Is the OnePlus 7 the giant to kill giants?


When OnePlus announced the OnePlus 7 Pro to great pomp and grandeur at its bombastic launch event in Bangalore a couple of weeks ago, it had an addition to its troupe – the OnePlus 7, the standard model. While for most it was a side show, what really made it pop out, was its price. At a starting price of Rs 32,999, this was a phone that delivered undeniable value. At the same time, it even packed all the essential upgrades over the OnePlus 6T to make it a stunning phone for most, but it missed out on some of the whizbang features of the haloed “Pro” model which the company had been hyping for months. But over the last 5 years, most OnePlus phones had become giant killers and they really didn’t need to “Pro” model to prove a point. The brand had reached a point where its giant killing provess had yielded it the charisma of a giant killer with the street creed of being the India’s top premium smartphone brand putting Apple and Samsung to shame. In more ways than one, the cheaper, more affordable, the more iterative OnePlus 7 is a giant hiding in plain sight that will slay giants from the likes of Apple, Samsung, Huawei and its own brethren at Oppo and Vivo. Let me explain.

How the OnePlus 7 remains the king slayer

  1. The most obvious thing is the price of the OnePlus 7. It’s the killer feature that works in its favour. Its base line model has the same latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor paired up with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM. The 8GB model with more memory costs a sliver more at Rs 36,999. This makes for incredible value. There is no phone that even costs upwards of Rs 40,000 that can come close to this phone in terms of value.
  2. This phone also has the best bits of the OnePlus 7 Pro. It has more or less the same performance as it is powered by the same processor, same levels of memory and RAM save for the top of the line 12GB Pro model which really doesn’t show its fangs in day to day performance, in a slightly more compact size which most people are going to prefer as the larger “Pro” is ungainly to hold. Its flat display is also nicer to use. This is a more ergonomic phone to hold as well.
  3. The battery life on the OnePlus 7 is fantastic. It easily lasts more than 1 day on a single charge thanks to the lower resolution display and the fact that it doesn’t have the 90Hz refresh rate which helps the battery life. Couple this with the fact that it has 30W fast charging using the OnePlus warp charger, this is one of the fastest charging smartphones.
  4. For camera nerds, this is the more pragmatic choice. It has the same 48-megapixel Sony IMX 586 primary sensor with an f/1.7 aperture and optical image stabilisation. The other camera is depth sensor and it lacks the wide angle or telephoto cameras on the “Pro” model but then they aren’t great anyway so you’re not deriving maximum value from them on the “Pro”.
  5. It comes in this candy red colour in a glossy finish which looks absolutely delicious. This is the model that you get this stunning colour on which looks like a stunning scarlet Ferrari. It definitely tickles the Ferrari nerd in me. It may look more or less like the OnePlus 6T, but this new colour makes all the difference. It also comes with the design improvements which make it water resistant without the certification.

What’s not so great about this OnePlus 7

  1. Perhaps, the one thing that makes this a boring phone is the fact that it looks identical to the OnePlus 6T and it doesn’t even have the killer display of the OnePlus 7 Pro. It only has a full HD OLED screen that’s boring in this day and age. But then this phone is built to a price so don’t expect to be blown away.
  2. The performance on the OnePlus 6T is already superlative which means in day to day usage, this phone will not feel perceptibly faster than any phone from 2018, specially the ones OnePlus released as they have the track record of being the most responsive Android phones around.
  3. Camera junkies who are looking for more perspectives and zooming capabilities will not be happy as this phone doesn’t have the telephoto and wide angle cameras. The cameras are also not yet in the ball park as the Pixel 3a which means for camera junkies, the Pixel 3a despite the inferior specs and design may be a better bet.

But, net net..

This phone is still a giant killer. This phone has all the best features of the OnePlus 7 Pro for less than Rs 15,000 which makes this phone a steal. While doing so it oozes sex appeal, class, and is the embodiment of a functional modern smartphone.

More so, it has addressed all the weaknesses of the OnePlus 6T, like the average fingerprint scanner, so this becomes a package primed to slay giants. What’s not to like?

That’s why this phone will be the real giant killer, even if it has itself become the giant.