This week, OnePlus announced their new flagship to the world, the OnePlus 7 Pro. By chance I was on the ground in New York (after my trip to Google I/O) and made my way to the launch event at Pier 94.
After all the details were revealed all the media made their way into an area to form their own opinions of the new flagship.
The very first impressions are of course how it looks — before you even pick it up. The phone is all display — well not all, but the front is over 93% display and it looks amazing. Don’t give me that cutout, that notch or any of that anymore. I’ve now used a phone with neither, and I loved it. Visibly the phone is an eye catcher, that’s for sure.
- The black — sorry, Mirror Grey — is a great looking phone, until you pick it up. It is a fingerprint magnet. The mirror finish shows every single fingerprint on its surface and had the poor employees looking after that bank of phones extremely busy with the microfibre cleaning cloth.
- The Almond — Wow is all I can say. Although the shiny surface once again attracts fingerprints they are barely able to be seen due to the lighter colour of the surface. While the other two variants have black trim, the Almond colour (although my fiancée tells me she considers it more of a pearl colour) has a gold metallic trim which is around the sides and around and on the back of the pop-up camera. The result is a stunning looking phone which many people, especially a few females I know, would love.
- The Nebula Blue — this one is right up my alley. The Nebula Blue colour is something else. This one is a matte colour and thus NOT a fingerprint magnet as much as the other two. The colour slightly changes as light shines onto it at various angles. The colour is extremely classy which is most likely why it is the only colour available in the high end SKU.
How is the user experience?
Although the phones were in demo mode we were able to speed through a lot of it demonstrating the gaming, the fast refresh rate of the display and the vividness of the display.
The refresh rate of the display did make for what seemed to be a smooth ride through the various screen we could access — which was very few. Although this is a very subjective test, it felt smooth compared to the Pixel and OnePlus 6T I also had on me at the time but hopefully we can get more time into one soon to know for sure.
Of course the phones were all set to a high brightness (i’m assuming close to maximum but that would be guessing — in demo mode we could not be certain. The display though popped. It seemed to be more of an accurate colour palette than that in the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and thus the colours seemed a tad more muted. This was not a bad thing and I felt the colours and sharpness of the display were top notch.
We were able to test out the fingerprint sensor and it was indeed as fast as they say it was — well, it seemed to be. It was difficult to get the stopwatch to accurately time 0.21 seconds. This is a bug bear of many users, that in-display fingerprint sensors are slower and less consistent than rear- mounted sensors. This was indeed fast but not being able to put my own fingerprint in it made it tough to determine its accuracy.
The pop-up camera
The pop-up camera is a great solution to the notch. It has been tested to open and close 300,000 times which should be enough for most of us in a phone’s lifespan — unlocking the phone using face ID or starting the selfie camera a combined 100 times a day (which more way more than most), it would last for over eight years.
The camera does seem to take awhile to pop-up – 0.53 seconds and it seems like an eternity. It does open it though while opening the software at the same time so that helps kill a bit of time. The opening of it is smooth though and not jerky. I was unable to test out the dropping of the phone to see if the camera really did close before it hit the ground unfortunately but I have no reason to doubt it would work — it’s not that difficult for a phone’s accelerometer and sensors to determine when a phone is falling.
Unfortunately that was about all I was sable to test. I am hoping to get one to head out around New York and grab some pic with in the next few days before I head back Downunder. I am looking forward to testing out the DxOMark 111-rated camera and see if it really does deserve that.
In the end my hands on and first impressions were that this device is a real premium competitor. Looks amazing and feels amazing and while it lacks the bells and whistles of other devices OnePlus makes up in speed of the UI. It will be interesting to see if it can convince customers who aren’t tech geeks like us to buy one over that shiny new Samsung they have seen plastered over every billboard around.
What do you really want me to test out in the next few days if I manage to get my hands on one?