The One Plus 8 represents a culmination of trends. It brings the brand’s famously low-price, high-spec phones ever closer to, if not quite on par with, the polish of other flagship phones; and in several ways, it also sees One Plus adopting some of its competitor’s design philosophies.
The One Plus 8 hasn’t quite made that same attempt, but it’s still a good phone at a good price. It’s the One Plus device to get if you don’t care about the features that OnePlus devices have traditionally been missing.
One Plus 8 and One Plus 8 Pro feature 5G support and come with hole-punch display design. The OnePlus 8-series phones also have up to 12 GB of RAM and the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. On the part of major differences, the One Plus 8 Pro features a quad rear camera setup, while the One Plus 8 has triple rear cameras.
The One Plus 8 also has dual stereo speakers along with Dolby Atmos sound and the new Haptic Vibration engine. The new smartphone has also retained the alert slider that is a legacy feature in the One Plus phones.
In terms of specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano) One Plus 8 runs Android 10 with
Oxygen OS on top and features a 6.55-inch full-HD+ (1080x2400 pixels) Fluid AMOLED display that has up to 90Hz refresh rate, 20:9 aspect ratio, and a 3D Corning Gorilla Glass protection. The smartphone includes the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC, paired with 8GB and 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM.
It comes with the triple rear camera setup that comprises a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 primary sensor with an f/1.75 lens, 2-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/2.4 macro lens, and a 16-megapixel tertiary sensor with an f/2.2 lens. The phone supports 4K video recording at 30/ 60fps.
Three rear cameras: 48MP main, 16MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro
4K 60fps video
16MP front-facing camera
The OnePlus 8 packs a trio of rear cameras – and for the first time in a while for the brand, one of them is not a telephoto. Like some other 2020 flagships, OnePlus’ basic model forgoes optical zoom for digital, leaning on its 48MP f/1.75 main shooter and ‘crop zooming’ to simulate a telephoto effect.
This works well enough for the OnePlus 8 at low settings, but we wouldn’t advise using it beyond 2x or 3x. Shots taken at the maximum 10x digital zoom are blurry – not something you’d ever share.
To be fair, other phones’ digitally-assisted maximum zoom levels also take photos that look more like impressionist paintings, though their optical telephoto lenses typically stretch their upper limit beyond 10x. (The one exception, the LG V60, takes noticeably sharper pictures at its own 10x max, likely owing to the larger 64MP sensor on its main shooter).
Instead of a telephoto camera, OnePlus has chosen to equip the OnePlus 8 with a 2MP macro camera, for close-up photography of flowers, pets, or the like. However, we didn’t find this to be terribly useful, or even that precise at ultra-close (millimeters away) distances; we’ve seen other macro lenses, on the Moto G Stylus and G Power for example, achieve much more accurate focus up close.
Thankfully, the OnePlus 8’s 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens is far more useful. Its 116-degree field of view is great for outdoor shots, and even better for indoor ones, although it’s no more remarkable than similar lenses on other phones.
The OnePlus 8 shoots video at a maximum of 4K and 60fps, with slow-mo at 720p at 480fps or 1080p at 240fps. Super Stable mode does as it claims, smoothing out juddery footage effectively – a feature better suited for active videographers or for recording while moving.
The 16MP front-facing shooter is functional and sharp, though it tends toward a warmish yellow/orange tint. Shots are detailed, but it also tends to overexpose subjects slightly, so expect to capture images with more brightness and less shadow.
On the selfies part, there is the 16-megapixel Sony IMX471 sensor at the front along with an f/2.45 lens.
The OnePlus 8 comes in 128GB and 256GB of UFS 3.0 two-lane storage options that aren't expandable via a microSD card. Connectivity options include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.1, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, and a USB Type-C port. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. The phone also has an in-display fingerprint sensor.
6.55-inch AMOLED display
FHD+ resolution, 90Hz refresh rate
Curved waterfall-style display edges
The OnePlus 8 packs a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with an FHD+ (2400 x 1080 pixels) resolution. Its 20:9 ratio dictates a relatively tall and narrow handset, which has become more popular in phones – and for good reason. The OnePlus 8 is easier to physically handle, say, if you’re trying to text while holding it one-handed.
It’s not the highest-resolution display, losing out to the Samsung Galaxy S20 line’s WQHD+ screens. In theory, this means you won’t have as sharp a picture, although that would only be the case when watching high-resolution media anyway.
The phone also features Reading Mode and Zen Mode, both of which debuted on the OnePlus 7. While the use cases for both are niche, they’re nice to have, especially now that we’re spending even more time nose-down in our handsets, and more than ever could benefit from the odd screen break.
Like the 2019 OnePlus phones, the OnePlus 8’s display packs a maximum 90Hz refresh rate (the default is 60Hz), and as on those handsets, this setting makes scrolling a smoother experience overall, whether you’re swiping through screens or pursuing your social media feeds.
Snapdragon 865 chipset
8GB RAM with 128GB of storage, or 12GB of RAM with 256GB of storage
The OnePlus 8 packs a Snapdragon 865 chipset paired with a Snapdragon X55 modem for 5G connectivity. You can opt for either 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
We tested the model with 12GB of RAM, and it scored 3,401 on Geekbench 5, just edging out Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra’s score of 3,300. Curiously, it also edges out the OnePlus 8 Pro, which returned an average score of 3,159 in our tests.
What does that mean? The OnePlus 8 is as fast as you need it to be, switching between apps and games without delay.
OnePlus’s OxygenOS skin for Android hasn’t changed much from its predecessors – it’s still a minimal overlay with a sleek look, although the app tray now has a slight transparency to let the dynamic Android 10 backgrounds show through.
Warp Charge 30T charger fully recharges in an hour
The OnePlus 8 has a 4,300mAh battery, which we found to be big enough to last through a day and then some. This is a bit above batteries in other flagship phones – for instance, the Samsung Galaxy S20 packs 4,000mAh of capacity. The OnePlus 8 has a 4,300mAh battery, which is a bit bigger than the power packs in some comparable phones – for instance, the Samsung Galaxy S20 packs a 4,000mAh battery. We found it should be enough to last you through a day and then some of typical use.
The OnePlus 8 comes with a Warp Charge 30T charger, which was an impressive development that debuted in the box with the OnePlus 7T, delivering 23% faster charging than the charger that came with prior OnePlus phones.
The charger lives up to its warp-speed claims, getting our OnePlus 8 from 10% to 41% in just 15 minutes, and fully topping up the phone in just under an hour. Don’t expect quite that impressive a rate if you’re using a different fast charger, as OnePlus told us its phones are fine-tuned to get the most out of the Warp Charge 30T.
The OnePlus 8 does not, unfortunately, have wireless charging. The OnePlus 8 Pro does, and not just using run-of-the-mill wireless chargers, either: OnePlus has released its own proprietary Warp Charge 30 Wireless Charger, which juices up phones at a claimed 30W rate. Not all handsets can support that rate, but the 8 Pro can.
It goes without saying that, as it lacks wireless charging, the OnePlus 8 also lacks reverse wireless charging. This isn’t a feature we especially miss, but it is one that you’ll find in rival flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S20 series. Given the OnePlus 8’s large battery, it would be nice to be able to donate some of that charge to a pair of wireless headphones, say.