I have the new OnePlus 8 Pro here. I’ve also got the new regular OnePlus 8, but I’ve been reviewing the OnePlus 8 Pro for a little while now, and it is great, I was about to say it’s a great little phone, but this is not a little phone. This is a great, big phone. Anyway, as I’ve been reviewing the 8 Pro, I keep thinking about what we expect with OnePlus phones now, because the list is getting pretty long. We expect great screens, decent battery life, fast charging. So a lot of what I’m gonna end up talking about are the things you might not have expected from OnePlus, which on this phone is wireless charging and IP68 water resistance. Also, you never know what to expect with OnePlus when it comes to the cameras, so we’re gonna talk about that a lot too.
One thing you usually expect from OnePlus is a relatively low price, and OnePlus is still undercutting Samsung with this phone, but it has a starting price of 899, which means that the 8 Pro is kind of an expensive device. If you’re looking for something a little bit less expensive but still new, take a look at Jon Porter’s review of the regular OnePlus8, which starts at 699, we’ll link it down in the stuff down there. Anyway, the thing about OnePlus is there are always very, very high expectations for these phones, and the question about the 8 Pro is, can it meet them? So real quick, I wanna talk about the stuff that you could expect from a flagship phone in 2020, including from a flagship OnePlus phone. If they had screwed any of this up, we’d really call ’em out, but they didn’t, so we can run through it really fast. The first is build quality, I think the build quality in this thing is really great. I already mentioned that it has IP68 water resistance.
I also love this sort of translucent matte back on the back here. The screen, of course, covers almost the entire front of it. It’s very fast, it has a Snapdragon 865 with either eight or 12 Gigs of RAM, or 128 or 256 of storage. One thing I do wanna call out, though, is I really do like OxygenOS, which is OnePlus’s custom version of Android, and that’s because the stuff that they add on top of Android is usually just there to control the phone itself or to control the special features that OnePlus does. It’s not there to try and get you locked into some other random ecosystem that you don’t care about. Samsung. I don’t actually have a second camera over there, ’cause I’m shooting from home. Let’s move on. Now, one thing you haven’t always been able to expect out of OnePlus phones is a great screen. But they solved that in the last couple of years and this year with the OnePlus 8 Pro, they just knocked it out of the park. This is an amazing screen.
It is 6.78 inches, which is honestly too big for me, but if you like big phones, you’ll probably be happy with it. They did a hole punch in the corner, which I actually prefer because it doesn’t have weird mechanical stuff with the pop-up selfie camera. The bezels are very, very tiny in the top and the bottom and it wraps around to the left and the right. But the big news, of course, is that it has a 120Hz refresh rate if you want it, and you definitely want it, because any phone in this class needs to have a high refresh rate screen. It makes scrolling so much nicer looking. The animations are smoother, everything is better at a120Hz, highly recommend it.
One thing OnePlus lets you do that Samsung doesn’t use that 120Hz at its full resolution 1440 by 3168. And you can do it, but it will definitely hurt your battery life, so I kinda recommend you don’t. I’ve been leaving this at1080 about half the time and I haven’t noticed that big a hit and I’ve definitely noticed the improved battery life. OnePlus is also really proud of the color accuracy on this screen, I think it looks pretty good. They also have added some other weird features, like there’s a motion smoothing feature for videos inside Netflix or inside Amazon Prime, and that sounds awful because motion smoothing is definitely awful on your television, on the phone though it actually didn’t offend me quite as much, and I’m not sure why. Anyway, I recommend you leave it off also because I also noticed a hit on battery life when I had it turned on.
Now, another thing that we were expecting, because we saw all of the leaks, is that this is the very first OnePlus phone to support wireless charging, so we’ll put it on the charger, and ba-da-da-da, it is charging wirelessly, hurray. It’ll work with any standard Qi charging pad, it’ll also do reverse wireless charging. But the big new thing is this charger right here, which costs 70 bucks, by the way, it has a vent and a fan, it is their Warp Charger and it can charge wirelessly at 30 watts, which is incredibly fast for wireless charging. They say it can go from zero to 50% in half an hour and I tested it, and it does, it charges up halfway in half an hour, which is pretty impressive. Now, this is the part where I wish I could tell you what to expect when it comes to battery life, but it varies really, really widely on this phone depending on what you’re doing with it.
