The OnePlus 7 Pro might be getting all the hype, but it’s not the only phone the Chinese company has announced today. The regular OnePlus 7 is also now official and it’s looking to entice buyers who are still rocking a OnePlus 3, 3T or 5.
OnePlus 7 is a combination of last year’s OnePlus 6T and the 7 Pro, utilising different bits from the two devices to create a handset that’ll retail for £499 (or £549 for 8GB/256GB). That’s £150 cheaper than the entry-level OnePlus 7 Pro and the same price the OnePlus 6T started at.
- We’ve spent a week with the new OnePlus flagship, read our OnePlus 7 Pro review
- How do the two new OnePlus phones compare? OnePlus 7 Pro vs OnePlus 7
The approach OnePlus is taking is a little different this year and the two phone strategy takes it into uncharted waters. During a briefing with the phones, OnePlus reps said it was aiming the OnePlus 7 at buyers who might be still be using a previous OnePlus device, like the 3 or 3T. Whereas the new Pro model is for those tend to upgrade yearly. So, if you’re already happy with your OnePlus 6 or 6T this probably isn’t for you.
That’s not to say there aren’t some big updates here, because, of course, there are. The camera is arguably the biggest new feature and if we’re purely looking at the main sensor then it’s exactly the same as the pricier OnePlus 7 Pro’s.
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OnePlus 7 camera gets a big upgrade
That main camera is the Sony IMX586 and it’s becoming a very popular sensor in mid-to-high-end phones. Basically, it’ll turn four of those pixels into one larger pixel, allowing more light into the sensor and leaving you with better quality 12-megapixel pictures. I haven’t had enough time with the OnePlus 7 to judge the pictures, but is our experience with the OnePlus 7 Pro is anything to go by they should be good.
OnePlus says it’s all improved its low-light mode too, along with adding UltraShot for improving colours and dynamic range.
Around the front, tucked inside the dewdrop notch, is a 16-megapixel selfie camera. It’s the same sensor used in the OnePlus 6T and OnePlus 7 Pro.
OnePlus 7 specs include the latest processor, 8GB RAM and a large battery
OnePlus has also given the OnePlus 7’s internals an update. OnePlus phones have always previously been powered by the latest silicone from Qualcomm and while that was always going to be the case here for the top-end Pro, there was always the chance we could have seen the cheaper 7 ship with a mid-range CPU.
Thankfully that’s not the case and the OnePlus 7 packs the same Snapdragon 855 as the Pro. There’s either 6 or 8GB of RAM too, and two storage options: 128GB or 256GB. As is usual with OnePlus phones there’s no expandable storage.
As you’d expect from a phone running this chipset it’s very fast. OnePlus has always ensured its phones felt as snappy as possible and that’s most certainly the case here.
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A lot of this performance comes from Oxygen OS, which remains my personal favourite reskin of Android. This is because it very much has the same DNA of Google’s own vision of Android and the additions OnePlus has made all make sense. The gesture navigation, for instance, ditches the awful Google interpretation and instead mimics iOS with a swipe up taking you home and a longer swipe and hold giving you an overview of apps. There are some other nice tricks too: built-in screen recording, Zen mode for completely blocking out notifications and a gaming mode.
There’s 3700mAh battery inside that uses Fast Charge and should hopefully get you comfortably through the day on a single charge.
Design and screen very much like the OnePlus 6T, and that’s no bad thing
If OnePlus has taken the internals and camera from the 7 Pro, then it’s taken the design and display from the OnePlus 6T.
Visually the OnePlus 7 looks near-identical to the OnePlus 6T. The front keeps the dewdrop notch, the back feels like a slippery pebble and there’s no headphone jack. There’s also no wireless charging or official IP rating for water resistance. Considering the £499 price-tag I’m not complaining too much though.
The 6.4-inch FHD+ might not match up to the glorious QHD+, 90Hz refresh rate panel you’ll find on the OnePlus 7 Pro, but it’s still a good display. Colours are punchy, there’s a decent array of screen modes (P3, sRGB etc) and as it’s OLED you get perfect, deep blacks.
OnePlus has also said it’s improved the in-display fingerprint, which is a good thing considering how bad it was before.
OnePlus early verdict: Another strong OnePlus device, even if it’s not getting all the hype
This is a steady, slightly predictable update to the OnePlus 6T that is clearly trying to entice those who haven’t updated in a few years. If you’re coming from a OnePlus 3T or even a 5 then the difference should be impressive.
If you’re going to be upgrading from the OnePlus 6 or OnePlus 6T the updates are less immediately obvious. The camera will be better and the performance should be too, whether the improvements will warrant an upgrade remains to be seen though.
That aside, however you look at it this is a great value phone that’s a strong competitor to the excellent Xiaomi Mi 9.
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