Last year OnePlus made a whole statement of intent with the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro (the ‘T’s would come later). The brand that invented the concept of the ‘flagship killer’ has grown older, and with age, more mature products come, but also more expensive. This year they continue this path with the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.
The model that concerns us in this analysis is the OnePlus 8, the less advanced of the two and the one that still retains part of that spirit from the beginning although the price does not accompany it as much as it used to. But although it does not carry the last name ‘Pro’, the OnePlus 8 does not give up very advanced features, including 5G. Let’s see how the new OnePlus toy behaves in a thorough analysis.
OnePlus 8, technical specifications
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT||160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm180g|
|SCREEN||Fluid AMOLED 90Hz6.55 inchFullHD + 2,400 x 1,080, 402 ppi (20: 9)sRGB Display 3|
|PROCESSOR||Snapdragon 865,Adreno 650 X55 GPU modem|
|RAM||8/12 GB LPDDR4|
|CAPACITY||128/256 GB UFS 3.0|
|SOFTWARE||Android 10 with Oxygen OS|
|REAR CAMERAS||Main sensor: Sony IMX586 48 MP (0.8 µm), OIS + EIS, f / 1.75Ultra wide: 16 MP, f / 2.2Macro lens: 2 MP (1.75 µm), f / 2.4Others: Dual LED flash, PDAF + CAF, 2x zoom (digital)Video: 4K 30 / 60fps, Slow Motion 480fps (HD), Time lapse, Video Editor|
|FRONTAL CAMERA||Sony IMX471 16 MP (1 µm), EIS, fixed focus, f / 2.0, FullHD video|
|CONNECTIVITY||5G NSA, 4G LTE Cat 18, WiFi 6 ax, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, GPS / Glonass / Galileo / Beidou / SBAS / A-GPS USB-C 3.1 (compatible, cable is 2.0), Dual Nano SIM|
|SECURITY||On-screen fingerprint reader2D face unlock|
|DRUMS||4,300 mAh with Warp Charge 30T|
|PRICE||8 / 128GB: 709 euros12 / 256GB: 809 euros|
OnePlus 8 Design: matte is in fashion (although OnePlus already knew it)
In 2020 we are seeing enough brands to bet on the matte finish in some colors of their flagship. We have recently seen it with the Huawei P40 Pro and also with the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. OnePlus has already opted for this finish in the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T, so it is not a novelty in its range. What is new is this striking turquoise tone. Maybe it is not a color for everyone, but it feels great.
The brightness has the downside that the footprints are marked a lot, but with the matte, we avoid this problem (not entirely). However, another problem comes: the touch is very slippery.
In the case of the OnePlus 8, the problem is easily solved with the silicone case that comes in the box; protects the OnePlus 8, is discreet and greatly improves grip. By the way, remove the ‘bump’ from the rear camera. In this case, we do not have a camera module that stands out a lot, but it is appreciated.
Continuing with the camera module, OnePlus leaves aside the round module that we saw in the OnePlus 7 and 7T. Nor does it point to the fashion of square modules (neither in this nor in the OnePlus 8 Pro) and brings us back a vertical module located in the center. Just below is the LED flash and the brand’s logo.
On the front, we find another novelty and that is that there is no longer a drop-shaped notch or a pop-up camera. With the OnePlus 8, the firm launches its first screen with holes and the truth is that it suits you very well. The camera hole is quite small and aligned in the upper left corner so that it hardly interferes with the content or makes the status bar much higher.
At the compaction level, OnePlus does not give us the data of the percentage of front occupied by the screen, but the effort to adjust the screen to the edge is more than evident. We have a frame of about 2 millimeters on the sides and above, while the bottom one goes to 3 millimeters.
On the size and weight, OnePlus 8 is not a compact mobile, but it is not excessive thanks to that compaction. In addition, the weight is quite contained and feels thin in hand, making handling much easier. Let’s see how OnePlus 8 is compared to other current high-end.
|ONEPLUS 8||ONEPLUS 7||HUAWEI P40 PRO||SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 +||XIAOMI MI 10||SONY XPERIA 1 II|
|SCREEN||6.55 inch||6.41 inch||6.58 inch||6.7 inches||6.67 inch||6.5 inches|
|CAMERA PLACEMENT||Hole in screen||Drop type notch||Hole in screen||Hole in screen||Hole in screen||Top frame|
|DIMENSIONS||160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm||157.7 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm||158.2 x 72.6 x 9 mm||161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8 mm||162.5 x 74.8 x 9mm||165.1 x 71.1 x 7.6 mm|
|WEIGHT||180g||182 g||209 g||186 g||208 g||181 g|
|DRUMS||4,300 mAh||3,700 mAh||4,200 mAh||4,500 mAh||4,780 mAh||4,000 mAh|
Apart from the slippery touch that I mentioned above, the grip is very comfortable thanks to the fact that the back has curved sides and we do not notice any edge when holding it. The downside is that if you do not like curved screens, you will also find them in front.
