OnePlus has been flirting with the high-end for several generations, it started with a declaration of war with its so-called “flagship killer”; but little by little she has become what she swore to destroy. The bet for this year is the OnePlus 7 Pro, a terminal whose technical set is at the height of the high-end at a lower price. And, this could stay there; but next to this terminal it presented a more modest renewal, the OnePlus 7.
Modest in innovation, because in terms of hardware they share most of its components. But while the OnePlus 7 Pro is committed to bringing elements of the gaming world, 90Hz screen, to the high-end, the OnePlus 7 is content to be an updated review of the OnePlus 6T. Or at least that is what it tells us at first glance, but will the OnePlus 7 be a terminal that only aspires to improve its predecessor or will it involve a major change? After using it as my personal phone for a month, I tell you about my experience in this analysis.
ONEPLUS 7, CHARACTERISTICS
|screen||6.41 ”AMOLED with Full HD + resolution (2340 x 1080 pixels) Gorilla Glass 6|
|Main chamber||48MP, f / 1.7, 0.8 µm, Sony IMX586, OIS, Dual LED Flash|
5 MP, f / 2.4, 1.12 µm
|Camera for selfies||16 MP, f / 2.0, Sony IMX471, 1 µm|
|Internal memory||128 or 256 GB UFS 3.0|
|Processor and RAM||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, eight cores with 6 or 8 GB of RAM|
|Battery||3,700 mAh, fast charge 20 W|
|Operating system||Android 9.0 Pie with OxygenOS|
|Connections||BT 5.0, NFC, USB C 3.1, GPS|
|Design||Metal and glass|
|Dimensions||157.7 x 74.8 x 8.2mm, 182 grams|
|Featured Features||On-screen fingerprint reader, Alert Slider for notifications|
|Price||Version with 6 GB of RAM + 128 GB of internal storage: 560 euros|
8 GB RAM + 256 GB internal storage version: 610 euros
Design: the classic high-end sandwich
The avant-garde in the mobile telephony sector focuses on design, but always with the same raw material. Materials that work by hand, both for the sensations they transmit and for their quality. But of course, in the end, we always have the same combination. A mixed sandwich is going to carry the same whatever the place it is, and that happens with the OnePlus 7; Its glass structure with an aluminum frame is a safe bet, but it is not the only one. It is that even the design works against it, it inevitably resembles the OnePlus 6T and therefore also the OnePlus 6 . Yes, there are details that allow us to distinguish them, but at first glance they are the same phone.
Front almost all screen, frames reduced in all directions and with the inclusion of a drop-shaped notch that invades the upper part of the screen. In this area, there is also the first difference with its predecessors, a large grille where the earpiece for calls is housed that also works as a front speaker. The screen on the other hand maintains the same size as that of the OnePlus 6T, 6.41 inches with a conservative resolution: Full HD +. Inspecting half of this sandwich, we find the metal part of the set, specifically aluminum with a glossy finish.
In this metallic chassis the different buttons are integrated, on the right side the unlocking and just above the Alert Slider. This switch, for the new ones, serves to switch between the different sound modes (sound, vibration and silence) clearly inspired by the one carried by Apple terminals, it has become a hallmark of the smartphones of the Asian firm. The opposite side houses the button for the volume control along with the tray for the dual NanoSIM. The lower frame is where we will find the USB C 3.1 port in the middle of the microphone for calls and the second speaker. No, there is no headphone jack. OnePlus joined the trend of dispensing with this port and does not seem to change its mind.
The back sports a glossy grayish finish, which depending on how the light falls, can give the impression of being a very dark blue, almost black. This rear glass curved on its sides to favor ergonomics is a magnet for fingerprints, to this is also added its obsession to comply with the laws of gravity. The OnePlus 7 is slippery , and it seems that the company itself knows it, hence they include a cover inside the box, a detail that is appreciated.
The OnePlus 7 is not a large terminal, in terms of size it is well achieved. It is at a certain distance from larger terminals such as the OnePlus 7 Pro, but also from compact terminals such as the Samsung Galaxy S10e. In the end, what matters are the sensations in hand. And, it is that in hand it feels solid, robust and well built . But it is still the same as what we have seen in the past generation, it is sober and continuous; a design for those who do not want to attract attention , so much so that there is only (in Spain at least) a single color available.
