Makings Of A Flagship Killer
HWM Singapore|August 2020
OnePlus 8 & 8 Pro
Liu Hongzuo

OnePlus needs no introduction. The brand was (and still somewhat is) famous for its self-proclamation of making phones that are flagship killers, packing top end hardware and features at affordable prices.

OnePlus’s latest flagship devices the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro pack several headlining features beyond 5G. These phones have heightened refresh rates for their displays, HDR playback support in both models, WiFi 6, and a flagship Snapdragon 865 processor. Key differences between both models lie in their camera capabilities, with the OnePlus 8 touting a triple rear camera setup while the Pro gets a quad-camera system.

The OnePlus 8 starts at $998 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, while the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $1,298 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. There exists a 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant for both models in the market too. With these prices and specs, will they finally claim the flagship killer title, or will they just be another flagship phone in the mix?

The OnePlus 8 series may be relatively ‘affordable’ flagship smartphones with current-gen hardware, but they feel undeniably premium like their more expensive competitors. OnePlus 8’s design mostly follows the modern look for top-shelf phones - a curved glass front that goes down to the sides with a unibody-like appearance.

Aesthetically, the OnePlus 8 series feature minor differences. They sport the same bodywork and have identical button placements. What sets them apart are their proportions. The OnePlus 8 is smaller, slimmer, and lighter than the Pro variant. The OnePlus 8 Pro model is preferable if you like larger displays with more to see and interact with, while the OnePlus 8 is better if you value the ease of use with a single hand.

On the OnePlus 8, you’ll find a 6.55-inch AMOLED display at 2,400 x 1,080 pixels resolution with sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut support. Some display features included are HDR10 and HDR10+ support, Reading Mode, Night Mode, and Vibrant Colour Effect for videos. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch AMOLED display at 3,168 x 1,440 pixels resolution. Besides the display options found on the non-Pro version, the 8 Pro also has Comfort Tone, which decreases the amount of blue light emitted based on the lighting of your surroundings. While their pixel densities are nearly 100 PPI (pixels-per-inch) apart, an untrained, naked eye won’t really be able to tell apart the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro’s screen quality.

The most significant difference in both phones’ displays lies in its refresh rate capability. OnePlus 8’s screen can refresh at 90Hz, while the OnePlus 8 Pro refreshes at 120Hz. Besides video support, the heightened refresh rates are also supported on some games like Fortnite. We found that the OnePlus 8 Pro’s video playback with enabled enhancements is just fine, save for a few instances where the phone overcompensates on footage with a high frame rate (60fps and above).

On the regular OnePlus 8, you get a triple rear camera system led by a 48MP, Sony IMX586 sensor.

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