OnePlus 7 Pro Review

July 26, 2019 | Amy Davies |

Introduction

Over the past few years, OnePlus has carved out a niche in the smartphone world. Generally, it offers a range of features but a budget price.

For the OnePlus 7 Pro, it seems to be heading in a slightly different direction - concentrating more on what the phone can offer, than offering it a super-cheap price. That said, the price starts at £649, making it still not as expensive as plenty of other flagship smartphones on the market, such as the Huawei P30 Pro or the iPhone XS.

On the rear of the phone, the OnePlus 7 Pro now sports a triple camera set up, which marks a first for OnePlus and brings it in line with several other devices on the market. The main camera is a 48 megapixel device, which has a f/1.6 equivalent lens. As is becoming increasingly common, it is joined by an ultra-wide angle f/2.2 lens. That lens sits in front of a 16 megapixel sensor. Finally, there’s a 3x optical zoom lens with an f/2.4 aperture and an 8 megapixel sensor.

Other specifications which are likely to appeal to photographers include 4K video shooting at up to 60fps, “Nightscape” mode, the ability to shoot in raw format and Pro Mode.

Ease of Use

OnePlus 7 Pro
Front of the OnePlus 7 Pro

For a phone which falls into the “mid-range” category, the OnePlus 7 Pro feels very well built, while also featuring an elegant design on the whole.

The problem of the “notch” has been tackled in an unusual way for this phone. The OnePlus 7 Pro features a whole screen display, with the selfie-camera popping out from a drawer in the top left of the camera. It’s quite a novelty to see it emerge from the housing - OnePlus says that it has been tested to use over 300,000 times (that’s 150 selfies a day for 5.5 years, if you’re interested), so it should be nice and secure. You might reach the magic 300,000 times a bit quicker if you want to use Face Unlock, though - so that’s something to think about.

For this review, I’ve been using the Nebula Blue colour way, which is very attractive and causes a nice sheen and gradient as the light hits it. The phone uses a glass back and rear panel, which again makes it look very elegant, but it does feel heavier than many other phones on the market.

OnePlus 7 Pro
Rear of the OnePlus 7 Pro

In order to access the OnePlus 7 Pro’s camera, you can slide up from the bottom right hand corner of the screen from the lock mode. The native camera app offers a lot of functionality, with good options available depending on whether you want to keep it simple or take a little bit more control.

By default, the app opens in Photo mode. This acts like a basic point and shoot, making all the decisions for you. From here, you can move between the different lenses. By default, the 1x lens is selected, but you can easily tap to move to the wider 0.6x lens, or the 3x telephoto lens. To do this - tap the tree icons (three threes for wide angle, two trees for standard, one tree for telephoto). You can also pinch out on the screen to go beyond 3x with a digital zoom up to 10x.

Along the top of the screen (or to the left if you’re holding it in landscape orientation), there’s a series of icons that control various things. You can set a timer, change the aspect ratio, or turn on the flash. The ability to control HDR will be up here too, if you’ve added the control from the settings menu - which is worth doing in case of HDR going a bit far in certain situations.

OnePlus 7 Pro
The OnePlus 7 Pro In-hand

In order to take a photo, you can either use the on-screen virtual shutter release button, or you can use either the volume up or down button to take a shot. Tapping around the screen changes the focus point, and you’ll also see an exposure compensation slider pop up when you tap, allowing you to increase or reduce the brightness of your image.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll also see that there’s the option to switch to the front-facing camera. Tap this, and the hidden selfie camera will emerge. As well as being tested for durability, there are some other things which have been done to ensure it stays safe - for instance, it will automatically detect if the phone has been dropped and retract it to keep it safe. It will also warn you not to physically push the unit back into the phone if it notices you doing that, too. The camera should retract by itself when switching back to the main camera, or indeed if you leave the camera app altogether.

Where you see the Photo mode, you’ll notice that you can move to the left or the right to select different shooting modes. To the left there’s Video, while to the right, you’ll find Portrait and Nightscape. When in Video mode, you’ll be able to adjust the frame rate and flash from the top panel.

OnePlus 7 Pro
The OnePlus 7 Pro's Camera Mode

Portrait mode is for creating a shallow depth of field effect. Although called Portrait, you can also use it for other types of subjects, too. You can also switch on a beauty mode, too. Nightscape is similar to other low-light modes we’ve seen on other smartphones, such as Google’s Night Sight or Huawei’s Night mode. It blends together several short exposures to create the impression of a long exposure.

To reach further shooting modes and options, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and several more will be revealed. As well as all of the other modes already discussed, there’s also Pro, Time Lapse, Panorama and Slow Motion to be found here. The last three are fairly self-explanatory, but the Pro mode is well worth exploring if you’re a little bit more of an advanced user.

OnePlus 7 Pro
The OnePlus 7 Pro's Shooting Modes

In Pro mode, you’ll be able to change a number of different shooting parameters to suit the situation. There’s ISO, white balance, shutter speed, focusing and exposure compensation. To make changes, you tap each parameter and then use a sliding wheel which appears to make adjustments. It’s also in this mode that you can activate raw format shooting - the option for which appears in the top bar.

Also in the slide up menu is the ability to access further settings. In here you’ll find a number of useful options - one such option is being able to configure which shooting modes appear in the start up screen, so for example if you think you might use Pro mode a lot, you can add it here to save having to delve into the expanded menu. It’s also here that you’ll find options such as Manual HDR control, plus you can turn on lens correction for the Ultra Wide lens.