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OnePlus 8 – Road to Flagship

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
30th Jun 2020
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OnePlus 8 Pro
Review Summary

OnePlus 8 is aimed to deliver a flagship-level experience in a gorgeous and premium design. It sports a stunning edge-to-edge AMOLED display on the front with 90Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling. OnePlus being in the premium segment is powered by. a flagship processor, Snapdragon 865 paired with up to 12GB RAM to result in extremely fast performance. OnePlus 8 runs on the latest OxygenOS which appears exactly like the stock Android and offers clear bloatware-free user experience. The camera on the OnePlus 8 is like on the previous devices and does not stand up to the mark with the camera in Samsung or Apple devices. With 4300 mAh battery capacity and 30W fast charging, you never have to worry about the battery life.

PROS
  • 90Hz OLED curved display
  • 30W WARP fast charging
  • 48MP Triple camera
CONS
  • Similar rear panel design
  • Non-expandable storage
  • Costlier than before
  • The headphone jack is missing
Key Specs
Battery Capacity
Battery Capacity
4300 mAh
Operating System
Operating System
Android v10 (Q)
Screen Size
Screen Size
6.55 inches
Highlights:
  • No
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 4300 mAh
  • Android v10 (Q)
Introduction

Every year, most of the OEMs launch tens of smartphones but there’s something different with OnePlus that it sticks to a few concentrated lineups of smartphones, this time by introducing the Oneplus 8. Just like Apple, all OnePlus smartphones are flagship categories unless there’s a specific ‘affordable’ variant launch that year. The OnePlus 8 series is no different and this is because OnePlus hasn’t compromised on any feature right from IP rating to wireless charging to OIS and more, it has a brilliant specs sheet to go forward if you are into flagship phones.

oneplus 8

Talking about the vanilla OnePlus 8, the phone is feature-rich with a Snapdragon 865 SoC on-board along with up to 256GB storage and up to 12GB of RAM and the latest Android 10-based OxygenOS 10 onboard. Although not as equipped with hardware and features like its Pro variant, OnePlus did a great job packing the muscle of OnePlus 8 Pro undercutting its price tag by almost Rs 10,000/-. But not everything is excellent about the OnePlus 8 because it fails to bring a major improvement over the OnePlus 7T series that was launched last year and instead, it targets those with older OnePlus models. Here’s our expert review on OnePlus 8.

Watch OnePlus 8 Review

For more: Read Smartphone Reviews

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

Talking about the OnePlus 8 pricing, the phone is available in three storage configurations in India: the 6GB+128GB base variant of OnePlus 8 is priced at Rs.41,999, 8+128GB is available at Rs.44,999/- while the higher 12+256GB model arrives at Rs.49,999/-. You can choose from its flamboyant Polar Silver, Interstellar Glow, Glacial Green, and Onyx Black.

oneplus 8 variants

Oneplus 8 is available Amazon.in and OnePlus.in as well as some retail stores across India including Tata Croma.

Box Contents

Oneplus 8 comes in the same box packaging as we saw on the Oneplus 7T, which is a long red box which includes:

  • OnePlus 8
  • Warp Charge 30 Power Adapter
  • Warp Type-C Cable (Support USB 2.0)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Welcome Letter
  • Safety Information and Warranty Card
  • LOGO Sticker
  • Case
  • Screen Protector
  • SIM Tray Ejector

oneplus 8 box contents

Specs at a glance

Here is the list of what the Oneplus 8 has to offer:

  • Display: 6.55-inches AMOLED, 2400 x 1080 pixels 402 PPI
  • CPU & GPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 with X55 5G chipset, Adreno 650
  • RAM & ROM: 8GB/12GB LPDDR4X, 128GB/256GB UFS 3.0
  • Software: Oxygen OS based on Android 10
  • Rear cameras: 48MP + 16MP + 2MP
  • Selfie camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4230 mAh, Warp Charge 30T Fast Charging
  • Weight: 180g
  • Dimensions: 160.2 mm x 72.9 mm x 8.0 mm
Design and Build

No doubt OnePlus didn’t leave any stone unturned giving the OnePlus 8 a brilliant design. Talking about it, the phone carries a front glass and back glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 5) along with an aluminium frame that offers sturdiness while bringing the weight down by 26 grams compared to OnePlus 7T Pro even with a large battery under the hood. Moving on, the front is brilliant with a curved display which isn’t that new in OnePlus phones but feels premium for sure. There’s a punch-hole cutout hosting the front camera located on the top-left corner of the display. Perhaps the concern here is that it is placed too far from the edges and thus, seems to eat more screen real estate than it actually needs.

oneplus 8 design

OnePlus 8 has a taller frame thanks to its 20:9 aspect ratio. Although it makes it easier to hold, a taller phone can be troublesome for people with small hands. At the back, the phone gets a breezy matte glass look which is free from fingerprints at least for its Glacial Green colourways. The triple camera setup at the back is arranged in a vertical stack protruding more than a millimetre above the back panel while the LED flash sits flushed with the panel.

