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One Plus 8 Pro Review: Finally Settled!

Year after year, OnePlus have constantly taken leaps in both pricing and features of their smartphones to reach the peak of the bunch and finally be able to attain the title of “Flagship” while killing the word killer. With the 7 Pro in 2019, they seemed closer than ever but the camera team let them down.

Well this year, the narrative has changed. At last, OnePlus have finally achieved what they desired, flagship-level revenue. But can they deliver the goods to justify that demand? Let’s find out.

Before I begin the review, I’d like to inform the reader that this might not be the most technical review, but definitely a more practical one. I’m a person who loves to look beyond the specs of the device in hand, and actually see how well those numbers convert during real-life usage.

I’d describe myself as a mid-heavy user, who uses the phone for majorly for media creation and gaming, alongside the general day to day social networking usage. Before the OnePlus 8 Pro, I was using a Samsung galaxy note 9 and OnePlus 7 Pro, so I may draw a few comparisons with those devices.

Without further ado, let’s begin with the review!

The Unboxing and Initial Impressions

For the past few years, I’ve felt that unboxing has gotten a bit monotonous and boring, so I decided to lighten up the mood a bit! Hope you like it!

If you didn’t catch it in the video, I’m listing the specs for my unit for those interested:

  • Glacier Green
  • 12 GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 256 GB UFS 3.0 storage
  • Snapdragon 865 SoC

Moving on to the topic, the unboxing experience of this device is quite similar to that of the OnePlus 7T. A tall red box with all the details of the unit printed on it which satisfyingly reveals the device upon the removal of the cover. Inside the box, you find the device on top, with the warp charge 30T hidden beside with a cover. Besides this, you get the paperwork, a few amazing OnePlus stickers, and a clear case (with the annoying charging port flap). I’ll let you enjoy the rest of the experience through the video above.

As soon as I held first held the device, it took me back to a year ago when I first held the OnePlus 7 Pro. Everything seemed similar, yet there was this breeze of refreshment that I could feel. The device didn’t seem heavy (Although I’m used to heavy devices at this point) and I could get a perfect grip despite a somewhat shimmery and slippery back.

One thing that I instantly noticed was the pre-applied screen protector and that was because of well, a few air bubbles (yes, on a brand new device). It seemed that it may have had some dust particles inside, which was a bummer. I contacted the peeps at OnePlus and they’re already looking into this issue.

One Plus 8 Pro Beside the Box

Keeping that aside, I flipped the device and glanced at the back. While I was left in complete amazement by the beautiful satin finish and the shimmering glacial green tone, I noticed the elephant in the room.

Yes, I’m speaking of the huge camera bump. It was one of the biggest I’ve seen on a device in recent times except for the square bump on certain other phones. I am really worried that it might get scratched soon and ruin my camera performance, so I’ll probably get a thick case to cover it up to protect it as much as possible.

 I seriously had a dopamine rush when I first pushed the power button to boot up the device, oh how had I missed the clicky tactile buttons and the haptic vibrations. Using a phone with sub-par buttons and really bad vibration motor had really lowered my expectations, but now I felt I’ve finally achieved them back just like I did with the OnePlus 7 Pro.

One Plus 8 Pro on a Sofa 1

About an hour or two later, I realized how I had completely forgotten about the existence of the physical alert slider on OnePlus devices, and gotten used to the sub-par treatment that other brands provide with their flagships. It’s positioning has now become better than ever and is very reachable for people with all hand sizes.

However, the experience is still the same, at the top of the charts. I honestly don’t understand how certain other brands prioritize an additional useless button to summon an even more useless assistant over this piece of minimal and technological brilliance. However, I feel a distinct color for this button would have enhanced the aesthetics of the device even further.

An important design change, that is the hole punch cut-out, will be left to discuss under the display head.

Display

We use our smartphone for uncountable reasons and in uncountable ways, but the one thing that almost always remains constant and in use is the phone’s display. A good display should have reasonable consideration for anyone looking to purchase a smartphone. After all, it is the component of the device that you’ll interact with the most.

