OnePlus 7 Pro Review: Killer Display, Great Performance And Value

OnePlus 7 Pro - Software UI, User Experience And Camera Performance

The OnePlus 7 Pro comes enabled with the company's Oxygen OS 9.5 which is based on Android 9 (Pie). OnePlus lightly skins Android with just the right amount of tweaks and hooks for unique device features. It's lean, light on memory footprint and in fact, compared to Google's recent Android 9 Pixel 3 UI, I actually prefer this version of Oxygen OS over bone stock Android. This is definitely a user preference area, however.

OnePlus 7 Pro Home Screen about OnePlus 7 Pro
settings pull down gaming mode OnePlus 7 Pro free fall detection selfie camera

Other thoughtful inclusions on the software side of things have returned with the OnePlus 7 Pro, including a Gaming, Fanatic Gaming mode, and Reading mode. Reading mode invokes a pure black and white display setup for better contrast with text, especially at night with no blue light emission. This mode is also intelligent enough to know when you fire up an app like the picture gallery or the camera app, that it should kick color back on for the display. This is not always foolproof though and YouTube continued in a black and white retro-vibe. Gaming mode, as you might expect, allows for optimization of the gaming experience with blocked notifications, optimized display contrast, better haptic feedback for games that support it and a Fanatic mode that prioritizes system performance and network connectivity exclusively toward a game that's running.

Finally, yes, the OnePlus 7 Pro's telescopic selfie camera does retract automatically to protect itself if the phone's onboard accelerometer detects the device is in a free-fall or drop situation. As you can see, we captured the screen prompt above noting the camera has been retracted, and it does retract pretty quickly at that. Speaking of cameras, let's have a look at the most recent OnePlus camera software package and its resulting performance with the OnePlus 7 Pro's quad-camera setup comprised of its front-facing camera and triple rear cameras. 

OnePlus 7 pro camera settings
OnePlus 7 pro camera video settings
OnePlus 7 pro pro camera
The OnePlus camera app has undergone several updates since we got the OnePlus 7 Pro in for review. At this point, even OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T (perhaps OP 5 as well, though we haven't tested it) owners are being treated to a decidedly more capable camera than previous generation releases. The camera app for video and stills itself is pretty straight-forward and encompasses all you should expect from a high-end Android phone these days, from Portrait mode, to Night Sight low light shooting, and Pro Mode with full control over white balance, ISO and f-stop. Video mode shooting includes time-lapse and slow-mo functionality, as well as up to 4K60 recording. 

OnePlus 7 Pro Camera Sample Gallery - In A Word, Impressive

However, along with the OnePlus 7 Pro's bevy of features, it is now very competent at capturing and rendering of both stills and video. And what do you do with a new flagship Android phone with a powerful camera? Why, take it to Friendly Fenway Park, home of the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, of course!

fenway park red sox game oneplus 7 pro
Standard Aspect Shot
fenway park red sox game oneplus 7 pro wide angle
Ultra-Wide Angle Shot

In the top image there are a few highlights to note in the the standard viewing angle shot on the OnePlus 7 Pro's 48MP Sony IMX 586 sensor. First, contrast in the sky is excellent and colors are both accurate and vibrant without being over- or under-saturated in all areas of the scene. Also note the stop action photography of the pitcher in his delivery in the top shot. It's far away, but overall detail is excellent. In the ultra-wide angle shot, the image isn't quite as crisp on the 16MP camera, but you can appreciate the impressively wide field of view that in certain venues and situations can be highly valuable.  

fenway park red sox game oneplus 7 pro night shot
Standard Mode Shot - Challenging Light

OnePlus 7 Pro night sight
Night Sight Shot

bokeh OnePlus 7 Pro bokeh Pixel 3a XL
Portrait Mode - OnePlus 7 Pro (Left) - Google Pixel 3a XL (Right)

OnePlus 7 indoor light shot OnePlus 7 Pro mixed light shot
OnePlus 7 Pro Selfie Cam Shot
Dog Selfie Cam In Effect, With A Side Of Double Side-Eye

OnePlus 7 Pro Yogi Dog bokeh
Yogi, In Fabulous Portrait Mode - OnePlus 7 Pro

The other shooting modes of the OnePlus 7 Pro's triple camera array and front-facing selfie camera are also impressive. In our portrait mode comparison versus the Google Pixel 3a XL, the OnePlus 7 Pro takes the win in our opinion, with better color, exposure, and finer detail in the flower arrangement though perhaps with slightly less background bokeh. Further, the challenging shot of Fenway after dark with the Green Monster grand stand lights blasting the camera, shows respectable contrast and color for such a complex scene. And our Night Sight mode shot of the deck umbrella scene looks vibrant and clear as well, with minimal noise. 

Finally, Yogi never looked so good, with almost perfectly accurate colors and balanced contrast, along with nice background blur of the stone wall and grass behind him. Without question, OnePlus has a very strong Portrait mode capture now with the OnePlus 7 Pro and Night Sight rivals Google Pixel devices as well, in our opinion. Even our goofy front selfie cam shot offered impressive clarity for a fixed focus capture. 

Color us impressed. OnePlus has upped its camera chops substantially, but let's check out the video scene as well...

The OnePlus 7 Pro's ability to capture and adjust to various lighting conditions in video is excellent, as is its responsiveness with auto-focus. Part of our demonstration here throwing the ball for Yogi, when I hold the baseball up to the camera, is intentionally trying to throw off focus when pulling the ball away and focusing back on Yogi for the throw and fetch. The OnePlus 7 Pro responds admirably and in general its overall scene capture, especially in 4K 60FPS shooting, is fantastic with good color color balance, vibrance, and contrast.

One area the OnePlus 7 Pro isn't quite as responsive in is image stabilization. We found 30FPS shooting to offer mildly better stability, but in general walking motions were tougher for the new OnePlus phone to settle down. Perhaps this will improve over time, as OnePlus is still dropping new firmware updates for the devices with camera enhancements even as we moved to publication of this review.

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