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OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise

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OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 1

OnePlus has always the reputation of a phone manufacturer that you turn to when you don’t want to spend a lot of money on premium features. This applies to the OnePlus 8 more than ever, especially since OnePlus charms you with its high-end smartphone with more premium features and expensive OnePlus 8 Pro.

The OnePlus 8 lacks some of the fastest features it offers when it comes to its sibling, but it’s still one of the best Android phones. It has a state-of-the-art processor, a large battery and a large screen. It is equally important that OnePlus has a price on its model. The days of the $500 OnePlus flagship may be long ago, but OnePlus 8 proves you don’t have to enter four numbers to enjoy the best Android phone.

Is the commitment you have to make to the relatively low price of OnePlus 8 worth it? The OnePlus 8 review notes that this is usually the case, although some of the commitments made on this phone may go back fans from it for high-quality mobile photography.

Pros

  • Awsome display
  • Very good battery life
  • Powerful processor
  • Good low-light photos

Cons

  • No optical zoom
  • Middling photos overall
  • Curved screen is prone to accidental touches

ONEPLUS 8 REVIEW: SPECS

OS: Android 10 withOxygenOS
Display: 6.55-inch AMOLD (2400 x 1080), 90Hz
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8GB, 12GB
Storage: 128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras: 48MP main (f/1.7), 16MP ultra wide angle (f/2.2), 2MP macro camera
Front camera: 16MP (f/2.0)
Battery size: 4,300 mAh
Charging speed: 30 watts (included charger)
Size: 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches
Weight: 6.3 ounces

OnePlus 8 Review: Price and Release Date

The OnePlus 8 costs $699 and offers you a phone with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you want to add RAM to 12GB and double the storage to 256GB, you’ll have to pay an extra $100. The phone will go on sale on April 29 on Amazon and the OnePlus website.

The price of $699 for OnePlus 8 is considerable considering the $899 that OnePlus charges for OnePlus 8 Pro. By downgrading some of the features of this new flagship phone, OnePlus can still offer a device that costs the same as the iPhone 11 and totals $300 less than the Galaxy S20.

Both T-Mobile and Verizon also offer the phone. You pay a little more for your phone through Verizon, where the carrier’s 5G version costs $799. This equates to $ 33.33 per month for payments over 24 months. T-Mobile has not yet set a price.

Because the OnePlus 8 includes a 5G modem, you can use your phone on 5G networks from these network operators, if available. Only the Verizon version supports millimeter-wave connectivity for the fastest possible speeds.

OnePlus 8 Review: Design

If you have followed the latest phone releases of OnePlus phones, you will notice some changes in the appearance of OnePlus 8. OnePlus 7 Pro pop-up selfie camera has been removed, as well as the OnePlus 7T‘s tearful notch, which contains the front camera. Instead, the selfie camera is now in the hole in the upper left corner of the OnePlus 8 screen like the Oppo Find X2. The top and bottom edges are still there, but they are as thin as possible, so OnePlus can maximize the screen area with this 6.55-inch phone.

OnePlus 8 review

Another exception to the look of previous OnePlus phones is the transition to a curved screen in OnePlus 8, where the edges of the screen wrap around the top edges of the sides of the phone. It really gives this phone an eye-catching appearance and makes the OnePlus 8 easier to grip than phones with flat screens and rounded edges that seem to get out of my hands alarmingly. Unfortunately, curved edges also do this.

It’s easy to accidentally touch the part of the OnePlus 8 screen when you’re just trying to hold or pick up your phone. I launched more than one app where I had no plans to touch the phone.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 2

For a phone that has such a large screen, the OnePlus 8 doesn’t take up as much space, at least in terms of width. At 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.31 inches, the OnePlus is larger than the iPhone 11 (5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches) and the Galaxy S20 (5.9 x 3 x 0.31 inches), though not as wide. At 8mm thick, the OnePlus 8 is also relatively thinner than Apple’s iPhone 11, so you can easily store the device in your pocket. At 6.3 ounces, it’s lighter than the iPhone 11, although it’s not as light as the 5.7-ounce Galaxy S20.

If OnePlus has a Samsung beat, it includes color options. Samsung’s latest phones pick up some pretty standard color schemes, but the OnePlus 8 confuses the choice between the cool Glacial Green shade and the Interstellar Glow color option. I reviewed the later color option and found out how the Gorilla Glass back of the OnePlus 8 changed from the cool purple hues on the top of the phone to the warm pink floor – the effect is no different from the sunset sky. Your traditional sunset is unlikely to leave as many fingerprints and smudges as the back of the OnePlus 8.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 3

OnePlus places three rear lenses in a vertical arrangement towards the top center of the phone rather than bulging square camera bump and that’s common for flagship phones these days. I’m less likely to put my finger on the OnePlus 8’s camera when I hold the phone so horizontally. However, the lenses stick considerably to the back of the phone.

