Price : $ 899-999
OnePlus was once a company that positioned itself as a flagship specification for wallet-friendly pricing. But in recent years, there has been an upward trend in the pricing models of its phones, getting closer and closer to the premium price level that the company has been able to avoid for so long. To date, the OnePlus 8 Pro is the most expensive phone the company has ever released.
Here's what we like
- Big, beautiful and fast
- Good battery life
- Good cameras
- Wireless charging
And what we don't do
- ] More expensive than previous OnePlus phones
- It is very big
- The camera bump protrudes a lot
But it is also the
The 7 Pro was a striking phone in 2019 and my choice for the best phone of the year. As a result, the 8 Pro was my most anticipated phone for 2020. There is a lot to love with this phone, but even old OnePlus fans are struggling to pass the $ 900 starting price. It's almost double the price of the 7T still available, which undeniably shifts the value proposition.
That in itself makes this phone a little harder to get excited about, but make no mistake: this is an incredible piece of hardware. Even for a top $ 1000, this phone would be considered a bargain if released by another top manufacturer like Samsung. It justifies the premium price with premium features, but OnePlus has long been known for the best hardware at better prices than everyone else.
That begs the question: has OnePlus lost what makes it special, or is the 8 Pro worth the expensive price tag? If you're here for the peak and don't care about foreplay, I can answer that right now: the 8 Pro is worth every penny of its asking price.
Specs and Build: HUGE and PREMIUM
Like most previous OnePlus phones, the 8 Pro doesn't skimp on high-end hardware. It's packed with Qualcomm's latest processor, more storage space than you (hopefully) know what to do with it, plenty of RAM, robust charging features and much more.
Here's a rundown of everything under the 8 Pro's hood:
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
- RAM: 8 GB or 12 GB
- Storage: 128 GB or 256 GB
- Screen: 6.78-inch 3168 × 1440 (513 PPI) AMOLED with 120 Hz refresh rate and advanced front camera
- Cameras: 48 MP main camera, 8 MP telephoto lens, 48 MP ultra-wide lens; 16 MP front camera
- Ports and Charging: USB-C, OnePlus Warp Charge 30, Warp Charge 30 Wireless
- Headphone Jack:  Battery: 4510 mAh
- Fingerprint Sensor: In-display
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi a / b / g / b / ac / ax, 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz; Wi-Fi 6; 2 × 2 MIMO; Bluetooth 5.1; NFC; 5G N2, N5, N66, N41, N71; AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular Support
- IP Rating: IP68
- Colors: Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue, Onyx Black
- Dimensions: 165.3 mm x 74.3 mm x 8.5 mm; 199g (it's a big boi)
- Price: $ 899- $ 999 (Depends on configuration)
- Specifications as rated: 8GB RAM, 128GB storage , Glacial Green, $ 899
That's a lot to go, I know. One thing that strikes me when looking at this list is that the high-end 7 Pro had 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage, where the entry 8 Pro has 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage (and costs $ 150) more than the top 7 Pro when it was released)
Of course, you can no longer buy the 7 Pro, so that's a moot point. But OnePlus still sells the 7T, which was updated to the T line in late 2019. And right now, you can buy that phone with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage – the same as the base model 8 Pro – for $ 499. The tradeoff is a slightly slower processor, no official IP rating, no wireless charging, and a bad camera. You have to ask yourself how much those things are worth to you – if the answer is "$ 400-500" then you have a winner with the 8 Pro.
A notable change with the hardware of the 8 Pro is the IP rating – something OnePlus has avoided in the past because IP certifications cost money. Traditionally, the company made its phones water resistant (ish), but that claim didn't back up this claim with any kind of certification. People were nagging about it (myself included) so this time they poured out the money to give the 8 Pro IP68 access protection. That's the same IP rating you'll find on other popular phones, and basically means it's protected from dust and immersion in over three feet of water.
Apart from that, this is also the first OnePlus with wireless charging. But also in true OnePlus fashion, the status quo was not good enough, so the company made its Warp Charge function available with the compatible wireless charger. That means you can throw your phone on the charger and charge quickly without a cable. But really, I have to wonder … why? What is the point?
Usually I don't see the need for fast wireless charging. If I need to give my phone a quick boost then I plug it in. Otherwise, wireless charging can work at 5 watts which is fine as I will most likely use it to charge overnight and not much else. Warp Charge 30 Wireless feels like a change for the sake of change – not something that really makes sense.
