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OnePlus 7T Pro Review

The OnePlus 7T Pro is official, and while we love it, we can't wholeheartedly recommend it. Find out why in our full review.

Should I Buy The OnePlus 7T Pro?
The OnePlus 7T Pro boasts an excellent 90Hz display, a powerful chipset capable of a high-end gaming experience and a great triple-camera setup that performs well in most conditions. But, with such a similar offering to the cheaper OnePlus 7T, the 7T Pro is amongst the best smartphones that we can't wholeheartedly recommend. 

Price When Reviewed
  • £699 (Around $900)
The OnePlus 7T Pro was revealed today at an event in London, and while it might not like much has changed, the 7T Pro offers a range of enhancements that elevate the already impressive experience on offer from the 7 Pro earlier this year. That includes a faster processor, improved charge speeds and new camera features, but is that enough to tempt consumers from the equally impressive OnePlus 7T?

Pricing And Availability
As revealed at the London event, the OnePlus 7T Pro is due for release on 5 November 2019 and will set consumers back £699 in the UK, the same price as the 8GB/256GB variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro earlier this year. It's not exactly surprising, but given how similar the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro are, we're not sure the 7T Pro is worth the extra £150.

The OnePlus 7T Pro will be available to pre-order directly from OnePlus from 10am on 17 October, just over two weeks before the devices start shipping. 

Same Design, Different Name
There’s no avoiding the obvious; the OnePlus 7T Pro looks almost identical to its predecessor – in fact, we put them side-by-side in our 7T Pro unboxing and could barely spot any differences.

With that being said, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The OnePlus 7T Pro, like the 7 Pro, is a stunningly gorgeous smartphone with a curved display, a matte glass rear and a reflective aluminium body. The curved design of the smartphone – both the body and the display – fit the curvature of your hand nicely, making the 6.55in smartphone easier to hold with one hand. It’s only when you flip the smartphone that you notice a difference – the colour.

The OnePlus 7T Pro is available exclusively in Haze Blue, and although it isn’t hugely different to the dark blue haze of the 7 Pro, the 7T Pro’s vibrant rear certainly catches the light and refracts the light in a unique way. It’s covered with OnePlus’ fourth-gen matte glass which, in addition to giving the phone a high-end, understated look, helps to negate fingerprints and smudges – a plus in our books.

In terms of specifics, the OnePlus 7T Pro measures in at 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm and 206g – the exact same as its predecessor - making finding a OnePlus 7T Pro case a breeze if you're upgrading from the 7 Pro.

Display

Of course, it’s the display that steals the show. The OnePlus 7T Pro sports a 6.57in AMOLED QHD+ (3120 x 1440) display with incredible colour range, detail and HDR10+ support, and while that’d be impressive enough, the 90Hz refresh rate elevates the entire OnePlus 7T Pro experience.

It’s not a feature unique to the 7T Pro, admittedly, as it first launched with the 7 Pro earlier this year and is also available on the recently announced 7T too, but it’s still amongst few non-gaming-focused smartphones on the market that offer the improved refresh rate.

It really is a transformative experience for those yet to try it out; everything feels buttery smooth and ultra-responsive, whether that’s scrolling through Twitter or enjoying Call of Duty Mobile at up to 90fps. Animations are faster and more fluid too, thanks in part to enhancements in OxygenOS 10. It’s safe to say that after getting used to the experience of the 90Hz display, we’ll struggle to go back to any 60Hz smartphone.

Of course, the increased refresh rate does drain the battery, so that’s why OnePlus gives you the option to drop down to 60Hz when you want to extend battery life. It’s smart enough to automatically jump up to 90Hz when playing games or watching supported content, so you won’t miss out on the experience entirely.
Refresh rate aside, the OnePlus 7T Pro sports a notchless display, providing a clean display experience that can’t be matched by the likes of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro and iPhone 11. That’s thanks to the inclusion of a pop-up selfie camera embedded in the body of the phone itself, which doubles up as a cool party trick to show friends at parties.

It’s curved, like its predecessor, adding to the premium feel and ‘Pro’ branding of the 7T Pro, but the palm rejection technology rains on OnePlus’ Pro display parade. Despite the company claiming that the phone is intelligent enough to recognise and ignore input from the palm when gripped, we’ve found that this simply doesn’t happen much of the time.

We’ve had multiple occasions where our palm has opened a tweet on Twitter or scrolled down too far in the app drawer during our time with the 7T Pro. It’s frustrating and simply can’t compete with what’s on offer from competing companies like Huawei and Samsung.

