Here’s two smartphones from a company that has been around for almost seven years now. During that time OnePlus have achieved a cult following but, with handsets like the OnePlus 7T (reviewed here, here and here) they’re now gaining more mainstream traction.
Today marks the launch of two phones – the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. Both come equipped with 5G connectivity and both the ones I have here are gorgeous to look at too.
The OnePlus 8 comes with a 6.55″ 1080×2400 402ppi 20:9 screen with a “Fluid AMOLED” panel operating at 90Hz. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a higher resolution and bigger 6.78″ 3168×1440 screen at 513ppi with a 19.8:9 aspect. Fluid AMOLED again here but there’s a 120Hz refresh this time.
Note on the below shot how the screen on the OnePlus 8 Pro curves a little more (left). The OnePlus 8 (right) suggests a curve but the screen doesn’t quite wrap around.
In addition to the 5G connectivity from the X55 chipset, both have OxygenOS based on Android 10. Both have Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 CPU’s, 3D Corning Gorilla Glass, Adreno 650 GPU’s, in-display fingerprint sensors, Type-C charging (and audio), dual stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos and oodles of RAM and storage.
Both also have NFC, Bluetooth 5.1 (with aptX & aptX HD), GPS and dual-band WiFi. In addition, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro handsets have in-screen hole-punch selfie 16 megaxpixel lense from Sony (f/2.45)
The key differences between the two are the screens, camera tech and Wireless Charging on the 8 Pro.
The batteries are different too – a 4510mAh battery that’ll do the incredibly speedy OnePlus Warp Charge 30T and Warp Charge 30 Wireless on the 8 Pro. On the OnePlus 8 it’s a 4300mAh unit with Warp Charge 30T but no wireless charging.
Curve ball !
All the photos of the OnePlus 8 Pro from here on in were taken on the OnePlus 8. Likewise, a bit further down, all the photos of the OnePlus 8 were taken on the OnePlus 8 Pro. Just so you can see the camera quality.
The OnePlus 8 Pro
First, let’s take a look at the OnePlus 8 Pro. Depending on the model, you get either 8GB RAM and 128GB storage or 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. This is LPDDR5 RAM which optimizes power usage whilst delivering a rapid storage response. Up front is that 3.84mm hole-punch camera which is very small indeed. It’s IP68 rated and weighs in at 199g.
It’ll be available in Glacial green, Onyx Black or Ultramarine blue, although sadly that last colour isn’t going to make it to the UK.
The 6.78″ 3168×1440 screen (513ppi) runs at 120Hz but it’ll sample at 240Hz. There’s HDR10+, which is on both of the phones and delivers fantastic colour accuracy.
The OnePlus 8 Pro here has MEMC (Motion Graphics Smoothing) technology, which effectively upscales movies (which aren’t 120 Hz) so that they look better on the screen of the phone. You can turn it off if you’re Tom Cruise but it’ll reduce motion blur, stuttering and ghosting.
Camera-wise we have a quad-camera setup. There’s a telephoto 8 megapixel, an ultra-wide 48 megapixel Sony sensor, another 48 megapixel main camera (Sony IMX689) and a 5 megapixel colour filter camera. This will invert the colours and is called “Photo Chromatic” on the phone. It’s a fun way of making your photos look really different. You can properly play around with it. I’ve taken some shots here using that mode just to show off.
There’s 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom. It also comes with a dual LED flash unit and there’s multi-autofocus. It’ll do 4K video at 60 fps, time-lapse and super-slow mo (720p at 480fps) plus there’s Face Unlock, Face Retouching, Smart Pet Capture, Audio 3D, Audio Zoom, Super Micro, Nightscape, Pro Mod, RAW mode, Portrait and much more. You also get other filters (in addition to the “Photo Chromatic” one) – Black & White, Vivid and Matte.
I’m going to look more at the camera and the internals in a different post, so hang tight!
For audio recording and better audio capture during filming there’s 3 microphones for “Audio 3D” and “Audio Zoom” to deliver clearer and richer video recording. It also has optical image stabilization so your footage is smoother too.
That Snapdragon 865 CPU and the super-quick LPDDR5 RAM I mentioned is behind the “Lead with Speed” title and it means you can get a faster phone which lasts for longer.
That 4510mAh battery is the largest in any OnePlus phone. Even with 5G and 120Hz and everything else turned on it’ll last a long time. There’s a Warp Charge 30T charger in the box and the infamous red cable. You can get from 0-50% in 23 minutes on cable or 0-50% in 30 minutes with wireless charging. It’ll also do reverse wireless charging too, so you can charge other things off the back of your 8 Pro.
