It’s been a month since OnePlus released their new flagship devices for 2019: The OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. The phone is one of the most awaited devices of the year and with the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company is promising to deliver a significantly better “ultra-high-end” device than ever before. Indeed over the last few years OnePlus has evolved from being a niche brand to actually being one of the most recognized smartphone vendors. With the increased popularity and product maturity, prices have also gone up, and the new OP7Pro carves itself into a higher tier device segment. Still, OnePlus’ product mantra remains unchanged and the new phone promises to deliver outstanding value for the price, being nick-named the “Flagship Killer”.
Today we review the OnePlus 7 Pro in depth, and investigate the device’s outstanding performance, the new unique 90Hz 1440p OLED display, and OnePlus’ take on a new triple-camera setup and implementation of a 48MP sensor. Naturally, we also have to talk about the phone’s new design – characterised by the new full-screen bezel-less display and pop-up front camera.
Let’s start with the fundamental specifications of the phone:
As is expected of a 2019 flagship, the new OP7Pro is fitted with Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 855 chipset, which by now should be no mystery to anyone as we’ve extensively covered the new 7nm SoC in our review of the Galaxy S10 a few months back. The new Cortex A76 derived CPU cores, the new Adreno 640 and the manufacturing process make the S855 the currently strongest Android SoC on the market.
Where OnePlus can differentiate itself is in the thermal design of the phone, and as we’ll see later in our sustained GPU performance tests, the 7 Pro fully delivers on its promises and the new heat-pipe and carbon thermal dissipation layers result in seemingly outstanding gaming performance.
The chipset is accompanied by varying amount of DRAM: OnePlus segments the capacity along with the NAND storage configuration options, starting at 6GB for the base modem, 8GB for the mid-tier, and also a 12GB ultra-high tier variant.
In terms of storage, OnePlus hit it out of the park this generation as the new 7 Pro is the first and currently only smartphone to ship with a new generation UFS 3.0 storage module. Compared to previous generation UFS 2.1 devices, this promises a doubling of the theoretical peak bandwidth, something that is noticeable especially when installing large applications.
Moving onto the design of the phone, the first thing you notice when you have the device in hand is that it’s a notably bigger phone than the OnePlus 6/6T. The 7 Pro is bigger in all dimensions; it’s wider, taller, thicker and heavier.
The back of the phone features a relatively similar design as the 6T: A centred vertical camera layout with a flash underneath it as well as the classical OnePlus logo. The back is still glass; the review unit pictured above is the “Mirror Gray” version which has an interesting holographic effect reflecting off of it. Personally I had found the chemically etched “Nebula Blue” variant a lot more interesting, if not for the colour, then because of the matte finish providing a much different feel to the phone and also not being nearly as big of a finger-print magnet as the glossy variants.
On the front of the phone we find the centre-piece and prime feature of the OnePlus 7 Pro: its bezel-less full-screen OLED display.
OnePlus isn’t the first vendor to come with such a bezel-less design to market, as we’ve seen implementations from Oppo, Honor and Xiaomi over the last ~8 months. How the OnePlus 7 Pro differs from the competition is that it offers the most refined solution to date, with the inarguably best display panel specifications in the market.
OnePlus relied on Samsung to source the screen, and it’s said that OnePlus spared no expenses this time around. The screen is a 6.67” diagonal unit at 1440p, with an exact resolution of 3120 x 1440, resulting in a wide 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
While that by itself isn’t very unusual, what is special about the phone is that this is the first 90Hz display with aforementioned specifications. The new high refresh rate display panel of the phone is very much the killer feature of the OnePlus 7 Pro, and it doesn’t disappoint. To top things off, the panel also checks all the boxes with support for HDR10+, various accurate display profiles, and promise of high brightness. The latter point is something we weren’t quite able to verify, something we’ll dwell deeper into during the display testing section.