8. MarkoBatrac Honeycomb May 18, 2019

    MarkoBatrac, May 18, 2019 :
    Wow, I am so excited , can not wait to see op7 pro in my hands ( 3 more days )
    Nice review, waiting for next one :) Great work
     

    #5
    Dhruv Weaver likes this.
  9. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    Thanks! I think you'll really enjoy it!!
     

    #6
    MarkoBatrac likes this.
  10. Bouncer71 KitKat May 18, 2019


    #7
  11. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019


    #8
    Bouncer71 likes this.
  12. meatandy Nougat May 18, 2019

    meatandy, May 18, 2019 :
    DW , if you don't mind . :)
    Could you try using Juxtapose against another smartphone camera during that portion of your review?
     

    #9
  13. G_plusone Lollipop May 18, 2019


    #10
  14. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    Will do! I hadn't heard of that website before, but it looks like it'll come in handy. I think I'll do comparisons between the 7 Pro and the OP5, OP6, and Pixel 2XL. I haven't tried it out yet; do they have to be embedded as links (which would make sense I guess)?
     

    #11
    buntycubal and meatandy like this.
  15. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019


    #12
    Bouncer71 and G_plusone like this.
  16. Moin2200 KitKat May 18, 2019

    Moin2200, May 18, 2019 :
    Wow awesome shots dude! :eek:
    And your profile picture looks great. :cool:
     

    #13
  17. meatandy Nougat May 18, 2019

    meatandy, May 18, 2019 :
    Sounds great !
     

    #14
    Saliou, Dhruv Weaver and Bouncer71 like this.
  18. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    Thank you!!
     

    #15
  19. pacman1969 Gingerbread May 18, 2019

    pacman1969, May 18, 2019 :
    You say camera update really improved camera which really makes me feel better. I order one on May 15th and waiting for it to be shipped to Ireland. What update did this improvement come from
     

    #16
    Dhruv Weaver likes this.
  20. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    1558208891948.jpg
     

    #17
    L1560156693380 likes this.
  21. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019


    #18
  22. pacman1969 Gingerbread May 18, 2019

    pacman1969, May 18, 2019 :
    Thank you so much for your quick reply and help
     

    #19
  23. Dhruv Weaver The Lab - OnePlus 7 Pro Reviewer May 18, 2019

    Dhruv Weaver, May 18, 2019 :
    No problem! Let me know if you have any other questions
     

    #20
    pacman1969 likes this.