The OnePlus 7 Pro is OnePlus & # 39; first attempt to become a true ultra-premium flagship and I am a bit in love with it.
I have come to this conclusion after testing an evaluation unit for about a week now and it frankly left me in a bit of a pickle. Despite the fact that my job means the last five years or so, I have been chopping and changing phones almost every month (it's a difficult life), I've always gone back to a Google phone as my daily driver.
That could all change with the OnePlus 7 Pro.
This trend of mine extends all the way to the Google Nexus 4, which became my first Android phone in 2012 after being dulled by incremental iPhone upgrades. The Nexus 5 was my next stop and quickly cemented my love for everything Android is and is probably my favorite smartphone of all time (just behind the Pixel 2 XL and the HTC One M8).
Those times that I renounced Google usually led to disappointment (what was I planning to buy an LG G4?), But that wasn't the case with my recent detour with the OnePlus 6T.
Related: OnePlus 7 Pro vs OnePlus 6T against OnePlus 6: what do you get for $ 120 more?
In short, I managed to break my Pixel 3 XL (RIP) and needed a replacement. That role was fulfilled by the OnePlus 6T and I was immediately impressed by the high speed, not to mention the smaller notch in the hideous bathtub of the Pixel 3 XL.
But it wasn't all great. The camera processing left a lot to be desired, I still preferred OxygenOS to Pixel software and I hated the single loudspeaker that I always managed to mumble while playing games and watching Twitch.
After seven years of Google phones, it may be time for a change.
I have been on the road for a few months between the OnePlus 6T and a brand new, non-smashed Google Pixel 3 XL, trying to find a balance between the hardware of the 6T and the software of the Pixel 3 XL.
Then the OnePlus 7 Pro arrived at the door.
Instead of just discussing all the great and not-so-great things about the OnePlus 7 Pro, I go through all the things I would want and wouldn't miss making my Pixel fall into the vain hope it will be me from another "I will, I will not" dilemma until the Pixel 4 rolls around.
Things I love
If you have read or viewed our OnePlus 7 Pro review (above), you already know that this thing is fast. The version I have is the ridiculously over-spec 12 GB RAM model and it's so fast that it feels like it could take off.
This is annoying – and given the inexplicable internals – the slow Pixel 3 XL is a revelation. I can now switch between a seemingly infinite number of apps at any time without having to re-boot them. Thanks to UFS 3.0, inflated games such as Pokémon Go also load in about half the time. It is great.
The general spicy feeling and the tight animations are helped by the 90 Hz screen of the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The screen is generally absolutely stunning. I could probably count on the number of times I use a selfie camera in a single year, so considering a mechanized pop-up camera that could ever fail for a massive, almost completely screenless screen is a good idea.
The screen curves may be a bit too extreme compared to the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, but everything else about the entire design of the phone is amazing, especially in Nebula Blue, which has an enchanting, soft glow in certain lights. I have never hated the two-color Pixel aesthetic, but it blows it out of the water.
The 90 Hz screen of the OnePlus 7 Pro is amazing.
Surprisingly, the fingerprint sensor in the display was still a huge upgrade. I say surprising, because I only had a headache with in-display sensors, but I have noticed that the hit rate on the OnePlus 7 Pro is very high. In the meantime, the rear sensor of the Pixel 3 XL has always been a hit for me.
Another plus for OnePlus (see what I did there?) Is the battery life. Although the OnePlus 7 Pro represents a significant decrease in battery endurance compared to the ultra-efficient OnePlus 6T, I can still get through the day on the latest OnePlus. That's more than I get from the Pixel. The lack of wireless charging is a shame because I will have to withdraw my Pixel standard, but 30W Warp Charge support more than makes up for this.
Dive deeper: This is how the 90Hz screen affects the battery life of the OnePlus 7 Pro
Things I miss
As I expected, my biggest grip on the OnePlus 7 Pro has little to do with the hardware – with two minor exceptions.
The first is the arrangement of the stereo speakers. The speakers of the 7 Pro are a strong improvement over the blunt-mounted single-floor loudspeaker of the OnePlus 6T, but they are still not quite at the same height as the double forward speakers of the Pixel 3 XL.
The other hardware feature that I miss is Active Edge. I use the Google Assistant a lot (I have five Google Home speakers and I count), so direct access to my phone via a fast squeeze has always been a bonus.
Read more: Google Home and Assistant – the definitive guide
In the big picture of things, these are both losses that I can live with. However, I am not sure if I can say the same about my problems with the software.
Let me be very clear: OxygenOS is by far my favorite OEM skin. It's incredibly customizable, looks sleek, has almost no bloat and often has extra or tweaked features that are better than standard Android (especially gestures). But I still prefer the Pixel Launcher.
There is just something about the simplicity and purity of the Pixel as part of the broader ecosystem of Google – that I am perhaps too deeply rooted – that I immediately mourn the absence of that characteristic Material Design look and function set.
I can remedy this a bit thanks to a handy widget app that mimics the Pixel clock and the Nova launcher with a sideloaded Google Discover app, but it's still not quite the same. There is also no solution for the constant, inexplicable refusal of OnePlus to always add display support – a very personal potential deal breaker, I must admit – which is nothing short of astonishing at this point.
However, if there is an ultimate dealbreaker, then it is the same, so I put the OnePlus 6T back to a drawer: the camera.
Last year I welcomed my daughter to the world and my photo library went from incidental photos of my cat to literally thousands of photos of a small person, all securely uploaded to Google Photos with unlimited high-quality original cloud storage and synced with my Google Home Hub (or Nest Hub, I should say).
The OnePlus 7 Pro camera is great on paper. The arrangement with three lenses is much more versatile than the single shooter from the Pixel 3 series and the image quality is a logical step up from the OnePlus 6T. The OnePlus Camera app is also simple and intuitive.
Unfortunately, the actual results are still pale compared to the Pixel 3 XL, especially in low light. The post-processing of OnePlus is still far behind Google and when you take photos that you will cherish forever, this becomes an overwhelmingly emotional factor.
The fact that the budget Pixel 3a series, which I also recently played with, yields better results if a camera with a point-and-take camera shows how far ahead Google is in this area compared to any Android OEM, not just OnePlus.
Opinion: What is the use of the Google Pixel 3a?
OnePlus 7 Pro Vs Google Pixel 3: decision time?
I feel that in the coming months I will go back and forth between the OnePlus 7 Pro and Google Pixel 3 XL. The inevitable Pixel Camera port for the OnePlus 7 Pro can throw a curve ball at me, although that may make using the telephoto and ultra-wide-angle sensors a bit more difficult.
My ideal phone is still somewhere between the two devices with the hardware from OnePlus and the software from Google. That said, I understand that I am facing this dilemma from a point of extreme privilege, since most people do not have multiple high-caliber phones that they can choose on a whim.
I'm still torn apart.
For most buyers, the OnePlus 7 Pro offers much more for your money, even if you look at the price jump compared to earlier OnePlus flagships. Similarly, if the camera is your deciding factor, the Pixel 3a is a much better value package for me than its flagship.
In the end I am still torn apart. But it hasn't been this close for a while.
Which phone should I go for? Let me hear your opinion in the comments!