Gather around people and take a peek with us into the world of the OnePlus 8 family. The spotlight today is on the OnePlus 8 Pro, which is one of two devices recently released by OnePlus. We are in for a treat as far as the display is concerned. It’s bright, sharp and colorful and this is thanks to the 120Hz image refresh rate. We are fans of the Fast Wireless Charging / Reverse Wireless Charging, but don’t like the fact that the 3.5mm headphone jack is missing.

The simple software has great potential for advanced users and the camera captures great photos in most conditions. But on the flip side, the punch hole may not find fans aplenty. A word of caution from the get-go, don’t fall for this phone too much, as it’s not available directly with some carriers in the USA. Apart from the Onyx Black and Glacial Green variations, you can get completely smitten by the Ultramarine Blue, and that’s the one we got for our review.

OnePlus 8 Pro

In all honesty, this a good smartphone, that OnePlus has given us, in terms of what we have seen before from their portfolio. Without further ado, let’s take a deep dive into what the OnePlus 8 Pro is all about.

Display Done Good

Before we get into the specifics, let us compare the OnePlus 8 next to the OnePlus 8 Pro. You may not feel the difference in sizes if you hold the two models far apart. Bring them together and the truth unveils. The truth about how comparing the 6.55 vs 6.78 inches of display space and that one of them having a max 90Hz image refresh rate and the other notching it up to 120Hz – the two phones can feel radically different for sure.

OnePlus 8 Pro

While we are intra-comparing from the same company, it may be good to note that the Razer Phone and the Razer Phone 2 have a 120Hz image refresh rate, but the OnePlus 8 Pro is a lot brighter and more intense. And of course, the Razer Phone 2 is a lot lighter on the wallet than the OnePlus 8 Pro but also two generations older as well.

Moving on, the OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED display with 3168 x 1440 pixels, which means 513 PPI, with Display P3 and sRGB support. These specs remind us of the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro sporting their 6.67-inch displays. And although the OnePlus 7/7T Pro had 6.67-inch displays along with the same number of pixels as the OnePlus 8 Pro, and although they have a slightly sharper display, they don’t damper the output between the three, it’s hardly noticeable.

OnePlus 8

When you peel the layers, it boils down to the image refresh rate and this is where the difference between the device displays, resides. The OnePlus 7T Pro has a 90Hz refresh rate, and 120Hz is for the OnePlus 8 Pro and the OnePlus 8 has a 90Hz refresh rate. But you should know that the 120Hz refresh rate is an option and it’s not active all the time. Your battery, too, can also dictate how active the 120Hz refresh rate is. When on low power, it’s best to stick with 60Hz, found in the Advanced Display settings.

Software Experience

Larger than an iPhone 7, and closer home to a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the OnePlus 8 Pro has a distinct positioning, in terms of size. With an iPhone 7, you can expect to take some classy pictures, and in comparison, the Samsung phone takes average pics. However, the OnePlus 8 Pro can take classy and average pictures, depending upon the setting you use.

OnePlus is loaded with the latest version of OxygenOS and it includes an ideal balance between minimal modifications to Android 10 and a OnePlus-reliant system. Thanks to all the benefits of a ‘vanilla’ Android, deleting useless apps on your brand-new phone, right out the box, is a thing of the past. Pretty much like the OnePlus 7 family of smartphones, this OnePlus 8 Pro has some software features targeted towards gaming experiences.

The app called Game Space helps in boxing up your games in a single spot and here you can access the “Fnatic mode”. Basically, Fnatic mode works like a block of all notifications and calls when you are playing a game. It directs your processor power “almost entirely towards gameplay” and the Game Space largely works as a good example of OnePlus software features.

Camera

Overall, this particular OnePlus gives us a camera experience that’s better than the out-of-box experiences we have had in any OnePlus device that we have seen in the past. To put it to test, we tried taking some photos of a moving object in low light. The camera power is notched up from the OnePlus 7T Pro to the OnePlus 8 Pro. The main camera is a 48MP with a wide lens, and now we have an extra camera sensor, with the new ability to capture macro photos. These photos are focused as close as 3-cm from the focused subject.

The camera on the phone also has a dual-LED flash and multi-autofocus. This is also known as the “All Pixel Omni-directional PDAF+LAF+CAF.” In short for sharp focus on objects both standing still and tracking in real-time.

We have captured some shots from OnePlus 8 Pro’s back-facing camera’s photo-shooting abilities, staging them in a variety of environments and lighting conditions. We have been quite satisfied with the back-facing camera array’s and it had got us some decent or otherwise high-quality photos. The only shortcoming is in the form of taking videos in a dark space. The results for everything else is very decent. Have a look at some slow-motion video action that we took and as always, with the highest-speed capture, more light is better.

As for the difference between the OnePlus 8 phones in terms of photography, you can pretty much expect the Pro model to outperform the plain OnePlus 8. That said, there is one case where the OnePlus 8 does fare better and that’s with macro shots. Thanks to its shorter minimum distance, the OnePlus 8 can take real close-ups without blurring things up like the OnePlus 8 Pro.

OnePlus 8 Macro

OnePlus 8 Pro Macro

Battery Life

Tow prominent factors control the usage of your battery: the brightness of your display and your use of 5G data. How much time you spend gaming at 120Hz non-stop, comes in at a close third. Over the weeks that we used the OnePlus 8 Pro, we deduced that the display accounts for at least 25% of battery usage and it’s the single biggest battery eater by far.
If you ditch the games and have the 120Hz display refresh rate switched on, then the phone requires only one good charging a day. In the rare occasion that you forget to tank up at least once a day, the power lasts you til next day brekkie, but may not go past lunch. In short, that’s a good amount of power the device has.

We have to admit that the charging speed on this phone is so fast, that you don’t need to worry about the battery. And interestingly, the battery life is optimized to such an extent that the charge speed feels like more of a bonus instead of a trade-off. Of course, you will need to team up with the OnePlus Warp Charge 30 Wireless Charger, and you’ll be able to charge quickly and without picking up the cord to plug it in. This $70 wireless charger gives you great charging.

Wrap-up

We are pretty satisfied with our experience with the OnePlus 8 Pro and it comes in two different configurations as well as, in three different colors. Glacial Green and Onyx Black will be available in [8GB RAM + 128GB ROM] and [12GB + 256GB] iterations. They are priced at $899 and $999 USD, respectively. The 12+256 version in Ultramarine Blue is priced around $999 USD.

For those areas where 5G is available: work the OnePlus 8 from Verizon if you live in the USA and want full Verizon 5G support. The OnePlus 8 (non-Pro) from Verizon has both sub-6 and mmWave support. The other versions (8 and 8 Pro) available from OnePlus and Amazon have an X55 5G modem with support for sub-6, low and mid-band — but no mmWave.

It is interesting to see how the tables have turned for OnePlus, where it is no longer aspiring to be like a certain brand. In fact, they now inspire others. The high-end appeal and the high-quality of the OnePlus 8 Pro is worth a buy and in 2020, the OnePlus 8 Pro is the Android flagship to beat.