OnePlus 8 Pro

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Product Description

OnePlus 8 Pro

Introduction

Up to this point, OnePlus has climbed its way up from the high-end budget phone to the fully-fledged flagship. The brand once called its phone the “Flagship Killer”, and the OnePlus 8 Pro has become the very thing that the company initially aimed to dethrone.

Surely, the smartphone landscape has changed over the past several years. There are now so many contenders in the sub-$500 and sub-$400 price that the company has shifted its focus to creating a more prestigious brand name. With this iteration, the company has presented itself with an updated all-CAPS “ONEPLUS” typeface and tweaked “1+” logo.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

Now with the OnePlus 8 Pro, the company thinks it has what it takes to compete in the flagship category at the $1000 price mark. Well, technically – the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $900. The OnePlus 7 Pro was a strong seller, but will OnePlus have just as much success in a higher price bracket?

The 8 Pro has an impressive spec sheet: high-end CPU, 10-bit high-end AMOLED screen, Warp Charge 30T, and for the first time from OnePlus: support for wireless charging and even reverse-wireless charging for sharing juice with an accessory or a to give some juice to a friend.

OnePlus 8 Pro specs:

  • Body:??165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5 mm; 199g; metal frame; “3D Corning” Gorilla Glass 5 back

  • Screen:??6.78″ 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display: QHD+ (3168 x 1440 px) ~513 ppi; 1.07 billion colors; 19.8:9 aspect ratio; protected by “3D Corning” Gorilla Glass

  • Chipset:??Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 Gold & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585 Silver) + X55 5G modem; Adreno 650 GPU; X55 5G modem

  • Memory:??8GB or 12GB LPDDR5 RAM; 128GB or 256GB non-expandable UFS 3.0 storage

  • OS/Software:??Oxygen OS 10.5 based on Android 10

  • Rear camera:??Quad-camera setup; Wide (main): Sony IMX689 48MP sensor, 1.12 ??m pixels, OIS, EIS, f/1.78 aperture, all-pixel omnidirectional autofocus; Ultrawide: 48MP IMX586, f/2.2 aperture, 0.8 ??m pixels, 119.7-degree field-of-view, Autofocus; Telephoto: 8MP sensor, f/2.44 aperture, 1.0 ??m pixels, OIS; Color Filter camera: 5MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture

  • Front camera:??16MP Sony IMX471 (same as 7 Pro/7T Pro), fixed focus, 1.0 ??m pixels, f/2.45

  • Battery:??4510 mAh, Warp Charge 30T, Warp Charge 30 Wireless, reverse wireless charging

  • Misc:??Dual, stereo speakers; Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1; Dual nanoSIM support; optical in-display fingerprint scanner; physical notification switch;

That high-end display is of the 120Hz variety – and it’s a panel made by Samsung. OnePlus is promising near-perfect color accuracy, over 1 billion colors, and the brightest output of any display it has ever put in a smartphone. The smoothness of the still-higher refresh rate display is the company’s way of staying ahead of the trends – which could be an advantage in markets like the US where the company has a presence.

There’s a new camera system with the notable larger Sony IMX 689 sensor behind the quad-camera’s main lens. The ultrawide camera gets a larger sensor as well, but the telephoto camera remains pretty much the same as the OnePlus 7T. OnePlus has a new “Color filter camera” whose long-term usefulness remains to be seen.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

OnePlus has further refined its Android skin, Oxygen OS with new icons, and its revamped its UI’s animations for the 120Hz experience. Oxygen OS offers a stock-Android like experience, close to that of a Google Pixel, and OnePlus is known for its speedy turnaround when it comes to firmware updates.

OnePlus is the only high-end Chinese brand available from three of the four major US carriers – and many American consumers might be clueless of the brand’s existence in a market where Apple, Samsung, and Google are the most known (and most advertised) brands.

