The OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro will be unveiled officially on May 14, but the phone's imaging director has now confirmed that the Pro model will boast a camera with 3x optical zoom, and that it can compete with top-tier devices on the market.
Recently on Twitter, OnePlus unveiled that the Pro model will have a triple-camera array. It's not yet clear what the setup is — will it be a standard, telephoto, and ultra-wide trio? — but OnePlus imaging director Simon Liu has spoken with Wired about several aspects of the phone's photography system.
Liu says that adding an optical zoom to the OnePlus handset was something fans of the company have requested on the company's forum. All recent OnePlus phones have featured digital zoom, but Liu says the OnePlus 7 Pro will get a camera that provides competition for "first tier" smartphones.
"I don't think we can beat them, but the imaging world is always subjective," he says.
Aside from 3x optical zoom, OnePlus' latest phone also features 10x digital zoom, although there's no Time-of-Flight sensor on the device, often used to determine distance and depth. Liu notes that users are going to notice a difference between images captured using older models and those taken with the OnePlus 7 Pro.
"Our pictures are a lot more detailed compared to our previous phones."
OnePlus is still keeping a tight lip on the phone's full lineup of lenses, in addition to the full specs of both phones, saving all those details for the full reveal in May. Wired's test of the camera reveals a lot now, though, including the shutter lag of only 0.3 seconds, which makes taking pictures feel instant, if not Pixel 3-fast.
There's also Auto HDR that lets users point their camera directly at the sun and still end up taking a great, tightly composed photo with vivid, accurate colors. There's also a burst mode built in, but with a 20-frame limit. It won't make the OnePlus 7 Pro a dedicated action camera, but for most situations, it'll be more than decent.
As for portrait shots, Liu says it's more "natural" this time around:
"The bokeh effect is closer to what you'd get from a professional lens. Previously it was more artificial, to prove that there is an effect, but when you're using a digital camera, it's not actually that strong."
Images look good even at night. There's a new dedicated Night mode that's apparently closer to the level of the Huawei P30 Pro's incredible night mode processing, with less light bloom and a cleaner look when the images are blown up.
Of course, Wired's test is just an early look at the OnePlus 7 Pro's capabilities. Make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.