Cryptography no image

Published on May 26th, 2019 📆 | 3433 Views ⚑

0

Risky OnePlus 7 Pro Gamble Pays Off With Stunning Killer Flagship

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

I’ve been using a OnePlus 7 Pro review unit for the last week to get a better understanding of the device. There are still some areas to explore in more detail over the next few weeks (such as the camera) so expect more long-term thoughts during June. For now I want to look at the overall impression of the handset and the three key areas that define the 7 Pro; the large and fast display, design decisions around the front- and rear-cameras, and the battery and charging options.

Let’s start with the display, and the obvious missing feature. OnePlus has turned the block back a few years are there’s no sign of a notch, punched-out hole, or any trimmed pixels to accommodate the front facing camera. Pair that touch with the much smaller bezels at the top and bottom of the screen and the curved edges leading ito the edge of the handset, and you have a smartphone which is getting closer and closer to an ‘all-screen’ forward facing aspect.

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

While the lack of a notch will drive the headlines, it’s the use of the curved edges on the screen and the obvious comparison to the Galaxy S handsets that visually lifts the OnePlus 7 Pro’s challenger credentials. This touch changes both the look and feel of the device and it screams ‘high-end’ in a way that no other recent OnePlus handset has managed.

Practically it’s a little bit more awkward. Like Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets, the curved edge offers more reflections from ambient light and unless you are looking at the screen in an exact and unnatural orientation there will be optical distortions to any straight lines across the display. Most of the time these never registered with me, but there are occasions – full screen video in Netflix or YouTube being obvious case,  – where it feels ever so slightly uncomfortable and the curved edges pick up some awkward reflections.

OnePlus is not alone in suffering these issues, they apply to any smartphone with a curved screen. Anyone stepping up to match the competition means they will suffer similar issues

Curves aside, the screen is gorgeous. The 6.67 inch display has a resolution of 3120×1440 pixels (QHD+) with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. This is not a phone that is exclusively for single handed use, there’s just too much real estate to stretch your thumb over. Thankfully the 7 Pro wins out not because of the size (it’s not the only big display out there) but the quality. I’ve already highlighted the resolution, but this OLED screen is really bright and staying with the default ‘vivid’ color setting offers you a screen that bristles with popping colors. Alternatively you can switch it to an sRGB or P3 screen, with other customizations available.

Then there’s the refresh rate. This is a relatively new technology for smartphones – 60Hz refresh is the norm but we’ve seen higher refresh rates on devices like the iPad Pro and the Razer Phone 2. OnePlus’ 90Hz refresh rate on the 7 Pro makes everything run much more smoothly when scrolling, navigating the UI and when your touch is echoed with any on-screen action.

To help with battery life and UI speed, the OnePlus 7 Pro can dynamically alter the resolution and the refresh rate as required – so your 1080p YouTube video is not going to be running the same configuration as your massive full screen RPG.

The other feature on the screen – or under the screen – is the fingerprint reader. Following the lead of the OnePlus 6T, OnePlus has continued to use an optical fingerprint reader under the screen. Although some manufacturers have found these to be hit and miss, I found the 6T implementation to be fast and accurate, with a large enough target area that unlocking with a finger or thumb was achieved with ease. The OnePlus 7 Pro continues this tradition.

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

I suspect I’ll be using the fingerprint unlocking a lot more on the 7 Pro than the 6T. Although both handsets also feature facial recognition, the 6T’s forward facing camera was always available, mounted in the teardrop shaped notch on last year’s handset. For the 7 Pro, the selfie camera is tucked out of sight until it is needed. When it is required, the motorised mechanism lifts the camera into position, and tucks it away when no longer needed (or when it detects the phone is falling, in which case it quickly retreats back into the case as a safety precaution).

It gives the phone some much-needed physical identity, but it means the ease of facial recognition is gone. You need to swipe up with your thumb to open up the camera, at which point you might as well use the fingerprint sensor.

