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OnePlus 8 Pro review

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The OnePlus 8 Pro is a true flagship phone. Forget about previous handsets by the company and their ‘flagship-killer’ mantra. OnePlus has officially merged it with some of the most prominent mobile brands.

Unlike handsets like the OnePlus 7 Pro or 7T Pro that cut corners to reach a lower price, the OnePlus 8 Pro doesn’t hold back – it’s now a genuine competitor for the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus. iPhone 11 Pro, Huawei P40 Pro.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a flagship phone that can compete with top-of-the-line phones, while the OnePlus Nord is a mid-range option. The OnePlus 8T will not come with a Pro version. However, the OnePlus 8 Pro, which packs top-tier specs and features – along with 5G connectivity – is the most advanced smartphone from the brand.

OnePlus 8 Pro specs

Weight: 199g

Dimensions : 165.3 x 74.3 x 8.5mm

Display Size: 6.78 inches

Resolution: QHD+

Refresh Rate: 120Hz

Pixel density: 513ppi

Chip: Snapdragon865

RAM: 8GB / 12GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB

Rear cameras: 48MP + 48MP + 5MP + 8MP

Front camera 16MP

Battery: 4,510mAh

Rating: IP68

Dual Nano SIMs

Type C port

OnePlus 8 Pro might still be discounted during deals seasons such as the one leading to Black Monday November 27 or Cyber Tuesday thereafter. Any price drop will be celebrated since the phone was first released in 2020.

OnePlus has created the most impressive display ever on the 8 Pro. The Chinese company even claims it is the best phone screen of all time.

 

This is a bold claim and may be proven unfounded over time. However, this handset’s 6.78-inch “Fluid Display” with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+ support, as well as QHD resolution, is amazing.

The rear quad camera setup offers a variety of options for photography, including an ultra-wide angle lens, 30x zoom and powerful night mode. There is also a new color filter camera, which gives your photos a unique look.

Although the cameras are an improvement on the 7 Pro’s snappers, they still don’t reach the same level as those of Huawei, Samsung, or Google. They are still quite good.

OnePlus finally gave its customers what they wanted by including wireless charging, their most requested feature.

It’s also fast wireless charging, allowing you to charge your phone from zero to 50% in 30 minutes. The 8 Pro has the largest battery in OnePlus phones, which can easily last you a whole day with a single charge.

Add to this the flagship power that we are used to seeing from OnePlus with the Snapdragon 865 chipset paired with either 8GB, 12GB, or 5G connectivity, and it is clear that the brand will not be taking a backseat to any of its specs.

You have a powerful flagship smartphone that can connect to 5G networks.

Release date and price of OnePlus 8 Pro

  • OnePlus 8 Pro price: $899/PS799 (8GB+128GB) | $999/PS899 (12GB+256GB)
  • The OnePlus 8 Pro can be purchased now in the US and UK
  • The Australian release of the phone is currently unknown

On April 14, 2020, the OnePlus 8 Pro was officially announced. The phone is now available in the US and UK. The OnePlus 8 Pro is not yet available in Australia. OnePlus stated in a statement that they are working to create a seamless experience for their fans before the OnePlus 8 Pro goes on sale in Australia.

The OnePlus 8 Pro will also be available on a variety of global markets including Canada, India and China, as well as 27 European countries.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is the most expensive OnePlus smartphone. It’s not surprising, considering the company has been increasing its prices every year to keep up (and arguably catch up with larger increases) with other market players. However, this means that the brand is losing the affordable flagship’ appeal which made it a huge success back in the OnePlus One, OnePlus 2,.

The OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $899 / PlayStation799 (around AU$1,500 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variants). This is PS100 more than the OnePlus7T Pro start price. The new 8 Pro has half the storage capacity (vs 256GB) of its predecessor. The 7T Pro was a 4G phone while the 8 Pro is 5G.

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes in two versions. The pricier one costs $999 / PS899, which is around AU$1,700. It has 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. This is PS100 more than the McLaren Edition of the 7T Pro which came with a 12GB+256GB configuration, and was 5G enabled.

