OnePlus started its journey with the “flagship killer” strategy, which has worked well for the company. But, it is not alone anymore, and several brands are now joining the party with the same aim to disrupt the premium mid-range segment. This doesn’t mean OnePlus is going to lose. The company has successfully built its own loyal fanbase, and seems to have plans to offer phones in every segment. It has gradually shifted to the premium flagship category and it is likely to re-enter the affordable category soon. Also Read - OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 8 Android 11 beta now available: All you need to know
The OnePlus 8 Pro is the most expensive phone from the company. But with the price hike, it also brings the much-awaited flagship features that were missing on previous models. In India, the brand has still aggressively priced the phone on a little lower price bracket compared to the flagships from Samsung and Apple. This gives OnePlus an edge over those devices as it also offers the same high-end raw, smooth experience at a lower price. Read our OnePlus 8 Pro review to find out why we believe this is currently one of the best deals you can get for its price. Also Read - OnePlus 8 Pro OxygenOS 10.5.10 update brings back the 'X-ray vision' Photochrom filter
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When it comes to design, OnePlus actually delivers what it claims. The unique seafoam green color of OnePlus 8 Pro is just mesmerizing to eyes. The Glacial Green is a new subtle and classy color, which the company has introduced this year. There is also a bold Ultramarine Blue color, which looks great too. The device has a very nice soft-touch glass back, which feels great in the hand. It has a sleek and slim profile, which makes it more captivating. While our photos don’t quite represent the beautiful design, you really need to see it to believe it. Also Read - OnePlus 8 Pro camera scores big on DxOMark
The frosted rear panel doesn’t attract fingerprints, just like iPhone 11 Pro or the Pixel lineup. It is a departure from the rear finish seen on the OnePlus 7T Pro, which we appreciate. Similarly, the rear camera arrangement is also the same with subtle changes. This time around, there is a quad-camera setup and more pronounced camera bump, which gets settled against the surface with a phone case. OnePlus bundles a TPU case with the phone, which you will have to slap on it to protect the rear panel from any damages.
OnePlus has thankfully not employed the motorized camera mechanism, found on the OnePlus 7T Pro. It seems that it either didn’t work in the company’s favor or the brand just wanted to follow the trend. You get a punch-hole display design with curved edges, which will remind one of the premium Samsung devices. Also, it seems to have a tad more pronounced curve than the standard OnePlus 8.
While many complain about accidental touches when it comes to curved panels, it was a very rare affair in my case. However, we cannot deny the fact that curved displays are more fragile, and accidental drop could be bad news for you. Hence, it is advised to use the phone carefully and a good case would work well for you. One thing I would like to mention is that flagship phones have luxurious glass designs, so one cannot really complain here about their fragile nature.
Though, we do feel that the OnePlus 8 Pro has a tall form factor, which makes it a bit uncomfortable for one-hand usage. Surely, it offers you an immersive experience when you view content on the whopping 6.78-inch screen, but you will find it a bit hard to reach certain parts of the UI. If you love big displays, then you won’t have any issues. As for the screen quality, the OnePlus 8 Pro has a stunning display with lively colors. It features an AMOLED panel with the highest Quad HD+ resolution, a high 120Hz refresh rate, 1200nits brightness, and HDR10+ support. Like the standard version, the OnePlus 8 Pro also offers close to non-existing bezels. It has one of the best displays just like flagship Samsung devices.
You get options to select between 60Hz/120Hz refresh rate and full HD+/Quad HD+ resolution. The device says that it dynamically switches to 60Hz when 120Hz is not needed. Selecting a lower resolution and refresh rate saves power to a certain extent. We will talk about this later.
OnePlus has also added support for MEMC tech, which makes the visuals look smoother. It does make a difference and offers a slightly better viewing experience. If the feature is already turned on in the settings, it automatically kicks in wherever its need is felt and you see the “Motion Smoothing Graphics starting” bar on the screen for about two seconds. It works with apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, and more. It is to be noted that the features combined with high resolution and refresh rate drain the battery a bit faster than normal.
The device has the usual buttons as well as the alert slider, which is one of the nicest original additions of OnePlus. Needless to say, it comes with a USB Type-C port and stereo speakers. The OnePlus 8 Pro finally offers an IP68 rating, which means that the handset can survive up to 1.5 meters of water for about 30 minutes. It is also dust resistant.
