The fastest but not the most premium
OnePlus 7 Pro has been one of our favorite devices since the beginning of this year. The phone sets a standard for other standard flagships, providing Starler performance, a great display and an innovative design. The OnePlus 7T Pro, which arrived a few months later, captures almost everything and makes a few changes. This includes the latest Snapdragon 855+, which is obviously the only major upgrade anyway with some new software features. The rest of the package is almost like the OnePlus 7 Pro. So when the OnePlus 7 Pro is available at a much cheaper price, is it really worth your money? Find out –
Like every OnePlus device, the OnePlus 7T Pro is on the brink of mobile computing, at least in Android space. The Snapdragon 855+, launched by Qualcomm to help gaming phones differentiate themselves, powers the flagship. The upgraded SoC offers a higher uninterrupted prime core at 2.96GHz with an overclocked Adreno 640 GPU that Qualcomm claims delivers 15 percent better performance. This, combined with 12GB of RAM and UFS 3.0 storage (up to 256GB), ensures that benchmark scores are one of the highest we’ve seen. You can see it in the chart below –
The results show that the OnePlus 7T Pro is far ahead of the competition in Android space. It has even beaten the latest iPhones in AnTuTu and 3DMark Slingshot which indicates that the CPU and GPU are primed for high performance. Considering the synthetic benchmark, the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition is clearly the fastest Android smartphone of the year.
More than the benchmark, smartphone usage itself gives the impression that it is now the fastest smartphone out of hand. And this is primarily due to the display of 90Hz refresh rate. We’ll talk more about the panel later, but the higher the refresh rate makes a big difference to your phone usage experience. Scrolling is much more responsive for one and the animations look more realistic. Having said that, you won’t get too much use of the 90Hz refresh rate outside of the UI. There are a bunch of games that can run at 90 fps and most high-end games will be locked at 60 fps. But given the speed at which mobile gaming is evolving, we may soon see 90FPS gaming on Android, and the OnePlus 7T Pro is just that, future-proof.
Speaking of gaming, the OnePlus 7T Pro is an average gaming machine, characterized only by a curved display. Games run at their maximum frame rate with almost 100 percent stability, but it takes some time to get used to the curved panel. For one, the controls often tend to take the curved part unless you set it manually. And the tactile response along the curved edge is weaker than in the flat area. And in the McLaren version of the OnePlus 7T Pro CoD: I missed a few taps while playing mobile. You can see the gaming statistics in the chart below –
Clearly, the OnePlus 7T Pro is on par with the rest of the flagships, at least in terms of performance. There’s a dedicated Fnatic gaming mode that enables haptic responses to selected games, blocks calls and notifications, and enhances visuals.
But not everything is as good as it sounds. The OnePlus 7T Pro, despite playing the best hardware, doesn’t seem to be able to handle all that firepower well enough. While running the benchmarks, we encountered regular heating problems where the CPU and GPU were running above 50 degrees. Problems also occur when gaming for long periods of time, especially when the charger is plugged in. OnePlus also employs aggressive resource management algorithms that often kill apps running in the background. With the exception of games that are loaded, apps like Battery Stat and Facebook Messenger regularly die randomly. Excessive overheating may just be a software issue, but despite the phone being on the market for more than two months, the issue is still unresolved. Furthermore, this is an issue that is primarily limited to the McLaren version. Regular OnePlus 7T Pro with 8GB RAM has no such heating problem.
The OxygenOS UI is one of the primary reasons why OnePlus 7T Pro is so fast. This is one of our favorite custom skins for Android to design as well as optimize. The OnePlus 7T Pro also runs directly out of the box on Android 10, one of the only smartphones to do so. But at first Android 10 led to some unwanted bugs. Many users have reported having ghost touch problems, especially along the edges, while others have also reported scrolling backwards. Fortunately, OnePlus issues regular updates (about twice a month) which should fix them in the end.
OxygenOS brings a new reading mode, more customizable Zen mode and Horizon Lite, which is nothing more than OnePlus’s way of illuminating the edges on incoming notifications. It would have been helpful to have endless pulses instead of a single blast, to remind the user that there are unread notifications.