Multimedia section: quality sound with a screen that complies
If something works, why change it? That's what the OnePlus engineers must have thought when designing the front of this terminal. The very essence of innovation and the manpower to carry it out has been focused on the OnePlus 7 Pro . The result that many of us already know, is a screen that occupies almost the entire front with a refresh rate of 90 hertz and taking a step in terms of resolution, being the first terminal of the company to have a QuadHD + panel.
In the OnePlus 7 we will not see any of this, nor a curved screen with almost no frames, nor 90 hertz, nor that jump in resolution. On the contrary, we have a continuous panel and that without OnePlus having confirmed it, it seems identical to the OnePlus 6T. They are 6.41 inches with AMOLED technology, ratio 19.5: 9 and resolution 1,080 x 2,340 pixels or Full HD + . With a Gorilla Glas 6 coating to protect it from scratches and possible falls, finished in 2.5D glass in the corners favoring aesthetics as it seems that glass melts with metal.
Taking advantage of 85.5% of the front and with a more than acceptable pixel density, 415 pixels per inch, it is a screen that can be seen. It does not reach the excellence quotas of the OnePlus 7 Pro screen, but it remains a notch above that of the OnePlus 6T . This step is a section like the brightness of the terminal, outdoors the automatic brightness responds well and without having to set it to the maximum, it allows us to glimpse the content that we have on the screen. It is possible and likely that this brightness is sufficient in most places , but if you live in a place where the sun shines more intensely, it would be best to opt for a terminal that starts at 600 nits.
It is still a well resolved screen. Yes, you miss that extra definition that provides a higher resolution or the 90 hertz of the OnePlus 7 Pro -those who have had it in hand will understand- It is a screen with an acceptable level of detail and that allows browsing, reading or consuming content without that we have to strain visually. The calibration of colors, shades and their representation is more than achieved. In addition, in the case of wanting to configure based on our personal preferences, OnePlus offers three color modes: intense, nature and advanced.Within the latter we have three other modes: AMOLED, sRGB and Display-P3 colors. Changing the tonality to colder (blue tones) or warmer (yellow tones), is a stone's throw away thanks to the slider that OxygenOS provides us.
Personally, the color configuration that we like the most is AMOLED colors in the advanced section and modified the tonality to achieve a white color closer to reality and not so yellowish. We must talk about the notch, we are already more than used to this peninsula on our screens, shaped like a drop and interrupting in the upper area. Thanks to the software we will be able to hide this notch, the icons will occupy this area now tinted black so its use is good. If you come from a terminal without notch, this may seem an attractive option, but in the end it does the same as having the black frame that surrounds the camera visible.
The sound, lacking a headphone port, one could expect this section to pass unnoticed. On the contrary, OnePlus has listened to its users. In the OnePlus 7 there are two speakers , the first one intended to offer us the sound directly and therefore located in the large grille at the top of the front, the second in a more conventional position: at the base of the terminal next to the USB C port and microphone. It may not be anything new if you are used to the double front speakers of terminals like the Google Pixel 3XL, but it is the first time that OnePlus decides to bet on a notable improvement in sound.
This improvement comes hand in hand with the Dolby Atmos certification , which improves the experience of an already powerful stereo sound. By progressively increasing the volume level, we are able to perceive the nuances in the notes without them losing definition and body due to the increase in volume. Because the OnePlus 7 sounds and sounds loud. At maximum power it has nothing to envy my Google Pixel 2 XL, I would even dare to say that it has more power and better sound. Distortion is practically null or imperceptible to untrained ears , the wide dynamic range allows for powerful bass without forgetting precise highs.
Returning to the Dolby Atmos certification, it offers options when it comes to how we want the sound response of the OnePlus 7 . With three options, four if we count its complete deactivation, which despite not having a drastic change if we go from one to another while listening to music, they get the user to choose the one that is most appropriate for the moment or the one they prefer. Dynamic, the predefined option and with a more general adjustment so that it does not matter what genre of music we are listening to, it has good bass, treble and sharpness. Film, a more “cinematic” effect that is achieved with the help of reverb and giving more body to the whole sound. Music, more nuances to appreciate the different instruments and notes played.
