What’s up, guys? This is my OnePlus 8 Pro review, after using it for almost two months now.
There are lots to like about this phone. There are a few things not to like and there’s room for improvement. And I am going to be trying to cover as much of that as possible.
OnePlus 8 Pro Review[lwptoc]
Display (The Good)
The first thing we want to talk about is the display. So you may have heard a lot of people already say that this has the best display in the market right now, and don’t get me wrong, it’s a good display, but it’s not perfect and we’ll go into that.
So firstly, let’s talk about the good.
Of course, it’s a big display. It’s bright, it’s brighter than what we had last year. It’s got a Quad HD plus resolution, supports HDR, 10 plus. But most importantly it has a 120-hertz refresh rate.
OnePlus were one of the main manufacturers last year that popularized high refresh rate screens with OnePlus 7 Pro. This year, they’ve gone even more ahead from 90 hertz to 120 hertz and it does make a difference.
And unlike other competitive devices, you can have 120 hertz at Quad HD plus resolution. So, you’re getting the maximum sharpness as well as the maximum smoothness all in one. And that’s something that I like.
Punch-out vs Pop-up
Now I don’t mind the punch out, but according to a lot of other people, this is a step back from the OnePlus 7 Pro series which did have the pop-out to camera, so you didn’t have any interruptions on the display.
Some people don’t mind the punch out, but some people do prefer the pop out, especially because of privacy. That pop camera when it’s not being used, it is physically hidden.
Now one of the reasons why OnePlus has gone with the punch out rather than the pop up is for IP 68 water and dust resistance and the OnePlus 8 Pro is the first OnePlus device to have that official rating.
So, I do think it’s going to come down to your personal preference. As I said, I don’t mind it and it’s something that you kind of ignore after a bit because it is out of the way in the top corner.
Curved Display Issues
Now let’s talk about a few of the negatives.
So you’ll see that this is a very curved display from either side. And although this looks cool in terms of usability, it can sometimes be a bit of a problem.
Samsung, the company that popularized the curve display format, they have now started to move away from that. So, if you look at the S20 line, the displays are much flatter than they have been previously.
The OnePlus 8 Pro has a very curved display and although it is going to come down to your personal preference whether you like it or not. There are some palm rejection issues that I’ve experienced, especially if it’s reaching to the opposite bottom corner.
Always-On Display (Lack of)
Another area for improvement is with an always-on display. The OnePlus 8 Pro still does not have an always-on display.
OnePlus has been making OLED displays for some time on their devices and they still don’t have an always-on display, whereas the competition out there on the Android side, whether it’s Samsung, Google, LG, they will have always-on displays.
Now, this may not be specific to you. you may not want an always-on display. I am somebody who appreciates an always-on display. It’s really useful to just see things at a glance without having to pick my phone up each time and although I do think the OnePlus 8 Pro is going to be getting an update from what I’ve read on forums soon.
It has been some time since this has been out and although we had lots of other updates, we’ve still not got that always-on display.
OnePlus, there’s no excuse now, give us an always-on display. Right, so those are some of the issues that may or may not apply to you, but let’s talk about some issues that I think will apply to most people.
Green Tint/Black Crush Issues
Recently, we did start hearing of display issues with the OnePlus 8 Pro. In particular around green tint as well as a black crush.
I did not experience any green tint, but I did experience some black crush. Now, this was only visible in very dark environments when the brightness was down.
And you could notice some areas of the screen which were inconsistent compared to others. When you have something like a grey background.
Now OnePlus did release some updates to improve this. But from what I found in my experience was that all these updates did was to limit how dim the display could go. Which would make those issues less noticeable, but they were still there.
Here you can see an image of the OnePlus 8 Pro right next to the OnePlus 7 Pro at the lowest brightness settings and you can see that the OnePlus 7 Pro goes much dimmer compared to the OnePlus 8 Pro after this updates.
And having a closer examination of my OnePlus 8 Pro compared to the OnePlus 7 Pro, I did see quite a bit of inconsistency in the colour when viewing grey backgrounds.
So, there’s going to be more software updates coming to improve this. Whether or not these software updates are going to fix this issue completely, I don’t know.
Optical In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
Now another thing I want to talk about around the display is this optical in-display fingerprint scanner, which is very fast.
It’s one of the fastest fingerprint scanners out there, but you do have to wake the device to be able to use it.
On Samsung Galaxy S20 the fingerprint scanner is always on so you can just press it at any time without having to wake the device.
So, the fact that you do have to wake the device before you press the fingerprint scanner makes this a little bit slower in my opinion. So that’s something that I think with an always-on display will hopefully be fixed.
And another thing is that once again this is in darker environments, something that may not be specific to everyone out there, but as soon as you tap the fingerprint scanner, the brightness of the display increases significantly.
And it seems to be because it is trying to push some light through the optical fingerprint scanner area to be able to read your fingerprint. But for me, that does spoil the experience of using this device in the dark.
