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OnePlus 8 Pro Review: The Flagship to Beat in India

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Pros:

  • bright, fluid and beautiful display
  • consistent, top-notch performance
  • Oxygen OS
  • Great battery life
  • excellent build Quality
  • fast wired charging
  • fast wireless charging
  • Good rear cameras
  • IP68 water and dust resistant
  • Excellent Speakers
  • excellent haptic feedback

Cons:

  • Display quality control issues
  • The telephoto camera need software tweaking
  • mediocre selfie camera
  • No Hi-Res audio
  • Always on Display still missing in Oxygen OS

Introduction

This is our full review of OnePlus 2020 flagship OnePlus 8 Pro, and I have been using the device has my primary device for the last three weeks, and finally, it is time to share my full experience. OnePlus 8 Pro is the most expensive OnePlus phone until now, and it starts at Rs.54,999($730) in India. Compared to International starting Price of $900, it is way much cheaper here, and my review is entirely based on Indian pricing and other alternatives launched here. So without wasting more time lets start the review

Design

OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the most premium-looking, well-built smartphones out there and it scores well in that department. It carries the same design aesthetic with the Oneplus 7 Pro but with a more polished, refined look and finish. The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with glass sandwiched design with more pronounced curves on the front and less noticeable curves on the back. It makes it more premium and provides a better in-hand feel.

OnePlus 8 Pro Review

Oneplus 8 Pro comes in 3 colours. Onyx Black, Glacial Green and Ultramarine Blue. The classy black one has a glossy finish, and it attracts fingerprints (my friend have a black version). The latter two got a frosted glass back (Gorilla Glass 3D) with a matte finish which doesn’t attract fingerprints, and these two new colours are stunning. I have the glacial green with me, and that seeks instant attraction, and in certain angles, it looks like a phone with Dave 2D blue. The capsule-shaped camera unit sticks out a fair bit and has a slightly rough edge.

The right-hand side has the power button and alert slider, on the left side, we got a volume rocker, and these buttons are super clicky and tactile. Now by long-pressing, the power button will trigger the Google assistant and to turn it off, you need to press both volume up and power button.

The top has a slight depression which is a unique design touch, and the base has a USB 3.0 Type-C port, Speaker and sim tray. The Speaker doubles up with the earpiece as a stereo setup. The stereo speakers are pretty loud, and the quality is pretty good. But the Xiaomi Mi10 at this price range can take out the throne in both Loudness and Sound quality due to its incredible dual speakers. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack on OnePlus 8 Pro.

The phone is big and It weighs 199 grams but doesn’t feel that heavy due to great weight distribution and also it is usable in one hand up to a certain limit due to extreme curves and small width compared to previous Oneplus 7 Pro. Compared to other SD865 phones in India it is probably the lightest and thinnest flagships(excluded OnePlus 8). Finally, an Oneplus device with IP68 water and dust resistant means, you can submerge up to 1.5m for 30minutes in freshwater. The haptic engine used in OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the best, and I really enjoyed typing and using gestures here.

So I am pleased with its design and how it looks. If I have to nitpick, the camera bump and its rough edges are the only complaints I have to say.

Display

OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a massive 6.78-inch QHD+ Fluid AMOLED Display with a 120hz refresh rate and it is probably the best display out there if it doesn’t have any quality control issues, but that is not the case. More about it later.

OnePlus 8 Pro Review

OnePlus 8n Pro along with OnePlus 8

Display Specs

OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a massive 6.78-inch QHD+ Fluid AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and 240hz touch sampling rate. It is 10-bit(1 billion colours) HDR10+ rated panel with peak brightness up to 1300nits. Its resolution is 3168 x 1440 with 513ppi and the display is protected by 3D Corning Gorilla glass. Oneplus 8 Pro display has one of the smallest Delta-E and JNDC values out there which means it is pretty colour accurate and close to natural colours (In “Natural” colour profile). The DisplayMate rated it with an A+ rating and has an SGS Eye Care Display Certification

Display Features and customizations

By default, the display is set to FHD+ 120Hz, and you can manually set it either FHD+ 60Hz, FHD+ 120Hz, QHD+ 60Hz, and QHD+ 120hz. The Galaxy S20 series doesn’t provide an option to set into QHD+ 120hz. So it is great to see OnePlus allowing setting at max in both resolution and refresh rate. At QHD+ 120hz, the phones provide an option to turn ON or OFF auto power saving to save battery. You can turn it OFF if you need to stay at the best resolution but will hit in the battery. By default, auto power-saving is turned ON.