Unboxing

We always praise OnePlus for its packaging. The high-quality cardboard materials, and soft-touch red finish make a very good first impression. Our review unit doesn’t have the new all-CAPS name on the side, but it does have the updated “1+” logo.

Taking the lid off the long red box, we’re greeted by the OnePlus 8 Pro in Ultramarine Blue with a pre-installed factory screen protector. A notice on the plastic wrapper recommends using official OnePlus screen protectors for best compatibility of the in-display fingerprint scanner.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

The cardboard cradle that holds the 8 Pro in place is also a box where the phone’s documentation is held, along with a SIM tool, welcome letter, and quick start guide. The words “Never Settle” sit below the smartphone as you unbox it – reminding us of the company’s long-time motto. Beneath this phone cradle is an included clear case to show off that deep blue color, and the Warp Charge 30T adapter and cable.

Now that we’ve seen what’s inside the box, head to the next page where we’ll spend some time talking about the phone’s design, ergonomics, and build quality.

Deepest blue yet

OnePlus has previously offered blue colored smartphones. The 7 Pro’s Nebula Blue was matte blue with indigo and black accents, the 7T’s Glacier Blue was a little like Nebula Blue, without the black accents and an overall brighter blue color. The 8 Pro’s Ultramarine blue is the purest and deepest, ‘most cant-take-your-eyes-away’ blue that we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.

We admit, we do miss the gradient color schemes that the 7 Pro and 7T’s frames had, the 8 Pro’s frame is simply blue all over, with matte, anodized metal finish.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

The overall design of the 8 Pro is very similar to the 7 Pro’s, it’s about the same width, but certainly taller, and OnePlus managed to keep the same thickness, even with the added battery capacity and wireless charging hardware. The 8 Pro measures 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5 mm. The protruding camera hump is much more apparent than the 7 Pro and 7T, though, due to the larger sensors used in the main and ultrawide cameras.

The corners of the frame and display have slightly smaller radii. Not only this, but the smaller radius of the curve glass on the display and the new ridge at the top of the phone give the OnePlus 8 Pro a less-curvy appearance and a bolder, somewhat boxier feel to it. Holding the phone is more comfortable now that the edges aren’t as angular as on the 7 Pro.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

The overall layout of the buttons and ports remains the same. On the right side is the power key and a physical alert slider (volume switch) right above it. Here’s where we note that OnePlus has been including this hardware feature since the very first OnePlus One. The switch is smaller and feels satisfyingly clickier than ever when switching between silent, vibrate, and ring settings.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

On the left side is the volume rocker, and you’ll notice this new ridge that divots along the top edge of the phone. While this is a new design feature for OnePlus, its purely aesthetic. The in-call speaker is slit right at the top of the edge-to-edge screen, with a punch-hole cutout housing the 16MP selfie camera.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

The dual nanoSIM tray pops out of the bottom of the phone to the left of the USB-C port. The down-firing speaker sees a slight change from speaker holes to dual-slotted speaker ports.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

In the hand, the phone feels quite large. It’s certainly a hefty piece of technology with a really nice screen-to-body ratio. The hole-punch camera eliminates the need for a pop-up selfie camera. We loved the pop-up on the 7 Pro, so it’s a shame to see it go away. Still, the official immersion protection (IP) rating is a welcome addition.

Overall, the design of the OnePlus 8 Pro isn’t anything drastically new. Although it’s certainly familiar, it is also well refined from last year. The vertically stacked camera setup is now distinctly OnePlus.

The one downside to the design we could think of is the distortion of the display that occurs right at the edges of the curved glass, but it will be up to each person to decide whether its distracting enough to let it bother you.

With that, let’s take a closer look at the display and battery life of the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Next-gen Fluid Display

The OnePlus 8 Pro’s display makes a jump from the previous generation 90Hz screens to 120Hz, doubling the conventional refresh rate of 60Hz. While the first jump to 90Hz was a notable difference, the jump to 120Hz is a whole different game.

