Editors' Note: OnePlus has unveiled the OnePlus 7 Pro, which you can buy starting at $669. Read our OnePlus 7 Pro review, and find out how that phone's different from the OnePlus 7, a cheaper model coming to the U.K. next month. We've also compared the OnePlus 7 Pro to Google's Pixel 3.
Over the years, OnePlus has established itself as a clear alternative if you're looking for a feature-packed smartphone but shy away from big prices. We’re about to find out whether the phone maker carries on that tradition or opens up a new chapter with its May 14 OnePlus Pro 7 event.
Past releases have seen OnePlus roll out just one model, but that looks to be changing at this week’s product unveiling. Rumors point to OnePlus showcasing two phones — the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro — with the latter phone offering more premium features and a price tag to match.
What should you expect from OnePlus at its May 14 event? Here’s one last look at the rumors making the rounds about the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro.
How can I watch the OnePlus 7 Pro launch?
OnePlus is sticking to at least one tradition, rolling out a new phone about six months after its last release. With the OnePlus 6T debuting last October, that means this week’s May 14 launch event for the OnePlus 7 Pro is right on track.
The festivities begin at 11 a.m. ET in New York. We’ll be there live, but if you can’t be, don’t worry. OnePlus says it will live-stream the May event. In addition to the OnePlus website, you can also watch the event on YouTube.
What will the OnePlus 7 cost and how can I get one?
The cost of the of the phone depends on which new OnePlus model you’re talking about. A person who claimed to have knowledge of OnePlus' plans told Fudzilla that the handset could cost $649 to start. That’s much cheaper than flagship Android phones like the Galaxy S10 and Note 9, but quite a jump from the OnePlus 6T’s $549 starting price. Typically, new OnePlus phones only cost a little more than their predecessors.
It could be that earlier rumor pointed to the Pro version of the OnePlus 7 — more on OnePlus' plans to announce two different models on May 14 below. The Verge says pricing on the OnePlus 7 Pro could be in line with the $899 to $999 price you pay for the Galaxy S10 and iPhone XS.
A more recent leak from tipster Ishan Agarwal on behalf of Android Central says that OnePlus 7 Pro model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage will cost €749 to €759 in Europe. Since OnePlus tends to set specific prices for different markets, that doesn't give us a definitive U.S. price, though it would mean OnePlus' more expensive phone would be approaching the iPhone XR and Galaxy S10e in terms of price.
We do know where U.S. shoppers will be able to get the OnePlus 7 Pro, thanks to an announcement from T-Mobile, which says it’s the exclusive home for the phone in the U.S. In announcing that it will offer OnePlus 7 Pro, T-Mobile also told us when the phone will go on sale — this Friday (May 17) If you live in New York, you’ll be able to grab the phone on May 14, the same day as the OnePlus 7 Pro’s launch event, at T-Mobile’s Signature Store in Times Square. Similar events will follow on May 15 at T-Mobile stores in Chicago, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Miami.
T-Mobile sold the OnePlus 6T, too, though you could also buy that phone unlocked through OnePlus. We’d expect that to continue, with the unlocked version of the OnePlus 7 working on GSM-based cellular networks.
Two models: OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro
Normally, OnePlus announces a single phone, with variations on RAM and storage available for different prices. That's going to change with the OnePlus 7 launch, where the phone maker will come out with two models — the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. Pete Lau confirmed as much in an interview with The Verge.
Lau says the OnePlus 7 Pro will feature 5G connectivity as well as an upgraded display. Lau is promising a display that is "super smooth and very crisp," with rumors suggesting that the Pro will have a 90Hz refresh rate. That display just got an A+ rating from DisplayMate, which makes calibration and optimization software for screens on all types of devices. In a separate interview, Lau is promising improved haptic feedback with this phone, addressing a common complaint from OnePlus users.
According to tweets from @OnLeaks, the Pro is expected to feature a curved 6.6-inch screen, compared to the flat 6.4-inch display on the OnePlus 7, and the Pro model could feature a triple camera array to the dual rear lenses on the OnePlus 7. Another leaker, @Samsung_News_, expects the OnePlus 7 Pro to have a 6.7-inch display and tweeted out other specs for the upcoming models. (We'd take them with a pinch of salt, until other sources verify these specs, though they're in line with earlier rumors.)
There's one other big feature coming to the OnePlus 7 Pro — it's going to have three rear lenses instead of two. OnePlus essentially confirmed that move in a teaser tweet.