Like the OnePlus 7 Pro before it, the OnePlus 7T Pro features an in-display fingerprint scanner. It didn’t perform too well on the 7 Pro earlier this year, but OnePlus took that onboard and have updated the algorithms and performed other magic to exponentially improve scan speeds.

This time around, the fingerprint scanning process is almost instant - in fact, we’d go as far as to say that it’s one of the best implementations of in-display fingerprint scanners we’ve seen to date.

It’s All About The 855+
One of the key differences between the OnePlus 7T Pro and its predecessor is the processor; the latest model features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855+ chipset alongside the Adreno 640 GPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. The upgraded processor provides a bit of extra grunt, which is key when rendering at 90Hz, although owners of the OnePlus 7 Pro owners aren’t likely to notice any stark performance gains.

It is, as you’d expect, rapid in just about every aspect; cameras load up instantly, scrolling through media-heavy apps like Facebook and Instagram is stutter-free and it can handle even the most complex 3D games - like Call of Duty Mobile, Fortnite and PUBG Mobile - at max settings without breaking a sweat.

That’s backed up by our benchmark results, showcasing performance that beats most of the flagship competition.


But while the game performance is flawless even at 90Hz, the smartphone gets noticeably hot during longer sessions. In fact, we had to quit playing Call of Duty Mobile at one point because the top of the smartphone (or left side when held horizontally) got so hot that we could barely touch it. It was a similar story during our graphics benchmark test too; about 15-20 minutes in, the phone got so hot that it started disabling features to combat the rising temperatures.

So, while the OnePlus 7T Pro can provide a flagship-level gaming experience, it can’t sustain it for long periods of play.  

In terms of battery life, we’ve found that the OnePlus 7T Pro’s 4085mAh battery will get you through the day with no issues, and that’s backed up by our battery benchmark which saw it last an impressive 10 hours and 47 minutes.

The battery is an underwhelming 85mAh compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro, but what is important is fast(er) charging; OnePlus calls it 30T charging, and it offers a speedier charging experience thanks to enhancements to the battery itself. Though it’s not quite as speedy as the OnePlus 7T, we found that the OnePlus 7T Pro jumped from 0-46% in 20 minutes and 0-64% in 30 minutes.

In terms of connectivity, the OnePlus 7T Pro offers Wi-Fi 6 alongside Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS and 4G connectivity. Early adopters of 5G connectivity are out of luck though, as 5G support is still unique to the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G with no plans of releasing a ‘T’ variant.

Great Camera Performance

The OnePlus 7T Pro, like the OnePlus 7T, sports a triple-camera setup on the rear along with a single front-facing camera, but there are slight differences between the offerings that make the 7T Pro the obvious winner.

Let’s first get the specs out of the way; the OnePlus 7T Pro sports a 48Mp main sensor with an f/1.6 aperture, optical image stabilisation and a seven-element lens to improve image clarity. Alongside the main snapper, you’ve got a 117-degree ultra-wide 16Mp sensor with f/2.0 aperture, electronic image stabilisation and a six-element lens and last, but by no means least, you’ll find a 12Mp 3x telephoto lens with f/2.2 aperture, EIS and a six-element lens.

That’ll probably seem familiar to OnePlus 7 Pro owners as, on the hardware side of things, nothing has changed. But while the hardware is the same, OnePlus has introduced a handful of new software enhancements that should improve the already impressive rear camera setup of the smartphone.

Generally speaking, the performance from all three sensors is great. The majority of images are well detailed, vibrant and well-lit, and the HDR performance is impressive - even in heavily backlit photos. But with that being said, we have noticed that the wide-angle camera does utilise an over-aggressive noise reduction algorithm at times that can leave detailed surfaces looking a little bit soft.

Take the above wide-angle shot of Luna the German Shepherd as an example; it looks great on the surface, but if you zoom in and look at her forearms, you’ll struggle to make out the smaller details. That’s not really an issue with the main 48Mp sensor though, as you can see in the below image.  

The improvements come in the form of an enhanced Portrait mode; the mode allows you to switch between two focal lengths – standard and telephoto – depending on the subject of the image, and we’ve not had many complaints when it comes to the accuracy of the edge recognition either.

The catch is, like with previous generations of OnePlus smartphone, you can’t tweak the bokeh effect either during or after taking the photo. It’s a bit of a niche, admittedly, but it’s a feature offered by many competing smartphones and we’re disappointed not to see it implemented in the 7T Pro. 

