In case you missed it, alongside the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus dropped a successor to its 6T - the vanilla OnePlus 7. Complete with newer internals, a fresh camera and immersive Dolby sound, there’s plenty here to get excited about... even if it does look like last season’s model.
The OnePlus 7 is an affordable upgrade for anyone looking for flagship power at under £500. It delivers a few of the things that make the new OnePlus 7 Pro a smashing smartphone – a Snapdragon 855 chipset, more RAM and storage than you can shake a stick at, and OnePlus’ excellent Oxygen OS. That said, it does all the above in a body that’s much more reminiscent of the 6T.
Design and screen: OnePlus 6T2
If you look closely, you can make out a speaker grille strip at the top and bottom of the OnePlus 7’s screen – that’s the main element that differentiates it from a 6T at a glance. It’s got that wide, Full HD display, packs a water droplet notch and is punchy and poppy with its OLED hues.
The phone feels good in the hand. Speaking of hands, we got ours on the Mirror Grey version and it looks sleek, with a premium, rich to the touch, cool glass finish. At the base is a USB-C port, and true to form, there’s no headphone jack in sight. The power button and trademark OnePlus sliding toggle are on the right side, while on the left you have the volume rocker.
As for the screen, upon first impressions, it looks punchy enough - but that's in controlled lighting and with a demo interrupting our swipes every couple of minutes. We’ll have to hang tight until we get one in before saying anything too conclusive on that front.
What we can say is that its 6.41-inches puts it in the same territory as the Huawei P30 Pro from a size and resolution point of view, and with just over 400 pixels-per-inch, it’s sharp... but not Samsung Galaxy S10 or OnePlus 7 Pro sharp.
Hardware and software: Same-ol' brand-new OnePlus
Amongst the highlights the OnePlus 7 brings to the table, Snapdragon 855 power has got to be up there. Qualcomm’s excellent flagship chipset is nothing short of sensational, and has reviewed well in almost all the devices we’ve used it in.
While not quite the cheapest Snapdragon 855 smartphone, with the Black Shark 2 undercutting it by around £20, it’s definitely the best-looking and most accessible thanks to its slick finish.
With storage specs ranging from 128GB to 256GB and RAM configurations from 6GB to 8GB, even in its lowest spec it’s definitely no slouch - and when you factor in some of OnePlus’ proprietary technologies, things get even juicier.
For starters, it features Warp Charge, for some incredibly zippy powering-up of that 3,700mAh battery. The phone’s Dolby Atmos speakers are also mightily impressive, and you get two-fold biometric security too – an in-screen fingerprint scanner and face recognition.
As for the Android inside, it’s version 9.0, also known as Pie and is loaded up with Oxygen OS over the top. This is OnePlus’ smooth, clean interface that takes the best bits of Android and makes them even better.
Camera: Two's company
Unlike the OnePlus 7 Pro’s triple camera set-up, the vanilla OnePlus 7 features just two cameras.
The primary camera is Sony’s new IMX 586, 48MP sensor paired with an f/1.7 lens. Outfitted with both optical and electric stabilisation, not only is it set to capture stacks of detail in good light, it’s also going to hold things still in low light too. We've seen great results with it already on the Honor View 20, for example.
As for the secondary camera, it’s a 5MP depth sensor that enables better background blurring. The phone can also shoot up to 4K video too, and there’s a 16MP front cam for very sharp selfies. This one doesn't hide out of sight like the Pro's pop-up sensor, however.
Price and release
The base model of the OnePlus 7 costs £499, and it packs 6GB RAM and 128GB of very fast, UFS 3.0 storage. If you fancy a bit more space, given the fact neither of these phones feature microSD cards, you can stump up an extra £50 to get the 8GB/256GB option for £549.
As for when it’ll drop, you won’t have to wait too long with the release of the phone pegged for June here in the UK. In the meantime, be sure to check back even sooner for our full review if you’re thinking about picking one up, or head straight to our OnePlus 7 Pro review right now!
OnePlus 7 initial verdict
You really can’t argue with the price here. Having reviewed the Black Shark 2, a phone with a similar feature set but a less refined finish, we reckon the OnePlus 7 will review at least as well. It’s all going to come down that battery life and camera in real-world use. In addition, with no moving parts, it could even be the safer bet when compared with the Pro - only time will tell on that front.