A fantastic smartphone that excels in all departments but it's not that different from the OnePlus 7 Pro
- Big 90Hz screen
- Superfast performance
- Great cameras
- A touch large
- Not much different from predecessor
OnePlus originally came to prominence for delivering high-end specifications in phones that significantly undercut the opposition but, in the past few years, it has shifted its sights upwards towards the premium sector of the market. The result is the Pro series, of which the new OnePlus 7T Pro is the newest model, joining the OnePlus 7T a couple of weeks late.
OnePlus 7T Pro review: What you need to know
This is one of OnePlus’ T-series updates (in case you hadn’t already guessed from the name), which arrive with us every October. Normally, we’d expect smallish upgrades from these, but the OnePlus 7T we recently reviewed had a few major additions.
The OnePlus 7T Pro isn’t as interesting as the 7T, although it is a very good mid-/high-end phone. That’s because – aside from new colours, a mildly upgraded chipset and a few small feature additions – it looks very much like the same phone as before.
It runs Android and has a huge 6.7in AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate; a motorised pop-up selfie camera at the front; and three cameras at the rear. It’s equipped with an optical in-display fingerprint reader and fast charging, too, and naturally it’s running Android 10 with OnePlus’ Oxygen OS overlay on top.
OnePlus 7T Pro review: Price and competition
There’s only one model of the base OnePlus 7T Pro. It comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of fast UFS 3 storage and costs £699 SIM-free. The days when OnePlus phones were only available direct from the manufacturer are now over and you’ll be able to buy one from all the big networks, too, on contract. Expect prices to be high, at least initially.
The 7T Pro is also available as a premium McClaren model, just as the OnePlus 6T was last year. This has a carbon fibre pattern that shows through under black glass at the rear of the phone, and McClaren-orange trim surrounding the edges. It has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, comes with an Alcantara case and will cost £799.
At these sorts of prices, the OnePlus 7T Pro isn’t quite in iPhone 11 Pro or Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ territory, but it’s around the same price as the more basic but still brilliant iPhone 11. It’s not far off the Samsung Galaxy S10+, either: a fantastic smartphone that has fallen dramatically in price since it launched at £900 and is now available from various outlets for between £635 and £700.
OnePlus 7T Pro review: Design and features
Aside from the new “Haze Blue” colour – which looks lovely and is finished in silky-to-the-touch matte Gorilla Glass 5 – the OnePlus 7T Pro’s most arresting feature is that enormous 6.7in edge-to-edge display.
Thanks to the pop-up selfie camera, the display almost entirely fills the front of the phone, with no notch to get in the way. As with all OnePlus phones, the 7T Pro comes with a screen protector pre-applied. You might prefer to remove it and feel the phone’s real glass under your fingers: it’s Gorilla Glass 5 and pretty scratch-resistant anyway.
This is quite a big handset as a result of that screen. It measures a monolithic 163mm tall, but it’s lighter than you think at 205g; that’s less than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which has a smaller display. Because the edges of the phone curve gently away to meet its aluminium frame, it doesn’t feel as unwieldy as you might expect it to, either.
Around the edges of the OnePlus 7T Pro are the usual collection of buttons and switches. The volume rocker is on the left and the power button is on the right, alongside OnePlus’ trademark three-position Do Not Disturb switch. The latter allows you to quickly toggle the phone between silent, vibrate and normal modes without having to activate the display – a feature I wish more phones would employ.
On the top edge is that pop-up front camera, which is offset slightly to the left. This pops up automatically when you switch the camera into selfie mode or when you go to unlock the phone using face recognition. You don’t have to use face unlock, though – there’s also an optical fingerprint sensor beneath the screen towards the bottom edge.
Elsewhere, OnePlus has also given its Warp Charge technology a boost with slightly quicker charging in the early part of the charge.
OnePlus 7T Pro Review: Display
The same goes for the screen as the design: it’s essentially identical to the 7 Pro. It measures a huge 6.7in across the diagonal, has a resolution of 1,440 x 3,120, and uses AMOLED tech so contrast is effectively perfect.
As per usual with high-end Android phones, there are a number of different colour profiles to choose from, each one suited to different types of use. The default is Vivid and in this mode the screen displays 100% of the DCI-P3 colour space, making it ideal for watching HDR material on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Indeed, the phone supports up to HDR10+, which is great if you can find the content.
