OnePlus 7T Pro long-term review

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Introduction

As we hurtle towards the launch of the next generation of OnePlus smartphones, now is a good time as any to look back at the phone that’s about to be replaced. The OnePlus 7T Pro and its nearly identical predecessor, the OnePlus 7 Pro, were perhaps the biggest and most ambitious releases in the company’s history and set a high watermark against which other smartphones were judged in 2019.

With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company pushed its Never Settle philosophy further than ever before, with a laundry list of features. Whether it was a high refresh rate display, a pop-up camera, triple cameras at the back, stereo speakers, fast wired charging, or a curved display, the phone had practically every item on the checklist. Add to the usual flagship-grade specs and quality software, the OnePlus 7 Pro became the phone to beat.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewThe OnePlus 7T Pro launched later the same year changed very little about this winning formula. With a new color, faster processor and faster charging really being the only noteworthy changes, the 7T Pro reminds one of the OnePlus 3T, which too featured mild upgrades over an already excellent device.

After having used both the 7 Pro and 7T Pro extensively as our daily smartphone since launch, we now have a firm understanding of these devices and also suggestions on what we’d like to see in the next generation of OnePlus flagships. While this article is primarily about the newer 7T Pro, most of what is being said here also applies to the older 7 Pro due to their vast similarities.

  • Anonymous

onepluses are the most overrated phones ever. They tend to imitate apple, just the worst of it, and to keep off as many features as possible…fm radio, audio jack, micro-sd and such

GSMArena team23 Mar 2020.

Design

The most striking thing about the OnePlus 7T Pro design is just how big the phone is. The phone is a good bit taller than the iPhone 11 Pro Max and even a hair taller than the Galaxy Note10+. The latter two devices are supposed to be big as that’s their differentiating factor against their smaller versions. But in the case of the OnePlus 7T Pro, it is big just because. There are hardly any phones in its class that are taller than the OnePlus 7T Pro, and the only one we can think of right now is the newly announced Galaxy S20 Ultra.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewApart from being taller, the OnePlus 7T Pro is also a fair bit heavy. At 206g, it’s one of the heaviest smartphones in its class, if not the heaviest. Unfortunately, none of these are positive attributes, at least when it comes to ease of use or portability. The phone is too large and too heavy to use comfortably. We thought it would get easier with time but it never did. The weight alone is agonizing and you’re constantly aware of it whenever you’re using the phone. It is especially noticeable when you’re using the phone over your face in bed. We never actually dropped it on our face but the mere thought of the damage that would cause made us put it down and go to sleep.

The massive size doesn’t help, either. It just makes the phone more difficult to use, especially when you have to reach the top edge for notifications or the side edges for navigation gestures. One-handed typing also becomes a chore.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewThe OnePlus 7T Pro is also not water and dust resistant, at least not officially. By the looks of it, OnePlus has put in all the necessary precautions to ensure no dust or water gets in but hasn’t gotten the official IP rating so you’re not sure how much trust you should put in all the supposed safeguards.

All of this is a shame because the OnePlus 7T Pro is a beautiful device. The curved edges of the screen, the complete lack of any notches or holes, the simple yet elegant camera module on the back, and the stunning shade of blue all make this a truly great looking phone, even a year since its release. It shows that it is indeed possible to make a high-end “Pro” device and not have it be ugly or boring.

Display

The OnePlus 7T Pro has a 6.67-inch AMOLED display, with a resolution of 3120×1440, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and 90Hz refresh rate and is one of the best displays on any smartphone on the market today. It has excellent color calibration when using one of the calibrated profiles, the resolution is as high as anyone will ever need, and the 90Hz refresh rate perfectly complements the powerful hardware. You also aren’t required to run the display at 1080p to get the full refresh rate of the panel, which is always a good thing in our books.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWhat makes the screen even nicer is that it has barely any bezels to speak of and there’s no visible front camera. The camera is hidden using a pop-up mechanism, a trend we had started to like but has seemingly met an untimely demise in favor of the far more unsightly hole punch design.

There are two things about the display that bothers us. The less bothersome one is the fact that the phone has a curved display, which warps some of the content around the edges and doesn’t make it look good, even if the phone itself looks nicer. We know Android manufacturers love their curved displays, so it’s not a trend that’s going to go away completely any time soon, but we hope the next generation of OnePlus devices at least have a smaller radius to the curve.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewThe more bothersome thing is just how easy it is to hit the edges of the screen and trigger something unintentionally. We found ourselves constantly hitting something on the side of the screen while stretching our thumb to reach something on the other end. Even the top and bottom sides aren’t immune to this. Holding the phone by the top edge causes the screen to frequently interact with your fingers at the top, and the bottom edge is triggered by the pinkie finger you use to prop the phone up in your hand.

