Update: Oneplus officially released the oneplus 7 pro
Phone maker OnePlus usually makes comparatively inexpensive premium smartphones that are as good as the more expensive flagship devices from big companies like Apple and Samsung.
With the recently-announced $670 OnePlus 7 Pro, the company just taught Apple and Samsung a lesson in how to build premium smartphones from now on.
Instead of one-upping Apple or Samsung with specs or design, OnePlus thought outside the box and gave the OnePlus 7 Pro a new, buttery-smooth screen that makes a significantly bigger impact than some of the more gimmicky features I’ve seen in recent (and pricier) phones.
On top of the smooth display, OnePlus also figured out how to completely ditch the iPhone-style notch or the Samsung-style selfie camera cutout, with a clever but unproven pop-up camera system.
In no uncertain terms, OnePlus completely outshines its competition.
If you want a pretty phone, then a pretty phone you shall get with the OnePlus 7.
It’s also the first time we’re seeing curved screen edges on a OnePlus phones, which is typically a signature feature on Samsung’s Galaxy series smartphones. The curved display edges look just as good as they do on Samsung’s phones, but you don’t notice them as much while you’re swiping around Android and your apps, or while playing a video.
Indeed, some complain that Samsung’s curved edges noticeably distort content around the edges, but it doesn’t happen so much on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The OnePlus 7 Pro is also easier to handle without a case, which is almost a requisite on the Samsung Galaxy S10, where you have to delicately tiptoe your fingers around the edges to prevent an accidental screen tap.
There’s no notch or cutout for the selfie camera on the OnePlus 7. There’s only screen.
Coupled with ultra-thin bezels around the 6.67 inch, 1440p resolution screen, the OnePlus 7 Pro’s full-screen experience is objectively unmatched by Apple’s iPhones or Samsung’s Galaxy series.
There isn’t a massive revelatory difference while using Android, apps, or watching videos on the notchless OnePlus 7 Pro. But it does feel like everything on the screen has a little more room to stretch comfortably.
So where’s the selfie camera if there’s no notch or cutout?
It’sinside the phone. And when you want it, it peeks out in 0.53 seconds, to be precise. I can’t speak for selfie takers, as I rarely ever take selfies, but it seems quick enough to me.
With that said, it might not be quick enough for unlocking the OnePlus 7 Pro with facial recognition. From the lock screen, you have to swipe up to summon the selfie camera from its hiding place, and it takes just that extra bit of time to scan your mug. It makes facial recognition less useful than the in-display fingerprint sensor.
Good thing, then, that the fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 7 Pro’s is good. It’s significantly faster and less frustrating to use than the fancy “ultrasonic” in-display fingerprint sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S10.
The clear concern with a popup camera is durability, especially if it hits the ground after a drop.
Amazingly, the OnePlus 7 Pro can detect the moment it’s dropped and if the camera is popped up, it’ll automatically scamper back into its hiding place before it hits the ground.
OnePlus also says the popup selfie camera can withstand up to 300,000 raises. That’s 150 selfies per day for five and half years straight. I’d like to meet the person who takes that many selfies.
The real test, however, will be out in the real world. It’s still one more thing that can potentially break. We’ll have to see how the popup selfie camera design fares over time, as actual consumers get their hands on it.
The result is that the OnePlus 7 Pro feels more premium, more powerful, and faster than phones with regular displays when you’re swiping around Android and using your apps. It has a much bigger impact than gimmicky features like reverse wireless charging.
Indeed, the $670 OnePlus 7 Pro feels more premium, more powerful, and faster than the $1,000 iPhone XS and the $900 Galaxy S10, all because the screen is smoother. It’s totally superficial, as the iPhone, OnePlus 7 Pro, and Galaxy S10 are equally powerful smartphones, more or less. But impressions matter, and the OnePlus 7 Pro’s smoother screen gives off the impression that it’s better than more expensive phones.
Running the show from within the OnePlus 7 Pro is the latest Snapdragon 855 processor that most flagships in 2019 will run on. It’s the same chip in the Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup and LG’s G8. And yet, the OnePlus 7 Pro runs smoother and faster.
With the OnePlus 7 Pro, you’re also getting a minimum of 6GB of RAM with the option to go all the way up to 12GB. I’ve been using a model with 12GB of RAM, and combined with the Snapdragon 855, it easily handles whatever I throw at it.
Even the 6GB of RAM option should be plenty for the regular smartphone user, thanks to OnePlus’ lightweight and clean Oxygen OS interface running on top of Android.
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