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Review: OnePlus 8 Pro – Most expensive OnePlus with the best screen

Review: OnePlus 8 Pro does not disappoint. But there are things that irritate and you would rather not see that in such an expensive phone.
4.4/5 - (49 votes)

With a price of at least 899 euros, the OnePlus 8 Pro is no longer a price fighter. But you do get a lot in return. This way you can finally charge the phone wirelessly, you are already prepared for the 5g network and you can enjoy the 120Hz screen.

OnePlus 8 Pro – design and new features

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a beautiful smartphone to see. The frosted glass on the back gives it a stylish and unique look, while avoiding fingerprints. In addition, it is nice to see that the Chinese company also opts for less obvious colors and therefore does not stick to standard options.

The buttons and connections are in the same places as other OnePlus smartphones. A notable difference here is the size of the slider (which turns your ringtone on and off). This time it has been made a lot smaller. Not only does this look a bit strange on such a large smartphone, but luckily it doesn’t come at the expense of use. The switch shifts smoothly and the new click mechanism feels affirmative. Handy for when you want to keep your phone in your pocket and still want to quickly turn off the sound.

It is also very nice to know that the casing of the OnePlus 8 Pro lends itself to two new features: water resistance and wireless charging. For the first time, a OnePlus phone carries the ip68 certificate, which means it can be kept under water for a meter and a half for half an hour. So you don’t have to worry whether your phone survives a fall in the water or not.

The second aspect is wireless charging. Granted, charging via the old-fashioned cable is still faster – but OnePlus’ wireless charging is the fastest version of the technology we’ve seen so far. The 4510 mAh battery can be half charged within thirty minutes. If you do use the wire, it takes 23 minutes before you have passed the fifty percent mark. Depending on use, you can do up to two days with a full battery. If you often play games on it or if you call it all day, your experience can turn out differently, of course. In any case, there is more than enough energy available.

We also see that the front camera is incorporated into the screen this time. So there is no pop-up camera like the OnePlus 7T Pro. The result is a smartphone that is lighter and thinner, but also one that has less space for notifications. The camera – however small – still takes up a part of the space. Moreover, you can clearly see that hole when you watch game or content and that can eventually irritate.

Specifications and performance

Every new OnePlus phone can count on a spec bump: an improvement in the internal parts. For example, the OnePlus 8 Pro has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 under the hood. That is the most powerful CPU from the manufacturer at the time of writing. The chipset is accompanied by 8 or 12 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of RAM. The 999 euro version has 12 GB of ram and 256 GB of rom. Whichever version you take: there is no micro-SD card slot. Since you still pay a thousand euros for the device, that would have been a nice option. And otherwise it would have been better if you could get 512GB of storage for that amount – to compensate.

The Qualcomm processor also features the Qualcomm X55 modem. That modem offers support for the 5g network. While that’s fine in itself, it’s not really necessary. If you’re buying a phone that will last for years to come, support for 5g comes in handy. If you buy a new one every year, or perhaps every two years, it is less necessary.

At the moment, 5g is barely or not present in the Netherlands. The first networks are not expected until the end of 2021, although some are planned for the end of 2020. All inhabited areas in the European Union should not have access to 5g networks until 2025.

That means that for the time being you can still make progress with smartphones that support 4G. And moreover: when 5g is available, the connection will – initially – not be that much faster than the current 4g networks. The added value of 5g is particularly important for other countries, where higher speeds on the 5g network can be achieved. Even if you do five years with your smartphone, then the chances are that you will get the most out of it now.

Something you get more out of in the short term is the support for WiFi 6 , the latest WiFi standard. We find this standard more and more often on modern modems and it guarantees a higher WiFi speed in the home. With the new OnePlus you can therefore also benefit from this on your phone.

In terms of speed in terms of performance, you can hardly get a faster smartphone at the moment. The working memory and processor are super fast. That means that apps run very smoothly on the OnePlus 8 Pro, you can have many apps open and not really notice any delays or shocks anywhere.

Screen and refresh rate

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78 ″ screen and a qhd + resolution. That’s a maximum of 3168 by 1440 pixels, which in this case gives a pixel density of 512 pixels per inch. That is very high and is the same as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. The OLED screen has a maximum brightness of 1300 nits, which is a lot higher than average for a smartphone.

In addition, a refresh rate of 120 Hz is available. The image therefore refreshes 120 times per second. With the previous model and the regular OnePlus 8, that number is 90 Hz. And that is already very nice for the eye, but the OnePlus 8 Pro goes a step further. Rarely have we seen a screen respond so smoothly to all kinds of animations and changes. It does require a bit of the battery and you can scale back if you want, but this is a very nice feature of the device.

While the Galaxy S20 Ultra also has the 120Hz refresh rate, the 8 Pro is currently the only one that can present that rate at a higher resolution. The Ultra switches back to 1080p, while the OnePlus can handle it at 1440p.

