OnePlus’ 7T Pro McLaren Edition brings supercar speed to a smartphone

There’s something... organic about it. As you draw closer, its sleek curves and low profile radiate feline beauty and grace. Confident and powerful, every single fragment of its DNA is assembled with a single, pure purpose in mind: speed.

Butterfly doors effortlessly glide open, revealing the interior. You slip into the central seat and glance up at a steering wheel that's slathered in state-of-the-art, thin-ply carbon fibre. The allure is irresistible, so you reach out, fire the ignition and lose yourself.
This unadulterated, aspirational desire is what the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition was built to invoke. Designed to capture the essence of McLaren’s latest Speedtail supercar, this is a smartphone aimed at fanatics with absolutely no compromises.
A pocketable masterpiece

From the front, there’s nothing that immediately separates the McLaren Edition from the already excellent OnePlus 7T Pro. It’s just as sleek, with a glorious, uninterrupted notch-less display, made possible by the clever in-built selfie cam which mechanically emerges from the top. The glass rear, however, is a different story.
Covered in the same Damascus pattern as the Speedtail’s carbon-clad steering wheel, the back of the phone also sports subtle orange highlights around the camera lenses, with a smooth fade to orange around the bottom edges. It really is beautiful in a “boy racer” fashion and you’ll find yourself admiring the way the pattern and colours flitter and dance as you move the phone around in the light.
The knurled orange alert slider continues the theme, and even the software receives special treatment, with grey and orange McLaren icons, wallpaper and subtle notification animations that glint along the screen’s edges when you receive new messages.
And if the thought of covering up these supercar trappings with a case fills you with horror, there’s also a McLaren-themed case thrown in for good measure – a carbon fibre-patterned rubber affair with a generous strip of Alcantara leather gracing the centre.
Built for speed

Like its supercar muse, the McLaren Edition handset is an absolute beast. We’re not one to get lost in the numbers here, but for the record, its Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage make it one of the most powerful phones in the world today.
This thing simply flies along with handling games, multiple apps, media playback and anything else you care to throw at it with ease. Coupled with its sharp, 90Hz display (which results in super-smooth scrolling and animations), you’ll rest easy in the knowledge that this is a handset that can serve you for years.
Of course, all that power would be useless without decent battery life and the McLaren Edition once again pulls through with top marks. Its 4,085mAh battery easily lasts a day, even with substantial use. We consider ourselves to be very heavy users, constantly browsing Reddit and Instagram, snapping photos and battling an unhealthy amount of WhatsApp group messages. Add music streaming and regular Google Maps navigation to that list and this phone’s ability to comfortably last until bedtime is a welcome feat.
If that weren’t enough, it also refuels at an absolutely blistering pace. OnePlus’ not-so-subtly named Warp Charge 30T technology means that the included charger will see the battery reach 0-68 percent in around 30 minutes. In our testing, we started at 4 percent and hit 75 percent in 30 minutes and 100 percent in just over an hour. So even if you find your phone in dire need of a pit stop after a particularly hectic day, this charging speed makes for one hell of a safety net.
Triple threat

Beyond battery life, camera performance is the most important criterion for most people when choosing their next device. The McLaren Edition sports three flavors – a 48MP main camera, a 16MP ultra-wide camera and a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom.
The versatility of this trio means that you’ll have photographic options for almost every occasion. In good light, shots are sharp and packed with detail, although you may notice a little softness when using the ultra-wide lens, particularly around the edges. It’s a small price to pay for being able to cram more into your shots, though, especially when shooting stunning vistas and towering skylines in their full glory.
The 3x optical zoom is particularly useful for capturing timid subjects such as squirrels, deer or camera-shy cats and we were pleasantly surprised by how effective the 10x digital zoom was as well. Although grain, it serves up serviceable shots for objects that are even further away.
So far imperious for this OnePlus 7T Pro's photographic chops. As with previous phones from this manufacturer, low-light shots are a slightly different story. A Nightscape mode does a great job in eking out further detail in dim light, but it still struggles in darker conditions compared to the iPhone 11 Pro and Google's Pixel 4.
The pop-up selfie cam is fun to summon and produces sharp selfies with decent background blur when using Portrait mode. The Regular model also produces a bright enough screen flash to light up your face in the dark, which means pub/bar/dance floor selfies can continue as normal.
OnePlus 7T Pro verdict

If you’re a petrolhead or a straight-up McLaren fanatic then the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition has the style to get your heart racing and a jet-fuelled performance that makes absolutely no compromises.
For everyone else, there’s more to consider. At £799, this special-edition device costs £100 more than the regular 7T Pro – a phone that's identical in every way, save for having a still ample 8GB of RAM and a regular non-McLaren paint job. So unless you’re willing to spend a ton more for the custom finish, we’d recommend going for the standard version. And looking beyond the scope of OnePlus, there are several phones whose cameras handle themselves better in darker lighting conditions. Especially Google's Pixel 4 and the (much pricier) iPhone 11 Pro.
For anyone whose passion for a roaring engine, tarmac-shattering power, and alluring curves knows no bounds, this is the only smartphone in the world that can come close to fuel it.
The OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition, £799, is available from 5 November. oneplus.com
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