It’s not something that I experience on other devices. They have consistent brightness. So if you do set it to the lowest brightness, it’s going to stay like that. It’s not going to suddenly brighten up the screen to be able to read your fingerprint.
I don’t know if this can be improved with the software updates, but it is something that I’ve noticed.
Build & Design
Now let’s move on to the build on the design. So, in terms of the design itself, this is not anything new. The front, as well as the back, is something that we’ve seen previously.
The front is practically identical to the OPPO Find X2 Pro, which is a device by OPPO, a partner company to OnePlus. So, it’s kind of understandable. And the back of the device looks very much like last year’s OnePlus 7 Pro.
Now, these are not necessarily bad things. I think it looks good from the front and I also think it looks good from the back. I like the symmetrical central aligned cameras compared to some of the rectangular camera modules that we’re seeing these days.
And I also really liked this matte finish at the back. This looks nice. It’s got a bit of a two-tone finish. However, if you do get the black version then that is a glossy black, which I’m not a huge fan of because it does attract lots of fingerprints.
Now speaking of this camera module, the camera module does have quite a bit of a bump on. Because it’s in the middle, the device will rock from side to side quite a bit.
Now I generally don’t use my phone when it’s on the table, but just something to bear in mind.
Primary and Ultra-wide Cameras
Let’s talk about these cameras. So traditionally OnePlus devices have always been a step behind other competitive devices. So, it’s one area where I think OnePlus has struggled to kind of keep up with the competition.
This year, however, things are different, and OnePlus has improved the game when it comes to cameras, I’m very impressed with the cameras here.
The Ultra-wide camera is using the same sensors that we had on the primary camera last year and it does take some good photos.
The primary camera is quite a large sensor as well, so you do get some natural blurry background shots, natural depth of field effect.
However, as with other smartphones that do have a large sensor, the plane of focus is quite slim.
So, there might be certain situations where you try to take an image of something and some of it’s going to be in focus and some of it is not going to be in focus.
“3x” Optical Zoom
We also have a telephoto camera, which is going to give you an OnePlus say three times optical zoom. This is technically the same as saying you had a 12-megapixel camera with two-times optical zoom.
As soon as you crop that image to 8 megapixels, then that’s kind of the equivalent of three times optical zoom.
So, I would have liked to have had a standard two-times optical zoom camera on here, which you could crop into yourself instead of this kind of cropping in for you.
The other area where I think this affects is when it comes to portrait mode. So generally, portrait shots on a smartphone tend to look best at around 50m. So that’s around at the 2X point.
Also having a look at some portrait shots in comparison to say the iPhone 11 Pro max. I do prefer the colours much more on the iPhone compared to the OnePlus.
Now one underrated feature on the OnePlus is the macro camera. Now I’m not talking about the gimmicky 2-megapixel macro cameras, which manufacturers are now throwing into smartphones these days.
The OnePlus 8 does have one of those 2-megapixel macro cameras, which doesn’t give you great results.
The OnePlus 8 Pro gives you nice macro shots. And it’s something that I found myself using a lot to get some nice closeups, which you can then use as some abstract backgrounds in things.
And it’s something that other smartphones don’t offer. So, it’s a feature that I think is quite underrated.
Colour Filter Camera
Now let’s talk about the colour filter camera, which is interesting. We noticed that this colour photo camera could see through sets of materials. Some light plastics and things like that.
I was kind of thinking that, why did OnePlus not advertise this as a feature, right? Because then it would have made a lot more sense.
However, that quickly changed because I then realized that there was a lot of people that were not happy about this because of privacy and the fact that you could potentially see through some very thin materials such as a t-shirt or something.
Is it going to be a problem for OnePlus? Well, yes, it is a problem for OnePlus and as far as I’m aware, right now they have updated software on at least the Chinese models to disable this temporarily.
The front-facing camera is quite good. You get lots of detail. Dynamic range is good too, but I have found that it can overexpose in certain situations.
This is something that OnePlus devices previously have done a little bit too. It’s not always, but in certain situations, I just find that it’s just completely washed me out. So, this is something that I’m hoping can be improved.
But one thing that the OnePlus 8 Pro is missing, which other flagship devices, even half the price of this is offering, is a 4K front-facing camera.
Now when it comes to video, the iPhone does have my favourite video camera on any smartphone. One of the reasons for that is consistency.
You could be shooting from the front-facing camera or any of the rear-facing cameras for photos or videos and then you can match that footage up later and then you have consistency.
On the OnePlus 8 Pro, you’ve got a max of 1080p. So if I’m shooting some video from the front-facing camera and then I switched to the rear-facing camera, I’m not going to be able to put that footage together.
It’s not going to be the same resolution. I’ll have to downscale my footage from the rear-facing cameras. So, this is an area that I am a little bit disappointed about for a flagship device in 2020. I think that it should have had 4K from the front-facing camera.
Video from the rear-facing camera is quite good. And we also have an HDR option, which does make a difference for dynamic range.
