As I said this morning, OnePlus are cleverly orchestrating the hype train for the upcoming release of the OnePlus 7 Pro. Now they have handed their flagship to WIRED and told them to have at it and answered questions along the way.

In a bid to show off their improved imaging alongside the $100 million yuan display WIRED took the OnePlus 7 Pro to the track at the Formula 1 GP and took some pictures.

One of the features they showed off was the new 3x optical zoom. While not as impressive as the Huawei 7x optical zoom and the upcoming OPPO 10x optical zoom the 3x optical zoom was still impressive and a definitely improvement over the camera in the OnePlus 6T. Compared to the Huawei P30 Pro’s zoom “there’s marginally less detail, more noise and less mid-tone contrast in the OnePlus 7 Pro’s zoomed images” – one positive of the lower zoom is that there is a more accessible field of view.

OnePlus imaging director Simon Liu said that:

I think we have a shot at competing with the first tier phones. I don’t think we can beat them, but the imaging world is always subjective.

One thing the phone does lack is a ToF sensor used by many phones now for AR and depth of field but OnePlus say their phone is capable of competing with the best. It can do this with improved HDR and low light imaging. They apparently use the 48MP lens (not confirmed by OnePlus) and use “pixel binning” to create 12MP images.

WIRED say that it looks like OnePlus may have finally nailed HDR with the image looking much more natural while holding on to a “realistic colour temperature and tonal fidelity”. As stated there are no bells and whistles such as AR but that would be asking too much — let’s get the basics perfect first.

As Simon Liu said, imaging is subjective so it is up to the user which images they like. At this stage of the game the difference between a high end smartphone image and that of a phone a rung below such as a OnePlus phone are very small. By themselves they will look just fine and the difference is only seen when compared side by side.

At the end of the day how much extra would you pay for that small increase in camera quality? How much is it worth to you? What do you think of the images above, albeit a very small sample size?

We will find out all the details about the OnePlus 7 Pro cameras on May 14 (US time) where it will be launched in New York at 11am (NY time). Luckily I will be on holidays there at the time and will be in attendance. I look forward to bringing you all the details first hand and my first hands on impressions of the phone — oh and yes I will be asking them, again, when they will be bringing it to Australia.

Source: WIRED.