OnePlus has done a lot to make the OnePlus 8 Pro the first of its phones to have an IP rating (IP68 to be precise, meaning it can be submerged in up to 5 feet of water for 30 minutes without damage). OnePlus 8 doesn’t have this feature, at least in the unlocked version I use. (Carrier versions of the phone may vary.) It’s kind of sad that you have to sacrifice this security for the new cheaper OnePlus flagships.

OnePlus 8 review: Display

If you pay the OnePlus 8 Pro for $899, you can enjoy a display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. However, OnePlus 8 users have to be happy with the 90 Hz refresh rate, which is also significantly faster than the 60 Hz frequency found on most phones today.

Frankly, I don’t think this is a compromise between the two versions of OnePlus 8. Yes, the Pro model offers smoother scrolling and MEMC mode to enhance Netflix and YouTube videos at 120 frames per second. But I missed the improved scrolling you get from 120 Hz to 90 Hz when I used the Galaxy S20 Plus (120 Hz refresh rate enabled) in conjunction with the OnePlus 8’s 90 Hz display. In other words, OnePlus 8 lets you enjoy the benefits of a higher refresh rate at a lower cost. And you don’t have to reduce the resolution of your OnePlus 8 to use this feature like Samsung S20 phones.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 4

With the maximum brightness 1100 nits, the OnePlus 8’s AMOLED display is bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight. When I took photos on this phone, I never had to maximize brightness (and drain the battery faster) to see the OnePlus 8’s display controls.

When I watched the trailer for No Time to Die and Cats on the OnePlus 8 and Galaxy S20 Plus, I noticed that the OnePlus 8 went well with Samsung’s most expensive phone in the color department. The S20 Plus colors looked a little brighter, but also bluish, especially as James Bond or many Jellicle cats hid in the darker in scenes of their respective movies.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 5

Our test readings confirm this. OnePlus 8 registers 155.7% of the sRGB color spectrum, which is not as much as 222.4% of the S20 Plus result (although it exceeds 113% of the iPhone 11). However, OnePlus 8 colors with a Delta E rating of 0.25 are more accurate than the Galaxy S20 Plus colors with 0.36. The zero point is perfect in this test. With the OnePlus 8, you get a great display that captures colors well.

OnePlus 8 review: Performance

Like other leading Android phones to come this year, the OnePlus 8 includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chip, which promises better performance and more efficient power consumption than previous Snapdragon 855 devices used by OnePlus flagships. OnePlus extends this chipset with 8GB or 12GB RAM. Our OnePlus 8 evaluation unit had 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage.

This added memory gave the OnePlus 8 a boost when we ran the Geekbench 5, a test that measures overall performance. OnePlus 8’s multi-core score of 3,387 clearly landed among the most powerful Android phones we’ve seen this year, ahead of the Galaxy S20 (3,207) but behind the LG V60 ThinQ 5G (3,420).

Here’s a list of Geekbench scores

PhoneProcessorGeekbench 5 multicore score
OnePlus 8Snapdragon 8653,416
iPhone 11A13 Bionic3,251
Galaxy S20Snapdragon 8653,207
LG V60 ThinQ 5GSnapdragon 8653,420
OnePlus 7TSnapdragon 855+2,759
Google Pixel 4Snapdragon 8552,329

Even more compelling is that the OnePlus 8 won over the iPhone 11’s multi-threaded Geekbench 5 with a score of 3,251. This shows that the gap between iPhones and major Android devices is constantly widening, at least if you fill up your Android phone with RAM. (The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max could easily be beaten by the OnePlus 8’s multi-core performance, on the other hand, the iPhone 11 had better single-core performance: 1,333 compared to the 916 OnePlus 8)

Onto graphics, the OnePlus 8 delivered comparable results to other Snapdragon 865 phones and delivered 1,322 frames (21 frames per second) in the GFX Bench Aztec Ruins Vulkan test. Corresponds to what I saw on the Galaxy S20 (1,319) and LG V60 (1,313), but remains behind the result of the iPhone 11 and its 1,481 frames (23 fps).

OnePlus 8 lags behind other phones when it comes to a real test where we let Adobe Premiere Rush to encode a 4K video after applying an effect and transition to 1080p video. With OnePlus 8, it took 1 minute and 43 seconds to complete this task, almost 30 seconds behind the Galaxy S20 1:15. iPhone 11 continues to set the pace here with a result of 45 seconds.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 9

However, when I used OnePlus 8 last week, I didn’t see any drop in performance. I was able to easily switch between demanding apps and games like PUBG Mobile, which was played on OnePlus 8 without lag or stutter. Other phones can keep up with the OnePlus 8, but you’re sure to get comparable performance with this OnePlus flagship without paying a comparable price.