In terms of customizability, We can sett the screen calibration in vivid (default), natural, and in advanced mode. The advanced mode lets you select sRGB or DCI-P3 or AMOLED Wide Gamut with any custom warm or cold tune level you want. By default, the phones come in a “vivid” colour profile for more vibrant looking colours. The Natural colour profile producers very closer to real-life colours. There is an option to hide the camera cutout, but why would anyone go for it.

OnePlus also provides various features like Comfort Tune, Motion Graphics Smoothening(MEMC), Vibrant Colour Effect Pro, Night Mode, Reading Mode, and Ambient Display. The Comfort tune automatically adapts the screen colour based on the ambient light to ensure a comfortable display effect. The Motion graphics smoothing(MEMC) is used to reduce motion blur by raising the frame rate of 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps video clips to 120fps to match the screen refresh rate. It works only with a few supported video streaming apps, and only in landscape mode. To be honest, I found the interpolation doesn’t look good and turn it OFF asap.

The Vibrant colour effect Pro is used to enhance the colours of the video to looks more vivid and contrast and I am not a fan of this, so never really turn it ON. The Night Mode and Reading Mode are self-explanatory. The ambient display wakes for notifications and also when we tap on the screen, but the full-fledge always-on display is missing here. there’s no notification light, but you can use Horizon light that lights up the sides of the phone for incoming notifications.

Our Thoughts on display

I enjoyed using the Oneplus 8 Pro Display and it is the best display I have used to date. The screen can get extremely bright outdoors, and the colour accuracy is excellent if you switch from vivid to the natural colour profile. The 120hz refresh rate, 240 Hz touch sampling rate, well-optimized Oxygen OS, and SD865 make it the smoothest experience, and it is compelling. 

But honestly, I don’t think there is an easily noticeable difference between 90Hz and 120Hz compared 60Hz to 90hz. I compared it to OnePlus 8 and Mi10 90hz panel and didn’t seem much different. I think OnePlus 8 Pro display colours are more realistic than Samsung flagship’s displays even though Samsung also makes this display.

If I have to nitpick, the extremely curved panel on the OnePlus 8 Pro helps to give more premium but it sometimes makes the loss of content in the curves. I noticed it when sliding through WhatsApp statuses. The palm rejection on the curves is extremely aggressive, so I didn’t have any problem with ghost touches, but I noticed the sometimes it doesn’t register the touch on the curved part due to this extreme palm rejection.

Display Issues

Some of you may know OnePlus 8 Pro display got backlashed due to the display issues, and OnePlus quickly responded to this issue. They limited the lowest brightness level immediately, So currently, the lowest brightness level you can reach on the OnePlus 8 pro slightly is higher than other Flagships out there. But it doesn’t seem to be a problem for me even in the pitch black.

OnePlus 8 Pro Dark Band Issue at 120Hz

Dark band issue at 120Hz refresh rate at Lowest Brightness

They are mainly for issues faced by OnePlus 8 Pro users. Black Crush, Green tint, Pink tint, and Dark band around the punch hole. After OnePlus limited the lowest brightness level, most of these issues have become slightly noticeable. When I tested my device with oxygen OS 10.5.10, I can still notice slight pinkish and green tint in particular grey colour at lowest brightness levels(5-25%) in pitch-black rooms and Dark band near to punch-hole on brightness level below 5% only at 120hz refresh rate in some grey colours(Whatsapp). But with updates, currently, on 10.5.12, these issues are nearly non-noticeable, expect the dark band near punch-hole at 120Hz refresh rate.

OnePlus 8 Pro Performance: Fast and Smooth

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 865 coupled with fast LPDDR5 RAM, and fast UFS 3.0 write turbo storage. USB 3.0 write turbo has similar speed like the new UFS 3.1 storage. OnePlus gained its name for its blazing fast and smooth performance, and there is nothing to complain about here. I am not a gamer, so I didn’t play games a lot on this. But in my testing, playing games on this phone is super fun, and every high graphics game runs at its highest settings, and the experience was the notch. The device gets slightly hot to touch, but nothing to complain.

OnePlus 8 Pro AnTuTu Score

AnTutu

OnePlus 8 Pro Geekbench Score

GeekBench

Network and Connectivity

In terms of network connectivity, everything is pretty solid here, and I got excellent signal reception, excellent call quality, and excellent speed in WIFI and Mobile data. Due to the current coronavirus situation, I haven’t used GPS extensively, but it seems pretty accurate to me. OnePlus 8 Pro comes with Bluetooth 5.1 and WIFI 6 support. It supports aptX,aptX HD, LDAC, AAC and SBC.

