OnePlus 8 Review: Still a great value flagship?

OnePlus 8 Review: I’ll be honest. When OnePlus first announced the 8 and eight Pro, it felt just like the 7 series from last year everywhere again. The OnePlus 8 Pro got a better resolution, higher-refresh-rate display, better cameras, and two highly sought-after features — wireless charging and IP-rated waterproofing. The OnePlus 8 seemed somewhat left within the shadow of the 8 Pro, and this point, it doesn’t even have a killer starting price. Of course, this was an initial reaction purely supported what I’d only seen and skim about, because of the cancellation of the in-person launch event.

With the easing from the lockdown and a glimpse of normalcy returning to our lives, I finally managed to urge my hands on the OnePlus 8. After my initial scepticism, it is time to ascertain whether this phone has enough merit on behalf of me to vary my opinion about it. With prices starting well above Rs. 40,000, the OnePlus 8 is now bordering on flagship territory, which suggests it’s actually competing directly with older flagships from Samsung and Apple.

So is it really worth it? do you have to be paying this much money for a phone that’s still missing two pretty essential flagship features? We’ll get there to answer, but first, let’s take a fast check out what’s new.

What’s new within the OnePlus 8?

The OnePlus 8 is that the spiritual successor of the OnePlus 7 (Review) and can continue to eventually replace the OnePlus 7T (Review). Compared to the 7T, the newest features are 5G support and a new-ish design. The OnePlus 8 features the Snapdragon 865 processor, which promises better performance and efficiency over last year’s model. 5G doesn’t suggest much to us in India at the instant but it doesn’t hurt to possess it.

OnePlus 8 Review & Specifications

OnePlus 8 Design:

I wasn’t an enormous fan of the circular camera bump on the OnePlus 7T and I am glad that’s gone away. However, I do miss the frosted finish of the glass back. The Onyx Black version of the OnePlus 8 features a glossy finish, which picks up fingerprints very easily. it is also very slippery, which did end in accidental drops once I had the phone lying on a chair’s armrest. there is a case provided within the box, which should help.

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The display now features a hole-punch cutout, within the upper left corner. OnePlus has said goodbye to the notch and that I think it’s for the simplest. The hole-punch is not the smallest I’ve seen but it gives the OnePlus 8 a fresh look.

As I discussed in my first impressions, the OnePlus 8 is surprisingly comfortable to carry given its display size. it is also slim and not too heavy. The black version looks fine, but I used to be really looking forward to seeing the Interstellar Glow trim first-hand, as I feel that that is the colour to urge.

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As you’d expect, build quality is superb because of the curved-edge front and back glass sandwiching the metal frame. The buttons are easy to succeed in, and therefore the alert slider is handy as always. The USB Type-C port, SIM tray, and main speaker are lined abreast of rock bottom.

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Overall, the new simplified design is welcome, and that I like that OnePlus isn’t trying too hard to impress. This phone might look a touch boring within the pictures, but it’s instantly recognisable as an OnePlus device.

OnePlus 8 Display:

The display is one among the foremost important parts of any smartphone, and therefore the OnePlus 8 features an excellent one. It’s a 6.55-inch AMOLED panel with sloping sides, a good colour gamut, and a hole-punch cutout within the upper left corner. OnePlus has used 3D Corning Gorilla glass addition to the pre-applied screen protector. I found the latter to be more of an annoyance than anything since my finger grazed against the edges when swiping in from the sides.

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Other specifications include a resolution of 2400×1080 (full-HD+) pixels, HDR10+ support, a 90Hz refresh rate, and software features like reading mode, night mode, and therefore the ability to spice up colours when playing videos.

The 90Hz refresh rate makes usage generally feel fluid and snappy. you’ll sink to 60Hz if you would like to save lots of a touch of battery power. HDR content looks excellent on the OnePlus 8. When playing compatible shows through Netflix, the brightness and colour saturation automatically get a lift. This goes back to normal once you exit the app.

The OnePlus 8 has an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is super quick at authentication. All it takes maybe a quick, firm tap to unlock it. Face recognition is equally fast and works decently well in dim lighting. you’ll enable the ‘double-tap to wake’ gesture, but what I actually wanted to be a raise-to-wake gesture, which remains not an option.

The ‘Ambient display’ feature offers a peek at which apps have sent you alerts when the screen is off, alongside the time, battery level, etc. However, this is not always-on and only shows up once you tap the screen or devour the phone. It even shows you the name of the music track being played, but you cannot control playback from here.

