The OnePlus 7T is still the best phone for what it brings to the table under Rs 35,000. But, the company is gradually shifting to the premium flagship space by offering almost top-notch features, while also keeping the price lower than flagships from Samsung and Apple. When the OnePlus 8 was launched for $699, it was quite hard to digest that the device was going to cost somewhere around Rs 52,000 in India. But, the company launched the phone for Rs 41,999 in the country, which was kind of expected. India is one of the key markets for OnePlus and the company has to be aggressive in terms of price to sell the device, given the features it offers and how competitive the segment is. Also Read - OnePlus Smart TV with budget price to officially launch in India on July 2
It was recently revealed that OnePlus has plans to make a comeback to the affordable market segment by offering “low priced phones.” It will be interesting to see how the brand will convince consumers to buy budget ones, while also bringing enough to the table. A lot of users are now spoiled by the features and experience the expensive OnePlus phones offer. The latest OnePlus 8 smartphone does miss out on a few things, but it delivers what matters the most. Read our review to understand whether OnePlus 8 is really worth your money or not. Also Read - OnePlus to now release open beta builds only once a month for these phones; check details
Watch: OnePlus 8 vs OnePlus 7T: Is this a meaningful upgrade?
OnePlus has never compromised in the design department and has always treated it as one of the key areas. The OnePlus 8 is no different and has a great build quality and aesthetic appeal. The company has changed the front and rear panel design. Gone is the circular camera module, which was found on the OnePlus 7T and the brand has opted for a design similar to the 7 Pro. The triple rear camera setup is encased in a vertically stacked pill-shaped module. The device has a prominent camera module, but it at least doesn’t have a very bulging camera bump like 8 Pro. Also Read - OnePlus has the most loyal customers in India at 67 percent: Report
The company offers a curved display design with phones above Rs 40,000 and this one too has it. The curved panels and almost non-visible bezels make for a great binge-watching experience and feel immersive while interacting with it. However, curved displays are more fragile and phones with these should be used very carefully. The company ships a case as well, which you can ignore if you are confident enough that you will not drop the phone, featuring a glass rear panel. Speaking of which, the back of the OnePlus 8 now doesn’t have OnePlus 7T’s frosted glass rear panel, which enhanced the feel of the phone in the hand. It instead boasts of a glossy glass back, which is also quite slippery.
I really liked the beautiful blue gradient color option of OnePlus 7T, which the brand should have offered with the new OnePlus 8 series too. But, the company likes to experiment with new colors and has introduced two new shades this year – Interstellar Glow and Glacial Green, both of which equally look captivating. We got the Onyx Black variant, which is just classic.
The side buttons are within easy reach, and there is still an alert slider, which is one of the best additions by OnePlus and comes in handy. The smartphone has a tall form factor and was still quite comfortable to hold as we are now used to having a big display phone. Even in the budget phone space, OEMs offer 6.5 or 6.6-inch screens. That said, the OnePlus 8 has a great, smooth display with rich colors popping up.
It features a 6.55-inch full-HD+ AMOLED panel with wide color gamut, HDR10+ support, and 3D Corning Gorilla Glass protection. OnePlus could have added support for QHD+ resolution like the 7 Pro to further justify the big jump in price. The panel at least supports 90Hz refresh rate for faster and smoother transitions, which consumes more battery. We will take about this later. There is a Vibrant Color Effect mode, which you can turn on for more vivid colors and contrast in videos. The handset sports a trendy hole-punch cutout, which is not the tinniest that we might have seen. But, it is always good to see a contemporary design.
General performance, software
The newly launched OnePlus 8 draws power from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset, which you will find on most flagship smartphones. Needless to say, you don’t need to worry about performance here as you will get a buttery smooth and powerful experience. It can easily handle day-to-day tasks, and you will not notice any slowdowns or lag. The same is also the case with multi-tasking, and it didn’t even take more than a second to load apps.
The gaming performance of the OnePlus 8 is just great. We ran a few graphics-heavy games, and the experience was very pleasing. The device didn’t get too hot while gaming for more than an hour. We got the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant for review. The OnePlus 8 also an in-display fingerprint sensor for authentication purposes, which unlocks the phones very quickly. Face recognition is also equally fast, but I mostly prefer using in-display which is much safer.
As usual, there is no headphone jack. It is fine as the idea of having a pair of wireless earphones is maturing as it has become more affordable too. The device offers support for Bluetooth 5.1, Qualcomm’s apt HD, LDAC, and AAC. So, if you own a good set of wireless earphones, your sound experience will be great if the output audio device also has the same tech. The brand has managed to add one speaker grille at the bottom, and another one in the top bezel, which hardly takes any physical space. The speaker offers good enough audio quality and can get very loud in a small room. But, I advise you to not push the volume to the fullest as it could damage the speaker soon and you might witness distortion too.