Although OnePlus 8 Pro’s price may alarm some, it is still cheaper than the top-tier competitors. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus starts at $1,199.99 / PlayStation999 for 128GB while the iPhone 11 Pro starts from $999 / PlayStation1,049 for 64GB. For 256GB, the iPhone 11 Pro jumps to $1149 / Sonya199.

 

Display

  • 6.78 inches, 1440×3168 QHD+. 19.8:9, 513ppi. 120Hz. HDR10+.
  • OnePlus claims its ‘Fluid Display’ is “the best screen that you’ll ever see”
  • Video Gaming and video are made easier by the high refresh rate and video scaling.

The OnePlus 8 Pro’s ‘Fluid Display is the most talked about feature of the OnePlus 8. The handset is equipped with a “Fluid Display”, which OnePlus claims is the best you will see this year.

Although this claim may seem a bit premature considering it comes just four months into 2020 it is fair to say the OnePlus 8 Pro’s display is among the best we have seen on a smartphone.

The OnePlus 8 Pro panel is larger than most flagship smartphones, with a 6.78 inch screen, a resolution of 1440 x 3168 QHD+, a tall 19.8:9 aspect ratio, and 513ppi pixel density.

Many phone manufacturers are now focusing on the refresh rate as a key spec. We’ve seen many manufacturers increase the refresh rate of their handsets, a trend that began with the Razer Phone with its 120Hz screen in 2017.

Smooth scrolling in apps and improved graphical fluidity in gaming are two of the benefits of a faster refresh rate. This overall provides a premium experience.

The OnePlus 7T Pro, Google Pixel 4 XL, and Huawei P40 Pro are all equipped with 90Hz screens.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, however, has 120Hz maximum settings. However, it is not set to this default. Enabling 120Hz on these devices will cause a drop in resolution from QHD+, to Full HD+, to conserve power.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is different in that 120Hz is turned on by default but at Full HD+. You can change to 120Hz at a higher resolution QHD+ by going into the settings (also possible with the Oppo Find).

 

OnePlus claims it has done a lot to optimize the phone so that battery life can be preserved and still offers the highest resolution and refresh rate – and based upon our time with it, it seems this has paid off. The QHD+ and 120Hz settings drain battery slightly quicker than the lower-resolution settings, but this is not noticeable from our gaming and video viewing experiences.

OnePlus doesn’t stop there. Independent screen tester DisplayMate awarded (opens new tab) the OnePlus 8 Pro an “A+” grade. The handset boasts an industry-leading 1300 nits peak lighting and high-level color accuracy.

All of this is to say that everything looks amazing on screen. The OnePlus 8 Pro is a great choice for photos, websites, videos, and games. It packs color and detail and has excellent viewing angles.

You can enhance the video experience by switching on two additional settings for video playback: ‘vibrant colour effect pro’ or’motion graphics smoothlying’.

“Vibrant Color Effect Pro” optimizes colors and contrast in videos to give a more vibrant image. This is especially noticeable in particularly colorful films and shows. It will also please people who want a little more pop in their pictures.

For clearer playback, “motion graphics smoothing” increases the frame rate to make the video more fluid. This mode is only available for selected apps, such as Gallery, YouTube and Prime Video. It also works when the video is displayed fullscreen. You can smoothen movements by increasing the frame rate. However, it is up to you to decide if you like the result.

While some will love the smooth playback and the impressive results it produces, others may find the movements a bit off-putting and unnatural. There are many movies and shows that have’motion graphics smoothing’. In scenes with lots of crowd movement, people can appear a bit too fluid.

These settings are disabled by default. If you don’t like how they adjust your viewing experience, it’s simple enough to turn them off.

False touches were one of the issues we had with the OnePlus 8 Pro’s display. The 8 Pro lacks a feature called “palm rejection” that detects when your hand rests on the display. This means that your palm can sometimes be mistaken for touch input.