Had it not been for the few minor issues which a lot of users are facing regarding manufacturing defects, I’d have called this the perfect display out there in the market. As bad luck would prevail, I’m one of those users. I’ve seen people criticize the high refresh rates for being a gimmick, and obviously it’s not a deal-breaker, but once you have it, it gets tough to let go. Trust me; other 60 Hz displays appear stuttery when you shift from this one. Before I dive deeper, lemme list down the specs quickly, for those interested:

  • 6.78” Fluid AMOLED panel with a hole punch cut out front camera
  • 3168×1440 QHD+ resolution
  • Highest ever color accuracy on a OnePlus phone
  • HDR10+ support
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • 240Hz touch response rate
  • MEMC technology
  • 1300 nits max brightness.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s break these specs down as I mentioned earlier.

First up, we have the physical panel itself. Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way, can you pixel peep on this screen? That would be a big NO, not unless you have a microscope like @BlackForestHam. With an astounding 513 PPI, it’s close to impossible to point fingers at this panel. In theory, it should be more than enough to satisfy any resolution fanatics’ dreams and it does indeed, well at least my defect-free device would.

disp 1

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the whole hole punch design before testing it out, as I like my screen without any obstructions and would even accept tiny bezels over weird notches. Personally, I tend to pick practicality over aesthetics and the notch seemed to serve no real purpose.

I really loved the front design on the OnePlus 7 Pro, as I rarely used the Front camera, the mechanics didn’t bother me. I didn’t mind the slightly heavier weight either. But soon enough, I forgot the notch even existed. It really blends well with the content and never really seems to be obtrusive enough to make you care. All things considered, I’m sure you’ll get used to it in no time.

Regarding resolution, there’s an option between two modes as shown in the image above, FHD+ and QHD+, and as the names suggest, FHD+ is a resolution slightly above 2k pixels and QHD+ is the full resolution at 3168p x 1080p, coming closer to 4k (which to imagine on a 6 and a half-inch panel is insane in itself). As I don’t really notice the difference between the two, I use my device on FHD+ mode to save some juice.

Next, there’s a choice to switch the color modes, which I switched to natural because it in fact is, the most natural color mode. I wouldn’t doubt when OnePlus claims this to be the most color-accurate display on a OnePlus device, as, during the times of my testing, I found absolutely no issues with color representation. I’ll cover reading mode and night mode under the Oxygen OS section of the review.

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There’s also the option to switch between 120Hz and 60Hz. Now you may call it a gimmick, but the jump from 60 to 90 or 120 is noticeable and great to have. Although I’ll agree, a jump from 90 Hz to 120Hz won’t be as significant as I tried comparing it with my friend’s 7T. But if you choose to run this device on 60Hz, it would be undercutting the capabilities of this technological masterpiece. While talking about the refresh rate of the screen, it would be unfair to not include the new MEMC feature.

There’s a reason why this feature gets its own section. OnePlus has somewhat emphasized on this pretty heavily in their ads and promotions. So, when I first came to know about it, I was ready to disregard it as just another gimmick which would realize no good use. So when I got the device, I jumped into the settings to check it out under the Display options in settings. When you select the motion graphics smoothing options, a screen as below shows up. Here you get a brief explanation about how the tech works.

MEMC Feature
MEMC Feature

Basically what it does is, it ups the frame rate of any supported media that you’re playing at 25/30 fps to a higher FPS so that you get a butter-smooth viewing experience. This screen also shows a list of supported apps for MEMC.  But when you click on more supported apps, you get redirected to an OnePlus page where the exhaustive list is mentioned.

Another thing you might notice here is the mention of 120/60Hz support for certain apps. Upon some experimentation, I found that when you turn on MEMC from the main settings, it only enables an upgrade to 60 Hz. To enable 120 Hz, you need to enable hyper motion smoothing from the developer options/OnePlus Laboratory in the settings (or just search for it in the search bar in settings).

So does it actually work? I am pleased to inform you that IT DOES! It does make the content smoother than before. When you play media on any of the supported apps, a notification comes up informing you that smoothing has begun and whoosh! Just like that, the software sorcery begins! As a film and camera enthusiast, I’m very excited to see stuff like this because it opens up a ton of possibilities.

I have so many questions like, “Can this be used to increase the frame rate of normal videos and then slow those down to achieve better slow motion without jitter?” and so on!

However, it must be noted that this isn’t any sort of necessity as for many films, the cinematographers intend you to watch their work at lower frame rates. Still, it’s a great addition to have and I might experiment with it a lot in the future! The first one would be to watch an EPL match at 120 FPS! (Any soccer fans here?)

