I used to own the Samsung Galaxy S10+, but I feel like switching to the One Plus 7 Pro made more sense
I’m one of those people who always upgrades their phone every year without fail, but for the first time ever I upgraded twice this past year. Initially, I bought the Galaxy S10+ the day it was launched to the public and I was very excited with my purchase; then a few months later I heard One Plus was going to drop their new phone. The phone was called the One Plus 7 Pro and it was a fully redesigned flagship smartphone. Not knowing too much about the One Plus besides it being a budget Chinese brand, I decided to do some research and look up this new phone. I was quickly blown away by what the brand was doing and the forward progress they had made. This phone was impressing me more and more I read, and that research session immediately filled me with thoughts of buying this phone as soon as I could get my hands on one. But to explain how I arrived at this conclusion, I want to walk you through my thought process
Damn this thing looks so good
Ask anyone who knows me well and they can tell you I’m a huge design guy. I simply enjoy nicely designed cars or electronics, so when I saw this phone for the first time, I was immediately convinced this was one of the best-looking phones out there. Now granted, I arguably had one of the best android phones, the Galaxy S10+, (design and spec wise) available today, but for some reason I felt that the One Plus 7 Pro’s design was even better. The screen is 6.7 inches and runs practically edge to edge with only a small chin at the bottom that is almost indistinguishable. The part that really got me was, unlike other phones on the market like my S10+ or the iPhone, it was completely notch less and had no cutout in the screen to accommodate a camera. The buttons are also kept to a minimum, there is no dedicated voice assistant button like the Galaxy S10+, but instead a notable feature, which I use all the time, is a slider button that changes your ringer options from silent to vibrant to full ringer on. It's also textured so you can find it quickly and easily distinguish it from the power button which is just below it. The back is made of glass and the color I chose, Nebula Blue, is frosted to a matte sheen. The blue is simply a sensational color. Deep, rich and feels super nice to the touch. We also find a 3-camera system on the back and what I believe is the piece de résistance of the phone, a 4th selfie camera that pops up out the top edge of the phone. When you’re not using the selfie cam, the camera silently whirs back into the phone and no one would be the wiser that a camera is hiding somewhere inside the phone. Brilliant. There are talks that future cameras can be installed under the screen and be able to see its subject through the display without creating a notch, hole punch or this type of pop up mechanism, but for now I think this is the best execution I have seen on any phone. Design however is only the beginning when it comes to this amazing device.
The features knocked my gosh darn socks off
One Plus has managed to feature pack this phone with some truly impressive stuff. When released, it was the only phone to have a 90Hz display. The animations and movement of the screen are so fluid and dynamic that when going back to 60hz displays it just seems like the phone is lagging or moving slowly. The screen is sharp and crisp thanks to the AMOLED display and it produces bright and vivid colors. I have to say this screen looks better than the S10+ screen did. Not only is it bigger by 0.3 inches, it’s brighter too. A common feature shared with the S10+ is the built-in fingerprint reader placed under the display but even here the One Plus seems to read and unlock the phone quicker than the S10+. Some reviewers and other experts have said this is due to the difference in the fingerprint reading technology that makes the difference in the speed. Samsung touts their tech is more secure, but getting the S10+ to read my finger properly the first time was becoming a chore so I simply turned that feature off. Moving to the back, the phone boasts 3 amazing cameras: a wide angle, standard and telephoto lens. The main shooter is a whopping 48MP and I can say the quality of the photos is almost Google Pixel Level. The telephoto has 3X zoom capability and OnePlus keeps sending updates to improve the camera performance.
When it comes to power, this phone is flagship level fast. Its powered with QUALCOMM's best chip, the Snapdragon 855, and can be purchased with either 128GB or 256GB of storage, and either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. The 12GB of RAM is only available with the 256GB of storage space, but let’s take a moment to appreciate that number. 12GB of RAM! That’s insane. To keep the phone juiced up, it comes equipped with a huge 4000 mAh battery, which I can claim keeps me easily powered through the day with the screen at 90Hz. If you do happen to run low on juice, the phone can be warp charged to 50% in just 20 mins and fully charged in about an hour. It’s one of the fastest charging speeds available anywhere. OnePlus also throws in UFS 3.0 storage technology. This means data transfers are superfast and it’s one of the only phones I know out there to have this fast of a read and write speed. Lastly, to keep the phone running cool they added a liquid cooling system to keep the phone cool regardless of what you happen to do on your phone. Impressive stuff.
What’s missing on the phone
There are a few items that are clearly missing on the phone that do need mentioning. First, most Android users expect expandable storage and this phone does not have the capability to take an SD card. Yes, that’s right. You are left with only the onboard storage, so if you like to store things locally (I do not) you will need to be honest with how much storage space you need when thinking about this phone. Another problem area: no headphone jack. Again, not an issue for me as I only use my Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones for pretty much everything, but if you do have wired headphones you will need to adjust accordingly. There’s no wireless charging available either. I originally thought that’s why they went for the frosted matte glass back, but it seems like they just didn’t bother with wireless charging at all. And finally, the phone is not officially IP rated for dust and water. I can say the phone has stood up to me sprinkling water on it, and I have taken it in the shower a couple times and it held up fine. My assumption, they did make it water resistant, but didn’t want to spend the extra cash for official certification. They’d rather pass those savings on to us. As you can see these features are something to keep in mind if you want a One Plus 7 Pro, but to me these changes were worth it given the price.
The price makes it all worth it.
The phone starts at $669 for the 128GB and 6GB of RAM model and goes up to $749 for the 256GB and 12GB of RAM. Today however you can get the phone for around $500. The reason for this price drop is that One Plus introduced another phone called the One Plus 7T and the 7T Pro which is an incremental upgrade from the One Plus 7 Pro. Mainly a slightly faster processor and faster warp charge capabilities. But given the price drop, it makes the phone even more worth it. Who can claim to have the style, power and performance to this level at this price? It is really hard to match. Samsung is usually the heavy weight champ when it comes to the flagship android phone game and One Plus was always known as a budget friendly phone that could be an alternative to the flagship phones. The way I see it now One Plus is sparring toe to toe with other flagship manufactures aside from Samsung and they seem to be capable of punching way above their weight class.