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OnePlus 8 Review




The OnePlus 8 series is the third generation to include two variants. With the OnePlus 8 Pro being closer to other top flagships in terms of price and features, the OnePlus 8 still embodies the company’s roots of providing premium, but relatively affordable devices.

With a bigger chunk of the attention since launch going to the Pro version, how does the standard OnePlus 8 fare? Find out here.

Design and Construction

Sleek and metallic, the OnePlus 8’s minimalist but functional approach to design is both pleasing to look at and to use. A couple examples of this include the minimized bezels in front thanks to the curved sides and punch-hole camera setup. Also that the matte glass back panel is more forgiving when it comes to fingerprints and doesn’t slide as easily on a smooth surface.

It clocks in at around the same size as last year’s OnePlus 7T with a 6.55-inch screen, but is actually lighter by 10g, despite having a larger battery.

They have also abandoned the circular rear camera module in favor of the center-placed, vertically aligned module that’s been around since the OnePlus 6.

For buttons, we get the volume rocker on the left side and the power button and three-way mute switch on the right. I’m somewhat partial towards the power and volume buttons being on one side to prevent accidental presses when laying the phone on its side when watching a video. However, I definitely can still live with having them on opposite sides.

The bottom contains the main loudspeaker, main microphone, USB Type-C port, and dual SIM card slot. The OnePlus 8 comes with plenty of internal storage, starting at 128GB, but the option for microSD expansion would have been nice.

The top houses the secondary noise-canceling microphone and the speakerphone, which is actually cleverly hidden along the top bezel. It also acts as a secondary speaker when playing media to make a stereo setup, which is nice.

In the hand, the OnePlus 8 certainly feels large, which may require smaller users to use both hands to reach the top of the screen. But for one-handed use, you can comfortably type on the keyboard and swipe around the UI.

Display and Multimedia

Taking a closer look at the display, we get a 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED panel with a 2400 x 1080 resolution, support for HDR10+, and of course a 90Hz refresh rate. While there are 120Hz phone screens available nowadays, there’s no denying that even 90Hz is many times more buttery smooth than standard 60Hz.

For a phone with such an attractive design, the crisp animations on the UI further the experience. After all, OnePlus is the one who brought higher refresh rate smartphone screens to the mainstream.

Aside from the nice high refresh rate, the display shows crisp details, vibrant colors, deep blacks, and decent enough viewing angles for an AMOLED panel.

For display customization, you get the option to hide the punch-hole if you wish to do so, full custom screen calibration, color temperature adjustment, reading mode, and an optional vibrant color effect that enhances the colors in video playback.

When it comes to audio, again, the OnePlus 8 utilizes a combination of its bottom-firing loudspeaker and earpiece speakerphone to make a stereo setup. It gets pretty loud in a small quiet space, and has a pretty balanced sound output. Overall, decent enough for casual listening and gaming.

Camera

The OnePlus 8 has a total of four cameras — a triple setup at the rear consisting of a 48MP main sensor, a 16MP ultrawide, and a 2MP macro. For selfies, a single 16MP shooter. Hardware spec-wise, this is a very simple configuration that will probably be just enough for most users.

While the images we get from this phone aren’t all that bad, I was honestly expecting a little bit more from a flagship device. But the first part of that previous statement still rings very true, as shots in good lighting conditions turn out pretty well.

Especially with the main rear camera, shots are nice and crisp with vibrant colors and somewhat decent dynamic range. The ultrawide camera is pretty good as well, though we wish it had an even wider field of view.

Portrait shots with the rear camera have a pleasant bokeh effect, and subject-background separation is on point.
For selfies, skin tones don’t exactly appear natural, as the tones lean more towards cool, though you can still take great shots of course.

For videos, the OnePlus 8 can shoot up to 4K at 60fps and 1080p up to 240fps, with quality being excellent, again, provided you have good lighting conditions. The stabilization is great, allowing you to be more liberal with your hand movements.

Overall, the OnePlus 8 has a decent enough camera system to pair with the rest of its flagship-level attributes, but in the end, we were expecting more. Not that it produces bad images, but more like the fact that some mid-range phones can rival it in terms of general quality.

Performance and Benchmarks

Under the hood, the OnePlus 8 is powered by none other than the current Qualcomm flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 865, along with an Adreno 650 GPU, up to 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of internal storage.