These options, present in the sound section, are intended for both speakers and headphones. In the latter we have another customization section, it is activated once we connect the headphones and it is in "headset mode". Here are three more settings: Balanced, Warm, and Nuanced. The former is not a substantial change to standard audio and only trained ears may be able to hear the supposed improvement. The second one further improves the dynamic range and some other nuance depending on whether the notes are lower or higher. The third and last, to my ears, it seems to me that he is on horseback between the first two. There is improvement, or at least change, but nothing too remarkable to make it stand out.
OnePlus has put the batteries and most importantly, has listened to its users. The screen is not up to the level of its older brother , a pinch of sharpness and brightness would come in handy, if it also had a refresh rate higher than 60 hertz it would be a luxury in its range. The sound, on the other hand, has no fault , with enough power and clarity, the OnePlus 7 offers a listening experience worth mentioning. The reprehensible could be the exclusion of the headphone port and, above all, not including an adapter in the box.
Performance that is not surprising
A section in which OnePlus has always stood out, since its inception it has opted for power. With the OnePlus 7 this feature remains. It has little to envy its older brother or any flagship of the competition. Inside is the winning recipe for this first half of the year: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor along with 8 GB for RAM and 256 GB for storage. There is also a more modest version that sees its RAM memory and storage reduced to 6 GB and 128GB respectively. A non-expandable storage whose greatest virtue is the type of memory used. OnePlus makes the leap and joins the UFS club, more specifically, the UFS 3.0; with speeds of writing and reading superiors to the seen in the memories eMMC.
So how does the OnePlus 7 perform? Well, it flies, and not literally, but the fluidity and speed when responding to user commands is unstable. Although, not surprising. The strange thing would be that with this string of ingredients the execution of the plate was not up to the task, but OnePlus knows how to make terminals . It is capable of getting the most out of the ingredients, dressing everything with a promising software that we will talk about later.
On a day-to-day basis, with use based on jumping between different social networks as well as consuming streaming multimedia content from Netflix, YouTube or Spotify; the OnePlus 7 has performed remarkably well. There are, at least in my experience, lags, unexpected closings or hangs when opening applications and moving between them. And if we want to take it to the limit, looking for and hoping that it does not know how to solve what we ask of it well, the OnePlus 7 will get out of the way gracefully. Games like Fortnite, PUBG or Legends move at a solvent frame rate and at the highest graphic quality. The Adreno 640 responds well to the most demanding graphics tasks. In addition, the temperatures manage to stay within usable figures and without being unpleasant to keep the phone in hand. Yes,the areas of the rear camera and the upper edge are the ones that suffer the most from this increase in temperature.
This waste of power is accompanied by a 3,700 mAh battery . Although by design, size and format we could have expected an extra 300 mAh, reaching the figure of its older brother. The weight and thickness would have been increased, although I think that few users would have a complaint in exchange for improving the autonomy and getting the camera module to stand out somewhat less. But make no mistake, autonomy is not bad. Depending on the day and taking into account that my use is quite intense, I have reached the end of the day with 15% battery remaining. Of course, if throughout our day we play some games we may have to go through the charger. And if so, fast charging does its job very well. It's not the 30 watts of the Warp Charge, but it's not very far either,they are 20 watts capable of charging the terminal from 0% to 100% in less than an hour and a half.
As far as connectivity is concerned, no surprise. All the basic thinkable connections: NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, USB C 3.1, etcetera. What we do have are shortcomings, its glass back is not an indication of supporting any type of wireless charging and as we anticipated in the design section, it dispenses with the 3.5-millimeter jack port. Water resistance is a complex issue in the OnePlus 7 series, they do not carry IP certifications of any kind. Although OnePlus itself explained that, in the manufacturing process of the terminals, internal tests were carried out to offer some security against accidental splashes . The IP certification also does not guarantee that the company will take care of the possible repair due to humidity,keep the water away from your smartphones.
