OnePlus 8 Pro Review
In April of 2020, OnePlus launched its two flagships, the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. These are the best but also the most expensive OnePlus phones so far. Is the OnePlus 8 Pro worth your money? You can read it in this review.
The OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro have been officially announced as successors to the OnePlus 7T and the OnePlus 7T Pro. The OnePlus 8 is intended for the daily user and the Pro version is targeted towards the more demanding user. OnePlus wants to serve two groups, one that goes for the best value for money and a group that wants the best of the best, regardless of the price.
OnePlus 8 Pro Specifications
Dimensions: 165.3 X 74.35 X 8.5mm , Weight – 199 g
Screen: 6.78″ QHD+ (3168 x 1440) Fluid AMOLED, 513 ppi, Gorilla Glass 5, HDR10+ , 120Hz refresh rate
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+)
GPU : Adreno 650
RAM: 12GB of working memory
Storage: 256GB internal storage
Selfie camera: 16 MP with f/2.5 (wide)
Main camera: Quad Setup
– 48 MP, f/1.8, 25mm (wide)
– 8 MP, f/2.4, (telephoto)
– 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 116˚ (ultrawide)
– 5 MP, f/2.4, (Color filter camera)
Battery: 4,510 mAh
Software version: OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10
Extra: Fast charging (Warp Charge 30T), wireless charging (Warp Charge 30 Wireless), UFS 3.0, in-screen fingerprint scanner, dual-sim, IP68 certificate, 5G
I have been able to test the OnePlus 8 Pro in the color Ultramarine Blue (12 GB + 256 GB) for a few days and here you can find a review of this flagship.
OnePlus designed the OnePlus 8 series in consultation with feedback from the OnePlus community. The OnePlus 8 is compact and lightweight and the OnePlus 8 Pro features a new generation of frosted glass with a higher haze level.
The phone is equipped with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides, which is slightly lower in quality than most competitors, who opt for Gorilla Glass 6. This gives the smartphone a smoother and finer texture. In addition, this phone is currently one of the largest and heaviest (199 grams) devices on the market. You can compare the size with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and forget about using the phone with one hand.
The Ultramarine Blue version of the OnePlus 8 Pro that I’ve been able to test looks striking and fascinating than the Haze Blue and Nebula Blue versions of the OnePlus 7T Pro and the OnePlus 7 Pro. If you want to stand out in the crowd, this shade of blue is perfect for you. Otherwise, there is the Glacial Green version or an Onyx Black variant. This black version costs less because it has 4 GB less working memory.
The back is a fingerprint magnet and also attracts greasy stains easily in no time. That’s okay if you can quickly wipe it off more regularly with your sleeve which is kinda hassle.
At the rear you can also find the camera module and it protrudes quite a bit. If you put the phone flat on the table, it won’t wobble because the module is placed in the middle, but if your too concerned of scratches then use a back cover case which solves both ‘problems’.
On the left are the volume buttons and on the right the alert slider and the power button. The alert slider allows you to quickly switch between different sound profiles (sound, vibrate or silent) and that is very practical. At the bottom you will find the USB-C input, the SIM card tray and the speaker.
At the top of the front is the second speaker. To make space for other components of flagship grade, Oneplus has eliminated the 3.5 mm headphone jack and a micro-SD card slot from the Oneplus 8 Pro.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is the first OnePlus device to receive IP68 certification for dust and water resistance. OnePlus was never in favour of this because this certificate raises the price of the phone, but because the community wanted such a certificate on a OnePlus device, OnePlus changed track.
On the other hand the cheaper OnePlus 8 does not have the IP68 certification. The OnePlus 8 Pro can withstand some water splashes but using it in the swimming pool is not recommended.
In the Box
In addition to the OnePlus 8 Pro handset, the packaging includes a Warp Charge 30 Power Adapter, the Warp Type-C cable, a quick start guide, a Welcome Message, Safety Information and Warranty Card, a LOGO sticker, a back cover case and a SIM tray ejector pin. There are no USB-C earphones in the box, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z or other wireless earphones should be purchased separately.
Screen, Performance and Battery life
The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78 inch Fluid Display panel with a QHD+ resolution and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. OnePlus increased the maximum brightness from 1000 to 1300 nits and the screen features HDR 10 and HDR 10+. The screen shows a small curve at the sides.
