OnePlus 7 Review

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Introduction

OnePlus has really been shaking the market since the launch of its first device OnePlus One and hasn’t drawn to a close as yet. The company has been consistently launched powerful smartphones with top of the line hardware and software at relatively affordable prices.

 

OnePlus 7 Front and Back

 

Each year the company extends its lead in the market by releasing two states of the art devices that are ready to knock down the competition, and this year it’s going to be doing so by introducing OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7.

 

We are going to be looking at the mesmerizing OnePlus 7 today….

Price in India, Variants, and Availability

Let’s begin with the variants that will be available. OnePlus 7 is available in two new colors, Mirror Grey and Red. The smartphone comes in 256 GB, 8 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6 GB RAM. The base variant is available for INR 32,999 while the higher variant is available for INR 37,999, discounts of up to INR1,500 on ICICI Debit/Credit cards available on Amazon.

 

OnePlus 7 Variants

Box Contents

OnePlus 7 comes packed in a fancy and premium white box with the company’s logo branding on top in red accent. Open the box, and you’ll find a transparent back case, SIM ejector tool, and some reading material inside a slim red color box.

 

You’ll then see the phone itself and underneath it, there is 20W Dash charger and USB Type-C charging cable in the signature red color. Sadly, there is no bundled earphones and no Type-C to 3.5 mm headphone converter jack.

 

OnePlus 7 Box Contents

 

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box:

 

– OnePlus 7 Pro

– 20W Dash charging adapter

– USB Type-C cable

– SIM ejector tool

– Silicone-based transparent back case

Key Specifications

Before we begin with the thorough details, here’s a quick look at the fundamental specifications of OnePlus 7.

 

Display: 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED Full HD+, 2340×1080p

CPU & GPU: Snapdragon 855, Adreno 640

Rear Cameras: 48MP F1.7 OIS+EIS, 5MP telephoto lens

Selfie Camera: 16MP, F2.0, Sony IMX471

Battery: 3700mAh capacity with 20W Warp charge

Security: In-display fingerprint sensor

Design and Build

Look wise, the OnePlus 7 is basically a OnePlus 6T with upgraded internals. There are two new paint jobs – Red and Mirror Grey – to help distinguish OnePlus 7 from OnePlus 6T. The third color variant – Mirror Blue – is here, too.

 

Up front, there is near edge-to-edge 6.1-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with thin bezels. On the top, there is a water drop style notch that houses the sensors and the front camera. A thin slit of earpiece grill sits right above the notch, and it doubles up as a stereo speaker for media playback.

 

The OnePlus 7 comes with a glass back with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The dual cameras and the LED flash module are vertically placed at the center back in the top half. And there is a prominent camera bump.

 

OnePlus still doesn’t come with IP ratings although the advertisements suggest that the device is water and dust resistant but to avoid the additional cost and making it go higher in price it doesn’t come with IP ratings

 

OnePlus 7 Back Design

 

The USB Type-C port is at the bottom, which serves as charging, data transfer, and audio port. OnePlus though hasn’t bundled headphones with the box, and you’ll need to buy one individually or rely on Bluetooth ones.

 

The button placement is identical as on the OnePlus 6T, with the power button and alert slider on the right while the volume buttons are on the left. All buttons offer good clicky feedback. The three-position alert slider is slightly smaller than before but has a knurled texture that makes it easy to distinguish. It is a handy way to change audio profiles quickly.

Display

The display of this device is just mesmerizing, there’s a 6.41-inch AMOLED display on the front of the OnePlus 7 with a 2340 x 1080 Full HD+ resolution. That gives you 402 pixels per inch, and it provides plenty of color and detail.

 

The OnePlus 7’s screen has a tall, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, providing you with more space for landscape gaming, and better viewing experience for video.

 

The top of the screen is also interrupted by a small notch, which houses the front-facing camera. It does not get in the way during use, but it does mean you lose space for a couple of additional icons in the notification bar.

 

OnePlus has managed to keep bezels around the screen to a relative minimum, but there is a small chin at the base of the display. However, the smartphone could have more pixels for viewing the 4K videos that are being shot on it.

Performance

OnePlus has always shown great advancement with the performance of its smartphones and this time around too there’s plenty of power under the hood. With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset featuring as its beating heart, you can be safe in the knowledge that your phone is bang up to date.

 

That’s paired with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and in reality, you’re unlikely to see much difference in day-to-day performance between the two models.

 

Apps load briskly and you can easily jump between multiple apps without any sign of a slowdown. It supports multi-tasking quite well, which is highly desired.

 

If you’re someone who likes to play a lot of intense mobile games – we’re talking the likes of Fortnite or PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) with the graphics cranked all the way up – then the 8GB model will fare better, but the 6GB OnePlus 7 won’t be a slouch.

Software

The software has been one of the strong points of OnePlus phones. The OnePlus 7 runs the latest version of Google’s operating system, Android 9 Pie, but it’s not the stock version of the software, as OnePlus applies a light skin of its Oxygen UI which doesn’t mess around too much with the look and feel of Google’s software, rather bundles additional features and for users.

 

Gamers can also take advantage of Gaming mode on the OnePlus 7, which lets you lock the screen brightness, enhance the display and choose whether or not you want notifications or call pop-ups to display on the screen.

 

If you want to take things a step further you can engage Fnatic mode which, when enabled, blocks notifications and calls, restricts background activity to provide more power to your game.