As amazing as the display is otherwise, these two are rather serious issues that constantly hamper the usability of the device, and we hope OnePlus addresses them in their future smartphones.

  • Anonymous

onepluses are the most overrated phones ever. They tend to imitate apple, just the worst of it, and to keep off as many features as possible…fm radio, audio jack, micro-sd and such

GSMArena team23 Mar 2020.

Software

One of the things given with OnePlus phones is a good software experience. Since its release, OxygenOS has been the backbone of every OnePlus smartphone and has quickly become the favorite Android skin for a lot of people, some of us included. Users have always loved the combination of close to stock Android appearance and the tasteful implementation of extra features on top and, to its credit, OnePlus has managed to stick to the formula well, never careening closer to one side or the other.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTo that effect, the software on the OnePlus 7T Pro is very good, both in terms of design and functionality. While not entirely bug-free, we never experienced any major issue with the OS in our many months of use and the minor issues would resolve on their own over time.

We did have some issues though that persisted, and these were mostly by design. The first is the lack above of any palm rejection to ignore accidental touches. The other is the sheer size of the navigation bar at the bottom. At the default DPI setting, it’s just way too tall, taller than on most other phones, which makes it very close to the bottom of the on-screen keyboard. This does make typing a nightmare as you’re constantly hitting the home button while typing, which, as you can imagine, isn’t fun the first time it happens and by the third time in the same sentence you’re close to either pulling your hair out or throwing the phone out the window.

A solution to this would be to simply use the navigation gestures. While that does solve the problem, not everyone prefers to use gestures. The gestures are also not ergonomic to use on such a large phone.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWe are also continually disappointed by OnePlus choosing not to implement an always-on display mode. They have always cited battery life concerns as the reason, but if a user wants to run down their battery for their gains, that’s on them. If we start removing useful features to increase the battery life, we wouldn’t have any left, as they all use battery power.

In terms of updates, things have always been a bit of a mixed bag with OnePlus. The company has always been quick to update its newest smartphone to the latest version of Android, but as the phones age as products, they become less of a priority for the company and even phones as much as a year old often end up languishing months without the latest OS.

The OnePlus 7T Pro did launch with Android 10, so there’s not much to complain about there, and the phone has been receiving Android security on a bimonthly basis, which isn’t ideal but better than most OEMs. The frequency with which the updates come in has slowed down a bit, which usually means they are now focused on their upcoming devices but also that there aren’t any major bugs to fix in the current device.

All things considered, we have mostly been happy with the software experience on the OnePlus 7T Pro. We aren’t too thrilled about some things, and it’s also possible getting updates will be more difficult going forward, but apart from that there’s very little to complain about here.

Performance

One of the key differences between the OnePlus 7 Pro and the OnePlus 7T Pro is that the latter comes with the newer Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset. Like the phone itself, the 855 Plus is a modest upgrade over the standard 855, with minor bumps to the clock speed on the CPU and the GPU. The phone also comes with 8GB of LPDDR4X memory (12GB on the McLaren Edition) and 256GB of fast UFS 3.0 storage. There’s no 6/128GB variant this time around.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewYou can’t have specs like those on a phone and not have great performance. The OnePlus 7T Pro is, by all means, a great performing phone with fast response times and fluid animations. What really brings the best out of the hardware is the 90Hz display, which puts all that raw horsepower to great use and really makes a big difference in usability and perceived performance. It’s one thing to just see big numbers on a benchmark score but having a high refresh rate display really lets you experience that performance in a more meaningful way.

It’s unfortunate, then, that you don’t experience this performance in most of the games. Most games still run at 30fps, since that’s what they were designed for. Those that run at high frame rates usually run at 60fps, but that’s pretty much it. There are supposedly some games that run at 90fps on this device, but in our experience, we didn’t see any of them run beyond 60fps on our device.

