OnePlus carves out a perfect flagship by bringing in some considerable features
OnePlus smartphones have always been the flagship killers as they provide the best when it comes to both hardware and software.
Last year, the OnePlus 7 series came and brought along the Pro series which had a larger display and some new features.
This year the OnePlus 8 series has arrived and with the newer design, improved set of cameras, it is all set to take on the likes of Samsung, Apple, etc. The OnePlus 8 Pro brings in many new features which include IP rating, support for wireless charging, etc. It also brings 5G in India and it raises the brand OnePlus to the next level. So is the newer OnePlus 8 worth buying?
OnePlus 8 Pro Design:
The OnePlus 8 Pro sports a larger screen at 6.78 inches which is slightly taller than its predecessor, the OnePlus 7T Pro. Both the front as well as back gets Gorilla Glass 5. On the front, instead of the full-screen display, there is a punch-hole cutout for the front camera on the left side of the display. There are almost minimum bezels to the side. The curved screen does look premium. Coming to back, the OnePlus 8 Pro gets a matte finish which is similar to one found on the OnePlus 7T. The camera module houses the four cameras but this time, OnePlus has an extra fourth camera which will be discussed in the camera section.
To the sides, on the right are the power button and the OnePlus’s alert slider which is quite handy when controlling notifications. On the left, there are the volume controls that provide a tactile feel while clicking them.
At the bottom, there is the SIM card slot, USB Type-C port, and a loudspeaker vent. The OnePlus 8 Pro has finally got the IP68 rating which was missed on OnePlus flagships from the past. The device also supports Wireless charging which is a welcome addition for the OnePlus flagship.
The OnePlus 8 Pro comes in three striking colors- Onyx Black, Ultramarine Blue, and Glacial Green.
OnePlus 8 Pro Display:
The OnePlus 8 Pro has a larger 6.78 inches Quad HD+ Fluid AMOLED display (3168 x 1440 pixels) with a screen to body ratio of 20:9. As with AMOLED, you get deep blacks and blues, and plus the viewing angles are good.
This time with the OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus has gone for a slightly brighter panel and has added some new features.
The screen refresh rate has gone up from 90Hz to 120Hz on the OnePlus 8 Pro. The vanilla OnePlus 8 has the 90Hz display and keeping both sides by side, there is hardly any difference but in games supporting higher refresh rates, the OnePlus 8 Pro shines.
The 120Hz display can be used in both the screen resolutions and not like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra which can only support 120Hz at 1080p resolution.
The OnePlus 8 pro has an in-display fingerprint scanner which is very fast and accurate and there is also the face unlock. The ring around the front camera lights up after unlocking through face which looks pretty.
The screen has support for Widevine L1 and also supports HDR content. OnePlus has added a feature called Motion Graphics Processing which does increase the frame rates of the video i.e. a 20fps video looks like a 40fps video with better color reproduction.
However, this feature is a bit gimmicky but a good one.
The sunlight visibility is also good and it comes with a Blue light filter which prevents harmful light coming to the eyes.
OnePlus 8 Pro Performance:
This year all flagship smartphones ship with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset and the OnePlus 8 Pro is one of them. The Snapdragon 865 chipset brings along 5G as it has the built-in X55 Modem.
The Snapdragon 865 is not different from the Snapdragon 855/855+ as both these are based on the 7nm process and almost have the same architecture. But the newer Snapdragon 865 uses the Kryo 585 cores which are built on the ARM Cortex A77 architecture and are 25 percent more power-efficient also. The Adreno 650 GPU does the duty and handles all the games like PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty, etc. with ease.
All games run at its highest graphics settings and we played PUBG Mobile for continuous 2 hours at the UltraHD settings. The back of the device became slightly warmer as there is no liquid cooling system. This is not a big deal though.
Talking about the Snapdragon 865, it has 1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 Prime Core + 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 Gold Cores (both based on ARM Cortex A77) and another 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585 Silver cores ( Cortex A55) , thus providing 25 percent increase in performance over the Snapdragon 855.
