Product Reviews

OnePlus 7 launch live blog: all you need to know from the OnePlus 7 Pro unveiling

We’re in the middle of the OnePlus liveblog below, updating what’s happening on stage in real time. And sure enough, we’re in for the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro from the Chinese phone maker.

The launch event is happening New York, with a parallel event in London, and we’re actually at both right now, updating as things are said.

It’s the first time the company has released two phones at the same time, and while we’ve learned a lot about both devices through teasers and consistent leaks, there’s still plenty to get excited about.

If you want to follow along with us as the new phones are announced, we’ll be sharing our experiences of the entire day below. We’re at both the live New York and London launches for the two phones, and we’ll bring you our instant reactions and analysis as the OnePlus 7 phones are unveiled.

OnePlus 7 launch live blog

All times in Eastern Standard Time (ET)

11:54am: Stay tuned for the full OnePlus 7 Pro review in a few minutes.

11:54am: Kiang’s last words before exiting the stage: remember guys, Never Settle, echoing the company’s motto.

11:53am: Want it right now? The OnePlus 7 Pro is being sold at the company’s signature store in New York today (May 14). Expect a really long line filled with rabid OnePlus fans. 

11:52am: The official OnePlus 7 Pro release date is May 17 at 10am EDT. It’ll also be sold in T-Mobile stores on this day.

11:51am: It starts at $669, which really made the crowd cheer. Note, that’s for the entry-level 6GB+128GB model. The 8GB+256GB model costs $699, while the 12GB+256GB is even more.

11:50am: What about that price. Kiang is teasing the audience, polling them on how much all of this phone should cost. 

11:50am: They cost $99 in the US.

11:48am: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 with better sound, including improved balance and better lows. Warp Charging is coming to Bullets Wireless 2, with a ten minute charge providing 10 hour playback. Other stats flashed on the screen: Google Assistant, Bluetooth 5.0 and the ability to Switch between two devices quickly.

11:47am: New detail… the colors are Mirror Gray (basically black), Nebula Blue (the color we like the best, and Almond… that last one isn’t coming out until June, according to Kyle Kiang.

11:46am: Cue the sizzle reel and time for us to upload more photos to the OnePlus 7 pro liveblog,

11:44am: On the one end, there’s a gamer focused Fnatic Mode, and on the other, Zen Mode is for everyone else who wants to do less on their phone, not more. It locks you out of your phone for 20 minutes. You can’t write or receive texts or go on social media, but you can get and make emergency calls and use the camera. That’s it. You can’t back out of this mode, even if you restart the phone. It’s very intriguing.

11:42am: Gauntlet thrown. OnePlus says that its latest Oxygen OS skin for Android is better than pure stock Android. It’s definitely as good in many ways, with a lightweight feel and very Material Design-like ethos. But it comes down to preference. I guess could say Zake Zhang prefers Oxygen OS, naturally.

11:40am: The OnePlus 7 Pro launch event is taking time to listen to the dual speaker system. It’s the first time a OnePlus phone won’t have a dinky mono speaker, and the company claims to have less distortion. Dolby Atmos is onboard, too.

11:38am: OnePlus is talking up its 10 layer liquid cooling system for long gaming sessions, hefty 4,000mAh battery and Warp Charge 30. The big claim: charge for 20 minutes to get 50% of your battery life back. That’s pretty incredible.

11:37am: Big bragging rights go to OnePlus for having UFS 3.0. Don’t know what that means? Basically, it’s a huge 20x boost to read and write speeds and 5x faster install speeds. No, this phone won’t have a microSD card slot, but everything about the internal storage really shines.

11:36am: There’s actually a stir in the OnePlus 7 launch event crowd when he touted the 12GB of RAM. Really, the phone has 8GB of RAM and 6GB of RAM is other, more sane versions. But, it’s all likely to be cheaper than any Samsung or Apple phone with far less RAM. 

11:35am: And now, onto performance. It has a Snapdragon 855 chipset, making it 45% faster consuming 20% power than the 845 chipset.

11:34am: The photos from this Nat Geo photographer look great, but we’re ready for him to exit stage right and test this camera out ourselves. Also… we want to visit all of the picturesque places he’s gone to. Sign us up, Nat Geo.

11:31am: With enough light, this phone camera looks really good. But that can be said about any smartphone camera. Its f/1.6 aperture does look like a difference maker, but we’re also keen to test out its backend software processing.

11:29am: Even on the big screen, the camera looks good. I know we’ve said this before about other OnePlus 7 Pro features, but it’s another major step up from the OnePlus 6T.

