This year OnePlus addressed two often-repeated criticisms about not equipping its smartphones with IP68 rating and wireless charging. The company finally made these two features available on recently released OnePlus 8 Pro but didn’t extend these to its regular OnePlus 8, apparently to keep the price down.
The OnePlus 8 being a dialled down version is also not on par with the OnePlus 8 Pro in terms of rear-camera specs, battery, and display features. Anyways, the vanilla models are never meant to be the exact copies of the Pro models, regardless of manufacturers.
The OnePlus 8 still ticks the boxes where it counts for being a flagship (killer) model. But the question is how far it goes to justify the price tags that start from little over 40K? Well, that merits a review of its real-world performance. And we have just done that. Let’s find out what we think about this phone? Read on.
Pricing and box content
The OnePlus 8 comes with a starting price of INR41,999 for the base 6GB RAM+128GB internal storage. However, it is also offered in two other variants priced at INR44,999 and INR49,999 for the 8GB RAM+128GB storage and the 12GB RAM+256GB storage models, respectively.
All these models are sold online via Amazon India and OnePlus online store as well as offline channels except for the 8GB RAM model which is exclusive to Amazon India.
Inside the box, we found the 12GB variant of the OnePlus 8 in Onyx Black color option, a transparent silicon case, a 30W Warp charger, a red-colored USB Type-C cable, and a lot of paper works.
Design and build quality
OnePlus phones always look pleasing to the eyes without too much of the flashiness. Same goes with the OnePlus 8. The design is more straightforward than the OnePlus 7T Pro.
The pop-up selfie module is replaced with a punch-hole cutout on the top-left of the display while a slimmer vertical camera module is positioned at the upper-centre. Thanks to curved edge display, metal frame, and the glass back the beautiful OnePlus 8 feels great to hold. However, the shiny back is fingerprint magnet as well as slippery, so it necessitates the use of a case. The bundled case is flimsy. So, you’d be better off using a third-party case.
The SIM tray is at the bottom along with Type-C port and speaker grille. The top is mostly clean with only a microphone. The volume rocker is on the left edge while the power button and alert slider sit on the right edge of the device.
The OnePlus 8 gets the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection on both front and back, meaning the device is robust enough. On the other hand, it doesn’t have the IP68 certification, unlike its Pro version. That being said, previous Oneplus phones, despite lacking this certification have been found to be adequately water-resistant in various endurance tests. So, not much worries here.
Display and unlock
With a punch-hole cutout and curvatures to the sides, the 6.55-inch Super AMOLED display ensures a lot of space and immersive viewing experience. One can hide the punch-hole cutout but with a thick black bar above, which we didn’t like. A small and less encroaching punch-hole cutout is anyway better than the black bar.
The display comes with FHD+ (1080×2400) resolution, HDR10+ support, as well as an option to boost colors. And, therefore, content on the OnePlus 8 looks crisp, vivid, and colorful with deep blacks. Thanks to 90Hz refresh rates your usage experience will be fluid and snappy. In case there is a need to save battery you can switch back to the standard 60Hz refresh rates. Under the sun legibility is quite impressive too.
For biometrics, the optical in-display fingerprint scanner works accurately and unlocks the phone in a jiffy. The Face Unlock is equally quick.
Performance and software
The OnePlus 8 is underpinned by the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC coupled with Adreno 650 SoC and up to 12GB RAM. As a result, the performance of the phone is excellent. It handles multitasking quite competently, including quick loading and switching between the apps.
OnePlus phones are always known for their gaming prowess. OnePlus 8 is no different. The presence of 90Hz refresh rates allows for smoother experience as well. We played PUBG and CoD on extreme settings. Fortnite even ran up to 90 fps with manual changes done in settings.
We didn’t encounter any perceptible lags or stutter. There was no heating issue either, but in some instances the top side of the phone slightly got warm. The stereo speakers, a combination of an earpiece and bottom-firing speakers, produce clear and loud sound adding further to the gaming and the video playing experience.
As far as the software is concerned, the OnePlus 8 runs OxygenOS 10 based on Android 10. The skin is near-stock Android with no bloatware, no annoying ads or notification alerts from the stock apps. It is light, clean, and easy to use. The new Dark Mode 2.0 gives better integration with third-party apps that support the dark theme. This is undoubtedly one of the best Android smartphones in the performance segment.
There was little difference between the cameras of the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro last year. But in the case of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro difference is quite noticeable with the Pro getting better quad-rear camera array. The OnePlus 8 sticks to the triple-rear camera setup like that of the OnePlus 7T series, however, with a questionable variation.
The much-admired telephoto sensor from the OnePlus 7T lineup is now completely gone. It has been replaced with a 2MP macro sensor. The two other sensors- a 48MP primary sensor and a 16MP ultra-wide sensor- have been retained, though.
In terms of image quality, the primary 48MP sensor churns out 12MP pixel-binned images which are impressive with punchy color, good details, accurate white balance, as well as wide dynamic range. However, sharpness could be better.
In the absence of a telephoto sensor, the primary sensor handles the zoom shots with 2x optical zoom, but those images lack details. The portrait images, however, come out great with accurate background and foreground separation.
The 16MP ultra-wide sensor clicks images that are sharp with excellent dynamic range. However, they are slightly on the softer side compared to the shots taken from the primary sensor. The 2MP macro sensor is a weakling in the setup, failing to give a satisfactory result.
In low light conditions, the primary sensor does well, but the ultra-wide sensor messes up the images. Finally, the Nightscape mode comes to the rescue, drastically improving the quality. The selfie camera does shoot pleasing photos, including the portrait images. However, low-light selfies turn out to be slightly noisy.
The OnePlus 8 shoots 4K videos at 60 fps and footage are impressive exhibiting nice color tone, no noise, and wide dynamic range. Switching from the main sensor to the ultra-wide sensor while shooting 4K videos at 30 fps is seamless, but the same is not allowed while shooting at 60 fps.
EIS stabilizes the videos but if you are not satisfied there is Super Stable video mode which literally makes your videos super stabilized.
The OnePlus 8 features a 4,300mAh battery which is not only bigger than the ones present in the OnePlus 7T series but also well optimized to last longer. We found it to be lasting for a full day with heavy usage under 90Hz refresh rate mode, and on moderate usage, it could go up to more than a day and a half.
The battery is aided by 30W Warp charger which fills the cell to 100 percent in slightly over an hour. In 30 minutes battery fills up to 60 percent, which we feel is quite quick. There is no fast wireless charging support like that of the OnePlus 8 Pro, though.
The OnePlus 8 on its right is a great smartphone. It has a clean and premium design. With the latest Snapdragon 865 SoC under the hood, it is high on performance, including the gaming. The OxygenOS experience is bliss. The battery longevity is remarkable as well.
Nevertheless, it is the camera, mostly the absence of a telephoto lens, that drags it down. It still has a right camera unit, but in this price range, we had expected better, especially when it comes with a significant price hike over the OnePlus 7T which currently selling at INR34,999 only.
If you are using an OnePlus 7T or 7T Pro and attach more importance to cameras, then there is no need to upgrade to the OnePlus 8. However, in case your preference is the latest chipset, better battery, and some latest software features, the OnePlus 8 will be the right choice.