A system called “Smart Charging” starts to learn when and how long you charge your phone. It’ll ensure that, based on your charging regime, it only hits 100% when you take it off charge. The phone learns this and delays charging so that the battery lasts longer. Leaving it at 100% all the time, as we’ve seen in the past, will – in the long term – affect battery life.
The “Smart Charging” system can, should you wish, be deactivated if you live a rock and roll life.
Note how the screen curves around at the edges. Lovely that..
Regarding that speedy Wireless Charging – this is the first OnePlus phone to do this. You can use Qi Wireless charging but it won’t charge at the rapid speeds experienced in the OnePlus kit. WarpCharge 30T Wireless is a propriety standard.
The OnePlus 8
This one will be available in a shiny Onyx Black and a “Glacial Green” which has more of a matt appearance. The 8GB / 128GB storage version is in both colours but the higher-end 12GB / 256GB version is in green only. There’s also an “Interstellar Glow” but that won’t be coming to the UK.
It’s smaller, lighter and thinner – 160.2mm x 72.9mm x 8mm compared to the 165.3mm x 74.35 mm x 8.5mm measurements of the 8 Pro. It weighs in at 180g instead of the 199g of the 8 Pro too.
Don’t forget that this still has a stack of features that the 8 Pro has – that Snapdragon 865 CPu, the 5G X55 chipset, the Adreno 650 GPU, the in-display fingerprint reader, the 3D Corning Gorilla Glass USB-C charging and audio, dual-stereo speakers, Bluetooth 5.1, aptX and aptX HD support, NFC, GPS, dual-band WiFi and so on.
Where there’s differences is with the screen (this has that 6.55″ 1080 x 2400 pixel 402ppi AMOLED unit at 90Hz), the charging (no wireless charging here but you still get Warp Charge 30T), the battery itself (4300mAh on this instead of 4510mAh), no Audio 3D and Audio Zoom and none of that clever MEMC motion smooth wizardry.
The cameras are also different and, although you get the same in-display holepunch selfie camera (16 megapixel Sony lens), on the back there’s a 16 megapixel ultra-wide shooter, a 48 megapixel main Sony IMX586 and a 2 megapixel macro lens. There’s no real zoom here but you still get 4K video, slow-mo at 720p (480fps) and multi-autofocus.
Again there’s You also get photo filters such as Black & White, Vivid and Matte but you don’t get the Photo Chromatic on the OnePlus 8, only on the Pro.
This is also not IP68 waterproof like the Pro but you do get a “splashproof construction” to protect you from showers etc.
Charging with the Warp Charge 30T charger (in the box) sees the OnePlus 8 get from 0% to 50% in a mere 22 minutes.
Both of these phones are simply stunning. We’re using the “Glacial Green” versions and they bend the light around in a beautiful way. I noticed that the screen on the OnePlus 8 Pro was noticeable whiter and brighter than the OnePlus 8.
Both phones have raised camera units and this, when you’re using the phone on a flat surface, does mean that the have a tendency to rock a little if you push down on the upper right or upper left of the screen. This isn’t a massive issue as you rarely do that, and I’d recommend using the in-box case which will dull this rocking down somewhat.
The cameras on both phones seem pretty similar, but you do quickly notice that lack of a telephoto camera on the OnePlus 8.
The Oxygen OS, which is 10.5.2 on both handsets we’ve got here, doesn’t really get in the way and shouldn’t upset any hardcore Android fans.
As mentioned, you get the Oxygen 10.5 OS launching on both of these phones. There’s no real blockbuster changes – more under-the-hood tweaks and optimizations.
OnePlus have added more dark modes, there’s dynamic wallpapers and Google One support.
OnePlus are working on an always-on display. No ETA as yet but Google Assistant Ambient Mode is currently available.
The OnePlus 8 series goes live for preorder on the official site from 6PM BST today! Perhaps the biggest talking point won’t be the ultra-fast charging, the excellent cameras or the speedy operation of the phones. Instead it’ll be the prices. Whilst the base OnePlus 8 (8GB + 128GB) will be £599, the OnePlus 8 (12GB + 256GB) is going to be £699.
Likewise, the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at £799 for an 8GB + 128GB model and the top-end 12GB + 256GB OnePlus 8 Pro will be £899. That’s quite a bit of money and, although we love OnePlus and we’re big fans, you’ve got to win over those people who’ve never ever heard of “OnePlus” before you can extract nearly £900 from them.
Want more ?
We’ll have a whole load more shortly, but heck – let’s get to the videos. Head to our next post for the unboxing!