Chinese premium smartphone maker OnePlus broke its two-phones-a-year strategy this year with the launch of the OnePlus 7 series.
The company has been launching a "T" iteration roughly six months after unveiling a flagship device with additional upgrade, since the launch of OnePlus 3 in 2016.
However, this year, it introduced a Pro version alongside the OnePlus 7 largely because the company is trying to court more users in the fiercely-competitive smartphone industry.
In India, it is clearly among the favourites as OnePlus, along with Samsung and Apple, accounted for 90 per cent of the premium segment shipments in Q1 2019.
OnePlus 7 Pro is the biggest and most expensive handset the company has ever made, with a starting price of Rs 48,999 for the 6GB+128GB variant and Rs 52,999 for the 8GB+256GB model.
We used the premium configuration of 12GB+256GB which costs Rs 57,999 in India for a week. Here's how it fared in everyday use.
Talking about the design and build, this is the heftiest OnePlus ever with a 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED display, rounded corners (quite like Samsung's flagship Galaxy S series) in a new Nebula Blue colour. This variant is matte and has a half gradient finish that looked classy when it caught light.
Metal and glass have been used to render a solid yet premium feel to the smartphone.
The screen has a refresh rate of 90Hz that ensured there was no scrolling lag. In addition, the display was crisp and bright sans over-saturation and definitely the biggest USP of the phone. The higher refresh rate also made it feel as good as Galaxy S10+.
The phone houses one speaker grille on the bottom while another sits in the top bezel which is beautifully hidden in the crevice between the metal frame and screen, resulting in a truly bezel-less display.
OnePlus 7 Pro's screen was significantly better than iPhone XR that sports a liquid retina LCD screen and currently retails at almost Rs 60,000 for the 64GB storage version.
On the rear sits an 48MP main sensor along with an 8MP telephoto lens and 16MP ultra-wide lens.
The primary camera took detailed and well-exposed photos; we especially liked the HDR rendering of the images (after the OTA update).
A motorized pop-up 16MP selfie camera is embedded inside the phone and pops up when you try to take a self portrait.
The process was quick and it did not make creaky sounds when we took selfies. Also, if the phone is dropped, the camera automatically pops back inside.
The selfie shooter took great shots with a blur effect. The pop-up camera works in a similar fashion during face unlock, which was just snappy.
The phone's in-screen fingerprint sensor was equally fast but not as great as a traditional rear-mounted scanner.
The phone packs the top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset that ensured performance was super-fast sans any stutter.
The company has bumped up the OnePlus 7 Pro's battery to 4,000mAh that was needed to support a much bigger display and higher refresh rate.
Even as it lasted a day on average usage, we found the battery deplete slightly faster than last year's OnePlus 6T that housed a smaller 3,700mAh battery.
Despite being a performance powerhouse, the device lacks wireless charging.
We liked the alert slider on OnePlus as it let us easily toggle between silent, vibrate and ring modes on single touch.
Some downsides of the phone include no formal water resistance IP rating and no expandable storage as well. The company has also missed out on a headphone jack.
Conclusion: Given the specs for the price, OnePlus 7 Pro clearly undercuts its rivals and definitely performs with the same calibre as other flagships like Galaxy S10+.
(Krishna SinhaChaudhury can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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