General performance, Storage, Gaming, Software
The OnePlus 8 Pro draws its power from a top-notch Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, which is not surprising. You get up to 12GB RAM and fast UFS 3.0 storage. The overall performance of the device is buttery smooth. It can easily handle everything you throw at it. From multi-tasking to everyday tasks to gaming, everything was super fast and smooth.
The 120Hz refresh rate makes gameplay much smoother than the regular 60Hz. If you regularly play graphic-intensive games like PUBG Mobile on a usual 60Hz display, you will easily notice smoother, quicker movement and actions after switching to 120Hz screen. Yes, the difference between both the refresh rates is subtle, but a higher refresh rate allows you to see a few frames earlier than a regular 60Hz, which makes for a great gaming experience. It doesn’t only benefit in gaming, but makes daily tasks feel a bit smoother. Scrolling through social media apps or web pages, moving through the UI and multi-tasking was a breeze.
However, there were a few occasions when the in-display fingerprint sensor was behaving weirdly and I was annoyed as the phone was then asking me to enter the PIN to unlock it. Otherwise, the fingerprint sensor worked well and was very quick to unlock it. We did witness a bit of lag while switching between camera modes, but this was once in a while. The OnePlus 8 Pro ships with Android 10 out of the box. As I mentioned in our OnePlus 8 review, OxygenOS is one of the best Android skins and is clutter and ad-free. You will not find any unnecessary app. There are a lot of shortcuts and nifty little features, which makes your experience much better. The device is a total no-brainer and offers you smooth and fast experience.
The device does not support microSD card, which is disappointing. The base 128GB storage variant (with 8GB RAM) might not be sufficient for many. If you are the person who keeps a dozen of apps on your phone, and shoots a lot of videos or takes photographs, then 128GB storage space might get filled up soon. You also cannot forget the number of videos and photos you get from apps like WhatsApp, which fills up space fast. There is also a 256GB storage model (with 12GB RAM), but the price seems quite higher and you will have to pay Rs 5,000 more for that. The base variant of OnePlus 8 Pro is priced at Rs 54,999 in India. OnePlus should have offered microSD card support, and we expect it to happen with at least OnePlus 8T. Besides, 5G connectivity is yet to commercially launch in India and you might feel a little bad for paying for a tech which is not yet available in the country. But, it is better to have the latest technology in your hands, and you don’t even have any other option other than buying a 5G variant.
What surprised me is that even at the higher settings, we got a good enough battery life. With 120Hz and full HD+ resolution options, the device lasted us for one and a half-day, which is the result of light usage. This includes just browsing, social networking, listening to music, and a bit of binge-watching. Switching to the highest resolution gave us less than a day’s battery life with heavy usage. There is a power-saving option, which automatically switches to appropriate resolution to save some battery.
One of the most exciting features of OnePlus 8 Pro is its support for 30W wireless charging. However, for this, users will require the company’s proprietary OnePlus WarpCharge dock to take advantage of fast charging. While the 30W wireless charger is yet to go on sale, the brand claimed that it can top up the OnePlus 8 Pro’s battery from 0 to 50 percent in just 29 minutes. We don’t have this charger, so we couldn’t test this claim. But, the company’s claims are mostly accurate. As it will be sold separately, you will have to spend Rs 3,990 more. In case you are wondering whether you can use any other wireless charging stand or pad, then the answer is yes. But, note that you will not get the 30W charging speed here. Additionally, the brand’s wireless device can charge any other non-OnePlus phone too, but by up to 10W charging speed, just like the wired one.
As for the wired 30W charger that you get in the box, it can literally charge the device by 70 percent in around 30 minutes as the company claims. As we mentioned in our OnePlus 8 review, moving forward we expect the company to offer more than 30W fast charger as several big phones pack 40W or 65W chargers. The latest OnePlus 5G phone also supports reverse wireless charging tech.
Speakers, Headphone jack
As is the case with most flagship phones, there is no headphone jack here. However, wireless is the future and the tech is also very convenient. It is bound to take over the mid-range segment too in a few years. Additionally, the TWS segment is also getting competitive and you can get good enough true wireless earphones for around Rs 2,000. The company itself sells OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z neckband earphones for the same price. We have reviewed it and can say that it is a good deal. The only problem some OnePlus 8 Pro buyers might have is if they don’t already have a pair of wireless earphones, they will have to spend more to get one. The company should have provided a free Type-C to 3.5mm adapter, which is listed on the official site for Rs 390. As for the stereo speakers, they can get really loud and seems to sound better than the standard OnePlus 8. We didn’t notice any sound distortion at high volume levels.
