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OnePlus 7 Review – Display, Camera, Benchmarks And More
OnePlus is one of the popular smartphone brands known for its affordable flagship killer models. This time, the company took a different path by launching two smartphones together for the first time. And, it priced one of its devices in the premium category and has high-end features taking the brand to a new category. The other device - the OnePlus 7 has the usual aspects that we have seen from the company in terms of features and pricing.
- Snappy and responsive display
- Long lasting battery life
- Lag-free performance
- Lacks IP rating
- No support for wireless charging
- Misses the headphone jack
OnePlus opened up a new segment for affordable flagships with its previous offerings and continues the same with the OnePlus 7 while the 7 Pro has taken the company uphill. It comes as a rival to the smartphones from Xiaomi, Asus, Huawei, Samsung and other smartphones in this price bracket. So, here's a review of what we think about the OnePlus 7. Do give it a read.
Design And Build
At the first glance, you might mistake the OnePlus 7 to the OnePlus 6T. Well, it is quite identical to the 6T, which was launched late last year as an incremental upgrade to OnePlus 6. However, the latest flagship is different in terms of innards. Notably, the design and display have been borrowed from the 6T.
The OnePlus 7 has a waterdrop notch, a slippery back, a noticeable camera bump and dual cameras similar to the 6T. And, also it misses out on the headphone jack and an official IP certification for water resistance though it is claimed to be splash resistant.
Talking about the differences, the latest offering does have the company's signature alert slider at the right edge but it is a tad smaller than the one on the previous generation models. It has a waterdrop notch at the top center of the screen to conceal the selfie camera. Below the alert slider is the power button while the volume controls and the SIM tray is at the left edge.
Moving on to the rear, there are dual cameras stacked vertically at the top center of the rear panel. Also, there is a dual LED flash beneath the camera sensors. These are enclosed within a silver elliptical ring, which has a noticeable bump. And, there is a OnePlus logo under the camera at the rear. As there is an in-display fingerprint sensor, there is no physical fingerprint sensor at the rear similar to the OnePlus 6T.
I am using the Mirror Gray color variant of the OnePlus 7. While the rear is nice and glossy, the downside is that it is too slippery. The device doesn't offer a good grip without a protective case snapped on to it but thanks to the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection at the rear and the better Gorilla Glass 6 at the front.
On the whole, the design is good attractive and on par with the similarly priced smartphones except for a few misses such as IP certification. But I would like to have a 3.5mm headphone jack on the device.
OnePlus 7 is fitted with a 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display with a FHD+ resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels. The display has a waterdrop notch as mentioned earlier and this takes the aspect ratio to 19.5:9 and the screen-to-body ratio to 85.5%. The front panel has the Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection making it more durable. And, there is an in-display fingerprint sensor as well.
While the upgraded Pro variant has dual curved edges and a QHD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate, this one comes with the usual FHD+ panel and 60Hz refresh rate. Still, the OnePlus 7 is no meager in terms of display performance. Under the display settings, you will find vivid, natural and advanced calibrations of which I like the vivid option over the rest.
The screen is vivid and displays vibrant and punchy colors. Also, it is too smooth and fast without any lag. And, the OLED panel displays accurate colors including deep blacks that are great while watching movies. The in-display fingerprint sensor on the smartphone is quite fast and unlocks the device in a jiffy.
Digging into the settings, you will get options such as Night Mode and Reading Mode to optimize the overall visual experience of the smartphone at night and while reading text. While there is a notch at the top, you can hide it by heading onto the settings. But I feel it is not good to hide as it gives a black patch at the top, which isn't too good to view.
As the legacy of OnePlus continues, the OnePlus 7 comes with the current generation flagship smartphone from Qualcomm. Well, it gets powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC, which is seen in other flagship smartphones launched this year. This processor is based on the 7nm architecture and is known for its lower power consumption than the previous generation chip used by the OnePlus 6T.
This chipset comes with the latest LTE modem and better internet speed (be it WiFi or cellular data). Also, when it comes to performance, it delivers a smooth and lag-free performance be it any task such as gaming, photo editing, watching a movie, etc. I use the variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage space and it is quite efficient in handling all the tasks.
On the gaming front, the OnePlus 7 handled all the everyday tasks such as multitasking and entertainment. I used it to play graphic intense games such as PUBG and it did deliver a smooth gameplay without any lag.
Talking about benchmarking scores, the device scored 3,63,313 points in the AnTuTu benchmark. Notably, this score is higher than that of the Asus ZenFone 6Z, which scored 3,25,357 in the same benchmark platform. And, in Geekbench 4, the OnePlus 7 scored 3,409 points in the single-core test and 10,565 points in the multi-score test. In this, the Asus offering scored almost similar 3,442 in single-core and 10,564 points in the multi-score tests.
