OnePlus imaging director says camera on OnePlus 7 Pro can compete with those on first tier phones

OnePlus imaging director says camera on OnePlus 7 Pro can compete with those on first tier phones
The OnePlus 7 Pro features a 3x optical zoom. Wired spoke with OnePlus imaging director Simon Liu about several aspects of the phone's photography system, and Liu says that adding an optical zoom to the OnePlus handset was something that fans of the company requested on the company's forum. The upstart manufacturer had said that the OnePlus 5, launched in 2017, was equipped with 2x optical zoom. However, that turned out not to be true. The phone came with a 1.6x optical zoom and digital imagery took it the rest of the way. Since then, OnePlus has stuck to digital zoom until now. Liu says that the OnePlus 7 Pro will provide competition with "first tier" smartphones. He adds, "I don’t think we can beat them, but the imaging world is always subjective."

The OnePlus 7 Pro also features 10x digital zoom and surprisingly, there is no Time-of-Flight (ToF) depth sensor on the device. This measures the time it takes for infrared light to bounce off a subject and return to the phone and can provide more accurate depth measurements and 3D mapping. It also is used for Augmented Reality applications.  Liu notes that OnePlus users are going to notice a difference between images taken with older models and those snapped with the OnePlus 7 Pro. "Our pictures are a lot more detailed compared to our previous phones," he says.

While many phones make a big point of using AI modes to optimize the settings of certain subjects, OnePlus' scene detection is done behind the scenes. Liu says that the tuning might be tweaked for certain shots, but any changes made are not drastic. "If you’re trying to shoot a plant and the camera tells you it’s a dog, that’s not useful," the imaging director points out. Also, OnePlus decided to make the bokeh effect look more natural this year, toning it down a bit. Liu says that the blur appearing in portraits is more in line with what you would see with a professional camera. He points out that last year, the effect was artificially boosted so that users could see that it was there.

Thanks to the pop-up 16MP selfie snapper, there is no notch on the OnePlus 7 Pro

The OnePlus 7 Pro has a triple camera setup on the back that includes a 48MP sensor, the 8MP sensor with the aforementioned 3x optical zoom, and a 16MP sensor with an ultra wide-angle lens. The 16MP selfie snapper is found in a pop-up housing that allows the phone to be free of any notches. The device will come with a 6.7-inch AMOLED curved display sporting a 90Hz refresh rate for smoother viewing and game playing experience. For the first time in OnePlus history, the screen has a 1440p QHD+ resolution (1440 x 3120, a 19.5:9 aspect ratio). The Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform is under the hood and there will be three different configurations: 6GB RAM/128GB storage, 8GB RAM/128GB of storage and 12GB RAM/256GB storage. A 4000mAh battery keeps the lights on, and can fast charge at 30W. An Android 9 Pie based version of OxygenOS is pre-installed and color options will be Blue, Gray, and Brown.

The 4G version available in the states could be priced at $699 for the model with 6GB of memory, $749 for the unit carrying 8GB of RAM, and $819 for the OnePlus 7 Pro with 12GB of RAM. The 5G variant of the OnePlus 7 Pro, which will not be available in the U.S., could be priced at $899 and up.

The OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro (both 4G and 5G versions) will be unveiled on May 14th with the launch expected on May 22nd.

Related phones

7 Pro
  • Display 6.7" 1440 x 3120 pixels
  • Camera 48 MP / 16 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 4000 mAh(34h talk time)



1. User123456789

Posts: 1013; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Current phones do not have optical zoom.

2. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

"I don’t think we can beat them..." This sentence really sums it all.

3. IT-Engineer

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

Only in the camera department, software wise they beated them all many years ago.

8. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Please read the title wisely and no need to bring unrelated arguments.

4. AbhiD

Posts: 850; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

If he said they could beat them, it would mean beating Pixel 3, Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Apple iPhone Xs Max and probably Samsung S10(although i believe iPhone and S10 have meh cameras). Infact neither of Samsung Or Apple Or Google Or Huawei say that they beat everyone else. Photography is a very subjective world as noted. Not to mention, they have everyone else beaten in screen department this time around. Software and performance of theirs is already better than anyone else.

9. eldyagustius

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 30, 2013

Camera is subjective if they are huawei, apple, samsung, and pixel. But they are very good. OnePlus? Oh cmon, people had already known for its crappy camera. It's obviously worse. No need to brag the camera is the best strategy.

6. rsiders

Posts: 1976; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I like that statement honestly. The guy's not over hyping the camera to be some over the top beast which keeps things realistic. The 6 and 6T already have great cameras so ANY improvement on that is a win already. No need to lead with "rewrite the rules of photography" or any of that. The camera will be great. Not to mention the Sony IMX586 is capable of 480fps at 1080p which I really hope OnePlus pushes being the only OEM to do 480fps recording already.

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 22280; Member since: May 28, 2014

If OnePlus really improved in the imaging department for the OnePlus 7, I just may pick it up. They’ve got great software and performance, just missing a great camera. Nail that, and OnePlus can have my money.

7. Armeniandave

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

I was really looking forward to this phone but 6.7" is way too big. It doesn't look like they made the regular 7 the same as the pro either. Probably going to have to skip OnePlus this year. First time in four generations of there phones I won't get one.

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