Since the launch of its “flagship killer” in 2014, OnePlus has been an interesting company to watch as they’ve gone from being an enthusiast brand to slowly becoming just another Android smartphone maker.
That’s not to knock down OnePlus, they’re able to make great devices that are fun to use but they’ve also been reluctant to put in features like wireless charging and an IP rating like other companies have done for years while becoming more expensive.
I believe OnePlus needs to consider going back to its roots of being a company with a flagship killer that’s cheaper than the big players like Samsung and Apple.
Design & Hardware
Over the past few years, OnePlus’ build quality for their devices has gotten better each year and that’s no different with their OnePlus 8 Pro for 2020.
The OnePlus 8 Pro has an anodized aluminum frame with curved glass on the back and front. What makes it even better is the colour options that OnePlus is offering for their new phones.
While most manufacturers are offering only black and white colours, the OnePlus 8 Pro comes in Onyx Black, Glacial Green and Ultramarine Blue.
For review, OnePlus sent over the Glacial Green OnePlus 8 Pro. While it would have been great to get the Ultramarina 8 Pro, the Glacial Green colour still looks great and is like a combination of blue and green in different lighting conditions.
Just like the OnePlus 7 series last year, the OnePlus 8 Pro has an in-display fingerprint sensor that works great most of the time but I’d rather use OnePlus’ super quick face unlock.
The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate (up from 90Hz) and 1440 x 3120 resolution. Having the 120Hz refresh rate on the 8 Pro makes everything seem buttery smooth and fluid, hence the name Fluid Display.
Powering the OnePlus 8 Pro is the Snapdragon 865 processor with up to 12GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage with UFS 3.0 support. It would great if OnePlus would offer a 512GB option since the devices don’t have a microSD card slot. There’s also 5G (which is still rolling out in Canada) and WiFi 6 support.
One thing to note is that Onyx Black and Ultramarine Blue colour options are only available with 12GB of RAM and 256GB, there’s no option for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage. However, the Glacial Green OnePlus 8 Pro only comes with 8GB RAM/128GB storage.
In terms of battery, the 8 Pro has a 4,510 mAh battery and new for this year is IP68 water and dust resistant and 30W Wireless Charging (via the new OnePlus Warp Wireless Charger). The phone also comes with OnePlus’ 30W Warp Charge 30T and 3W reverse wireless charging support.
Speaking of the Warp Wireless Charger, alongside the 8 Pro, OnePlus sent over the charger. It works great and charges the 8 Pro super quick and there’s a built-in fan to keep the device cool. My only knock against the charger is that it is slightly large in size and the cable isn’t removable.
Pricing for the OnePlus 8 Pro is as follows:
- $1,400 CAD ($899 USD) for 8GB RAM/128GB
- $1,550 CAD ($999 USD) for 12GB/256GB
For comparison, the OnePlus 7 Pro last year was $899 CAD for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage and went up to $1,009 CAD for the 12GB RAM/256GB storage.
As for some of OnePlus’ Android competition, the Galaxy S20 series is normally priced* as follows:
- Galaxy S20 (128GB) – $1,219 CAD* (Normally $1,319 CAD)
- Galaxy S20+ (128GB) – $1,219 CAD* (Normally $1,579 CAD)
- Galaxy S20+ (512GB) – $1,679 CAD* (Normally $1,779 CAD)
- Galaxy S20 Ultra (128GB) – $1.749 CAD* (Normally $1,849 CAD)
- Galaxy S20 Ultra (512GB) – $2,069 CAD* (Normally $2,109 CAD)
*Note: The current pricing of the S20 series is as of writing this review on June 20th, 2020, Prices may change once this review is published
The OnePlus 8 Pro is available for purchase from the company’s website.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is running the company’s OxygenOS based on Android 10. If you’ve been reading the site for a while, then you’ll know I’m not the biggest fan of Android skins and one of my favourites is Google’s Pixel launcher on their devices.
But a close second to the Pixel launcher is OnePlus’ version of Android. Everything in OxygenOS kind of looks like Google’s version of Android but with a few tweaks here and there.
One of the new features of the Android 10 based OxygenOS is Dark Theme 2.0 which the company says was built from the ground up. There are even more apps that are compatible with the UI’s dark mode.
Dynamic Wallpapers is a new way to subtly shift colour tones of your phone’s wallpapers based on current outdoor colour temperatures. There’s also quite a number of ways to customize OxygenOS to your liking from the system icons and colour of the UI elements.
Game Space is a new feature which shows you all your installed games in one place and easily set things like Game Mode and more.
With the Android 10 update, you get access to a number of features including Smart Reply, Focus Mode, Live Captions and more. There’s also the option to make your OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro into a Smart Display via the Ambient display settings.
The entire OxygenOS feels a lot smoother and faster and that’s in part thanks to the higher refresh rate displays on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.
One thing I wanted to point out is that while the 8 Pro offers a 120Hz refresh rate, you can change it to 60Hz if you want to save some battery but I wish there was also an option for 90Hz but hopefully that comes in a future update.
There are four cameras on the OnePlus 8 Pro including a 48MP standard, 48MP ultra-wide, 8MP telephoto and 5MP colour filter lens. The front camera is 16MP (which is in a hole-punch cut-out instead of a pop-up).
While the cameras on the OnePlus 8 Pro aren’t Pixel phone quality, you can still get some great shots. The telephoto lens on the 8 Pro was fun to use even though it was limited to 3x optical zoom.
However, I didn’t find myself using the OnePlus 8 Pro’s colour filter all that useful.
OnePlus’ night mode called Nightscape has gotten better and is a lot quicker at capturing low-light images. The quality of low-light photos taken on the OnePlus 8 devices is great but not on the same level as Google Pixel’s Night Sight.
There are also a few different modes including Portrait, Pro, Time-lapse, Panorama and Slow Motion.
Videos taken on the 8 Pro look great and stabilized. You can shoot up to 4K video at 60fps on the OnePlus 8 Pro.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is a great phone that has a beautiful 120Hz display, super quick performance, great camera and long battery life.
However, OnePlus’ devices are becoming just as expensive as other Android phones making them slightly harder to recommend for everyone.
- Bright and beautiful 120Hz display
- The coloured aluminum body looks and feels great
- Great cameras
- 5G and Wi-Fi 6 support
- Fast 30W Wired and Wireless charging
- Long battery life
- IP rating
- OxygenOS is just as good as stock Android
- Higher price than previous OnePlus devices
- Colour filter isn’t all that useful