The OnePlus 8 Pro ships with 8/12GB LPDDR5 RAM and comes with 128/256GB storage. Here you get the UFS 3.0 storage instead of the UFS 3.1 storage seen on the iQoo3.
The higher refresh rate of 120Hz is supported in many games and thus makes the overall gameplay a richer experience. The OnePlus 8 Pro Fnatic Mode is also a good feature that enhances gaming further.
Coming to benchmarks like Geekbench 5.1, the single-core score was 906 and multi-core score was 3376 for the OnePlus 8 Pro which is the highest but the iQoo3 and Realme X50 Pro score slightly higher as both are pushing a full HD+ display compared to the Quad HD+ display on the OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePlus 8 Pro Software:
The biggest selling point for the OnePlus devices is the cleaner and refined OxygenOS which is one of the smoothest and easy to use. The OnePlus 8 Pro ships with OxygenOS 10.5.8 which is the latest one and is built on top of Android 10.
OxygenOS provides a tone of customizations and the latest version brings new features like Dark Theme 2.0 which applies to third party applications like Paypal, Google Play, etc. There is the regular system-wide dark mode also. This new OxygenOS brings in the Google Feed instead of the Shelf which is found by swiping the home screen to the left.
The GameTurbo mode is slightly enhance and there is the RAM booster also. The front camera has a nice lighting effect around it when the face unlocks.
The Zen Mode is a nice feature that keeps a person away from the busy life and for the battery, there is a Deep optimization feature that helps the battery charge efficiently when not in use.
Overall the OxygenOS has provided the best software experience and continues to do so with the OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePlus 8 Pro Cameras:
The cameras on the OnePlus 8 Pro seem to be slight of an upgrade over its predecessor. Like the OnePlus 7T Pro, it also houses the 48MP main camera, but where the OnePlus 7T Pro has a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, the OnePlus 8 Pro has the newer Sony IMX689 sensor. This new sensor helps capture better details and has a better low light performance.
These 48MP images use pixel-binning and result in 12MP images.
The other three cameras include a 48MP Sony IMX586 ultrawide camera, an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, and most surprising of all is the 5MP Color filter which we would talk at the last.
The images taken from the main camera come out good and the colors look punchier. The dynamic range is wide and with HDR, the images come out really bright and the sharpness is well maintained.
At night, the images have a good amount of detail but there remains some noise. All this noise turns away as soon as you turn on the NightScape Mode where there is a good amount of detail in shadows and less noise in the background.
Similarly, the 48MP ultrawide camera does a good job of taking images during the day as the 119-degree field of view helps achieve better dynamic range and the colors look punchier. This 48MP sensor is better than the older 16MP ultrawide camera on the OnePlus 7T Pro.
At night, the ultrawide camera with the NightScape takes very good images and the noise is almost not prominent thus resulting in a clear image. The OIS helps achieve faster shutter speed too. This wide-angle camera also doubles up as a macro camera resulting in clear and crisp macro shots and far better than the 2MP macro camera on the OnePlus 8.
The 8MP telephoto camera is the exact same camera found on the OnePlus 7T Pro with a 3x optical zoom. The images come out with a good amount of detail. At 3x zoom, the images have a good amount of detail but zooming over 10x results into little washed-out colors in the images.
The telephoto camera performs really good in low-lighting conditions and brings out the light and the dynamic range works well too. But with 10x or more, it does loose details.
Finally coming to the fourth camera, OnePlus has done a strange job by adding a color filter camera instead of the macro or depth camera. The macro camera can look into objects like copper, plastic, etc. and has a special filter to look through various spectrums of light.
When the camera is pointed towards humans, the skin tones change to white and if you observe deeply, the pupil looks bluish and strange. However, OnePlus has announced it will disable this camera with a future OTA update.
