OnePlus 7T Pro review | TechRadar


Two-minute review 

The OnePlus 7T Pro is so small an upgrade over the 7 Pro that we’re still not sure why it exists. Those who bought the OnePlus 7 Pro won’t be missing out by not upgrading. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a lousy phone.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen minor upgrades on a ‘T’ variant. Remember the OnePlus 3T? It’s just that OnePlus 7T was a more fulfilling upgrade, and that raised our expectations from the Pro as well.

That said, OnePlus 7T Pro is still the best phone company has in its current portfolio. The highlight remains the QHD+ 90Hz 6.67-inch bezel-less curved screen that’s just a treat to use. The display looks even better because there’s no notch so that users get end edge to edge immersive view of the display. That higher refresh rate means whatever you’re scrolling through on your display loads faster than low refresh rate screens, and that enhances the user experience by a considerable margin.

It also boasts a strong all-day battery life, so you’ll be able to use your phone intensively and be confident that it’s going to last for a whole day from a single charge.

It still doesn’t have the perfect camera, nor it’s the most powerful phone in the market, but it’s fair to call it one of the most reliable phones you will get at this price. But the question remains if we really need it when the 7 Pro does everything it can do?

OnePlus 7T Pro price and release date 

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The OnePlus 7T Pro won’t be available in the US or Australia, but you will be able to buy it if you’re in India and the UK.

OnePlus 7T Pro is available in a single storage option, 8GB RAM + 256GB storage, and is priced at Rs 53,999. The 7T Pro McLaren Edition is a maxed-out variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage and is priced at Rs 58,999.

To recall, the OnePlus 7 Pro with the same (8GB + 256GB) configuration set was launched at Rs 52,999 while the maxed-out variant with 12GB RAM retailed at Rs 57,999. The McLaren Edition of OnePlus 6T from last year was introduced at Rs 50,999.

OnePlus 7T Pro goes on sale for the first time from October 12 at 12 PM IST and will be available on OnePlus India Store and Amazon India. The McLaren Edition OnePlus 7T Pro will go on sale a bit later from November 5 at noon.

Design

The OnePlus 7T Pro looks familiar to the 7 Pro. Even the regular users will find it difficult to spot the differences. While that doesn’t go against the phone but it’s also not something that will compel customers to spend extra cash on it.

It has a frosted glass back in Haze Blue color, which is a slightly lighter shade of blue (in pictures), unlike the Nebula Blue. The back has a non-reflective matte finish, which makes it very slippery.

There’s no change in the size and thickness, making it quite large to use comfortably with one hand. It’s a comfortable device to have in your hand, though, thanks to the rounded edges of the rear and the matte finish.

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OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition

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There’s a separate version of the phone called the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition that comes with a design themed around the sports car brand. The tech is largely similar but it has some slightly higher spec such as 12GB of RAM.

The 7T Pro measures 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm and weighs 206g, making it one of the heftier handsets we’ve seen recently.’

On the bottom edge of the OnePlus 7 Pro are the SIM tray, USB-C port, and a single speaker. You won’t find a 3.5mm headphone though, as that’s a feature OnePlus dropped a while ago.

It’s worth noting that the OnePlus 7T Pro doesn’t come with an IP water resistance rating, so you probably shouldn’t get this device wet. We know it can survive splashes but we feel it’s time the company should get the certification. Especially when the Pro buyers are paying such a hefty amount for the phone. 

Display

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One of the most significant value addition to the OnePlus 7T Pro is its large beautiful display. It’s a 6.67-inch display that’s slightly curved at the side edges and looks gorgeous when you’re holding the phone. The resolution of 3120 x 1440, which comes out to 516 pixels per inch.

What makes it look better is that there’s no obstruction like a notch or a punch hole encroaching on the screen.

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It continues to use the pop-up front-facing camera that peeps out in a second when you trigger it. Our OnePlus 7 Pro has been doing good with the pop-up, and we’ve not seen any issue with having this as an alternate for the selfie camera. The camera deploys just as swiftly and smoothly here.

As you might know, it also has a fall detection feature that alerts the camera to retract when the phone falls.