OnePlus has also upped the imaging stakes for the main camera,using the popular triple-lens Sony IMX586 CMOS system, which can be found in a number of modern flagship smartphones. OnePlus is using a f/1.6 48 megapixel main camera (which outputs 12 megapixel images by default, oversampling the pixels to create a ‘fusion’ of image data), a 117 degree f/2.2 wide angle lens, and a f/2.4 telephoto lens.

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

I’ve not given the cameras a full workout yet (as noted that OnePlus is going to be updating the camera software in the next week so expect a full review on the imaging when that drops). The camera is far from weak, but in a package where every element is easily above average the camera software is the weakest point.

I think part of that is down to a more natural look in the pictures. There’s less contrast and a notable bias away from vivid colors in the images. This should make for great prints of your pictures, but they do not  pop out of the 7 Pro’s screen. OnePlus’ software choice from the automatic modes needed a little bit of calibration from the public, hence the upcoming update. We are talking about very fine details and decisions here. For day to day use pictures and videos are excellent and the images produced match the expectations of a $700 smartphone… but OnePlus is directly challenging much more expensive smartphones, so the camera software needs that extra edge to be seen as an equal to the Galaxys and iPhones of the world.

OnePlus 7 Pro sample image – full scale crop in lower right (Photo: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

Certainly the core specifications make the OnePlus 7 Pro an equal of these leading handsets. The heart of the handset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 system on chip. My review unit came with 256 GB of onboard storage – there’s no microSD support – and a whopping 12 GB of RAM (12GB /128GB and 8GB/128GB variants are also available). The extra memory certainly helps while switching programs and no doubt comes into play with the higher resolution and faster refresh rate on the screen.

The Android-powered Oxygen OS may be aggressive in keeping memory free, but there’s enough space for my popular apps to stay open and quick to switch to, while lesser apps open smartly without fuss.

Two prominently advertised features have been added to the OS. The first is a full screen capture and recording mode which also allows you to record voiceovers, expect streamers and reviewers to make full use of this. The other is Zen Mode, which locks out almost all of the phone’s functionality for 20 minutes, leaving you just the camera, and the ability make and receive calls… the idea being you can ‘switch off’ from the digital world for a short period of time. It makes for great copy but is it a major selling point?

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

You can’t get away from the fact that the OnePlus 7 Pro is a big handset. Even with the minimal bezels around the screen the handset is near the upper limit of ‘big smartphone’ and you are going to be using this as a two-handed smart[hone for much of the time. But OnePlus has made good use of the extra volume, notably by pushing a 4000 mAh battery into the chassis.

Couple the large battery with the aggressive power-saving code in Oxygen OS and you have a handset that not only makes it comfortably through a working day, but last well into a second day of use without charging. No doubt there are power benchmark numbers out there that show this, but my real word test of ‘does it make it through my day without getting worried’ is easily passed.

If you do need to top up the battery, then OnePlus’ ‘Warp Charge 30’ fast charging system, which debuted in a special edition of the OnePlus 6T last year, is present in the 7 Pro. This promises ‘a day’s power in thirty minutes’ from the 30 watt charger (delivering 5 volts at 6 amps). From zero to full takes around 80 minutes, but you’re looking at around sixty percent charge in the aforementioned thirty minutes.

But to get that fast charge you need to be using OnePlus’ own charger, because much of the circuitry needed is in the charger and not in the handset. You can still use a regular USB-C charger for the OnePlus 7 Pro, you just don’t get the speedy charging.

What’s not here is wireless charging. Long-time readers will know I’m a big fan of this, but they’ll also know that OnePlus has decided to prioritise a fast cabled charge over the convenience of sipping on power throughout the day from a charging pad. Both offer confidence that you can make it from dawn till dusk (and beyond). While I would rather see both options implemented, the OnePlus 7 Pro still has a low price point to meet, and I can understand the decision process that would lead to a lack of wireless charging and a focus on faster wired charging.

