OnePlus 7 Review: Finally playing with the big boys

OnePlus 7 is a powerhouse that is priced aggressively in India. But should it be your first choice when looking for a value flagship?

OnePlus 7 Review
OnePlus 7 Review



Quick Navigation

  1. OnePlus 7 design
  2. OnePlus 7 specifications and software
  3. OnePlus 7 performance, battery life, and cameras
  4. Verdict

OnePlus has been a disruptor in the smartphone market right since the launch of the OnePlus One. The company has consistently launched powerful smartphones with top-of-the-line hardware at relatively affordable prices. 

The OnePlus 6 (Review) helped the company break into the premium smartphone segment. It offered a premium design but commanded a higher price than previous OnePlus smartphones. 


While more expensive than some fans would have liked, the OnePlus 6 still offered great value for money compared to established brands such as Samsung and Apple, helping OnePlus capture a huge portion of the premium smartphone market in India.



OnePlus' six-month upgrade cycle then resulted in the launch of the OnePlus 6T ₹ 32,999 (Review) which managed to further strengthen its position. 

In addition to premium build quality, it also offered an in-display fingerprint scanner, which wasn't very common at the time of its launch.



Samsung is using a two-dimensional approach by bringing the market at the top end while leaving the top spot in the premium smartphone market with the Galaxy S10, 57,790 (review) series, while the OnePlus 7, 32,999 is intended to keep the company's hold on the lower end of the premium smartphone segment.



We have already tested OnePlus 7 Pro already 48,999 (review) and we were impressed with its packing power. OnePlus 7 claims the same core hardware, but it costs more aggressively in rupees. 



Is this the best smartphone you can get on a mid-range budget, or is it worth spending extra for the OnePlus 7 Pro? We put a new onePlus 7 for testing to find out.

OnePlus 7 design

While the OnePlus 7 Pro gets a pop-up selfie camera and a notch-less screen, the same design as the OnePlus 6T in the OnePlus 7 has been retained. 

 
OnePlus 7 Review
OnePlus 7 Review


OnePlus has given a new painting job to help to identify onePlus 7 differently from the old model. It is available in mirror gray or red, and the latter option is limited to the markets of India and China.



We got a red color variant for review, and it seemed a bit attractive to our liking. We will choose the Mirror Gray option on this. 


Although it is a bit disappointing that the design is unchanged, maintaining the look of the old OnePlus 6T could be one of those factors that helped OnePlus to aggressively charge its new phone.



OnePlus 7 has a rounded sandwich frame with a round metal frame. It makes it comfortable to hold. Unlike OnePlus 7 Pro, the display of OnePlus 7 does not have curved edges. It's a 6.41-inch optic AMOLED panel that puts a full-HD + resolution (1080x2340) and also has an in-display fingerprint scanner. 


It is the same implementation as the OnePlus 6T and uses the CMOS sensor at the bottom of the display, but the company says it works fast.



Good color is reproduced in the display and when it comes out it becomes very bright. You can change the color profile from Natural to Vivid, or you can choose between NTSC, sRGB and DCI-P3 Color Games. 


There is also an option to tweak the color balance. This panel does not have a 90Hz refresh rate or QHD + resolution like OnePlus 7 Pro.



There are thin bezels around the display, although chin is very large. On the OnePlus 6T, you get the same waterdrop knot on top, which has a selfie camera. Sits between earpiece display and metal frame.



OnePlus has opted for the stereo sound output on OnePlus 7, and the earpiece working as a second speaker is significantly longer than the old model. Bottom-firing speaker has been placed in the bottom grill. 


We like positioning because there is no problem in keeping the phone in the landscape while playing a game. The USB Type-C port is also the lowest.



The button placement is similar to OnePlus 6T, the Power button and the Alert slider on the right while the Volume buttons are on the left side. All buttons provide good click feedback. 

 
OnePlus 7 Review
OnePlus 7 Review


The three-position alert slider is slightly smaller than before but it has a knit texture that makes it easy to distinguish. This is an easy way to quickly convert audio profiles.



At the top of the device is a secondary microphone. Like the OnePlus 6T, this phone also lacks 3.5mm headphone jack and this time you will not get type 3.5mm dongle in the box with the phone. This would be an inconvenience to buyers, and one plus should be included in it.