OnePlus 7 Specs
|Model||OnePlus 6T||OnePlus 7 (Rumored)||OnePlus 7 Pro (Rumored)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 845||Snapdragon 855||Snapdragon 855|
|RAM||6GB, 8GB||6GB, 8GB||6GB, 8GB, 12GB|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB||128GB, 256GB|
|Screen Size (Resolution)||6.4-inch (2340 x 1080)||6.4-inch (2340 x 1080)||6.6-inch or 6.7-inch (3120 x 1440)|
|Rear Camera||16-MP (f/1.7), 20-MP (f/1.7)||48-MP (f/1.7), 5-MP depth sensor||48-MP (f/1.6), 8-MP (f/2.4), 16-MP (f/2.2)|
|Front Camera||16-MP (f/2.0)||No info||16-MP (f/2.0)|
|Battery||3,700 mAh||3,700 mAh||4,000 mAh|
Plenty of power
OnePlus itself has already confirmed that the OnePlus 7 will feature the Snapdragon 855, Qualcomm’s latest mobile processing platform. (Initially, OnePlus indicated that its phone would be the first to have the new chipset, but that was a mix-up attributed to a translation error.)
The Snapdragon 855 will mean more power and greater battery efficiency than last year's Snapdragon 845-powered flagship phones. Qualcomm has said that it's the biggest performance gain from one generation to the next in the Snapdragon platform's history — something we saw for ourselves when we had a chance to benchmark the Snapdragon 855. Given that OnePlus tends to pack its phones with RAM, it's safe to have high expectations for what a Snapdragon 855-powered phone from OnePlus will be able to do.
And early benchmarks suggest the OnePlus 7 Pro will live up to those expectations. Geekbench published results for the 12GB version of the phone, where a device with the same model number as the OnePlus 7 Pro tallied a score of 11,022 on Geekbench 4. To put that number in context, when we ran the same general performance test on the Galaxy S10 Plus (also powered by a Snapdragon 855 chipset), we got a score of 10,732. The A12-powered iPhone XS is still the fastest phone available, but if these leaked numbers are accurate, the OnePlus 7 Pro will be the best performing Android phone yet released.
Photos posted to Chinese social networking site Weibo reportedly show some of the phone's other specs (while also giving us a hint at what the OnePlus 7 will look like). In addition to the Snapdragon 855 chipset, the OnePlus 7 could include 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a 6.67-inch display. A triple-lens camera array with 48-, 16- and 8-megapixel lenses is also detailed in the leaked spec sheet, making us think that this refers to the Pro model OnePlus is reportedly working on.
Bring on the 5G… eventually
At the same time it was pledging to build a Snapdragon 855-powered phone, OnePlus also said it would produce a device ready to work on 5G wireless networks. And that makes sense, as the Snapdragon 855 chipset includes Qualcomm's X50 5G modem.
But while 5G networks are coming online in 2019, they won't be available everywhere. And some 5G networks won't be up and running by the time OnePlus is ready to release its new phone. As a result, at least one model of the OnePlus 7 may not be 5G-capable.
MORE: The Truth About 5G: What's Coming (and What's Not)
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told Cnet as much in December 2018, saying his company's 5G phone could be separate from the OnePlus 7. Now that we know there's a OnePlus 7 Pro in the works, it sounds as if the standard OnePlus 7 will connect to LTE, while the Pro is OnePlus' 5G offering.
But will the U.S. see the OnePlus 7 Pro? In a USA Today interview, Lau said that the company's 5G phone would come to England and Finland in the first half of the year, where it will be offered by mobile carriers EE and Elisia, respectively. But this version won't come to the U.S. — instead, OnePlus plans to release a 4G version of the same phone, though it's unclear if that means just the standard OnePlus 7 or a Pro version without 5G features.
During Mobile World Congress, OnePlus showed off a prototype of its 5G phone. The device has a screen with a 21:9 aspect ratio and no noticeable notch, and it gives us a hint of what design decisions the company might be considering for the OnePlus 7.
A major design choice
Arguably the most interesting rumor about the OnePlus 7 centers on its design and the choices it's making with a slimmed-down look and feel.
The design conversation started with a leak over at Slashleaks, which showed a device, believed to be the OnePlus 7, with a full-screen design, extremely thin bezels and no apparent place anywhere for a front-facing camera or face scanner.
