OnePlus 7 Pro Review – This is the Best Smartphone so far in 2019
Battery Life and Charging Speed
When OnePlus removed the headphone jack on the OnePlus 6T, one of their primary justifications for the move was to make room for a larger battery. The OnePlus 6T indeed packed a 3,700mAh battery compared to the 3,300mAh one on the OnePlus 6. Many, including us, had hoped to see OnePlus match Huawei and Samsung by including an even bigger battery. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, they finally have. The OnePlus 7 Pro has a 4,000mAh battery, and it really needs it.
The QHD+ display set at a 90Hz refresh rate means the display very likely consumes more power than the FHD+ 60Hz display on the OnePlus 6T. On the other hand, the new 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is more power efficient than the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. So how’s the battery life?
At least in benchmarks, the OnePlus 7 Pro seems to last pretty long. While I couldn’t test the battery life using GFXbench because of the system temperature warning that I talked about earlier, I did test the battery life at 50% screen brightness using PCMark. PCMark’s battery life test does a good job at approximating the average real-world screen-on-time, and the result of 8 hours and 17 minutes matches the battery life I’ve been getting these past 2 weeks. While the battery life on my OnePlus 7 Pro hasn’t been as great as on my OnePlus 6T, the difference is nowhere near enough to be a deal-breaker. In fact, I’ll reiterate something I said before: Battery life be damned, I’m keeping the phone at QHD+ and 90Hz.
Warp Charge 30
With the OnePlus 3, OnePlus debuted its fast-charging technology called Dash Charge. Dash Charge, based on OPPO’s VOOC, was well-received by the community because it not only quickly charged the device but also did so while keeping the phone cool. Dash Charge is outclassed by the likes of Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge 2.0 and OPPO’s 50W SuperVOOC, so OnePlus came up with something new when they launched the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition: Warp Charge 30.
On the new OnePlus 7 Pro, Warp Charge 30 provides 30W fast wired charging through the Warp Charge 30 power brick and cable. When the lock screen is shown, a Warp Charge animation is shown when plugging in the device with the right power brick and cable. If you miss the animation, the lock screen will tell you the phone is warp charging.
We measured the speed at which the OnePlus 7 Pro is charged using the provided Warp Charge 30 power brick and cable. We used Tasker to monitor the battery level, current, voltage, and temperature. We then plotted each value into easy-to-understand charts. We performed this charging test with and without stress. The no stress condition involved simply plugging in the phone and letting it charge while the screen is off, while the stress condition involved running the CPU Throttling Test for 45 minutes, playing Fortnite for 30 minutes, and browsing the web for the remainder.
|Average Current (mA)||3363||2771|
|Minimum Current (mA)||994||376|
|Maximum Current (mA)||6016||4891|
|Average Temperature (°C)||36||38 (5.56% increase)|
|Minimum Temperature (°C)||28.6||30.3 (5.95% increase)|
|Maximum Temperature (°C)||41.2||41.6 (0.97% increase)|
When it’s not under stress, the OnePlus 7 Pro fully charges in about 65 minutes (+5 or so minutes for the current to reach 0mA after the battery indicator reaches 100%.) On the other hand, the OnePlus 7 Pro takes over 90 minutes to fully charge when it’s under stress. What’s remarkable about the plots for the stress condition is that the temperatures aren’t significantly higher than the no stress condition. The histogram for the stress condition seems more skewed to the left which is consistent with our expectations, but the number of occurrences in the higher temperatures is not that significant. That’s the beauty of Warp Charge 30 – it keeps your OnePlus 7 Pro cool even while you’re charging it.
I should note that since Warp Charge 30 is proprietary to OnePlus, you can’t use an alternative power brick and cable, so your choices for third-party chargers are nonexistent. If you really need a car charger, though, OnePlus is offering a Warp Charge 30 Car Charger accessory. The OnePlus 7 Pro now has USB 3.1 Type-C support, but the phone doesn’t indicate that it supports fast charging when a PD compliant charger is connected. More analysis will need to be performed to determine if the phone does support USB Power Delivery.
Update 1 (5/14/19 @ 5:23 PM ET): Changed text to reflect that further testing needs to be done to confirm whether the device supports USB Power Delivery.