Although it doesn’t happen often, it can be annoying when the 8 Pro misunderstands your support finger or palm for touch commands. When we lose, we will accept any excuse.

 

Design

  • Premium finish looks great
  • The First OnePlus phone to have an IP rating for water and dust resistance
  • Large camera bumps are easy to knock off if you don’t have a case

The OnePlus 8 Pro is similar to other high-end smartphones. The OnePlus 8 Pro’s front features a 6.78-inch display that curves around each vertical edge. A metal frame runs around the body, and the front and rear glasses sandwich each other.

The review unit was in Glacial Green. It also has Ultramarine Blue.

It is more tactile than the back glass of the Galaxy S20 Plus or iPhone 11 Pro and improves the feeling of the phone in your hand. The 8 Pro is a bit slippy and it doesn’t offer much grip.

This won’t be an issue if the OnePlus 8 Pro is placed in the transparent silicone case included in the box. Although it detracts slightly from the premium aesthetic of the case, you can still see the striking green color and protects the large camera bump protrusion.

If you aren’t very careful with your smartphone, we recommend that the case be used. We found it easy to catch our fingers on the camera bump, regardless of whether you have the case.

This bump’s vertical camera stack is standard design-wise – almost every manufacturer has enlarged their camera housings recently so it’s hard to downplay the OnePlus 8 Pro.

The OnePlus 8 Pro measures 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm. This is a large phone that many people will need to hold securely. It is taller and wider that the Galaxy S20 Plus and P40 Pro, and has a larger screen. However, it weighs in at 199g.

The 8 Pro has one port, the USB-C port located on the base. There is no 3.5mm headset jack. The dual-slot SIM tray (one of the two on the phone) is located next to it. A speaker is also included, one of which can be muffled if you are gaming or watching video while the phone is in landscape orientation.

The power/lock button is located on the right side of the phone. A double-press will activate the camera while a long-press will open Google Assistant. The OnePlus alert slider is located above the camera. It allows you to quickly switch between sound-on, vibrate, and silent modes. A textured finish makes it easy for you to find and slide.

The volume keys are located on the left side. They are easy to reach when holding the phone single-handed. However, those with smaller hands may have to move the 8 Pro around slightly to increase volume.

 

One feature that was previously on the 7 Pro or 7T Pro but has been dropped by OnePlus is the pop-up self-portrait camera. The OnePlus 8 Pro features a circular punch hole camera in the top-left corner.

This is the first time OnePlus has adopted this design for its front-facing camera. OnePlus claims that it made the change because it no longer uses the moving mechanism and frees up space in the phone.

The diameter of the punch-hole is only 3.8mm. This means that it takes up very little space. Notifications sit right beside it. We forget it’s there in our day-to-day lives.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is OnePlus’s first smartphone to be awarded an IP rating. This means that it’s officially protected from water and dust. While the previous generations were water- and dust-resistant, OnePlus never provided an official rating.

The OnePlus 8 Pro has an IP68 rating, which protects against dust ingress and submersion in water up to one meter for 30 minutes. This means that you will be fine if your phone accidentally gets in the bathtub.

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes in three colors: Glacial Green (Onyx Black) and Ultramarine Blue (Ultramarine Blue). The 8 Pro is only available in the UK in green and black colors. We are still waiting to hear if other colors will be made.

 

Camera

  • 4 rear cameras 48MP Ultra-wide, 48MP main camera, telephoto and color filter
  • The biggest camera upgrade for a OnePlus smartphone

The OnePlus 8 Pro has four rear cameras. This is the first time OnePlus has used a quad-camera setup in a smartphone. It’s serious business. This is evident by the fact that it has not one but two 48MP Sony sensors.

The view from the 48MP main sensor on the 8 Pro will be visible when you turn on the camera. This is the largest OnePlus has ever used and it sits at the bottom of the vertical stack of cameras on the rear.

The Sony IMX689 sensor has a f/1.78 aperture and OIS (optical imaging stabilization) as well as EIS (electronic imagery stabilization). It can record 4K video.

