I actually did a review of the One Plus 7 Pro on my Podcast, but I felt I needed to redo the review. For one, I allowed my frustrations with Google to spill over into that review. So that it went from critiquing the phone to bashing Google. So this written review will avoid doing that.
I have to say that One Plus has continued to impress me over the years. I remember when they first came on the scene with “Never Settle”, only to settle on leaving out features like NFC. But now “Never Settle” is ringing loud in my ear as I look at other phones out there. So let me start with what I like. And frankly, I am going to have a shorter list of the things I dislike versus what I like.
First, the price for what you are getting is truly the value phone. But when you think value, it’s easy to think that means skimming on crucial things. And that is not the case at all. At least not on the surface. On paper, the One Plus 7 Pro matches up really well with the current top dog, the Galaxy S10+. An S10+ with equivalent specs of 12GB of RAM, 256 GB of internal storage will run over $1000. Granted it is a 5G phone with internal storage and a better camera. But if you want a Galaxy with the same price you will have to settle for the Galaxy S10+ with only 128GB of internal storage. Yet you can go over to One Plus’ website and snag the bossed out model (the one I currently have) for $749. And really all that RAM for most people will not be needed. For the majority of you out there, you will be just fine with 8GB of RAM version to save fifty dollars.
Specs aside, this phone is really impressive from the presentation to the look, and user experience. Out of the box, you get a screen protector (pre-installed), and a free case. Plus the fast charger they call “Warp Charge 30”. As far as display, you are getting a full-screen display (no notch, hole punch, or pinhole) with a resolution of 3120 x 1440. And this 6.7-inch screen comes with a switchable 90 Hz refresh rate. Basically, this phone will feel like one of the smoothest phones you have ever used. This refresh rate thing is the truth, so much so rumors have it that Apple may be jumping on board to add it to their 2020 iPhone.
Powering this phone is a 4000 mAh battery, the latest Snapdragon 855 chip, Android 9, and up to 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB internal storage. This phone on paper is a beast, and in real life that is what you are getting. Even with the 90 Hz refresh rate, I am easily getting through the day with over half my battery life remaining. The screen is really as good as people brag on it to be. And I love the full display. Oh and let me not forget the in-glass fingerprint scanner and pop up selfie cam. Those just make the phone stand out. Plus they actually work really well.
Let me get to my dislikes, though they are few they are here. First I do not care for One Plus’ launcher. I ended up switching it out for a modded version of the Pixel launcher. The camera is also another weakness of this phone. It appears to be a software thing, as I am able to get better pictures using a modded Google Camera app. The fingerprint scanner sometimes does not recognize my finger input. I am sure that maybe because I am not holding my finger in the right spot or holding it there long enough. And I am getting around that by using the (surprisingly fast) face unlock.
Overall, this phone checks a lot of the boxes that make this on the level of being a great flagship phone. Software-wise it is a smooth experience running a stock version of Android. But it has just a bit of extra stuff to not feel boring. Tweaks for gaming mode, a basic theme option, and other tweaks in the settings to make this phone your own.
One Plus has risen through the ranks to surpass a number of manufacturers. 5 years ago when they debuted with the One Plus One, they were looking up at Motorola, LG, and HTC. Here we are now with One Plus creeping to a level where they are almost behind Samsung. That is a testament to this company continuing to bring to the market a competitive flagship at a competitive price.
If you are in the market for a smartphone, you can’t go wrong with the One Plus 7 Pro. This phone checks the boxes and does so at a very competitive price (a repeat from above). And something I missed, it comes with dual-sim slots. Meaning, this makes for a great traveling phone.
Edit: I forgot to mention that this phone chose not to add an IP rating for water resistance. This was to “avoid passing on the cost to you”, as stated by One Plus. So if water resistance is important to you, then pass on this phone. Though people have shown this phone to be able to handle getting wet, I personally wouldn’t risk it if the company isn’t willing to back it with a rating.