The OnePlus 7 Pro: the most impressive Android smartphone on the market?

The OnePlus 7 Pro: the most impressive Android smartphone on the market?

The OnePlus 7 Pro is the most impressive Android smartphone on the market at present, with a range of high-end hardware and software features that outgun more pricy competitors.

OnePlus is a brand that has become well known for disrupting the Android smartphone manufacturer market, producing quality, high-end for comparatively reasonable prices. Its latest OnePlus 7 Pro is no exception to this reputation, and it gives competitors such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus and Huawei’s P30 Pro a good run for their money.

One of the most impressive features of the OnePlus 7 Pro is its display, which is currently the best available on the market. Its 6.67-inch immersive fluid AMOLED display features a 90Hz refresh rate, which makes for a buttery smooth viewing experience. With QHD+ resolution, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a treat for Netflix enthusiasts and gamers, with a seamless viewing experience on the notch-free, edge-to-edge AMOLED display. The near bezel-free curved Gorilla Glass display (very similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S10) provides for an impressive 88.6 percent screen-to-body ratio – one of the highest of any current smartphone.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is impressively fast too, with specifications that support the 90Hz refresh rate very capably. It features the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Octa-Core processor which is paired with a hefty 128GB or 256GB of internal ROM storage as well as options of 6GB, 8GB or 12GB Universal Flash Storage 3.0 RAM (which is up to twice as fast as 2.0 RAM when it comes to read and write speeds). This combination of hardware combines to deliver a snappy, lag-free experience which makes for a refreshingly effortless browsing experience.

“It’s hard to improve on Google’s stock OS (which is already fantastic in both features and functionality) but Google would do well to take a leaf out of the OnePlus 7 Pro playbook”

The camera in the OnePlus 7 Pro has also come of age, and well and truly takes the fight to Samsung and Apple with their market-leading cameras. With a 48MP triple main camera featuring a 16MP ultra-wide 117-degree sensor and 8MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom as well as a 16MP motorised pop-up front camera, the OnePlus 7 Pro takes photos to the next level with sharp, rich and vivid detail. After capture, the OnePlus 7 Pro automatically adjusts brightness, enhances the clarity and highlights details for a more professional finish.

The pop-up front camera is a particularly nice and innovative touch, and responds promptly and quickly when needed. OnePlus says the phone’s front camera mechanism has withstood some 300,000 actuations during testing without any sign of lag, slowdown or breakage. The OnePlus 7 Pro also comes with a fall detection sensor, which retracts the camera the moment a freefall is detected.

OnePlus is also to be congratulated on its operating system, OxygenOS. Android 9.0 (upgradable to Android 10.0 with an update) underpins the software experience, which is slick, clean and easy-to-use. It’s hard to improve on Google’s stock OS (which is already fantastic in both features and functionality) but Google would do well to take a leaf out of the OnePlus 7 Pro playbook. Integrated gestures, for example, make it easier to summon notifications and quick settings as well as activating features like the camera and the flashlight without having to wake the phone up.

There is something for everyone in OnePlus’ OxygenOS. A gaming mode, for example, silences notifications and tones screen brightness down, or the “Fnatic mode” directs all CPU, GPU and memory usage and resources to a current gaming session and away from non-essential phone features. Alternatively, the OnePlus 7 Pro comes with a new “Zen” mode (conceived by OnePlus’ senior staffers who practice mindfulness) which essentially puts the phone into lockdown (except for emergency calls, incoming calls and camera access) for 20 minutes at a time.

“This combination of hardware combines to deliver a snappy, lag-free experience which makes for a refreshingly effortless browsing experience”

Battery life is also impressive. Brighter screens, faster processors and more RAM means modern smartphones are more resource hungry. OnePlus has stepped up to this plate with the inclusion of a 30W warp charge fast-charging 4000mAh battery – which can be recharged from flat to full in just over an hour. If the OnePlus 7 Pro is getting low on charge, the warp charge is even more rapid, with the addition of an extra 33 per cent of charge in just 15 minutes (and a full day’s worth within 30 minutes).

Physically, the OnePlus 7 Pro is bigger and heavier than its predecessor OnePlus 6T – though the upside of this is the increased amount of screen real estate, which is what OnePlus was aiming for here. Otherwise the aesthetics of the OnePlus 7 Pro are superb, and the phone combines the best parts of Huawei and Samsung’s design sensibilities and wraps them in a stunning glass trim. The three colour options (especially Nebula Blue and Almond – colour descriptions which don’t really do justice to their visual appeal) stand out from competitors who are otherwise happy to stick to designing and selling glossy black slabs.

Overall, the OnePlus 7 Pro is the most impressive Android phone on the market at present. As a lifelong Android phone user, I have owned Samsung, LG, Motorola, Nokia and other smartphones, and upgraded to a OnePlus 5 prior to the OnePlus 7 Pro. The OnePlus brand has proven to be the most reliable, best-value-for-money, rock-solid performer. OnePlus has outdone itself with its flagship 7 Pro, which has taken the battle to more pricy competitors on all three fronts of hardware, software and value for money.