OnePlus 7T Pro review: Very good, but too similar?
If you’re looking for a no-compromise flagship without spending big bucks, a OnePlus phone is probably on your mind. The OnePlus 7 Pro, released earlier this year. signaled the company’s intent to more directly take on full-featured devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Huawei P30 Pro. It competed well, and delivered flagship grade performance at almost half the price point.
Five months in, OnePlus is back with an upgrade. Launching on the heels of the drastically updated OnePlus 7T, the OnePlus 7T Pro is a much more modest upgrade.
Here we take a closer look at what makes the hardware tick in the Android Authority OnePlus 7T Pro review.
OnePlus 7T Pro review: The big picture
The OnePlus 7T Pro is a mid-cycle upgrade to the company’s premium offering. Big enhancements, therefore, are limited. Coming on the heels of one of the fastest phones around, that’s not a bad position to be in. However, if it is speed you need, the OnePlus 7T Pro bumps up its processing prowess by using the absolute newest and most powerful Snapdragon chipset.
OnePlus’ latest device continues to offer an impeccable — and unmatched — price-to-performance ratio. Sure, there’s the Redmi K20 Pro, but MIUI isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Meanwhile, in India, you can get the ROG Phone 2 at a lower price point. Is the ROG a better phone? For some, sure. But its sheer size and gamer aesthetic are definitely not geared towards mass appeal.
The OnePlus 7T Pro is for those seeking the absolute best without spending top dollar. It nails almost everything you’d want from a 2019 flagship, and the few misses are easy to overlook for the money you save. For everyone else, there’s the OnePlus 7T.
What’s in the box?
- Warp Charge 30T (30W) charging brick
- Red OnePlus USB-A to USB-C cable
- Clear protective case
The box packaging for the OnePlus 7T Pro is, for lack of a better word, a bit excessive. There’s minimalist typography plastered across the front fascia. Inside, you’ll find OnePlus stickers, as well as a letter from the CEO welcoming you to the user community.
Of course, you also get everything you need to get started with the phone — that is, aside from the USB-C headphone adapter that OnePlus and other OEMs have started leaving out of the box. There’s a cheap clear TPU case, which is basic, but functional. It covers the lip of the phone and the back, and provides extra grip and protection.
- 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
- Pop-up selfie camera
- Gorilla Glass 5 back
- In-display fingerprint scanner
- Stereo speakers
The OnePlus 7T Pro is the tock to the tick of the OnePlus 7 Pro. Part of the company’s mid-cycle refresh, the phone’s design doesn’t garner much of a change. That’s okay, since the OnePlus 7 Pro was already one of the most stunning phones around. The OnePlus 7T Pro, by extension, also looks particularly appealing. Between the curved display, the use of glass on the back, and the minimal bezels, there’s a lot to like here.
Despite the questionable utility of curved displays, aesthetics aside, I like the OnePlus approach towards design. The curvature doesn’t impede daily usability, and it doesn’t go too far out on a limb, like the waterfall display on the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The 6.67-inch panel stretches out nearly all the way to the edges with exceedingly slim bezels. By hiding the selfie camera within a pop-up mechanism, this is as close as you get to an all-screen design.
The selfie camera functions exactly the same as it does on the OnePlus 7 Pro. That is to say, it is mostly silent, and very quick to activate. In fact, it is fast enough to be used for face unlock if you chose. There’s an optical in-display fingerprint scanner included, too, and it does the job perfectly.
The OnePlus 7T Pro employs soft-touch glass at the back and it feels luxurious. The frosted rear panel doesn’t attract fingerprints and the subtle gradient makes it look elegant. The Nebula Blue color of the OnePlus 7 Pro has been swapped out for an all-new Haze Blue and I think it looks great. That said, unless you like to live dangerously, you’ll want to use a quality case with the phone. Start with the basic TPU case in the box, but be sure to check out OnePlus’ line of fantastic first-party cases.
There's no excuse for the lack of an IP rating at this price point.
Other features include a USB-C port, a dual-SIM card tray, and a speaker grille built into the bottom edge. Pretty standard fare. A second speaker up top enables stereo sound. Over on the right side is the famed OnePlus alert slider. I love this nifty little toggle, which lets you switch phone profiles. I would love for OnePlus to offer the ability to fully map out the slider to custom apps. For now, you can customise individual profiles and settings.