I’m less forgiving about the lack of an IP rating for the device. Again this is about consumer confidence. OnePlus can happily show off a 7 Pro being immersed in water and suggest that IP ratings do not reflect real world conditions… but IP ratings are something that consumers have an affinity with. The lack of an IP rating does not come over as ‘waterproof but in a different way’, it comes over as ‘not waterproof’, especially when the handset is sitting on a retail shelf on the high street, rather than being sold to a dedicated OnePlus fan online.

I can live without wireless charging and I can even (grudgingly) live without a 3.5mm headphone jack (even though I feel forced into it by the industry). Neither of these are deal breakers for consumers. But waterproofing? If OnePlus is going to take on the behemoths at the top of the food chain, then it needs to do it with no gaps in its armour – and the lack of an IP rating is a gap.

With the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus has made a conscious decision to fight first on features, then on price. Previously it felt that OnePlus put price marginally before performance… here it is the other way around. While the price is notably higher than previous OnePlus handsets, that extra capacity has allowed the team to step up its game and design a handset that rivals the top tier from other manufacturers while still being seen as a competitively priced flagship.

For consumers more focused on price the OnePlus 7 is expected to be the direct successor to the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, and be in a similar price bracket. But if you are looking for the latest technology in a refreshing design, with the latest features and a strong history in software support, the OnePlus 7 Pro is fighting to be at the top of your list.

Now read more about OnePlus’ plans in my exclusive interview with co-founder Carl Pei…

Disclaimer: OnePlus supplied a OnePlus 7 Pro for review purposes.

“>

Since its first handset was announced in 2014, OnePlus has been the masters of balancing cost against functionality. By building up a reputation of matching other flagship smartphones but at a mid-range price, it gathered a legion of fans. The last twelve months have seen the Shenzhen-based company work on breaking into the mainstream market, and the result is the OnePlus 7 Pro.

But the OnePlus 7 Pro has a new way of approaching the balance point. By deciding to compromise on the ‘mid-range’ target and gambling on a higher list price of $699, OnePlus has taken a risk that a little bit more headroom to bring more technology and features into its prime smartphone will pay off. Couple that with its traditionally aggressive approach to ‘cost vs hardware’ and you have a handset that can comfortably challenge the likes of the Samsung’s Galaxy S10 family and Apple’s iPhone XS portfolio.

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

I’ve been using a OnePlus 7 Pro review unit for the last week to get a better understanding of the device. There are still some areas to explore in more detail over the next few weeks (such as the camera) so expect more long-term thoughts during June. For now I want to look at the overall impression of the handset and the three key areas that define the 7 Pro; the large and fast display, design decisions around the front- and rear-cameras, and the battery and charging options.

Let’s start with the display, and the obvious missing feature. OnePlus has turned the block back a few years are there’s no sign of a notch, punched-out hole, or any trimmed pixels to accommodate the front facing camera. Pair that touch with the much smaller bezels at the top and bottom of the screen and the curved edges leading ito the edge of the handset, and you have a smartphone which is getting closer and closer to an ‘all-screen’ forward facing aspect.

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

While the lack of a notch will drive the headlines, it’s the use of the curved edges on the screen and the obvious comparison to the Galaxy S handsets that visually lifts the OnePlus 7 Pro’s challenger credentials. This touch changes both the look and feel of the device and it screams ‘high-end’ in a way that no other recent OnePlus handset has managed.

Practically it’s a little bit more awkward. Like Samsung’s Galaxy S handsets, the curved edge offers more reflections from ambient light and unless you are looking at the screen in an exact and unnatural orientation there will be optical distortions to any straight lines across the display. Most of the time these never registered with me, but there are occasions – full screen video in Netflix or YouTube being obvious case,  – where it feels ever so slightly uncomfortable and the curved edges pick up some awkward reflections.

