OnePlus 8 evaluation: Watered down, but nonetheless fantastic

by akoloy


Many telephone makers have adopted the small/massive telephone lineup. Apple, Google, Samsung, and others promote two variations of their flagships with measurement typically standing as the first differentiator. OnePlus, seeking to leap wholly into the flagship fray, is doing the identical. The OnePlus 8 is 80% of the bigger, extra feature-rich OnePlus 8 Pro. OnePlus dialed again the scale and the specs of the 8 to make it extra interesting to sure patrons — whereas additionally dropping the value of entry. The result’s a tool that’s extra watered down than it needs to be, and but nonetheless rises to the problem in some respects.

Did OnePlus make the best selections right here? Find out in Android Authority‘s OnePlus 8 review.

The OnePlus 9 is now available: OnePlus recently launched the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro phones. Both are cohesive efforts that get the job done. With the 8 being a year old at this point, we recommend looking at the OnePlus 9 before the 8.

About this OnePlus 8 review: I wrote this OnePlus 8 review after spending a week with the phone. OnePlus supplied the device to Android Authority, which was running Android 10 with OxygenOS 10.5.3 and the March 2020 security patch.

OnePlus 8 review: Who is this phone for?

OnePlus 8 standing up screen

The OnePlus 8 is for two different groups of people. The first group pines after today’s top-tier flagships, however merely doesn’t need to (or can’t) spend the $1,000 wanted to get one. It’s additionally for individuals who desire a stable gadget, however not essentially the most important whopper on the shop shelf. And let’s face it, there are numerous them. Samsung, LG, and others have kicked out some significantly large telephones currently. Bigger isn’t at all times higher, and a few folks prefer to maintain measurement in verify for usability or different causes.

The OnePlus 8 covers this floor, although it’s not by itself. It matches up nicely when it comes to measurement and/or price towards the now-discounted Samsung Galaxy S20 and the Google Pixel 4 XL, each of which can be found for a lot lower than their unique launch costs. The OnePlus 8 may additionally stand as one of many most cost-effective points-of-entry for these seeking to undertake 5G.

Here’s how these components add up.

Design: Setting a brand new bar

OnePlus 8 back on chair

  • 3D curved Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • 160.2 x 72.9 x 8.0mm
  • 180g
  • USB-C

OnePlus has lengthy employed an effectivity of design that’s trendy and easy. Look again at telephones such because the OnePlus 5 and 6 sequence, and also you see the OnePlus taking simplicity virtually to the purpose of blandness. The firm began shaking issues up with the OnePlus 7 sequence, which launched bigger sizes and bolder colours. The OnePlus 8 takes the subsequent, pure step alongside this evolutionary path.

The colours are most likely the most important giveaway. Sure, OnePlus supplied some engaging blues on its older telephones, however the 8 steps up the colour choice to Onyx Black, Glacial Green, and Interstellar Glow. Bummer that the Onyx Black and Glacial Green solely include 8GB of storage. You must improve to the $799 Interstellar Glow mannequin in order for you the very best RAM/storage combo. OnePlus lent us the final of those three and it’s a stunner. Much just like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 household, the OnePlus 8 has a mirror-like end that adjustments hue relying on the angle from which you view it. It seems like a sundown off the West Coast. Even although you’re more likely to slap a case on the telephone (and in reality I like to recommend that you just check out these options), this is without doubt one of the most hanging telephones from OnePlus. It’s price taking a look at and displaying off. I want it weren’t so good at amassing nasty fingerprints.

OnePlus 8 back OnePlus logo

Beyond the flowery coloration, the design is what you count on from a 2020 flagship. Curved glass wraps across the entrance and rear surfaces, separated solely by a skinny sliver of aluminum supporting the chassis. OnePlus did a fantastic job marrying the steel and glass; the seam between the 2 is sort of imperceptible. The body is chrome-like in its reflectivity.

The OnePlus 8 is scant millimeters lesser in its dimensions when in comparison with the bigger 8 Pro.

About the scale. The 8 is naught however scant millimeters lesser in its dimensions when in comparison with the bigger 8 Pro. Specifically, it’s 5mm shorter, 1.45mm narrower, and 0.5mm thinner (or simply 13% tinier when it comes to quantity). More considerably, the smaller telephone is much less weighty at 180g in comparison with the 8 Pro’s 199g. There’s no query the 8 is a better telephone to carry and use, however I’d by no means name it small. It has practically an identical dimensions to the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, Google Pixel 4 XL, and the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro.

OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 8 screens

The slippery glass glides into your pockets with no resistance. It additionally glides off onerous, flat surfaces like desks and tables for those who’re not cautious. It would possibly even slip out of your grip. Put a case on it.

True to OnePlus kind, the digital camera array is a vertical line of lenses. There are three in all, with the flash set under the raised digital camera module. Given the monstrous modules on competing units, I’m fairly happy with the restrained digital camera design of the OnePlus 8.

OnePlus 8 saturated back angle

The famed triple-action ringer swap is current and accounted for.

Other facets of the design differ little from different OnePlus units. The famed triple-action ringer swap is current and accounted for. This is without doubt one of the finest {hardware} options. It is perched excessive on the best edge. The display lock button is just under it and the amount toggle is on the left edge. You’ll see the USB-C port, SIM card tray, and speaker slits on the underside edge. A small pinhole mic is the one ingredient on the highest edge.

Last, worldwide and unlocked variations of the telephone received’t carry an official IP ranking, although they’re protected against dust and liquid to some extent. The US carrier-branded OnePlus 8 models, nevertheless, will probably be rated IP68. Nearly each latest flagship — together with the OnePlus 8 Pro — carries such a ranking.

The OnePlus 8 is a wonderful piece of {hardware} that matches its friends in match, end, and performance — for essentially the most half.

Display: Status quo

OnePlus 8 screen 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

  • 6.55-inch AMOLED
  • Full HD+ 2,400 x 1,080 (20:9)
  • 90Hz refresh price, 402ppi
  • In-display fingerprint sensor

The OnePlus 8 Pro has one of many best displays we’ve ever tested, notably with respect to paint accuracy. The smaller display of the 8 performs in a unique ballpark, although it’s nonetheless actually, actually good.

OnePlus was one of many earlier adopters of high refresh-rate displays. We noticed a 90Hz panel on the OnePlus 7T final 12 months. The OnePlus 8 Pro jumped to a Quad HD Plus display at 120Hz. The 8, nevertheless, has a Full HD+ display at 90Hz. That means it’s much less pixel dense and never as fast to refresh, although it matches the speed of screens from Google, Huawei, and Xiaomi. Factory settings for almost all of telephones that help these excessive resolutions and refresh charges (together with the 8 Pro, S20, and so forth.) is Full HD+ and 60Hz. In different phrases, it’s a must to exit of your solution to discover the higher expertise.

Despite the lesser specs, I can’t fault the display. It impresses the attention, notably when set to 90Hz. Motion is clean, colours are vibrant, and the decision is greater than enough for the wants of the common smartphone proprietor.

OnePlus 8 hole punch selfie camera

Unlike older OnePlus panels, this one has a punch gap for the selfie digital camera. (No more pop-up cam!) The gap is situated within the top-left nook, the place it’s virtually out of sight. I like that OnePlus permits you to cover the digital camera cutout to a level by controlling the colour of the standing bar. Personally, I believe it seems higher when seen.

Last, the fingerprint scanner is situated underneath the glass close to the underside edge. Now that we’re a number of generations into under-display scanner tech, I can inform you this is without doubt one of the most acceptable renditions thereof. It took a sec to coach it, nevertheless it was quick and constant. I’d go as far as to name it as quick as utilizing a sample, and even sooner than utilizing a 4 or six-digit PIN. The OnePlus reader is superior to these of the Pixel 4 XL, V60, and S20. A camera-based face unlock is current if that’s what you favor.

OnePlus 8 Pro in display fingerprint reader

It is probably not as pixel-rich as competing screens, however the OnePlus 8 show is completely all anybody must be pleased with their smartphone expertise.

Performance: Plucky you

Breathing fireplace

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
  • 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0 2-LANE

Whether you run the OnePlus 8 with the display set to 60Hz or 90Hz, you’re going to get world-class efficiency. The telephone fared nicely on benchmarks, besting 99% of different units within the databases of 3DMark, Geekbench, and GFXBench. It delivered comparable outcomes to different 865-based telephones, and clearly destroyed telephones primarily based on the Snapdragon 855/855 Plus. Impressively, the telephone ran our Speed Test G metric, which blends CPU/GPU efficiency, in a file 1:27:54. That’s the quickest take a look at but, and bests even the latest crown-winner, the S20 Ultra, by 1.3 seconds.