The device runs Android 10 with OxygenOS skin on top. With this phone, you get the cool live caption feature, which is available on select devices. It comes in handy and automatically captions media playing on your phone. If the mode is turned on, you will automatically see captions whenever a video, podcasts, or audio messages are played. The combination of Android 10 and Oxygen OS is just great and delivers a buttery smooth and pleasing experience.
There are a lot of shortcuts and other nifty options, which help offer a better experience. These include Zen mode, Game Space, a bunch of quick screen gestures, a long screenshot feature, and more. You even get informed if you are using the handset continuously without a break. The device suggests you take a break and enjoy the world. As is the case with OnePlus phones, there are no ads here and the UI is bloatware-free.
The OnePlus 8 boasts of a triple rear camera setup. It comprises of a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor shooter with f/1.75 aperture, similar to the OnePlus 7T. It supports both OIS and EIS. The company has replaced the telephoto camera with a macro sensor. The device has a 2-megapixel secondary macro shooter with f/2.4 aperture, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with f/2.2 aperture. On the front, you get a 16-megapixel camera with an f/2.45 lens.
The daylight camera performance of the OnePlus 8 is good with a balanced dynamic range and enough sharpness. Though, you don’t get very natural colors as the camera slightly boosts the color level to add some drama to it. The shots are detailed, and the exposure was mostly on point. The camera surprisingly took pleasing ultra-wide angle shots, which other phones in the price range don’t offer. You get a sharp and detailed enough shots, and more importantly, the colors are preserved well.
The camera does a good job of taking detailed macro shots with well balanced HDR. I would like to mention that the Super macro mode takes very poor shots. When taking non-human subjects, you do get a decent level of bokeh effect, but there is no separate option to adjust the background blur and you will have to settle down with what you get. The same is also the case with the human subjects when clicking shots using portrait mode. It would have been great if OnePlus had added an option to adjust the level of blur before or after the shot is taken. But, it can capture some pleasing pictures with lively colors, given the lighting is good.
The device supports 10X digital zoom too, similar to the Realme X50 Pro. The 10X zoom shots are not good enough, which you can see. They are not very clear, but gives a sense of an idea. The OnePlus 8 Pro with 30X zoom offers better detail and clarity. You will get good shots with 2X zoom, as mentioned above.
As for the low-light photos, the camera did kind of a good job. There was literally close to no light in the scene and the camera automatically brightened the image and rendered a clear shot as if there was enough light. However, the details are soft, which is expected. It is to be noted that both the nightscape and regular mode offered almost similar shots. The wide-angle shot at night was poor, and we didn’t get the same result as we got with the standard one.
We also took some selfies and got decent shots. This is only possible if the lighting scenario is good enough. As for the videos, we did get very good quality and the clips were stabilized too. It produced lively colors in daylight. The OnePlus 8 can shoot up to 4K resolution video at 60fps. You can check the full album below, which also includes a selfie, portrait, and other photos, which are taken using OnePlus 8.
The OnePlus 8 comes with a 4,300mAh battery, which lasted us less than a day. This will happen if you use the device continuously and take only a few breaks in between. You will notice that the battery is dropping, which is the case when the 90Hz refresh rate option is selected. Dropping down to 60Hz will save a bit of battery life. Do note that here I am talking about the heavy usage.
With light usage, we got more than a day’s battery life. At the end of the day, around 39 percent battery was still left. The light usage doesn’t include heavy gaming or photography sessions. It is important to note that the result on your part may vary as per your usage pattern. OnePlus ships the device with a 30W wired charger. It takes just over an hour to fully charge the battery. I do feel with the OnePlus 8T, the brand should offer more than “30W” charger and around 5,000mAh battery to make the deal merrier. Unlike the OnePlus 8 Pro, there is no support for wireless charging here.
Verdict: Should you buy the OnePlus 8?
The OnePlus 8 price in India starts from Rs 41,999, which is the price for the 6GB RAM + 128GB storage model. Yes, the price is higher, but the truth is there is no phone as good as OnePlus 8 under Rs 45,000, except for the iPhone SE 2020. Phones like Realme X50 Pro, iQOO 3, and Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite do offer high-end Snapdragon processor and other features, but the OnePlus 8 definitely has an edge over these phones. Here, I am not only talking about general performance, premium design, and better cameras, but also the software part. The latter is one of the most important areas for consumers when it comes to buying a phone and OxygenOS delivers a great experience on that part. The latest OnePlus 8 phone also offers a great display and a good enough battery life with 30W fast charging support.
However, if you already own OnePlus 7T, I would not recommend you to buy the device. If you have an older OnePlus phone or any other device, you can go for this smartphone if you want a 5G phone. But if you are okay with 4G, buying OnePlus 7T would be a wiser decision, considering it will offer the same raw experience. A few things to note here – the OnePlus 8 has no headphone jack, official IP rating, and wireless charging support.
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