The OnePlus 7T Pro relies on a 4085mAh battery which is not enough if you keep the display running all the time with QHD resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. As a result, I’ve been able to get 4 hours of screen time in about 30 minutes, losing at least 30 percent of the phone’s charge. If you are watching a video or playing a game, the drop is even higher. Fortunately enough, OnePlus lets you automatically push the resolution variable to QHD when it is needed, but even then, the screen time only increases by an hour or more. Five hours of battery life is certainly not what you expect from a premium flagship. In PCMark Work 2.0 battery testing, the OnePlus 7T Pro Galaxy Note 10+ even lags behind the previous OnePlus 7 Pro. Check it out in the graph below –
Moving on to the camera, the OnePlus 7T Pro captures the camera setup of the OnePlus 7 Pro and upgrades to some software-level to improve image quality. You get three modes for shooting – Wide, Ultravide and Telephoto. Ultra-wide lenses are also used for macro shots. Also, the telephoto lens shoots at 3X lossless zoom, according to the OnePlus, but it’s actually 2.8x optical zoom and the rest is digital. You can also shoot static videos using a super static mode that relies on machine learning to stabilize your shots above and beyond the stability rendered by OIS and EIS.
Pictures of the OnePlus 7T Pro are almost identical to the OnePlus 7 Pro, and the well-illuminated photos are more or less the same as what you get from more premium flagships like the Huawei P30 Pro and the Galaxy Note 10+. Only, OnePlus uses a very specific tone for its daylight images that sets it apart. It’s not bad, but just looks different. You can see the difference between the sample below –
The first is from the Galaxy Note 10+ and the second is from the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren. Notice how the pink and green in the sample from the 7T Pro are more pronounced? The phone basically enhances the contrasts to make the image more sharp, which may not fit well with all users.
The 16MP Ultra-Wide Lens comes with autofocus, a welcome addition to most premium flagships, and it comes with a quick shutter. But then, you won’t get as much detail as you would from a 48MP primary lens. Fortunately, OnePlus has extended the nightscape support to ultra-wide lenses, but even then, using the lens after dark will not give you the best results.
The telephoto lens is used for both portrait shots as well as for zooming in on objects. Zooming in part works well during the day, but a low f / 2.4 aperture means you won’t be able to get the desired results in low light. Worst of all, it doesn’t work with Nightscape mode.
Also, the OnePlus 7T Pro can shoot 4K video at 60 fps, but only for 15 minutes, Tops. I had a lot of focusing problems when shooting videos and taking close-up photos. I tend to focus too much on objects when shooting a product at a launch event, which makes my life hell. Here are some photos we took with the phone:
Design and display
The form factor of the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren is similar to that of the OnePlus 7 Pro, in terms of size and weight. Only the back panel gets a special McLaren flavor, which I personally didn’t like so much. The rear glass finish doesn’t hold fingerprints but is quite slippery, so a case is recommended. The only change in design is that the AF system has now moved to the side of the camera module. It also has a pop-up camera, curved display and rounded edges, all of which make it quite ergonomic to use and enjoy watching videos. But, I have a few tricks, including curved displays.
The 6.67-inch QHD + display renders the body ratio from a healthy 90 percent screen along the edge of the curve. However, the curved edges are quite annoying and actually become a hindrance. For example, an aura of edges is seen under the sun, often masking the contents of the edges. Inside the house, it’s a fantastic display to use. You can watch HDR10 + content on all major streaming sites while the 90Hz refresh rate makes the panel even more fun.
The last row
The OnePlus 7T Pro is actually one of the fastest smartphones out there right now, but it’s not without flaws. While OnePlus still works in the value flagship segment, the flaws are less acceptable, but it’s a premium smartphone that embraces the likes of the Galaxy Note 10+ and Huawei P30 Pro. So it is natural for us to compare the OnePlus 7T Pro with the best smartphones of this year. And with that, the OnePlus 7T Pro lacks many features. Water resistance and wireless charging are the two big misses, which most smartphones cost Rs 60,000. What’s more, the phone has a tendency to overheat and has a number of software bugs that have yet to be fixed. For example, if I had to choose, the regular OnePlus 7T pushes more for the buck and there are no problems with the curved display. Also keep in mind that with the arrival of the OnePlus 7T Pro, the previous OnePlus 7 Pro is much cheaper, and offers almost the same experience as the OnePlus 7T Pro.