The Nightscape mode is back, but this time around you’re able to switch between the main 48Mp snapper and the ultra-wide 16Mp snapper depending on what the situation calls for. It’s a feature not offered by many smartphones, but after using Nightscape with the ultra-wide camera we understand why; it’s not a great experience.

Specifically, the f/2.2 aperture of the wide-angle lens can’t compete with the f/1.6 aperture of the main sensor and the difference not only in overall quality but what you can actually see is immediately noticeable upon comparison. So yeah, while you can use the ultra-wide in the dedicated Nightscape mode, we’d probably recommend sticking to the main sensor.

Alongside the Nightscape mode enhancements, the OnePlus 7T Pro introduces the ability to take close-up macro shots. It uses the ultra-wide angle camera to achieve the results, and can accurately focus on subjects between 2.5 and 8cm with impressive results. It’s not something you’ll be using very often, but it performs well when needed.
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On the video front, the OnePlus 7T Pro offers up to 4K@60fps along with a dedicated slow-mo mode that caps out at 720p@240fps. That’s pretty standard, but where the OnePlus stands out is with the introduction of a Super Stable shooting mode.

It uses the wide-angle lens (although the crop makes it almost unnoticeable) and provides an incredibly smooth experience akin to what you’d get from a gimbal mount. The software stabilisation is noticeable at times, but it’s not enough to discourage you from actively using the mode when necessary.

Flip the phone over and you’ll find a 16Mp snapper in the form of a pop-up camera. The pop-up functionality is cool but we’re confident that this is the same sensor that was used not only in the OnePlus 7 Pro, but the 6T series too.

It’s a decent camera more than capable enough of capturing detailed selfies for sharing on social media, and the Portrait mode performance is pretty decent when you consider the single-lens setup.

OxygenOS Is A Breath Of Fresh Air
The OnePlus 7T Pro runs OxygenOS 10 based on Android 10 out of the box. Unlike previous iterations of OxygenOS and Android, the shift to 10 isn’t immediately apparent, but it does come with a handful of new and improved features to enhance your digital life.

The first improvement is in terms of navigation; the OnePlus 7T Pro offers the ability to swipe in from the side of the display to go back a step instead of tapping the back button at the bottom of the display. It might sound like a small change but it’s one that’ll radically enhance your OnePlus experience!

ZenMode, for those unaware, is OnePlus’ answer to digital wellbeing. The idea is simple; when you want to live in the moment and not get distracted by your phone, you can enable ZenMode and disable almost all functionality for a specified amount of time.

The OnePlus 7 Pro offers up to 20 minutes, but that has been ramped up to an hour on the OnePlus 7T Pro. In an age where people are focused on improving digital habits, it’s nice to see OnePlus offering something a little bit different.

On top of that, there's a range of smaller enhancements that improve the overall experience of OxygenOS 10 and solidify its place as one of our favourite third-party Android skins around.  

Verdict
The OnePlus 7T Pro is a phenomenal smartphone with a gorgeous design, powerful internals and great camera performance at a price point we expect to be much cheaper than its rivals. The 90Hz refresh rate display really makes all the difference when using the smartphone, but with the launch of the OnePlus 7T, this is no longer a feature exclusive to the Pro variant – and it’s the same with the triple-camera setup too.

While it looks great and offers impressive performance, not much has changed compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro – in fact, the only physical changes are the new Snapdragon 855+ processor and an improved battery. And when you consider the similarities between the 7T and 7T Pro, there isn’t much beyond the curved display that gives the 7T Pro the ‘Pro’ moniker.

So while the OnePlus 7T Pro is a great smartphone, it isn’t much of an upgrade from either the 7 Pro or the new 7T, making this the best phone that we can’t wholeheartedly recommend.

To see what we mean, take a look at our OnePlus 7T review and see why it's so impressive. 

Specs
  • 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
  • 206g
  • 6.67in AMOLED display (3120 x 1440)
  • 516ppi
  • In-display fingerprint scanner
  • Pop-up 16Mp selfie camera
  • Rear-facing triple camera setup (48Mp main, 16Mp ultra-wide and 8Mp telephoto)
  • Up to 4K@60fps video
  • Available in Haze Blue
  • Snapdragon 855+
  • 8GB RAM
  • Adreno 640
  • 256GB storage
  • 4G LTE
  • Wi-Fi 5
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • GPS
  • 4085mAh battery with 30T fast charging

View my Flipboard Magazine.

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