Soon after, Benjamin Geskin, who has a knack for posting renders of upcoming phones, shared a mock-up of the OnePlus 7 based on a leak that showed a device with the same design concept and no front-facing camera at first blush. However, his render showed a slide-out camera that appeared from behind the handset.
Such a move would allow for a streamlined look and feel for the phone, but still provide an opportunity for snapping selfies by sliding out the camera. It's an approach found in other phones, including Xiaomi's Mi Mix 3 and the Honor Magic 2, though neither of those phones has reached the U.S.
However, the most recent round of leaks suggests the OnePlus 7 Pro may not employ a slide-out camera mechanism, but a motorized pop-out one instead, similar to what the world first observed in the Vivo Nex S. Vivo is, of course, a corporate sibling of OnePlus, as both firms are owned by China's BBK Electronics conglomerate.
The photo in question emerged on Weibo, a popular social network in China, and showed a device with the pop-out selfie camera extended. The screen displayed on the handset depicts the Face Unlock enrollment process, and the general interface design seems to imitate OnePlus' Oxygen OS. That said, without any branding that would confirm we're looking at a OnePlus product, there is some potential this is a fake.
And the other leaked photos shared on Weibo that contained specs for the new phone also confirmed that you won't be able to see a front-facing camera on the new phone.
While the rumored Pro model has been linked to that motorized front-facing camera, the renders for the standard OnePlus 7, seen below, seem to echo the appearance of last year's OnePlus 6T. A new series of renders from @OnLeaks and Indian tech blog Pricebaba, released on April 16, show off both models. While the almost bezel- and notch-free display on the premium variant should be exciting for those buyers, by and large you shouldn't expect a massive change in design based on these mockups.
Our best guess at this point? The OnePlus 7's design will closely match what we saw with the OnePlus 6T with a teardrop-sized notch for the front camera. The OnePlus 7 Pro will likely opt for the pop-up selfie cam spotted in leaks and renders.
For what it's worth, OnePlus itself has confirmed a new look for its upcoming phone. In an ad published in the New York Times promoting its May 14 product launch, the company promised a phone with no bezels or notches, among other features.
Leaker Ishan Agarwal posted what appear to be official press images of the OnePlus 7 Pro on Twitter, which confirm the notch-less design and curved screen. The photos also show off two color options for the Pro model — Mirror Gray and Nebula Blue.
Arguably the biggest criticism of OnePlus over the years has been its decision to continue to turn to a Full-HD display for its handsets when rival phone makers offer higher-resolution screens. This year, however, there's hope OnePlus will change tack and go with a Quad-HD display.
OnePlus is rumored to be including a slide-out front-facing camera in the seventh-gen model, but the company has all but confirmed that it's packing a triple-lens array on the back of the OnePlus 7 Pro. That rumor first surfaced on a leaked spec sheet shared to Weibo and obtained by Slashleaks. Reportedly, the Pro will sport a 48-, 16- and 8-megapixel lens array, though it's unclear what other camera features the Pro will offer.
Photo samples shot by Wired with the new OnePlus 7 Pro show a phone that's closed the gap with top-performing camera phones from Google and Huawei. However, something OnePlus imaging director Simon Liu says in that interview gives us pause. "I think we have a shot at competing with the first tier phones," Liu said. "I don’t think we can beat them, but the imaging world is always subjective." While that could be OnePlus' effort to temper expectations about the phone, it's an odd thing to say especially in light of how the triple-lens setup on the OnePlus 7 Pro is supposed to justify that phone's higher price tag.
As for the OnePlus 7, it may only feature two lenses, but one of them will be a 48-MP primary shooter, according to @OnLeaks, which would be an improvement over the OnePlus 6T's specs.
Like other smartphone makers, OnePlus tests out some features for future flagships in previous models. And most reports suggest that the company will adapt some of the features from its recently released OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition for the OnePlus 7.
That December special edition release packed in 10GB of RAM and introduced a new Warp Charge system for rapidly charging the phone. It's possible OnePlus could squeeze more RAM into the OnePlus 7, though that would likely be available only in a higher-end variant of the phone. It's more likely that Warp Charge will find its way into the company's future phones, meaning faster charge times. When we tested the McLaren Edition, it took us just a half-hour of charging to get the phone up to a 66 percent charge.
Whatever charging improvements OnePlus introduces to its next flagship, they apparently won't include the ability to charge the phone wirelessly. Lau told Cnet the new phone won't include wireless charging, citing the slower speed of the charging technology.
Credit: Tom's Guide