Trends in Technology
Ever since releasing the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus has entered the highest-range flagship market. With higher price-tags, OnePlus is no longer the flagship killer for enthusiasts; it is now a flagship heavyweight. The OnePlus 8 Pro is no different: it is directly competing with the likes of Samsung S20+, Huawei P40 Pro, and the upcoming Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL.
In this review, we explore whether OnePlus 8 Pro really measures up to the title of the heavyweight smartphone champion for 2020.
Is OnePlus 8 Pro the Smartphone Champion of 2020?
The OnePlus 8 Pro’s extensive specs and features allow it to compete head-to-head against other smart phone manufacturers flagships. With a beautiful, large, slightly curved 120hz AMOLED display and top-of-the-line hardware to boot, the OnePlus 8 Pro is a strong contender. However, it still faces an uphill battle against the Pixel and the iPhone in the camera department. So, without further ado, let’s explore the OnePlus 8 Pro in more detail.
1. Design and Display
The OnePlus 8 Pro sports a 6.78 inches, fluid AMOLED display panel made by Samsung. OnePlus claims the phone has close to perfect color accuracy with over 1 billion colors. Indeed, the brightness of the model also gives it a leg up over most other smartphones, reaching 888 nits with automatic brightness in daylight. Display sharpness is also striking with around 513 ppi density.
The screen has a refresh rate of 120hz, which means snappy, smooth display for scrolling and gaming. The 19.8:9 aspect ratio makes it prominently tall. Although the slightly curved edges can be a gripe for some, the screen-to-body ratio is also satisfying at around 90.8%. However, the curves are still less drastic than the OnePlus 7 Pro making it more comfortable to handle. All in all, the display receives an A+. OnePlus have really hit it out of the ballpark. This is especially considering that the simultaneous 120hz refresh rate with QHD+ resolution. Notably, this trait is unavailable in even Samsung’s pricier S20+. It appears that the display on the OnePlus 8 Pro is the best on any smartphone yet!
The design-build of the OnePlus 8 Pro is quite similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro. The width and thickness is nearly the same, while being taller and housing a bigger battery and wireless charging hardware. However, weighing 199 grams or 7.02 oz means its not a lightweight phone. There are no problems with the premium build quality. One minor annoyance is that the quad-camera module sticks out further than the OnePlus 8 variant, making it difficult to hold. Luckily, if you stick on a case (as you should), it won’t be noticeable.
OnePlus has done away with the pop-up selfie camera and gone with a hole-punch instead. Though many appreciated the pop-up camera that kept the display unobstructed, you can easily adapt to the small hole-punch. Additionally, the phone has an IP68 dust/water resistance rating. And, this seals OnePlus’ entry into the flagship arena.
Perhaps the camera is one domain in which the OnePlus 8 Pro still doesn’t wear the crown. Though the camera and processing quality has improved in OnePlus phones, they still don’t compete with Google’s Pixel 4 or iPhone 11 Max.
Nonetheless, the OnePLus 8 Pro can shoot great photos with high dynamic range and a lot of detail. This smartphone has 4 cameras: primary, ultrawide, optically stabilized 3x telephoto, and a color filter, allowing you to apply different color themes to your photos. The primary camera uses a new Sony IMX689 48MP sensor with larger 1.12 µm pixels, allowing for more light to come in and better detail quality. With the 4-to-1 ‘pixel binning,’ this comes out to 2.24 µm pixel size. The primary camera is also optically stabilized.
The ultrawide camera has an older Sony IMX586 48MP sensor. The wide-angle shift the color balance towards the cooler side, with photos seeming sharp but a bit more washed out than the primary camera. The 3x telephoto lens has a 12MP sensor, but the image output is 8MP. This allows for “lossless 3x zoom,” according to OnePlus. The images at 3x are soft and have less contrast, and image quality gets worse with more noise at higher than 3x zoom. The selfie camera isn’t bad, with 16MP and great contrast and color. Portrait mode also holds up pretty well.
The video quality is impressive, with OnePlus adding 4K at 60fps video. However, the super stabilization features only work up to 4K 30fps. The 8 Pro performs pretty well in the video department, but it still can’t unseat Apple here.
3. Performance and Battery
Performance is where the OnePlus 8 Pro really shines. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor (with X55 5G modem) with 8-12 gigs of LPDDR5 RAM and 128-256GB UFS 3.0 storage. These specs allow it to go head-to-head with Samsung and Apple. After software updates, the OnePlus 8 Pro operates exceptionally silky-smooth during multitasking and never misses a beat.
The 8 Pro has an adaptive refresh mode which switches to 60hz when something static is being displayed, but immediately switches back to 120hz when you start using it. The touch sampling rate is at a whopping 240hz, ensuring crisp and instant feedback. The adaptive refresh mode also allows the 8 Pro to have a surprisingly great battery life.
A 4,510mAh battery with 30W wired and wireless charging capability help the 8 Pro exceed in terms of battery life. It survives for around 1.25 to 1.5 days. The included Warp Charge 30T cable allows the phone to charge to 50% in 23 minutes. There is also the option to buy a Warp Charge 30 Wireless charger, which can surprisingly charge up to 58% in 30 minutes. Reverse charging at 3W is also available if you want to easily recharge your earbuds. It’s great to see that OnePlus has kept battery life and charging speeds a priority.
We haven’t mentioned OnePlus’ Oxygen OS, which is a highly-refined UI staying close to stock Android but with useful and interesting customization features. OnePlus is also known for quick and consistent firmware updates. In sum, the OnePlus 8 Pro package is hard to beat, considering that it’s still much cheaper than Samsung or Apple’s flagships. If you’re not a hardcore smartphone camera photographer, the OnePlus 8 Pro is a great contender. However, if your main use for a phone is its camera, then you’ll want to look elsewhere. Nevertheless, it has a gorgeous display, impeccable performance and battery life, and a host of assorted features; this is why OnePlus 8 Pro is the best smartphone of 2020.
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