Choose the phone’s Natural colour preset and the colours are a little less saturated and a more accurate representation of the colour space typically used on the web. I measured sRGB coverage in this mode at 93% – a little off the best I’ve seen, but still pretty good.
It’s the display’s 90Hz refresh rate, though, that really marks the OnePlus 7T Pro’s display apart from the competition. It’s enabled by default and lends everything you do on the phone a smooth, slick feeling that you don’t get on most other flagship handsets. Only gaming phones such as the Motorola Razr phone or the Asus ROG phone can match it.
OnePlus 7 T Pro review: Performance and battery life
Coupled with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset inside the OnePlus 7T Pro, the smooth display delivers an amazingly responsive and slick performance. As with the OnePlus 7T, there’s only one variant, which is good to see: you get 8GB of RAM and a whopping 256GB of storage and that’s that.
The OnePlus 7T Pro isn’t, truth be told, much faster than the older OnePlus 7 Pro despite the new chip, and that’s no surprise given the main upgrade here is a minor clock speed bump. That’s no bad thing, though, because it’s as fast as any other Android smartphone on the market.
It’s the same story when it comes to battery life. It’s good – the phone ran for just over 20 hours in our video-rundown test – but not much different from the OnePlus 7 Pro. Again, though: no bad thing.
OnePlus 7T Pro review: Cameras
As for the cameras, the hardware remains the same but with some tweaks to the underlying software and a few new features. There’s a 48-megapixel f/1.6 primary camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a 16-megapixel ultrawide f/2.2 camera, and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 3x optical telephoto camera with OIS. That’s pretty good for a phone in this price bracket and one better than the iPhone 11.
Those new and improved features include a macro mode, which works on all three of the cameras and allows you to get incredibly close-up shots of things. It really is very good, too, as you can see from the sample below: There’s a beefed-up night mode here but, although good, it’s no match for the quality and reliability of either the iPhone 11 or the Pixel phones’ night modes. If you desperately want a phone that can grab great shots in near darkness without blurring the subject matter, you’re best off with one of the OnePlus 7T Pro’s competitors. The comparison shot below shows noticeably more noise in the OnePlus 7T Pro’s shot than the one from the iPhone 11 Pro Max:
The OnePlus 7T’s camera setup is otherwise very good. Don’t bother with the 48-megapixel JPEG mode – this produces poorly exposed images that look oddly watercolour-ish when examined up close – but in the default 12-megapixel mode, photographs produced with the OnePlus 7T look great. They’re full of detail and colour balance is excellent. Having the extra reach of a 3x zoom lets you get that bit closer to your subjects, too.The OnePlus 7T Pro also has the same Super Stable video mode as the 7T, giving you uncannily stable video by using the ultrawide camera and cropping in. This works incredibly well, although it’s worth noting that you can only record super-stable video in 1080p. That video also takes on a notably more grainy, noisy look when you’re recording indoors. Still, at least there’s none of the extreme barrel or centre-bulge distortion that we saw on the OnePlus 7T’s ultrawide camera.
As for general video quality outside the Super Stable mode, that’s also a mixed picture. As with the latest iPhones, you can use the entire zoom range, flicking between ultrawide, wide and tele lenses as you film – but only if you stick to 1080p and 30fps. In 4K mode at either 30fps or 60fps, or 1080p at 60fps, you can only zoom digitally in-shot. Weirdly, you can’t use the ultrawide angle camera at all in these modes. There doesn’t appear to be any stabilisation in 4K 60fps mode, either, where the iPhone 11 delivers silky-smooth shots even as you’re walking down the street.
The selfie camera is decent, though. Colour balance is, if anything, slightly more natural than on the iPhone 11, with a great sense of detail, especially when capturing skin textures. There are beautification settings to smooth away your warts and calluses, but these aren’t enabled by default, thankfully.
OnePlus 7T Pro review: Verdict
Overall, the cameras on the OnePlus 7T Pro are excellent and that goes for the phone as a whole. It’s very fast and responsive; it looks the part; it’s aimed beautifully; battery life is fine; and that 90Hz screen is an absolute dream.
In many ways, the OnePlus 7T Pro is a great phone. It delivers more cameras and more screen for your money than the iPhone 11, and there aren’t as many flaws with it as the regular OnePlus 7T.
With the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus now costing around £630, though, and the OnePlus 7T Pro costing £699, OnePlus’ new flagship isn’t quite the deal that the original OnePlus 7 Pro was earlier in the year.