OnePlus 8 Pro Review: The Best OnePlus phone yet!

by Nicole on April 20, 2020
OnePlus 8 Pro
Positives
  • Beautiful Display
  • Solid camera
  • Oxygen OS is one of the best iterations of Android out there
  • Industry leading performance
  • In display fingerprint scanner now works with wet fingers!
  • Long battery life
  • Super fast wired and wireless charging
Negatives
  • Sizable rear camera bump
  • Big price jump for OnePlus, competitive, yet feels too expensive
  • Color Filter is a useless hardware addition
  • Curved display already has a scratch

The OnePlus 8 Pro is the company’s most “pro” device yet. It delivers on features and specs that can finally trade punches against the best from Samsung and others. Normally, you’re forced to compromise a bit when you buy a OnePlus device for a more desirable price tag. OnePlus has finally delivered a handset that is truly competitive with the rest of the market. They’re even charging more to premium flagship status.

OnePlus 8 Pro Design

  • Premium finish looks and feels great
  • First OnePlus phone with an IP rating for dust and water resistance
  • Sizable camera bump is easy to knock if you don’t have a case

 

The OnePlus 8 Pro is slimmer with better curves, it’s a little taller than last years 7 Pro, but overall it feels much smaller in hand. The color options are sexy, modern and vibrant.

The OnePlus 8 Pro has stereo speakers with the earpiece in the front acting as the second speaker. On the bottom, you’ll find a USB-C port, speaker, and SIM card tray, which does not support microSD cards. On the left, you’ll find the volume rocker, and on the right, you’ll find the power button and signature OnePlus notification slider.

Is the Camera still the Achilles heel for OnePlus?

  • This is the biggest camera upgrade ever for a OnePlus phone.

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with four rear cameras, the first time OnePlus has loaded a quad-camera. The setup includes a ultra-wide-angle lens, 30x zoom, powerful night mode, and the firm’s new ‘color filter’ camera that’s honestly a little puzzling, more on that later. It’s a Sony IMX689 sensor with a f/1.78 aperture with OIS (optical image stabilization) and EIS (electronic image stabilization) and offers up 4K video recording.

Above this is another 48MP sensor in the form of the ultra-wide angle Sony IMX586 with a f/2.2 aperture and 119.7 degree field of view.

The 3X telephoto lens is interesting, it’s a 12MP sensor, but the camera always outputs 8MP images. OnePlus calls this lossless 3X zoom. This is different from optical zoom. OnePlus is cropping the 12MP sensor to receive a 3x field of view. As soon as you zoom further than 3X it’s obvious this wasn’t an optical zoom.

Photos aren’t great, you can’t use them on social media, like most of the phones that come with a crazy zoom, but even though this guy was very far and moving quite fast, the 8 Pro was able produce an ok photo. Even if at 30X all photos are very noisy.

OnePlus 8 Pro Night time photos

The photos are true to life, though there are often many shots where the white balance doesn’t work well and the photos are too yellow. I would say these photos are on par with most flagships phones out there. Not every shot is a winner and I find they could have better detail and sharper imaging, but this is true of most handsets on the market today.

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OnePlus 8 Pro Dedicated Color Filter

OnePlus added a new camera to the 8 Pro called the Color Filter camera. This is a 5MP shooter that uses a special filter to allow the phone to see different spectrum of light. Playing with the filters in the camera app we can’t really understand the justification of adding a solo piece of hardware. However, OnePlus claims that the filter lens on the 4th camera processes the light differently to generate images with a unique color tone. The filter transforms the light passing through to an unusual and unique spectrum for the sensor to collect. And the data collected is then processed to generate images that appear rather surreal.

This is big talk, and it might take a lot more playing around to find the scenario with these filters that produce images worthy of dedicated hardware. Right now we can’t see how these

OnePlus 8 Pro Battery Life

Battery Life is 7-8 hours of screen on time watching YouTube videos, chatting on social media, answering emails, taking photos on social distancing walks with navigation on. I went between using WiFi only some days and LTE others, the results were pretty much the same. I don’t have 5G where, and to be honest, I often have Edge, so I wasn’t able to test the 5G to see what the battery life difference would be.

Wireless charging though convenient, is slower than wired charging, you don’t make this compromise with the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Wireless Charge times are: 70min to %100 & 30min to 55%. Wired charging was 30min to 60% and 68min to 100%.

