OnePlus 7T Pro: Is it a worthy upgrade over the 7 Pro?

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So it’s finally here. Just announced a few hours ago, we got to see the final flagship smartphone from OnePlus for the year 2019. It’s called the OnePlus 7T Pro. Needless to say, it is the fastest, most powerful and most capable OnePlus smartphone ever to come out. Or is it?

For you see, from the specs perspective, the 7T Pro isn’t exactly that far ahead of its half predecessor, the OnePlus 7 Pro. In fact, in some cases, the OnePlus 7 Pro seems to be a better overall phone. Yes, I know that we’ve also got the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition as well, which does overcome those shortcomings but it’s considered a special edition variant and is a lot more expensive.

So how does the “regular” OnePlus 7T Pro stack up against its competitors from other brands and even its own siblings? Is it a viable upgrade over the 7 Pro or is it just a strategical phone for OnePlus to expand its market? Let’s have a detailed look at the specs and find out.

Design & Display

Image: OnePlus

There’s going to be some mixed opinions regarding the design of the OnePlus 7T Pro as there’s almost nothing new to it. It looks almost exactly like the OnePlus 7 Pro. In fact, an average person won’t be able to tell them apart as the changes are just so subtle. Now a lot of people either love it or hate it. The 7 Pro’s design was good enough and since this isn’t strictly a successor, we can let that slide past.

This means that upfront, you get the same 6.67″ 3120×1440 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display that everyone loved. I personally believe that this is one of the best, if not the best smartphone displays ever to come out. It’s aptly sized, has a high resolution, is super smooth and it has the classic AMOLED vibrancy that brings the colors out. Pair that with the fact that there are no bezels and there’s no notch/hole punch and you’ve got yourself a display worthy of content consumption and even gaming.

Image: The Next Web

Like the 7 Pro, the front camera is actuated via a pop-up mechanism, which is something you either love or hate. Most people go against it as it does bring down the reliability of the device. However, OnePlus has proved via numerous tests that this mechanism will not fail on you anytime soon so you don’t have to worry about that.

Move to the back and you’ll find the familiar triple-camera setup. The camera module is vertical like on the 7 Pro and unlike on the regular OnePlus 7T. Again, this sparks a lot of controversies and mixed opinions as most people never really liked the circular module of the 7T. I, however, believe that while this may look better, it does break the design consistency of the product lineup. It feels as if OnePlus wanted to experient the new design and they only chose the 7T to do so.

Cameras

Image: OnePlus

As mentioned earlier, like every other flagship smartphone, the 7T Pro rocks a triple-camera system for maximum usability. It includes:

  • 48MP Main Camera with f/1.6 aperture and both Electronic and Optical Image Stabilizations.
  • An 8MP Telephoto with f/2.4 aperture and 3x Optical Zoom.
  • 12MP Ultrawide with f/2.2 aperture and a 117° Viewing Angle.

These were the same 3 cameras found on the 7 Pro and they do get the job done pretty well. They don’t, however, perform as well as flagships from Apple, Samsung, and Huawei, if you were to nitpick, but they won’t let you down either.

In terms of video recording though, these cameras will be plentiful. You have various recording options. They include:

  • 4K@30/60fps
  • 1080p@30/60fps
  • 720p@30fps
  • 1080p@240fps (Slow Motion)
  • 720p@480/960fps (Super Slow Motion)

Coming to the front camera, it’s pretty decent. It’s a 16MP unit with f/2.0 aperture and Electronic Image Stabilization. It can also record videos in 1080p@30fps. In a world where other flagship smartphones have multiple front cameras with autofocus, this does seem to fall short. However, it performs quite well and sometimes even outperforms rivals in some aspects.

Performance

Image: Qualcomm

Under the hood of the OnePlus 7T Pro, you’ll find the latest and greatest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855+ CPU paired with an Adreno 640 GPU. We’ve seen this combo in a lot of flagship Android devices and that’s because it’s the best out there. The only possible rival to this is the A13 Bionic CPU used in the iPhone 11 series.

This also makes the 7T Pro significantly faster and more powerful than the 7 Pro as the latter uses the regular 855 variant of the same CPU. Regardless, the speed boost won’t be that significant as both are capable enough to power through the most intensive apps out there. To counter throttling during gaming, the 7T Pro also has a 10-layer liquid cooling, which is a welcome addition.

As far as memory and storage are concerned, you are in good waters. Gone is the option for having a 6GB RAM variant, which is a good thing as it was getting inadequate. You can now get the 7T Pro with just an 8GB LPDDR4X RAM option. The same is the case with storage, it only starts and ends with 256GB. I personally believe 128GB was still usable in this day and age but I guess it’s the sign of the times that it’s gone too. The file system is the familiar UFS 3.0 so, yes, faster storage.

Image: Fnatic

Lastly, the battery. The 7T Pro uses a 4085mAh Lithium-ion Polymer unit that is a slight upgrade over the 4000mAh found in the 7 Pro. Is it good? Yes. Is it the best out there? No. Manufacturers like Huawei currently lead the battery tests and OnePlus only manages to beat the iPhone. Let’s also not forget that you have a 2k display resolution with a 90Hz refresh rate and a motorized front camera that only makes the matters worse.

Thankfully, however, you do get faster charging. The 7T Pro uses Warp Charge 30T, which is one of the fastest chargers out there, though not by much ever since Samsung caught up with its Galaxy Note 10.

Software & Security

The OnePlus 7T Pro is probably the first smartphone to come out of the box with Android 10 and that’s only strengthened by the fact that it rolls out updates faster than other manufacturers. On top of that, it runs the OxygenOS user interface, which is one of the best Android UIs out there especially if you have a thing for simplicity and optimization. I’ve mentioned its special feature before so I won’t go in the details.

Image: OnePlus

For security, you have two options to unlock your device. The first is the in-display RGB fingerprint scanner. It’s the fastest in-display scanner out there, though not exactly the most secure. That honor would go to the Ultrasonic one on Samsung devices. Regardless, the one on the 7T Pro will get the job done and won’t disappoint.

The second option is facial recognition via the selfie camera. It too is fast, probably one of the fastest. However, the front camera mechanism limits its speed, which is one of the drawbacks of a pop-up camera.

Price & Verdict

The OnePlus 7T Pro costs somewhat around $869, which is just an insane amount for a OnePlus device. If you think that’s ridiculous, the McLaren Edition costs $994, which brings it to Samsung’s flagship territory. Gone are the days where OnePlus devices were a cheaper alternative to expensive flagships. This is exactly what I had feared and unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.

If you have a OnePlus 7 Pro, keep it. It’s a way better value for money. And if you’re looking to buy a new OnePlus device, look no further than the standard OnePlus 7T. It’s a bargain when it comes to features and price.

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