Personally I am not a fan of this feature but I have to say that the curves of the OnePlus 8 are not very pronounced and the software is well trained to avoid accidental touches. All in all, the silicone sleeve is a great ally to minimize possible failures caused by curves.
OnePlus places the power button on the right along with the mute switch, while the volume buttons are on the left. Most of the mobiles that I test tend to have the volume on the right and this has been a bit strange for me, although you end up getting used to it.
The buttons have the same matte turquoise finish and the pulsation is good, with no creaking or resistance. There are no more elements on the sides of the terminal, the only thing we find is the speaker, the USB and the SIM tray on the bottom edge.
OnePlus 8 Screen: fluency is, although it is not always noticeable
OnePlus was one of the first brands to join the fluid displays and the OnePlus 8 continues to bet on a maximum refresh rate of 90Hz (120Hz is reserved for the ‘pro’). Here it is important to emphasize that, although we keep the screen with the maximum frequency, the terminal adjusts it “dynamically depending on the situation” . That is, if the game or application is not compatible with 90Hz, it will be adjusted to 60Hz. The screen feels fluid and the response is fast, but the truth is that we do not perceive an abysmal difference and it is quite difficult to detect when the 90Hz refresh mode has been activated.
The panel is a 6.55-inch AMOLED and FullHD + resolution, a configuration that gives us a density of 402 dots per inch. OnePlus bets for a more restrained resolution in the base model, but despite not reaching the QHD + of its older brother, the experience with the screen in terms of sharpness is very good.
It also highlights its brightness, allowing us to see the content without a problem even in full sun. Of course, although it usually works quickly, on some specific occasion, the maximum brightness refuses to activate and I have had to do it by hand.
Regarding color reproduction, the screen is configured in the intense mode, which gives us somewhat saturated colors and a cooler white balance than the natural mode, where the tones soften but we see a somewhat warm white. We also have the Advanced option where we can choose color profiles such as sRGB or Display P3, in addition to choosing the warmth of the panel by hand.
I have stayed with the natural mode since it seems to be the most balanced despite the fact that it tends to slightly yellow the whites. We also have an option called a vivid color effect that “enhances and optimizes colors and video contrast,” although it is a rather subtle enhancement.
In the screen settings menu, we find other options such as hiding the front camera, although I do not recommend it since the hole is quite discreet and does not bother, especially because the effect by hiding the notch unbalances the entire front and makes us lose screen space; the status bar does not stay in the black zone, but moves below that “false” frame.
Of course, the ambient screen could not be missing, where we can see the time, date, battery level and if we have any notifications to read. Additionally, it is possible to add a text message, but beyond that, there are no more customization options.
We can configure it so that the screen turns on when you pick up the phone and when you tap on it. Here is also the Horizon Light option that illuminates the edges of the screen when we receive a notification and gives us four colors to choose from for a single effect.
OnePlus 8 Sound: a lot of power (and some shrillness)
In the sound section, we have two speakers, one on the bottom and one on the front, along with the earpiece. As usual, if we cover the speakers, we realize that the upper speaker is much less powerful. Due to its placement, it is easier for us to cover the lower speaker when holding the OnePlus 8 (especially horizontally), making the volume drop a lot.
The volume of the speakers is quite high, too much even if we turn it to the maximum. Here the sound loses nuances and gives us a metallic, sharp and almost shrill audio.
In the Dolby Atmos sound settings, we can choose the dynamic mode, movie, music or none. There are more options but they are only activated when we connect headphones, which by the way we do not have a minijack, nor are there any USB-C included in the box or adapter, so you have to pull your own headphones.
Whether they are USB-C or Bluetooth, by connecting them we can access the style preferences and the sound improvement of the headphones. Here the audio experience improves a lot, gaining nuances and depth that is almost completely lost with the speakers.
Performance: Snapdragon 865 warranty
It said at the beginning that, despite not having the last name ‘pro’, the OnePlus 8 does not give up on leading components and OnePlus 8 hardware is an example. We have the Snapdragon 865 chip with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage, which translates into one thing: fluidity.