Another 48MP sensor is located above this one, the ultra-wide angle Sony IMX586. It has a f/2.2 aperture with a 119.7 degree view and a 48MP sensor. Although it isn’t the largest smartphone camera, it allows for more landscape to be included in each shot.

The new 5MP color filter lens’ is located at the bottom of this stack. It has a f/2.4 aperture. It was designed to bring Instagram-like filters into the camera app.

The fourth sensor, located on the rear of OnePlus 8 Pro, is actually to the left side of the main camera bump. It’s the 8MP telephoto sensor that allows for the 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom.

While we have seen phones with higher zoom levels than these, such as the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 100x zoom, OnePlus claims that its customers aren’t looking for more than 30x.

You have a lot of hardware for photography, so how do you make it work?

The OnePlus 8 Pro cameras offer a significant improvement on the 7 Pro or 7T Pro’s camera setups. The 8 Pro produces photos that are more like real life in terms of color.

It means that they lack the vibrant ‘pop’ of competitors, such as Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, who enhance hues to make images more appealing visually.

 

When you first open the app, the default mode is to use the main 48MP camera. However, images are set to capture at 12MP. You can switch between 48MP and 12MP modes by clicking the toggle at the top.

It’s best to keep it at 12MP for most shots. This mode has a better dynamic range and allows you to take more colorful shots. When outdoors, you only need to use the 48MP mode.

Although 48MP images have more detail than the 32MP, colors are not as vivid and file sizes for each image range from 4-6MB up to 14-20MB. It’s unlikely that you’ll run out of space soon with at least 128GB available. However, it is worth considering, especially if your images will be saved to the cloud or uploaded to social media.

You have many options, such as nightscape for low-light conditions, 3x, 10x, and 30x zooms, and four color filters to modify your images.

These filters aren’t all that different from the ones you would find on Instagram so they’re included in the camera app for the OnePlus 8 Pro feels a bit excessive. However, they don’t get in your way if you don’t want them.

Nightscape is the best mode to use in low light situations. We have tested a variety of smartphone night modes and found the OnePlus 8 Pro to be somewhere in the middle.

The ability to brighten darker photos is a plus. It takes only 2-3 seconds to take a photo, while some night modes can take as long as 10. However, the results can be a bit disappointing. Images taken with very low light sources are difficult to see details and appear muddy.

The zoom of the OnePlus 8 Pro was put to the test. We also tested the OnePlus 7T Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and OnePlus 8 Pro. To compare how the handsets stack up, we took the same shot at ultrawide (1x, 3x), 10x, 30x, and 30x (not the 7T Pro).

OnePlus 8 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus vs OnePlus 7T Pro: Ultrawide

 

The sample images show that the OnePlus 8 Pro captures consistent good detail at all zoom levels compared to other phones. However, shots don’t seem as vibrant as those of the Samsung or its predecessor.

OnePlus 8 Pro vs S20 Plus vs 7T Pro: 1x zoom

 

Although it may appear disappointing at first, the OnePlus 8 Pro captured true-to-life colors. The 7T Pro and S20 Plus capture brighter, more striking colors but it is not representative of what you can see through the window.

OnePlus 8 Pro vs S20 Plus vs 7T Pro: 3x zoom

 

Some people will prefer the Galaxy S20 Plus’s mix of vivid colors and detail, but for others who want to capture photos closer to life, the OnePlus 8 Pro is a better choice. Even though it doesn’t have the same level of detail and clarity as Samsung’s, the OnePlus 8 Pro has more.

OnePlus 8 Pro vs S20 Plus vs 7T Pro: 10x zoom

 

The maximum zoom level can make images look grainy because the phone relies on software smarts and a digital zoom to create the image. Our final comparison is between OnePlus 8 Pro & S20 Plus.

For all zoom capture shots, we used a tripod because camera shake can be very bad on phones when zoomed beyond 10x. We recommend that you have a solid surface against which to brace your camera if you plan to shoot handheld at 10x and 30x with the OnePlus 8 Pro.