Update 2 (5/23/19 @ 4:12 PM ET): OnePlus has confirmed in an AMA that the OnePlus 7 Pro does support 15W USB PD.
Audio and Vibration
OnePlus has equipped the OnePlus 7 Pro with dual speakers – the second speaker grille on the OnePlus 6T was just for show. There’s a bottom-firing speaker on the bottom right side and a front-firing speaker located in the top bezel. The speakers get fairly loud without significant distortion. OnePlus has also partnered with Dolby to provide Dolby Atmos audio enhancement. You can choose from the Movie or Music presets, or leave it on the default Dynamic mode to let Dolby Atmos automatically adjust the audio profile to match what’s being played.
For Bluetooth audio, the OnePlus 7 Pro supports Qualcomm’s aptX HD audio codec. You’ll need a pair of Bluetooth earbuds compatible of streaming audio using aptX HD, though. The new Bullets Wireless 2 are aptX HD-capable, for example. Bluetooth audio streaming is still lower quality than wired audio, but aptX HD support on a pair of nice earbuds makes Bluetooth audio acceptable for all but the audiophiles among us. Sadly, the device lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio output. If you crave a pair of good wired earbuds, the OnePlus Type-C Bullets are among the best USB Type-C earbuds you can get.
An often under-looked aspect of smartphones is the vibration motor quality. The vibration quality isn’t really a selling point unless it’s great, which should give you a good idea why OnePlus is boasting about the vibration on the OnePlus 7 Pro. It’s good, really good. It’s on par with the Google Pixel 3. The vibrations are subtle and feel like they’re right underneath where your finger hits the screen. Typing is satisfying. Like the 90Hz display, the vibration quality on the OnePlus 7 Pro is something you’ll have to experience for yourself.
Besides the obvious 5G model, there are not many differences in connectivity between the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 6T. The Snapdragon X24 modem in the OnePlus 7 Pro supports Cat. 18 LTE download speeds and Cat. 13 LTE upload speeds. In the U.S., the OnePlus 7 Pro fully supports T-Mobile’s network but also supports Verizon’s LTE network. I personally use the phone on Verizon and have had no issues whatsoever.
The OnePlus 7 Pro supports Dual SIM, Dual Standby so you can receive calls and texts on the secondary SIM while the primary SIM isn’t actively being used. Like the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, the OnePlus 7 Pro also supports dual 4G LTE standby. As an American, I don’t have much use for dual SIMs, but I recognize that this is a popular feature in Europe and India.
One minor difference between the OnePlus 7 Pro and the OnePlus 6T is that the new smartphone supports dual-frequency GNSS. That means it’ll have better location tracking in dense urban areas.
To finish up this review, here are some extra details about the OnePlus 7 Pro as well as some screenshots showing off various details that may be important for some:
- The OnePlus 7 Pro is Widevine L1 and Netflix HD certified. This means you can stream Netflix videos in HD. We haven’t been able to stream Netflix videos in HDR, but support may be added at a later date.
- The device can stream YouTube videos at up to 1440p quality with HDR.
- The OnePlus 7 Pro has A/B partitions for seamless updates, supports all the Bluetooth 5.0 features, supports ANT+, supports the Camera2 API, and supports USB OTG.
Now we return to the title and why I dubbed the OnePlus 7 Pro the “best smartphone so far in 2019.” I hesitated to call it the “best smartphone” since I haven’t used every smartphone released this year. However, when I look at what the OnePlus 7 Pro offers at the price it’s being sold for, it’s a no brainer to heap praise upon it.
Let’s start off with the design. The OnePlus 7 Pro is a slim and sleek smartphone with a cool-looking finish on the back, but that’s true for most flagships these days. What differentiates the OnePlus 7 Pro from the likes of the Honor View20, Xiaomi Mi 9, or Samsung Galaxy S10 is that the OnePlus is bezel-less and notch-less. It’s all screen.
So, about that screen. It’s good – really, really good. So good, in fact, that I can’t wait to try out Daydream VR on it even though it’s unsupported – because why not. No other smartphone on the market boasts a QHD+ AMOLED display and a 90Hz refresh rate. The display is the biggest factor in what led me to choose the OnePlus 7 Pro as the best phone I’ve used this year. Of course, it’s HDR10+ certified, too, but that’s just an added bonus.
