OnePlus 8 Pro review: A risky adventure

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With the OnePlus 8 Pro, the Chinese manufacturer is breaking new ground: for the first time, at least on paper, there is a tie with the top-class competition of Samsung, Apple and Co. But the price also reaches new highs. GIGA expert Kaan explains in the test how the flagship smartphone performs in practice.
OnePlus 8 Pro in review: Conclusion
Thanks to innovations such as wireless charging, IP certification, the 120 Hz display and last but not least the improved camera, OnePlus has now finally entered the Champions League of smartphone manufacturers. For years, chinese phones were the embodiment of “yes, but” smartphones – the OnePlus 8 Pro breaks this questionable tradition and is highly recommended for the first time. The dark side of the development, however, can be seen in the price. At 899 euros, the OnePlus 8 Pro is just as expensive as its competitors in the top-flight smartphone and can no longer rely on a cheaper price in the battle for the buyer. With this, OnePlus embarks on a risky adventure, the outcome of which is not yetforeseeable.
    • Strong performance
    • Excellent display with 120 Hz
    • Lean software with many settings
    • Good stereo speakers
    • Cameras at top level
    • Excellent workmanship
    • Large battery with Fast Charging (wireless and wired)
    • IP certification
    • Fleet in-display fingerprint sensor
    • Physical Alert Slider
    • 5G-capable

Disadvantages:

  • Rounded display edges sometimes cause incorrect input and interfere with video viewing
  • Comparatively large and heavy
  • No microSD slot
  • Wireless charging with 30 watts only possible via separately available charging station
  • Gesture control immature
  • Camera could achieve better results in night shots

OnePlus 8 Pro in review: Rating

  • Workmanship, haptics and design: 5/5
  • Display: 5/5
  • Cameras: 4/5
  • Software: 5/5
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Telephony and Audio: 4/5
  • Memory: 4/5
  • Battery and everyday life: 4/5

OnePlus 8 Pro in review: Design and workmanship

Externally, the OnePlus 8 Pro differs only in details from its predecessor. This is not a disadvantage, because the OnePlus 7T Pro was already a real eye-catcher. The most striking features are the centrally placed camera module on the back and the curved edges at the front and back, which are framed by a metal frame. No question, the OnePlus 8 Pro is deadly chic and the matted glass of our green tester is not only a real feast for the eyes, but also prevents largely unsightly traces of fingerprints.

There is also nothing to complain about in terms of the quality of the workmanship: gap dimensions or the like are searched in vain and the buttons also offer crisp pressure points. Only the weight of almost 200 grams and the size of 163 mm could deter some, whereby the mobile phone is at least very well balanced and thus compensates some of its XXL factor.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is available in several colours. Picture: OnePlus.

OnePlus 8 Pro in review: Display and speaker

The external dimensions are of course due to the display: the AMOLED screen of the OnePlus 8 Pro measures a gigantic 6.78 inches in the diagonal. At this point, OnePlus has outperformed itself this year: nothing, but nothing at all, is available on the display in the OnePlus 8 Pro. The resolution with 3,168 x 1,440 pixels is super-sharp, the brightness excellent, the viewing angles stable and colors as vivid as a children’s coloring book. The icing on the cake is HDR10+ and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Compared to its predecessor, which had a 90 Hz display, this jump may sound minimal – but you can see it: everything looks so much smoother! Once you have a 120 Hz screen in your hands, it’s hard to get back to the standard 60 Hz. Worth it: The OnePlus 8 Pro allows the simultaneous use of 120 Hz and the highest resolution. In the competition of Samsung, the maximum refresh rate is only available with Full HD+.

But there is something to complain about: The rounded display edges can be very annoying in everyday life, as they repeatedly provoke incorrect entries and also interfere with the incidence of light at the edges when watching the video. Here we would like OnePlus to reduce the rounding of future smartphones somewhat, or directly offers a version with a flat display.

At least as important as a great display is the sound. Fortunately, the OnePlus 8 Pro can also score here. The two speakers of the smartphone, once attached to the bottom of the device and once hidden in the earcup, produce a powerful sound – at least for a mobile phone. Even with high volume settings, there are only slight distortions, but we would have liked a little more bass.

OnePlus 8 Pro review: Performance and software

Pure performance has always been one of the strengths of OnePlus’ top smartphones, and the OnePlus 8 Pro is no exception. The Snapdragon 865 processor and, depending on the model, 8GB or even 12GB of RAM and nimble UFS 3.0 memory ensure that the phone works arrow-fast in any situation. You won’t find jerks, second seconds or the like on the OnePlus 8 Pro. The OnePlus 8 Pro runs and runs – whether multitasking, elaborate 3D play, image editing or video editing or other performance-intensive tasks.

The sleek software also contributes to the outstanding performance. OxygenOS based on Android 10 dispenses with gimmicks or unnecessary bloatware that is known from other Android manufacturers. But that doesn’t mean that the OnePlus software has few features to offer – on the contrary. Adjusting accent colors and buttons, color modes of the display, fonts, watch styles on the lock screen and much more can be set by the user.

The software of the OnePlus 8 Pro offers many settings. Picture: GIGA.

However, we were disturbed by gesture control, which is not as fluid as on iOS and did not work correctly in some apps. However, this is a general Android problem and has to do with the fact that the back gesture and the gesture to open a hamburger menu is the same. For example, with Slack, this was very bad: every time you wanted to open the menu, you accidentally closed the app. We then switched to the classic button navigation.

OnePlus 8 Pro in review: Camera

Traditionally, the camera is one of OnePlus’s Achilles heels. Although the manufacturer has done a lot in recent years to reduce the distance from the competition, the cameras in the previous models could not keep up with the cream of Huawei, Google or Samsung. And what about the OnePlus 8 Pro? Better, much better! The smartphone has a quadruple camera that connects a 48 MP main sensor to an ultra-wide angle that is also 48 MP thick. In addition, there is a 3x telephoto lens and a color filter camera. In normal lighting conditions, the OnePlus 8 Pro is on a level with its competitors. Sharpness and color reproduction fit, image noise is little. The zoom and ultra-wide angle also make a good figure overall, even if the latter drops a bit. Only with night shots the OnePlus does not quite come close to the competition, here the manufacturer has to follow up on the next model.

OnePlus 8 Pro: Battery life

The battery in the OnePlus 8 Pro measures a decent 4,510 mAh. At medium brightness, we have achieved an average display-on time of just over ten hours. So the smartphone easily lasts a normal working day, with economical use sometimes 1.5 to 2 days. However, the 120 Hz display sucks heavily on the battery, which should be clear to every user. If you attach great importance to a long battery life, you should disable the feature in the settings.

The OnePlus 8 Pro can be charged wirelessly. Picture: OnePlus.

For the first time, OnePlus also offers 30 watts of wireless charging in one of its flagship smartphones – but only with a separately available charger that actively cools the phone during charging. This is a pity, because in order to reach the full potential, buyers of the OnePlus 8 Pro have to reach into their pockets. The built-in fans of the charger can also be heard quietly. Sensitive ears, which need absolute rest when working, should bear this in mind. But it didn’t bother us in the test. Also on board is the wired Fast Charging, which OnePlus is known for: half of the battery is full at the socket within about 30 minutes, and the OnePlus 8 Pro is fully charged in about 80 minutes.

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