OnePlus 8 review: Cameras

A bigger compromise of OnePlus 8 owners, at least compared to the OnePlus 8 Pro, applies to cameras. While the Pro model has four lenses, the OnePlus 8 has only three lenses, one of which is not a telephoto lens. Instead, a 48-megapixel main shooter with an f/1.75 aperture and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera are combined with a 2-megapixel macro lens. Theoretically, it is ideal for picking detailed objects. However, if you want to zoom, you have a digital zoom that can add sounds to your images.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 10

If you take a lot of photos to get close to your subject, a macro lens can be useful, but I would prefer a good zoom on my phone. If a phone is equipped with a macro lens, I want it to work more consistently than the OnePlus 8 has.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 11

While this close-up shot of the tulip captures the folds and patterns of a purple tulip leaf, many of the macro shots taken with the OnePlus 8 were too blurry to view photos on the larger screen of the phone then its viewfinder. Taking macro photos is probably an art, but OnePlus 8 certainly won’t help you in your discovery.

The lack of a telephoto lens shows the disadvantage that the OnePlus 8 works when stacked on a phone with optical zooms, such as the Galaxy S20 Plus. (A cheaper S20 would be better compared to the OnePlus 8, but the S20 Plus was on my hands during this period.)

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

This image of the Oakland skyline from the other side of the San Sanandro Canal with 2x zoom usually looks exactly the same on the OnePlus 8 as on the S20. However, if you focus on the buildings in the background, you can see that they stand out more clearly on the Samsung phone. The S20 Plus also captures more blue gradients in the spring sky.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

The closer you get, the greater the inequality. OnePlus 8 is maximized with a 10x digital zoom. At this point, the photo is anything that you want to share – everything is blurry and inaccurate, and the colors are clearly muted. Using lossless zoom, the S20 Plus can deliver a focused photo of the Oakland Tribune Tower rising from the sky and the Wells Fargo sign clearly visible in the building next door. If you want to zoom in on your camera phone and get more detail, you should look beyond OnePlus 8.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

OnePlus 8 looks best when you take photos on other lenses. The OnePlus phone has done a good job with this glass of multi-colored jelly beans on the porch, though it’s hard for the phone to figure out where the glass ends and the jelly bean mass begins. The Galaxy S20 Plus separates these two objects better, even if the colors are warmer.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 12

Please note that OnePlus 8 uses a combination of pixels with its main lens to display 12 MP photos in a better dynamic range. You can switch to 48-megapixel mode, although this feature works best in bright scenes. In the case of a jelly bean glass, you get an image that is closer to what the S20 Plus takes by default and with less glare from the glass jar.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

The OnePlus 8 seems to have a hard time focusing on some photos, as I discovered when I was photographing dishes with a boll of pork belly for dinner. The pig glaze shines in the OnePlus 8 image, though it really can’t be distinguished from the individual grains of rice that had a better shot on the S20 Plus. More importantly, the salad behind the OnePlus 8 image is clearly inaccurate and not artistic. It’s just a lot of green, while the S20 Plus can keep both the main course and salad in sharp contrast.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

To see how the OnePlus wide-angle lens works in this price range, I went to the nearby shoreline to take a photo of the statue in front of some houseboats. I like the efforts of the OnePlus 8 here because it creates a bright and well-composed image that blends well with the output of the Galaxy S20 Plus. The S20 Plus darkens the scene too dramatically for my liking, while the OnePlus accurately reproduces the sunny day I took these photos.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

However, if you switch to wide-angle, the OnePlus 8 will likely to fail you. Bright colors used to be pretty is dull now. Compare the yellow interior of a houseboat – it pops up in the S20’s image while it looks muted in OnePlus 8’s photo. The S20 Plus also has a larger wide-angle and thus more background detail.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

In some cases, OnePlus 8 outperformed the Galaxy S20. For example, OnePlus 8’s Nightscape mode does an excellent job in low light. The mural at the local store is still very detailed in the OnePlus 8 image, even if the flowers at the top right are a little faded. (The S20 Plus also struggled with these flowers.) While the S20 Plus shows more color in the night sky, imposing too warm of a cust, while OnePlus 8 image look feels better on the scene.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 13
OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 14
OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 15

Neither phone really did well when I tried to take a portrait of my neighbor’s daughter, although I think the image looks better on the OnePlus 8. It struggles to try to separate her hair from the background blur, capturing with more than a few strands in bokeh. However, colors are more accurate and vivid, although the OnePlus 8 has little trouble with shadows on this bright, sunny day. The S20 Plus removed all the colors from my daughter’s face because both phones became too aggressive and smoothed out her skin.

Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
Galaxy S20 Plus
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8

The same aggregation on removing blemish or freckles happens again when we switch to the 16-megapixel selfie camera of the OnePlus 8. Like the Galaxy S20 Plus, the OnePlus camera software wants my skin to look as smooth and accurate as possible. Damn, I think the OnePlus 8’s photo reflects my skin tone better than that on the S20 Plus, making it look like I am wearing suncream. However, blurring the background of the S20 image is more elegant.

My experience with OnePlus 8’s video recording capabilities was not as extensive, but so far I like what I’ve seen. By default, it records videos in 1080p/30fps resolution. However, if you need settings, you can upgrade to 4K video at 60fps. (Be prepared to consume a lot of space if you do this.) The video I recorded My Daughter running back and forth looked stable, which I like to give the credit for the OnePlus 8’s hybrid stabilization, which uses both OIS and EIS technologies.

OnePlus 8 Review: Battery life and charging

The OnePlus 8 comes with a 4,300 mAh battery that is larger than the OnePlus 7T’s 3,800 mAh, but not as large as the 4,510 mAh battery that you get when you pay for the OnePlus 8 Pro. It should not be too important. Because the OnePlus 8 offers excellent battery life, this result comes with a limitation.

When we go through the Gadget Center’s battery test on the OnePlus 8, which constantly browser over the T-Mobile LTE network on the screen with a brightness of 150 nits, the new OnePlus phone lasted an average of 11 hours and 4 minutes longer. The best battery life of the tested devices lasts 11 hours. This makes the OnePlus 8 in this category, even if the newer flagships like the Galaxy S20 Ultra and LG V60 ThinQ lasted longer than it.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 16

If the refresh rate of the OnePlus 8 is set to 60 Hz, then you’ll get more than 11 hours of battery life. So, if you select the fastest refresh rate, battery life shortens. When we performed our battery test after the OnePlus 8 display was set to a refresh rate of 90 Hz, the average result dropped to 9 hours 55 minutes, which is more in line with the average performance of a smartphone. It’s not ideal to lose an hour of battery life to take advantage of one of the main features of OnePlus 8, but it’s a trade-off that some users don’t care about. Nor is it as clear as the 3-hour difference we saw when testing the Galaxy S20 Ultra battery with a 120 Hz refresh rate.

OnePlus has finally added wireless charging support to the OnePlus 8 Pro, but the standard OnePlus 8 model has like before only stuck with wired charging. At least the charging is ridiculously fast thanks to OnePlus’ Warp Charge 30T technology. With the included 30-watt charger, I routinely watched the OnePlus 8 charge up to 68% of the empty battery after 30 minutes. The Galaxy S20 Plus and iPhone 11 Pro reached 55% after 30 minutes of charging.

OnePlus 8 Review: Software

OnePlus 8 has OxygenOS, a customized version of Android 10 that adds some new features, such as dark mode, which is compatible with more applications and is optimized for better battery life. OnePlus has also introduced new dynamic background images that change tones based on ambient lighting.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 17

However, I think the highlight of the OnePlus 8’s special features is the fingerprint sensor on the phone’s screen, a return feature from previous OnePlus flagships. The dot on the sensor on the screen clearly shows the outline of the fingerprint, and I find it more sensitive and tolerant than the corresponding functions in the Galaxy S20 series.

OnePlus 8 also benefits from a facial recognition feature that is much faster than iPhone Face ID. It Scans your face to unlock the device, but you have to swipe up to get past the lock screen. Take a look at OnePlus 8 and it will start right away. Of course, OnePlus’ face unlock feature isn’t as secure as Apple’s face recognition feature, which uses a 3D scan of your face to verify your identity. That could explain why I was able to unlock OnePlus 8 while wearing a pandemic-inspired mask over my nose and mouth. Face ID blocked the same mask.

OnePlus 8 Review: Final Verdict

I’m usually a big supporter of selecting the cheapest of the many models that phone manufacturers are offering. The Plus and Pro models have eye-catching features that appeal to power users, but rarely justify additional costs for most smartphone owners. And while the OnePlus 8’s excellent display doesn’t make users feel short-handed, the camera performance of OnePlus 8 Pro is another story.

OnePlus 8 Review: A Great Smartphone With A Big Compromise 3

How OnePlus 8 even measures devices that exceed those made by OnePlus is convincing for this flagship. The OnePlus 8 works just as well as any leading Android device and even makes the iPhone 11 sweat a bit. Battery life is very good, at least when the phone’s fastest refresh rate isn’t turn on, and the OnePlus 8’s color schemes help this phone stand out from the range of black smartphones that become more and more inseparable.

The big question in every OnePlus 8 review is the camera. If you are looking for an Android phone that produces the best possible images, you will have to pay for the new Samsung Galaxy S20 models. However, if you really don’t use optical zoom and aren’t interested in photos that don’t match the best camera phones, the OnePlus 8 can save you $100-300 for your next phone.

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