OnePlus phones typically pack the best available hardware, but that’s even truer this time around. Not only does the OnePlus 7 Pro come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (like the U.S. Samsung Galaxy S10 and Xiaomi Mi 9), but it’s also the first smartphone to launch globally with the faster UFS 3.0 storage standard (sorry, Samsung!) The OnePlus 7 Pro smokes the competition in benchmarks, and it’s probably the best Android smartphone for gaming on the market despite the fact that it’s not a “gaming” phone.
The cameras are all powerful and useful on the latest OnePlus. You’ve got the 48MP Sony IMX 586 like on the Xiaomi Mi 9 and Honor View20, a telephoto lens for 3x optical zoom, and an ultra wide-angle lens. In comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S10e lacks a dedicated zoom lens. While OnePlus still has a ways to go before they can match Huawei and Google in camera quality, the company has made a huge leap forward in the camera hardware they’re offering on their latest smartphone. All that’s left is some fine-tuning.
OxygenOS 9 based on Android Pie is still one of the best Android experiences on the market. In conversations I’ve had with fellow tech journalists, OxygenOS ranks in the top 2 next to the Google Pixel software experience. There’s a general agreement among tech enthusiasts that Samsung’s One UI and Huawei’s EMUI, while much more feature-filled, feel bloated compared to OxygenOS. In addition, features like the full-screen gestures, the built-in dark theme, and permission alerts are only now making their way to the Android platform in Android Q while OxygenOS offers these benefits right now. In addition, OxygenOS on the OnePlus 7 Pro is getting new features like a screen recorder that can record internal audio, a revamped gaming mode, quick reply for WhatsApp and Instagram in landscape mode, and more.
The OnePlus 7 Pro offers a large 4,000mAh battery, outclassing both the Xiaomi Mi 9 and Samsung Galaxy S10e while matching the Honor View20. The OnePlus beats all 3 in wired charging speeds with 30W Warp Charge 30, although the Galaxy S10e and Mi 9 have the added benefit of wireless charging.
Like the Samsung Galaxy S10e, the OnePlus 7 Pro offers dual speakers. Unlike the Galaxy S10e, the OnePlus 7 Pro lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. I haven’t used the Galaxy Buds yet, but my impressions of the Bullets Wireless 2 are very positive so I don’t think you’re missing out on great Bluetooth audio if you choose the OnePlus. The vibration on the OnePlus is way better than on the Samsung, though. The OnePlus 7 Pro’s vibration is on par with the Google Pixel, in my experience.
I hope that I’ve demonstrated that, for the first time, OnePlus’ price hike is justified this generation. You get so much more over the OnePlus 6T that it’s almost worth skipping the wait and upgrading from the 6T right now. The display, design, and performance of the OnePlus 7 Pro are currently unmatched. Because I value these three aspects so highly, I am confident in declaring the OnePlus 7 Pro the best smartphone in the first half of 2019.
Where to find the OnePlus 7 Pro and its dedicated forum!
You can purchase the OnePlus 7 Pro from OnePlus.com in the United States or from any T-Mobile store starting this Friday, May 17th. In Europe and India, you can also buy the phone from OnePlus’ website, though you may also be able to grab the device from other regional physical and online retailers. For example, the device is available via Three in the UK.
|Model||Price (USD)||Price (Pounds)|
|OnePlus 7 Pro Mirror Gray (6GB RAM + 128GB storage)||$669||£649|
|OnePlus 7 Pro Mirror Gray (8GB RAM + 256GB storage)||$699||£699|
|OnePlus 7 Pro Nebula Blue (8GB RAM + 256GB storage)||$699||£699|
|OnePlus 7 Pro Nebula Blue (12GB RAM + 256GB storage)||$749||£799|
OnePlus 7 Pro Regional Availability
- North America
- United States
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- Mainland China
- Hong Kong
If you do buy the OnePlus 7 Pro or want to lurk the forums so you can learn more before you make the jump, you can visit the XDA forums for the device at the link below.