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  • By John R. Quain

Travel Companion: the OnePlus 7 Pro Impresses

The OnePlus 7 Pro

If you've seen one smartphone, you've seen them all. Until now.

Debuting today, the OnePlus 7 Pro is zippy phone with a gorgeous screen for maximum legibility. It boasts some clever features, as well, and over the past week of testing ahead of its launch, I found it to be a worthwhile upgrade, especially if you've had your current phone for more than 2 years and you're looking for a new model to support you on your summer sojourns.

Why you should upgrade:

Checking Waze or using your phone to navigate a new city? The OnePlus 7 Pro has an extremely crisp 6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED display that supports high dynamic range color (a feature that boosts the intensity of the spectrum used in 4K video). How good is it? My friend over at DisplayMate gave the phone his highest rating.

Then there's the pop-up camera. This interesting embellishment is perfect for selfies and video chatting. The 16 megapixel camera also has crash-proof feature: if it is dropped when deployed, the phone will sense it is falling and retract the camera to prevent damage. I tested it (for fun), and it's cat-like skills meant it managed to land safety every time.

Pop-up camera on the OnePlus 7 Pro

Also important, the phone's Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 8-core processor keeps things humming along. Like PCs of yore, you should get the fastest CPU you can afford in a phone to keep your apps running smoothly, and the 855 is currently Qualcomm's top-of-the-line processor.

For your vacation pics, the three rear cameras on the OnePlus 7 Pro feature a state-of-the-art, 48-megapixel sensor with an optical image stabilizer (for clearer shots), an 8 megapixel 78 mm telephoto lens, and ultra wide angle 117-degree, 16 megapixel camera for times when you want to take it all in.

What it's missing:

The phone doesn't offer wireless charging, a convenient feature for those of us whose pets like to chew through on cables. But, as the company explained, you'll get better performance using a cable on the phone's large, non-removeable 4,000 mAh battery. It charges to about 90 percent of capacity in around 20 minutes, and the battery lasted for as long as 2 days in my anecdotal experience.

More questionable given the current hype about the next wireless standard, the phone doesn't support 5G. True, 5G won't be a practical reality or deliver any significant performance boost for most of us until Christmas 2020--at the earliest--but it would have been nice to have 5G built-in to alleviate concerns about obsolescence.

Bottom Line:

If you want a top performing phone with great cameras, features, and a brilliant screen for a respectable price, the OnePlus 7 Pro is going to be the top choice for some time to come. The phone is available from T-Mobile, which is one of the more affordable carriers, with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage starting at $699.

And remember: always pair your phone to your car, and then put it down while you drive.

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