The OnePlus 8 effortlessly moves everyday tasks and does not blush with the most demanding. I have not experienced closings or lag (except for some occasional failure with an app), and the system moves very smoothly; here we have to give credit to an increasingly solid OxygenOS.
When spending long periods playing or using the camera, a temperature increase is observed that is concentrated mainly in the upper half, more or less around the camera, but it is quite soft and it is not bothersome (if we have the case on or note). Below we attach the results of the benchmark tests, compared to some of today’s high-end as well as the previous model.
|ONEPLUS 8||ONEPLUS 7T PRO||XIAOMI MI 10 PRO||SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 ULTRA||HUAWEI P40 PRO||OPPO FIND X2 PRO||LG V50 THINQ|
|PROCESSOR||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 855+||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865||Kirin 990||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 855|
|RAM||12 GB||8 GB||8 GB||12 GB||8 GB||12 GB||8 GB|
|GEEKBENCH 5||905 / 3,293||781 / 2,863||892 / 3,224||943 / 2,527||–||916 / 2,781||–|
And speaking of speed, the fingerprint reader under the screen is quite agile and recognizes us without problem in most cases, even if we do not place it perfectly centered with the icon. Of course, if we lift it too fast it does not work. A detail to keep in mind is that it does not work with the screen completely off, forcing us to tap or lift the phone so that it turns on and the sensor icon appears.
In most cases, facial unlocking is faster than the reader since we only have to turn on the screen to start the recognition. In settings we can make it take us directly to the home screen, making it faster. Oh, and an interesting detail: there is an option that illuminates the screen and allows unlocking even in the dark.
OnePlus 8 Autonomy: a full day without visiting the outlet
One of the sections that have been improved compared to the previous generation is the battery, which specifically has 13% more capacity. We are talking about a 4,300 mAh battery with fast charge Warp Charge 3T. Let’s see what results OnePlus 8 has given us in use, especially focusing on the 90Hz impact of the screen.
For the first battery cycle, I kept the screen set to the maximum refresh rate and the theme clear. The OnePlus 8 gave us a total use of 29 hours with just over 6 hours of screen. Keep in mind that it is not a very intensive use since we are at home all day and using WiFi networks most of the time, but 29 hours without visiting the plug is not bad.
In the second cycle, I also kept 90Hz, but here the use was a little more demanding than in the first and the total charge time dropped to 26 hours with 6 hours and 38 minutes of the screen. They are still more than acceptable figures and it may have to do with the fact that the screen is not constantly updating at 90Hz, but is changing between 60 and 90 depending on needs.
In the third cycle, I lowered the refreshment of the screen to 60Hz and, as we have already seen on more occasions, the impact on autonomy is not so dramatic if we do not spend a lot of time using apps or games that pull those 90Hz. In fact, in this case, the use was even more demanding since it caught the weekend and the charge lasted 24 hours, but with more than 7 hours of display.
Regarding the load, OnePlus ensures that in just 22 minutes we reached 50% load, something that we could verify in our tests. In total, the battery charges 100% in 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Software is one of the pillars on which OnePlus has built its brand and they continue to strengthen it with each new generation. With the OnePlus 8 Android 10 seasoned with OxygenOS in version 10.5.1, the OnePlus layer is well known in the Android world and stands out for both a clean and well-kept interface and its own functions.
OnePlus behaves well when it comes to bloatware and only includes a few additional apps such as the community app, ‘Switch to OnePlus’ to transfer the information from the previous mobile or the game space. The interface, although with certain touches of its own, keeps the aesthetics of Android One quite well, with round icons and the app drawer is hidden under that swipe up gesture.
Speaking of gestures, OnePlus dedicates a section in settings where we can choose whether we want to move around the interface using the classic buttons or gestures. If we choose gestures and hide the bar, we gain some screen space. There are also other options like quick flipping gestures to mute and configure quick actions on physical buttons.
As for customization, OnePlus puts many options at our fingertips, so we can almost create our own theme. You can choose the wallpaper, the clock style, the light or dark mode, accent color, the icon pack, and even its shape. There is also the option of keeping the OnePlus or Android font. Both have a very clean design, but the OnePlus gives it its own look that feels great.
The game space is one of the own functions that OxygenOS gives us. Here a series of optimizations are activated and the notifications come to us in a much more discreet way with only text instead of the classic upper bar. In addition, we have the Fnatic mode that also optimizes the network and reduces distractions.