This gives the display a lot of properties in the settings to tweak compared to the OnePlus 7T Pro, and you’ll notice that right away. The color rendition of the Samsung AMOLED screen is beautiful and black is actually black. The QHD resolution provides a crystal clear image and the viewing angles of the screen are excellent.
Unfortunately, I do encounter a glitch here and there while navigating and that is quite annoying. If you turn the phone’s screen on and off for a while, you can encounter minor problems, but I hope OnePlus will release an update soon to fix this issue.
Most phones have a refresh rate of 60 Hz, which means that the screen refreshes itself 60 times per second. The OnePlus 8 Pro doubles this speed to 120 times per second. It may increase the overall power consumption, but you get smoother images in return. You notice this especially when switching between apps and menus, when reading text and while gaming. Not only are the images smoother, it all feels a little faster. Going from a 60 Hz phone to the OnePlus 8 Pro? Then you’ll notice the difference right away. While with the OnePlus 8 you take a step back here as this phone has a 90 Hz refresh rate.
OnePlus no longer opted for a retractable selfie camera compared to its predecessors, leaving the entire screen surface free of interruptions providing a user Full View experience. This time, the selfie camera on the OnePlus 8 Pro is hidden in a punch hole in the upper left corner. Although I’m used to this because of the many Samsung phones that i have tested, many OnePlus fans are not happy about this. This interrupts the screen and you can see this also on the clock and the notifications that move a lot to the right.
The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are powered by the Snapdragon 865 chipset along with the X55 5G modem. This makes the phones ready for the upcoming 5G network and also for the Wi-Fi 6 standard. You don’t have much 5G support at the moment in many countries, because the 5G network isn’t available yet. As soon as the new network is rolled out, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will be fine.
The OnePlus 8 Pro also features 8GB or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM for up to 30 percent faster memory and 20 percent more efficient in power consumption. So far, the OnePlus 8 Pro is the fastest device I’ve used and the results below confirm this. Of course, this is not only due to the powerful processor, also the fast (working) memory, the smooth 120 Hz screen and the almost standard Android software contribute to this whole process.
To store photos and videos, you have 256GB of storage at your disposal. As mentioned, this memory is not expandable because there is no micro-sd slot. The Onyx Black version of the OnePlus 8 Pro has even less storage with only 128GB. For me it is more than enough because I work a lot in the cloud.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is not only the first OnePlus device with an IP68 certificate, but also the first OnePlus device that can be charged wirelessly. This wireless charger charges the phone with a 30-watt power. Inside the module is a fan that keeps the smartphone cool during charging. OnePlus states that this will allow you to charge up to 50 percent of the 4,510 mAh battery in just half an hour. I was able to charge the phone for upto 54% in 34 minutes.
The OnePlus Warp Charge 30 Wireless Charger with built-in fan can be purchased separately and gives you instant access to The Ambient mode of the Google Assistant. In the settings there is also a ‘Bedtime mode’ that ensures noise reduction when the phone is on the charging station. That’s useful when you’re charging your phone next to your bed. This mode charges the phone more slowly and the fan is also turned off.
If you don’t want to use the OnePlus wireless charger, you can use another Qi wireless charger, although the charging speed is much lower (10W).
The cable and plug are attached to the wireless charger. This means that you have to buy an entirely new charger if the cable is faulty.
With the OnePlus 8 Pro, wireless and wired charging times are close together, although wired charging is a few minutes faster. Wireless charging from 13 to 98 percent takes an hour, when wired charging we were from 12 to 100 percent in exactly one hour time.
The 4,510 mAh battery in the OnePlus 8 Pro is a lot bigger than that of its predecessor’s 4,085 mAh battery, as the 120 Hz screen requires a lot of battery life. I’ve been using the phone for quite some time with Full HD resolution and 120 Hz refresh rate. Then I switched to the QHD resolution. At Full HD resolution, i managed to get a screen time of an average of 5 hours. With a screen time between 3 and 4 hours, about 30 to 40% of power remained at the end of the day.
According to AccuBattery, the OnePlus 8 Pro can continue with a charge (combined) for 19 hours and 32 minutes, 7 hours and 57 minutes with the screen on (active) and 38 hours and 43 minutes with the screen off (standby).
The fingerprint scanner on the OnePlus 8 Pro is incorporated into the screen and this scanner is incredibly fast and accurate just like the predecessor. The nice part about the software on the phone is that you can adjust the animation of the unlock through this scanner.