For the Protection of OnePlus 7, there is the Corning Gorilla Glass on front and back. It's a shining finish and our review unit has sometimes slid. 


On the rear, there is a dual camera module which is positioned in the center, along with the dual-LED flash.



This camera module extends to a great extent so that the phone is placed on a flat surface. The back does not smell very smoothly, but you may want to use a bundled plastic case to keep the device safe. Supports a 20W Fast Charger and a USB Type-C cable in the OnePlus box.

OnePlus 7 specifications and software

Despite being less in comparison to OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7 sports is the only top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, which is a significant improvement over Outgoing Snapdragon 845. 

 
OnePlus 7 Review
OnePlus 7 Review


The Octa-core Snapdragon 855 is built using the 7nm process of construction. It has four high-efficiency Kryo 485 silver core 1.8GHz, three high-performance Kryo 485 core 2.42GHz, and one more rapidly seen in Kryo 485 core 2.84GHz. Integrating graphics duties is controlled by Adreno 640 GPU.



OnePlus 7 is available in two variants, with a 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage and another with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. 

Red finishes are available only with more expensive configurations, which cost Rs. 37,999 Storage is not the usual UFS 2.1 that most other smartphones use; 


This phone receives a new sharp UFS 3.0 standard similar to OnePlus 7 Pro. So far, OnePlus 7 Brothers and sisters are the only phones to be launched in India with this new storage standard.



Other specification of OnePlus 7 includes Dual-Band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, Dual 4G VoLTE, Five Satellite Navigation Systems, NFC and Common Sensor.



The more popular OxygenOS OnePlus is, if not more, and while keeping most of its essence, Android adds useful features and optimization to the stock. 


OnePlus 7 ships with OxygenOS 9.5 on top of Android 9 Pie Our unit was running a March security patch, which is a bit dated.



Most features of OxygenOS have been extended beyond oneplus 6T, although there are some new touches. This phone has the same gaming mode as we have seen before, but the new pneumatic mode available on OnePlus 7 Pro is missing here. 


(Update June 5: OnePlus 7 has now been updated with the security patches of April 2019 and this review is in phonetic mode after publication.)



The Digital wellbeing feature of Android helps you monitor your smartphone usage. OnePlus has added even more Zen mode. 


This disables all the functions on your phone except for the emergency call and the ability to receive and take photos. Once enabled, you can not close it for 20 minutes. This can be a good way to forcibly separate themselves from digital distraction.



In the review of OnePlus 7 Pro, we have covered other features of OxygenOS, including Quick Launch, RAM boost, and a few others.

OnePlus 7 performance, battery life, and cameras

The first thing we noticed about OnePlus 7 was that it did not feel as heavy or slippery as the OnePlus 7 Pro. We need not worry about this 

 
OnePlus 7 Review
OnePlus 7 Review


The OnePlus 7 delivers snappy performance, and no action is done during the Snapdragon 855 down. Given the fact that our unit had 8GB of RAM, we could also easily run in apps



We found the in-display fingerprint scanner to be quicker than one on the OnePlus 6T, helping the OnePlus 7 to unlock itself faster. 

Face recognition is also supported, but its effectiveness depends on ambient light. In the right conditions, it's also quick to unlock the smartphone just by looking in its direction.

We were happy with the AMOLED panel on OnePlus 7, and the stereo speakers help improve the overall experience when watching videos and playing games. 


Both speakers can get loud and the output quality is close to what the Pixel 3 ₹ 57,695 (review) devices put out. Dolby Atmos is also supported, and lets you choose different audio profiles.



After running our usual benchmark tests, we were not surprised to see that OnePlus 7 managed to score very well. 


In AnTuTu, the 7 managed to clock 375,219 points. It scored 3,536 and 11,192 in Geekbench 4's single-core and multi-core tests respectively.



In the GFXBench's Car Chase test, the OnePlus 7 managed 37fps, the Samsung Galaxy S10 trio It also managed to clock 60,146 points in Ice Storm Unlimited thanks to its powerful processor, The OnePlus 7 will load any current-day game. 

