OnePlus has always sort of been a niche enthusiast's smartphone brand which may not be as popular as the majors, but it's carved a pretty nice niche for itself by delivering great smartphone hardware at equally great price points.
The company released their first smartphone less than five years ago but today, with the experience gained over the past few iterations, OnePlus is really going after the top dogs in the business with the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The 7 Pro is the first time the company has ever launched a second 'Pro' variant of its flagship and it isn't in vain. It promises a lot on paper and we are already impressed by what this handset has to offer. This phone maxes out at 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The triple camera is a nice addition, but image quality will be the deciding factor, and OnePlus' cameras always left room for improvement.
Speaking of cameras, OnePlus went with a trendy new design among Chinese smartphones: a motorized pop-up selfie camera - this is how some phone makers are maximizing the screen-to-body ratio without notches or hole-punches. The display is even larger than the 6T's and features a 90Hz refresh rate for super smooth scrolling and transitions. The QHD+ resolution is also a first for OnePlus.
Oneplus 7 Pro review
OnePlus' Dash Charge is no more, here to succeed it is Warp Charge, which first debuted on the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition and features a higher 30W output.
OnePlus 7 Pro specs
Body: Dual-Gorilla Glass 5 panes with metal chassis; Aurora Blue, Almond , Mirror Gray
Screen: 6.67" Fluid AMOLED, 90Hz refresh rate, 3120x1440px resolution (516 ppi); 19.5:9 aspect ratio; sRGB + DCI-P3 support
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, octa-core CPU (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485); Adreno 640 GPU
Memory: 6GB, 8GB or 12GB LPDDR4X RAM; 128GB or 256GB 2-lane UFS 3.0 storage, non-expandable
OS: Oxygen OS based on Android 9 Pie
Cameras: Main - 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.6 aperture, OIS, PDAF and LaserAF; Telephoto - 8MP with f/2.4 aperture, OIS and 3X zoom; Ultra-wide - 16MP camera with f/2.2 aperture and 117-degree field-of-view; Dual LED Flash; Video recording: 2160p @ 60 fps, 1080p @ 240 fps, 720p @ 480 fps
Selfie cam: Motorized Pop-up 16MP fixed focus with f/2.0 aperture; 1080p @ 30fps
Battery: 4,000 mAh; Warp Charge 30W proprietary standard
Connectivity: Dual SIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Dual band GPS; Bluetooth 5.0 + LE; NFC; USB-Type C; Audio via USB-C
Misc: in-display optical fingerprint scanner; dual stereo loudspeakers; X-axis Haptic Vibration
Although this phone is competing with the best of the best, it does omit a couple of features, namely wireless charging and water resistance. OnePlus has previously expressed that wireless charging isn't as fast is it would like it to be and we can understand the water resistance is a bigger obstacle with a mechanical pop-up camera. But that does come with a lower price.
Will OnePlus manage to win over Samsung and Apple customers over even with these shortcomings? With the Chinese brand selling phones in T-Mobile stores, it will have a much better exposure in the US and is the first Chinese brand in the US to have the potential to really take customers from Samsung and Apple - which dominate the US market.
This year, the OnePlus 7 Pro is "fully loaded" and has almost all the features that the one-grand-and-up flagships have. The only two things missing now are an official water resistance rating and wireless charging.
Oneplus 7 Pro review
As for water resistance, OnePlus made a confusing statement about IP ratings and the OnePlus 7 Pro. Getting an IP rating will raise the price of the phone but the OnePlus 7 Pro is "water resistant under optimal test conditions" which is believed to be a dunk test in a bucket of water. In any case, OnePlus won't honor your warranty for water damage, but neither will any other phone maker.
Unboxing the OnePlus 7 Pro
We received the North American variant for review, which fully supports all of T-Mobile's LTE bands including the low 600MHz band (71) and is compatible with Verizon's LTE network.
The box itself has a nice premium-feeling matte finish with the large, embossed, reflective "7 Pro". Upon sliding off the top lid, a flat red box can be taken out, which includes a clear case for the phone and an insert with a letter from Pete Lau, the OnePlus CEO.
Oneplus 7 Pro review
There's also a smaller box with a SIM ejector tool, documentation, quick start guide, and a pair of stickers. Every material was meticulously chosen, and the rich-red theme definitely feels premium.
The phone comes wrapped in a frosted material plastic wrap with the words "Never Settle" covering the front. Under the phone is the Warp Charge 30W adapter and cable. The OnePlus 7 Pro does not come with a 3.5mm to USB-C headphone jack and still doesn't come with a pair of earbuds.