The facial recognition of the OnePlus 8 Pro also does its job well. Face Unlock uses the front camera. In the dark, facial recognition doesn’t work but with low light and sunglasses, the phone unlocks itself without any problems.
The OnePlus 8 Pro features dual stereo speakers that supports noise reduction, Audio 3D and Audio Zoom.
In addition, the smartphone features Dolby Atmos, for improved sound via the dual stereo speakers. The new haptic vibration engine also adds an extra layer to the user experience. As usual, the performance of the vibrating motor are of very good quality, as was the case with the predecessors.
The sound on this device is very loud, although it distorts slightly at higher volumes by little which is hardly noticeable and almost sounds pure and balanced. As far as I’m concerned, the phone produces great sound. Dolby Atmos settings allow you to customize the sound experience to suit your needs, both for the speakers and headphones.
As mentioned above, there is no 3.5mm audio jack on the OnePlus 8 Pro and no usb-c adapter is included. Hence,there is no options for attaching a USB-C earphones.
The OnePlus 8 Pro has a total of four lenses: a 48 megapixel new Sony IMX689 main sensor with a light sensitivity of f/1.78, an 8 megapixel telephoto lens with an aperture of f/2.44. The 48 MP wide-angle lens has a 120 degree angle of view. The wide-angle lens also has 48 megapixels (f/2.2) and then there is a special type of lens; the color filter lens. On the front is a 16 MP camera.
According to OnePlus, you can create the most beautiful monochrome images using the color filter lens. For me this lens is unnecessary, according to the manufacturer it was a much sought after function of the community. Several other manufacturers use a fourth lens to capture depth or macro.
OnePlus is not known for its excellent cameras as we are used to from the Huawei P series phones and the Samsung S series and that was never a very big problem because the phones performed sufficiently for the suggested retail price in that area. With the arrival of the OnePlus 8 Pro, things are different. Now that this phone is in the higher rank with its suggested retail price, you can also expect much more from the camera set-up than before.
The 48 MP Sony IMX689 sensor is the first improvements OnePlus has made to increase the quality of the cameras. This sensor is also equipped in the latest OPPO Find X2 Pro. The OnePlus 7T Pro uses the widely used Sony IMX586 sensor as the main camera. The OnePlus 8 Pro has to shoot better photos with the new sensor in different lighting conditions. The 8 Pro also has a Sony IMX 586 sensor and is used for the wide-angle lens. Again, an improvement has been made because the 16 MP sensor has been upgraded to a 48 MP sensor.
The telephoto lens is also in the game and can take images three times closer without much quality loss. The resolution of this camera has remained the same.
– 48 main camera MP f/1.78 with optical and electronic image stabilisation
– 8MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 with optical image stabilization / 3x hybrid and 30x digital zoom
– 48 MP wide-angle lens with f/2.2 and a 120 degree angle of view
– 5MP colour filter lens with f/2.4
New is the color filter camera that I have not yet come across in the smartphone world. OnePlus took inspiration from monochrome tones that professional photographers use to give their photos and videos more impact.
So you can think of this lens as a collection of special color filters that you can purchase separately for digital cameras. You can see nowadays that more manufacturers are focusing on videography using filters to create a certain tones in videos. OnePlus tries this with the fourth lens.
So much for the theory because the most important thing is of course how these cameras actually perform.
Below you will find a series of photos taken in daylight and they generally look very good. They are detailed and more realistic than the predecessor where the colors sometimes came across as too saturated. The higher dynamic range is also fine.
Night mode allows you to shoot sharp images in dark conditions. However, the colors are less realistic. I’m less satisfied with the portrait photos. The depth of field effect is minimal and compared to standard photos the colors look more saturated.
Wide-angle lens and telephoto lens
The series of photos below shows how the wide-angle lens and telephoto lens on the OnePlus 8 Pro perform. The wide-angle lens delivers excellent images. They are sharp and contain a lot of detail and show little deformation at the edges.
The telephoto lens has up to 3x hybrid zoom using a combination of optical zoom and digital zoom to deliver good images. Unfortunately, OnePlus does not opt for a maximum of 5x hybrid zoom or even optical zoom and that is a pity. Compared to the OnePlus 7T Pro I don’t see any great progress for this lens and you can see that in the quality of the 3x zoomed-in photos.
