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OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7|The Quill
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OnePlus 7 review: A true flagship killer with solid internals

This phone is a must-buy if you are looking for a good looking flagship grade device at an aggressive price. It will run long and will not let you down

Shakthi

OnePlus upped their device game this cycle and gave us two phones. The first one is the ultra-premium OnePlus 7 Pro and the second one is the OnePlus 7 which is a successor to last year’s OnePlus 6T. The OnePlus 7 is the phone that is in sync with the flagship killer product philosophy that has stood OnePlus in good stead. I spent time with this device and here is my review of this year’s flagship killer.

I believe that great design enhances the overall user experience. The attention to detail that OnePlus is known for is reflected in the device from the comfortable grip and smooth curvature of the rear cover to our classic colors and refined design. The graceful curves are achieved through extensive testing, with incremental changes made each time to ensure perfection. The result is a stunning and comfortable powerhouse enveloped in sturdy Gorilla® Glass 6. I got the Red unit for review. The Red variant packs 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage.

In my usage, I found the phone to be of just the right height and weight to hold in the hand. It is comfy to the grip and both the ends of the screen are easily reachable without any strain. It fits well into pockets. The back is glossy and a tad bit slippery, so I suggest that you use this one with a back cover. I will have to admit that I keep removing the back cover time and again just to look at the great red color and the premium finish of the device.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

In the box, you get the OnePlus 7, Fast Charging Adapter, Type-C Cable, Quick Start Guide, Screen Protector (pre-applied), SIM Tray Ejector, Welcome Letter, Case, Safety Information and Warranty Card, Logo Sticker.

Apart from a couple of minor superficial physical alterations, the form factor is exactly the same as the 6T. The display is an FHD AMOLED measuring 6.41 inches diagonally and has a drop notch cutting in at the top that contains the 16MP front camera and a small bezel on the bottom. The only noticeable difference on the front is that the earpiece is much enlarged due to its use in the new Dolby Atmos stereo speaker setup, working along with the functional speaker grill on the bottom.

The screen is good and crisp. Sunlight legibility is great and the colors are rendered very well on the display. All shades are clearly fleshed out and videos are also very well rendered. I tried out long gaming sessions and all of them were handled easily by the screen without any issues. This display is great and delivers consistently.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

On the back, the camera module has been stretched downwards and to include the flash within it — other than that, the same design language from recent OnePlus devices is followed once again. While you could get the 6T in two different black-ish finishes (one mirrored, one matte), the 7 only comes in Mirror Gray and a Red version. The camera bump is very definitely more pronounced than the OnePlus 6T and I am guessing that it has to do with the 48 MP sensor.

The fit and finish of the OnePlus 7 are also much the same, and that’s no bad thing because it feels very great in the hand. The manageable size and lighter weight also make it a pleasure to handle, which is more comfortable than the huge 7 Pro — as beautiful as that phone is, it is a tad bit too big for many people who have smaller hands. Another area OnePlus promises improvement in is the in-display fingerprint scanner.

The in-display fingerprint unlocking technology on the OnePlus 7 has been further refined, thanks to a 3-element lens and a larger sensor. Coupled with new algorithms, the OnePlus 7 now unlocks faster and more accurately than ever before, for a seamless user experience. I found the fingerprint unlock much faster and more reliable than the OnePlus 6T. This is definitely a plus.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

For a fast and smooth experience, the OnePlus 7 is powered by the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855 mobile platform. The 7 nm chipset features an octa-core Kryo CPU processor, with each core up to 2.84 GHz, which runs 45% faster and consumes 20% less power than the previous Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845. The Adreno 640 offers a 20% improvement in performance over its predecessor and is 30% more power efficient.

RAM Boost is an intelligent feature that learns from your usage habits and pre-assigns available RAM to memory-intensive applications before you even open them. With RAM Boost, the loading process when opening apps or beginning games will be faster than ever before. Furthermore, with the help of RAM Boost, you’ll be able to leave more applications open in the background without having to worry about the OnePlus 7 slowing down.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

The combination of the processor and the RAM added to the fact that the phone has ultra fast UFS 3.0 storage makes this one of the fastest android phones available in the market. Add this to the smooth efficiency of Oxygen OS that stays out of the way and yet gets many things done fast and you see that the OnePlus 7 is a very powerful and future proof device that will not slow down even for years after purchase. This is in line with what one would expect of a OnePlus device.

Powered by a new dual-speaker system with an enlarged power amplifier, the OnePlus 7 is able to construct a better stereo sound stage. The brand has worked closely with Dolby® to fine-tune both the left and right sound channels to let you hear the intricate details that usually go unnoticed.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

The OnePlus 7 sports a powerful dual-lens setup that allows you to take clear pictures anywhere, at any time. With the all new UltraShot imaging technology, the OnePlus 7 will give you an excellent experience.

The main sensor on the OnePlus 7 features Sony’s IMX586, a 48-megapixel, ½ inch super-sized sensor, plus a custom-made 6-element lens with an aperture of f/1.7, and pixel size up to 1.6 µm. Complemented with OIS and EIS, the OnePlus 7 is able to capture the subtle but stunning details of life, accenting your photos in a way that was unimaginable before.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

For exquisite detail, sharper pictures and better dynamic range, the makers have challenged themselves to rebuild the photography experience with the bespoke imaging algorithm, OnePlus UltraShot. It comes with two powerful features, HDR+ and Super Resolution. HDR+ controls the exposure value of each pixel and collects four times more data than before, allowing each frame to receive the HDR multi-frame synthesis treatment. Pictures taken will be rendered with crisp quality with HDR+. Another powerful feature of UltraShot is Super Resolution, which extracts key information from multiple photos through a special algorithm and combines the characteristics of the subjects to enrich and layer the photo with detail, forming a super clear image every time.

OnePlus developed Oxygen OS to provide a much more refined experience by optimizing Android’s core functions and imbuing them with useful features, without interfering with the main framework. The newly optimized Oxygen OS is faster and more stable, thanks to its efficient use of memory and lightweight apps.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

With the new Screen Recorder feature, you can capture what’s on your display in high quality at 2340 x 1080. There’s no limit to recordings and users are able to pause and resume at any moment, and even use the microphone to add live audio commentary. This makes it easier for you to record everything you experience on your phone – even the audio – whether it’s an important online meeting or the victorious moment of winning a game.

Zen Mode has been developed to encourage users to focus on life. By using this feature, the main features of your phone will be unavailable for 20 minutes, allowing you to only make emergency calls, receive regular calls, or take photos. Once engaged, Zen Mode will run for 20 minutes, before returning the phone to its regular state.

OnePlus 7
OnePlus 7
The Quill

The phone comes with a 3,700 mAH battery that supports rapid charging that gives you a day’s power in half an hour. It is worth noting that Warp Charge is not supported by the OnePlus 7. With a full battery, I was easily getting a day or more of above average usage on the phone with a healthy mix of WiFi, 4G VoLTE and social media thrown in with Video streaming and gaming.

The OnePlus 7 goes on sale on Amazon on Tuesday, starting at Rs 32,999.

Verdict

The OnePlus 7 is a true flagship killer device that packs solid internals and is available at a brilliant price starting at INR 32,999. This phone is a definite must buy if you are looking for a good looking flagship grade device at an aggressive price. The phone will run long and will not let you down.

(The article first appeared in The Quill)