 

There is another mode called Zen mode and it allows the user to take a break of about 20 minutes where the device blocks the access of its user to everything and allows some basic features only.

Cameras

OnePlus has opted for a dual-camera setup on the OnePlus 7, compared to the triple camera setup on the OnePlus 7 Pro. It gets a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 primary sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). This has a 1.6-micron sensor as claimed by the company due to 4-in-1pixel binning.

 

The secondary sensor is a 5-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture, which kicks into action in portrait mode. At the front, this phone has a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture.

 

OnePlus 7 camera

 

When taking shots in the default Photos mode, the camera decimates the 48-megapixel sensor output to return a 12-megapixel picture. Photos can be taken at the native resolution using the Pro mode on the camera if you want to.

 

Outside, in good light, the OnePlus 7’s cameras perform well, providing a good level of contrast and color. Inside the quality dips slightly, but the results are still strong.

 

The camera app on the OnePlus 7 is uncomplicated, with only a few options visible when you load it up.

 

There are four modes to choose from first – photo, portrait, nightscape, and video – but swipe up over the shutter key and you’ll open up an expanded menu revealing more options, including a pro mode and slow-motion video capture.

 

Slide sideways to switch from the standard photo mode to portrait, and the OnePlus 7 does a good job blurring the background around your subject, making for some striking shots.

 

Switch to the 16MP f/2.0 front-facing camera and selfies are of good quality. There is a beauty mode, which is thankfully turned off by default, and there’s a portrait mode available here as well.

 

With no secondary depth sensor on the front, the OnePlus 7 uses machine learning to blur the background. It still does well, but it’s not quite as accurate as of the rear setup.

 

It was being expected that the lowlight image capture would get better with the OnePlus 7 but that sadly didn’t happen and disappointed a lot of users.

 

Video recording maxes out at 4K 60fps for the primary sensor which is the same as it was on the 6T but can’t argue for more. There is a 5-minute recording limit when shooting at this resolution, and a 10-minute limit when shooting at 4K 30fps. When recording footage at 1080p, it is comparatively very well stabilized than the 6T but with the upcoming software updates that can be seen in 6T as well. 

 

However, recording at 4K resulted in oversaturated colors. Footage taken recorded at 1080p in low light had a shimmer effect, which was clearly noticeable. Slow-motion video recording at 1080p at 240fps, or 720p at 480fps is also available on the OnePlus 7.

Battery Life

The battery capacity is 3700mAh, which is same as what you’d get on OnePlus 6T and lesser than what you get on the higher end OnePlus 7 Pro, but out of the three, you’d get the best mileage on the OnePlus 7.

 

The company claims that the adaptive battery algorithm learns and increases the screen on time of the device gradually with use. The 7 also supports 20W Dash Charging which, even if not the fastest, is fast enough for a wonderful experience.

 

Charging the battery is quick with the supplied 20W Dash charger. It could take the device up to 52 percent in 28 minutes, and 93 percent in an hour. The supplied charger can top the phone up completely in one hour and 14 minutes.

Audio and Security

OnePlus has opted for stereo sound output on the OnePlus 7, and the earpiece that acts as a second speaker is considerably longer than on the older model. The bottom-firing speaker is stationed in the left grille at the bottom.

 

The positioning is good since it doesn’t get reduced while holding the phone in the landscape while playing games. The stereo speakers can get loud enough. Quality via headphones is really good.

 

The fingerprint scanner on the OnePlus 7 is placed into the display, and while it does work, it’s not the fastest or most accurate in-screen scanner we’ve used.

 

It’s also not quite as fast as non-screen-mounted scanners, with a split second needed for it to read your finger and unlock the handset. You can opt for face unlock instead, which is breathtakingly fast, but you need to be looking at the device for it to work and it’s less secure.

Pros and Cons

Pros

 

– Blazing fast performance

– Oxygen OS software

– Dash charging technology

– Fast in-display fingerprint sensor

 

Cons

 

– Rear cameras could have been better

– No audio jack or dedicated card slot

– No USB Type-C to 3.5-mm headphone jack adapter

– No official IP rating as well as no wireless charging

Verdict

OnePlus 7 is a seriously impressive phone that checks almost every box out there. What works the most in its favor is the price that it comes with. At a starting price of INR 32,999, it will be a solid ask for any phone to go up against this and come out on top. The AMOLED display is quite good, and when used in synchronization with this phone's stereo speakers, it does offer a good media experience. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor is robust enough to take on anything you throw its way. That, plus 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and the UFS 3.0 storage standard makes the OnePlus 7 very crisp. Oxygen OS is also great, as it has plenty of handy features and customization options. This smartphone can last beyond a day while delivering top-class performance. The camera quality, unfortunately, is where the OnePlus 7 still needs some work, stopping it from being a complete all-rounder winner. The OnePlus 7 competes with its predecessor which is OnePlus 6T and its successor OnePlus 7 Pro as well as the Samsung galaxy S10e, Asus ZenFone 6 and Google Pixel 3a. All these devices don’t possess a real threat other than the OnePlus 6T as it’s basically the same in every aspect, for an upgraded processor and minor tweaks in design OnePlus has priced 7 at 32K whereas 6T is available at 28K on amazon that too 8GB RAM,128 GB storage variant.  It is a hard choice to make between the two unless you’re coming from a OnePlus 3T or even a 5 or 5T, then the difference should feel significant. If you’re going to be ameliorating from the OnePlus 6 or OnePlus 6T the updates are less immediately obvious.