That’s not to say that games don’t run well on the OnePlus 7T Pro. The phone is way more powerful than it needs to be for the current crop of Android games, and you could be gaming on this for another three years before facing any major performance bottlenecks. Hopefully, by then more games would have added support for high refresh rate displays.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMultimedia performance is great, too. The display is great for watching content, although it is annoying that the edges get frequently triggered while you’re holding the phone sideways while watching a video, and the curved edges aren’t ideal, either. There’s also no headphone jack, no bundled headset nor any adapter in the box, although the stereo loudspeakers do sound great.

The OnePlus 7T Pro also features a newer version of the fingerprint sensor used on the original OnePlus 7 Pro. The original sensor was quite poor when it came to accuracy, speed or reliability. Fortunately, the sensor on the OnePlus 7T Pro is significantly better. There were still occasions where it didn’t read the print correctly, but these were far fewer than the nearly unusable sensor on the OnePlus 7 Pro and overall worked quite well. It’s unfortunate that optical fingerprint sensors are still not as good as the best capacitive sensors from a few years ago, but we do seem to be getting there.

  • Anonymous

onepluses are the most overrated phones ever. They tend to imitate apple, just the worst of it, and to keep off as many features as possible…fm radio, audio jack, micro-sd and such

GSMArena team23 Mar 2020.

Camera

The OnePlus 7T Pro ships with the now familiar triple camera system on the back, including the ideal combination of a wide, ultra-wi,de and telephoto lens. There are no unnecessary macro lenses here, as OnePlus just incorporated that feature into the ultra-wide-angle lens, which works just as well and possibly even better than most dedicated macro lenses we’ve seen.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewStarting with the main 48MP wide camera, the image quality is good in most lighting conditions. The level of detail in the 12MP final images is acceptable in good lighting and we don’t really miss not being able to shoot in the native 48MP resolution (the 48MP option in Pro mode is a sham). The dynamic range is good, too, and you can just leave it in auto mode and trust the camera to do the right thing in most situations. The large sensor also has a very shallow depth of field, which can sometimes make parts of the image look very blurry when shooting something up close due to how out of focus they are.

Main camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 125, 1/607s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 200, 1/50s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/127s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 125, 1/2398s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/407s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/1011s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 125, 1/1430s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 125, 1/2009s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 125, 1/1517s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/703s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 200, 1/100s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera daylight samples - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/203s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term review


Main camera daylight samples

The only thing about the images that needs to be worked on is colors. The colors in most situations are acceptable but are a bit of an acquired taste. We usually prefer if the camera just captures the colors as they are but the OnePlus camera images definitely have a particular look to them, which you start noticing once you stare at enough of these pictures. It adds a warm touch to all the images and is especially partial to orange and green hues. Reds, on the other hand, can be hit or miss at times and occasionally are just rendered as deep pink. The irony that the company logo is the exact color the camera struggles with isn’t lost on us.

The telephoto lens also takes some good quality images. The 3x optical zoom can occasionally be a bit too tight, especially for portrait shots but if you are looking to isolate your subject then the perspective offered by this lens is really great and makes for some truly interesting shots.

Telephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/486s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/1538s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/183s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/170s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/100s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/191s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/200s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 160, 1/100s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/170s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/316s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/643s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewTelephoto camera daylight samples - f/2.4, ISO 100, 1/479s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term review


Telephoto camera daylight samples

Lastly, the ultra-wide lens also offers an interesting perspective of its own. The image quality isn’t the greatest, as is often the case with these lenses, but the distortion is well controlled and if you don’t go looking too closely then the overall quality is fine. Both the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses do have good dynamic range and detail but also suffer from the same color reproduction issues.

Wide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 125, 1/1588s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 125, 1/2072s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/266s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 320, 1/50s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/1164s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/226s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/151s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/1217s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 125, 1/919s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/516s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 100, 1/161s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewWide-angle daylight samples - f/2.2, ISO 320, 1/100s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term review


Wide-angle daylight samples

In low light, the OnePlus 7T Pro does reasonably well. The main 48MP sensor, with its large size and pixel binning, does produce some clean looking images, even without enabling night mode. The images are also often exposed correctly and largely look as they should.

It’s only in really low light situations do you need to enable the night mode, called Nightscape. Nightscape isn’t really the best night mode around and the images you get out of it aren’t usually the cleanest or the most natural looking among competing devices. But, if you’re in really low lighting conditions and must take a picture for some reason, you can get a usable image out of it, which is often what you’re looking for.

