OnePlus has introduced the 8 Pro, the new Android smartphone has already undergone a small test run and was almost completely convincing.
OnePlus has brought forward the presentation of the spring smartphones significantly, only the current crisis situation and other factors prevented an actually planned date for the OnePlus 8 Pro. However, the new Android smartphone is now here and it can again offer improvements to the T series that was only launched last autumn. There are basically three new highlights among all the items on the data sheet that can finally close the last gaps regarding Samsung and Huawei. This is also reflected in the price, more on that later.
- 6.78 inch OLED display, QHD +, 120 Hz, fingerprint sensor
- Snapdragon 865, 8/12 GB RAM LPDDR5
- 128/256 GB storage (UFS 3.0)
- 48 MP camera (OIS, F1.78, 1 / 1.4 ″) + 48 MP ultra-wide angle, 3x – 30x zoom + color filter
16 MP camera
- 4510 mAh battery, 30 W quick charging via cable and wireless, USB-C 3.1
- 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5 mm, 199 g
- Alert slider, dual speakers, haptic vibration
- Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, 5G, NFC, dual band GPS, dual SIM
- Android operating system with Google apps
Flagship functions: OnePlus closes the last gaps
OnePlus finally installs wireless charging in the 8 Pro. And not with just 5 or 10 watts, but directly with 30 watts. A fairly complex system ensures that this performance is possible. The lack of wireless charging has been one of the criticisms we have heard over the past few years. However, wireless charging at top speed is only possible with OnePlus accessories, on other chargers or in the car a maximum of 10 watts should be possible.
A fan for full power is integrated in the charging station (70 euros), which can be switched off at night at a lower charging speed and thus generates no noise. But in my opinion, the only slight noise is hardly worth mentioning, I had quickly not consciously noticed in the course of everyday life.
Reverse charging is also integrated, other devices can be charged wirelessly from the OnePlus 8 Pro.
Another improvement is the IP68 certification, which has also been lacking in recent years. It is only available for the OnePlus 8 Pro, but this also ensures a higher price. OnePlus promised a similarly durable design for the OnePlus 8, but without any certificate. IP68 means largely reliable protection against water and dust, but this is a delicate matter when it comes to water. You might want to take a dip in a salty sea without a smartphone.
The usual performance of recent years continued
You could go far again now and write a lot about it. I don’t want to. Not again. OnePlus has had a consistently high level in recent years when it comes to pure system performance and battery life. Nothing went in the wrong direction this year. The new OnePlus 8 is incredibly fast to use, the 120 Hz display can provide support. Differences to 90 Hz may be visible in a direct comparison, but rather less in everyday life. That’s just a bit of showing off with the specs.
Apart from the refresh rate and 240 Hz fast touch detection, this year’s panel is really outstanding in all respects. But I didn’t expect anything else, OnePlus was able to offer very good displays last year. They rely on the qualities of Samsung, the South Koreans supply the built-in OLED panels.
Personally, I am still a critic of the still fashionable edge displays, in which the elongated sides are inclined / curved towards the back. The light breaks in there, there is always a colored glow. Can be left out, at least in the future.
I’m not a gamer, but games like Asphalt 9 look brilliant on this display and somehow gain new quality. There is also a pretty good sound from two speakers, which are well coordinated and balanced.
Because OnePlus creates a good balance between the best hardware and its own software, the over 4500 mAh battery lasts a long time. In this area, the OnePlus 8 Pro is again slightly ahead of the Oppo Find X2 Pro, at least in terms of battery capacity. For my use with news feeds, browsers, messengers, social media, mail and other “simple” apps, the OnePlus 8 Pro and actually all comparable devices usually last about two days.
In particular, I let Asphalt 9 run a little longer and used the camera, after about 15 minutes about 20% of the battery was gone. With less power-hungry apps more comes out, the 120 Hz display should also tear the battery noticeably. For me, the pure screen-on-time is no longer interesting. Do I get through the day well or not, that counts in my evaluation. But it’s also difficult to translate to other users.
