OnePlus since the launch of the OnePlus 3 has been launching two smartphones every year. While the first phone of the year gets all the bells and whistles, the second phone with the "T" branding is just a refresh. However, this year is going to be different as the company will be launching two smartphones.
Since the OnePlus 7 Pro came with all the new exciting features, the company has provided consumers with something at a lower price as well, the OnePlus 7. Let's check it out and see how it stacks up out in the real world.
Before I start introducing the all-new OnePlus 7, I would like to bring it to your attention that the OnePlus 7 is essentially the OnePlus 6T but with upgraded internals. Since I have reviewed the OnePlus 6T a couple of months ago. I wasn't that excited at first but when I spent some time with it, I realised that it is a better proposition than the 6T and even the 7 Pro in a few ways.
OnePlus 7 Review: Design
As mentioned above, the OnePlus 7 looks quite identical to its predecessor. It also sports a metal and glass sandwich design. Even though the fragile glass back is here from the last generation, the company has still not added wireless charging support. It is also worth noting that the phone still comes with a pre-applied screen protector and a soft TPU case bundled inside the box.
The company launched two colour variants at the time of the launch, namely, Mirror Red and Mirror Grey. We received the Mirror Blue colour variant for review, which was launched a month after the phone was announced.
While all these colours are reflective, Mirror Red and Mirror Blue make the phone really stand out and look different from the OnePlus 6T. However, I personally loved the Thunder Purple colour variant of the 6T and expected the same to arrive with the 7 as well.
While most of the design elements are imported from the OnePlus 6T, the company has made a few changes here and there. The speaker grille on the top of the waterdrop notch is now bigger. The alert slider is now a little smaller and smoother. Lastly, the flash is now included inside the camera bump on the rear and is a circle instead of a pill.
OnePlus 7 Review: Display
OnePlus has introduced a higher resolution and a higher refresh rate display on the 7 Pro but sadly the OnePlus 7 gets the same display panel as the 6T. It is still a 6.41-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 2340x1080 pixels. While the panel is not as mesmerising as the Samsung ones, but it is still one of the best in its segment. Also, the AMOLED display makes room for an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is now much faster than before.
OnePlus 7 Review: Software & UI
OnePlus has been the king of this segment for quite some time now. The company's OxygenOS brings stock Android experience with an essential set of features added on top of it. Just like the OnePlus 6T, the OnePlus 7 also runs on Google's Android 9 Pie operating system with OxygenOS layered on top of it.
In terms of bloatware, the phone only includes a Netflix app as they have collaborated with OnePlus. Rest of the phone is left clean with a lightweight UI resulting in a fast and smooth user experience. Also, the OnePlus 7 gets support for the Android Beta program, which means the users can already try the Android 10 operating system.
OnePlus 7 Review: Performance
Where OnePlus 7 really distinguishes from its predecessor is in terms of internals. OnePlus 7 comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor. It is available with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. It also gets UFS 3.0 based storage with up to 256GB capacity. All of this combined brings blazing fast performance on board.
As far as the real-life usage is concerned, the great hardware when coupled with smooth and optimised software delivers an amazing user experience. In the 10-15 days of my usage, I never faced any lags even while playing heavy games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9. OnePlus 7 keeps up on the brand's identity when it comes to sheer performance.
OnePlus 7 Review: Camera
OnePlus 7 sports 48-megapixel primary sensor coupled with a 5-megapixel secondary depth sensor. Upfront, there is a 16-megapixel selfie shooter. Since the launch of the smartphone, the company has released a couple of software updates that have significantly improved camera performance.
While the phone does not come close to the likes of the Google Pixel 3a or the Samsung Galaxy S10e in terms of camera performance, it still manages to take some really impressive shots. The images taken from the phone are great for social media posts but where the cameras lack is in the details of the images shot.
OnePlus 7 Review: Battery
OnePlus 7 is backed by a 3,700mAh battery, which supports the company's 20W Dash Charge fast charging technology. Since the battery capacity is similar to the OnePlus 6T, the results are also more or less the same. Yes, the Snapdragon 855 chip inside is more power-efficient and the phone still manages to last through a complete workday. Even when a top-up is required, Dash Charge is quick enough to bring enough power in just half an hour.
OnePlus 7 Review: Verdict
OnePlus 7 is a confusing smartphone, to begin with. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer picked up the OnePlus 6T and made improvements to it, called it the OnePlus 7 and started selling it at a cheaper price. While it might have triggered the OnePlus 6T buyers, others were totally impressed with the new pricing since not everyone can afford the more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro.
However, soon after the launch of the OnePlus 7, Asus and Xiaomi brought in the Asus 6Z and the Redmi K20 Pro respectively. This might confuse the buyer since the competitors are now bringing a much more impressive set of features. While this will not stop OnePlus fans from considering the OnePlus 7, it will open up their minds to look at other brands as well.