The OnePlus 7 Pro is an amazing phone, there’s no doubt about that. It offers some amazing hardware including a bezel-free display, a triple rear camera setup that earned a spot on the DxOMark podium, and a unique motorized pop up rear camera. However, the phone definitely has its deficiencies and many people, including OnePlus fans, should consider a few points before buying the new smartphone.
Cheaper phones with flagship specs
The OnePlus 7 Pro is an awesome phone, but it’s no budget phone. The old “flagship killer” mantra OnePlus had is long gone, and in its place is a device that costs almost as much as a Samsung Galaxy S10e.
If you want flagship specs on a budget like your older OnePlus devices, there are plenty of options out there. The Pocophone F1 might be the most famous, offering a flagship processor for around the $300 mark. The Honor N series (like the upcoming Honor 20 use the latest flagship Kirin processors shared with the Mate series for around $400. The Pixel 3a isn’t exactly flagship, but its camera sure is. And now we have the ASUS ZenFone 6 at $500 offering stock-ish Android and a flip-up camera system for a reasonable price.
It’s never been a better time to get a budget phone, and since the OnePlus 7 Pro now costs a pretty penny, many people may want to move on.
In-display fingerprint readers are still inferior
In-display fingerprint sensors are pretty cool. Rather than taking up space on the back or side, manufacturers are now sticking the sensor underneath the display panel. All you have to do is put your thumb on a specific area of the display and it will unlock.
However, this tech comes with major drawbacks. First of all, the area you have to touch is defined by an icon on the display. It’s often hard to hit it the first time, especially with the screen off. When the fingerprint reader is on the back, it usually lines up with your finger and has ridges to guide you there.
Second, the are less secure. Rather than using capacitive sensors, the OnePlus 7 Pro uses an optical sensor. Basically, it’s just a camera taking a photo through the display. It’s simply less secure than the older capacitive tech.
Lastly, they can be very unreliable. The success rate is much lower and they can frankly be annoying. While the technology is getting better and better, it’s still in its infancy.
Durability of the motorized cameras is unknown
If there’s a moving part, it’s going to break eventually. Remember flip phones and their cracked hinges? Nintendo 3DS users found this out the hard way. And any motor is bound to burn out eventually.
The OnePlus 7 Pro opted to get rid of the notch by using a pop-up front facing camera. While having no notch is an amazing look and experience, the motorized camera is a concern. Since you’re likely using it for face unlock, it has to go up and down every time you take your phone out. OnePlus tested this mechanism to last 300,000 cycles, which is four whole years at 200 cycles a day, but that’s not the full story.
Lab testing is one thing, but daily usage is a lot messier. Whether it’s dust, dirt, or sand getting into the mechanism, any extra resistance puts a strain on that tiny tiny motor. With enough daily use, it could burn out and you lose all front-facing camera functionality. Hopefully, OnePlus was smart enough to make sure the camera app will still function without a working front-facing camera.
No headphone jack, again
When OnePlus did a poll about a year ago asking if people really wanted a headphone jack, the answer was an overwhelming yes. People still value the headphone jack, and its removal is pointless and aggravating. Let’s be real here: it’s anti-consumer and we haven’t heard a single valid reason to remove it.
And yet, OnePlus did remove it. The headphone jack was gone as of the 6T, and the 7 Pro follows suit. Your wired headphones are now useless without the dongle if you remember to haul it around. And if you lose it, well you’re looking to spend some extra money just to use your trusty old headphones.
Now, this may not be a huge deal to many. Many of us have adjusted to the dongle life. But it never really gets much easier, and if you switch to a phone with a headphone jack, you instantly realize how much of a relief it is to have one.
It’s too damn big
Remember back when the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note series was considered absolutely gigantic? We scoff at that kind of screen size now, though some of us still prefer small phones, and advancements in displays and the shrinking of bezels have brought display sizes up and phone sizes down.
However, the OnePlus 7 Pro is a behemoth. It features a 6.67-inch display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio making it a massive 6.4 inches tall. It’s impossible to use one-handed, and good luck trying to reach your thumb to the top to swipe down the notification shade. Yes you can use one-handed modes and use two hands, but at a certain point it becomes too much of a hassle
Small phones aren’t better, but OnePlus is going all-out on size and we know many people aren’t too happy.
Again, the OnePlus 7 Pro is an amazing phone. We’re not trying to take away from that. However, there’s a lot to consider when dropping $669 on a smartphone from a company once considered budget. Are you getting your money’s worth? Will you be happy with the size and optical fingerprint scanner? The answer will be different for everyone, but the market is saturated with awesome options.