And all without even considering that you need the proprietary wireless charger to achieve these speeds, which has its own set of quirks. First, it's $ 70. It's not the most expensive wireless charger around, but far from the cheapest. Second, it has an integrated cable and plug, making it really tricky to use in many scenarios. Damn, the integrated cable is only three feet long, which really limits where you can place it. It's annoying. Anyway – it works. And it works well. It is fast. If you need it, then Warp Charge 30 Wireless is for you.
One thing you'll miss on the 8 Pro is biometric face scanning, a la iPhone's FaceID. Honestly, after living with Face Unlock on the Pixel 4XL for the past six months, I'm happy to be back on the phone with a fingerprint scanner. It is faster, more efficient and above all well supported. (Seriously, the number of apps Face Unlock uses for secure authentication on Android right now is terrible.) Plus, given the state of the world, it's a lot easier to unlock your phone with your finger than it is to use Face Unlock while wearing a mask.
I feel like I've been getting cumbersome here for a long time, so I want to touch quickly the build quality. At the moment, fantastic build quality can be expected from any phone that can be called a flagship. And the 8 Pro is just that – it's a flagship through and through. The build is top notch. Don't expect anything less.
Performance, software and battery life: Beastmode
Do you know what I like most about OnePlus phones? They are fast . And, unlike so many other Android phones, they stay that way even after months (and months) of use. Why? OxygenOS, baby.
For the uninitiated, OxygenOS is the OnePlus version of Android. It is highly optimized for the hardware and is lightning fast. It's packed with unique features that make Android more fun to use, but at the same time, it doesn't feel bloated or heavy like Samsung's, whatever they call it, Android OS. It is a real pleasure to use in every way.
The best part is that it still looks like standard Android, which Android purists all love. The layout in the Settings menu is very similar, so if you're used to a clean build of Android, it's still familiar.
But it is also much more customizable than what Android (or most other manufacturers) offer. It's the right balance, though: some customization options can be too overwhelming, so I love the OnePlus implementation in OxygenOS. You can easily change the background, the clock style of the ambient display, the accent color, the general tone (basically dark or light), system icons, the button style for quick settings, fonts and even the fingerprint reader animation. It is just enough to give the system the look and feel you want without being too much.
Frankly, on the whole, I have no real complaints about OxygenOS – it's probably my favorite version of Android. (Yes, I like it better than stock.) The only minus I have is that it can be a bit overly aggressive in RAM management out of the box, so some apps get killed prematurely. But it also has a setting called & # 39; Intelligent Control & # 39; for the app management that effectively learns your usage patterns to avoid killing apps when you normally want them. So over time, the aggressive RAM problem disappears. (You can also adjust app background optimization manually.)
You may be wondering why the RAM management system is out- of-the-box is so overly aggressive. , isn't unused RAM wasted RAM on Android? (Answer: yes.) In short: battery life. It is hyper-aggressive to & # 39; unnecessary & # 39; kill tasks to save battery. But honestly, even after using the phone regularly to the point where it taught my behavior, the battery life was fine.
One thing to keep in mind is that I've been using the Pixel 4XL for the past 6 months, which has historically had a terrible battery life. And it has only gotten worse in recent months. So, in direct comparison to the 4XL, the 8 Pro is a breath of fresh air.
On average it was difficult for me to kill the battery of the 8 Pro. Even with the same usage as the Pixel 4 XL, the 8 Pro leaves me with much more more battery life every night. With about 3 hours of screen time, the 4XL would have about 30 percent battery at night. For comparison, the 8 Pro would normally be around 50 to 60 percent.
Leading up to the review, I tried killing him one day – I got about 5 and a half hours of screen time and about 17 percent battery. I think I could easily get 7 hours of screen-on time with the 8 Pro, even if the 120 Hz screen is on. Lower that to 60 Hz, and you could easily get even more.
But in general I love OxygenOS. It's insanely spicy, has the right amount of thoughtful tweaks and customization options, and is really just a joy to use.
Display and camera: great display, good camera
OnePlus has always been proud of its displays (especially in recent years), and the 8 Pro is no different. It is even the most beautiful color-accurate display that it company has ever plugged in a phone. Couple that with the svelte-as-hell 120Hz refresh rate and you've got everything you need for a killer screen. And man, it pays off. It's so good.
It is an AMOLED panel, so you can expect vibrant colors, but they are not overwhelming like the AMOLED panels of yesteryear. They are vibrant and beautiful, but not oversaturated. Blacks are black (like j you know, should be black). It's just a damn beautiful screen to look at. In 2020, you can expect every premium phone to have at least a good display. But the 8 Pro really has a great screen.