More importantly, the telephone is a pleasure to make use of. Everything concerning the OnePlus 8 is quick and livid. I checked out Destiny 2 in Google Stadia and located that it ran completely. I didn’t see any dropped frames and the telephone saved up with the sport no sweat. Regular apps loaded in a blink, Play Store updates put in in two blinks, and even heavy-duty apps such because the digital camera launched right away.

In phrases of the aggressive area, the OnePlus 8 is probably not a “Pro” or a “Plus” mannequin, nevertheless it’s nonetheless received it the place it counts. It’s a stealthy smartphone that surpasses the category.

Lethal lithium

  • 4,300mAh
  • Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)

Along with a smaller chassis and display measurement, sure, you’ve received to count on a smaller battery. The OnePlus 8’s energy cell drops from the 8 Pro’s 4,510 to 4,300mAh. That’s a drop of simply 4.6% when it comes to capability, although it’s a lot bigger than the three,800mAh pack within the OnePlus 7T. Competing units, such because the S20 Plus, are in the identical ballpark with 4,500mAh.

How does it maintain up? Superbly. The telephone constantly pushed by means of a day and a half of regular use, and typically prolonged shut to at least one and three-quarters days. That means I’d unplug the telephone at 8am and the battery wouldn’t die till after dinner the next day. That’s higher than most telephones available in the market. In phrases of screen-on time, I routinely noticed in extra of seven hours. Most competing flagships are posting numbers within the six-hour vary, so the OnePlus 8 is, once more, a uncommon performer. My use contains listening to Spotify with Bluetooth headphones, numerous Twitter and Slack, loads of e mail, and looking.

Our goal battery assessments noticed the telephone push by means of 11.5 hours of looking time, 16.5 hours of video playback, and 9.5 hours of combined use (looking and video.)

OnePlus made positive the OnePlus 8 costs as quickly as potential when plugged in.

One of the major upgrades to the OnePlus 8 Pro is the corporate’s too-long-in-coming adoption of wireless charging tech. The large Pro enjoys speedy wired and wi-fi charging. Alas, the usual 8 mannequin lacks wireless charging. This is a disgrace, as most competing flagships as of late the truth is do supply wi-fi charging, even smaller flagship fare such because the Galaxy S20 and Pixel 4. To offset this, OnePlus made positive the OnePlus 8 costs as quickly as potential when plugged in. The included 30W charger pushes present into the lithium-ion battery at astounding velocity. Just thirty minutes nets a 66% cost, which is greater than sufficient when topping up between work and an evening out. A full cost took simply 63 minutes.

Bottom line, the OnePlus 8 is a battery champ and places its distinctive options (comparatively smaller, lower-res, slower show) to good use the place it counts essentially the most. The solely present flagship I can consider that beats it’s the LG V60.

Camera

OnePlus 8 camera closeup

  • Rear:
    • 48MP, f/1.78, 0.8µm, OIS, EIS
    • 2MP macro, f/2.4, 1.75µm
    • 16MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 116-deg. FoV
  • Front:
    • Selfie: 16MP, f/2.0, 1.0µm, EIS, fastened focus
  • Video:
    • 8K @ 30fps, 4K @60fps, 1080p @60fps, 720p @ 120fps

Apart from the show, the cameras signify the most important divergence between the OnePlus 8 Pro and the OnePlus 8. The Pro has a more recent principal sensor and a telephoto, whereas the vanilla mannequin recycles an older sensor for the primary digital camera and trades the telephoto for a macro. I merely don’t get it. I may perceive the macro if OnePlus had saved the identical principal sensor. Maybe.

The principal digital camera is the venerable 48MP Sony IMX586, which bins right down to 12MP. Nearly each 2019 flagship relied on this sensor. There is not any optical zoom on this telephone, so zooming is finished digitally. At least OnePlus was good sufficient to incorporate an extremely wide-angle.

The OnePlus 8 skips the eccentric coloration sensor of the OnePlus 8 Pro. We discovered it to be a little more than a gimmick.

Photo high quality ranges from superb to poor, relying on what sort of picture you’re taking. Most pictures captured by way of the primary digital camera have been sturdy. They confirmed sharp focus, good coloration, and principally correct publicity. Shots from the wide-angle digital camera have been sharp and clear, however barely distorted and considerably washed out. The macro did a surprisingly good job (see close-up of flowers under.)

