OnePlus 8 Pro review: the Samsung killer
Ryley Calhoun
+Follow
Following

OnePlus 8 Pro review: the Samsung killer


OnePlus’s latest range-topping 8 Pro phone puts Samsung on notice, featuring a slick design, 120Hz screen, 5G, improved cameras and even wireless charging.
Starting at $1920.49 on Gearbest the 8 Pro builds on the success of last year’s 7 Pro and 7T Pro, but with a higher price on par with its premium rivals. In offering it, OnePlus has shifted from its self-proclaimed cut-price “flagship killer” roots to directly competing with the likes of Samsung and Apple without a massive price advantage.


The 8 Pro simplifies the design of last year’s models. Gone is the
novel popup selfie camera, replaced by a more traditional hole punch
situated about one-sixth in from the top left of the screen. It’s small and fairly unobtrusive during use.



The phone has a line cut into the top which is strangely pleasing to the eye.

The large industry-leading QHD+ 6.78in screen is the star of the show, filling the entire front of the device. New for this year is a bump up from 90Hz to 120Hz refresh rate, matching Samsung’s S20 line and a smidgen smoother in slow scrolls than last year’s phones or the cheaper OnePlus 8.

The difference between the previous standard 60Hz screens and a 120Hz
screen is quite something: scrolling through lists, sites, content and
other animations is just so much smoother at 120Hz. It’s difficult to go
back.

The screen can be used in either FHD+ or QHD+ at 120Hz, unlike Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra, which is limited to FHD+ at 120Hz.

A glass back is not just for aesthetics this year, as the 8 Pro is OnePlus’s first phone with wireless charging – more on that later. The 74.4mm-wide, 199g 8 Pro is 1.5mm narrower and 7g lighter than last year’s models, making it far more manageable than most, including the oversized Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. I didn’t feel the need to immediately put a Popsocket or phone ring on the back to help me hold it. However, it is a full 2.7mm longer than the 7T Pro, which makes it more difficult to comfortably fit in a pocket.

The 8 Pro is also the first OnePlus to come with an official IP68 water resistance rating.



 The hole-punch selfie camera is certainly less exciting
than last year’s popup module, but works just as well. 

Specifications


  • Screen: 6.78in 120Hz QHD AMOLED (513ppi)


  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865


  • RAM: 8 or 12GB of RAM


  • Storage: 128 or 256GB (UFS 3.0)


  • Operating system: OxygenOS 10.5 based onAndroid 10


  • Camera: quad rear camera 48MP, 48MP ultra-wide angle, 8MP telephoto, 5MP colour filter, 16MP front-facing camera


  • Connectivity: 5G, dual sim, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1 and GPS


  • Water resistance: IP86


  • Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5 mm


  • Weight: 199g


Speed and battery life

The USB-C port in the bottom is no longer the only way to
top up the battery as OnePlus has finally added wireless charging to
its phones. 

The 8 Pro has the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor with 8 or 12GB of RAM, depending on storage version, as the OnePlus 8 and performed equally brilliantly: snappy and more responsive than anything else, with 5G capability baked-in too.

The 8 Pro also matches the 8 on battery life. It lasts over 32 hours between charges, making it from 7am on day one until 3pm on day two.

Three hours of the 32 was spent on 4G, the rest connected to wifi, with the FHD+ 120Hz screen on for well over five hours, including 50 minutes of video, plus seven hours of Spotify via Bluetooth headphones and about 20 photos. Increasing the screen’s resolution to QHD+ reduced battery life by only an hour or so.

5G performance was similar to a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra on EE and Vodafone, but I could not test its impact on battery life during lockdown in the UK. The phone is limited to 4G-only when two sims are used at the same time, pending an update.

Warp Charge 30T superfast wired charging reached 50% in 28 minutes
and a full charge in 77 minutes. New for this year is optimised
charging, which preserves the battery by delaying charging to 100%
overnight until just before you typically need it.

Also new for the 8 Pro is wireless charging, including standard Qi
and OnePlus’s proprietary Warp Charge 30 Wireless charging, which
requires a special charger with a cooling fan but reaches a peak of 30W –
considerably faster than the five to 15W offered by rivals. The 8 Pro
can also wirelessly charge other Qi-enabled devices from its back.

