OnePlus 7 Pro preview: outstanding with extending selfie camera

OnePlus 7 Pro reviewOnePlus 7 Pro review that takes some getting used to OnePlus is not releasing one, but two new smartphones this month. The OnePlus 7 Pro is full of ingenious new features, including a screen with a higher refresh rate and extendable selfie camera. In this preview, you will find our first impression.

Read our OnePlus 7 Pro review

OnePlus has been following the same schedule for years: a new smartphone every six months, which is always slightly smoother, better and more extensive than its predecessor. This year OnePlus breaks its regular pace with the OnePlus 7 Pro in addition to the ‘normal’ OnePlus 7. This new variant is more expensive but also innovates a little harder than the manufacturer normally does. We have already been able to test the device for a week.

Design with extendable camera

Last year OnePlus introduced its first smartphone with a notch, the 6. That gave the company a lot of criticism from fans, who thought the cut was ugly. With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the manufacturer has, therefore, come up with a different solution: an extendable selfie camera. As a result, the display fills almost the entire front. Only at the bottom is a narrow edge.

The design feels very nice: OnePlus smartphones are genuinely among the most beautiful devices of the moment, and with the 7 Pro the company confirms this top position again. The matte back looks chic and is well finished.

OnePlus 7 Pro official

The camera automatically moves up as soon as you activate the camera app selfie mode. If you choose the primary camera, the lens will slide down again. The entire process takes no more than half a second and the lens moves smoothly up, accompanied by a small bzzt sound.

You especially notice that sound when you turn on face recognition. Every time you unlock the device, you will hear a soft sound. It is almost inaudible, but without even noticing it, you look at your phone while you are in bed.

Camera remains protected

You do not have to worry that the device is more vulnerable because of the extendable camera. The lens is in fact protected by sapphire glass, which is very scratch-resistant. The protrusion feels firm: even when I am a bit prone to it, it doesn’t seem to give a shit. If you drop the 7 Pro, the camera also retracts during the fall.

According to OnePlus, the selfie camera survives to extend around 300,000 times. If you use the camera 200 times a day, for selfies or unlocking, that means more than four years without problems. Of course, I have not been able to test that yet, but the lens nevertheless leaves a strong impression.

OnePlus 7 Pro official

Unfortunately, the OnePlus 7 Pro sometimes has difficulty with correct brightness adjustment automatically. If you take the device outside, the device often does not realize that the brightness has to increase considerably.

Possibly that is because there was no room on the front for brightness sensors, it may be a bug in the provisional software on our device. We have checked with the manufacturer whether this is a known bug that is still being addressed, but the company could not immediately clarify this. We will return to this in our review.

90 Hz image is smoother but used to a limited extent

The screen is also a real technical feat, thanks to the higher refresh rate of 90 Hz. Almost all other smartphones are equipped with a 60 Hz screen, which means that the image is refreshed 60 times per second. A higher refresh rate ensures smoother, smoother images. You notice this, for example, while browsing, or scrolling through longer texts. Even on the fastest smartphones, the image becomes an unreadable haze as soon as you sweep through it a little smoother. The blur is not present on the OnePlus 7 Pro. It is a subtle upgrade, but that means that everything feels just a bit faster.

In theory, almost every app benefits from a 90 Hz screen. For example, a game like Fortnite plays a lot nicer with a fluid image, and an action scene in a Netflix series is a little better to follow. Unfortunately, you can’t really experience that in practice, because creators of games and media apps have to add that 90 Hz support first. Netflix and other video services do not (yet) support it, and only a handful of games (but not Fortnite) use it.

As long as the OnePlus 7 Pro review is one of the few smartphones with a 90 Hz screen, I do not expect that many developers will take it into account. That is a shame because as a result, this cool feature has only limited added value for the time being. The display is definitely better, but you don’t get enough benefit from it in practice.

Camera: better, but not the best

On the back of the OnePlus 7 Pro review is for the first time in the manufacturer’s history a triple camera. Previous OnePlus smartphones still had a primary camera and depth sensor, now the manufacturer is tackling it a bit more ambitiously. The OnePlus 7 Pro has a primary camera of 48 megapixels, together with a wide-angle lens and 3x optical zoom sensor.

OnePlus 7 Pro official

With the optical zoom lens, you can zoom in reasonably without blurring the image. In combination with the digital zoom, you can even zoom 10x, but then the image is less sharp. That’s not bad, but of course, it doesn’t make it to the 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom of the recently released Huawei P30 Pro. It just enough zooms to highlight a specific part of your image, but if you want to zoom in on the smallest details of a building, then, unfortunately, it is not enough.

The 48-megapixel camera of the OnePlus 7 Pro review sounds like overkill, but the manufacturer uses the so-called quad more bay technology. The image is then compressed into one 12-megapixel photo, which in theory is sharper and more detailed.

I have only been able to test the camera for a few days, but for now, I would describe the camera as ‘better but not the best’. The 7 Pro takes photos that look good in color, brightness, and lighting, even in dark situations.

As soon as you zoom in, there is still some noise in the image, or a surface appears to be somewhat blurred. They are high-quality photos, a major upgrade compared to the OnePlus 6T. OnePlus, however, still stands a few steps among toppers such as the Huawei P30 Pro and Google Pixel 3.

OnePlus 7 Pro official

Conclusion OnePlus 7 Pro review

With the 7 Pro, OnePlus makes its course for the future clearer than ever. The sense of speed is paramount. The combination of a 90 Hz screen, up to 12 GB of memory and the smoothest animations of all smartphones work well together. You have fast smartphones, and you have the OnePlus 7 Pro review, where you almost seem to fly through the menus.

Unfortunately, that winged force also has a downside. With a suggested retail price starting at 709 euros, the manufacturer says goodbye to a reputation as a prizefighter. The Xiaomi Mi 9, Huawei P30 and Samsung Galaxy S10 are all available for less money.

And there the shoe starts to twist a bit. The OnePlus 7 Pro is by far the fastest smartphone of today. Despite the improvements in the camera field, OnePlus is lagging behind Google, Samsung and especially Huawei. The backlog seems smaller than ever, although I would not have expected otherwise with this suggested retail price. If you go for speed, OnePlus is the best choice. Whether the company will match or exceed the competition in other areas, I will tell you soon in the final review.

Buy OnePlus 7 Pro?

The OnePlus 7 Pro is for sale in the united states from May 21, both separately and in combination with a subscription. The suggested retail price is 709 euros for the variant with 128GB of storage space and 6GB of memory. For 128 / 8GB you pay 759 euros, while you pay 829 euros for 12GB memory and 256GB storage space. The ordinary OnePlus 7 follows in June with a starting price of 559 euros.

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