So, the cameras are good. They are up to the competition in many ways, but there is room for improvement.
Speed & Performance
Now let’s talk a little bit about the performance. So, OnePlus has always been known for having some of the fastest smartphones out there. A lot of that is thanks to the hardware, but a lot of that is also thanks to the software.
So, this is powered by the latest and greatest. So, we’ve got the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. We do have UFS 3.0 storage, LPDDR 5 Ram.
So personally speaking, I’ve had no problems whatsoever in terms of speed and performance. This is a very fast and smooth device like OnePlus say. And a lot of that is thanks to the software as well as the higher refresh rate screen.
Oxygen OS Software
The software is one of my favourite skins on Android, Oxygens. It’s clean. It’s simple.
There’s not too much on here that you don’t need and as a lot of you guys probably already know, OnePlus is good with updates. I’ve already had multiple updates on my OnePlus 8 Pro and it’s only been around a couple of months.
So, this is something that I’m very confident, OnePlus is going to carry on doing. Bringing updates to the device and bringing a lot of these improvements.
One improvement that I would like to see however is better one-handed usage. So, if I am holding the device in one hand, I can’t necessarily reach the icon style at the top. They are out of reach because of the layout.
Now if I compare the same icons on something like the Galaxy S20 Ultra, you will see that the icons are much lower even though they are the same icons, everything is the same, but they are much lower.
And that’s something that I like about (mumbles). That consideration of one-handed usage. So hopefully OnePlus can improve the software here. So, it is generally better for one-handed usage.
For the speakers, we do have one in the earpiece and one bottom-firing and they do sound really good. I’ve not got any complaints with the speakers.
Battery Life (Including Fast Charging and Wireless Charging)
Now let’s talk about battery life. So, battery life has been really good in my experience. And that is at maximum setting.
So, I am using Quad HD plus resolution with 120 hertz and this has managed to get me through the day and pretty much all occasions. We’re talking around five to six hours of screen on time.
So personally speaking, I’ve not got any real complaints of the battery life. And of course, OnePlus very fast with charging, you do get a 30-watt charger out of the box, which tops this up very fast.
But for the first time on OnePlus device, we finally have wireless charging. This is something that I used to miss massively on OnePlus devices, and it is finally here.
And it works well. You can get a very fast 30-watt wireless charger, but that is something that you’re going to have to buy separately. It is a propriety OnePlus charger. I don’t think you need to get it.
I mean it’s nice to have, don’t get me wrong, but it’s quite big and it’s got a fan and honestly speaking, I think wireless charging is more about convenience.
This device lasts me through the day generally, so I can just drop this on a wireless charger before I’m about to go to bed and I can wake up to it charged.
So, I don’t have to worry about that. And I think that’s how most modern flagships should be. They should last you the day. And the wireless charging thing is more of a convenience.
So yes, if you do want those super-fast wireless charging speeds, you can go ahead and buy the 30T wireless charger.
But any general cheat enabled wireless charger is going to work fine with the OnePlus 8 Pro. It’s just not going to be as fast of course.
Now we also do have support for reverse wireless charging where you can charge another device on the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro.
This is quite slow, however. Slower than some of the competition, so it’s not something that I found myself using much.
5G and Dual SIM
Now the OnePlus 8 Pro does have support for 5G. One good thing is that you do have the dual SIM support and you can have two 5G sims in here.
Although you’ll only be able to use 5G on one sim at one time. Still good to have. And the fact that we do have 5G does have an impact on the price.
Price and Conclusion
The price of the OnePlus 8 Pro is starting at 800 pounds in the UK or $900 in the US.
So, it’s up there with the competitive flagships. So traditionally, OnePlus devices have been quite a bit cheaper and it’s been very easy to recommend OnePlus devices over others purely because of the price.
Overall, despite some of the issues, OnePlus 8 Pro is a very good smartphone and it’s something that I think most people would like.
But at the same time, there is a lot of competition at this price bracket. If you look at the likes of the S20 for example, that will be retailing for around this price, now that it has been out for a couple of months.
So, it’s going to be a question of do you want to go with one of these other devices? Or do you want to go with this?
However, if you’re in India, then the decision is going to be a lot easier because the OnePlus 8 Pro is a lot cheaper in India compared to everywhere else.
The price of the OnePlus 8 Pro in India is
- ₹54,999 for 128GB/8GB variant
- ₹59,999 for 256GB/12GB variant
Now I think this is partly because OnePlus devices are hugely popular in India.
We’ve already heard before, that OnePlus is the number one premium smartphone brand in India. And it looks like OnePlus has worked hard to get the price down in India particularly, which is kind of unfair on the rest of the world.
But regardless if you are in India, then I think you’re going to like this deal in comparison to lots of other premium flagship devices out there.
That’s what I think about the OnePlus 8 Pro. What do you guys think? Drop me a comment below. Let me know your thoughts
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