OnePlus has steadily pushed up the prices of its hardware, so it is a bit disappointing to see there’s still no IP certification. Sure, the company claims the phone can handle a splash or two, but that claim doesn’t give you the same peace of mind an official IP rating might.
Additionally, I still take issue with the sheer weight of the hardware. While I’ve come around to the size of the phone thanks to that gorgeous, immersive screen, the phone still weighed down on my wrist at 206g.
- 6.67-inches Quad HD+ AMOLED
- 3,120 x 1,440 resolution
- 90Hz display
- HDR10+ capable
- 19.5:9 aspect ratio
The display on the OnePlus 7T Pro is stunning. Earlier this year we said the OnePlus 7 Pro offered one of the best displays in the market, and not much has changed. The 7T Pro display still packs Quad HD+ resolution, and a 90Hz refresh rate. It’s a shame that few apps benefit from the 90Hz screen, but the high refresh rate has a profound impact on the perception of fluidity. There’s no stutter when quickly scrolling through the interface, and icons remain absolutely crisp.
Contrast levels of the OLED screen are fantastic; there’s something to be said about the inky-black levels that only an OLED can produce. Color accuracy is on point, and the display is capable of reproducing images exactly the way they were shot. We measured peak brightness levels of about 430 nits, which is more than sufficient for outdoor use.
For avid multimedia consumers, HDR10+ support is on board. I tested HDR content from Netflix on the OnePlus 7T Pro and it looked brilliant.
The OnePlus 7T Pro offers a truly immersive media consumption experience.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus
- 1 x 2.96GHz, 3 x 2.42GHz, 4 x 1.78GHz
- Adreno 640
- 8GB of RAM
- 128 or 256GB UFS 3.0 storage
OnePlus takes its Never Settle motto seriously. Since the beginning, OnePlus has followed its ethos of delivering top-tier performance. Take the best possible components available, pair them with a fast and fluid software layer, and squeeze out the maximum. OnePlus hardware is some of the fastest available.
The OnePlus 7T Pro upgrades the processor to the bleeding edge Snapdragon 855 Plus. Truthfully, the spec upgrade isn’t exactly substantial. The primary Kryo 485 cores are now clocked at 2.96GHz vs 2.84GHz on the regular Snapdragon 855. Qualcomm claims a 15% upgrade in GPU performance, but the scarcity of hardcore, polygon-pushing content means these gains may go unused. You are essentially future proofing your hardware.
Predictably, day-to-day performance is as fast as it can possibly get. There was never a moment in my time with the OnePlus 7T Pro that I was left wanting for power. Between PUBG campaigns and playing Real Flight Simulator, that expansive display and oodles of power kept me hooked. The friction-less experience of playing a multiplayer game with nary a stutter or lag is enough to convince you of the sheer power the phone packs.
- 30W Warp Charge 30T charging
The battery on the OnePlus 7T gets a minor spec bump to 4,085mAh. It’s a moderate improvement that makes a discernible difference to battery life, but also compensates for the faster chipset. The real upgrade here is in the charging solution. The phone uses the Warp Charge 30T tech that debuted on the OnePlus 7T. It promises up to 23% faster charging speeds, though real-world gains are a bit more conservative. Charging times from scratch clocked in at about 71 minutes, which is in line with our measured time for the OnePlus 7 Pro as well. However, the phone was noticeably cooler this time around.
Also read: The full list of OnePlus 7T Pro specs
The phone managed about 15 hours of continuous playback in our video playback test. This was almost an hour more than the OnePlus 7 Pro. Similarly, web browsing and screen-on times were noticeably improved. I comfortably managed about six hours of screen-on time, which was just enough to help me get over the battery anxiety I felt with the OnePlus 7 Pro. You won’t feel the need to switch over to 60Hz to extend battery life with this one.
- Oxygen OS 10
- Android 10
The OnePlus 7T Pro ships with Oxygen OS 10, based on Google’s new Android 10, and it’s brilliant. OnePlus is known for its excellent approach to smartphone software — taking vanilla Android and sprinkling in useful and helpful features that benefit the user. Fnatic gaming mode and Zen mode return, making for great gaming and well-being experiences, respectively.
