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OnePlus 7 Series Hands-On Review | Flagship Features Without the £1000 Price Tag

Your new favourite smartphone maker?

We really rate OnePlus devices here at Direct Mobiles. They consistently punch clean above their weight when it comes to price and performance. The relatively young Chinese firm has gained a reputation of providing extremely powerful and well designed handsets at a much more affordable price than some of the competition.

Two flagships

This is the first time though that OnePlus is releasing two devices at the same time, the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. They’re both flagships but the Pro model has been marketed as an ‘ultra flagship, both with varying memory and storage options. Starting at £499 pounds for the OnePlus 7 with 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of onboard storage and just £50 more for an 8GB version with 256GB of RAM.

OnePlus 7 Pro in nebula blue

The more affordable, non-Pro version

The OnePlus 7 has a flat 6.4 inch OLED display with the top notch that houses a 16 megapixel front-facing camera. It gives it a similar appearance to OnePlus 6T. The fingerprint scanner is still under the display, but this time is faster than ever and has a much larger reading area, making it easier to use and more reliable.

The main cameras have seen a huge jump from resolution since the OnePlus 6T, 48 megapixels for its main sensor and with a five megapixel secondary lens for portrait shots. The 3700mAh battery powers a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and runs on the very latest version of the company’s oxygen UI skin, which is based on Android 9. The specs definitely suggest a flagship device, it even has stereo speakers, which deliver a very good quality of sound. And it’s the same stereo speakers that are found in the more expensive Pro.

The Pro

The Pro version starts from £649 pounds for the 8GB / 128GB version and up to £799 pounds for the 12GB / 256GB version.

OnePlus 7 series

One thing to bear in mind though, is that there is no expandable storage in any of the OnePlus 7 Series. So in the long run, it might be worth spending a little bit extra to get the largest storage options, although they both do support dual SIMs.

Definitely the most striking thing about the Pro is the screen, it’s bright and vivid and it’s a huge display, uninterrupted by any kind of camera gear. It’s a 6.7 inch fluid AMOLED display with 1440 x 3120 resolution, very dense at 514 PPI, with a 90 hertz refresh rate and it’s HDR 10 + compliant.

OnePlus 7 series

It is a really great device for watching content, as both the sound and the vision are top notch. It’s also a great device for gaming with its regular gaming mode. And there’s an enhanced-gaming mode which was created together with professional eSports gamers. Fnatic mode will restrict all your notifications except low battery and timer alarms and will focus as much processing power as possible towards your game, and it even warns you that it may cause glitches in other apps.

The network enhancement also uses your SIM card to strengthen the signal and minimise interference in low latency games. There’s also an improved haptic feedback for gaming and a ten layer liquid cooling system, which OnePlus claim will allow your device to remain cool even after prolonged an intensive use and will not overheat or slow down in performance.

OnePlus 7 series

There’s a 16 megapixel pop-up selfie camera, which takes roughly a second to fully deploy. Around the back there’s a new triple camera system with a 48 megapixel main sensor, a 16 megapixel ultra-wide camera and an 8 megapixel telephoto lens. It’s a very strong camera setup, it’s giving you plenty of versatility and surprisingly good image quality, especially for the video.

OnePlus 7 Pro pop up camera
The OnePlus 7 Pro has a pop-up camera that takes about a second to deploy.

The 4K, 60 frames per second stabilised footage, although restricted to five minutes in length, shows great image quality and stabilisation improves if you drop down to 1080p. The slo-mo video is also very good, allowing for continuous recording at 240 frames per second in 1080p and for a one minute recording at 480 frames per second in 720p, which I think is much more useful than the slow-mo that we’re used to seen on other flagships, which allows for shooting at 960 frames per second, but the capture time is just one or two tenths.

We do love a slow-mo comparison here at Direct Mobiles. So stay tuned as we will be comparing the slow-mo from all of this year’s top flagships very soon.

The OnePlus 7 Pro has a 4000mAh battery, and it probably needs it, the high resolution 90Hz AMOLED screen is bound to draw more power. The battery supports OnePlus’ new Warp Drive system, which can charge this device at 30 watts, getting you powered up in no time.

OnePlus 7 Pro in blue

OnePlus devices are usually always based around speed, and OnePlus have done everything they can possibly do to squeeze out every drop of performance to give you an extremely fast and smooth experience. The internal memory, although limited because there is no expansion, is one of the first devices to carry the new ultra fast storage standard, UFS 3.0, plus also has RAM boost which is a software feature that utilises some of the unused RAM to store your predicted programs and data, so it’s there and very quickly accessible to you.

The Oxygen OS skin is very lightweight and has a really nice look and feel to it. The Community app comes pre-installed with all OnePlus devices and it’s a great way to interact with OnePlus community and get tips and advice on your new device.

OnePlus has also announced a 5G version of the OnePlus 7 Pro, which is exclusive to EE, taking its emphasis on speed to a new level.

Water resistant, but not officially

There has been some criticism in the past with OnePlus releasing flagship devices without an IP rating. And OnePlus 7 Series is again missing any kind of IP certification. But OnePlus recently defended their decision not to include it by suggesting that their device is actually resistant to water. However, rather than spend money on attaining an IP rating for it, it would rather put that money into their device. Many manufacturers do claim that their phones are water resistant, but at the same time, they don’t offer warranty repairs or replacements for devices that are water damaged. So it seems like while the OnePlus 7 Series is actually resistant to water, OnePlus isn’t going to tell you that it is.

Colours

The OnePlus 7 Pro is available in three colours. Nebula Blue is only available with the 12GB top model, whereas the rest of the range will be available in Mirror Grey and Almond. The OnePlus 7 however, will only be available in the Mirror Grey.

OnePlus 7 Series in almond

We’ve been very impressed by this device, and it’s very well priced despite having the very latest mobile tech and some very clever software in there. The screen really is impressive and so is the sound for that matter. This really is a phone that can go toe-to-toe with the £1000 ultra-premium phones that we’re seeing, but for considerably less.

The Good

  • Powerful spec without the premium +£1000 price tag
  • Great for gamers
  • Pop-up camera means the display covers the entire front of the phone

The Not-so-good

  • No expandable memory
  • Water resistant but without an official IP rating

If you want to check out the latest UK deal on the OnePlus 7 Pro, we’ve rounded up the best available here.  You can also watch the full video review on the OnePlus 7 Series over on our YouTube channel.

What do you think of the OnePlus 7 Pro? Let us know in the Comments below or tweet us on Twitter.

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