When talking about any OnePlus phone, there’s the speed, top performance and clean software which stand out. In order to keep costs down, for a number of years OnePlus were sacrificing key features that were considered to be ‘nice to have’ only. Previously, it didn’t matter if OnePlus had an advanced camera or wireless charging, as OnePlus were positioning themselves as affordable quality smartphones that were incomparable to premium iPhones or Samsung Galaxy S flagships.
However, as time has passed, the gap between OnePlus devices and true flagships was getting narrower, and OnePlus’ prices started to get higher. Things have changed, and now the OnePlus 8 Pro isn’t simply a flagship-killer. It’s a flagship-killer flagship that deserves its own spot among the heavyweights.
The first thing that you are likely to notice when holding the OnePlus 8 Pro in your hands is the display. It’s a 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED panel with 1440 x 3168 QHD+ resolution, 19.8:9 aspect ratio and 513ppi pixel density. OnePlus claimed in their presentation that it's the most colour accurate display in the industry. It’s bright, punchy and (almost) edge-to-edge, and that’s not all. By default, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s display is set to 120Hz refresh rate at Full HD+ which you can manually tweak and allow QHD+.
As well as this, there’s MEMC technology that aids with smoothing out video content by inserting extra frames, so that the footage matches the 120Hz refresh rate. However, these settings turned on will drain the battery quicker, so you might not want to get too carried away.
The OnePlus 8 Pro also now has IP68 water and dust resistance, and there’s a wireless charging coil fitted under the glass back. OnePlus’ own branded wireless charger will also juice the Pro up at 30W. The battery cell on the OnePlus 8 Pro is 4,510mAh, which is the biggest one you will find on a OnePlus device.
The huge battery and premium display aren’t the only top specifications that the OnePlus 8 Pro has to offer. The smartphone is powered by Snapdragon 865, X55 5G modem and has either 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM to choose from. OnePlus mentioned that 5G is something that they’re going to be focusing on over the next few years.
By the looks of it, OnePlus will also be taking on gaming smartphones with Google’s Stadia coming to the OnePlus 8 Pro and the video upscaling feature that we mentioned above. The OnePlus 8 Pro also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1, so you'll be able to take advantage of power-efficient Bluetooth connection and faster internet speeds if you have the compatible accessories.
OnePlus has also applied its Oxygen OS on top of Android 10, so it’s no surprise that the software is fast, smooth and offers a UI experience close to stock Android.
OnePlus went big on cameras (and the camera bump) with the OnePlus 8 Pro. On the rear, it has four lenses with the main camera being a Sony IMX689 48MP sensor with a f/1.78 aperture, optical and electronic image stabilisation and 4K video recording. This is the biggest one that OnePlus has ever fitted into a phone.
There’s also another lens, which is an ultra-wide angle Sony IMX586 48MP sensor with a 119.7 degree field view. It'll do a great job at fitting extra scenery into every single photo. OnePlus didn’t pass on a telephoto sensor, and the phone features a 8MP lens capable of 3x optical and 30x digital zoom. While it works well, it’s arguably not as advanced as the sensor on the Galaxy S20 Ultra at zooming in on objects 100x.
The fourth sensor is a questionable one. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a dedicated 5MP colour filter lens which brings a number of filters right into the camera app. This is a bit of an odd decision for OnePlus to make, given the fact that every single social media app has a myriad of colour filters built in which are far better for editing photos.
The OnePlus 8 Pro joined the rest of the flagships, and now features a punch-hole with a 16MP selfie camera on the left hand side top corner. It’s small and barely noticeable when watching Youtube videos, but a pop-out lens could be argued to be a better solution for a bezel-less experience. It’s a shame that the pop-up front camera first featured on the OnePlus 7 Pro didn’t make the cut this year. Even if it’s not a downgrade, it definitely feels like one.
OnePlus may have moved away from the pop-out camera idea due to having an IP68 certification on the 8 Pro, and the mechanical camera module would have been an obstacle. In fact, it’s the first time ever that OnePlus has implemented a cut out design for the front camera. Although the cut out is only 3.8mm and sits in the corner, it’s still there and can’t compare to the free space that a pop-out lens would have ensured.
The OnePlus will set you back £100 more than for the OnePlus 7T Pro variant. For the 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, you will need to fork out £799. The pricier option will set you back £899, but you’ll get 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is a complete flagship which OnePlus has executed very nicely, however they charge a flagship price for it. Such a spike in price for what was once considered to be a low cost brand may irk some OnePlus fans. Notably though, it’s still cheaper than many of its rivals with 5G connectivity which crossed the £1000 mark years ago, and offers the same if not better package.
OnePlus is evolving and is setting the new industry standard, drawing attention to Apple and Samsung’s missed opportunities. As long as Android competition continues to increase prices, OnePlus might be still able to cut a few corners and surprise its users with more top-of-the-line offerings for slightly less in the future.
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