One situation I observed throughout the board was inconsistent HDR efficiency. The telephone did a fantastic job pulling element out of the shadows in some pictures, whereas shedding it solely in others. The lighting didn’t appear to matter a lot.

Zoom is tough. Anything previous about 2x begins to lose element and readability. Zooming to the total 10x is a full-on catastrophe. A variety of latest telephones (S20, P40) have touted long-range zoom lenses with periscoped optics. Without the optics to help it, I’m unsure why OnePlus is bothering with digital zoom all the best way out to 10x. While publicity is okay, the element has been obliterated. I imply there’s simply no level. The OIS/EIS don’t do something to assist.

The 16MP selfie digital camera is a good shooter. It dealt with common and portrait selfies simply superb. Color, publicity, focus, all good (sufficient.)

On the video entrance, the telephone can shoot as much as 4K at 60fps. This isn’t as spectacular a spec because the 8K powers of the S20 and V60, nevertheless it’s completely superb for a telephone on this worth vary. Most folks nonetheless don’t have 4K TVs, not to mention 8K TVs. The 4K footage I shot was superb, although it confirmed among the identical issues (i.e., HDR) as the primary digital camera. Focus and readability have been glorious. There’s a 4K CINE mode, which stretches the facet ratio to 21:9. This is have been film content material is headed, so that you might be forward of the curve in order for you. One bonus? Smaller video information than the total decision 4K. Super slow-motion is offered, although solely to 480fps at 720p decision.

OnePlus by no means nails the digital camera, and that is the case once more with the OnePlus 8.

OnePlus by no means nails the digital camera, and that’s the case once more right here with the OnePlus 8. Not solely does the OnePlus 8 supply a complicated mixture of lenses (significantly, nobody is asking for macro), it solely turns in middling high quality pictures.

Full-resolution samples of the images might be viewed here.

Software: Oxygen is life, breathe deeply

  • Android 10
  • OxygenOS 10.5.3

OnePlus has lengthy shipped top-of-the-line launchers of any Android telephone, referred to as OxygenOS. The firm didn’t mess with success an excessive amount of, which is an effective factor.

This 12 months, the massive adjustments come to Dark Mode and the Shelf. First, Dark Mode 2.o performs a stricter position imposing the system darkish mode onto apps that won’t have but adopted it. In different phrases, it forces brilliant white apps to show black. It solely works for the apps that OnePlus particularly helps although. One shock transfer, OnePlus dropped its Shelf, a customized dwelling display panel that targeted on notes, calendar appointments, and different widget-y content material. In its place you’ll discover the Google Feed, which makes me blissful and is normal throughout most telephones now aside from Samsung.

The remainder of the UI continues to be nice. It is clear, trendy, and is chock filled with helpful, tasteful options that really show you how to use the telephone day in and time out. For instance, Zen Mode can power you ignore your telephone for some time (and thus relax), or block messages whenever you’re deep in a gaming session and don’t need to be disturbed.

OnePlus is without doubt one of the higher telephone makers within the enterprise in relation to software program updates. If its steady release schedule isn’t fairly sufficient for you, OnePlus makes it simple to join its beta testing group, which ensures you get stuff on the common.

We have a fill rundown on OxygenOS available here.

The telephone has since been updated to Android 11-based OxygenOS 11.

Extras

OnePlus 8 cameras macro 2

5G: Like many new flagships, the OnePlus 8 household adopts 5G, although not uniformly. Essentially, there’s a 5G model for the US. It is appropriate with the 5G networks of AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. (Verizon’s variant, which is the one to help mmWave, has a really horrible identify: OnePlus 8 5G UW.) We weren’t capable of take a look at the 5G mannequin, as OnePlus seeded solely the unlocked fashions. But hey, for those who stay within the US, you’ll be able to rating a 5G phone for simply $699.

Audio: Wireless audio help is high notch. The telephone doesn’t have a headphone jack, nevertheless it ships with Bluetooth 5.1, aptX, aptHD, LDAC, and AAC. This is nice information for individuals who’ve jumped on the truly wireless headphone practice. Your journey goes to sound excellent. The stereo audio system are derived from a mixture of the bottom-firing speakerphone and the earpiece. Music sounds finest whenever you maintain the telephone vertically, however panorama video content material additionally sounds first rate whenever you’re watching Netflix or YouTube.

