Updated: Oct 6, 2020
So when I did my initial review I rushed it to get it out in a timely fashion. That's not to say I didn't mean what was in it, however, I had only used the phone for about 3 days. I have since had about a week since I got the phone and some things have come up, some things have changed, and there are some things I just plain forgot to mention the first time around. So here's how my experience has been using the OnePlus 7 Pro for a little over a week and whether or not I'd still recommend this phone for the average consumer.
The first thing I want to touch on is something I completely skipped in the review, and that's call quality. Call quality isn't terrible, but it's not good. I find that in most situations it's hard to hear the other person. They hear me fine, so at least there's that, but the ear piece just doesn't provide loud enough sound to make out what's being said on the other end in most situations. Using speaker phone is a little bit better in a quite area, but it's still pretty low all things considered. Which is odd considering how awesome the speakers are for everything else, which I'll discuss later. That said I've not had a call drop as of yet and as far as making and receiving calls, the phone has been reliable.
Another issue I've had is either a software bug or a screen issue as most recently my screen went nuts. What I mean by that is the phone performed as though a phantom finger was pulling down my notification drawer, scrolling left and right and it prevented me from doing anything, including resetting the device. I almost had to trick the phone into letting me reset. Now this has only happened once to this degree, but it was definitely alarming. The other times my notifications slide down and up on their own seemingly, but that's about it. It's not too frustration but it's noticeable. I'm sure this is nothing OnePlus can't fix in an update as long as it's not an issue with the screen. An update, which day one fans of OnePlus tell me should be coming soon.
Now what a patch can't fix are these damn curves. See, part of what makes the phone so gorgeous also makes it so frustrating to handle. I've been a huge fan and advocate of over the edge displays since Samsung started the trend. However, with Samsung I never found myself accidentally touching the screen. With OnePlus's implementation of this, I find that I'm consistently touching something I don't mean to. Throwing on a case alleviates this issue a great deal, but since I don't use cases, it's just something that I have to work around. So if you too don't use cases, it's definitely something to consider when purchasing.
There's also the curious case of the fingerprint sensor. In my experience it's been pretty hit or miss. Most times it doesn't recognize my thumb; and even when it does it does't unlock immediately. Now this clearly isn't all of the time, but it's more times than I care to have had happen. It's been so annoying that I've registered the same thumb multiple times from various angles and it still mucks it up. Now maybe it's just me and I'm still new to the whole under display thing, but it can be a bit frustrating to experience.
Those gripes aside, the Oxygen OS has just been everything I've been looking for in an OS. As a person who has predominantly always used Samsung, I've never had a stock Android experience. So this is a pretty big deal for me. I do wish they allowed me to customize which "screen" I wanted as my home screen,but that's more on an O.C.D thing than it is a problem with the OS, however, I will say this. Android is about freedom and I definitely think it's something they should look in to.
The OnePlus 7 Pro has been the subject of a lot of camera abuse since launch. Reviewers saying it's "Nightscape" isn't up to snuff, it's main just doesn't stack up, and most recently, it's been unearthed that it's 3x Optical zoom isn't. Now that last part is a massive: "WTF OnePlus!? You don't have to lie to kick it!" In fact it really hurts their brand. Especially since they've been busted doing something like this in the past. If companies don't think what they do in darkness will come to light, then frankly they aren't paying attention to the very people they're trying to sell to. Because selling me the phone with a 2x optical zoom vs a 3x isn't a deal breaker for me. It truly is a stupid thing to lie about, and if a company is willing to lie about something so small, what else ware they willing to lie about?
That said, however, the rest of that camera stuff is just nonsense. A week later and I find that camera is still as solid as day one and as good as any camera I've used. . .and as I reminder, I jumped ship from the Note 9. And in case you're thinking I just don't care about camera quality. I've recently deleted nearly 4000 photo's from my Instagram. I judge a phone based on it's ability ti take stunning photos and use my phone camera's at least once a day every day. I can tell you with out a shadow of a doubt that the Pro 7 gets the job done.
