OnePlus dropped the tagline “Flagship Killer” and thought they still offer top line specs with solid pricing. Smartphones are getting more expensive. 5G licenses, Qualcomm is charging top dollar for their premium processors and the R&D race to come out with better and better phones isn’t cheap. Even still, the strategics decisions made between the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are so large and the pricing so much higher than last years line, I’m left wondering if the OnePlus 7t was just too good?
OnePlus updates their smartphones every 6 months, so the upgrades are always incremental. If we look back, the T version tends to fix the what went wrong with original. The OnePlus 7t added a 90Hz display and triple camera set up. All of these were available on the 7t Pro, but the 7t was cheaper and had similar specs. We were only missing the high screen resolution and battery capacity.
Pretty much every reviewer said, why would you get the 7t Pro when you could get the vanilla version that was so similar but 160EUR less.
OnePlus heard us and made it painfully obvious that the Pro is a far superior handset.
The processor might be the same, but the difference between the 8 and 8 Pro are so great, I’m left wondering if OnePlus wants to sell any 8’s at all.
The 8 Pro is larger 6.78” with a high resolution 3168 x 1440 (513ppi), the 8 has a smaller 1080 x 2400 (403ppi). Both have 90Hz refresh rate a curved display, which I hate, at least the 7t has a flat display. I’ve already scratched the curved edge on the 8 Pro which didn’t come with a screen protector installed like all the OnePlus handset before it.
Though I’m partial to the high resolution the small handset is overall more appealing to me. Which is why I’m so annoyed at the massive compromises we find in the rest of the phone.
The phones have completely different camera set ups, the 8 Pro’s triple camera set up has a 48MP standard lens, 8MP telephoto with OIS, and an Ultra Wide Angle with 48MP. The 8 seems to have a camera straight out of 2017, 48MP main camera with OIS f1.75 aperture a 16MP wide angle and a 2MP macro lens with no OIS.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with a macro camera, but the 7T and many other phones, proved that you can take a good macro photo with the ultra-wide lens. It seems they ditched the telephoto camera to save a few pennies rather adding it to improve photo quality.
Looking at the main lens they’re not even using the same sensors. The 8, is not using the latest Sony sensor like the Pro. The 8 uses the sony IMX586 and the 8 Pro the IMX689. We won’t dive into precise sensor differences, but it’s clear the 8 Pro takes a better low light photo.
The auto focus on the 8 Pro is noticeably faster and more accurate. Checking the spec sheet the 8Pro has All pixel omni-directional PDAF+LAF+CAF. The 8 has MultiAutofocus with PDAD+CAF. When trying to take these photos I had to tap multiple times, raise and lower the phone to try to reset the focus to it would take the photo and the difference between the two is massive!
You want to play in the premium smartphone category can’t put out a phone that has mid range low light performance. Especially, if you’re only going to have two phones in your line.
The lack of wireless charging on the OnePlus line has been one of my biggest annoyances. Sure it charges fast, but once you get used to wireless charging it’s hard to go back.
They FINALLY added it, but only to the OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePlus held off adding this feature because what was on the market wasn’t fast enough. Warp Charge 30 Wireless gives you 50% in 30min compared to Warp Charge 30T that gets you to 50% in 23minutes.
Pricing & Verdict
Last year, when OnePlus launched the OnePlus 7 in Europe and it cost 559EUR, the 7t 6 months later went up to 599EUR and today we have the 8, which is coming in at 699EUR. The upgrade to 5G, the Snapdragon 865 will set you back 100EUR.
I also can’t help but wonder if OnePlus made the OnePlus 8 line up specifically for the Indian market. Or if they only looked at pitching their existing community to upgrade their handset. TCL will be coming out with a sub 500EUR 5G smartphone later this year if you’re price sensitive and really need 5G.
It’s hard to not look at the OnePlus 8 as being a massive over correction to our comments that the 7t was just too good for the price.
Unless you really need 5G, wireless charging and an even faster processor, I would look at the OnePlus 7t.