Being on this topic, I would also like to address the 240 Hz touch refresh rate. As you would expect, makes the phone super response to your touch input. Compared to a normal 60 Hz panel, I think this panel is ages ahead and everyone should at least try it once before making their judgments!

Like most of us, I use my phone for a lot of media consumption. Although I prefer my iPad or laptop to watch any content, this display has made me watch on my phone more! The picture-perfect resolution with accurate colors and HDR10+ makes the viewing experience for movies like Ford V Ferrari or Dunkirk an absolute pleasure.

YOU MAY CALL IT A GIMMICK, BUT THE JUMP FROM 60 TO 90 OR 120 IS NOTICEABLE AND GREAT TO HAVE

A part of the viewing experience is the sound and even though I use headphones most of the time, the speakers are more than loud enough for two or three people to hear without any issues. Not only are they loud, but the sound clarity is also flagship quality as well. I’ve actually reduced the use of my Bluetooth speaker since I’ve got this device on hand.

At 1300 nits of brightness, there is no doubt that the user would not have any issue viewing what’s on-screen in any sort of lighting. For context, other flagships usually have a maximum brightness of about 1000 nits.

It would be unfair to not mention the various screen issues that a lot of people getting this device are facing. In fact, many reviewers have received a device with a green or unnatural tint at certain brightness levels. However, for many, it has not been a deal-breaker as you’ll hardly ever notice it.

But it is in no way an excuse to not deliver the highest quality when you’re charging that high of a price. OnePlus accepted the issue and released an OTA update to fix it, yet many people are still unconvinced with their devices and they have all the right to be. It’s honestly a bummer because even after being a reviewer, I’m yet to hear anything from OnePlus’ side regarding the defect. Thus the title seems apt, OnePlus have settled for mediocrity.

Yes, all those specs on paper translate very well to real-life usage with a very noticeable tint on greys at low brightness. The panel resolution is top of the class with absolutely no question of pixel peeping. The hole punch is very less obtrusive and won’t really affect your experience. MEMC works and is something I’ll look forward to developing in the future. Consuming media content on this device is a real delight which I hope all of you get to experience yourself and enjoy!

Performance

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OnePlus and a top-tier performance have been synonyms in the Android universe for quite some time now. I remember switching from an iPhone 5S to OnePlus 5T a few years back and to this day, I remember how I fell in love with the fluidity; never to look back. Of course, it’s not been a journey without hurdles, but we have come a long way since then.

As always, let’s get the specs out of the way for those who are interested:

  • Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+) Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585
  • Adreno 650
  • 128GB/256GB non expandable UFS 3.0 Storage
  • 8/16GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 5.1, A2DP, LE, aptX HD
  • NFC support
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
  • Android 10
  • Oxygen OS 10.5.10.INDA

As one would expect, this is an area where OnePlus never disappoints. The 865 is a major upgrade over the 855. Qualcomm says the new Snapdragon 865 boasts a 25% CPU performance increase and a 20% GPU performance increase over the previous generation Snapdragon 855. Also, the new SoC supports LPDDR5 memory and is manufactured on a newer 7nm process. I ran a Geekbench 5 test on my device and the results are below:

Surprisingly, the results were about 2-3% less as compared to the benchmarks available online. But I guess it may have to do with the conditions and usage under which the device was tested. However, these are mere numbers. What you need to know is that the device can handle pretty much anything and everything that you throw at it. As I mentioned in my 7 Pro lab review, the refresh rate does add to the snappiness of the device. The phone feels quicker than ever thanks to the all-new hardware and software integrations.

Gaming on this phone is the ultimate slam dunk in the industry. It ran all the games I could throw at it at maxed-out settings like a hot knife running through butter. I had previously reduced my mobile gaming on my last phone but ever since I’ve had this one, it’s been hard to resist.

Games on the One Plus 8 Pro 1

From Batman: the enemy within to PUBG & Asphalt 9 (Not sure about the 120 on these, but definitely smooth as ever), every frame of those potential 120 per second was a delight. I’m looking forward to trying more of these in the future.