In the photos above you have the base picture straight out of the camera and the edited version next up. I do this to showcase that if you want that Samsung color pop, it's nothing a little Lightroom can't help accomplish. Personally both work for me. And if I'm being honest I do think the originals could stand to be a little brighter but these shots were taken inside, with little natural light to be had. That siad, below I'll showcase a couple truly low light photo's taken in "Nightscape" mode, with no use of flash.
As you can see with your own eyes, the night mode used on the OnePlus 7 Pro is not only good, it's great. And I believe it rivals that of the Pixel 3, both a and regular. These pictures are clear, recognizable, and have little to no noise in them. If this isn't a great camera for your buck then I don't know what is. Because not only do you get great stills, but you can get pretty delicious video as well. Sound quality is great, stability is amazing, and if you're the average person just recording your child's first steps, a birthday cake candle blow out, or just a silly moment in your life. This can more than do the job for you and do it well.
Then you have that pop up 16MP front facing cam. And it takes great Selfies. I mean the subject helps, but it doesn't hurt that it's capable of capturing all this awesome. And portrait mode is nice and has pretty solid edge detection. Now, I personally prefer a more extreme background blur, but the OnePlus 7 Pro gives you an experience that feels more professional and more of what you might see in a magazine ad or something. And I gotta admit showing off the pop up and pop down feature of the front facing camera is pretty bad ass. Not to mention with the pending update I keep hearing about that's on the way. The cameras only stand to get better and more to our liking.
And speaking of better,I must say gaming and watching content on the OnePlus 7 Pro is a joy. The screen to body ratio is out of this world and at 90Hz you just find reasons to turn the phone on. The one thing that has me stumped though is the so called "Fnatic" mode. I just don't have it on my device. Now maybe the caveat for that is that you have to have the 12 GB RAM version, but I can't seem to find anything to confirm this theory. That said though, the "Game Mode" on the device is awesome and having played the same game on my Note 9 and the 7 Pro I can say the 7 Pro wins! Now, I'm sure newer phones more on par with the 7 Pro offers a more close experience. However, it just feels like OnePlus created this phone with gaming in the forefront of their design and not as an after thought. Hell, you can screen record at the push of a button. Something that more expensive phones still don't let you do without the help of a 3rd party app.
Then there's that sound. This phone is so dumb loud. Now this can be a good thing or a bad thing depending. For the most part I find that you get a great output of sound with solid bass and good treble. Then there are those videos and songs that are just too much for the speakers to handle and things so distorted and scratchy. For example I just put on a video and at max volume I had to turn it down a smidgen just to remove the distortion. The point is the speakers are loud and almost delivers 100% on that surround sound promise.
Now I'm sure you're wondering how that battery life is fairing a week later. Well, it's pretty amazing. The way I personally use my phone I get about a day and a half after a full charge. Some times just a day, but I never feel like my phone isn't going to make it when I need it to. So only that but, the warp charge is pretty beast delivering on their promise of 50% in 15 minutes.
At the end of the day. I fully recommend the 7 pro. It's an amazing smartphone for an amazing value and anyone saying it's not is a snob. For $699, unlocked you get 8GB RAM, 256GB ROM, 4 Cameras, 6.67" AMOLED display, Android O with P on the way, second in line to get updates from Google, a 90Hz refresh rate, and so much more; and for $900 with almost less than half of these options from OnePlus, Samsung is offering the S10. How can you look at these specs side by side and tell me OnePlus isn't offering a better value? And if your gripe is IP certifications and wireless charging, just stop. Because the 7 Pro is as water resistant as they come and wireless charging is really only done at home. Most people don't take their wireless charger with them on the go. They take their cord. So this idea that not having wireless charging is this big inconvenience is some snob ish. And that's real. I have 3 wireless chargers 2 at home one at work and now their useless to me...and I don't find myself missing them.
But again, this phone isn't going to be for everyone. However, don't let these big tech review snobs convince you that this isn't a good buy. Because it is. If you like how Samsung phones work, sweet. If you're all about that Pixel 3 a, great. And if iPhones are what you're comfortable with, good. However, the OnePlus 7 Pro is just as good as any of those phones. There is no such thing as a perfect device, at least not yet. And every device gets close in their own way. For me the 7 Pro is that way and if you give it a shot, you might find that it's "that way" for you too.