The OnePlus 8 Pro features a 48-megapixel primary Sony IMX689 camera, similar to the Oppo Find X2 Pro. It comes with a f/1.78 aperture, OIS support, and a pixel size of 1.12-micron. There is also a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 ultra-wide-angle camera with an f/2.2 aperture. It is paired with an 8-megapixel hybrid zoom camera with an f/2.44 aperture and a pixel size of 1.0-micron. It supports 30X digital zoom and OIS. The company has also added a fourth 5-megapixel camera with an f/2.4 aperture. The company has disabled the color filter feature, which is why we couldn’t test it. The quad rear camera setup of the phone also supports autofocus. On the front is a 16-megapixel camera with an f/2.45 aperture and a pixel size of 1.0-micron.
OnePlus has improved a lot in the camera department, and the 8 Pro has a very good camera for its price. The device’s main camera can offer you great shots in daylight. It offered an overall good dynamic range, detailed and sharp pictures. There is a shot with 3 or 4 cars and two buildings, which are very far. But, the camera could capture a very clear and detailed picture that you can even read the name of the building, which is very impressive. Moving ahead, the exposure is handled very well, which you can notice in one of the sunlight shots.
We did notice a bit of softness in images, which we have seen on most OnePlus phones. The same is also the case with 3x zoom shots. The camera also boosts colors a bit, but I am fine with it as it adds some drama and makes picture-perfect to show off on Instagram. The wide-angle camera performance is good too. You get almost the same level of sharpness, details, dynamic range as the main camera. The HDR mode is by default on and works well in every scenario. We did notice that the sides of ultra-wide-angle shots are a bit soft too.
The most annoying part is when the Super Macro mode automatically kicks in without any invitation. The mode can offer you moderate shots. The 3X Zoom shots are good enough and can capture pleasing colors with decent contrast levels, but again the images are a bit softer. We also tried the 30X digital zoom, which can render above-average shots. Of course, zooming past 3X deteriorates the quality, but it at least seems to capture better, clearer and useful zoomed shots than lower end close rivals. As you can see, the lady in the second pic below is clearly visible.
As for the portrait shots, the device impressed me by producing great detailed, natural, and sharp-looking photos in terms of human subjects. The skin tone and color of the top are captured very well, although it adds a decent level of blur in the background. It would be great if OnePlus adds an option to adjust the blur before and after taking a shot, with future updates. Do note that we got some great portrait shots only in daylight. The same is also the story with selfies. As for the non-human subjects, the OnePlus 8 Pro offered good shots with impressive details and colors, but the background was again less. Here too, we witness a bit of softness in some parts, which is expected from most phones.
At night, the main sensor did a good job. There was literally no light in the scene and everything was too dark. I clicked a shot without flash, the picture was still very clear, bright with close to natural colors. With flash, you do get better shots. The 3X zoom worked decently at night. The nightscape mode really works well can offer you a much brighter picture with overall better color balance and details. As is the case with daylight photos, the video shots also came out very well. The colors and details look good and the stabilization is also handled well. You can shoot up to 4K at 60fps.
OnePlus 8 Pro review: Should you buy it?
The OnePlus 8 Pro price in India starts from Rs 54,999, and it is a great deal for your money. There are many reasons to buy the OnePlus 8 Pro and you will also agree with them. You get super-fast and smooth performance as well as a great level of cameras for its price. It has one of the best displays and Android experience with OxygenOS. It can offer fantastic battery life with 30W fast charging support. Apart from the premium features and experience, you now also get wireless charging support and IP68 rating. It is also cheaper than flagship phones from Samsung and Apple. The OnePlus 8 Pro will go on sale for the first time on June 15.
However, there are a few things which you should keep in mind before buying the latest OnePlus phone. There is no headphone jack. Also, to take advantage of super-fast 30W wireless charging, you will have to buy the company’s wireless charging stand. Additionally, the 256GB storage variant of the OnePlus 8 Pro will cost Rs 5,000 more, meaning Rs 59,999. The price sounds high, but is still cheaper than flagships and is a lucrative deal. The Samsung Galaxy S20 series price in India starts from Rs 70,000.
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