I’ve used OnePlus phones for quite a while but have always thought (and I’m not the only one) that the camera let the experience down. The camera was good, just not great. The OnePlus 6T scored 98 on DxOMark’s rating, a rating considered to be a fair approximation of the quality of a smart phone camera.
The phone’s software was and is amazing but the camera was not amazing. This time is different it seems. OnePlus have obviously done a huge amount of work with the OnePlus 7 Pro’s camera because when they sent it to DxOMark it came back with a score of 111.
of note DxOMark also had a phone running software that no one else, including reviewers has access to
Yes, a paltry one single point behind the smartphone camera kings – the Huawei P30 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10+. This puts it above every single iPhone, all Pixel phones, last year’s Huawei and Samsung phones and a massive 13 points over a phone they released just six months ago.
So where did it improve?
Let’s start with the hardware. This year OnePlus went with a triple camera setup, a Sony IMX586 48MP main lens (resulting in a 12MP final picture as it combines four adjacent pictures into one to give greater colour, detail and dynamic range), an ultra-wide (117 degrees) 16MP lens and a 8MP telephoto lens. Add in laser, PDAF and OIS and you have a formidable camera.
Let’s face it, the OnePlus camera could improve across all facets of the test, and it did.
The dynamic range of its images was vastly improved along with it’s zoom and auto focus – which it scored 100 for. The autofocus was “fast, accurate and repeatable in all lighting conditions”. It performed well out on location, not just in the DxOMark office.
The flash result for the OnePlus 7 Pro tied that for the Huawei P30 Pro – top of the heap. It produced outstanding results in “flash and mixed-lighting tests”.
Colors are vivid and pleasant in most tested conditions, and saturation is particularly strong in outdoor images, with more vibrant hues than some of the competition.
While it performed well in low light conditions it was still a fair way off the king of low-light smartphone photography, the P30 Pro. It struggles with exposure to the face of a person with a bright window behind them but was still ok. There were a few artefacts on the OnePlus 7 Pro images and this they only scored 84 for that section – in the end DxOMark concluded that even when the artefacts were visible they weren’t overly detrimental to the overall image quality.
As for video the OnePlus 7 Pro produced accurate exposures and detail with fast autofocus but then had issues with coarse noise on moving subjects in low light – they are not the first to struggle with that.
The conclusion was that the OnePlus 7 Pro “offers great versatility for photographers, and although the ultra-wide camera currently falls outside the scope of our testing and scoring, it’s great to see such options included.” The image quality was “excellent” “in almost all categories”. DxOMark concluded that the OnePlus 7 Pro will produce outstanding photos and videos in “almost all” conditions.
What about that pop-up selfie camera?
You would expect a selfie camera as small as the pop-up selfie camera on the OnePlus 7 Pro to suffer in quality — and relatively it does. While the rear camera was able to nearly match the best of the bunch, the OnePlus 7 Pro sank down to number six on the list of selfie cameras according to DxOMark scores.
On the list the OnePlus 7 Pro dropped in at a selfie camera DxOMark score of 86, three behind the Huawei P30 Pro but 11 behind the leader, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. The score is still ahead of every iPhone selfie camera but it could certainly could be better.
There were some issues with the bokeh effect but the good news is that a lot of the results from this is based on software so this could be improved in the future. On the other hand it was good in good conditions, as you would expect and hope for.
In the end, when the results were tallied the OnePlus 7 Pro scored just one below the Huawei P30 Pro for the rear camera and in the top six for the selfie camera. Scoring such a high result shows that OnePlus really have come of age.
They truly have made an ultra-premium smartphone with the OnePlus 7 Pro – although they are calling it their ultra-premium smartphone and it may well be. With a smartphone camera this good have OnePlus just made the best smartphone of 2019 in the OnePlus 7 Pro?
DxOMark is a very subjective test but does obtain some objective parts to it in that it tests every smartphone the same way. What is important for one person may not be important to the next and as such what one person sees as the best images the next might not – it depends on the importance that person places on the different strengths and weaknesses.