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OnePlus 7 Pro review, 3 months later: Still my favorite Android phone

OnePlus 7 Pro
(Image: © Android Central)

When the OnePlus 7 Pro launched back in May, we called it "the best Android phone under $700" with a glowing 4.5 out of 5-star review. However, that was three months ago.

That's not a very long time in the grand scheme of things, but in the smartphone market, it's basically a lifetime. Since then, devices like the ZenFone 6, Redmi K20 Pro, and Galaxy Note 10 have all come out swinging with impressive specs, features, and designs.

It's been exciting to cover all of these new gadgets, but none of them have made me want to let go of the OnePlus 7 Pro. Three months later, it's stronger than ever and has quickly become one of my favorite Android devices in recent memory.

OnePlus 7 Pro Where it still shines

I've been using the OnePlus 7 Pro alongside my iPhone XS (read more about the reasoning for my treason here), and while there are some things I like more about the iPhone, I enjoy using the 7 Pro substantially more. One of the biggest reasons for this is its display.

The Galaxy S10 was my Android phone of choice before the OnePlus 7 Pro, and despite Samsung's years of display prowess, the 7 Pro's screen beats it out in just about every way. For starters, having a display that's truly free of any bezel, notch, or hole-punch cutout is magical.

The display on the OnePlus 7 Pro is one of the best I've ever seen.

Yes, there's technically still a small chin and forehead on the 7 Pro, but this is the largest screen-to-body ratio I've yet to use on a smartphone and I've loved every second of it. It truly feels like you're holding just a screen and nothing else, resulting in a super immersive experience for browsing Twitter, watching YouTube videos, etc.

The quality of the display is excellent as well. This is OnePlus's first phone with a Quad HD+ resolution, and it was worth the wait. Everything on the screen is razor-sharp, colors look fantastic thanks to the AMOLED panel, and it gets plenty bright for my needs (the lowest brightness level is also wonderfully dim for late-night use).

However, as I'm sure you've heard by now, the real star of the show is the 90Hz refresh rate on the display.

This means that the 7 Pro's screen refreshes with 30 extra frames each second compared to most other phones, and while that may not sound like much on paper, the end result is it being the fastest-feeling phone I've ever owned.

Web browsers, apps, general navigation of the UI — basically everything you can do on a phone feels faster on the OnePlus 7 Pro. On top of that, the faster animations are buttery smooth, resulting in an experience that's as pleasing on the eyes as it is technically impressive. Because of the OnePlus 7 Pro, it's now painful to go back and use any phone with the traditional 60Hz refresh rate.

Along with the display, something else that contributes to the OnePlus 7 Pro's speed is its processor and RAM. The combination of the Snapdragon 855 and 8GB of RAM is a tour de force, and I'm happy to mimick Andrew's initial praise of the 7 Pro's speed after months of regular use. Even with over 100 apps installed, running a third-party launcher, and a constant stream of notifications, the OnePlus 7 Pro refuses to slow down. No matter how much of a self-proclaimed power user you are, this is a phone that can still withstand anything.

Another aspect of the OnePlus 7 Pro that continues to stand out to me is its software. I've always been a massive fan of OxygenOS, and OnePlus has continued to tweak and refine it into what's become my favorite Android interface — even beating out what Google offers on its Pixel phones.

The UI is as clean as can be, the theming engine works wonderfully, and I genuinely appreciate some of the added features like Reading Mode. I do wish that there was an option to have the dark them turn on automatically at night, but other than that, I really don't have anything to complain about on the software front.

On that note, OnePlus has absolutely killed it when it comes to software updates. It seems like there's a new update for this phone every other week, adding a new feature or fixing a host of bugs gathered from community feedback. The amount of software support the 7 Pro's seen these past few months is incredible. Not, it remains to be seen if OnePlus can maintain that level of commitment when the 7 Pro's successor is inevitably released later this year.