Sustainability

OnePlus rates the battery in the 8 Pro for 800 full-charge cycles till 80% capacity – better than the typical 500. Battery longevity is aided by the optimised charging system. The battery can be replaced and the smartphone is generally repairable by OnePlus in the UK.

The firm offers a trade-in programme for both its own phones and models from rivals. It did not comment on the use of recycled materials in its smartphones.

OxygenOS 10.5


Google Discover replaces OnePlus’s less-than-loved ‘Shelf’ on the 8 Pro’s homescreen. 

The 8 Pro ships with the same OxygenOS 10.5 based on Android 10 as the cheaper OnePlus 8.

Google’s Discover feed now features on the home screen, alongside
nice touches such as the ability to choose which icons show in the
status bar, full theme support and choices for animations such as that
around the fingerprint scanner.

OxygenOS has developed into the best version of Android you can get
on a phone, balancing features, aesthetics and speed like no other.

OnePlus only offers software support for three years from release,
including two years of Android version updates and then a further year
of security updates on a bimonthly schedule. Samsung offers four years
of support for its S20 devices and Apple offers five for its iPhones, so
there’s still work to be done for OnePlus.

Camera


The camera on the OnePlus 8 Pro is a significant step up from previous efforts. 

The 8 Pro has a quad-camera on the rear of the device, combining a
48MP main camera, a 48MP ultrawide camera, an 8MP telephoto camera and a
5MP colour filter camera.

The main 48MP camera is great, producing some excellent, highly detailed and well exposed shots. The auto-HDR mode handles high-contrast scenes well, while low-light performance is much improved from the 7T Pro and 8 without needing the dedicated Nightscape mode. It shoots 12MP images by default, with a 48MP mode available, which suffered more from camera and object shake.



The 48MP ultrawide-angle camera is also one of the better modules on a phone, producing some good images in bright light in 12MP mode. It was weaker in middling light, producing more noise and artefacts than the main camera, but it can use Nightscape in really dark scenes to help.

The 8MP camera is good too, but as can be expected has significantly weaker low-light performance than the main camera. It has a 3x hybrid zoom, which is very good, and a further digital zoom up to 30x that rivals all but those phones with telescopic optical zoom lenses, such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. If your subject is still you’ll get pretty good images all the way up to 24x zoom in good light.

The 5MP photochrom colour filter camera is a gimmick that can be
safely ignored, producing poor images even in good light. You can do
better with software colour filters.

The front-facing 16MP camera is really good too, producing highly
detailed and well toned images in good light. It gets slightly softer in
poor light, but still respectable.

Observations








 

The 8 Pro’s fast and accurate under-screen optical
fingerprint reader is significantly faster and more forgiving than
rivals used by Samsung and others. 


  • OnePlus’s excellent alert slider toggles between silent, vibrate and ring.


  • The stereo speakers are pretty good.


  • A pre-applied screen protector and good clear-plastic case are included in the box.


  • Call quality was excellent on both sides of the call.


  • The first phone tested had a faulty screen that showed a green
    tint to dark. colours with the screen brightness set to under 40%.

Verdict

The 8 Pro shows OnePlus is no longer the underdog significantly undercutting the big boys on price.

Instead it has filled the cost-cutting gaps with features that truly
rival the best from others. The 8 Pro has a genuinely fantastic screen, a
cracking design that’s big but comparatively easy to handle, and it
finally has wireless charging and proper water resistance – two
hallmarks of top-end phones.

The Chinese firm has also addressed a traditional weakness in its
camera, producing a phone that competes favourably with all but the very
best and most expensive super-camera phones.

Add that to OnePlus’s traditional strengths of slick software,
serious speed and strong battery life and you have a very potent
combination. It simply offers a better day-to-day experience than
practically anything else, beating Samsung, Google and others at their
own game.

It’s not perfect, of course. You only get three years of software
support where Apple offers five. The phone is a bit long for small
pockets and not being able to have 5G at all when using two sims is
irritating.








New OnePlus Phone Arrival Soon! OnePlus 8 Pro Smartphone with Snapdragon 865 and 5G Available


$1920.49


$1920.49




















Comments
Click here to be the first to share your thoughts!

Top Picks

Top Picks

Write a comment
View amazing comments
View Item(s)

1 Products