When it comes to the 3DMark gaming benchmark, the OnePlus smartphone scored 4881 points in the Sling Shot Extreme - Vulkan test, which is relatively lower than that of the ZenFone 6Z, which scored 4,961 points. These scores show that the device is on par with the rivals in the affordable flagship market segment.
As the OnePlus 7 misses out on the headphone jack, I had to depend on Bluetooth headphones for all audio-related tasks. However, the one thing that I liked with this device is the presence of stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support. Though you can customize this setting between Dynamic, Movie and Music for the best experience. When used at high volume levels, there is a slight distortion in the audio output but it is great at medium volume.
OnePlus runs Android 9 Pie topped with the Oxygen OS. The device has received an update taking it to Oxygen OS 9.5.5. Well, the custom skin from OnePlus is like stock Android and has minimal customizations. As a result, the device is not preloaded with any bloatware except for a few useful ones such as File Manager, OnePlus Switch, etc.
Also, there are some useful gestures that enhance the overall user experience. The three-finger screenshot is one noticeable gesture. Besides this, there are modes such as Fnatic mode for gaming and Zen mode, which is something like digital wellbeing. Also, there is the usual Reading mode, Night mode and others. As it is a flagship device, the OnePlus 7 will get the Android Q Beta sometime soon and the device will get two years of OS update support.
The camera interface is quite simple as we have seen in the previous OnePlus smartphones. OnePlus 7 camera modes include Pro mode, Nightscape mode, Portrait, Video, Time-lapse, Panorama and Slow-motion. It is possible to add these various modes to the main camera interface from the camera settings. Also, there are features such as Shot on OnePlus watermark, Mirrored photo for selfies, horizontal line reference in Pro mode and more.
OnePlus smartphones started integrating Google Lens and all these devices come with support for this feature in the camera app. With this feature, the camera can recognize email addresses, phone numbers, barcodes and more. All you need to do is long press on the camera interface to activate Google Lens. This feature will be further enhanced with the Smart Content Detection option turned on.
48MP Primary Camera
Of the dual rear cameras on the OnePlus 7, the primary sensor is a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.7 aperture, OIS and PDAF. There is HDR, Nightscape, panorama, Pro mode and other features. This device supports video recording at 2160p at 30fps/60fps. Also, there is slow motion video recording support.
Well, the device can capture both 12MP and 48MP shots as with any other smartphone with a similar capability. Though the 12MP shots are good enough, if you want to capture high-resolution photos, then you use the Pro mode and choose 48MP to capture images at the high-resolution. As seen in the camera sample above, the 48MP photo has immense details and is great to look at even when zoomed in than the 12MP shot. However, it takes a toll on the color contrast as the photo appears to be a little washed out. But I still like the immense amount of details that it can capture even in low-light.
5MP Depth Sensor
As with any other smartphone, the OnePlus 7 also comes with a Portrait mode. The secondary sensor at the rear is a 5MP depth sensor and it has f/2.4 aperture. It does a good job in taking portrait shots with the background blur as seen in the camera sample above. You can adjust the distance based on the depth effect as displayed in the screen before clicking the shot. The shots have a lot of detail and rich colors. Even the Nightscape mode does a good job without much compromise on details though there is a little noise.
The 16MP selfie camera is housed within the waterdrop notch at the front. It has f/2.0 aperture and screen flash. The selfie camera products decent colors and details. But in some cases such as portrait selfie shots, the photos appear to be rich on contrast and sharpness thereby giving an artificial look to the shots. However, in the standard selfie mode, it is pretty acceptable in terms of quality with near natural colors.
OnePlus 7 gets the power from a 3700mAh battery with 20W fast charging support. In terms of battery life, on moderate usage for everyday tasks with data or WiFi turned on all the time and with at least 4 to 5 apps running in the background, the device managed to last a few hours past a day without any issues. Even on watching a movie, it dropped just 4% charge.
The fast charger does a good job by charging the OnePlus 7 up to 100% 1 hour and 14 minutes, which is impressive as I need not carry the charger or a power bank with me. And, it does not get overheated during the charging process. Though the wireless charging support is missing on this smartphone, I personally do not regret its absence. But having it would have been good as it is a flagship device.
The OnePlus 7 sits between the OnePlus 6T and 7 Pro. It is priced at Rs. 32,999 and Rs. 37,999 for the two storage configurations. And, it does have the right blend of specifications, features and pricing for an affordable flagship. The company has kept up to its legacy by adding all the usual features in the smartphone.
It does miss out on some features that are seen in Android flagships such as water resistance and wireless charging. And, yes, how can I forget the lack of the headphone jack on this flagship device. The device is for those who want to experience a flagship level performance without spending a whole of money on the purchase.
I feel that the OnePlus 7 is a good buy for those looking out for a great overall performance though not too exceptional as the devices in the premium market segment. But yes, it costs much lower than flagships from Apple, Samsung and others and the OnePlus 7 Pro itself.