OnePlus is not alone in suffering these issues, they apply to any smartphone with a curved screen. Anyone stepping up to match the competition means they will suffer similar issues

Curves aside, the screen is gorgeous. The 6.67 inch display has a resolution of 3120×1440 pixels (QHD+) with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. This is not a phone that is exclusively for single handed use, there’s just too much real estate to stretch your thumb over. Thankfully the 7 Pro wins out not because of the size (it’s not the only big display out there) but the quality. I’ve already highlighted the resolution, but this OLED screen is really bright and staying with the default ‘vivid’ color setting offers you a screen that bristles with popping colors. Alternatively you can switch it to an sRGB or P3 screen, with other customizations available.

Then there’s the refresh rate. This is a relatively new technology for smartphones – 60Hz refresh is the norm but we’ve seen higher refresh rates on devices like the iPad Pro and the Razer Phone 2. OnePlus’ 90Hz refresh rate on the 7 Pro makes everything run much more smoothly when scrolling, navigating the UI and when your touch is echoed with any on-screen action.

To help with battery life and UI speed, the OnePlus 7 Pro can dynamically alter the resolution and the refresh rate as required – so your 1080p YouTube video is not going to be running the same configuration as your massive full screen RPG.

The other feature on the screen – or under the screen – is the fingerprint reader. Following the lead of the OnePlus 6T, OnePlus has continued to use an optical fingerprint reader under the screen. Although some manufacturers have found these to be hit and miss, I found the 6T implementation to be fast and accurate, with a large enough target area that unlocking with a finger or thumb was achieved with ease. The OnePlus 7 Pro continues this tradition.

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

I suspect I’ll be using the fingerprint unlocking a lot more on the 7 Pro than the 6T. Although both handsets also feature facial recognition, the 6T’s forward facing camera was always available, mounted in the teardrop shaped notch on last year’s handset. For the 7 Pro, the selfie camera is tucked out of sight until it is needed. When it is required, the motorised mechanism lifts the camera into position, and tucks it away when no longer needed (or when it detects the phone is falling, in which case it quickly retreats back into the case as a safety precaution).

It gives the phone some much-needed physical identity, but it means the ease of facial recognition is gone. You need to swipe up with your thumb to open up the camera, at which point you might as well use the fingerprint sensor.

OnePlus has also upped the imaging stakes for the main camera,using the popular triple-lens Sony IMX586 CMOS system, which can be found in a number of modern flagship smartphones. OnePlus is using a f/1.6 48 megapixel main camera (which outputs 12 megapixel images by default, oversampling the pixels to create a ‘fusion’ of image data), a 117 degree f/2.2 wide angle lens, and a f/2.4 telephoto lens.

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

I’ve not given the cameras a full workout yet (as noted that OnePlus is going to be updating the camera software in the next week so expect a full review on the imaging when that drops). The camera is far from weak, but in a package where every element is easily above average the camera software is the weakest point.

I think part of that is down to a more natural look in the pictures. There’s less contrast and a notable bias away from vivid colors in the images. This should make for great prints of your pictures, but they do not  pop out of the 7 Pro’s screen. OnePlus’ software choice from the automatic modes needed a little bit of calibration from the public, hence the upcoming update. We are talking about very fine details and decisions here. For day to day use pictures and videos are excellent and the images produced match the expectations of a $700 smartphone… but OnePlus is directly challenging much more expensive smartphones, so the camera software needs that extra edge to be seen as an equal to the Galaxys and iPhones of the world.

OnePlus 7 Pro sample image – full scale crop in lower right (Photo: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

Certainly the core specifications make the OnePlus 7 Pro an equal of these leading handsets. The heart of the handset is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 system on chip. My review unit came with 256 GB of onboard storage – there’s no microSD support – and a whopping 12 GB of RAM (12GB /128GB and 8GB/128GB variants are also available). The extra memory certainly helps while switching programs and no doubt comes into play with the higher resolution and faster refresh rate on the screen.

The Android-powered Oxygen OS may be aggressive in keeping memory free, but there’s enough space for my popular apps to stay open and quick to switch to, while lesser apps open smartly without fuss.