Finally, a few other random bits worth mentioning:

  • The pop-up selfie camera has held up perfectly fine. I don't take many selfies, but for those times when I want to use the face unlock feature, it's fast to pop up and retract. I'll be keeping an eye on its durability as more time passes, but right now, it's working just as well as it was from day one.
  • For my use, battery life is solid. I never have a problem getting through a full day, and while it certainly doesn't have the longest endurance out there, OnePlus's Warp Charge more than makes up for this.
  • As someone that was seriously put off by the Galaxy S10's in-screen fingerprint sensor, I've been pleasantly surprised with how well the 7 Pro's works. It's fast, accurate, and has finally made me a supporter of the in-screen sensor.
  • This is the best haptic feedback to ever exist in a OnePlus product and I couldn't be happier about it.

OnePlus 7 Pro Where it falls flat

As well as the 7 Pro has held up, there are a few pain points I've had with the phone since day one that continue to annoy me. One of these is something OnePlus can't fix no matter how many software updates it rolls out, and that's the phone's size.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is too damn big. The 6.67-inch display is an excellent canvas for media consumption, but when you add it together with the 162.6mm height and hefty weight of 206g, it ends up being quite cumbersome.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is too damn big.

Using the phone with one hand requires 10/10 thumb gymnastics, typing isn't comfortable due to the excess weight, and a someone that's awful with pinky-propping, this is the one phone I have that makes me consciously aware of how bad of a habit it really is (please don't yell at me, Ara).

Sure, I've gotten accustomed to the OnePlus 7 Pro's size and learned how to manage it day in and day out, but not a day goes by where I don't wish OnePlus had made it smaller.

Also, you know how much praise I gave for the 7 Pro's bezel-less display? As impressive as it is, there is one aspect of it that I can't stand — the curved edges.

OnePlus decided to follow the likes of Samsung and Huawei by curving the edges of the 7 Pro's screen, and while it undoubtedly looks gorgeous, it's also a usability nightmare. I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally skipped ahead in a YouTube video because I picked the 7 Pro up from a table and my skin touched the curved edges of the screen. OnePlus has supposedly addressed this with software updates, but I've yet to see any noticeable improvements.

Speaking of software updates, this is also something OnePlus has used since the 7 Pro's release to improve its camera performance. One of the meatier camera updates was rolled out to users in June, and in Andrew's testing, he found that the 7 Pro's camera had been noticeably improved but still trailed behind some of its competitors.

I don't take a ton of pictures with my phone, but in my experience shooting with the 7 Pro, I can echo Andrew's conclusion on the camera front. The main camera is capable of some solid pictures, although it does still struggle in low-light situations. The rear and telephoto cameras are a lot of fun to have, but the noticable decrease in quality remains.

This camera package offers a lot of versatility and is more than adequate for folks that just plan on uploading to Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, but considering that the Pixel 3a costs nearly $300 less and takes overall better pictures, the 7 Pro does continue to disappoint in these regards.

OnePlus 7 Pro Three months later

Three months later, the OnePlus 7 Pro is still shining bright. Its display stands out as one of the best on the market, performance is among the fastest you'll find, and its software is free of bloat and supported by regular updates. The 7 Pro is a flagship phone through and through, and the fact that it just happens to have a starting price of $669 is icing on the cake.

4.5 out of 5

As for if right now is a good time to buy the phone, that kind of depends on what you're after. We expect OnePlus to release a slightly upgraded version towards the end of the year in the form of the OnePlus 7T Pro, but details on how it'll differ remain unclear. Google's also gearing up to launch the Pixel 4 this fall, and with a 90Hz display rumored to be in its spec sheet, could give OnePlus a run for its money.

However, therein lies the problem with the waiting game. You can always wait for something newer and shinier to come out, but then you'll never end up getting anything. Buy the OnePlus 7 Pro with confidence, enjoy the heck out of it, and let me know in the comments below how you like the phone if you already own it.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