Main camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 2000, 1/14s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 1600, 1/20s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 6400, 1/10s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 640, 1/0s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 800, 1/20s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 640, 1/33s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 100, 1/147s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewMain camera Nightscape samples - f/1.6, ISO 800, 1/20s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term review


Main camera Nightscape samples

The telephoto lens does not support Nightscape. It’s also not really used in low light conditions as the camera defaults to using 3x digital zoom on the main 48MP sensor. The only way to trigger the telephoto camera in low light is to switch to Portrait mode, but that’s not really recommended.

The ultra-wide camera does support Nightscape, which is just as well as there’s no trick you can pull to emulate that perspective on the main lens and the wide-angle camera isn’t really great in low light. Nightscape shots from this lens often come out quite well and are again, far more usable than what you’d have gotten without it.

Ultra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 500, 1/1s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewUltra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 320, 1/8s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewUltra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 640, 1/8s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewUltra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 500, 1/8s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewUltra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 200, 1/8s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewUltra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 250, 1/8s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewUltra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 640, 1/5s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewUltra-wide Nightscape samples - f/2.2, ISO 320, 1/8s - OnePlus 7T Pro long-term review


Ultra-wide Nightscape samples

Overall, the cameras on the OnePlus 7T Pro are very good and you can get some really good pictures out of them. OnePlus has really come a long way from its early days and they have made some significant strides in the past year alone when it comes to the camera quality. They still have some ways to go before they can compete with the absolute best on the market, and they are almost 90% there. Unfortunately, the final 10% is also the hardest part and why people pay top dollar for that iPhone or Pixel.

  • Anonymous

onepluses are the most overrated phones ever. They tend to imitate apple, just the worst of it, and to keep off as many features as possible…fm radio, audio jack, micro-sd and such

GSMArena team23 Mar 2020.

Battery life

The OnePlus 7T Pro has a 4085mAh battery, which is inconsequentially larger than the 4000mAh battery on the OnePlus 7 Pro. The phone ships with the same 30W charger as the OnePlus 7 Pro, but supports the new Warp Charge 30T standard for faster charging.

Despite the relatively large size on paper, the battery life on the OnePlus 7T Pro is fairly underwhelming. It’s not terrible, so you’re not exactly having anxiety about when this phone is going to die on you during the course of the day. However, you expect a phone this big and heavy to also have a bigger battery and that’s one area where the OnePlus 7T Pro disappoints. The battery life is adequate at best but you definitely need to charge the phone by the end of the day.

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewThe wired charging experience is as great as always. The Warp Charge 30T on the OnePlus 7T Pro makes the phone charge even faster than the OnePlus 7 Pro despite shipping with the same charger and having a slightly larger battery. The phone does get fairly warm while it’s charging, despite the company’s claims to the contrary but it doesn’t get as hot as some of the Qualcomm Quick Charge devices out there.

The lack of wireless charging is still a bummer. At a time when competing devices can even wirelessly charge other devices, the complete lack of any kind of wireless charging on the OnePlus 7T Pro sticks out like a sore thumb in this price range. There are rumors that the next generation OnePlus phones will have wireless charging, so let’s hope they materialize.

Conclusion

It’s not often we pick a device and simply choose to run with it as our daily driver for several months. This job affords us some privileges, and one of them is being spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a phone to use as your primary from the several on offer. So then why did some of us choose the OnePlus 7T Pro, and the OnePlus 7 Pro before it?

OnePlus 7T Pro long-term reviewInitially, it wasn’t an easy decision. We have to admit we weren’t fans of the massive size and weight of the device, and the camera quality wasn’t the greatest at launch. However, we loved the design and performance of the phone, and while we never quite got used to the size or weight, over time, it felt like a fair tradeoff. OnePlus also did what OnePlus often does and released several updates after launch that improved the performance, especially for the camera.

There’s a lot more we could say about this phone but to avoid the risk of repeating ourselves, we’d stop here. What we’ll say in the end is that despite its flaws, it is still one of the best phones on the market, especially when you consider the price. It really makes us look forward to what OnePlus has in store for us this year, as these usually end up being the products we use and recommend the most. If you are on the lookout for a new phone, you’d be wise to wait. But if you want one right now, the OnePlus 7T Pro and the cheaper OnePlus 7T are still some of the best options on the market today.

Current prices

  • Anonymous

onepluses are the most overrated phones ever. They tend to imitate apple, just the worst of it, and to keep off as many features as possible…fm radio, audio jack, micro-sd and such.

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