OnePlus 8 Pro vs S20 Plus: 30x zoom

 

Camera samples

The 8 Pro made sure that the details were clear on the houses, without obscuring the sky.

 

A nice shot that captures the exact colors and focuses on the postbox is possible with a blurred background.

 

HDR did a bit more work to keep the foreground brighter, but this sunset shot is still stunning.

The 8 Pro can switch to nightscape, and does fairly well. However, Samsung and Huawei do better. 

Battery life

  • 4,510mAh Battery – OnePlus’ largest ever battery and easily lasts a whole day
  • More than the battery in rival Samsung phones, Huawei and Apple phones
  • Wireless charging and fast wired internet

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a large 4,510mAh battery. This is larger than any power pack found in the iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, Huawei P40 Pro, or Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.

We were not surprised to find that the OnePlus 8 Pro can comfortably last a day on a single battery with normal usage such as gaming, messaging, video playback and photography.

Many times, we ended the day with double the amount of fuel left. However, if you plan to record a few hours of video with enhancements enabled, you will likely reach for a charging cable by the end.

The 8 Pro was subject to a full HD video test for 90 minutes. We set the screen brightness to maximum and had accounts sync over Wi-Fi. Only 10% of the battery was used in Full HD+ or QHD+ resolutions.

If you turn on video enhancements (the above vibrant color effect pro or motion graphics smoothing), the battery drain seems to be more rapid. You’ll need to monitor your battery life when watching movies with these settings enabled.

OnePlus has updated its Warp Charge30T charging to increase the speed of up to 50% to 0% in just 23 minutes using a wired connection. (This includes the bundled plug block that came in the box). But there’s more!

OnePlus’ first handset to include wireless charging has been released. This technology is called Warp Charge 30 Wireless and can charge your phone anywhere from 1% to 50% in 30 seconds. However, you will need the OnePlus Warp Charge 30 wireless charging pads to get these amazing speeds.

The charging pad can be purchased separately for PS69, which is approximately $80 or AU$130. It works well, too. The 8 Pro met the 50% charge in just 30 minutes. However, it is not silent.

The Warp Charge 30 wireless charging device has a fan to cool it during intense charging. This makes a whirring sound.

The charger can be distracting if it is on your desk, but you can drown it out by playing some soft music.

The noise made it difficult to move the charger from our nightstand to our charging station. Thankfully, OnePlus has taken this into consideration. The 8 Pro will detect nighttime and decrease the speed of wireless charging. A slower charging speed generates less heat, so the cooling fan inside the charging stand doesn’t need to be used. This allows for silent top-up.

Reverse wireless charging is another trick that the OnePlus 8 Pro has mastered. This technology has been used on many other phones, including those from Samsung and Huawei. However, it is great to see another manufacturer embrace the technology.

You can use your OnePlus 8 Pro to charge other compatible devices with Qi wireless standards, such as a pair of wireless headphones or a friend’s phone if they are reaching single battery life digits.

This worked well and we were able charge our Apple AirPods as well as the Samsung Galaxy Buds from the back of the 8 Pro. This feature can be toggled on easily – pull down the notification shade and tap Reserve Charging. Next, place your handset screen-down on the rear of the 8 Pro, just below the square OnePlus logo.

To prevent it from running out, the 8 Pro will switch off reserve charging when its battery reaches 15%.

Software and performance

  • Flagship power: Snapdragon 865, X55 5G modem, 8GB/12GB RAM
  • A fast, fluid interface that allows you to run any app or video
  • Dolby atmos stereo speakers, WiFi 6 and Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.1

The OnePlus 8 Pro packs plenty of power thanks to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset. It also comes with Qualcomm’s X55 modem for superfast internet speeds in areas where 5G is available.

This comes paired with either 8GB, 12GB or 256GB LPDDR5 RAM depending on your choice of 128GB or 256GB internal storage. The OnePlus 8 Pro is capable of handling anything you throw at them, including long Fortnite and PUBG campaigns and box-set binges or marathons.