The Galaxy S20 Ultra also has a 120Hz display, but the 120Hz setting works with the 8 Pro’s full resolution (the S20 Ultra is limited to FHD+). The 8 Pro has a QHD+ resolution spanning 3168×1440 pixels. OnePlus also claims a maximum brightness of 1,300 nits, which we certainly won’t reach in our standardized brightness test, but we’ll tweak it a bit to see if we can achieve the advertised number.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

In our standardized brightness test – the one that we use to compare displays across devices – the OnePlus 8 Pro maxed out at 538 nits with the manual brightness slider, but when we tested its Automatic brightness in bright daylight, it reached 888 nits.

Not quite the 1,300 it advertised, but there’s a reason why – the max brightness AMOLEDs are able to pump out depends on the size of the test pattern on the screen. Our white test pattern with which we measure max brightness takes up 75% of the screen during measurement and this is consistent across all measurements we do. Manufacturers, however, are free to choose their preferred testing methodology. In the case of OnePlus, we were able to reach up to 1,180 nits, however, this was with a much smaller test pattern.

Display test

100% brightness

Black,cd/m2

White,cd/m2

Contrast ratio

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G (Max Auto)

0

894

???

OnePlus 8 Pro (Max Auto)

0

888

???

Oppo Find X2 Pro (Max Auto)

0

871

???

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (Max Auto)

0

858

???

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

0

820

???

LG V60 ThinQ 5G (Max Auto)

0

622

???

OnePlus 7 Pro (Max Auto)

0

616

???

OnePlus 7T Pro (Max Auto)

0

596

???

OnePlus 8 Pro

0

538

???

Oppo Find X2 Pro

0

536

???

LG V60 ThinQ 5G

0

511

???

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

0

510

???

Google Pixel 4 XL

0

436

???

OnePlus 7 Pro

0

436

???

OnePlus 7T Pro

0

429

???

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G

0

398

???

OnePlus is also advertising a highly color-accurate display. The screen is also compatible with HDR10+ and can add some saturation and colors to your viewing experience when watching supported apps.

In our tests, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s default Vivid setting has slightly cooler whites and based on the DCI-P3 color space. This profile yielded an average deltaE of 3.1 and a maximum deltaE of 5.9. We found the Natural profile to be very color accurate: average deltaE of 2.5 and max deltaE of 4.1 in the sRGB space. Meanwhile, the Advanced DCI-P3 profile had an average deltaE of 2.5 and max of 4.3.

There are two features of the 8 Pro’s display: “Vibrant Color effect Pro” and “Motion graphics smoothing”. The latter is the first time a phone maker has ever implemented motion smoothing into a smartphone display. This feature will essentially make any 24fps (or above) video playback as if it were of a higher framerate by interpolating additional frames in between the original ones.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

The use of motion smoothing is controversial in the film industry since directors and actors argue that watching TV shows or films with this feature alters the intended viewing experience originally envisioned by their creators. Motion smoothing has become a way for TV makers to sell higher refresh-rate TVs, even if the content being viewed on it isn’t meant for it.

The actual MEMC feature works as advertised for the most part – it makes content in supported video apps appear smoother than their original frame rates. In practice, however, this isn’t consistent. It really depends on whether you’re watching cartoons, vlogs, or live-action TV shows with actors in the frame. We personally found it a little distracting when the motion smoothing drifted in and out between scenes.

Battery life

Update July 3 2020:??We’ve updated the battery section with new web browsing, video playback runtimes and overall endurance rating in both the 120Hz and the 60Hz display modes.

The OnePlus 8 Pro packs a 4,510 mAh battery inside. Considering the phone’s larger display, we were hoping for a more significant battery upgrade. We were not, however, disappointed with the battery results.

For our battery tests of the 8 Pro, we have two resulting battery endurance scores. One for the phone’s default 120Hz display setting – which, naturally, consumes more battery – and another for the conventional 60Hz setting. So, how did the OnePlus 8 Pro do? Not bad.