It’s got a 4510-milliamp hour battery, but you can turn on the full 1440 resolution, you can turn 120Hz display, you can turn on an ambient display, You could do all sorts of stuff to just destroy this battery if you want to. If you turn a bunch of stuff off, you can get through a full day, and I have, and if you turned it all on, you can crush it in like four or five hours, which I have. I think that I’m confident in saying that this thing can last a full day. However, I’m not confident enough to say that the battery life is stellar. Now, when it comes to the camera, I actually never know what to expect out of the OnePlus. Some years they’re trash, some years they’re pretty good. But this year with the OnePlus 8 Pro, I’m actually expecting a lot, because again, this phone starts at 900 bucks and I think that OnePlus mostly delivers.
There’s like one situation where it’s a problem, but let’s just get into it. The main sensor is 48 megapixels, but it defaults to 12 megapixels, which is the right call, it’s technically using a new Sony sensor. There is a telephoto lens, which has, quote-unquote, lossless up to 3X starts to be okay and then at 10X and that really falls down after that. And then there’s an ultra-wide sensor, and I actually give OnePlusa lot of credit on this one, because they’re using the sensor from last year’s 7T, which means that the ultrawide has a much better sensor than ultra wides usually get, and I’m getting good results as a result. I think the ultra-wide is pretty good. Also, there is a color filter camera, if you wanna do weird color filter effects without post-processing, I don’t know who asked for that. I don’t know why it’s there. Let’s just talk about results.
So on the main sensor, I’m pretty happy with the dynamic range, I’m pretty happy with the color, and I’m also really, really happy with detail. I love using this phone for macro photos too. You can get pretty close and get really, really fine detail there as well. You can shoot 4K 30 video with their super steady stabilization thing turned on. But again if you really wanna shoot video with a smartphone, I think your best bet is still an iPhone 11 Pro. Now, when it comes to night mode, I was actually very impressed with this thing. It held its own up against a Pixel 4, iPhone 11 Pro, or a Galaxy S20, did not expect that out of this phone. So, everything is great, but there is that one place where it falls down, and weirdly, it’s in dim lighting, not super-low light, but like twilight kinda dark kinda yellow lighting. And here’s what happens. So the OnePlus 8 Pro wants to do what a lot of phones wanna do, which is slightly brighten faces, trying to make them more even, and also smooth them out just a little bit.
I don’t like that very much, but it’s fine in most lighting conditions you can’t really tell, but for some reason, in dim lighting condition, this phone’s worst tendencies just get multiplied, it makes my face way too bright, way too smooth, it over smooths, it’s kind of, well, it’s kind of a bummer. Portrait mode is fine, it’s portrait mode, it’s about what I expected here. Basically, overall, if they can fix that dim lighting issue, they would hit like a solid B-plus or maybe even an A-minus on this thing. They’re just not quite there. I don’t know if they do this anymore, but when I was in grade school, we didn’t get grades, we got these weird report cards that said, does not meet, meet, or exceeds expectations. That’s what I wanna do with the OnePlus 8 Pro, I’m gonna give it to meet expectations, not exceeds, but that’s because my expectations were so high.
They’re charging 900 bucks for this thing, and let’s be honest, the Galaxy S20 Plus is gonna be discounted to about this price all of the time, which means that OnePlusdoesn’t get free passes anymore when it comes to quality or the number of features that it offers in this zone, and luckily the OnePlus 8Pro has all those features, and it has the quality. This is a very, very good phone that really isn’t missing any premium features. It just needs a little bit more work on the camera, because hey, it’s OnePlus, what else did you expect?
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