24 Comments
  • Yeah I'd rather follow their mantra and 'Never Settle'... for their phone
  • Lol good for you.
  • Congratulations, you're the 1st person to think of that. Groan!
  • i personally love this phone.... as a person that has been with Samsung, Iphone, and LG for smart phones, i think this is the last time I'm switching companies. i enjoyed reading this article, it definitely is everything i love and hate about this phone in one shot....
  • How do I get rid of ads?
  • Compatible with Verizon?
  • Nope it's GSM only
  • Yes it is compatible with Verizon. https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.anrdoezrs.net%2F...
  • I'm going to take a hard look at OnePlus for my next phone. My Pixel 3 should last me another year, maybe two - no problem... Then, I think I'll drop the Pixel for this. Google is starting to upset me with their policies. I won't drop them completely for apple, but, at least no more of their phone hardware and accessories.
  • I think this is also a great phone. Alas, I'm a Sprint customer and in the eloquent words of the great You Tube tech reviewer Flossy Carter, "I'm assed out".
  • I'm so torn between OnePlus and the Pixel phones. I mostly love everything about my OnePlus 6T. But, I think the most important thing for me when it comes to phones are the camera, because of my kids. While the OnePlus cameras are good enough, I'm always wondering what I'm missing. Then, Google has been introducing some really cool software things that just aren't available on any other phone yet. It kills me. Do I want the great camera and cool software features, or the speed and simplicity (oh, and the better price tag)!
  • I just can't forego a headphone jack and AOD. Two must haves for me.
  • Wireless charging would be missed as well for me.
  • I hate curved screens...I refuse to buy one unless that's all there is on every phone. Now if they would have kept the headphone jack, the notification LED, and made it with a flat screen, I would buy one. Otherwise I will stick with my 8/256 OnePlus 6. The 6 has everything I want and the way I use the phone I can go 3 days between charging.
  • I am slowly trying to get used to not using wired headphones at all. The only time I would use the jack is in my wife's car that doesn't have Bluetooth in it. I drive her car probably 4-5 times a month. In still like to use wired headphones when playing mobile games though.
  • I still love my 5t and feel like it was the last uncompromised phone until the 7 pro. Bezels are minor and practically unnoticable. Still has a headphone jack. No notches or curved edges to deal with. Super speedy fingerprint reader. I guess to superusers the camera updates of later phones are worth it, but I just don't see a difference enough to deal with all the other compromises that came in the 6 generation. The 7 pro is tempting though. If it had a headphone jack and no curved screen it would be really hard to pass up.
  • What compromise came with the 6? I am not a fan of notches but it is very easy to hide it on the 6. Too bad for the 7 Pro though...too bad.
  • For the money it's probably the best phone on the market for what's offered. The camera could always need improvements other than that a well balanced phone. Plus your typical speed demon. A very good offering!
  • I switched from a panda pixel 2 xl, and while this is definitely a great phone, I find myself missing my pixel. This OP7 Pro is SO heavy, and the glass back keeps getting scratched. Plus, I feel like while the almond color is indeed great looking, there's nothing at all unique looking about it's design. The Pixel really stood out to me, and the metal design was way more durable than this shiney glass.
  • I'm sticking with my One Plus 6 for now. The camera on One Plus phones have been lackluster for several models now. It's been noted on all the reviews for each of the phones. When is One Plus going to listen & get their camera up to par? Yeah, I use a camera for photos, but I would like high quality images from my phone as well. I'll see what the 7t will be, I may end up going back to Google, yeah more money I know. I was a long time Nexus head prior to One Plus. Come on One Plus!
  • You lost me at "I was using an iPhone XS...", LOL...just kidding...😛
  • I really like the philosophy of OnePlus but there's jya couple of things stopping me from switching to a OnePlus, the Pixel and Android One phones, (I'm happy with my Nokia 8.1), the thinv I like when setting up an Android One or Pixel phone is that it Google saves all my in app passwords so I don't have to re sign in manually which you don't get with any other OEM and I like being first or at least one of the first I line for updates and while OnePlus has improved in this regard, they're not consistent with their security updates which is important to me and then there's the Pixel launcher which I prefer over the Oxygen OS one but I can always change it to the Pixel launcher through APK mirror but I shouldn't have to and last but not least their the camera, it's just not as good as the Pixel camera which for the price if the OnePlus 7 Pro, the camera should be closer to the competition by now.
  • « and while it undoubtedly looks gorgeous, it's also a usability nightmare«  It doesn’t even look gorgeous
  • OnePlus 7pro.....rocks! Waiting for TMobile to release Oxygen
    10....
    Sucks!