We played PUBG Mobile, Brawl Stars, and Asphalt 9: Legends PUBG Mobile ran smoothly at the High Preset without any hint of lag. 


We played it for 30 minutes and found that the phone got slightly warm to the touch, but it did not become uncomfortable at any point.



The battery capacity on the OnePlus 7 is unchanged compared to that of the OnePlus 6T, at 3700mAh. OnePlus has bundled the same 20W charger in the box but has dropped the Dash Charge branding. 


In our HD video loop test, the phone managed to go on for 15 hours and 16 minutes. The OnePlus 6T, probably due to the power-efficient processor



With our usage, which included the active WhatsApp account, running a couple of benchmarks, taking camera samples and playing games, the phone managed to still have its power of 30% remaining on the 24 hours of the end.



Charging the battery is quick with the supplied 20W charger. It could take up the device up to 52 percent in 30 minutes, and 93 percent in one hour. The supplied charger can top up the phone in one hour and 16 minutes.


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, PDAF, and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS). 

This sensor has a 0.8-micron pixel size but the company claims a 1.6-micron pixel size due to 4-in-1 pixel binning. 


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



When taking shots in the default photos mode, the camera oversamples the 48-megapixel sensor output to return a 12-megapixel picture. 

You can take photos on the native resolution using the Pro mode on the camera if you want to In Daylight, The OnePlus 7 Objects at a distance are well Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro, 


The OnePlus 7 lacks the autofocus, but it still focuses on the focus and exposure quickly If the light is hard, the phone turns the HDR automatically.



While taking macro shots during the day, the phone was quick to lock the focus. There were decent details in the pictures, but the colors were not accurate. 

While taking photos of flowers, we saw that the smartphone promoted the colors, so that they look artificial. This caused little damage in detail. 


In low light, the phone will take a little more time to lock the focus. We thought we needed to take a second shot in some cases.



In Portrait mode, the edge was acceptable to detect, but our topics were not always fast. While taking portrait shots in a bright environment.


We saw that the phone would take the average of the frame, and despite tapping on the subject to accurately meter the face. As a result, the face of the subject was a little restored.



Landscape shots taken in low light were of little noise and good detail. Switching to NightScape mode helped to get a brighter image overall. 


To get OnePlus 7 we had to tap the screen several times, where we wanted to. The noise was well controlled in night shots, but you can easily spot the grain by zooming in.



Video recording is a maximum of 4K 60fps for the primary sensor. There is a 5-minute recording limit when shooting at this resolution, and there is a 10-minute limit when shooting at 4K 30fps. 
 
OnePlus 7 Review
OnePlus 7 Review

While recording the footage at 1080p, we found that it was very well stable. However, as a result of the recording on 4K, there were overcrowded colors. 

The footage recorded in 1080p in low light had a shimmering effect, which was clearly noticeable. Slo-motion video recording is also available on 1080p at 240fps or 720p at 720pps on OnePlus 7.

Verdict

While the OnePlus 7 Pro was specced to take on current-gen flagships, the OnePlus 7 is designed to help the company retain its position in the low-cost flagship space. 


What we like about OnePlus 7, apart from its aggressive price, is its hardware. The AMOLED display is quite good, and when used in conjunction with this phone's stereo speakers, it does offer a good media experience.



The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor is powerful enough to take on anything you throw its way. That, plus 6GB or 8GB of RAM, and the super fast UFS 3.0 storage standard makes 


the OnePlus 7 very snappy. OxygenOS is also great, as it has plenty of handy features and customization options.



The battery life of the OnePlus 7 was another highlight in our testing. This smartphone can last beyond a day while delivering top-class performance. 


Unfortunately, camera quality is where the OnePlus 7 still needs some work, stopping it from being a complete all-rounder.



Since the OnePlus 7 is one of the very few smartphones using the Snapdragon 855 in India at the moment, it does not have a lot of competition to deal with. 

If you don't care very much about camera performance, the OnePlus 7 is well worth considering for its asking price. 

However, with the launch of the Asus ZenFone 6 and the Redmi K20 Pro lined up, you might want to wait a little while to see what these upcoming phones have to offer.


Buy OnePlus 7  (Rs 32,999) from Amazon


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