OnePlus 7 Pro introduces screen recording and Zen Mode
The OnePlus 7 Pro runs Android 9.0 Pie with OnePlus' OxygenOS layered on top. Keeping with its minimalist UI approach, the phone is still pretty much a vanilla version of Android, which I like. But there are two notable additions. One is screen recording, which allows you to record and save video of your screen. This is useful when you need to show someone how to do something on the phone, record gameplay or whatever else. Note that with certain apps, like Netflix, the recording will be blacked out due to copyright infringements.
Like other Android Pie phones, the OnePlus 7 Pro has Digital Wellbeing built-in -- a tool from Google that keeps tabs on your screen time and lets you set specific timers for apps. But a new software feature called Zen Mode restricts phone use to another level. Once activated, Zen Mode essentially makes all aspects of your phone inaccessible for 20 minutes, save for making emergency calls and taking photos. That means you can't open apps, make personal calls or even swipe through the screen until the timer is up. Zen Mode kicks in after continuous phone usage of two to five hours (you can set this yourself) and there's really no way to escape it once it's on. Even restarting the phone puts you right back where you left off in Zen Mode. It may seem a bit Draconian, but if you're serious about decreasing screen time, Zen Mode could be useful.
OnePlus 7 Pro's battery and performance
Packing the latest Snapdragon 855 chipset, the OnePlus 7 Pro's performance is speedy and reliable. I didn't run into any issues or lag with day-to-day tasks like launching apps or unlocking the screen with my fingerprint. Photos that needed extra processing time (like Nightscape or portrait shots) also took a reasonable amount of time to render. On benchmark tests, the phone performed as well as the Galaxy S10E, which sports the same processor, and it predictably beat the OnePlus 6T and Pixel 3 (both have last year's Snapdragon 845 processor). Aside from just one test though, the iPhone XR comfortably edged out all the phones in the group. Unlike its Snapdragon-toting competition, the iPhone XR has a proprietary Apple A12 Bionic processor.
OnePlus bumped up the OnePlus 7 Pro's battery capacity to accommodate the bigger screen and higher refresh rate. And while the phone has an excellent battery life (it can easily survive a full work day without a charge), it didn't outlast the OnePlus 6T. During our lab tests for continuous video playback on Airplane mode, the OnePlus 7 Pro lasted an average of 15 hours and 50 minutes. I ran several tests with the screen both on 90Hz and 60Hz, but because the video was 30fps, it made sense that the battery results were more or less the same. Though this average slightly beats the Pixel 3's 15-hour result, compare that to the OnePlus 6T and Galaxy S10E, which clocked in 17 hours, as well as the iPhone XR's nearly 20-hour runtime.
One other great thing about the OnePlus 7 Pro is how fast it charges. Its proprietary charging technology Warp Charge was first introduced in aand it's an update to OnePlus' Dash Charge technology. The charger juiced up a fully drained OnePlus 7 Pro up to 42% in only 15 minutes. After one hour, the battery replenished by 91%. And a full charge took about an hour and 20 minutes.
OnePlus 7 Pro versus the competition
OnePlus 6T: OnePlus plans to keep manufacturing the OnePlus 6T with the release of the OnePlus 7 Pro, since the OnePlus 7 won't be available in every market. On May 17, OnePlus will discount the OnePlus 6T with 8GB of RAM, so you can get it for $549 (128GB) and $599 (256GB). If you're choosing between the two, the OnePlus 7 Pro would be "futureproof" (at least for the next few months until OnePlus releases the OnePlus 7T Pro, maybe?) If it were me though, I'd forego the faster processor, third camera and 90Hz display, get the OnePlus 6T and save myself $120.
Galaxy S10E: For $750, the Galaxy S10E offers wireless charging, water resistance, a headphone jack and expandable storage. It also has the same processor and can take wide-angle photos like the OnePlus 7 Pro (if you're into that). But even though it's a solid pick, I'd go for the OnePlus 7 Pro over it because of the bigger, sharper screen and cheaper price.
