OnePlus 8 Pro review: Capable in every respect, exceptional in none


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The 8 Pro is a flagship smartphone that seeks to solidify Chinese electronics maker OnePlus’ position in the premium segment. The smartphone, a successor to the 7T, marks several first for the company – wireless charging, ingress protection rating, and a screen with 120Hz refresh rate.

The 8 Pro has been pitches as the go-to premium smartphone in the Indian market. And, it does look so on paper. But is it worth the publicity it has got? Let’s find out:

OnePlus 8 Pro: Design

OnePlus always makes a big case for design in its overall product strategy, and the OnePlus 8 Pro’s astounding looks seem to justify the efforts. The phone’s new colour themes, especially the Glacial Green, look mesmerising – easily the best you get in the premium segment. However, much like its predecessors, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s huge, bulky and heavy build seems wanting insofar as ergonomics is concerned. Its rear camera module protrudes too much from the frame, so it wobbles when kept on flat surfaces. The phone is definitely a looker, but it lacks the form factor one expects in a premium smartphone.

OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro: Glacial green colour

OnePlus 8 Pro: Display

The OnePlus 8 Pro has the best display you get in a smartphone: A 6.78-inch Fluid AMOLED panel of a QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate are a combination you do not get elsewhere. To get the most out of this display, OnePlus has added several value-added features like ‘Vibrant Colour Effect Pro’ and ‘Motion Graphics Smoothing’. Both these features make use of the display’s peak potential and dramatically improve the phone’s multimedia rendering capabilities. Speaking of multimedia, the screen is HDR10+ -compliant and has exceptional brightness levels to complement the content with high dynamic range meta information and improve sunlight legibility.

From smooth transitions to an impressive multimedia rendering capability, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s display is perfect for every occasion. However, it has some minor glitches that pull it a notch below excellent. These include a purple tinge which appears across the display abruptly, and a broken auto brightness feature that either brightens the display in dark areas or dims it in well-lit environments.

OnePlus 8 Pro display issue

OnePlus 8 Pro: Camera

OnePlus has come a long way by adding finesse to its imaging capabilities; the cameras on the OnePlus 8 Pro are a huge improvement over previous iterations. However, they are still far from perfect and fall short when you compare them with the best in the industry – Huawei, Samsung, Apple, etc.

OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro rear camera module

In daylight conditions, the phone’s primary 48-megapixel sensor takes detailed shots with a good dynamic range and accurate colours. OnePlus has fine-tuned the cameras’ auto-HDR algorithms and they work well in bringing out the shadow and highlight details even in most complex frames. Similarly, the phone’s 48MP ultra-wide sensor shows great promise, managing to capture a good amount of detail without compromising on colour or dynamic range. This sensor doubles up as a macro lens for close-up shots and the output is brilliant. There is no other smartphone at present that matches the OnePlus 8 Pro’s macro photography skills. Complementing the package is an 8MP telephoto sensor for 3x hybrid zoom, which is okay but not great. There is a 5MP colour filter lens, too. However, this lens was factory-disabled in India after reports in international markets that it could see through some surfaces.

The phone’s daylight imaging works well on most counts but struggles in lowlight conditions. There is a dedicated ‘Nightscape’ mode to aid the cameras’ lowlight capabilities which works fine, but not quite as well as in other premium flagships. The phone has a 16MP sensor on the front (punch-hole) that is good for casual selfies and fun, but do not expect a miracle here, either.

In short, the OnePlus 8 Pro has versatile cameras that deliver on most counts but fall short of being the best in the premium segment.

OnePlus 8 Pro camera sample: Low-light

OnePlus 8 Pro camera sample: Low-light

OnePlus 8 Pro camera sample

OnePlus 8 Pro camera sample: Low-light (2x zoom)

OnePlus 8 Pro camera sample

OnePlus 8 Pro camera sample: Dim-lit

OnePlus 8 Pro: Performance

This is one metric where OnePlus 8 Pro dazzles. The phone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 system-on-chip, paired with up to 12GB RAM (LPDDR4x) and 256GB internal storage (UFS 3.0). It ships with Android 10-based OxygenOS 10 operating system, which deserves praise for keeping the user interface close to stock Android while integrating value-added features to elevate user experience (customised colour tones, dark mode, night mode, hidden space area, etc).

From graphic-intensive games to multimedia editing, there is nothing that the phone could not handle. Moreover, there is a game space with the Fnatic mode built in to improve the phone’s overall gaming performance. The OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the non-gaming that can easily compete with full-fledged gaming ones and even outperform some.

The OnePlus 8 supports 5G networks, both standalone and non-standalone, and WiFi 6. Though both could not be tested at present, these make for a future-ready smartphone which you might not have to upgrade to experience connectivity benefits in the times to come. Besides, it has Bluetooth 5.1 and supports aptX & aptX HD, LDAC and AAC codecs. It also has stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support.

OnePlus 8 Pro: Battery

The OnePlus 8 Pro is powered by a 4,510 mAh battery, which is good for a day’s use. The phone supports Warp Charge 30T fast-charging technology, both wired and wireless. However, it comes with wired charger and the wireless charger is an additional accessory which you could buy when it becomes available in India.

OnePlus 8 Pro: Verdict

Priced Rs 54,999 onwards, the OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the most affordable premium Its strengths lie in software-hardware synergy, which most other phones struggle to get right. Though it has everything one expects from a premium smartphone, it does not fare exceptionally in any. At this price, however, it could be the most suitable option for someone in the market for a no-compromise premium smartphone.

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