OnePlus 8 Pro

In addition, there is a dedicated chip that can increase the number of frames per second for some video streaming services. For example, Netflix and YouTube content is increased from 24 fps to 120 fps. Videos on Amazon Prime Video can go up to 60 fps, but even then you notice the difference. This results in the feeling that some scenes look a bit unrealistic, because the quality reveals certain parts that would otherwise be unnoticeable with a lower frame rate. Nevertheless, it is impressive technology: you don’t get to see many artifacts.

There is also a boost mode for content in HDR. Every frame of the content is analyzed and adjusted. This not only results in a broader color reproduction, but also in deeper black and whiter white. Moreover, some parts in dark scenes look slightly lighter, which in many cases increases the viewing pleasure. That way you don’t have to constantly adjust the brightness.

OnePlus 8 Pro – more cameras than ever

We find four cameras on the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro. That is one more camera than on the previous model. The system consists of a main sensor of 48 megapixels, a wide-angle sensor of 48 megapixels, a telephoto lens of 8 megapixels and a color filter camera with a resolution of five megapixels.

Cameras on a OnePlus smartphone do not always score too well, but we do notice that OnePlus is moving in the right direction. You often take photos with the 48 megapixel main camera, which is able to take colorful and detailed photos. Moreover, the sensor seems to be able to handle light well. The HDR mode ensures that colors come out beautifully, while nothing really seems terribly saturated or overexposed. As a result, photos seem to be somewhat more natural than, for example, on a high-end Samsung device. Those smartphones may have better camera modules, but they often try to make reality more beautiful than it is.

The wide angle lens also does a great job. With enough light you get beautiful photos from there. But when the light decreases even a little, the quality goes down a bit. That results in images that have some noise and artifacts. When you use the Night Scene mode, for dark environments, some problem points disappear. But it doesn’t work ideally.

Then we have the 8 megapixel camera, which is able to zoom in up to 3x optically. If you do that, you will see that the smartphone can handle it more than well. The images are still qualitative and show many details. If you zoom in up to thirty times (digital), you have to take into account that the image quality will deteriorate. You can still see what kind of objects you are photographing, but there is a lot of noise present – even with enough light.

With the macro camera you can still take nice pictures up close, with which you can capture a lot of detail. With the color filter camera you usually take shabby photos that sometimes lack detail, even when there is enough light. It’s a gimmick, one you can ignore. Do you still want to play with color filters and other effects? Then you would do well to edit your photos yourself afterwards, then get started with this camera mode.

The front camera of 16 megapixel, which is in the screen this time, takes beautiful pictures, with sufficient color, detail and quality. The condition is that you must have more than enough light. When the light intake decreases, the quality also deteriorates.

OnePlus 8 Pro – Android 10 and OxygenOS

OnePlus is a brand that stands for speed. This means that you can not only expect the latest processor and a lot of RAM, the company also always scores well in the field of software. This is because the OxygenOS, the Chinese manufacturer’s Android software shell, is very similar to the standard Android experience you used to get on Nexus smartphones.

Fortunately, the company also has things in order for the OnePlus 8 Pro. The device now runs on Android 10. That is the most recent version of the operating system. In addition, you can count on two major updates and receive a security update every two months for three years (with other improvements here and there). An update every two months sounds fine, but it is better if it happens every month. If there has just been an update and a problem arises, you know that you have to wait at least two months for an update. That’s a minor blot on the software experience.

The big change this time around is that there is an improved dark mode, which now works with multiple applications. Moreover, we see that the Google Feed is built directly into the home screen this time. This brings OnePlus even closer to the original Android experience. If you do not want this, you are free to delete the Feed.

The most important thing is that the software again feels very fast, does not introduce unnecessary functions and does not try to capture you within a certain ecosystem (like Samsung and Huawei sometimes try). On the other hand, this time we find more apps than ever on the smartphone, of which we can happily remove or disable the majority. Nevertheless, we still have to deal with two of the same apps every time we open the drawer. It is about the file manager, which is impossible to delete. It’s minor irritations that make it work for him here, but that may also make it easy to overlook.

OnePlus 8 Pro – conclusion

OnePlus is no longer the brand to hit the big boys with phones that are almost as good, at a fraction of the price. The company is now joining them and is releasing a smartphone that is roughly the same price as a Samsung or a Huawei. Admittedly, if a high-end Samsung has that price, then it is often discounted, but that does not mean that 899 or even 999 euros for a smartphone costs a lot of money. Then you can expect something.

The OnePlus 8 Pro does not disappoint. But there are things that irritate and you would rather not see that in such an expensive phone. For example, we still find 5g a bit redundant, the cameras disappoint a bit for this amount and we do not appreciate the fact that more and more apps are pre-installed. On the other hand, there is a lightning-fast smartphone with the best screen we have seen so far, combined with fast hardware and an eye-catching design. The fact that the OnePlus 8 Pro can now be charged wirelessly and officially carries an ip67 certificate is, in our opinion, a cherry on the full cream cake.

Pros

  • Ridiculously beautiful display
  • Design
  • Software and support
  • Waterproof
  • Wireless charging

Negatives

  • 5g is unnecessary for now
  • Much more expensive than predecessors
  • Cameras are not your thing
  • More apps available
  • Bi-monthly updates

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