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OnePlus 7 Review: One Hell Of A Great Flagship

by John Nieves  August 15, 2019

The loss of the OnePlus 7 Pro’s gimmicks can’t keep a great phone down

OnePlus unveiled two versions of its yearly flagship killer a few months ago, and while the more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro is getting all the accolades, the equally impressive regular OnePlus 7 is probably one of the best bang-for-the-buck flagships that you can buy right now. The loss of many of the OP7 Pro’s features is a bummer, but its extremely reasonable price point makes it one of our favorite affordable flagships this quarter.

No pop-up, no problem

One of the biggest changes between the OP7 Pro and the regular OP7 is the loss of the pop-up camera module that houses the selfie camera. That means you’re getting a design that looks quite a lot like the OnePlus 6T.

That’s not really a big issue for us, personally since the OP6T was, and still is a handsome smartphone all these months later.

Our review device came in stunning red, though the phone is also available in more sedate gray if you’re not the fan of bright colors.

As far as phone controls go, the OP7 isn’t a huge departure from last year’s model: the volume rocker is one the left, while the power button is on the right. There’s a knurled slider right above the power button that instantly puts the phone in silent mode which we really like.

Just like the OP7 Pro, the OP7 loses the 3.5mm jack, with audio handled by a 3.5mm dongle that attaches to the Type-C port on the bottom of the phone. That USB Type-C port is flanked by two speaker grilles, and the earpiece on the top of the display doubles as another speaker for stereo sound.

Waterdrop notch looks dated but isn’t bothersome

The loss of the pop-up camera module means that the OP7 uses a traditional water-drop notch on the top of its 6.28-inch display. The panel still uses AMOLED technology, but it’s been stripped of its ultra-smooth 90Hz refresh rate though.

If there’s a feature we miss from the OP7 Pro it’s that display, but we understand that features had to be cut to reduce the price of the OP7 to what it is now. The display does still get Corning Gorilla 5 glass protection along with support for the DCI-P3 and sRGB color gamut so it’s not all bad.

The phone also retains one of the fastest under-display fingerprint scanners we’ve ever used. Like seriously, unlocking the phone via the fingerprint sensor is near-instant, something that’s not always the case with implementations of the tech on other phones.

Even with the loss of the silky smooth fast refresh rate, the display on the OP7 still looks pretty awesome. Colors are vibrant and look amazing, and deep blacks are the norm for this phone.

Hard to beat hardware

The OP7 might look like last year’s flagship, but inside it’s all-new. The phone rocks Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and a massive 256GB of storage.

While the phone doesn’t get microSD capability, that’s a moot point considering the amount of storage on tap for the phone. Storage size is pretty generous and you’ll probably not going to use all of that up anytime soon.

As far as performance is concerned, the OP7 pumps out excellent numbers, which isn’t surprising considering what powers the beast. It’s safe to say you won’t have any problems with this particular phone when it comes to performance, gaming or otherwise.

Just like the OP7 Pro, the OP7 runs Android 9 Pie along with OxygenOS, which is a very lightly skinned version of Android. The phone has a few extra features baked into the UI without completely changing how the phone feels from stock Android.

Two cameras instead of three

Another major change of the OP7 VS the OP7 is the pruning of the camera module from three cameras to just two. The wide-angle shooter and optical zoom cameras are nowhere to be found on the OP7, replaced by a5-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor.

You still get the 48-megapixel Sony IMX 586 f/1.7 main camera with OIS that’s on the OP7 Pro though, which is good, since that particular camera did wonders for the phone’s snapping capabilities.

We got really great shots with the phone’s camera, and photos came out really well exposed and had plenty of detail and dynamic range. The loss of the two cameras hurt a little bit (especially that wide-angle shooter) but in terms of the main camera, the OP7 is capable of taking shots as good as OP7 Pro.

So-so battery

4000mAh batteries are becoming the norm for most smartphones now, which is probably the reason we’re bummed to learn that the OP7 only had 3700mAh capacity.

According to our PCMark battery benchmark, the OP7 only managed to net an 8 hour and 45 minute run time. That’s not too bad but it’s not great either. It should be enough to get you through the workday with moderate use, but you’ll be hurting for a charger at the end of the day.

We wish OnePlus squeezed that extra 300mAh inside the phone’s bright red chassis, though.

The OP7 has fast charging capabilities via the brand’s 20W fast charging tech – great for people who only have a few hours a day to charge their phones.

Verdict: An excellent buy for people looking for flagship performance for less

If you hesitated to drop the cash for the OnePlus 7 Pro because of the price, you might be better served by its cheaper sibling. The OP7 might not have that same silky-smooth display, pop-up camera and has fewer cameras, but that doesn’t change the fact that the phone is a great performer on its right.

The pretty display, ultra-quick performance and large storage capacity of the phone make it a great choice for people looking for top-tier hardware without the associated price tag. If you just want the essential OnePlus experience without the frills, then the OnePlus 7 is for you.

The OnePlus 7 Pro retails for Php 26,990 and is officially sold by Digital Walker here in the Philippines.

OnePlus 7 Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128GB/256GB of UFS 3.0 storage
  • 6.28-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Dual rear cameras: 48-megapixel Sony IMX 586 f/1.7 main camera with OIS, 5-megapixel f/2.4 depth sensor, PDAF, LED Flash
  • 16-megapixel f/2.0 front camera with AI
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE Cat. 16/13 4CA
  • Wi-Fi,4×4 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • USB Type-C, in-display Fingerprint sensor, Face unlock, Stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos
  • 3700mAh battery with 20W Warp Charge
  • Android 9.0 Pie

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