OnePlus is all set to launch its much-anticipated flagship smartphone lineup, the OnePlus 8 Series tomorrow. Ahead of tomorrow’s announcement, OnePlus has shared multiple teasers on its official channels to generate hype. In addition to the teasers, a number of important aspects of the smartphone have already leaked online. These include the complete specifications list, likely pricing, packaging, cases, promotional posters, color variants, design, and more. Also Read - OnePlus 8 series alleged official case images leaked ahead of tomorrow's launch
The company has also confirmed some key aspects of the smartphone. These include 5G connectivity, Snapdragon 865 SoC and an increased price tag. The company did note that the smartphone will not cross the $1,000 mark. However, we can expect a significant jump from the OnePlus 7T Series. The 7 and 7T Series already pushed the smartphone beyond the budget premium segment. OnePlus 8 Series is expected to push it further out of reach for some of its core audience. With just hours left before the launch event kicks off, I thought now is the right time to talk about the upcoming OnePlus 8 Series. Also Read - OnePlus 8 Pro packaging, new live image surface online ahead of launch
Watch: 7T Pro McLaren Long Term Review
I have been a long time OnePlus user right from the OnePlus One to OnePlus 3. After the OnePlus 3, I upgraded to the 6T McLaren and my current 7T Pro McLaren. The company has updated almost every aspect of the smartphone each year. This includes the design, the internal hardware, and even the software. Taking a look back, the company has primarily focused on speed, be it with charging, the display or the software. Amidst all this, there is one major aspect that seems to be lagging behind. If you are an OnePlus user then you know that I am talking about the camera department. Also Read - OnePlus 8 Pro's custom MEMC chip teased; here's what it does
A leap in camera performance with OnePlus 7 and 7T
About a year ago, I reviewed the OnePlus 7 Pro, the most refined device OnePlus had launched yet. It looked like the company had “almost cracked it”. OnePlus seemed primed to take on the likes of Samsung, Apple, and even Huawei with its offering. However, the one thing that the company failed to nail was the camera. The camera was good but not close to the greats in the industry. I saw a similar result while reviewing the OnePlus 7T. However, it is also worth noting that the company rolled out significant upgrades post-launch to improve the performance. These updates made significant improvements but still could not match the latest iPhone or the Pixels of the world.
Can OnePlus 8 series change that situation?
As OnePlus gears up to launch its seventh generation of the flagship smartphone, we can only hope for an all-out war. It has already proved that it is worthy of a seat on the big boys’ table. However, now it has to deliver on the hopes to actually beat the competition. It already has the street credit including the hardware and the software. OnePlus just needs to step up its camera game, a department that has been its Achilles’ heel. As per the leaks, we are already aware that the smartphone will feature a triple camera setup on the OnePlus 8. The 8 Pro will come with a quad-camera setup on the back.
The leaks, which have always been accurate, indicate that OnePlus 8 Pro will feature a 48-megapixel camera with a Sony IMX689 sensor. We have already seen this sensor on the Oppo Find X2 Pro. As per DxOMark, the Find X2 Pro currently sits on the second spot with a 124 score. Other sensors on the 8 Pro include a 48-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto, and a 5-megapixel color filter. The regular 8 is rumored to feature a 48-megapixel primary camera with Sony IMX586 with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and 2-megapixel macro sensor. This means that 8 Pro will likely compete with the greats with IMX689.
The leaked specifications of the upcoming flagship smartphone series also hint at a different approach. OnePlus is not giving in to the 108-megapixel hype or even the tried ad tested 12-megapixel formula. Instead, the company is going in with a 48-megapixel sensor, something that we have already seen in current OnePlus devices. It is possible that the company is focusing on camera software rather than the hardware for quality gains.
Pete Lau shares early samples from OnePlus 8 series
Beyond this, OnePlus co-founder and CEO Pete Lau also shared some early samples shot on the OnePlus 8 Pro. These samples showcased what we can expect from the camera on the ultra-wide mode. Lau compared the images with “another flagship phone” though it is possible that OnePlus 8 Pro used Nightscape mode. Most other flagship devices with ultra-wide sensors don’t offer a dedicated night mode. These images do look promising with the usual OnePlus processing. However, we need to wait for the launch.
Forging a path towards the future
The camera performance will likely make or break the future on OnePlus. It can’t afford yet another sub-par camera performance with the upcoming OnePlus 8 Series. Else, there will likely be too much gap between the likely OnePlus 8T series, Pixel 5 and iPhone 12 equivalents. If the company manages to deliver, regardless of the price hike, OnePlus could be in the driving seat in 2020.
Taking a look at the flip-side, the rumored $800 starting point may still be too much for its core customer base. The company has long been known as the budget flagship killer. This is regardless of the fact that the company has gradually re-positioned itself in the market. Mere camera improvements may not be enough to justify the $800 and upward pricing. In addition, the company may also face challenges as coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global economy around the world. If OnePlus manages to strike a balance with this much-needed improvement, it can forge a much better path for its future. Either way, the ball is in your court OnePlus.
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