OnePlus 8 Pro Review
OnePlus 8 Pro Review: The Flagship to Beat in India 8

But the lack of Hi-Res certification is noticeable when using Tidal HIFI or Master with 1More Triple driver. The difference is not pronounced with regular streaming services like Spotify.  My laptop is producing better output through 1More triple driver than Oneplus 8 Pro inbuilt DAC when using the “Use Exclusive mode” of the Tidal windows app. So I am looking to invest in Good Type-C to 3.5mm DAC very soon. The data transfer through USB 3.0 Type-C Port is pretty fast.

Software

My OnePlus 8 Pro is now running with Oxygen OS 10.5 version, specifically 10.5.12. OnePlus usually very goof track record of updating their devices frequently, and I already get 2 to 3 updates in the last 3 weeks. When it comes to Oxygen OS, it is the most refined Android skin out there with a lot of features, and it is one of my favorite UI skin out there. I haven’t noticed a single hick-up or frame drop till now, and it is incredibly smooth due to the 120 Hz and SD865 to support it.

OnePlus 8 Pro Review
Oxygen OS

If I have to nitpick, there are some features still missing in Oxygen OS, and I would like to see these features as soon as possible. I am very used to always-on-display, and this feature is still missing here. According to OnePlus, Always-on Display(AOD) is coming to Oxygen OS in the last quarter of this year. I have first to wake up the screen (by touching or raise the phone) to use the in-display fingerprint scanner due to the lack of AOD, and I didn’t like it. Another one is we need to go to customization settings to enable/disable dark mode, and there is no auto dark mode toggle here.  Another one will be the lack of an excellent floating window feature, which was one of my favorite features in MIUI12, and it is handy.

Camera Quality

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with quad cameras on the rear and a single punch hole selfie camera on the front. In terms of specs, The primary rear camera is custom made Sony 48MP sensor the IMX689 also found OPPO FInd X2 Series. The Ultra wide-angle camera is Sony IMX586 48MP sensor, which is used as the primary sensor in OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 7 series is converted to wide-angle by using the lens system. It has a Feild of view of 120degrees. It also doubles as a Macro Camera. The third camera is an 8MP 3X telephoto lens( a 12Mp 2X is cropped to get 8MP 3X telephoto), and the last one is the 5MP Colour Filter lens.

OnePlus 8 Pro Camera Review

The punch hole selfie camera is a 16MP Sony IMX471 sensor, which is the same one from the previous OnePlus 7 series. The rear camera can shoot 4K at 30/60FPS, 1080P at 30/60FPS, time-lapse at 1080P 30, or 4K 30 FPS. it also features various features like Cine aspect ratio video recording, HDR video, NightScape, Audio 3D, Audio Zoom, Ultrashort HDR, Super Macro, PRo Mode, etc

Now Comes to camera quality, OnePlus finally have a real Flagship level Camera. In short, The primary camera performance is excellent, and the wide-angle camera is very good, Macro photos are great, Telephoto Camera is good but needs software tweaks. The front selfie camera is good, but not up to the flagship level. In terms of video OnePlus 8 Pro rear camera is excellent, the front camera video quality is mediocre like the photos from it.

Now if you need more details about camera quality, Checkout our sample pictures from each sensor and we also give our opinion about each one.

The photo samples shown below are highly compressed, To see the high-resolution samples, Please click on each One(slightly compressed)

Main and wide Angle Camera

Daylight

The primary 48MP photos are excellent in daylight condition, photos coming from it are very crisp, exceptional dynamic range due to always-on HDR mode and impressed with it. The 48MP-mode gives more details and is recommended to go for it in landscape shots in the daytime.

OnePlus 8 Pro Camera Samples

12MP Sample

OnePlus 8 Pro 48MP camera samples

48MP Sample

OnePlus 8 Pro Camera review

12MP Sample 1

OnePlus 8 Pro Camera Review

12MP Ultra Wide Angle Sample 1

OnePlus 8 Pro Camera review

12MP Sample 2

OnePlus 8 Pro Ultra wide Angle camera samples

12MP Ultra Wide Angle Sample 2

OnePlus 8 Pro Camera Samples

Due to the large sensor size, the focus plane is tiny, so if you capture close up shots within 3ft, some parts will get out of focus. It is better to use the wide-angle lens in such a situation. The phone automatically switches to Macro Mode when you take close up shots, here a wide-angle camera is using for macro shots, so quality is pretty good.

