OnePlus achieved some sleight of hand by naming the OnePlus 7 series. It announced the 7 Pro as if it were the new addition to the lineup, and that's really a phone full of new features, but the novelty of OnePlus's strategy is that The company is now making an upcycling of old Apple models as its entry. -level of offering. That's what the OnePlus 7 is: a OnePlus 6T with an upgrade to a Snapdragon 855 processor and a 48-megapixel camera and not much else.
Am I complaining? Only a little. The 6T had the fastest and smoothest performance of any Android device until the OnePlus 7 Pro arrived. It had a reasonable-sized notch and thinner screen bezels than you would find on an iPhone XS Max. But OnePlus has now made those compromises less acceptable by hiding the selfie camera in an emerging mechanical module, launching a 90Hz screen, and converting the side frames into pencil lines in the OnePlus 7 Pro. None of the original good things about it OnePlus 6T changes in 7, for better or for worse, but 7 Pro is always there, mocking you for your superiority and availability. If you can afford it. In the UK, the OnePlus 7 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage costs £ 499, while the same specification in a 7 Pro is £ 649.
Outside the OnePlus portfolio, the price of £ 499 has been became much more competitive recently. The £ 399 Pixel 3A from Google reduces the 6T by a nice margin by having a much higher camera. And the Black Shark 2 and the Razer Phone 2 offer a more robust gaming performance, and the latter also has a 120Hz screen as the new OnePlus flagship. Where does the OnePlus 7 fit into this highly competitive landscape?
From the point of view of the naive buyer of phones, the OnePlus 7 is pretty cool. It costs less than the more expensive smartphones, while it works with the same softness and looks so glamorous. Of course, I detest the fingerprint magnet that is the brilliant crystal of this phone, but that is another quality that it shares with the super premium devices. The main point is that if I give a OnePlus 7 to an uninformed consumer, they will be happy with it for an initial price of £ 499 (₹ 32,999 in India or € 559 in the US) or even £ 50 more with 8GB of RAM. and 256 GB of storage.
This is the classic flagship in a budget by which OnePlus is known, and to know in detail all its complexities such as battery life, performance, screen quality and ergonomics. , I am directing you to my OnePlus 6T review. If you do not care beyond the question of whether this is a good phone, it is, and since so little has changed since 6T, that review is all you need.
But the value is the slippery fish that we are all trying to capture when making a purchase considered as a smartphone. It is not enough that it is simply good, it has to be worthwhile, and that can only be judged in the context of the broader market.
So, let's not avoid the obvious confrontation here: it's worth the OnePlus 7 When compared to the cheapest Pixel 3A or 3A XL from Google? The spec sheet would say "hell yes": the 7 is one of the most affordable Snapdragon 855 devices, comes with at least 2GB of RAM more than the lean Google 4GB, has a larger screen of 6.41 inches and the Pixel is left with only 64GB of storage that is not expandable. The dual SIM card enthusiasts should also write the Pixel immediately and find a welcoming home for their cards in the OnePlus phone.
Although the OnePlus 7 has the design of 2018, it is the Pixel 3A and 3A XL that look like last year. That speaks to OnePlus's design leadership, as well as the corresponding weakness of Google's bezel-tolerant aesthetics. If I bought a phone as a gift, I would bet on the OnePlus 7. But buying it myself, I would opt for the Pixel 3A XL.
It's not because the Pixel is faster. Even the premium Pixel 3 can not match the smoothness of OnePlus's finely tuned performance. And it's not because the speaker or screen is better: both are good for the price and are on par with the OnePlus 7, or even because the Pixel 3A models have headphone connectors. No, folks, it's almost completely about that unparalleled Pixel camera. I'm willing to tolerate a slightly slower performance, thicker bevels and a worse Google multi-tasking interface just to get my hands on the best camera that has ever won the market below 500 pounds. OnePlus uses the extremely popular 48-megapixel Sony sensor that produces decent-quality 12-megapixel shots. Its secondary lens is for a 5-megapixel depth sensor to help with portraits, although the Pixel camera still takes better portraits, even without dedicated depth equipment.