OxygenOS, the best of Android Stock with additions that improve the experience
The OnePlus customization layer has reached a level of excellence, surpassing the completely stock experience that a Google terminal could offer. The purists may not agree with me, but I remember that my personal phone is a made by Google . OxygenOS has managed to reach the top by polishing its performance , it is not the same layer that came with the OnePlus 2. The bloatware is non-existent or minimal, we have the typical Google applications (we can disable them) and the occasional OnePlus application that adds functionality. The most curious thing is that it brings Netflix installed as standard, but we can also uninstall it if we do not use this service.
Going into detail and telling all the features of OxygenOS would be to lengthen this analysis, instead I will talk in a general way about the performance and the functionalities that I have used. Visually it is a well designed layer, the colors, typography and the general arrangement are well achieved. It reminds us a lot of Android Stock, but with a customization that we cannot find in Google terminals . OxygenOS allows us to change the font, the theme of the terminal (light-dark), the color of the icons, keypad, gestures and a long list of options. We can adapt the interface almost entirely to our liking, even the Launcher allows us to change the number of icons to display.
Inside this Launcher, the main screen is simple, with icons, folders and gestures to lower the notification curtain or display the application drawer. Another gesture, dragging to the right will open a submenu called Shelf, here as if it were a control center we can open applications for quick use (calculator, calendar, clock) or include the ones we want. It has a lot to offer and is useful in many cases, but personally I have not used it as much as I thought at first. In line with this, a feature that I have used a lot is the gestures, both those for navigation and those that are performed with the screen off.
The navigation gestures are successful, they are easy to use and the learning curve is not too steep. In the case of not being convinced, we will always have the classic Android keypad -we can reverse it- or the amalgam of buttons plus Android Pie gesture. In my use I have dispensed with the keypad, as it is not an excessively large terminal, the gestures are comfortable to use. With the screen off we also have some gestures, not to navigate the terminal, but to activate the flashlight, change songs, launch the camera application and a couple more to the game of those already mentioned. They are useful in many situations, they prevent us from having to unlock the terminal and they save us time.
OxygenOS also integrates specific modes, Zen Mode and Fnatic Mode , they are antagonistic. The first pretends that we move away from the terminal, that we stop to smell the roses on the road and we are not focused on the screen of our device. It achieves this by blocking all functionalities except for the basic ones: emergency calls. The second wants us to focus on the game we have on the screen, the notifications disappear and through the software we focus resources on improving the gaming experience. Both do their job well, although I've seen myself using the second more than the first.
Another interesting option is the ability to duplicate applications, a functionality seen in Xiaomi terminals, it allows us to have different accounts of the same application. The Android version below this customization layer is Pie and Android Q will more than surely come to the future. In addition, OnePlus tends to send updates to its terminals periodically, so much so that during the time I have spent with the OnePlus 7 I have received two . They have improved the section of the camera and the general stability, already very good, without a doubt it is a company that pampers its users in this regard.
Security: accurate, correct and functional biometrics
Hidden in the screen we find the optical fingerprint reader and with a good performance . The actuation surface has been enlarged, this facilitates unlocking as the positioning of the finger does not have to be so precise when unlocking. And once you've placed your finger, unlocking is quick. It is not instantaneous, but the wait to access the screen is minimal despite having a very attractive animation (we can change or deactivate it) Of course, the area where we rest our finger must be illuminated , if the screen is completely off the phone will not be unlocked. OnePlus solves this by pulling software, lifting the phone activates the ambient screen with the illuminated area and the same happens if we double-tap the screen.
If the screen reader is not convinced, we can opt for a face unlock. It does not use a camera or sensor dedicated to face scanning, the front camera is the one dedicated to this function. Security would be the point against it, by not doing a three-dimensional scan a photo could unlock the mobile, although I have tried and it has not happened. It is a fast and practically instantaneous unlocking, we do not have to look at the terminal at a certain angle or bring it too close to our face. In low light conditions, a flash of light will illuminate our faces to unlock the mobile, it is uncomfortable and I recommend using the fingerprint in those situations.