Speaking of distractions, Zen mode is a twist on the usual Do Not Disturb. It lets us choose how long we want to disconnect from the OnePlus 8 and once started we will not be able to cancel it during that period. You can only receive calls and make emergency calls, so think carefully before activating it.
OnePlus 8 Cameras: triple camera remains, but without a telephoto
OnePlus released the triple camera in its base model with the OnePlus 7T (the OnePlus 7 had a double) and they repeat it with the OnePlus 8, but there is an important change to take into account: there is no telephoto lens, the third lens is for the macro. It is a somewhat disappointing decision since, as I said, the previous model did have a 2x optical zoom.
Eliminating the telephoto lens in favor of the macro lens is a somewhat disappointing decision.
From top to bottom, first, we have the wide-angle, f / 2.2 aperture lens and a 16-megapixel sensor. It is followed by the main 48-megapixel sensor, f / 1.75 aperture lens, and optical and electronic stabilizer. The third lens, as I said, is the macro and has 2 megapixels of resolution. At the front, we have a single 16-megapixel sensor, with fixed focus and electronic stabilization.
OnePlus remains faithful to the camera interface that we already knew. At the top, we have several shortcuts to common tools such as the timer, the flash, the resolution (here we can activate the 48-megapixel mode of the main sensor), the super macro and the artistic filters.
At the bottom is the zoom control with three shortcuts for wide (0.6x), normal, and 2x zoom (digital, clear). If we slide over the zoom buttons or pinch the screen, the slider opens so that we can adjust the zoom to the level we want. Just below are the shooting modes arranged on a horizontal carousel.
In the same way that happens with the app drawer, if we slide up, a menu opens with all the available shooting modes. Sometimes it is faster to access through this gesture since we avoid moving through the modes until we find the one we are looking for.
In-camera settings (accessed through the button in the upper right corner), we first find the HDR option that is activated by default and is an automatic HDR, that is, it applies when the app decides and we cannot force it manually. We also find here the video resolution, a rather awkward location that could have been solved with an on-screen button as it has been done with the resolution in photo mode.
The main sensor gives us a maximum resolution of 48 megapixels, although it is set to 12 by default. The camera uses the already popular ‘pixel binning’ technique whereby four pixels are merged into one. According to OnePlus, at 48 megapixels we have a higher level of detail while shooting at 12 megapixels improves the dynamic range.
Both images have a very similar dynamic range, although if we go into detail, in the 12-megapixel mode there is less leftover on the white wall. The result is also consistent in terms of color palette, with slightly oversaturated tones and strong, though not excessive, contrast.
I have kept the 12-megapixel mode throughout the test except for certain exceptions where I wanted to get more detail. Since we don’t have an optical zoom, taking advantage of the maximum resolution of the sensor is a good way to zoom without losing quality.
We continue with another daytime photo in which a slightly aggressive contrast and tones that tend to saturation are seen again. The detail holds up pretty well when taking out the magnifying glass.
we also had abundant light but not as hard, but more diffuse. Contrast and tones are more faithful to reality and get good detail even in complex textures such as the floor or the graffiti in the background.
At night, in “easy” scenes where we have an element in the foreground and there are no movements, the result is surprising, especially at the detail level. The texture of the cat’s hair is very well resolved despite the lack of light, although as soon as there is the slightest movement we have blurred photos.
With the angular lens, we get a good result when the light is there, although the weaknesses are evident even in well-lit scenarios like this. The contrast is more aggressive and the oversaturation that we saw in the main lens is more pronounced in this case. In addition, when removing the magnifying glass we see a pasted detail and quite lacking in nuances.
Sometimes it is not necessary to enlarge to see the weaknesses of the angle. Here, for example, we had enough light, but even so, we see noise in flat areas such as the wall, an effect that is exaggerated as we get closer to the edge. By the way, the deformation correction is quite correct and we do not have very bulging lines.
And to close this section let’s see how it is in front of the main sensor. With good light, the result is quite consistent between both lenses, although if we remove the magnifying glass, a better-resolved detail can be seen in the main one. At night it is clear that the angle has little to do unless we pull the night landscape mode that we will see a little below.
The OnePlus 8 doesn’t have a telephoto lens, but we do have direct zoom access almost as if we did. When we click on that 2x we are applying for a software extension, but if we do not go much further (and the conditions are favorable) the result can be quite good in detail.
If we remove the magnifying glass, we can see some traces of this enlargement via software, but I insist that in good light the resulting photos are more than acceptable. Of course, quality is falling as we expand more. Here it can come in handy to use the 48-megapixel mode to apply a crop on the original photo.
