For the past few years OnePlus has been pushing on its philosophy that it doesn't include features that aren't necessary. Features that don't offer enough to warrant a price increase (like IP water resistance certification), or that aren't good enough for the company's high standards (wireless charging). So it's not surprising that the ad campaign for the OnePlus 7 Pro mentions how the company doesn't do "bells and whistles", though the irony is that all the rumours we have for the OnePlus 7 Pro point to a phone with more than its fair share of them.
No bells and whistles.
Just a better phone.
— OnePlus USA (@OnePlus_USA) April 29, 2019
Yes Virginia, if it's in The New York Times, it's got to be true. Welcome to the world, One Plus! pic.twitter.com/leKjS801dN
— Dave nyc (@david_nyc) April 29, 2019
So this confirms that the OnePlus 7 Pro will have a full screen, without a notch to store the camera. In other words the rumours that it has a pop-up front camera seem to be ringing true. It also confirms again that there's going to be a triple-lens camera array on the back, and that the phone won't be filled with bloatware. Though considering it's an Android phone, there will still be plenty of bloatware installed because Google demands it - like Google Play Movies & TV. Has anyone ever used that?
The thing is that rumours have been floating around showing off plenty of frivolous features in the OnePlus 7 Pro, which are easily described as 'bells and whistles'. For starters there's the ad campaign itself, which is very unusual. OnePlus has generally been a company that focuses on word of mouth recommendation, so actual paid advertising has been almost non-existent in the past
Other rumours we've heard include a curved display, like those featured on Samsung Galaxys and high-end Huwaei devices. Seeing as how those curved edges don't do anything (I'd argue they don't even add to the aesthetic appeal), they're the ultimate pointless feature. Frankly it seems strange that OnePlus would even bother with something like that, given its aversion to genuinely useful features just because they don't meet whatever high standard has been imposed by the top-tier brass. Of course this is only a rumour for now, even of the official teaser images seem to hint at the curved edges, so we have to stay a bit sceptical about this right now. Here's hoping we'll be pleasantly surprised.
There's also the in-display fingerprint scanner (Screen Unlock) which is still a very early technology. While I can't see the company backtracking on it after making such a big deal at the OnePlus 6T launch, the last iteration of the feature was pretty disappointing. Here's just hoping they've tweaked and improved things this time around. Of course we also have 5G, which will apparently arrive in a dedicated 7 Pro variant. Considering the majority of the world still doesn't have live consumer 5G networks, and even those that do don't have great coverage, it's kind of a useless feature right now.
As for the jab about $2,000 phones, that just feels pointless. Only the foldable phones cost anywhere close to the $2,000 (£1,800) mark, and we only know about two of them. OnePlus would have been better having a go at $1,000 phones like the iPhone XS. Then again that might be pushing it, since rumour is the OnePlus 7 Pro will cost as much as $759 for the mid-tier 8/128GB model. That's $180 more than the equivalent OnePlus 6T. Remember when OnePlus only made one phone at a time, and they were designed to be cheap? Good times.
We also have to consider the pop-up camera and screen upgrades (QHD+ with 90Hz refresh rate, apparently), but I'm not dwelling on those. Phones do need to change, and now that OnePlus spent a year bigging up the speed of its phones it has to move onto something else. It might as well be the screen.
The OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro are set to be unveiled on 14th May.