Oxygen OS 10 is a great refinement of 9.5, and many of the improvements were focused on the camera. For example, macro mode and dual-FoV portrait mode have been added to the app, allowing for even more versatility with the 7T Pro’s triple camera setup. On top of these, OnePlus made some notable changes to how the 7T Pro processes images. The company’s UltraShot technology will analyze what you’re shooting and then apply different presets of color, contrast, exposure compensation, and HDR effect. (This is similar to the AI camera features touted by OnePlus’ competitors.)
Previous versions of OnePlus’ UI gestures were buggy and cumbersome, but I really like how they’ve worked out on the 7T Pro — they feel natural and fluid. The gestures are similar to Apple’s iOS navigation movements, with a swipe up for home, a swipe and hold for recents, and a swipe in from the side for back.
For context, I’ve been turned off by Android gestures ever since they were introduced by third-party skins. I never went back to the three-button configuration on the 7T Pro, however, after I switched the gestures on.
OnePlus is well known for its awesome long-term software support for its devices. For example, the OnePlus 3, a phone from 2016, can be upgraded to Android 9 Pie. The OnePlus 7T Pro should receive Android updates for the next three years, with security updates stretching into 2022 and beyond.
- Rear cameras
- Standard: 48MP, f/1.6, OIS
- Wide-angle: 16MP, f/2.2, 117 deg
- Telephoto: 8MP, f/2.2, OIS
- Front camera
- 16MP, f/2.0
- Pop-up selfie
- 4K 60fps video recording
The photography hardware in the OnePlus 7T Pro hasn’t changed from its predecessor, save for the laser auto-focus module that’s been relocated to the left side of the camera housing. The company made optimizations and changes to the software to improve performance.
OnePlus’ UltraShot engine is meant to help the 7T Pro process images by giving it auto-scene-detection functionality. In my experience, it pushes colors a bit further than the previous device, but doesn’t go overboard like some implementations do.
Capturing detail is no bother for the OnePlus 7T Pro thanks to its 48MP IMX586 sensor. That said, it doesn’t add heaps of software sharpening, which helps make the resulting images look more natural. Softness is more noticeable in shots taken with the 3x telephoto camera due to the lesser sensor and lens. This is common across most smartphones.
OnePlus’ new wide-angle portrait mode is super useful for those times when you just can’t back up enough for the shot. Edge detection, focus roll-off, and realism seem to work just as well in this wide portrait mode as in the regular, more zoomed one.
The OnePlus 7T Pro does struggle in low light, even with night mode. Picking up details in the dark is a real struggle for the device, as shown by this shot of a sign outside of a pub. The lack of detail and dynamic range in these scenarios is disappointing when other phones can do such a good job in low-light. Here, you can see the iPhone 11 handily beat the 7T Pro.
In most scenarios, colors are represented accurately across both the main and wide-angle cameras. However, the telephoto lens does cast a strange tone across images that changes based on the scenery. This makes for a less accurate overall image.
This image of a washing line has a bit of a warm tone to it when to the naked eye it held more of a blue tone with an overcast sky.
OnePlus’ HDR processing performed admirably across all of its lenses. I found that it was able to capture great detail across the entire range of shadows and highlights, even in pretty extreme situations like this shot of a bright day, through trees and bushes.
The new macro mode — the icon for it is found at the top right when holding the phone in portrait — is really cool. It moves a motor in the camera assembly to bring the lens further from the sensor to allow for a much closer focusing distance. This shot of my computer monitor shows even the sub-pixels with the red, green, and blue elements making up each pixel. I couldn’t have been able to capture these details without mode.
The 7T Pro’s selfie camera is pretty much just the 7 Pro’s with some software tweaks. The images are sharp and detailed with great color across the board. Portrait selfies could use a bit of work, since the edge detection isn’t quite up to par with phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 or the Google Pixel 3, which have an extra front sensor to help with depth and background separation.
The 7T Pro’s main video shooting features haven’t expanded or improved compared to the 7 Pro. You can still shoot up to 960fps slow motion, and up to Ultra HD/4K video at 60fps. I’ve found the front-facing video to be much smoother than the 7 Pro’s, however, thanks to OnePlus’ improved software stabilization. It does crop in a bit to make that happen, but the result is super-smooth motion, almost as though the phone were on a gimbal.