With the 120Hz mode, which remains at full resolution, the OnePlus 8 Pro yielded an endurance score of 103h. It managed a call time of 28:35h, and 10:58h of web browsing, which is a respectable time. Meanwhile, video playback was excellent at 18:03h. Of course, since the OS switches back to 60Hz when it detects full-screen video playback, we didn’t find any difference in the video playback test.

OnePlus 8 Pro review

Switching to the display’s standard 60Hz setting gave us a tad higher numbers in web browsing times. There was a 109h endurance score in this mode, which confirms that you can pull some extra hours from the battery, but at the expense of the phone’s most note-worthy feature – the 120Hz display.

OnePlus 8 Pro review

This did manage to squeeze almost two hours of web browsing (12:45h) and video playback.

Our battery tests were automated thanks to??SmartViser, using its??viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the OnePlus 8 Pro for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We’ve established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The??battery testing procedure??is described in detail in case you’re interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete??battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we’ve tested will compare under your own typical use.

This does bring us to the point of fast charging. Although this isn’t quite the 5,000 mAh battery that we’re seeing in flagships from Samsung and LG, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s Warp Charge 30T makes up for that. The Warp Charge 30T was able to recharge the OnePlus 8 Pro from 0 to 63% in half an hour.

New to the battery menu is an “Optimized charging” option that can learn your usage patterns and temporarily slow or suspend charging while the 8 Pro is plugged in. If you go to bed at, say 11 PM and plug it in, the phone will suspend charging throughout the night and will finish its charge by the time you normally wake up in the morning.

Optimized charging setting - Oneplus 8 Pro review??Optimized charging setting - Oneplus 8 Pro review

Optimized charging setting

Since COVID-19 has messed up everyone’s normal sleep schedules, we weren’t able to test this thoroughly.

OnePlus introduced wireless charging on any of its smartphones and the Warp Charge 30 Wireless charger is a beast.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

OnePlus promises a 30-minute charge on the Warp Charge 30 Wireless will yield a 50% charge. We managed just under the promised number at 48%. The second time around, however, the 8 Pro recharged to 51% in the same amount of time.

The charger unit has a fan in it that actively pushed air in from the back of the charger and forces it up along the backside of the phone to keep it cool while Warp charging. The fan tends to be distracting if you’re in a quiet room, so OnePlus built-in an option into the UI called “Bed time mode”. This silences the fan during bedtime hours you specify at the expense of slower wireless charging.

Bedtime mode - Oneplus 8 Pro review

Bedtime mode

OnePlus was against adding the feature to its devices until it deemed the feature would be worth the added cost. Well… the cost is certainly present because the Warp Charge 30 Wireless charger is sold separately for $69. Is it worth this price? It really depends on whether you think wireless charging should be about speed over convenience.

Oneplus 8 Pro review

One complaint about the charger is that the charging cable is permanently tethered on both ends. This means you won’t be able to replace a cable if it gets damaged, and you may not be able to feed it through a wiring management setup you may have at a desk or table.

Speakers

The OnePlus 8 Pro showed similar results to the OnePlus 8 on our loudspeaker test but with some small improvements. Maybe the vanilla 8 sounds a bit flat when put against the Pro. The former, on the other hand, is just a tad louder. Only a few phones can match the 8 Pro in terms of loudness and sound quality at the same time. The bass is deep – as far as smartphone speakers go, of course – without sounding muddy while vocals are clear and the mids contribute to the overall fullness. Perhaps the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G is one of those phones that sound noticeably better than the OnePlus 8 family. You can hear for yourself and compare the charts.

Additional Information

COLOUR

Glacial Green, Onyx Black, Ultramarine Blue

VARAIANT

8 GB RAM + 128 GB Storage, 12 GB RAM + 256 GB Storage

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