High performance comes easy for this device, allowing you to throw as many tasks as you want at it, regardless of the type. Blitzing around the UI is a great experience also thanks to the high refresh rate, making the OnePlus 8 feel fast in practice, as well as it is on paper. Check out the benchmark scores we got below:

AnTuTu v8 – 290,161
Geekbench 5 – 542 (Single-core), 1,708 (Multi-core), 2,041 (RenderScript)
PCMark – 10,630 (Work 2.0)
3DMark – 2,551 (OpenGL), 2,602 (Vulkan)
AndroBench – 521.98 MB/s (Seq. Read), 208.43 MB/s (Seq. Write)

OS, UI, and Apps

Running the software department is OxygenOS 10 based on Android 10. This is one of the best Android skins in the market thanks to its clean-looking UI and customizable nature. It gives you almost everything from an app drawer, to customizable icons, solid volume controls, and great battery management.

Pre-installed apps are kept at a minimum, which only includes the standard Google apps, as well as a couple of proprietary apps like the OnePlus Community app.

The system files take about 20GB of the total storage, leaving you about 236GB of usable storage.

Connectivity and Battery Life

The OnePlus 8 has all the modern connectivity features such as dual SIM support, dual-band Wi-Fi, dual-band GPS, Bluetooth 5.1, USB 3.1 Type-C, NFC, and even 5G.

This is an underrated area that really defines the device as a flagship. For its lower price relative to other top-tier phones, it’s an easier attained entry to 5G.

Power is handled by a 4,300mAh battery with support for 30W Warp Charge, which is still very fast even if there are faster charging technologies in the market right now.

On average, we were able to get about a day and a half of light to moderate usage before finding the need to charge — that’s on the 60Hz refresh rate. When using 90Hz, you’ll definitely need to charge in the evening assuming a 100% battery level in the morning. But it’s not all that bad knowing that even a 20 minute Warp Charge will get you about 50%.

In our standard video loop test (1080p movie on loop, 50% brightness, 0% volume, airplane mode on), the device lasted for 25 hours. In the PCMark Work 2.0 Battery Test, it got a score of 15 hours and 39 minutes. Both of these are solid results.

Conclusion

Despite lacking an IP rating, mind-blowing camera quality, and wireless charging, the OnePlus 8 is still no doubt a solid flagship and is probably enough to satisfy anyone looking for this caliber of phone without having to shell out upwards of PHP50k.

You’re still getting a lot of premium features like A+ design, a 90Hz AMOLED display, solid performance, great battery life, fast charging, one of the best Android launchers in the market, and even 5G connectivity.

The OnePlus 8 (8GB + 128GB) is priced at PHP35,990 at Digital Walker and is certainly a bang-for-your-buck flagship device.

OnePlus 8 specs:
6.55-inch FHD+ (2400 x 1080) Fluid AMOLED 90Hz display, 402ppi
HDR10+
Corning Gorilla Glass
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 octa-core CPU
Adreno 650 GPU
8GB, 12GB LPDDR4X RAM
128GB, 256GB UFS 3.0 w/ Turbo Write and HPB
Triple-rear cameras: 48MP Sony IMX586 F1.75 OIS + EIS (main) + 16MP F2.2 (ultra-wide) + 2MP F2.4 (macro)
16MP Sony IMX471 F2.45 front camera (fixed-focus)
Dual-SIM (nano)
5G, 4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
Bluetooth 5.1 aptX HD
NFC
GPS (L1+L5 Dual Band), A-GPS, GLONASS, Galileo (E1+E5a Dual Band), Beidou, SBAS
Haptic Vibration 2.0
Fingerprint scanner (in-display)
Face Unlock
USB Type-C 3.1
Dual Stereo Speakers w/ Dolby Atmos
OxygenOS (based on Android 10)
4,300mAh battery w/ Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
160.2 x 72.9 x 8.0 mm
180 g
Onyx Black, Interstellar Glow, Glacial Green



Joey graduated with a degree in Digital Filmmaking from the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde last March 2017. A filmmaker by heart, he has since put aside cinema to focus on his other passion, technology. PCs, mechanical keyboards, audio, cameras, and gaming are among his biggest tech interests.

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