Overall, the phone doesn’t have a lot of changes and in fact, you won’t feel any difference if you use OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 7T Pro except the punch-hole sensor and a few other details. It does bring a premium feel to it which is something OnePlus offers with all its flagship phones clad in exclusive colour iterations.

The display is curved and so is the back panel that makes it easy to hold. However, it is infused with glass front and back and thus, it is super slippery if you don’t pay attention whilst holding it. Finally, the phone boasts an IP68 rating at least in the US locked with T-Mobile and Verizon while its international version lacks the proper certification but perhaps, it still boasts water resistance for sure.

Display

Talking about the specifications for the display mounted on OnePlus 8, it is a 90Hz Fluid AMOLED panel boasting a screen resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 pixels and 402 PPI pixel density. To be honest, the OnePlus 8 has pretty dope display tech albeit its curved edges are similar to that of the OnePlus 7T. At 90Hz, OnePlus 8 has a 50% faster refresh rate for super silky and smooth transitions compared to other phones. Having a 90Hz refresh rate makes the display faster and more responsive. It is vibrant with multiple colour modes including Vivid and Natural modes.

oneplus 8 display

On the other hand, it lacks Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation (MEMC) that OnePlus 8 Pro sports and also compromises on the 10-bit colour depth, and instead, it uses an 8-bit colour depth. Also, the display on OnePlus 8 Pro is comparatively brighter than OnePlus 8 where the latter is at 803 nits when compared to 496 nits on OnePlus 8 at max auto-brightness mode. It also lacks the 120Hz QHD+ display that the OnePlus 8 Pro so yes, it does make some compromises over the display tech.

OnePlus 8 has a full edge-to-edge display without the traditional notch and instead, it has a punch-hole cut-out that can be hidden using a similar coloured status bar. Overall, OnePlus 8 does have an impressive display give or take some of the features that its Pro variant possesses.

Performance

On paper, OnePlus 8 sports a blazing-fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core processor manufactured using a 7nm+ EUV process that gives the processor a marginal power-saving feature compared to the last-gen Snapdragon 855 processors. It is equipped with an octa-core setup as said which includes a high-performance Kryo 585 core clocked at 2.84GHz followed by a cluster of three Kryo 585 cores clocked at 2.42GHz and finally, a cluster of four Kryo 585 cores at 1.8GHz combined with an Adreno 650 GPU. Faster, the phone is equipped with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 25GB of UFS 3.0 storage.

The snappiness of the processor along with other hardware and competent enough software allows the OnePlus 8 to perform impeccably fast. The phone is tested to score 13,291 points on its multi-core test on GeekBench 4.4 while a single-core test reveals it scores 4,25 points. To put things into perspective, It relatively beats its Pro variant as well as OnePlus 7T while scoring higher than Samsung Galaxy S20+ on a multicore test, higher than Huawei P40 and both single and multi-core tests.

When tested on AnTuTu 8, the phone performed really well scoring 546,708 points leaving Galaxy S20+, Huawei P40, and OnePlus 7T to the dust as well. Similarly, the OnePlus 8 has scored fairly well across major benchmarking tests including GFX 3.1 Car scene, GFX 3.1 Manhattan, GeekBench 5.1 (single and multi-core), and others.

Software

OnePlus 8 arrives with a powerful and snappy OxygenOS which is considered as the best custom ROM in the Android space. It brings a bunch of new features while using the ones available with Android 10 as well including a system-wide Dark Model 2.0, HydrogenOS icon pack, a promise to get Always-on Display, Ambient Display, and many more. In fact, OnePlus’ OxygenOS 10 brings a lot on the table when it comes to the speed, functionality, and reliability of its fingerprint scanner. Most of the UI elements and features have been greatly optimized while some have been added to the list of features making OxygenOS is a package of everything you should have on a smartphone.