OnePlus 8 specs

  OnePlus 8 Pro OnePlus 8
Display 6.78-inch AMOLED
3,168 x 1,440 (19.8:9)
120Hz refresh price
In-display fingerprint sensor
3D Corning Gorilla Glass
6.55-inch AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 (20:9)
90Hz refresh price
In-display fingerprint sensor
3D Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM 8GB / 12GB LPDDR5 8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0 2-LANE
Cameras Rear:
48MP, f/1.78, 1.12µm, OIS, EIS
8MP 3x telephoto, f/2.44, 1.0µm, OIS
48MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 119.7°
5MP coloration filter, f/2.4

Front:
16MP, f/2.45, 1.0µm, EIS, fastened focus

Rear:
48MP, f/1.78, 0.8µm, OIS, EIS
2MP macro, f/2.4, 1.75µm
16MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 116°

Front:
16MP, f/2.0, 1.0µm, EIS, fastened focus

Battery 4,510mAh
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
Warp Charge 30 Wireless
4,300mAh
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
IP Rating IP68 None
Software Oxygen OS
Android 10
Oxygen OS
Android 10
Dimensions and weight 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm
199g
160.2 x 72.9 x 8.0mm
180g

Value for cash

OnePlus 8 selfie macro

  • OnePlus 8, Black Onyx, Glacial Green: 8GB RAM, 128GB storage — $499

OnePlus has completely slashed the value of the telephone from $699 to $499. The 256GB variant is now not obtainable. OnePlus has performed a fairly stable job of maintaining the price of its telephones underneath $600 over time. The OnePlus 8 household represented a soar in price at launch, possible due partly to the pricey Snapdragon 865. You may make the argument that the telephone ought to have the Snapdragon 765G as a substitute, and thereby price maybe as a lot as $50 much less. That would have solidified the telephone’s hero standing with out impacting efficiency overmuch. It was not meant to be. Considering what you get right here, nevertheless, I’m going to say the OnePlus 8 provides moderately good worth for cash.

For lower than $500, you get a Snapdragon 865 telephone with a fantastic show, surprising battery life, a satisfactory digital camera, and beauty as well. The official beginning worth of telephones such because the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Pixel 4 XL is $899-$999, although they’ve been semi-permanently discounted to $799 and $699, respectively. Both the OnePlus 8 Pro and the LG V60 hover round $899, however they’re bigger. Some shoppers could also be postpone by the OnePlus 8’s lack of wi-fi charging, however at the least there’s semi-official help for dust and water safety. The one place competing units really win is the digital camera. OnePlus’ digital camera isn’t ok. Again.

The OnePlus 9 is a greater choice with the Snapdragon 888 processor, improved digital camera system, and palatable worth level of $729.

Any approach you narrow it, you’re going to have to surrender a bit one thing to get that decrease $499 worth level. Even so, it’s onerous to argue with the general worth represented by the OnePlus 8.

OnePlus 8 evaluation: Should you purchase it?

OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 8 backs

The OnePlus 8 isn’t good, and should come throughout as disappointing to some who contemplate it too “lite” when in comparison with the highly effective, formidable OnePlus 8 Pro. Think of it this manner, it’s the iPhone 11 or Galaxy S20 of OnePlus telephones — which means it’s the one most individuals can purchase. It might not have the everything-and-the-kitchen-sink attraction of the 8 Pro, nevertheless it’s received the options that depend most.

The worth soar, in comparison with final 12 months’s $559 OnePlus 7, could also be a bit a lot for some. Those looking for the “affordable flagship” now discover they must, the truth is, pay near-flagship worth for the OnePlus 8. In India, Asia, and a few European markets, telephones from Xiaomi, Realme, and Redmi might signify the higher total worth.

At $499, the OnePlus 8 is cheaper than nearly all of competing flagships and it nonetheless offers you the show, battery, and velocity you need. Is the OnePlus 8 watered down? Sure, however water is critical to develop the very best issues.

If you want one thing cheaper than $499, you would possibly contemplate the OnePlus Nord. In our review of the Nord, we discovered it to be a succesful gadget that noticed OnePlus return to its roots. It’s inexpensive and provides a lot of worth for the greenback.



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