OnePlus 7 First Impressions: Same Great Experience, Solid Improved Internals

OnePlus 7 Rear View

When OnePlus launched the OnePlus 7 Pro earlier this month, they also had the OnePlus 7 released along with it. The OnePlus 7 is supposed to be the aggressively priced upgrade to last year’s OnePlus 6T. The phone goes on sale next week. Here are my first impressions of this device.

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.

OnePlus 7 Rear Camera

Here are the key specifications of the OnePlus 7.

Dimensions             157.7×74.8×8.2 mm

Weight                    182 g

Material                   Glass

Colors                     Mirror Gray/Red (China & India only)

Operating System    OxygenOS based on Android™ 9.0 Pie

CPU                                Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855, (Octa-core, 7 nm, up to 2.84 GHz), with Qualcomm® AI Engine

GPU                                Adreno 640

RAM                       6 GB/8 GB LPDDR4X

Storage                   128 GB/256 GB UFS 3.0 2-LANE

Sensor                    In-display Fingerprint Sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity, Electronic Compass

Ports                      USB 3.1 GEN1, Type-C, Dual nano-SIM slot, Supports standard Type-C earphone

Battery                    3700 mAh (non-removable) Fast Charging (5V 4A)

Vibration                 Linear motor

Buttons                   Gestures and on-screen navigation support, Left: Volume Key; Right: Power Key, Alert Slider

Audio                      Dual Stereo speakers, Noise cancellation support Dolby Atmos®

Unlock Options       In-display Fingerprint, Face Unlock

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.

OnePlus 7 Display

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 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. Will check it out in the full review.

OnePlus 7 Side View

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.

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.

OnePlus 7 Side View

Powered by a new dual-speaker system with an enlarged power amplifier, the OnePlus 7 is able to construct a better stereo soundstage. We 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.

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 Bottom View

The OnePlus 7 sports a powerful dual-lens setup that allows you to take clear pictures anywhere, at any time. With our all new UltraShot imaging technology, the OnePlus 7 will give you an  unprecedented 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 48 MP Sensor

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+.

OnePlus 7 in the hand

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 OxygenOS 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 OxygenOS is faster and more stable, thanks to its efficient use of memory and lightweight apps.

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.

OnePlus 7 Screen

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.

I am looking forward to reviewing this phone in the coming days, for now it looks like an upgrade to the OnePlus 6T with same Great experience and solid Improved Internals

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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