There are also other advantages to take the path of the Pixel. While both the 3A XL and the OnePlus 7 have a 3,700 mAh battery and a 1080p screen, the smaller pixel display consumes the battery more slowly and makes that phone a bit of a resistance champion. It may be a minority, but I also really enjoy the lighter feel of Pixel 3A plastic devices. They are easier to operate and operate, and I'm really not sure how we got to this point of believing that phones weighing more than 180 g / 6.4 oz, as the OnePlus 7 does, are normal. It is as if we had all developed a collective amnesia about the glorious Nokia N9 coated with polycarbonate.
The OnePlus 7 has a particular design feature that bothers me, and that's its camera shot. It is much more pronounced in this phone than in the 7 Pro, pixels, Galaxy devices or anything that Huawei or Apple do. Both the Huawei P30 Pro and the iPhone XS Max have very soft edges for their pill-shaped camera modules, and their designers have the good sense to place those protuberances on the side of the phone. OnePlus sticks this large, almost sharp slab in the middle of a smooth and highly polished shape, and it is a persistent irritation on the hand.
Moving to Black Shark 2 and Razer Phone 2, oriented to the player, both have the same price. for the OnePlus 7, I find another situation in which my experience does not agree with the specifications. Only this time, the other phones are those with more juicy specifications, either the Black Shark 2 and its improved cooling system or the Razer Phone 2 and its additional 120Hz screen. Both have illuminated logos on the back, which are used to send notifications, to activate the game mode or for the user to ignore good taste. Both have great speakers. Both can be handled approximately without worrying. And both are ridiculously heavy to be considered reasonable everyday phones.
The OnePlus 7 is a delicate pen compared to that pair of fleshy brutes, and still has that top-level Snapdragon system to make light Work on any game task. Its 1080p resolution is useful here, which helps ensure a good battery life by not overloading the GPU. It has most of the game capacity of Black Shark and Razer Phone, but it does not shout about its performance, as the other two do.
I would be remiss if I did not also mention Xiaomi Mi 9, possibly the most similar phone to OnePlus 7, with the same 48 megapixel sensor, although in a more capable triple camera arrangement. Xiaomi also adapts to the wireless charging Snapdragon 855 and inside the Mi 9, but that phone is not an initiator for me because of EMUI. OnePlus simply makes the best version of Android, and could even include the original taste of Google in that statement. In addition, OnePlus is committed, both in words and deeds, to deliver fast and long-term Android updates for their phones. Xiaomi is still living in the era of the Android masks of 2012.
My permanent impression of the OnePlus 7 is that it is a OnePlus 7 Pro Lite . The Pro has the 90Hz screen, which is not only softer, but also more accurate. That phone also includes the Warp 30-watt charger in the box, while the OnePlus 7 has the same fast charger you could have with the OnePlus 3T. And although both phones have a 48-megapixel sensor and UltraShot camera technology, the 7 Pro has a wider aperture in the main camera, in the ultra-low and telephoto cameras, and the ability to take slightly better pictures. In the aesthetic aspect, you only have the option of black mirror for fingerprint lovers in the 7 (with a red edition for India with the highest memory), while the 7 Pro has that magnificent matt blue and a next Almond edition, the last one I've seen and I really like it.
Two points work in favor of OnePlus 7 compared to its prettier, bigger and more powerful brother. First is the size, since the OnePlus 7 still exists in the "big phone" category, while every critic who has struggled with the OnePlus 7 Pro for more than a day has commented on its large unit proportions. The other thing is the absence of the curved sides of the screen. The OnePlus 7 still has the so-called 2.5D Gorilla Glass, but that's just a softening of the edge, while the 7 Pro has some free slopes on its sides that make it harder to grip and easier to accidentally tap on the screen. The Huawei P30 is a similar example of the most economical edition of a phone with the best ergonomics of the screen because its designers simply do not have the budget to play too much.
It feels like OnePlus spent all of its time designing the 7 Pro. And then the company slipped so it could fit into the OnePlus 6T chassis and budget. I'm perfectly fine with that. I think the OnePlus 7 is a phone that most people will enjoy using, although it could be a frustrating reminder of the existence of 7 Pro for the geekier among us.
Photograph by Vlad Savov / The Verge
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