At first glance, you will be hard-pressed to tell the 7T Pro from the OnePlus 7 Pro released a few months ago. That is because unlike in the case of the OnePlus 7T, where OnePlus totally tuned the design of the OnePlus 7 on its head, the Never Settling brand has more or less settled with the design of the OnePlus 7 Pro for its T avatar. Well, the shade of blue we got seemed a slight bit lighter than its predecessor (a bit like the one on the 7T, though not as light), but that apart, the two phones look like a pair of Ts from the same pod…make that a pair of peas, actually. They have the same curved glass front tapering over the edges and matte glass finished back with a subtle gradient, have exactly the same proportions (162.5 mm length, 75.9 mm width and 8.8 mm thickness) and even weigh the same – 206 grams. Even the placement of the ports and buttons is the same.
The big question is: is that a bad thing?
The big answer is: depends on just how much you liked the OnePlus 7 Pro. Speaking for ourselves, we found the earlier 7 Pro a bit on the larger side, but all said and done, it did look very classy and premium. The OnePlus 7T Pro definitely ticks those boxes, although those with relatively small hands might find it a little unwieldy and slippery. But hey, if the OnePlus 7 Pro showed that OnePlus could play the premier design game, the OnePlus 7 Pro confirms the fact. Yes, we would have liked some tweaks (a circular camera unit like the 7T, perhaps) but their absence does not stop the 7T Pro from being a very good looking phone.
And of course, in best T series tradition, the specs of the 7T Pro get a bump up from the7 Pro, and actually, take a leaf out of the book of the OnePlus 7T. The display remains a 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED display with quad HD+ resolution, hardly bezels, and no notch, thanks to the presence of a pop-up camera behind the display. And of course, it still has that 90 Hz refresh rate that has the potential to deliver much smoother graphics and scrolling, making it one of the best around. The fingerprint scanner beneath it remains in place although it is believed to have received a performance tweak.
The processor powering the device has however been moved up from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 to the Snapdragon 855+ which is supposed to be about 15 percent faster in rendering graphics than the 855 and also has other improvements. There is also a single 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage variant, making this device pretty much top of the spec charts. Then there are the cameras. On paper, they seem to be the same 48-megapixel main sensor (Sony IMX 586), the 8 megapixel telephoto lens and the 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, with OIS on the main sensor and the telephoto sensor, but there are some changes – the 7T Pro gets the macro prowess of the 7T, allowing you to snap pictures from as close as 2.5 cm, and also comes with more portrait options, better Nightscape (for low light photography) and also better video stabilisation. The selfie camera remains a pop-up 16-megapixel affair.
Rounding off the hardware changes is the presence of Warp Charge 30T which OnePlus claims is 23 percent faster than the previous generation, and will charge the slightly larger 4085 mAh battery (the 7 Pro had a 4000 mAh one) considerably faster. A very significant change is also in terms of software – the OnePlus 7T Pro comes with Android 10 out of the box, of course with OnePlus’ Oxygen UI on top of it.
It looks more like a Pro version of the OnePlus 7 Pro than of the OnePlus 7T but has got better hardware and a few more software tricks up its sleeve than the original Pro. And it retains the premium price tag of the 7 Pro, starting at Rs 53,999. A lot of tech water has flowed under the smartphone bridge since the 7 Pro was launched with a number of gaming phones coming to the budget flagship party (most notably the Asus ROG Phone 2), but based on what we have seen so far, the OnePlus 7T Pro gets right into the most affordable premium flagship zone, making the likes of Samsung and the Google Pixel eye it warily. Does it do enough to tempt 7 Pro users to upgrade? Stay tuned for our detailed review in the coming days.
Disclosure: The editor of this blog is in London for the launch of OnePlus 7T Pro on invitation from OnePlus.