OnePlus 8 Pro Long-Term Review: Still A Beast!

OnePlus 8 Pro Review

This year, it seemed like OnePlus put on a different image altogether, something we’ve not seen OnePlus do since its inception. From finally launching a full-fledge flagship phone to introducing a new midrange Nord series, the company is expanding its portfolio to compete against the top players. And we are also hearing some rumors of cheaper $200 to $300 OnePlus phones and I’m super excited to see how they turn out to be. But here, I am going to talk about the OnePlus 8 Pro in this review.

OnePlus 8 Pro Specifications:

  • Body: 6.51 x 2.93 x 0.33 inches; 199 gm; IP68 certification
  • Display: 6.78-inches Fluid AMOLED panel; 120Hz refresh rate; HDR10+; 513 PPI; 90.24% screen-to-body ratio; Gorilla Glass 6 protection
  • Resolution: QHD+ (3168 x 1440 pixels); 19.8:9 aspect ratio
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865; 7nm+ Mobile Platform
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585)
  • GPU: Adreno 650
  • RAM: 8 / 12GB LPDDR5
  • Storage: 128 / 256GB UFS 3.0 (non-expandable)
  • Software & UI: Android 10 with Oxygen OS on top
  • Rear Camera: Quad-camera;
    – 48MP, f/1.78 1.12 µm Sony IMX689 primary shooter, OIS, EIS
    – 48MP, f/2.2 Sony IMX586 ultra-wide sensor, 120º FOV
    – 8MP, f/2.44 telephoto lens, OIS, 3X hybrid optical zoom, up to 30X digital zoom
    – 5MP, f/2.4 color filter lens
    – Dual LED flash
  • Front Camera: 16MP, f/2.45 1.0 µm Sony IMX471 sensor, OIS
  • Security: Optical in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Audio: Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Connectivity: Dual Nano-SIM slot, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (dual-band), Bluetooth 5.1, GPS/AGPS/GLONASS/BDS/Galileo/SBAS, NFC, USB Type-C
  • Battery: 4510 mAh; Warp Charge 30T Fast Charging, Warp Charge 30 Wireless, Reverse wireless charging
  • Colors: Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue, Onyx Black
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 110,000 (8/128GB) | Rs. 125,000 (12/256GB)
  • Buy Here

OnePlus 8 Pro Review:

After using the phone for like months now for the review, I must say OnePlus 8 Pro is one tough cookie. Truth be told, there have been a few controversies surrounding it like some users reporting the green tint issue, to the blunderous infrared color filter camera. However, we have also seen good and some exclusive developments like the 90 fps gameplay on PUBG and Fortnite. And of course, duly fixing the aforementioned bugs.

So, after all this time, how has the OnePlus 8 Pro held up? Is it still worth buying over say, the more expensive Galaxy Note 20 Ultra? Well, Let’s find out.

Design

  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6 back & front, metal side-frame
  • Curved front and back for a comfortable grip
  • Really tall phone so could be unpocketable to many

OnePlus 8 Pro - Design [1]

Vivo Y20 Ad

Okay, let’s talk about the design first. Having used a lot of devices in and out simultaneously alongside the OnePlus 8 Pro, I feel like it is a bit too heavy. On the other hand, the cheaper OnePlus 8 has this amazingly ergonomic lightweight design, which I wished was the case with the Pro model as well.

If not for the cameras, I would actually go for the vanilla OnePlus 8 instead of its expensive brother. Another complaint I have with this design is how the curves on the sides will result in accidental touches especially when you use the phone with one hand. For instance, I would be using Instagram and while trying to reach the taskbar, I would accidentally scroll or sometimes I would click on a different video on YouTube and stuff like that. So, that has been really annoying!

Other than that, the phone is really well-built and looks gorgeous. The native cover that comes inside the box however has gone yellow now and I guess it’s time for me to get another one. Also, I didn’t put on a screen protector but the in-built one has done a fine job preventing scratches on my unit.

OnePlus 8 Pro - Alert Slider

And let’s not forget how useful this alert slider is. It has this wonderfully satisfying feedback that makes using it a lot more fun.

Display

  • 6.78-inches QHD+ Fluid AMOLED panel
  • 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch sampling rate

Moving on, the OnePlus 8 Pro also ticks all the boxes for a flagship-level display. It’s sharp, has excellent colors, viewing angles, and gets plenty bright as well. So, if you are really into watching videos or editing pictures, you are in for a treat!