I find the possibilities of the colour lens rather limited because there is a choice between a limited number of filters that also look partly unreal. Anyway, the OnePlus community wanted to see this lens on a OnePlus phone, according to OnePlus.
I would have preferred to have seen a lens that improved the depth of field effect of photos, and also with a Time-of-Flight sensor. For the fans, you can use this color camera for both photos (including selfies) and videos.
The selfie camera delivers excellent images and the color lens can also be used here for extra effects.
The OnePlus 8 Pro can shoot in a 4K quality at 30 or 60 frames per second, but there are even more options as you can see in the screenshot. Especially the CINE videos stand out here, these videos are recorded with a 21:9 aspect ratio which is a cinema format. You can also make slow-motion videos at a frame rate of 480fps (720p) or 240fps (1080p).
The Audio 3D/Audio Zoom features allow you to zoom in on a particular area while recording a video. The sound of that subject is then amplified, which is similar to the ‘Zoom-in Mic’ feature on the Samsung Galaxy S20.
The quality of the video is fine though the image stabilization may have been slightly better.
The camera app on the OnePlus 8 Pro has plenty of opportunities to get creative with smartphone photography such as timelapse, panorama, slow motion, video and photo, portrait, night scene and pro mode. For photos, you can select the super macro mode to take macro photos, and the selfie camera includes a beauty mode. Some competing phones have more photo and video modes at their disposal, but that doesn’t always have to be better.
The OnePlus 8 Pro runs Oxygen OS based Android 10, of course, and as always, this software runs incredibly smoothly, contains no unnecessary apps and is updated on a regular basis. You can also go for the betas where you can test new features in advance.
OxygenOS feels like pure Android with some extra useful features such as Pocket mode, RAM Boost, Parallel Apps, OnePlus Laboratory. There are also extensive themes that you can customize on detail to your liking, and the special game mode allows you to play undisturbed on the OnePlus 8 Pro.
With OxygenOS you get the opportunity to customize a lot. Think of the accent colors of different parts, such as the icons in the quick settings. You can also choose which icons you want to see or to hide in your status bar. For example, I am not interested in the icons of VoWiFi and VoLTE. Very useful that you can hide it and keep your status bar tidy.
With the advent of Android 10, it is now possible to use a dark theme on smartphones with this version. Of course, OnePlus also offers this option. We do miss a so-called ‘toggle’ option that allows you to set the dark theme at the touch of a button. Now you have to look up for this option in the settings menu. Not useful if you want to switch regularly, like me.
There are only a few pre-installed apps on this OnePlus device. For example, there’s the Community app, OnePlus Switch (which lets you transfer files from your old phone to a new one), a file manager, Game Space, a gallery app, and a weather app. Netflix is also included but you can’t delete this app, but you can turn it off.
OnePlus customers have been able to count on Android updates for two years and security updates for three years.
The OnePlus 8 Pro performs better in almost all areas than its predecessor. The cameras have improved a lot, in terms of performance the phone has become a lot faster again, the screen looks great again and in addition, this Pro model gets an IP68 certificate and has support for wireless charging. So OnePlus has succeeded in improving the 8 Series on details and in larger areas, and with it, the series surpasses the OnePlus 7T series and delivers the company’s best and most complete phone ever.
Hence these refinements and finer details adds up to the final price and Oneplus flagship phones are now lot expensive almost as equal to Samsung’s S-Series phones.
The extra features and the more expensive Snapdragon 865 processor make the OnePlus 8 Pro almost as expensive as Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, Huawei P40 Pro and the OPPO Find X2 Pro.
In the camera department, the OnePlus 8 Pro unfortunately can’t compete with these giants yet, but otherwise this flagship is a very strong competitor. The OnePlus 8 Pro is undoubtedly one of the fastest performing handset today, in terms of performance and charging. The OnePlus 8 Pro features excellent software, especially if you like standard Android, and gets updates for three years. The OnePlus 8 Pro has an excellent display with crisp and fluid 120 Hz images and is ready for the 5G future.
All in all, the OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the best phones of the moment. Is the purchase price a little too high for you? Then you can consider the OnePlus 8. All the differences in between can be found here.
Are you looking for an alternative to the OnePlus 8 Pro? Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, OPPO Find X2 Pro, Sony Xperia 1 II , Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro, Huawei P40 Pro or the Huawei Mate 30 Pro.