oneplus oxygenos

Cameras

Talking about the camera, the OnePlus 8 does put a helicopter shot thanks to the inclusion of a dedicated macro lens instead of the telephoto lens used in the OnePlus 7T series and that makes a lot of difference. As per the specs, OnePlus 8 is equipped with a single 1MP front punch-hole camera setup while the rear has a triple camera setup sporting a 48MP wide-angle sensor (OIS, 0.8-micron pixel size, f/1.8 aperture) with a  secondary 1MP ultrawide lens (116-degrees FoV, f/2.2 aperture) and finally, a 2MP macro sensor with f/2.4 aperture.

oneplus 8 camera

First up, the camera app is visually similar to the OnePlus 7T series with a tonne of options that you can find. Daylight photos on the OnePlus 8 are brilliant no doubt and produce the same images as the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro as the trio has a similar muscle taking care of the post-processing. The details are good at daytime but the sharpness suffers a bit. The colours are punchy and pop out, the dynamic range on the OnePlus 8 is impressive and all the photos come out with accurate while balance compared to OnePlus 7 Pro.  The phone is limited to 2x zoom so whatever comes after that remains fuzzy and noisy.

The ultra-wide sensor mounted on OP8 is excellent too with a great dynamic range and sharpness to go with. When it comes to low light photos, OnePlus could have incorporated a major change compared to the previous generations of phones. All the images are filled with noise, sharpness and details are off. Once the night mode is activated, the photos turn out to be good but not that excellent, to be honest.

Shots using macro sensors are pretty detailed and do make those tiny subjects pop up although it is limited to 2MP only so you have a tight fit with it. Talking about the front camera, the colours pop up with the right sharpness, accurate skin tone, and natural colours that the snapper retains. The front camera is limited to shooting 1080p videos at 30fps with gyro-EIS for somewhat stable videos while the rear camera stack is able to capture videos at 4K resolution at 30/60 fps while you can go as high as 240fps.

Battery

When it comes to the battery, OnePlus 8 packs in a hefty 4,300 mAh battery that has been tested for its sheer endurance rating of 108 hours. Its battery has fared well in most tests including continuous playback of 19:45 Hours on a single charge at 90Hz while a 60Hz screen mode will, of course, render more battery backup. This is also commendable given the fact that OnePlus 8 is equipped with an external Snapdragon X55 modem that enables it to take on available 5G networks. Furthermore, it has a 30W charger that tends to charge the battery to 69% in 30 minutes while the next 23 minutes will fill up the battery to its extent.

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

Technically, OnePlus 8 produces a -22.5 LUFS in loudness which when compared to OnePlus 7 Pro (-23.9 LUFS) and Samsung Galaxy S20+ (-24.4 LUFS) is pretty remarkable. The phone has a stereo loudspeaker that fires the sound from its bottom while the earpiece doubles as a second one blasting the music from its tiny orifices. The Chinese OEM has greatly enhanced the sound quality on the new-gen OnePlus 8 and both the speakers work in proper harmonic equilibrium. The bass is impressive and the loudness has been improved when compared to OnePlus 7 Pro.

OnePlus 8 supports both 4G and 5G thanks to the external Snapdragon X55 modem that I mentioned above. It has a USB Type-C 3.1 that takes care of all the charging and data transfer needs. The phone is compatible with Wi-Fi 6 and supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi bands. Plus, it supports dual-band A-GPS, SBAS, BDS, GLONASS, and GALILEO. Finally, there’s NFC too.

For security, OnePlus 8 has a mighty under-the-display optical fingerprint scanner that sits as the name suggests, under the display. It is pretty fast given that it has already been through several generations and OnePlus phones have pretty much a blazing fast fingerprint sensor no doubt. In fact, it is of superior quality than Samsung Galaxy S20, Google Pixel 4XL, and a bunch of high-end flagship phones. In case if you don’t want to use the fingerprint sensor for some reason, you have a lightning-fast facial recognition system as well that puts you right to the home screen when it detects your face and believes me, all happens in a blink of an eye. There’s a usual PIN or Pattern-based unlocking feature that you can use as a reserve if you need it later.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • 90Hz OLED curved display
  • 30W WARP fast charging
  • 48MP Triple camera

Cons:

  • Similar rear panel design
  • Non-expandable storage
  • Costlier than before
  • No headphone jack
Verdict
Just like any other phone, you could have, OnePlus 8 falls in a similar category with both pros and cons. It is a feature-rich flagship phone while it has made a few compromises to cut back on the cost of the product and still holds true value. It is 5G powered and an overall excellent phone to have with great performing specifications, an excellent battery life, a buttery-smooth 90Hz display, a super smooth & highly optimized OxygenOS more. To conclude with, OnePlus 8 is worth your money or not depends on your choice since OnePlus 8 has almost everything the Pro variant offers but at a lower price tag.


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