Cameras: a fair evolution and nothing risky
The renewal in the photographic section comes in a trickle, two rear sensors, but nothing with a wide angle or telephoto lens. The main one is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX 586 sensor that is grouped into groups of four, leaving us about 12 megapixels to shoot, as added optical and electronic stabilization, an aperture f / 1.7 . The second sensor is 5 megapixels, aperture f / 1.4 and 1.12 micrometer pixels. For the front camera they have opted for a 16 megapixel sensor signed by Sony, the IMX 471, its aperture is f / 2.0.
The capabilities of these cameras lag behind those of their older brother, simply by mounting two fewer sensors. Yes, there are two cameras on the back. But this does not mean that the second adds a differential functionality , it is designed to capture better information and make a more realistic blur effect. It does not offer the versatility of a wide angle or the zoom of a telephoto lens , its use is intended to accompany more than to be used individually. Apart from this, we can do almost the same in the photographic and video sections. Recording at 4K and 60 frames per second, super slow motion in 1080p at 240fps, panorama mode, time-lapse, pro mode, HDR, portrait mode and night landscape mode, everything is maintained.
Let's talk about the photographic results, by day and being very general we have a camera that delivers. The levels of detail, the rendering of colors and the use of HDR is good . The color section is the one that has undergone the most change since the beginning of this analysis, being too flat at the beginning and thanks to the updates they have gained in vividness. The HDR that we mentioned does its job well in automatic mode, deciding when not to act. If we shoot always using HDR we will have photos in which the shadows and backlights have been raised, as well as moments in which the color is too saturated.
Left without HDR and right with HDR
The usual happens at night, the optical stabilization and the 1.7 focal length cannot save the loss of detail and the increase in noise in the photographs.To avoid this we have a specific mode, Night Landscape, it manages to improve photographs at night, although it has a drawback, movement. It is a usable mode in objects or scenes without movement, if there is a possibility that something or someone moves, the resulting photograph will capture a blur. This is because it increases the exposure time noticeably and the ISO keeps it at 0. It is useful, but you have to know when to use it and have a good pulse or take a tripod. There is a manual mode and with it we will have access to the basic settings (ISO, exposure, focus, white balance, shutter speed) that will allow us to play more with how we want the photograph and, give us a RAW file for later editing.
Normal up, Night landscape mode down
On the front the camera does an acceptable job, the focus and the results of the photographs are good. In terms of color, it is possibly the camera that suffers the most, they tend to come out less vivid than on the back. It has the typical functionalities of cameras for selfies: beauty mode, blur, flash illuminating the screen, etc. Moving on to the video, on the front it performs well, but the lack of optical stabilization is noticeable. In the rear camera, on the other hand, the combination of OIS and EIS manage to eliminate sudden movements. The ability to record in 4K at 60 fps stands out, the fluidity and detail is remarkable. Another improvement is the microphones, now when recording some type of show the sound of the recording is audible, there are no beeps and the instruments can be distinguished without too much trouble.
ONEPLUS 7 PHOTO GALLERY
We leave you a link to the gallery on Flickr, so you can see the photos without compression.
OnePlus 7, conclusions, price and opinion
There are seven terminals that OnePlus has brought to the market, despite having been competing for a relatively short time, it has managed to gain a loyal audience. A public capable of changing terminals, or at least considering it, every six months to have the newest one presented by the company. In this framework, the OnePlus 7 fits us perfectly. With an interior renovation to match, at least in the power section, with improved sound, with a sublime software experience and cameras that, without being the best, produce capable photographs. It is a terminal that does not intend to revolutionize anything, it is content to offer a series of quality ingredients to give the final result a mixed sandwich at the height of any haute cuisine dish.
The conformist strategy may not last long, but meanwhile the OnePlus 7 offers “almost” the same as its older brother . The trick to play is the price, starting from 560 euros and reaching 610 euros in its most advanced version. Being its configurations 6 GB - 128 GB and 8 GB - 256 GB respectively for RAM and storage. However, we cannot blame them for anything, especially when we have their riskiest bet in the market. Although of course, rumors about a renewal T of its terminals are already heard. Be that as it may, the OnePlus 7 is a safe bet for those capable of conforming and not so much for those seeking innovation.