OnePlus announces 8 and 8 Pro, its newest flagship phones

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OnePlus has finally announced its new flagship phones.
Image: OnePlus

The lead-up to the launch of OnePlus’ newest flagship phones has been extremely anticlimactic. An array of leaks and rumors have all-but-revealed the phones before the manufacturer was able to on Tuesday. Nonetheless, OnePlus’ official (virtual) announcement has confirmed almost all of what we knew about the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.

The new phones will arrive in the United States on April 29 and in Europe on April 21. Let’s take a look at the details of each model.

Core Components

Almost every phone manufacturer today uses the standard and “pro” system for phone releases. That’s true for OnePlus. However, unlike other manufacturers, the new 8 and 8 Pro actually have several differences. Users who want the latest and greatest features will need to shell out for the Pro model.

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Although the peripheral specs are different between the two, they are nearly identical in terms of power. Both run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 paired with a 5G modem. The new models come with up to 12GB of RAM and 265GB of internal storage.

The 8 Pro has a slight speed advantage as it uses more efficient LPDDR5 RAM.

On the software side, OnePlus’ new flagship devices feature improvements to their OxygenOS. The company claims that there are 280 “new optimizations” that make Android run more smoothly. It also includes an option to enable a dark theme and offers dynamic wallpapers that change with the weather.

Welcome to 5G

Despite bearing a similar form factor to the OnePlus 7, the two new phones are the company’s first flagship phones to support 5G. It previously released a special edition of its 7T Pro that supports the faster network. Both the 8 and 8 Pro will come 5G-ready.

It’s also worth noting that the OnePlus 8 lineup has a feature called Smart 5G. This allows it to automatically switch between 5G and non-5G networks to preserve battery life.

On top of that, OnePlus is releasing the special OnePlus 8 5G UW variant that is specifically for Verizon customers. It supports the carrier’s faster mmWave speeds. The partnership is an important one for OnePlus as it cements its status as a premier phone manufacturer. Although its devices speak for themselves, many consumers hesitate to purchase a OnePlus phone because they don’t have the name recognition of Apple or Samsung.

The partnership would have placed the OnePlus 8 in every Verizon retail store. Unfortunately, most consumers are sheltering at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even so, the 8 and 8 Plus have a bright future thanks to their 5G integration.

Stunning Display

Two features set flagship phones apart from their low-cost competitors—their screen and their camera(s). Last generation, OnePlus set the bar high for displays by putting a 90Hz screen in the 7 Pro. Now, it’s upping the standard once again.

The 8 Pro boasts a silky smooth 120Hz, 6.78-inch QHD+ AMOLED display. That will make everything from gaming to movies to daily tasks look stunning. The regular OnePlus 8 is slightly smaller and a bit slimmer. Likewise, its screen isn’t quite as impressive. It has a 6.55-inch FHD+ AMOLED display. While that’s still crystal clear, it doesn’t offer the same 120Hz refresh rate as the Pro. Instead, it sticks with 90Hz like the top tier of last generation.

High-Quality Photos

The new OnePlus 8 models don’t skimp out in the camera department either. Although it isn’t the best smartphone for taking pictures, it will certainly do the job. Up front, the selfie camera is now a 3.8mm punch hole in the top left corner. Although it does break up the screen, it’s far better than the previous model’s pop-up camera.

On the back, the 8 Pro features Sony’s 48-megapixel IMX689 sensor. That utilizes All Pixel Omni-Directional PDAF to focus faster in the dark. The 8 Pro also has a 48-megapixel ultra-wide lens alongside an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. The latter is missing from the regular OnePlus 8. Finally, the Pro has a fourth camera that’s devoted solely to color filters. It’s an interesting addition that you won’t find on other flagship phones.

The standard 8 features an older 48-megapixel sensor as its main camera. Although this will deliver roughly the same quality of shots it doesn’t have the extra features found in the Pro. It also has a dedicated 2-megapixel camera for macro shots.

Unlike Samsung and Apple’s clunky block design, OnePlus has organized the rear cameras in a vertical line on the back of the phone. It offers a sleeker look but isn’t anything major.

Battery Upgrades

Another area of focus for the OnePlus 8 lineup is the battery. Of course, each model features its own battery relative to its price tag. The 8 Pro has a 4,510mAh battery while the regular 8 has a slightly smaller 4,300mAh. That isn’t much difference, however, and it’s probably negligible due to the Pro’s larger screen.

As of now, OnePlus hasn’t said how long the batteries will last other than “all day.”

Charging them up will be quick whether you want to do it with a cable or wirelessly. Both the 8 and 8 Pro support Warp Charge 30 wireless charging on a fan-cooled dock. The 8 Pro can charge to 50 percent in just 30 minutes on the wireless charger and 23 minutes with a cable. Due to its smaller battery, the regular 8 juices up about a minute faster.

The Extras

If that isn’t enough to make the OnePlus 8 lineup noteworthy, the phones will attempt to do so with a pretty façade. They feature a sleek, contoured design that looks like it will fit into a hand nicely.

Meanwhile, the phones will come in several colors, including Glacial Green (basically Tiffany Blue) and Interstellar Glow. Both options are classy and eye-catching.

As a bonus, the OnePlus Pro has earned an IP68 rating for water resistance. This means it can be submerged for up to 30 minutes and still operate as expected.

The regular OnePlus 8 will retail for $699 for an 8GB RAM model and $799 for a 12GB model. Meanwhile, the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $899 for 8GB of RAM and jumps to $999 for 12GB. Both phones will be offered by T-Mobile and Verizon in the United States.

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