11:28am: OnePlus has roped in a National Geographic photographer to touts its camera. He captured his photos using a prototype OnePlus 7 Pro and makes shooting on the phone seem effortless. Of course, he’s using the Pro mode in the camera app.

11:26am: It combines three different focuses, with PDAF, CAF, Laser AF and gets a 111 DXOMark score. We’ll be tested this out ourselves in various situations. Stay tuned for our full review of the OnePlus 7 Pro.

11:24am: There are three camera lenses lining the OnePlus 7 Pro back. Besides the main 48MP lens, there’s also a 16MP ultra-wide lens that’s brand new and a more advanced 8MP telephoto lens with OIS (the 6T had a 2x optically zoomed lens).

11:23am: Now onto the back camera. It’s led by a 48MP camera with a 7-element lens design and f/1.6 aperture.

11:21am: Zhang isn’t talking about the pop-up front camera quality first, he’s shoring up its durability. The fact that it come out of the top of the frame, it looks very breakable. But we just saw some reliability tests. There’s a YouTube video of it being opened and closed for 12 hours straight. 

11:19am: Now we’re getting a look at what’s on the inside of the OnePlus 7 Pro thanks to Zake Zhang, Produce Manager for OnePlus 7 Pro. He’s talking about the 16MP pop-up camera that’s motorized.

11:17am: To demo the difference between 90Hz and 60Hz, we’re seeing a demo in slow motion video. The 60Hz video on the left is really jerky and slow. Everything on the right side, the 90Hz side, is nice and smooth. It does make a difference.

11:16am: It’s got backup. OnePlus says that the screen geeks at DisplayMate have given it an A+ rating for its fluid AMOLED screen, and that the 90 times per second refresh rate makes scrolling taping, doing gestures more responsive.

11:15am: I want to say rumors confirmed, but a lot of these tidbits came from OnePlus itself. I mean, the T-Mobile CEO was touting carrying the OnePlus 7 Pro in official ads this past week. This phone isn’t a big secret.

11:14am: There’s a 6.67-inch with a QHD+ resolution that keeps a similar size to the 6T.

11:13am: The display costs 3x more than other flagships. Although Kiang says that it doesn’t want to be first just to be first, it is investing in the next breakthrough display feature: a fluid AMOLED display.

11:12am: Funny, Kiang talked up design first instead of power. This goes along with the company’s ‘Go Beyond Speed’ motto for the OnePlus 7 Pro.

11:11am: There are basically no edges on this phone, mimicking the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus look with curved edges. It looks like a serious step up from the OnePlus 6T. 

11:10am: Intro the sizzle reel to introduce the OnePlus 7 Pro for the first time, at least officially.

11:10am: Bold prediction. ‘We believe it’s the best smartphone you’re going to see this year,’ states Kiang.

11:08am: T-Mobile just got a shout out. OnePlus is partnering with the US carrier once again for the OnePlus 7 in the US.

11:07am: The company slogan is ‘To share the best technology.’ It’s risen to become one of the top five smartphone brands. They still have a ways to go, according to Kiang, looking at No. 1 and No. 2 (Samsung and Apple).

11:05am: Kyle Kiang, the OnePlus Chief Marketing Officer, has taken the stage calling this particular OnePlus launch event special.

11:03am: We have a seat at the latest OnePlus launch event and are starting up the liveblog. Things are a little behind schedule, actually, but that’s okay. We know so much about this new phone already thanks to leaks.

10:37am: We’re going into the OnePlus 7 launch event venue now, and expecting things to start on time given the worldwide launch event. Fingers crossed the Wi-Fi holds up with all of the Instagram-using OnePlus fans here.

09:35 – Pete Lau, the CEO of OnePlus, is awake – we presume showered – and practicing his lines for the launch later today. You can see his tweet about it below:

07:30 – Yawn and stretch – we really should make tracks to the office to get ready for today. We’re pretty sure there will be a couple of phones in the offing as well as probably some accessories too – so we need to make sure we’re powdered, powered and armed with all the kit needed to bring you the key updates.

While you’re waiting, don’t forget to check out everything you need to know about the new  OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro – we’ve spent hours scouring the rumors to bring you only the key info. Don’t make us feel like we’re wasting our time, now…

05:50 – Good morning! It’s early, but it’s time to get prepped for a day of brand-new phones, as the OnePlus 7 launch is set to take place later today. 

While last year’s OnePlus 6T launch was held at Pier 36 in New York City, this year’s event is at Pier 94.

Our TechRadar colleagues in the UK will be dropping in here as well, with coverage from the London event. Now, time for breakfast…

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