The best thing about it is the fact that it does not limit you to only having a higher resolution or higher refresh rate; you get to enjoy both, in most instances that is. What I mean is, the phone automatically adjusts the screen resolution according to what you do on your phone, so, if you are watching a video or reading, the screen will dynamically be adjusted to 60 Hz and if you are gaming, the display will be set to a higher resolution. Basically, this is done to save battery, which is done pretty well here

I am also using the Note 20 Ultra right now and comparing these phones’ display quality, Note 20 Ultra is slightly better, but again, this is just me nitpicking.

Display Issues

Similarly, some users had this green tint issue while viewing the content in low brightness with dark mode and 120Hz refresh rate turned on. OnePlus did provide an update, but it resulted in a new red tint issue. So, it is possible that some buyers received defective units, so I really hope OnePlus improves its quality assurance.

OnePlus 8 Pro - Display [2]

The display also houses an optical in-display sensor which we all know is quite fast. However, I’ve always liked Samsung’s ultrasonic sensor more, as it works even when your hands are wet or greasy. And you guys know these days, we wash or apply sanitizer on our hands more often than ever, and seconds later you might need to unlock your phone. So… that’s only possible with Samsung.

Also with the optical sensor, if you unlock your phone in the dark, this sensor will glow blindingly bright, which isn’t the case with the ultrasonic sensor.

But keeping these minor issues aside, I absolutely love OnePlus 8 Pro’s display. The only thing that it still does not have is an Always-on Display (AoD) feature which is scheduled to arrive with the Oxygen 11 update, so everything’s good.

Performance

  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC (Global)
  • 8/12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage (non-expandable)

Now, performance is where I’m really satisfied with this phone.

OnePlus 8 Pro - OxygenOS

Yes, you don’t get the newer Snapdragon 865+ but that’s not a big deal, because the difference between the regular SD 865 and 865+ is pretty minor! Even during months of usage, the OnePlus 8 Pro is yet to give me a reason to complain.

I consider myself a pretty heavy user and have tons of apps and games installed, so trust me when I say OnePlus 8 pro is a powerhouse. And I have to give credit to OnePlus’s amazing software optimization for making this phone perform so well. Moreover, the multitasking experience is incredibly smooth too. Apps install and open really fast, all without a hint of stutter.

Gaming

And even for gaming, OnePlus partnered with PUBG and Fortnight to bring 90 fps mode exclusively on the OnePlus 8 series. And during my review, I must say the OnePlus 8 Pro has given me some competitive advantage over my opponent at times on top of better gaming experience.

OnePlus 8 Pro - PUGB Mobile 90 fps

Talking about updates, the phone is going to receive the Android 11 with the Oxygen OS 11 on top very soon and you can even try out the beta version right now. Just a few days ago, I received the August security patch, while my Note 20 Ultra is already on the September patch. Delayed security updates from a company with such good rapport in terms of software is a little embarrassing.

Cameras

  • Quad cameras at the back
  • (48MP primary, 48MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto, 5MP color filter)
  • 16MP front-facing camera inside the punch-hole cutout

Okay, now let’s get to the cameras. Straight up, the camera performance of this device is good but not the best.

Normal Images

The main primary lens, so far, has been showing consistent results in my usage. It captures great details in images and balances the whites very well.

And when you are focusing on a particular subject, you get a nice natural depth effect that makes the shots look even better.

However, I’ve had a few instances where the primary camera takes a second or two to lock focus on a narrow subject like this one.

Portrait Images

Also, one thing I haven’t been able to ignore is how the images tend to look a little undersaturated, especially while clicking portraits. I mean, the subjects look washed out a little bit.

Like, I am not looking for an explosive pop in colors like the Note 20 Ultra. But, something a little punchier would certainly look better.

I guess this problem prevails because the portraits are taken from the telephoto lens. And it doesn’t seem to be as well optimized in terms of colors as the main camera.

Wideangle Images

But, I definitely love the fact that OnePlus has opted for a 48MP Ultra-wide-angle lens which none of the other companies do.

Yet, because it’s not of the same quality as the primary lens, the details and dynamic range vary between them.

