OnePlus needs no introduction. The brand was (and still somewhat is) famous for its self-proclamation of making phones that are flagship killers, packing top-end hardware and features at affordable prices.
OnePlus’s latest flagship devices the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro pack several headlining features beyond 5G. These phones have heightened refresh rates for their displays, HDR playback support in both models, Wi-Fi 6, and a flagship Snapdragon 865 processor. Key differences between both models lie in their camera capabilities, with the OnePlus 8 touting a triple rear camera setup while the Pro gets a quad-camera system.
The OnePlus 8 starts at $998 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, while the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $1,298 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. There exists a 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant for both models in the market too. With these prices and specs, will they finally claim the flagship killer title, or will they just be another flagship phone in the mix?
The OnePlus 8 series may be relatively ‘affordable’ flagship smartphones with current-gen hardware, but they feel undeniably premium like their more expensive competitors. OnePlus 8’s design mostly follows the modern look for top-shelf phones - a curved glass front that goes down to the sides with a unibody-like appearance.
Aesthetically, the OnePlus 8 series feature minor differences. They sport the same bodywork and have identical button placements. What sets them apart are their proportions. The OnePlus 8 is smaller, slimmer, and lighter than the Pro variant. The OnePlus 8 Pro model is preferable if you like larger displays with more to see and interact with, while the OnePlus 8 is better if you value the ease of use with a single hand.
On the OnePlus 8, you’ll find a 6.55-inch AMOLED display at 2,400 x 1,080 pixels resolution with sRGB and DCI-P3 colour gamut support. Some display features included are HDR10 and HDR10+ support, Reading Mode, Night Mode, and Vibrant Colour Effect for videos. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch AMOLED display at 3,168 x 1,440 pixels resolution. Besides the display options found on the non-Pro version, the 8 Pro also has Comfort Tone, which decreases the amount of blue light emitted based on the lighting of your surroundings. While their pixel densities are nearly 100 PPI (pixels-per-inch) apart, an untrained, naked eye won’t really be able to tell apart the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro’s screen quality.
The most significant difference in both phones’ displays lies in its refresh rate capability. OnePlus 8’s screen can refresh at 90Hz, while the OnePlus 8 Pro refreshes at 120Hz. Beside video support, the heightened refresh rates are also supported on some games like Fortnite. We found that the OnePlus 8 Pro’s video playback with enabled enhancements is just fine, save for a few instances where the phone over-compensates on footage with a high frame rate (60fps and above).
Both devices come with Dolby Atmos virtual audio enhancements, which can be adjusted via the Settings app under Sound & Vibration. The default (dynamic) is preferable for most content.
OnePlus 8 series phones come with Android 10, sitting beneath OnePlus’s proprietary OxygenOS 10.0.7 reskin. Operationally, it gives a pure Android experience with a OnePlus cosmetic sheen across its core apps. OxygenOS is user-friendly, with very straight-to-the-point menus and well-spaced buttons, circular app icons, and a neutral colour palette.
Perhaps the most noticeable difference between the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro is their camera systems, with the former touting triple rear cameras, and the latter with a total of four rear cameras. Cutting to the chase - the OnePlus 8 main camera sensor (Sony IMX586 with 48MP) is the same as the secondary rear camera on the Oppo Find X2 Pro, while the OnePlus 8 Pro’s main camera (Sony IMX689 with 48MP) is the same as Find X2 Pro’s primary rear shooter.
Based on our shoot tests, we found both OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro very capable at photo-taking, but they do have their quirks. The OnePlus 8 prefers vibrancy at the expense of some detailing, while the OnePlus 8 Pro can bring out outlines at the cost of contrast. Both are high quality, no doubt, with the OnePlus 8 Pro coming out better at overall imaging performance and better colour neutrality.
The OnePlus 8 series both have dedicated ultra-wide-angle cameras on the rear with differing resolution capabilities, and they both have differing zoom features (10x digital zoom on the OnePlus 8, 3x hybrid zoom and 30x digital zoom on the OnePlus 8 Pro). Not surprisingly, it’s the OnePlus 8 Pro that has better imaging qualities overall - from detail reproduction to the handling of the device while shooting, making it the more versatile photo taker between the two.
The highlight of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro is the inclusion of a 5G-capable flagship chipset - the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 paired with a Snapdragon X55 5G modem. Competing devices would naturally be other phones with the same chipset, or its competitive equivalents, like the Huawei P40 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20 series, and the Oppo Find X2 Pro. From our gauntlet of benchmark and real-world testing, we’re looking at a flagship-quality device with 5G capabilities when it comes to the OnePlus 8. Similarly, the OnePlus 8 Pro doesn’t compromise its performance even with the bells and whistles attached.
OnePlus phones generally fare well in our battery benchmarks, and the OnePlus 8 duo did not disappoint. By using the included wired 30W charging adapter, both the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro took the same amount of time to replenish from 0% to 100% about 75 minutes each.
On their own, OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro check the right boxes when it comes to high-end, high-performance smartphones, offering a great user experience for all the core phone functionalities. It doesn’t have the polish of an Oppo Find X2 Pro, but OnePlus turns the fight to their favour with its price point and the overall package. They are by far the most affordable premium, 5G-ready smartphones currently available in Singapore. They don’t immediately standout as flagship killers, but they still offer good value, especially the non-Pro version which brings all the necessities and the high-quality performance at a price lower than many, on a UI that feels non-intrusive and neat.
AT A GLANCE
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
6.55-inch, 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, 90Hz
48MP main camera, f/1.75 16MP, Ultra-Wide -Angle, f/2.2 2MP, Macro, f/2.4
Starts at $998
AT A GLANCE
ONEPLUS 8 PRO
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
6.78-inch, 3,168 x 1,440 pixels, 120Hz
48MP main camera, f/1.78 48MP, Ultra-Wide -Angle, f/2.2 8MP Telephoto, f/2.44 5MP, Colour Filter, f/2.4
Starts at $1,298
OnePlus 8 series phones come with Android 10, sitting beneath OnePlus’s proprietary OxygenOS 10.0.7 reskin.
On the regular OnePlus 8, you get a triple rear camera system led by a
Aesthetically, the OnePlus 8 series feature minor differences. What sets them apart are their proportions (Left: OnePlus 8 Pro. Right: OnePlus 8).
VALUE FOR FLAGSHIP-LEVEL FEATURES AND PERFORMANCE, BUT DOESN’T REALLY STAND OUT AMONG THE CROWD
OnePlus 8 Pro touts a total of four rear cameras, led by a 48MP shooter with Sony IMX689 sensor