Tactile and high-tech, the OnePlus 7 Pro phone is ahead of the curve in design and capability. Its camera even shot the images on these pages
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau likes to call his desire for a better smartphone experience and a more beautiful and higher quality product ‘the pursuit of the burdenless’. Keeping industrial design ‘burdenless’ – honest, simple, clutter-free – explains Lau, means respecting what a product should be, rather than tacking on additional elements just for the sake of hype. A burdenless design will perfectly serve the function of the product and even embody the product itself.
Hold the new OnePlus 7 Pro in your hand, he says, and the device ‘will speak for itself’. ‘We want to commit an extra layer of detail and polish to everything we do, to create devices that feel premium to the touch. We care about the user’s experience from the moment they pick up a device. We also want the device to feel burdenless in the hand, even after an extended period of use.’
People think that good industrial design should produce something that looks very ‘different’, says Lau. ‘However, good design, truly good design, does not deliberately exaggerate the external form. In fact, it may extend to a focus on subtleties such as the material, the craftsmanship and the philosophy and aesthetics behind every tiny detail.’ From the original OnePlus One phone, which was released back in 2014, to the all-new OnePlus 7 Pro, Lau’s company has been honing the fine details of its product, sometimes making adjustments that amount to as little as 0.01mm. ‘These seemingly insignificant details accumulate, and ultimately contribute to an overall design that is greatly changed,’ explains Lau. ‘Every decision we make is based on countless rejections, resulting in a continually iterative process. This is the true meaning of the brand’s “Never Settle” message. We recognise the smallest imperfections – and pursue perfection.’
A sense of smooth, fast capability and innovation is evident in the new OnePlus 7 Pro straight out of the box. It is a thing of tactile and technical beauty.
There’s the clean, minimal design and uncluttered ‘notchless’ display. And from the extraordinary triple rear camera system to the groundbreaking pop-up front camera, the OnePlus 7 Pro seems determined to exceed all previous photographic expectations. The 48-megapixel main rear camera, for example, will render every frame you shoot with stunning clarity, while the ultra-wide angle lens means that you can photograph both big gatherings and mountain ranges with directorial confidence. And for lovers of detail, the 3x optical zoom lens ensures you’ll always capture even the finest points of any composition.
The feel of the phone ‘in hand’ as the user goes through the motions of image capture, web-surfing and calling – the device’s material make-up, its silky touch and the fluid user experience derived from its curves, details and external architecture – these qualities and characteristics are also integral to the OnePlus 7 Pro’s design, and essential elements of Lau’s ‘burdenless’ philosophy.
A sharply focused, details obsessive, Lau always has several OnePlus prototype devices in his care. ‘I like to take them out, see the details and get a sense for how the device feels in my hand. Sometimes, I’ll just place the phones on the table and view them at the magic 45-degree angle,’ he says, describing the ongoing research and development project for the OnePlus 7 Pro. ‘Rejections and suggestions for improvements often come organically, at random hours. If a prototype still feels fresh and exciting after several months, then it’s very likely that the design is just right.’