Yet all those beautiful colors come in second place after the insane refresh rate. Last year OP got a for the first time! with the 7 Pro's 90 Hz display, which made a bigger difference than I ever expected. Once I got used to the 90Hz refresh rate, it was hard to go back to 60Hz. The bump to 120 Hz in the 8 Pro isn't all that dramatic, but it's still a noticeable improvement over 90 Hz. That said, if OP were left in this phone at 90 Hz, I wouldn't be upset about it. A refresh rate of 120 Hz is fine, but it is not a second game changer .
Before we continue with the camera, it is also worth pointing out that you can adjust both the color profile and the refresh rate on the 8 Pro . There are a few different color profiles to choose from, as well as a custom option to build your own. As for the refresh rate, I find it very interesting that you can only choose between 60 Hz and 120 Hz – 90 is not an option here. Chances are you don't want to drop it below 120 anyway.
Let's go to the back of the phone, let's talk about the camera. Historically, OnePlus was not known for putting great shooters in phones – it has long been the weakest link of any OP phone I've used, but that changes with the 8 Pro. For the first time I would say that this phone has damn nice shooters. Mind you, they're not Pixel quality, but nothing is (apart from, you know, other Pixels). That's just a fact.
Speaking of the camera array, it's worth pointing out how much it protrudes from the back of the phone – this thing should be 2 -3 mm thick. That may not seem like much, but if you're not using a case, the is very noticeable, especially if you put the phone on a hard surface. It's wobbly like hell. I'm also concerned about the structural integrity of the entire array if you drop the phone so I highly recommend putting it in a case. Specifically, one that offers some sort of protection for that big ass of a camera. Fortunately, OnePlus has good options for that, and there's even a nice silicone bumper in the box with the 8 Pro to hold you back until you can get something more robust.
That said, this is also a challenging time to test a phone camera. We are all quarantined at home, away from the rest of the world, making it difficult to get out and see really what the camera is capable of. But given the limited things, I am still very impressed with what OP has done here. But it is not without its quirks.
Compared to previous OnePlus phones, the cameras are much more refined and better balanced. On the 7 Pro, the telephoto lens has washed away the images pretty badly. The 7T was better. I have a feeling that the 8 Pro is arguably the most important leap OnePlus has ever made with camera enhancements.
The three cameras are more balanced than ever and provide ultra-sharp detailed images. This is the best example I could get without leaving my house (click for full size):
L to R: wide angle, main telephoto photo
I also noticed that the portrait mode has an interesting effect on images —It makes the whole scene dark. It still looks very good, but the difference between normal and portrait mode is quite dramatic. These two photos were taken back to back, with just a quick change in modes (click for full size):
L: main camera; R: Portrait mode (rear camera)
The portrait mode on the front camera is not so good because it relies solely on software due to depth of field adjustments. The result is okay, but there is a very clear aura around the subject in the post-processed result:
It is worth noting that this did not happen in all portrait mode images with the front camera, but it certainly happened enough that I felt I had to point it out. Just something to keep in mind.
All in all, however, I am happy with the camera of the 8 Pro. Last year, the 7 Pro was my favorite phone, but it was hard to go back after using the Pixel 4 because of the cameras. And while the 8 Pro's cameras still aren't as good as the Pixel 4s, they're so close that I don't want to go back to the Pixel.
Conclusion: The phone I wanted OnePlus to make for years
It probably won't be such a surprise, but this is the best phone OnePlus has ever released. More importantly, it is the first OP phone that doesn't say "this is a great phone if you can live without it …". Instead, this is an uncompromising phone.
I wanted the 7 Pro and 7T to have wireless charging and an IP rating, and the 8 Pro has both. The camera in previous models was "good enough", but the 8 Pro has one of the best camera arrays you can get in a modern flagship phone, except a Pixel or iPhone 11. The screen is large and beautiful. The battery life is excellent. It is a winner everywhere.
And it's a damn good thing too, because this is the most expensive phone OnePlus has ever released (by a wide margin). For $ 400 less than the base model 8 Pro, you can purchase the 7T. You will miss wireless charging, IP certification and the nicer camera. If you don't mind the compromise, the 7T is still a great phone.
But the 8 Pro is about the details. It's a phone that truly – and possibly for the first time in OnePlus' history – adopt the slogan 'Never Settle'. that the company has been wearing on the sleeve since day one.
The OnePlus 8 Pro goes on sale in April 29th at midnight EST.
Price: $ 899-999
Here's what we like
- Big, beautiful and fast
- Good longevity of the battery
- Good cameras
- Wireless charging
And What We Don't
- More expensive than previous OnePlus phones
- It's very big
- The camera bump protrudes from a lot