You can check out full-res OnePlus 7T Pro camera samples at this link.
- No headphone jack
- No dongle / earphones in box
- LDAC support
The Dolby Atmos-certified hybrid stereo speakers leave a little to be desired. The bottom speaker and the earpiece together create a flat sound that lacks bass. Further, it distorts at high volumes. I’ve heard better sound coming from a solo bottom-firing speaker, and that’s a shame because the visual experience is really good.
Unfortunately, you’re going to need to purchase a USB-C headphone adapter if you want to go wired, since OnePlus stopped providing one in the box after the 6T. It’s unfortunate. There are no USB-C earphones included, either. On the wireless audio front, the phone supports all modern codecs, including LDAC.
OnePlus 7T Pro specs
3,120 x 1,440 resolution
19.5:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
HDR10 / HDR+ certified
90Hz fluid display
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus
No microSD expansion
Main: Sony IMX586 48MP sensor, f/1.6 aperture, OIS
Wide: 16MP sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 117 degree field-of-view
3x telephoto: 8MP sensor, f/2.4 aperture, OIS
Video: 4K resolution video at 30/60fps
Main: Sony IMX471 16MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture, EIS
Video: 1080P video at 30fps
|Audio||USB 3.1 Type-C
No headphone jack
Dolby Atmos certified
Warp Charge 30T (5V, 6A)
|Sensors||Optical in-display fingerprint sensor
Ambient light sensor
|Network||LTE: Supports 5xCA, 64QAM, 256QAM & 4x4 MIMO,
up to DL CAT16 (1Gbps)/UL CAT13 (150 Mbps) depending on carrier support
NA/EU: FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66/71
TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41/46
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
CDMA: BC0/BC1GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CN/IN: FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/1213/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/66
TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi: 2x2 MIMO, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0, support aptX & aptX HD
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
|SIM||Dual nano-SIM slot|
|Software||OxygenOS based on Android 10|
|In the box||Screen protector (pre-applied)
OnePlus Fast Charge USB-C cable
OnePlus Warp Charge 30T power adapter
SIM tray ejector
Quick start guide
Value for money
- OnePlus 7T Pro 8GB RAM, 256GB storage — £699, Rs. 53,999 (~$762)
- OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition 12GB RAM, 256GB storage — £799, Rs. 58,999 (~$832)
In India, the OnePlus 7T Pro is priced about a 1000 rupees ($15) more than the equivalent OnePlus 7 Pro. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 7T McLaren Edition is priced around the same ballpark as the 12GB RAM variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro.
No doubt, this is a pricey phone and OnePlus is consistently driving up the price with every successive generation. However, there’s just not many phones that can match up to the experience, hardware and aesthetics of the OnePlus 7T Pro. Especially at this price point. The phone still undercuts competing flagships and OnePlus is banking on that price gap of a few hundred dollars between a mid-ranger and a top-tier flagship to move up the price ladder.
OnePlus 7T Pro review: The verdict
The OnePlus 7T is the very definition of an incremental update. Part of the standard half-yearly refresh cycle for OnePlus, it brings a few quality-of-life improvements aimed squarely at those who are upgrading from older phones, and perhaps those who want to be on the absolute bleeding edge of hardware. As such, there is absolutely no reason for anyone on the OnePlus 7 Pro to consider the update.
For everyone else, though, OnePlus is finally inching close to the level of perfection it needs to compete with top-tier flagships. That it manages to do so while undercutting the competition by hundreds of dollars is what really seals the deal.
The OnePlus 7T is a fantastic device that goes overboard on hardware, all while providing one of the best software builds on Android. Dare I say that Oxygen OS does Android even better than vanilla Android? The cameras, too, have improved to a point where they are good enough for the majority of users. Let’s not forget other genuinely useful additions such as 30W charging.
The OnePlus 7T Pro isn’t a drastic upgrade over the OnePlus 7 Pro because it just doesn’t need to be. This is the flagship for everyone who doesn’t want to fork out top-dollar, and OnePlus has absolutely nailed it once again.
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That’s it for our OnePlus 7T Pro review. Are you picking one up? Let us know in the comments.