The OnePlus 7 is official: great specs, great price, but not coming to the US

The OnePlus 7 is official: great specs, great price, but not coming to the US
After numerous leaks, hints, and teasers, the OnePlus 7 is now official. And it is exactly the phone we expected it to be: a reasonably priced Android handset with top-notch specs running clean, bloat-free Android. 

Alongside the OnePlus 7, the company also announced the OnePlus 7 Pro: an even more powerful – but more expensive – Android phone. You can read all about the OnePlus 7 Pro over here.

Now back to the OnePlus 7 – the flagship phone for the masses.

OnePlus 7: the design and hardware upgrades

In many ways, the OnePlus 7 is very similar to last year's OnePlus 6T. It has a 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display with 1080p resolution along with a notch at the top for the front camera. The fingerprint reader under the screen is still here and is said to be faster. On the inside, there's an identical 3700mAh battery with the company's proprietary 20W fast charging, and at the back is a dual-camera setup. The familiar alert slider (OnePlus's hardware mute switch) is still present, and a headphone jack is still missing. There's a vibrant red color option, but it will be available in China and India only.

What's actually new is the hardware powering the OnePlus 7. As expected, the phone comes with the new Snapdragon 855 mobile platform – the fastest Qualcomm has to offer at the moment. It is paired with at least 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and if you don't mind the higher price, there's also an 8GB/256GB memory configuration. It is worth noting that the storage is of the UFS3.0 variety which should translate to apps launching faster and being more responsive. And a new RAM Boost feature promises better memory management, keeping frequently used apps pre-loaded in RAM for faster access.

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On the list of minor yet much appreciated features are the stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos tuning. These are comprised of a down-firing speaker at the bottom paired with a second speaker in the earpiece. 

Vibration feedback has been improved by adding a linear vibration motor which is faster and more responsive than traditional ones.

Software: meet OxygenOS with Zen Mode

OxygenOS 9.5, based on Android 9 Pie, comes running on the OnePlus 7. It comes with familiar features, such as navigation gestures and Gaming Mode, and the lack of bloatware is still one of the best things about it.

What's new with OxygenOS 9.5 is Zen Mode: a feature meant to make putting down your phone a bit less of a challenge. Launching the app limits the phone's functionality and lets you only take or receive calls or use the camera. Zen Mode lasts 20 minutes and is developed to be used daily. The app also gives you a breakdown of your daily usage, including the number of notifications you've received and the time you've spent using the phone.

Gamers will be able to take advantage of a new Fnatic mode (nope, not a typo). This builds on top of the familiar Gaming Mode (which mutes distracting notifications) by applying performance and network optimizations. The new screen recording feature, capable of capturing both ambient and in-game sounds, seems nice having. 

Camera: now with 48MP of resolution

The main camera at the back of the OnePlus 7 is based on a sensor we've tested before on other phones. That's the 48MP 1/2-inch IMX586 by Sony, and here, it is paired with an F1.7 lens and optical image stabilization. The sensor's high resolution allows it to capture great details in daytime, while in low-light situations, its larger area lets it take in more light. Greater clarity can be achieved by blending visual information from four adjacent pixels into one.

The secondary rear camera is of 5MP, and it appears that its sole purpose is to collect depth information for Portrait Mode. At the front, a 16MP fixed-focus camera lets you snap selfies and shoot 1080p video. 

Nightscape 2.0 is the next generation of OnePlus's night mode. It works much like Night Sight on the Google Pixel: at night, you hold the phone for a few more seconds than usual to let it absorb more light. The result should be a clearer, more detailed photograph. 

OnePlus 7 price and release date

Pricing is competitive as always. The OnePlus 7 in its 6GB/128GB memory configuration will be sold for 559 euros across Europe and 499 pounds in the UK. Sales are set to begin in the first days of June.

Unfortunately, the phone will not be available officially in the US. The OnePlus 6T will continue selling in the States along with the new OnePlus 7 Pro.

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