The OnePlus 8 Pro either uses the 48MP main camera or the 8MP telephoto camera for the portraits. The background blur is well maintained but we have observed that the images do crop a bit while taking portraits from the telephoto camera.
On the front, the OnePlus 8 Pro gets the same 16MP camera which is the Sony IMX471 sensor and does a good job of taking selfies and portraits. The images taken have a good dynamic range and the skin tones look natural.
Similarly, the portraits have a good amount of details and the background blur is well maintained. There are various other features and filters that you can use.
Coming to videos, the OnePlus 8 Pro can support 4K video @ 60fps which is the highest. There is no support for 8K video, though the Snapdragon 865 has this feature but not an issue. The video footage through the main camera and ultrawide camera came out good with a wider dynamic range and the Super Steady Mode also worked well at 1080p. The front camera has only support for 1080p and no 4K. This seems to be a bit of a disappointment since most of the smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, iPhone SE 2020 have support for 4K video from the front camera.
However, the footage is very good, and with HDR turned on, the videos come out with punchier colors and the exposure is well maintained in the background.
Overall, the cameras seem to a great job and do feel improved compared to its previous models. However, the color filter camera is a gimmick.
OnePlus 8 Pro Battery Life:
The OnePlus 8 Pro packs in a larger 4510mAh battery which is 500mAh more battery capacity than the OnePlus 7 Pro. With the 120Hz mode on the display, the OnePlus 8 Pro easily lasted through a day with moderate usage, and at 60Hz, the battery life was better and could easily last one and a half-day which is good considering the massive display and higher Quad HD+ resolution.
With heavy usage which includes PUBG gameplay for 3-4 hours, streaming social media, and multitasking, the device had 10-15 percent left with the 120Hz mode. This seems to be a good improvement in battery life over previous OnePlus smartphones.
The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a 30W Warp Charger which charges the device quickly. The first half an hour takes the OnePlus 8 Pro from 0 to 67 percent and charges it completely within 66 minutes. This is fast but slower compared to the 65W SuperDart charging solution on the Realme X50 Pro.
There is also the Optimized charging feature that charges the smartphone during the night while not being in use and charges the battery efficiently after reaching 90 percent and discharges automatically after a full charge.
Now first time on an OnePlus flagship, there is the wireless charging and its 30W which is very fast compared to other wireless charging standards. OnePlus has its own 30W wireless charging pad which can charge the OnePlus 8 Pro from 0 to 50 percent in just 30 minutes.
This is quite fast and if you look at the wireless charging pad, it has an in-built fan outside which dissipates heat thus maintaining the cooler temperature of the smartphone.
There is also the support for 3W reverse wireless charging which was first seen on the Samsung Galaxy S10+. This good as you can charge wireless earbuds by placing on the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro.
Overall, with larger battery capacity, faster Snapdragon 865 chipset, and support for wireless charging, the OnePlus 8 Pro is an excellent powerhouse.
OnePlus 8 Pro Audio Quality:
The OnePlus 8 Pro like all other flagships of 2020 misses out on a 3.5mm headphone jack. The sound through the loudspeaker is really good as it combines the earpiece and produces a stereo effect. There is also support for Dolby Atmos which enhances sound while watching videos and playing games.
The loudness levels are good and clear at the highest levels and do not feel muffled or any sort of distortion.
Overall, the OnePlus 8 Pro is a complete flagship smartphone with all the top end specifications and more.
It packs a massive display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a powerful chipset bringing in along the support for 5G, and some noticeable features like support for wireless charging, IP rating.
The cameras provide a good experience overall as the low-light performance has seen a significant improvement.
Though the cameras do feel a bit short when compared to iPhone 11 Pro which is slightly better in image quality and supports 4K video capture from the front camera. The OxygenOS provides unparalleled software experience on an Android smartphone.
However, being a flagship, the prices start at Rs.54999 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant which is good considering many of its rivals.
With a powerful processor, better battery life, and the new flagship features, the OnePlus 8 Pro defines itself as a perfect flagship that the world wants.