Camera: 48 MP twice, no periscope
It became apparent in advance that OnePlus installed a camera similar to Oppo. At least in the OnePlus 8 Pro it happened that way, the main sensor is 48 MP strong and quite new, the ultra wide-angle sensor is also 48 MP strong but a generation older. OnePlus does not rely on a periscope for the zoom, so it covers rather short distances with the telephoto camera. Everything under 3x is digital zoom via the main camera, everything up to 30x uses the zoom camera. Here it is visible that at larger zoom levels only software crop is inevitably used and that the quality will deteriorate at some point.
Below 3x, 5x, 10x and 30x:
48 MP for the ultra wide angle, that sounds like a lot of details. Still, these photos are far from it when compared to the main sensor and normal wide angle. If there is an advantage, it may be better light absorption and therefore a rather similar appearance if we compare brightness and color reproduction with normal photos. In the long shot, the picture appears to be reasonably sharp, in full size details such as fonts, faces, etc. are completely lost.
For comparison: A crop from the main camera without ultra-wide angle shows that the license plates are actually at a legible distance. So why 48 MP for ultra wide angle? I do not know or at least see hardly any advantages. OnePlus advertises in the Reviewers Guide that the camera is suitable for “printable landscape photos”. I also read about “razor-sharp images”, but I only see something to a limited extent.
Unfortunately I haven’t got too many photos yet, so there will surely be another post in the next few days. Incidentally, I am still undecided about how useful the color filter camera is. It is supposed to enable great filters for photos, for me it only works like a marketing tool and after the first few days not like a cool or usable feature. Professionals edit afterwards, beginners use Instagram and Co.
The camera app is still simple, it has to stay that way. Less is more!
Dark Theme 2.0 and other things
OnePlus has promised a new dark theme for the software, which should also convert apps without night mode. Somehow it doesn’t really work for me. It works better with the fingerprint sensor in the display, only the face unlock is much faster. I have both active, that works extremely well and reliably for me.
There doesn’t seem to be much else going on in the software. I find only a small part of the system settings somewhat illogical, in an otherwise quite simple software. As with other manufacturers, there are parallel apps to be able to use about two WhatsApp accounts on one device. Apps can also be secured, quickly started with a gesture from the lockscreen, and so on. Some things you can use.
There is also the processing of the devices, which is once again very good. I find the “matt” surface of the back, which is very soft and comfortable in the hand, to be crucial. Oppo’s direct competitor relies on pure glass that was quickly greasy and at the same time rather slippery in the hand. Since I’m more at home with the matte surface, I also like the Pixel 4.
Another unique selling point is the Alert Slider above the power button, above which you can switch sound and vibration in three different stages. No one else offers except Apple.
Conclusion: OnePlus couldn’t do much wrong
Again, OnePlus has produced a very good flagship smartphone without standing out from the competition. This is only possible with the case colors on offer, although I would find the green-blue variant nice but would not buy it. The first photos from the camera look good, but do not offer any clear or incomparable features. First and foremost, OnePlus still stands out because the use of the smartphones incomprehensible quickly feels. No longer a novelty in the Android world, but you can still stand out from others.
I am hurt by the sheer size of the OnePlus 8 Pro, because 6.4 inches might do the same and would make it a bit more compact. But other manufacturers are taking a similar notch with Pro, Ultra and Co., that’s the smartphone market today. The best equipment is only available with the largest display. For whom that is clear and who can cope with the surcharge for 5G and the latest top hardware, the OnePlus 8 Pro definitely gets a recommendable alternative. Almost uncompromising.
Now we come to the significantly increased price, the magic limit of 1000 euros has now come significantly closer. Starting price is 899 euros for the OnePlus 8 Pro, for 256 GB memory and 12 GB RAM, 999 euros are due. Basically that was foreseeable. OnePlus has installed more components of classic flagship smartphones, added more sensors to the cameras and installed the latest memory. It costs everything. The only advantage in the argument remains the comparison, because Huawei P40 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 + / Ultra cost even more.