The new OnePlus 7 Pro is the most disruptive smartphone ever launched by the Chinese company, and more than for the smartphone industry, it’s a big turn for the brand itself, which made a name for itself offering the best product for a reasonable amount of money, a strategy that this year granted it a place among the top 5 of premium smartphone brands. OnePlus used to make avaiable only one model of smartphone at time, upgraded twice a year. Just one phone to buy, plus some special variants, like the recent 6T McLaren Edition. A predilection for the essential much appreciated by the large online community that over the years has gathered around the company. This May, along with the “standard” device, OnePlus has unveiled two more models, a 5G-ready phone and the ultra-premium 7 Pro. It’s a full lineup of new devices, with a starting price set over 700 euros, which is more or less what you spend for a “normal” premium device: not exactly a low-cost price tag. Has the brand lost his uniqueness, and how will the huge and extremely loyal OnePlus community, “the biggest reason of our success”, as creative director Xi Zeng defined it, react to these new ultra-premium models?
On the other side, it’s quite evident that the new OnePlus 7 Pro – and its sibling with 5G connection, which will be distributed only in Finland and the UK – is the perfect representation of how a smartphone is expected to be, and could set a standard for these times of transition. Gone is the notch: this is a real full-screen device with a pop-up selfie camera, something similar to what you can find in the recently launched Oppo Reno, Huawei Smart Z 2019 and Samsung Galaxy A80 – the former actually as a unique reversible system which flips the rear camera for selfies. OnePlus 7 Pro’s selfie camera is a really good one, it pop-ups in a few instants and provides a fast unlocking of the device, even faster than the on-screen fingerprint scanner. Not one or two, but three lenses are on the back, as in the recent Samsung S10 or on what should be the upcoming iPhone 11, according to some recent leaks. The camera app is well designed and customizable, with a Night Mode for optimized low light photography and a nice interface. Premium smartphones like the Huawei P30 Pro or Oppo Reno 10x also sport a powerful telephoto lens, which here is missing. But pictures taken by the 7 Pro are considerably better than those of the previous devices from OnePlus smartphones, well balanced and detailed, without any silly AI assigning an exaggerated blue tone to the sky or deforming faces with the excuse of making someone more beautiful. But still, as good as the photo compartment is, it's not unforgettable, and pictures taken with the new OnePlus phone lack the character which makes a “cameraphone” really outstanding. But it’s a really good, versatile camera, capable of really good pictures.
What is really incredible on the OnePlus 7 Pro are the outstanding 90hZ QHD+ Fluid 6,67” AMOLED display, the smooth performances, the fast recharge and the battery life, plus all the details “which make you smile” and functions that make this brand unique: from the easy and fast customizations options on the home screen to the Zen Mode, which lets you take a hiatus from your phone for 20 minutes. It’s an ultra-premium device designed for humans which will appeal especially to commuters, gamers, old OnePlus users looking for a luxury upgrade, and in a more generic way to everyone who spends a lot of time with his phone and needs a reliable device. For sure it has some flaws: it’s a bit heavy and edged displays are annoying for many reasons. Someone will find it too big for one-handed use and without a 5G connection, it will be difficult to admire the 7 Pro throttle at its most beautiful. But it’s one of the most ambitious smartphones of its generation and it will rank among the best of the year. It’s also the first, real mainstream product from a company which has grown above all expectations just in a few years: only time can tell if it was the right one.
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