Pixel 3: The Pixel 3 and the OnePlus 7 Pro appeared neck and neck at times when it came to their respective cameras. But the Pixel 3 retails for $800, has no expandable storage and a less powerful battery, so I'd say go with the OnePlus 7 Pro. Keep in mind, however, that the, and if you like the phone's timely software updates from Google and camera, consider the much cheaper , which starts at $399.
iPhone XR: Though it has an ultra-fast processor and runs Apple iOS, I'd pick the OnePlus 7 Pro over the iPhone XR. While the iPhone's water resistance and wireless charging may be tempting, it also starts at $750 with 64GB and no expandable memory.
OnePlus 7 Pro spec comparison
||OnePlus 7 Pro||OnePlus 6T||Samsung Galaxy S10E||Google Pixel 3||Apple iPhone XR|
|Display size, resolution||6.67-inch AMOLED; 3,120x1,440 pixels||6.41-inch AMOLED; 2,340x1,080 pixels||5.8-inch AMOLED; 2,280x1,080 pixels||5.5-inch pOLED; 2,280x1,080 pixels||6.1-inch LCD Retina Display; 1,792x828 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.4x2.99x0.35 in||6.20x2.94x0.32 in||5.6x2.8x0.27 in||5.7x2.7x0.3 in||5.9x3.0x0.33 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||162.6x75.9x8.8 mm||157.5x74.8x8.2 mm||142x70x7.9 mm||145.6x68.2x7.9 mm||150.9x75.7x8.3 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||7.27 oz; 206g||6.5 oz; 185g||5.3oz; 150g||5.2 oz; 148g||6.8oz; 194g|
|Mobile software||Android 9.0 with OxygenOS||Android 9.0 Pie with OxygenOS||Android 9.0 Pie with Samsung One UI||Android 9.0 Pie||iOS 12|
|Camera||48-megapixel (standard), 8-megapixel (telephoto), 16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle)||16-megapixel (standard), 20-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra wide-angle)||12.2-megapixel||12-megapixel|
|Front-facing camera||16-megapixel||16-megapixel||10-megapixel||Dual 8-megapixel||7-megapixel|
|Processor||2.84GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||2.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855||2.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Apple A12 Bionic|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|RAM||6GB, 8GB, 12GB||6GB, 8GB||6GB, 8GB||4GB||Not disclosed|
|Expandable storage||None||None||Up to 512GB||None||None|
|Battery||4,000 mAh||3,700 mAh||3,100 mAh||2,915 mAh||2,942 mAh (not disclosed by Apple)|
|Fingerprint sensor||In-display||In-display||Power button||Back cover||None (Face ID)|
|Special features||90Hz display, pop-up selfie camera, dual-SIM, Warp Charging, notifications toggle||In-display fingerprint sensor, dual-SIM, Dash Charging, notifications toggle||Wireless PowerShare, hole punch screen notch, water resistant (IP68), Fast Wireless Charging 2.0||Water resistant (IPX8), wireless charging support, Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the box||Water resistant (IP67), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM), wireless charging, Face ID, Memoji|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$669 (6GB RAM/128GB), $699 (8GB RAM/256GB), $749 (12GB RAM/256GB)||$549 (6GB RAM/128GB), $579* (8GB RAM/128GB), $629* (8GB RAM/256GB)||$750||$799 (64GB), $899 (128GB)||$749 (64GB), $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£649 (6GB RAM/128GB), £699 (8GB RAM/256GB), £799 (12GB RAM/256GB)||£499 (6GB RAM/128GB), £529 (8GB RAM/128GB), £579 (8GB RAM/256GB)||£669||£739 (64GB), £839 (128GB)||£749 (64GB), £799 (128GB), £899 (256GB)|
|Price (AUD)||Converted: AU$962 (6GB RAM/128GB), AU$1,006 (8GB RAM/256GB), AU$1,076 (12GB RAM/256GB)||Converted: AU$774 (6GB RAM/128GB), AU$817 (8GB RAM/128GB), AU$887 (8GB RAM/256GB)||AU$1,199||AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,349 (128GB)||AU$1,229 (64GB), AU$1,299 (128GB), AU$1,479 (256GB)|
Note*: On May 17, OnePlus will discount the OnePlus 6T with 8GB of RAM to $549 (128GB) and $599 (256GB).