You’ll need a special wireless charger from OnePlus which will set you back 70EUR. The built in fan is loud. If you want to charge your phone by your bed at night think again. The fan will turn off when the phone gets to 100% so depending on how low your charge, you could be waiting an hour for the fan to shut off.

Other phones with fast wireless charging are the Oppo Reno ace 2 and Huawei p40 pro plus with 40W wireless charging. Reverse wireless charging is also available, though it is quite slow. At 3W, it’s one of the slowest around, it would only be useful for charging wireless Bluetooth earbuds.

OnePlus 8 Pro Display

  • The 6.78-inch ‘Fluid Display’ with a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ support and QHD resolution is fantastic.

For those who display is a top priority the OnePlus 8 Pro does not disappoint. The refresh rate has been bumped from 90Hz to 120Hz. This Quad HD+ capable panel, this is one of the fastest and highest-resolution smartphone displays available. Out of the box OnePlus ships this set to Full HD+ 120Hz. If you want to max out the settings you can, which, for the time being, is something you can’t do with the Samsung Galaxy S20 family.

The phone also uses an adaptive mode for 120Hz, which switches back to 60Hz when the phone is displaying something static. When in use, it switches back to 120Hz. The device has a touch sampling rate of 240Hz.

Motion smoothing, it helps to make media appear better and use the 120Hz display. OnePlus has also included a video interpolation, which upscales video content up to 120Hz. Reading mode rocks, it’s not new but the monochromatic mode makes it a perfect alternative to an ereader. Easier on the eyes and can be selected for specific apps. It can mute notifications so nothing disturbs you while you’re reading.

The phone ships in Vivid mode, which isn’t color accurate as it boosts saturation. Switch it to Natural mode and the display’s color accuracy jumps.

One last thing about the display, the finger print reader has always been fast, but didn’t work well if your fingers were a little wet. They’ve fixed this on the 8 Pro, so if you bathe with your phone at lot like me, it works if you have wet hands

OnePlus 8 Pro Software

Oxygen OS is one of the best versions of Android on the market. Running Android 10 you have minimal bloatware and a suite of their own apps, most of which are welcome.

OnePlus hasn’t made any significant changes to their OS this time. The most notable are Dark Mode 2.0, which forces dark mode onto more apps including eBay, PayPal, Tinder, Google Pay, and Reddit. More apps will be supported in the future.

OnePlus has a good track record when it comes to updates, and often pushes new Android versions just days after Google does.

OnePlus 8 Pro Sound

Reverse Wireless Charging

The stereo speakers get loud and don’t sound distorted at high volumes. They tend to lack low-end punch, but that is common for smartphones.

I am impressed with the speakers since while in the park my Bluetooth speaker ran out of juice. I played music over my phone. The sound quality obviously wasn’t as good. It was surprisingly loud and the quality was solid.

It comes with Dolby Atmos, which if you have the right tracks mimics surround sound.

Price

The OnePlus 8 Pro is the most expensive phone OnePlus has ever made, but at 899EUR it’s JUST cheaper than some of it’s competition and much cheaper than smartphone heavy hitters. It is slightly more affordable than a number of competing flagships while offering a superior experience in a number of ways. Very fast wireless charging, great battery life are the big two in my books.

The increased price-tag in part has to do with Qualcomm X55 5G modem and Snapdragon 865, this combo adds to the overall cost.

Rating
Design / 8
Camera / 8
Sound / 9
Performance / 9
Battery Life / 8.5
Software / 9
Price / 7
Editor's Choice / 8
Hardware / 9
Display / 8.5
OnePlus 8 Pro

The is the most expensive OnePlus ever launched and it lives up to its reputation with highend specs, a Snapdragon 865 processor with X55 modem, 30W wireless charging, official IP68 certification, and a high-quality 120Hz display.

Gone are the days of getting a high speced phone at half the price of their competitors. Today it’s still more price competitive and the compromises are coming down to personal preference and not a failure to compete.

If there’s no way you are willing to spend $900 on a smartphone, OnePlus 7t is still a fantastic device. Sure, it’s “only” got a 90Hz OLED display, but the camera is still versatile camera system and is now on sale for 499EUR. This is a great deal!

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with powerful specs, an amazing display, very fast wireless charging and a competitive camera. If you’re thinking of getting a Galaxy S20 Plus it’s $300 cheaper however, but the Mi 10 799EUR with similar specs but with its own compromises.

OnePlus got so many things right with the 8 Pro, it’s definitely a smartphone you won’t regret picking up.

8.4
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