When comparing a photo taken with 2x and one took in 1x there is not a huge difference since both have been taken with the same sensor and the detail remains quite well in the magnification, although it does not reach the same level.
Since we have a dedicated lens for the macro, let’s also dedicate a section of our own. To be able to take advantage of this lens, you must first press the super macro button at the top of the camera interface, otherwise it will not focus as close. In fact, it is necessary to sharpen well when approaching since the focus may go where we do not want.
The sensor for the macro lens has 2 megapixels, so the resulting photos are quite small compared to what we achieved with the angle or, above all, the main one. Specifically, they measure 1,600 x 1,200 pixels and weigh around MB.
The quality is not bad but when we get so close we immediately see the misfocusing. It also usually gives some chromatic aberration, especially in cases where there are very vibrant colors such as flower yellow. What raises more doubts is not the performance of the camera, it is the usefulness that we are going to give it on a daily basis compared to what we would give to a telephoto lens.
Portrait, night landscape, and filters
Now we go with other shooting modes, starting with the portrait. The OnePlus 8 has no difficulty in differentiating the object well and creating the blur map , but sometimes the effect is a bit glob and when we enlarge we see that the edge is quite rough. Also, the colors appear more saturated and we lose some quality and dynamic range.
In this case, the blur is less aggressive and the final effect is much more natural, both at depth of field and in the overall image; a bit overexposed, but the colors remain quite true to reality.
The night landscape mode comes quite well, especially if we are shooting the photo with the angle that is the worst stopped comes out in the absence of light. All in all, the result is still quite worse than that of the main sensor, but something improves.
The shot takes more or less time depending on the scene, but it also has a mode in which the exposure can last up to 30 seconds if we use a tripod . Normally the night landscape does not have a very different effect from the automatic photo in terms of exposure (yes in sharpness), but if we use a tripod and take a photo in a very dark environment then there is a more noticeable difference.
Finally, I wanted to highlight the available color filters, a function that becomes more important in the ‘OnePlus 8 pro’ model since it has a specific lens for this. In the case of the OnePlus 8, we have the matte, intense and b / w filter.
In the video section, OnePlus 8 allows us to record in FullHD or 4K resolution at 30 or 60 frames per second, but we can only activate the ‘Super Stable’ mode when the frequency is 30fps. The truth is that this option does not suppose a drastic change either since the stabilization is quite good with those 30fps. When compared to clips at 60fps there is more difference and here the tremors are more evident.
In 4K resolution, we also have the cinema mode, which is nothing more than the ultra-wide format. By the way, in video recording, we have more artistic filters than in photo mode (five in total).
Regarding the zoom, if we extend the quality of the clips a lot it falls clearly, while if we go from the angular lens to the normal one, the jump is very abrupt and changes, not only the quality but also the white balance.
The front sensor has 16 megapixels and the lens is f / 2.0 aperture. Here we do not have the automatic focus or optical stabilizer, although we do have electronics. The images have good quality when the light is abundant, although even in good conditions the noise appears when we enlarge.
In addition to beauty mode, we can also take selfies with portrait mode. The result is quite good and it is not far from what we have seen with the rear sensor. The haircut is somewhat erratic and sometimes eats parts of the figure but it is quite natural to be the front sensor.
OnePlus 8, the opinion and note of NUpgrade
Little remains of the OnePlus that came to burst the market with knockdown prices. The company started the transition last year with the arrival of the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro, and they follow the same trail in 2020 whith the OnePlus 8 but given a twist.
If last year the OnePlus 7 still retained some of that spirit of the flagship killer, this year we see it in the hardware, but the price increases to 709 euros in an OnePlus 8, which is a rather discrete improvement over the previous OnePlus 7T (which It cost 599 euros).
The OnePlus 8 retains the 90Hz screen with FullHD resolution and the triple camera, although here we lose the telephoto lens in favor of a more than a dubious macro lens. The experience with the camera leaves us somewhat cold, for this reason, and for others such as aggressive processing or a highly improvable angular lens.
Where there is no complaint is in the potency. E l chest Snapdragon 865 takes in any situation and makes the flow is constant, although here also helps the 90Hz and OxygenOS, which undoubtedly remains the differential point mark. The design and a longer autonomy put the icing on a very complete smartphone that can fight without problems in the first steps of the high range.
The arrival of 5G is one of the sales arguments and an “excuse” for the price increase (it happens in more brands, not just OnePlus 8), but the truth is that this, for the moment, is more of a “future-ready” feature and not something that is going to have an impact on the experience.
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