OnePlus telephones have stood alone since 2013. Every yr they’ve been among the best telephones to advocate. Nothing else on the value packed in as a lot tech, with the identical sense of tasteful model.

But 2020 is a bit totally different. Recommending a OnePlus 8 Pro feels oddly much like recommending an iPhone 11. It prices extra too. £80 greater than the iPhone 11, £100 greater than the OnePlus 7T Pro, this isn’t a OnePlus cellphone of previous.

So what occurred? 5G occurred.

The excellent news? It additionally means the OnePlus 8 ought to nonetheless appear fairly contemporary in three years’ time. You additionally get a stable digital camera improve, wi-fi charging and water resistance.

The 8 Pro might not be the most well liked deal OnePlus has ever put out, however so long as you aren’t determined for a cellphone with a fantastic zoom digital camera, this can be a stable purchase.

Build: In with the brand new…

We have already got a sense the OnePlus 8 Pro could find yourself a aspect notice within the historical past of OnePlus, however there are literally loads of adjustments right here. There are extra “firsts” to this cellphone than you may think.

It’s the primary OnePlus cellphone to have an official water resistance score. An IP68 stamp means the OnePlus 8 Pro is designed to deal with a 30 minute stint underwater at a depth of 1.5m.

And whereas this isn’t the primary OnePlus to have 5G, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G was, that is the primary time your complete line-up has it. 5G is at the least partly liable for the higher-than-usual value. But we additionally discover it arduous to advocate spending greater than £450-ish on a cellphone that doesn’t have 5G lately. If you’re prone to need to hold your subsequent cell for a few years or extra, it ought to actually have 5G {hardware}. Don’t notably need 5G now? You in all probability will afterward.

The 8 Pro can also be the primary OnePlus cellphone with wi-fi charging. OnePlus at all times has a line up its sleeve about why its telephones doesn’t have characteristic X or Y, often boiling right down to “we don’t suppose our followers need it” or “we’ve to decide on what to place in every year, and it didn’t make the reduce”.

It flung these previous chestnuts out each time requested about wi-fi charging. Sometimes it’s convincing, generally not. But the brand new (elective add-on) Wireless Warp Dock makes an excellent argument for now being the time for wi-fi. It will take the cellphone from a flat battery to 50% cost in half an hour. That’s wired velocity, not the type of drip-feed you get from a no-brand wi-fi charging pad from Amazon.

Design:…and in with the previous

All these new options are invisible. And on the skin, the OnePlus 8 Pro seems to be rather a lot just like the OnePlus 7T Pro. It has curved front and back glass and related dimensions. It’s just a little taller, just a little narrower, just a little thinner, however nothing you’d discover with out having the 2 side-by aspect.

The main outer change sees OnePlus take a flip for the unusual, too. Its final two “Pro” telephones had a pop-up entrance digital camera, which allowed for a totally notch-free display screen. It was good for films and video games, and was fast sufficient to allow you to keep it up utilizing face unlock as if the digital camera was pointing at you 24/7.

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a punch gap, similar to nearly each dear Samsung cellphone. Yawn? Punch holes are positive, and so they hold the {hardware} easy. There’s one fewer bit to break. But we did spend the primary couple of days with this cellphone mourning the lacking pop-up digital camera. It was just like the pet we by no means knew we needed till we lived with it for some time.

There’s extra occurring behind the display screen too. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a easy and dependable fingerprint scanner, similar to the final era. Most different elements keep the identical, together with the neat silent mode {hardware} slider on the aspect, and the absent headphone jack.

This yr you solely get a selection of two colors at launch. There’s the beautiful Glacial Green for individuals who can afford the higher-end 12GB RAM, 256GB storage model. And shiny again for individuals who can’t. The black OnePlus 8 Pro has 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. If this would be the first OnePlus cellphone you personal, dimension is the actual consideration, although.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is fairly giant, and we discover the smaller OnePlus 8 comfier to deal with, notably for these idle hours spent in mattress questioning if you’ll have the ability to go away the home.

Screen and show: 120Hz: The smoothest of operators

The OnePlus 8 Pro has loads of upgrades, however we’d argue the OnePlus 7T Pro was truly a greater cellphone for movie-watching. Fling all of the tech you want at an app like Netflix, there are unassailable advantages to an enormous cellphone display screen that doesn’t have any notches or holes, just like the OnePlus 8 Pro’s 4mm disc of black.

Still, in nearly each different respect the OnePlus 8 Pro display screen is on top of things with the most costly telephones round. This is a 3140 x 1440 pixel OLED show with each tech spec you might ask for. It’s rated at 1300 nits peak brightness, and is evident sufficient to observe a film off whereas outdoors within the blazing solar.

Annoyingly, the display screen brightness is capped within the digital camera app to keep away from overheating if you take pics. And that’s the very best sensible use for an ultra-bright display screen. The display screen helps HDR10+, and actually does have each the brightness and the distinction wanted to make HDR worthwhile. This can also be a 120Hz display screen, that means the picture can refresh twice as many occasions per second because the norm, for a lot smoother-looking scrolling.

OnePlus goes additional than most in making this characteristic helpful too. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a characteristic referred to as MEMC, which creates additional frames if you watch films to make them look as in the event that they have been shot at 120fps. This is similar characteristic we flip off at our mother and father’ homes once we return dwelling at Christmas, nevertheless it’s there for individuals who need it.

We examined it out with Netflix and, truthfully, didn’t discover that a lot of a distinction. There’s not one of the off-putting “cleaning soap opera impact” seen in TV movement interpolation, the flamboyant title for the made-up frames.