The display is just as good as the OnePlus 7 Pro. Be it games, movies, browsing, everything looks good. You get tons of customization options in the display settings where it has three presets of screen calibrations, an alternative to switch between refresh rates and resolution, video enhancer to boost vibrancy in videos, and more.

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What does the 90Hz refresh rate mean? It means the display here refreshes 1.5 times faster than those on most other phones, because of which, things look smoother on it.

You can notice it when you’re gaming, scrolling through web pages or social media feed. It may not be something you may instantly notice, but once your eye gets used to it, you’ll see the difference if you switch back to a 60Hz handset.

There’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor that’s snappy and the best way to unlock the phone without any added frills.

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Specs and performance

One of the few upgrades in the 7T Pro is the Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, paired with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. Those who want more can opt for the McLaren Edition, which offers whopping 12GB of RAM.

Sadly, there’s just one storage option, unlike the 7 Pro. Meaning, no other option for someone waiting for a slightly cheaper variant.

However, the power on this phone is very impressive. In everyday use, we didn’t encounter any problems, and it’s able to load and run the heaviest of games without a hiccup. Everything from loading apps to switching app is snappy, and this gives absolutely no chance to complain.

Specifically for gaming, there is the Fnatic mode, which was introduced with the OnePlus 6T. It’s a very underrated feature, but serious smartphone gamers would know how useful it is. Those who do not play games a lot may not even notice it but makes gaming more suitable for it. It mutes all the notifications, streamlines network connectivity, and boosts performance when switched on.

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Our benchmarking tests include using Geekbench 5, and here the 7T Pro returned a score of 2584. It’s difficult to compare that score to other flagship phones at the moment as the Geekbench software is updated recently, so most of our benchmarking has been done on a previous version and isn’t easy to compare. We’ve run Geekbench 5 on the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, which scored 2197.

It was beaten in the same test by the iPhone 11; in fact, it blew all other contenders out of the water with a score of 3186.

That said, we found that the 7T Pro performed everyday tasks without an issue, and when you combine that performance with a neat OxygenOS and that immersive display, everything seems very smooth. But it’s still close to what you get on the 7 Pro, so performance isn’t big a differentiator.

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Software

The OnePlus 7T Pro arrives running OxygenOS 10 on top of Android 10. For the unaware, OxygenOS is OnePlus’ self-customized overlay or skin that brings a new design and additional features to the software.

It’s not close to stock Android as it has its style and flavor that has a good track record. Although design preferences are subjective, in my opinion, it’s the slickest custom UI on any Android phone right now. It looks different but subtle, it doesn’t feel cluttered, and it’s becoming more user-friendly with time. On top of all that, it’s super smooth to operate. Animations, transitions, unlocking speed, and even the typing experience is visually pleasing.

For visuals, it has tons of preset customization options and many in the accessibility settings too. However, if you’re a first time user, you might take some time to set your hands on it.

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Extra features included within the latest version of Oxygen OS are a dark mode – we found it looked stylish across the entire system – and you also get interesting features such as Zen mode, which prompts you to turn your phone off to give yourself some peace.

OnePlus has also promised to roll out some India exclusive features like Caller Identification, Smart SMS, OnePlus Roaming, and more soon.

Camera

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The rear camera array on the OnePlus 7T Pro is similar to the 7 Pro consisting of a 48MP primary sensor joined by 16MP ultra-wide and 8MP telephoto lens options.

While it’s a significant improvement over the 7 Pro’s first camera built, we’re still can’t call it the best camera under this price especially, because that’s where we expected the 7T Pro to bring the most improvement over the 7 Pro.

“OnePlus took us to its camera R&D lab in Taiwan a couple of months ago. It didn’t just show us it’s camera testing lab and procedures but also took our feedback on how to improve the camera on their phones — considering that the company has tried to implement most of it, and it’s visible.”

While image sharpness and color accuracy have been improved recently on OnePlus’s cameras, it is still behind the likes of Samsung S10e and the Google Pixel 3A at this price. The only advantage it offers is more variety of lenses that these two.

We found the Nightscape mode to produce generally better results than its predecessor. Below are some camera samples at night using the three modes.

