OnePlus one plus one plus one plus one. In the space of a few months, OnePlus has torpedoed five phones into the wild to make up its Series 7 line-up. A spec here and a spec there differentiate the lot, taking the job of choosing one to the outer edge of confusing. You really could just pick any one and not be disappointed with the package and performance — were it not for the price differences.
OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro were launched in May 2019 and available starting ₹29,999 and ₹48,999. While some may consider them old hat, these phones will be more than enough for the average user, already fairly future-proof with their solid specs and performance. The OnePlus 7 is the smallest though it’s still a big phone but nicest to hold because it’s slightly narrower than the others. OnePlus usually has a ‘T’ release halfway into the regular version’s life, updating it with whatever new tech has come about, but this time they’ve released three T phones.
Read more: OnePlus adds 7T Pro, limited edition McLaren to its OnePlus 7 series
We looked at the OnePlus 7T recently, with its big circular camera assembly, upgrade to Snapdragon 855+ and a new macro capability. It starts out at ₹37,999. Let’s say it straight: no one who’s bought or still buys one of these three phones needs to feel too badly short-changed.
Read more: OnePlus 7T review: 90Hz super screen, updated chip and three cameras
So now, the OnePlus 7T Pro and its McLaren Limited edition have turned up and here’s how they stack up. The OnePlus 7T Pro has a familiar design but now comes in a colour dubbed Haze Blue. It’s just a shade apart from the recent blues on the others in the 7 series. It’s smooth and silky looking and retains no finger smudges — I tried hard. It’s back to the long rectangular camera style on this device. This time there’s also a laser auto-focus noticeable on the side of the camera assembly. All else is clean and pristine on the back of the phone, which should go into a case because it is, after all, glass, though on this phone there’s Gorilla Glass protection.
Faster than a blink
No notches and distractions on the front because the 7T Pro has a pop up front camera leaving the 6.67-inch AMOLED QHD (3,120 x 1,440 resolution with 516ppi density) almost free of borders and refreshing away at 90Hz a second. That means 90 frames a second making the experience of using it a total joy because it’s faster than a blink. Be warned that the edges of the display wrap into the sides, something that some like and others hate. Using a case reduces the chance of accidental touches on it somewhat, but of course that also hides the full wrap effect. There’s greatly improved sound which is deeper and richer with Dolby Atmos support.
The OnePlus 7T Pro uses the Snapdragon 855+ but it’s very difficult to tell the difference unless you’re gaming intensively and can detect an extra boost or using benchmark tests. In practical day to day usage, it’s not at all evident with a phone that’s already so fast. The same is true of adding more RAM. The average user may not even know there are higher specs unless told so. But then, the OnePlus is really a phone for those who ‘know’ and are hungry for every bit of hardware specification they can get. The 7 series now all use Android 10, ahead of others.
Everything else works much the same as on previous devices, but here we have some an addition to the camera setup of a macro lens which doesn’t do badly at all. You can close in about an inch away and get good details. The other cameras — wide angle, standard and telephoto — are getting rather good, even enough to compete with the camera champs, but haven’t reached the same level in full. The specs: Standard: 48MP, f/1.6, OIS, Wide-angle: 16MP, f/2.2, 117 degrees view, Telephoto: 8MP, f/2.2, OIS. The front pop up camera is 16MP, f/2.0 and it does 4K 60fps video recording.
The gap between OnePlus phones more expensive flagships is closing. Though some variants are creeping perilously close some of those flagships, there are still enough choices for those who don’t want to pay a whole lot and yet get a phone that will be so fast it will last a long time into the future. We do still know users who see no real reason to move up from the OnePlus 3.
The McLaren Limited Edition phone is a variant of the OnePlus 7T Pro. It’s meant to look as if it has some muscle and speed — and it does.
But there’s one element in its special stylisation that I found not everyone took nicely to: the pattern on the back around the vertical camera assembly. Better seen than described, the fine-lined silver prismatic glinting design looks too ornate and fancy to adorn a phone. Perhaps the design should have been left to duplicate last year’s 6T McLaren which had the same papaya orange line racing through the edges but no fancy pattern.
A few other things are papaya orange such as the cable and the unique box, but the look isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, specially when you pay extra for it.
It also has a special McLaren case with carbon fibre and swede-like material and that again draws mixed opinions. The McLaren is all about speed so it has 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage. Stereo speakers support Dolby Atmos and sound is pretty good.
- Price: Rs 53,999 7T Pro, Rs 58,999 McLaren
- Pros: Maxes out on current day specs, very good cameras including new macro lens, difficult to get faster, future proof, small iterations fine-tune what is already a great package, fast charging
- Cons: Broad and a little heavy, users still expect headphone jack, wireless and even faster charging, and IP rating for water resistance, current portfolio confusing
Buying Cheat Sheet
- OnePlus 7 (Rs 29,999) Most basic of the 7 series. Does not have much touted 90Hz refresh rate, QHD screen, has just two cameras excluding wide angle, processor is 855 vs 855+, lacks faster Warp charging. But does have good ergonomics and is still a very fast phone. Has a small prominent notch and no pop-up camera
- OnePlus 7 Pro (Rs 48,999) Now behind the 7T phones with slower 855 processor but has the 90Hz display in full bezel-less mode with pop up camera. Has three rear cameras but lacks the new macro mode and 3X zoom. The series goes into a broader form factor from here on and is not as easy to hold as the basic.
- OnePlus 7T: (Rs 37,999) Deviates from signature design with large circular three- camera assembly, macro, 2X zoom, has 90Hz screen, 855+ processor, no pop-up camera, smaller notch, flat display, and is not QHD resolution but FHD, includes Warp Charge 30T.
- OnePlus 7T Pro: (Rs 53,999) Vertical camera setup, frosted glass finish, uses triple camera with ultra wide angle lens, 3X zoom and macro lens, no notch, pop-up front camera, 90Hz display, includes Warp Charge 30T, 8GB RAM 256GB storage
- McLaren Edition: (58,999( Really the OnePlus 7T Pro with a special design based on McLaren racing cars and in partnership with the company.
- Comes with 12GB RAM 256GB storage along with everything available on the OnePlus 7T Pro. Software includes custom theme and wallpapers, 4,085mAh battery, fastest charging of the lineup
Source: The Hindu