OnePlus additionally places pro-style display screen modes at your fingertips, with color settings designed to match trade customary profiles. As ever, decide the one that appears greatest to your eyes.

Performance: Fresh Oxygen on faucet

One a part of the OnePlus technique has stayed the identical through the years. Buy one among its top-end telephones and you’ll make sure to get one among Qualcomm’s top-end processors. The OnePlus 8 Pro has the Snapdragon 865, higher than the CPU of the Google Pixel four and even the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G. It is, as of April 2020, the very best mind an Android cellphone can get.

This is paired with the most recent LPDDR5 RAM, which flings round knowledge at 17GB a second. Android 10 runs completely, as do all of the video games that may present the bounds of a lower-end cell, like ARK: Survival Evolved.

We have seen the OnePlus 8 Pro will get just a little hotter than a lot of the telephones we reviewed not too long ago. But because it arrived throughout a very hot spell in London, this might not be OnePlus’s fault. There aren’t any main adjustments within the OxygenOS software program both.

This is a definite however principally clean-looking interface, one that provides heaps extra customisation than vanilla Android, in addition to core parts like a darkish mode and stats for the way you utilize (and misuse) your cellphone every day. You also can, for instance, change app icon shapes and even the animation that accompanies the fingerprint scanner unlock.

OnePlus has gone mainstream, however there’s nonetheless a lot for tech nerds like us.


Camera: it’s all gone a bit sepia

The OnePlus 8 Pro doesn’t have as superior cameras as a lot of the different high-price “professional” telephones. OnePlus’s argument: the digital camera {hardware} is designed to replicate how its followers use the telephones. With wi-fi charging, we have been satisfied, however much less so right here.

The OnePlus 8 Pro doesn’t have a very sensible zoom, and OnePlus has added a color filter cam to knock the whole as much as 4 rear cameras. This is outwardly a must have badge of approval lately.

The fourth digital camera shoots down OnePlus’s personal argument, as a result of we will’t think about why anybody regular would need a Photochromic digital camera like this one. We wouldn’t be shocked if 50% of OnePlus 8 Pro house owners don’t even work out how one can use it. Spoiler: you dig into the filter menu and scroll as much as Photochrom.

A photochromic lens reacts to ambient gentle, decreasing the quantity that will get via to deal higher with excessive gentle circumstances. Sounds good, however on this case it’s utterly pointless.

Modern telephones are already extremely optimised to cope with very difficult gentle distinction scenes — hiya HDR — and because the sensor behind the lens is a crappy 5-megapixel chip your photographs don’t look good anyway. You find yourself with sepia-looking pictures, scratching your head and questioning what OnePlus was pondering.

Thankfully, the OnePlus 8 Pro is sweet at different issues. It is a little bit of a macro images star. You can take super-detailed close-ups, and the cellphone (like others) appears to revert to the 48MP ultra-wide digital camera if you flick the Macro swap within the digital camera app.

Its primary digital camera sensor can also be the identical gigantic Sony sensor used within the Oppo Find X2 Pro. We get two nice 48MP cameras for regular and ultra-wide photographs, and the identical 8MP zoom OnePlus used final time round. We had an opportunity to place the OnePlus 8 Pro up towards the OnePlus 8 to see the distinction. And because the OnePlus 8 additionally has the identical main digital camera sensor because the OnePlus 7T Pro, it’s a stable indicator of the annual improve we get.

Big advantages embrace considerably higher positive element and clearer textures within the shadow areas of pictures. 4K video is much sharper right here than within the OnePlus 8, and there’s extra element in your low-light Nightscape photographs too.

Nightscape is OnePlus’s devoted night time mode. We just like the OnePlus 8 Pro digital camera, notably the unusually good macro mode. It is an actual, if not mind-blowing, improve over final yr’s mannequin. But now we’re an £800-plus cellphone, the so-so 8-megapixel zoom digital camera stands out. Not in a great way.

OnePlus 8 image gallery

Battery:Warp-speed charging

The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 4510mAh battery. Once upon a time that may have appeared impossibly giant, however at a time of excessive refresh price screens, when 5000mAh batteries are fairly frequent, that’s now not the case.

After utilizing the cellphone for per week it appears clear OnePlus’s focus was on charging tech, not making the cellphone final an extremely very long time between fees.

On a standard day with none jobs that required an hour or extra of fixed screen-on time, the 8 Pro might need 10-15% left by the late night. And it’s just a little too straightforward to get to that time method earlier than bedtime in your busier days.

The Oppo Find X2 Pro, reviewed a short while earlier than the 8 Pro, lasts considerably longer. You’d higher hold the charger useful for emergency top-ups. They, at the least, gained’t take lengthy. The included charger will get you from flat to 50% cost in underneath 25 minutes. And, in case you skipped the primary a part of this review, the brand new OnePlus wi-fi charger gained’t take all that for much longer.

The OnePlus 8 Pro additionally helps reverse wi-fi charging, however because the cellphone itself wants each drop of juice you in all probability gained’t use it too usually.

OnePlus 8 Pro verdict

The 8 Pro sees OnePlus recover from a clumsy hump.

Expensive OnePlus telephones are arduous sufficient for long-term followers to swallow, and 5G has solely made it extra of a throat clogging problem. We need to pay £100 extra this yr. You do get different advantages apart from 5G, like water resistance, wi-fi charging and a few top-quality cameras on the again.

Is it value the additional money? Yes, nearly.

However, as the worth of OnePlus telephones carries on rising, we’ve to be extra essential concerning the unhealthy bits. Other excessive value telephones last more between cost and rivals are a lot better at taking pictures of different individuals’s pets, which lately is extra vital than with the ability to make cellphone calls.