It’s hard to believe how quickly new smartphone releases come sometimes, but here we are, witnessing the launch of the seventh OnePlus series. In a normal generation, today’s launch would usher in the OnePlus 7, but instead, we’re seeing the higher-end Pro variant. Rumor has it that an actual OnePlus 7, spec’d similarly to the 6T, will come later.
There are so many things to talk about with OnePlus today, that it’s hard to pick a place to begin. The company didn’t only release a new smartphone; it also launched a program that lets those in North America with aging OP phones partake in a trade-in program to help them upgrade easier. The cool thing is that every OnePlus device is eligible, including the original.
But back to the 7 Pro. Versus the 6T, the new flagship is bigger, at 6.67 inches, and heavier, at 206 grams. It’s not as though that extra bulk doesn’t introduce a number of benefits, though. The front camera is now inside the top of the device, meaning there’s no more notch, and that’s great since this screen is meant to be one of the best available (with hands-on first impressions around the web largely agreeing so far).
The most unique perk of the 7 Pro’s OLED screen is that it operates at 90Hz, 50% higher than the majority of the competition. If that seems minimal, you may be surprised how much you’d notice a difference after moving from it, back to 60Hz. I used to be someone who couldn’t “feel” the difference of high refresh rates in gaming until I actually spent a month with a 100Hz+ monitor. Ever since then, even 60GHz feels lacking, as ridiculous as it may sound. The increased fluidity makes for a more pleasant experience.
I also happen to be a big fan of ultrawide monitors, so the 7 Pro strikes me as particularly cool because it almost shares the same resolution of the monitor I use: 3120×1440 (OP7 Pro) vs. 3440×1440 (Acer Predator X34). Thanks to its more modest form-factor (the X34 is hard to fit in a pocket), little can touch the 7 Pro on crispness, which boasts 516 pixels per inch. Enhancing things even further, the screen supports HDR10 and HDR10+, so all things considered, this is definitely one of the best smartphone screens going.
The camera system has also seen a boost with the 7 Pro, with the back of the device sporting three lenses, including one each for ultra-wide (16 megapixel) and telephoto (8 megapixel) views. Notably, the main 48 megapixel camera supports a 3x optical zoom, which is a welcomed feature. We haven’t seen an optical zoom on a OnePlus for a couple of generations, and when it was there, it was only 2x. I find myself using the 2x digital zoom on the 6T a lot, so the idea of 3x optical sounds fantastic.
Under the 7 Pro’s hood, and powering the device, is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855, the company’s latest high-end SoC which bundles in the equally top-end Adreno 640 graphics chip. As with the past couple of OnePlus models, this one supports 4K/60 recording, presumably with the same 5-minute cap as before (though I hope to proven otherwise).
The 7 Pro also brings forth the Warp Charge (30 watts) feature first seen on the OnePlus 6T, which will allow the new phone’s 4,000mAh battery to charge from empty to 50% in 20 minutes. This is impressive, especially given that OnePlus’ phones have become renowned for their fast charging to begin with. This is next-level, and surely bodes well for the life of the battery, right?
The OnePlus 6T retailed for $549 at its launch, representing a model with 6GB of memory, and 128GB of storage. The 7 Pro raises the bar, with models starting at $669, sporting the same memory options. $30 more will bump the memory to 8GB and storage to 256GB, while another $50 above that (for $749) will net you even more memory, for 12GB total.
It’d be nice to know what kind of real benefit the extra memory would give users, because at present, it seems hard to believe a user would be able to take advantage of that memory on a phone, but it could be useful to those who like to future-proof as much as possible and don’t plan to upgrade every single year.
As with the 6T, T-Mobile has teamed-up with OnePlus to sell the 7 Pro, with a specific $699 8GB/256GB model on offer, available in both Mirror Gray and Nebula Blue, like the others. On OnePlus’ website, a special almond color is also available, but it unfortunately has no tentative availability date. You can sign up for notifications on any model if it’s currently out-of-stock – which at the current time, it will be.