Telephoto Images

Talking about the telephoto camera, it’s not flashy as the Note 20 Ultra or the Oppo Find X2 Pro.

But, its 3X optical zoom lens has been able to get me upto 10x digital shots with acceptable details in many scenarios.

Macro Images

The macro images, which are produced by the ultra-wide-lens, also have good details.

I know this is the first time I am praising the macro camera of any device, but this one’s actually pretty good.

Nighttime Images

Moreover, the nightscape feature works really well too, and surprisingly, even the normal night time shots have good enough details.

All thanks to the cameras taking 2 seconds to process the shot in the normal mode.

Selfie Images

Likewise, I’m a fan of OnePlus 8 Pro’s selfies camera as well.

In comparison to ones from the Note 20 Ultra, they tend to look a tad bit hazy for some reason! Regardless, it can maintain exposure and balance skin tone well, so no problems in that regard.

Videos

In terms of videos, like with other flagship smartphones, you can opt for the 4k 60fps option for high quality, stabilized videos. I also have been impressed by how well its autofocus works in videos. However, OnePlus could definitely work a little on the HDR in selfie videos because when you click videos against the sun, they tend to look a bit hazy.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the OnePlus 8 Pro’s camera. I think the company is finally closing the gap against flagship phones from Samsung, Apple, and Huawei; although it still has a long way to go before actually catching up with the industry leaders.

OnePlus 8 Pro - SIM Tray, Type-C, Speaker

Similarly, the dual stereo speakers on this thing are amazingly loud and even though its audio is not as balanced as the Note 20 Ultra, I assure you that you will have a very pleasant experience listening to the audio from this phone! And I also have to appreciate the fact that the haptic motor here has been improved a lot from the older OnePlus devices. As a result, the vibrational feedback from this phone is quite pleasant and satisfactory.

Battery

  • 4510 mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T Fast Charging
  • Warp Charge 30 Wireless, Reverse wireless charging

Lastly, I have to talk about the battery and spoiler alert: I have good things to say about it. Even when turning on the 120Hz refresh rate at QHD resolution, I got a full day of use. On days when I clicked a lot of videos and gamed a lot, I had to charge it in the evening. Similarly, on normal use, the OnePlus 8 Pro has been giving me a consistent 7-8-hour screen on time.

In terms of juicing up the device, I have been charging it with the native 30W charger and it fills up in an hour. It’s not wickedly fast as the 65W or 120W chargers that you can find in certain phones these days, but the 30W charger is kinda middle ground here in terms of battery durability.

OnePlus 8 Pro - Warp Charger

You also have support for 30-watt wireless charging here and there’s also reverse wireless charging. I haven’t tested with a wireless charger, well because I don’t own one. About the reverse wireless charging, I didn’t find it to be very useful as the OnePlus 8 Pro is really selective of what it charges. It didn’t charge my Watch Active 2, but it did charge my Note 20 Ultra. So, I have not been able to charge my accessories on the go; which is a bummer because that would have been a more realistic use case scenario.

Conclusion

So, to sum it up, the OnePlus 8 Pro has been a great daily driver for me for all these months. Performance and software experience definitely has been the best things about the phone. Regarding the cameras, some things could have been a little better which I hope the company fixes with updates.

Overall, I can finally say that OnePlus finally has a proper flagship phone in its arsenal with no compromise. For what it’s worth, it is priced really well too. It ticks all the boxes and is still an excellent alternative for enthusiasts who want a flagship experience at a relatively lower price than what companies like Samsung and Apple charge for their top-of-the-line smartphones.

  • Watch our video review of the OnePlus 8 Pro.

OnePlus 8 Pro Long-Term Review: Pros & cons

Pros:

  • Well built, sturdy enough (although a little heaving than OnePlus 8)
  • Excellent display with the smooth 120Hz refresh rate
  • Top-notch performance and some exclusive gaming deals
  • Good versatility in the overall camera arrangement
  • Decent battery life and easily lasts through the day

Cons:

  • The price-point may not be digestible to the OG OnePlus fans
  • Camera performance is “ok” but doesn’t hold against other flagships
  • Charging speed is slower compared to OPPO, Huawei flagship phones
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Build
9
Display
9.5
Performance
10
Back Cameras
9
Front Camera
9
Software & UI
10
Battery
9
Value for Money
8.5