Two prominently advertised features have been added to the OS. The first is a full screen capture and recording mode which also allows you to record voiceovers, expect streamers and reviewers to make full use of this. The other is Zen Mode, which locks out almost all of the phone’s functionality for 20 minutes, leaving you just the camera, and the ability make and receive calls… the idea being you can ‘switch off’ from the digital world for a short period of time. It makes for great copy but is it a major selling point?

OnePlus 7 Pro (image: Ewan Spence)

Ewan Spence

You can’t get away from the fact that the OnePlus 7 Pro is a big handset. Even with the minimal bezels around the screen the handset is near the upper limit of ‘big smartphone’ and you are going to be using this as a two-handed smart[hone for much of the time. But OnePlus has made good use of the extra volume, notably by pushing a 4000 mAh battery into the chassis.

Couple the large battery with the aggressive power-saving code in Oxygen OS and you have a handset that not only makes it comfortably through a working day, but last well into a second day of use without charging. No doubt there are power benchmark numbers out there that show this, but my real word test of ‘does it make it through my day without getting worried’ is easily passed.

If you do need to top up the battery, then OnePlus’ ‘Warp Charge 30’ fast charging system, which debuted in a special edition of the OnePlus 6T last year, is present in the 7 Pro. This promises ‘a day’s power in thirty minutes’ from the 30 watt charger (delivering 5 volts at 6 amps). From zero to full takes around 80 minutes, but you’re looking at around sixty percent charge in the aforementioned thirty minutes.

But to get that fast charge you need to be using OnePlus’ own charger, because much of the circuitry needed is in the charger and not in the handset. You can still use a regular USB-C charger for the OnePlus 7 Pro, you just don’t get the speedy charging.

What’s not here is wireless charging. Long-time readers will know I’m a big fan of this, but they’ll also know that OnePlus has decided to prioritise a fast cabled charge over the convenience of sipping on power throughout the day from a charging pad. Both offer confidence that you can make it from dawn till dusk (and beyond). While I would rather see both options implemented, the OnePlus 7 Pro still has a low price point to meet, and I can understand the decision process that would lead to a lack of wireless charging and a focus on faster wired charging.

I’m less forgiving about the lack of an IP rating for the device. Again this is about consumer confidence. OnePlus can happily show off a 7 Pro being immersed in water and suggest that IP ratings do not reflect real world conditions… but IP ratings are something that consumers have an affinity with. The lack of an IP rating does not come over as ‘waterproof but in a different way’, it comes over as ‘not waterproof’, especially when the handset is sitting on a retail shelf on the high street, rather than being sold to a dedicated OnePlus fan online.

I can live without wireless charging and I can even (grudgingly) live without a 3.5mm headphone jack (even though I feel forced into it by the industry). Neither of these are deal breakers for consumers. But waterproofing? If OnePlus is going to take on the behemoths at the top of the food chain, then it needs to do it with no gaps in its armour – and the lack of an IP rating is a gap.

With the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus has made a conscious decision to fight first on features, then on price. Previously it felt that OnePlus put price marginally before performance… here it is the other way around. While the price is notably higher than previous OnePlus handsets, that extra capacity has allowed the team to step up its game and design a handset that rivals the top tier from other manufacturers while still being seen as a competitively priced flagship.

For consumers more focused on price the OnePlus 7 is expected to be the direct successor to the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T, and be in a similar price bracket. But if you are looking for the latest technology in a refreshing design, with the latest features and a strong history in software support, the OnePlus 7 Pro is fighting to be at the top of your list.

Now read more about OnePlus’ plans in my exclusive interview with co-founder Carl Pei…

Disclaimer: OnePlus supplied a OnePlus 7 Pro for review purposes.

Source link

Download WordPress Themes
Download Premium WordPress Themes Free
Premium WordPress Themes Download
Download WordPress Themes
free download udemy paid course

Tagged with:



Leave a Reply ✍


loading...