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Low light shot using primary camera

Low light shot using primary camera

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Low light shot using ultra wide camera

Low light shot using ultra wide camera

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Nightscape on

Nightscape on

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Nightscape on moving object

Nightscape on moving object

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Without nightscape 3X zoom

Without nightscape 3X zoom

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The ultra-wide camera came in useful on multiple occasions during our time using the phone, and it’s especially appreciated when you need to squeeze more of a scene, or more people, into the frame. The quality has improved; it now handles exposure more accurately.

We noticed a significant improvement in the portrait mode this time. The blur is softer and looks more natural.

We noticed a significant improvement in the portrait mode this time. The blur is softer and looks more natural.

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The telephoto lens is impressive too, enabling you to zoom in on subjects without sacrificing image quality – below, you can see comparison shots taken with the ultra-wide, normal, and telephoto lenses.

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Telephoto with 3X zoom

Telephoto with 3X zoom

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Primary camera

Primary camera

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Ultra wide camera

Ultra wide camera

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The pop-up selfie camera is 16MP, but while that number looks good on paper, it isn’t the best selfie camera we’ve used. It’s fine for the kind of shots you’ll be uploading to social media, but that’s about it.

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Front camera in natural light

Front camera in natural light

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Front camera in artificial light

Front camera in artificial light

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front camera in low light

front camera in low light

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Front camera portrait mode

Front camera portrait mode

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You will get good looking selfies in well-lit scenarios but the front camera still struggles in low lighting conditions. As you can see above, low light selfies lack detail and there’s visible noise in the picture.

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10X zoom

10X zoom

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Ultra wide angle lens

Ultra wide angle lens

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Same shot using primary camera

Same shot using primary camera

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3X zoom

3X zoom

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Battery life

The OnePlus 7T Pro comes with a 4085mAh battery that performs admirably. It lasted me a whole day on a single charge, even with extensive usage. What’s good is that you don’t need to put on charging overnight, it gets from 0-100% by the time you take a shower, have breakfast and get ready for work using the bundled charger.

The new Warp Charge 30T is said to be 23% faster than the previous iteration. I did find it to be faster as it charged my phone from 0-50% in 30 minutes.

In real-world use, where I make a few calls, regularly check my WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat notifications, listen to music, and a few hours of CoD Mobile or PUBG Mobile before bed, it lasted for a whole day with ease.

Once again, OnePlus is emphasizing fast charging rather than including wireless charging on the phone. This isn’t an essential feature but it is fair to expect at this price.

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Buy it if…

You need a OnePlus 7 Pro with faster charging and minor performance boost

The OnePlus 7T Pro won’t be as affordable as the OnePlus 7T or even the 6GB RAM variant of the 7 Pro. At Rs 53,999, it is just Rs 1000 more than the cost of 256GB variant of the 7 Pro, which also comes with 12GB RAM instead of 8GB on the 7T Pro.

You are looking for the best value for money flagship under 55K

While it’s clear that the OnePlus 7T Pro is just a refresh to the 7 Pro, we can’t deny that it’s still one of the best value for money flagship in its range because it only lacks features that usually don’t affect the buying choice of a consumer. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of display, performance, software experience, battery and camera to an extent.

Don’t buy it if…

You can compromise on “23%” faster charging to save Rs 5,000

The 8GB/256GB variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro costs Rs 48,999 and 7T Pro costs Rs 53,999. You’re paying Rs 5,000 extra to get Warp Charge 30T and Snapdragon 855+ on the OnePlus 7 Pro. What we can tell you is that the difference isn’t that much. 

You’re looking for the very best camera phone

Once again the camera on a OnePlus phone falls short of the standards being set by rivals, and if you’re after the best possible shooter you’ll want to aim for a device from Samsung, Google or Apple.

You want wireless charging

Not including this feels like a miss on the part of OnePlus, as it’s something many people find extremely useful. Whether it’s because you want to clear the cables from your bedside table, or because you like to have a charging mat on your desk at work, this isn’t the phone to get if you’ve incorporated wireless charging into your daily routine.

You need your phone to be waterproof

OnePlus doesn’t have an IP rating for its smartphones, and that means it can’t guarantee that the device will be able to survive even a quick dip in the water. That means you should probably keep it well away from the shower, let alone take it near the swimming pool.

First reviewed: October 14 2019



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