One thing to notice is that since the hole-punch cutout is not on the brink of the highest edge, any app that must blackout this area will need to create a thick black bar. this is often most noticeable in some games and video apps, once you got to hold the phone horizontally. you’ll also blackout the world permanently but that just looks odd.

OnePlus 8 Performance: 

With its top-end hardware, it’s hardly surprising that performance from the OnePlus 8 is impressive. However, what really caught our attention is that it doesn’t heat up all that much within the process. That’s not something we could say for the Mi 10 5G (Review), for instance. The OnePlus 8 aces through benchmarks too. In AnTuTu, we got 5,78,289 points, while GFXbench’s Car Chase graphics test returned 46fps, which is one among the tougher scenes within the suite. the edges and a couple of spots on the rear, below the camera, do get warm after non-stop benchmarking, but never too hot. This speaks tons about the thermal management design of the phone.

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We reviewed the top-end variant of the OnePlus 8, which has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, priced at Rs. 49,999. There’s also an option with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for Rs. 44,999, and an Amazon-exclusive variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage at Rs. 41,999.

Gaming performance is top-notch. Fortnite can run at 90fps and therefore the experience is sweet, but you will have to manually change this within the settings. Other equally demanding games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile ran just fine too. We tried a bunch of racing games including Asphalt 9: Legends and Metal Madness, both of which ran at their highest graphics settings and were quite fun to play. the highest metal portion of the phone did get hot in some games, like Fortnite, but this wasn’t the case with most others. Game Space may be a neat utility that allows you to temporarily lock the luminosity, disable incoming notifications, and reduce distractions when gaming.

Games and films are especially enjoyable because of the excellent stereo speakers on OnePlus 8. The earpiece and bottom-firing speaker work together to supply excellent, balanced stereo sound. Dolby Atmos enhancement also helps boost the low and mid-range frequencies, which provides the sound added depth and clarity.

Apart from 5G, the OnePlus 8 also features Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, multiple navigation satellite systems, and every one the standard sensors. you’ll use two Nano-SIM cards within the OnePlus 8, but there is no choice to expand the storage.

OnePlus 8 Software: 

OxygenOS is one among the explanations that fans keep returning to OnePlus smartphones. We received a couple of updates after unboxing the OnePlus 8, and at the time of this review, it had been running v10.5.8. this is often supported Android 10, with the May security patch. The interface is clean and free from bloatware. you will not find ads or annoying alerts from stock apps clogging up your notifications shade.

At an equivalent time, it is also well equipped with many shortcuts and gestures waiting to be discovered. The new launcher now offers a more seamless multitasking experience, there’s 5GB of free cloud storage for backups once you check in with an OnePlus account, a built-in screen recorder, and dynamic wallpapers.

OnePlus 8 Cameras: 

Cameras have always been a touch of a touchy subject for OnePlus. While the 8 Pro gets some notable improvements in terms of sensors, the 8 has got to cope with hand-me-downs from the 7T and one very notable reduction. The 7T did capture high-quality photos, but considering the large bump in price, I expected better.

The OnePlus 8 has an equivalent 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor with optical stabilisation because of the 7T. However, it’s a rather narrower aperture of f/1.75, compared to the broader (read: better) f/1.6 aperture of the 7T. The wide-angle camera has an equivalent 16-megapixel resolution, but again, with a touch narrower field of view of 116 degrees (117 on the 7T).

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However, the most important change, or rather downgrade in my opinion, is that the introduction of a paltry 2-megapixel macro camera in situ of the 7T’s telephoto camera. The outgoing model shot macros using its wide-angle camera, which suggests that a fanatical sensor wasn’t even really necessary. This, in my opinion, maybe a wasted opportunity, and OnePlus should have cursed with the telephoto camera. we have seen 2-megapixel macro cameras in many budget phones, and honestly, I didn’t finish up using it all that much.

In daylight, the OnePlus 8’s primary camera captures detailed images with vivid colours and balanced HDR. I used to be surprised at how closely the wide-angle camera matched the colours and overall tone of the most one, as we’ve often seen a mismatch with other phones. Close-ups looked good too, with many details and saturated colours. Portrait mode works well, although you cannot adjust the extent of blur before or after you’ve taken an attempt. OnePlus also claims that face recognition for portraits works on cats and dogs.