OnePlus 8 Pro focus plane
OnePlus 8 Pro focus plane

Macro Samples

OnePlus 8 Pro Macro Samples
OnePlus 8 Pro Macro Samples
OnePlus 8 Pro Macro Samples
OnePlus 8 Pro Macro Samples

Telephoto

The 8MP 3X telephoto samples are good and usable up to 10X zoom. As of now, it has the overexpose issue in the 3 to 3.5X zoom range. Also, the photos have a lot of noise in that 3X to 3.5X zoom range. I think above 3.5X(3.6X onwards) there are using both the primary camera and telephoto camera for taking photos. The telephoto sample are much sharper than from primary camera( you can see it from 2.9X and 3X samples below)

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

2.9X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

3X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

2.9X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

3X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

3X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

3.6X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

5X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

10X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samples

20X

OnePlus 8 Pro telephoto camera samplea

30X

Low Light (Night)

The low light samples from the OnePlus 8 Pro IMX689 sensor are very good, and from the wide-angle lens is good too. But NIghtscape mode makes them much better by controlling the overexposed areas and getting details in darker areas. It looks much better than Xiaomi Mi10 night mode samples.

OnePlus 8 Pro low light sample pic

Auto 12 MP after Sunset

onePlus 8 pro low light Nightscape sample pic

Nightscape 12MP after sunset

OnePlus 8 Pro main camera night sample pic

Main Auto Mode

OnePlus 8 Pro main camera Nightscape  sample pic

Main Nightscape

OnePlus 8 Pro Ultra wide angle night sample pic

Wide Auto Mode

OnePlus 8 Pro Ultra Wide Angle camera NIghtscape sample pic

Wide Nightscape

OnePlus 8 Pro Telephoto Night Sample pic

Telephoto Auto Mode

The Phone is using its Main camera instead of the telephoto lens in Nighttime when taking photos in 3X telephoto. The Nightscape is not available to Telephoto Lens.

Colour Filter Camera

Due to the controversy, OnePlus disabled the Colour Filter camera now, and they are using the wide-angle lens to take photochrom shots. But I tried to enable the lens through ADB command, got succeeded in it, but I couldn’t anything that is thin enough to see through. but in the Meantime I shot a landscape picture through it, check out the sample below

OnePlus 8 Pro Photochrome Sample

Portrait Samples

The portrait samples have useful details and proper edge detection. But I am not a fan of the OnePlus Blurring algorithm, and it seems fake to me. I think Apple iPhone 11 and 11 Pro blurring algorithm is much better.

OnePlus 8 Pro portrait samples
OnePlus 8 Pro portrait samples

Front Camera Photos

The selfie camera does a decent job at good lighting conditions with good details and nearly accurate skin tune, but as light falls, photos become soft. But you can use screen flash or use gcam modes for getting sharper images.

OnePlus 8 Pro front camera samples

Outdoor Selfie

OnePlus 8 Pro front camera samples

Indoor Selfie

OnePlus 8 Pro front camera group selfie

Group Selfie

Video Recording

In terms of video recording, the capability this phone surprised me, OnePlus improved a lot in this regard. Plenty of details, excellent colours, excellent dynamic range, very good stabilization, fast focusing, good sound recording, etc. You can shoot 4K 60FPS footage from both Main and Wide Angle camera. Also, there are various modes like cinematic aspect ratio, super study mode, etc. are available.

But the front camera video recording is mediocre as like photos coming from it, so this phone is not recommended for vloggers out there.

Battery Life and Charging

The Battery life on Oneplus 8 pro is pretty great. To be honest, I didn’t expect it would last this long in QHD+ 120Hz, and I will have to switch to FHD+. But the battery life on OnePlus 8 pro is pretty high even at QHD+ 120Hz. 