LPDDR5 RAM works 30% faster and consumes 20% more power than RAM in the OnePlus 7T series. This makes it a welcome upgrade for the 8 Pro.

Geekbench 5.1’s average multi-core benchmark score for the OnePlus 8 Pro (12GB RAM) was 3305. This puts it well above the OnePlus 7T Pro average of 2564, and it even beats the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus which scored 3,034.

The 8 Pro is an extremely powerful device that should be future-proofed with its 5G capabilities and power.

Editor’s Note: The 8 Pro’s 5G capabilities were not tested as we do not live in an area that has access to it. We also couldn’t travel to a 5G area due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Dual-SIM tray allows two SIM cards to be used simultaneously on the OnePlus 8 Pro. However, only one SIM card can access 5G at a given time. Although there is enough storage for two SIM cards in the OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus has decided to limit expandable storage. You will have to stick with what you have.

The 12GB+256GB configuration was our review unit. We found that the system used around 20GB of the space. This means that you will have approximately 236GB usable storage and about 108GB for the 128GB model. You can use cloud storage such as Google Photos to store all your photos and videos in the cloud.

Android 10 has all the power and a 120Hz display. It’s not surprising that Android10 is quick and easy to use. OnePlus applied the Oxygen OS interface to Google’s operating systems, but it is mostly stock Android.

Oxygen OS offers additional customization. These gestures can be used to launch the camera, toggle your flashlight, or open any app. The settings menu allows you to easily alter the accent color, font, icons, and font of the system.

For those who prefer the look, there’s a full-dark mode (listed under Tone’ in settings). It is available to all pre-installed apps of OnePlus, including the gallery, files, dialler, messages and camera.

The OnePlus 8 Pro features a speaker at its bottom, as well as a second speaker at the top of the device, right above the display. Dolby Atmos technology has been added to these speakers, resulting in a richer and deeper sound.

The 8 Pro can produce a room-filling sound. You can listen to music and watch videos with the volume turned up without any distortion. You can still get better sound quality by pairing your handset with a speaker, or decent headphones.

Wi-Fi 6 as well as Bluetooth 5.1 support is available. If you own a router or accessories that support these technologies, you can take advantage of faster internet speeds.

 

It’s a good deal if…

Want one of the best smartphone screens

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a great option if you are a frequent user of your smartphone for gaming and video. With fluid motion in games and high-quality video content, the 120Hz QHD display makes a significant difference.

A future-proof smartphone

The OnePlus 8 Pro has the latest technology under the hood, lots of RAM, 5G connectivity and plenty of power. It is designed to keep you on the cutting edge for mobile performance for a few years. In a few years, it shouldn’t slow down. As 5G networks expand across the globe (and Wi-Fi 6 becomes the norm in public places, at home and in the workplace), you will be able take full advantage its connectivity features.

It’s not worth the risk if you…

Are you looking for a flagship at an affordable price?

OnePlus has built its reputation by offering affordable flagships. However, each year, the prices of its phones have risen relative to their competition. The OnePlus 8 Pro is still cheaper than big-name competitors, but the difference is much smaller. You get a lot of high-end value for your buck. However, those who have seen OnePlus in the past as a less expensive option will now be able to choose from Oppo, Realme, and Xiaomi.

Want the best experience in smartphone photography

We are not denying that the OnePlus 8 Pro’s quad-camera setup is excellent and a significant improvement over the 7T Pro. It’s not the best available on the market. Samsung makes better all-round cameras. Huawei’s P40 Pro is a great camera with excellent night mode and zoom functions. The Google Pixel 4 has a lot more snappers.

Pop-up selfie cameras are your favorite.

Pop-up selfie camera, we didn’t know you. The pop-up front-facing selfie camera was featured in two generations of OnePlus phones (the OnePlus 7 Pro, 7T Pro) but has not made it to the third. OnePlus decided to abandon the mechanical mechanism on the 8 Pro to reduce weight and space, following other brands’ lead.

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