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Low-light photos are decent, and therefore the app automatically brightens images when shooting with the most camera, without the necessity to modify to Nightscape mode. In fact, I found little or no difference between a daily photo and round with Nightscape. This doesn’t apply to the wide-angle camera though, which captures terrible low-light shots in auto mode, but delivers better results with Nightscape enabled.

The 16-megapixel front camera isn’t bad as long as you provide it with enough light. During the day, selfies had good detail and HDR was handled well too when shooting against the sunshine. Low-light selfies looked heavily processed, and counting on the situation of the sunshine source, the results varied wildly. Portrait mode often did not detect our outline correctly too.

One neat detail I liked is that when shooting selfies, a touch ring round the front camera lights up so you recognize where to seem. I found this very helpful in the dark when they are often tricky to ascertain the camera, especially for others within the photo.

The OnePlus 8 can record up to 4K resolution video at 60fps, which isn’t as flashy as having 8K 30fps like on the Mi 10, but I do not foresee many complaining about this. the standard at 4K is extremely good, the footage is stabilised well, and therefore the colour tone is retained even once you switch to the wide-angle camera. In low light, noise is suppressed pretty much but there is a nagging focus hunting issue whenever the frame changes even a touch bit.

You can switch between the wide-angle and main camera while shooting, but only at up to 4K 30fps. this is often impossible at 60fps. The OnePlus 8 also brags about something called ‘4K CINE’ at either 30fps or 60fps. initially, I assumed this was a Cinema 4K mode, which should record at a 4096×2160 resolution, but all it does is crop the footage to a 21:9 ratio, leading to a resolution of 3840×1644.

The most annoying thing about the video mode on the OnePlus 8, is there are no easy thanks to changing the resolution or framerate from within the viewfinder. you’ve got to tap the Settings menu, that you would like to carry the phone vertically, make your selection, then switch back to horizontal to continue shooting. The resolution toggle, which remains shown on older OnePlus phones, has been replaced by a filters button. I found this to be an enormous annoyance and that I hope OnePlus reverts this alteration.

Other than this, the camera app is pretty functional. the newest update added a choice to record videos using the HEVC codec for smaller file sizes. I also found the autofocus to be quick and responsive, which was especially helpful when switching between subjects in the video.

OnePlus 8 Battery:

The OnePlus 8 features a decently big 4,300mAh battery, which lasted me each day and a half on the average. My usage wasn’t particularly camera-heavy, but I did play tons of games and watch tons of Netflix, and still easily managed to sail past a full day. When usage was light, the OnePlus 8 even managed to last till the top of the second day. Considering the display was at 90Hz constantly, I might call this beautiful good. Our battery loop test echoed this, running for nearly 22 hours.

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Charging the phone is extremely quick, because of the Warp Charge 30T charger. Topping up a depleted battery took a touch quite an hour, but in half-hour, you’ll charge the battery up to 61 per cent.

Verdict: do you have to buy the OnePlus 8?

The short answer would be — yes. In the beginning, I felt that the OnePlus 8 was a touch overpriced for what it offers, which sentiment still stands after reviewing it. it isn’t a huge upgrade over the 7T like I hoped, but perhaps OnePlus is saving some big upgrades for the 8T, which should flow from sometime later this year.

If you currently own an OnePlus 7T, there’s absolutely no got to jump to the 8. However, if you are still hanging on to your 6T or anything older, the OnePlus 8 would be worth switching to. Many are getting to find it difficult to pay quite Rs. 40,000 for it, but once you check out other flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S20 or maybe the iPhone 11 Pro, the OnePlus 8 still costs way less.

I do feel that OnePlus should have brought IP-rated waterproofing and wireless charging to the 8, to form it an entire value package. I might have even taken a lower IP67 rating and regular 10W wireless charging, instead of having nothing in the least. I even have a sense that OnePlus will fix this with the 8T, but that’s still an extended wait away.

I don’t think the 12GB model offers excellent value, since at nearly Rs. 50,000, I might be tempted to pay a touch more and obtain the OnePlus 8 Pro instead. The storage is perhaps the sole reason someone would consider it. Sadly, the Interstellar Glow colour option is merely available on the top-end variant. If you’re okay with 128GB of storage, the 6GB and 8GB RAM variants definitely offer better value.

Will OnePlus 8 series be ready to combat iPhone SE (2020), Samsung Galaxy S20 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you’ll subscribe via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode or simply hit the play button below.

Read More: OnePlus 7T Long-Term Review: Best Premium Phone

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