In terms of charging OnePlus 8 pro Comes with 30W Warp Charge 30T and it tops the device very quickly. The device gets fully charged within 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes, and it is very fast to charge the 0-60% range. The device also supports OnePlus 30W proprietary wireless charging and but I haven’t tested it yet, and it said to full charge the device within 1 hour 15 minutes. OnePlus 8 Pro also supports Qi wireless charging, but it is limited to just 5W, that is pretty sad. Oneplus 8 Pro support Reverse wireless Charging up to 3W, and it is a nice feature to charge your accessories if it Supports wireless Charging

The one thing I have to note here is most of the charging accessories I use are QC/PD compatible options. So none of these can charge OnePlus 8 Pro as fast as Warp Charging. So I have to invest in the new set of accessories like warp Car charger, Realme 30W Power Bank, etc

Other Alternatives

  • Xiaomi Mi10
  • S20 series
  • iPhone 11 series
  • Find X2 Series
  • OnePlus 8
  • Asus ROG Phone 3

Xiaomi Mi10

Mi10 is one of the main competitors out when comparing a similar price. Xiaomi Mi10 will have better speakers (loudness and quality), Hi-res audio, Better charging tech( based on USB PD, better third party accessories support), etc. but rest of the area OnePlus 8 Pro still leads, and for an extra 5K rupees OnePlus 8 Pro would have been a better deal. Better display, better software, better video recording capability, better wide-angle and telephoto cameras, etc. makes OnePlus 8 Pro a better option

Samsung S20 series

If you considering S20 series S20Plus and S20Ultra have better cameras than OnePlus 8 Pro, but I think Oneplus 8 Pro leads in other things and also way cheaper in countries like India. But when it comes to the S20 series with Exynos chipset( every market other than US, Canada, China, and South Korea), I would not recommend it to anyone. check out our post about Exynos S20 series issues from the views section.

iPhone 11 Series

It is not fair to compare iPhone 11 series to OnePlus 8 Pro because both are coming from different ecosystems. If you like iOS more, need a very reliable set of cameras with fewer features, outdated display design, 5 to 6 years of iOS updates, and also buying a phone to showcase go with iPhone 11 or any other higher-end one. In my view, OnePlus 8 pro is a much better phone, by comparing OnePlus 8 Pro with iPhone 11( closest one in price).

OPPO Find X2 Series

The OPPO Find X2 and X2 Pro very similar to OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in a lot of manners. In my opinion, OPPO Find X2 pro sits in between OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro with a price tag of 5K INR higher than OnePlus 8 Pro, Find X2 has a slightly better display, better wired charging compared to OnePlus 8 and it doesn’t have any wireless charging or IP rating. Even in other specs, OnePlus 8 Pro is a better option. The OPPO find X2 Pro is better to option than OnePlus 8 Pro, and it lacks only the wireless charging. But it comes with a much higher price tag. The pricing in India is still not announced. It probably cost near 90K. So OnePlus 8 Pro is a better deal to me. Also, Colour OS 7.1 will never match the Oxygen OS experience, but it is very close.

OnePlus 8

OnePlus 8 is a great other option with a lesser price tag, and it lacks wireless charging, IP rating, or 120Hz display compared to OnePlus 8 Pro. But still OnePlus features 90Hz display, which pretty smooth. The rear camera performance will be a downgrade compared to OnePlus 8 Pro. But if you need a slightly smaller phone with a fast, smooth and excellent software experience and if you don’t care much about the features mentioned above, then you can go with OnePlus 8 and save money.

ROG Phone 3

I only recommend a gaming phone to the hard-core gamers out there. The GPU mainly determines the gaming performance, and here, they are very similar. If you are going with ROG Phone 3, you will get more gaming-oriented features, but Gaming Phones usually don’t have a good set of cameras, and ROG Phones is not an exception to it.

Pricing and Availability

In India, the 8+128GB OnePlus 8 Pro costs Rs.54,999($735) and comes in two colours, Onyx Black and Glacial Green. The OnePlus 8 Pro 12+256 GB costs Rs.59,999($802$) and comes in all three colours, Onyx Black, Glacial Green, and Ultramarine Blue. The device is available in amazon.in, oneplus.in and in other authorized offline and online stores.

Verdict and Target Audience

OnePlus 8 Pro is the OnePlus first attempt to the No Compromise true-flagship, and they nearly did it. If you want the best Android phone out there right now, buy the OnePlus 8 Pro. I don’t think any other phone at this price offers a better overall package than OnePlus 8 Pro. OnePlus 8 Pro matches or Come close or out thrown devices that cost much more, in terms of hardware, design, and overall software experience. All of the Alternatives mentioned above have some drawbacks and only the OnePlus 8 Pro closest to the perfect android phone. Yeah, it has negatives, but its pros overlook all of the negative points I mentioned in the review. So OnePlus 8 Pro is our choice for the best Android flagship of the First half of 2020.


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