I’m nitpicking at this point, but one bug that I could find was while running Chrome. For some reason, the app would freeze once every 10-15 minutes and won’t move. An easy fix for this was just to minimize and maximize it again and it was back to normal. But I found it weird that it still happened.

Another thing that has bothered me for a while on Android devices lately has been the deleting speed in the gallery. Why does it take so much time? I often take temporary screenshots and forget to delete them. The same goes for WhatsApp forwards and images. 98% of them are useless and instead of deleting them at once, I generally delete them in bulk.

But when I actually get to delete them, it ends up taking almost 5 minutes for about every 1000 images. I wish it could be fixed with a software update in the future. As of now, I’ve not faced any other issues.

In order to experiment with RAM management, I did a little experiment of my own. At first, I opened up PUBG mobile and Asphalt 9, loaded them up beyond the home screen, and minimized them. Then I went on to open about 15 more apps and exporting a few images on the lightroom.

ONEPLUS AND A TOP-TIER PERFORMANCE HAVE BEEN SYNONYMS IN THE ANDROID UNIVERSE FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW

When I tried opening PUBG again, surprise surprise, it was still where I left it. This especially amazed me because when I was using the Note 9, apps crashed while I was using them due to bad RAM management. There’s also a RAM boost option in the settings which is described below. All in all, memory management seems to be working as fine as it should.

Moving ahead, let’s talk about the topic left under the weight, the in-display fingerprint scanner. On the OnePlus 7 Pro, I felt the FP scanner was decent but definitely not as fast as a physical one. On the Galaxy Note 9, the physical scanner was slower than my 7 Pro’s in-display one. So my expectations were lower than usual but the 8 Pro surprised me. It’s definitely a lot faster and accurate than before. I can gladly say that it’s not a hit or miss anymore and is consistently reliable.

Another thing about security, the face unlock scans so darn quickly that you won’t even get the moment to glance at the time on the screen. Due to this, I ended up turning it off because I often need to check the time on the lock screen.

That said, performance is yet again the industry best on the OnePlus 8 Pro. Many of the users might agree with me when I say that it is the fastest phone on the market right now.

Camera

Let’s rewind to 2014, it’s December and this new smartphone start-up has come up with a unique offering – a smartphone with flagship-level specs and clean bloat-free UI. What was the catch? The price. The price was closer to less than half of flagships that offered similar specs and nowhere near the clean almost stock android experience. Ladies and gentlemen, it was the OnePlus One.

The device earned huge PR and was to be found on many front pages of tech publications, be it print or social media. Although the experience seemed to be complete and the device has rightfully bagged the title of a “Flagship killer”, something was missing.

Unfortunately, for people like me, it was the camera. Not that it was bad by any measures, it just wasn’t “Flagship” enough. Most tech reviewers seemed to love the device’s clean and minimal UI experience but couldn’t stand the mediocre camera performance.

Over the years and around 15 devices later, it still isn’t tough to find criticism for the camera systems on OnePlus devices. The first few 100 threads on the forums are almost always about criticizing the cameras. While using the 5T and 7 Pro myself, I found the camera systems to be apt for my requirements at that time, but there always had been scope for improvement. Especially the video quality and low light photography performance never seemed to quite touch the mark. Although, I must say I was able to capture some of my greatest pictures on the 7 Pro but it sure wasn’t perfect.

With the launch of the 8 Pro, my western friends had the pleasure of receiving the device before us Indians, and soon enough, the forum was filled with criticism of the cameras. Looking at the samples released by OnePlus officially, I was excited to try them myself before forming an opinion based on the hits that people were taking. New Year, same old shots at OnePlus about how bad the telephoto is and whatnot.

Finally, the day arrived when I received my unit. Being an enthusiast, I couldn’t wait to try out the cameras myself. Now that I’m done with getting all my samples, I have one reaction, “Oh my god, they’ve finally done it!” In my humble opinion, OnePlus has finally developed a camera system capable to compete with or should I say, even better than the flagships out there in the market.

This is, without a doubt, the best camera system developed by OnePlus on any device yet. For me, it is up there to compete for the top spot alongside the Pixel 4, iPhone 11 pro, and the Samsung Galaxy S20. And I’m not just firing rounds in thin air, I have collected a plethora of shots to support my arguments.

Before we get to that, here are the specifications of the camera system:

  • Main sensor: 48 MP, f/1.8, 25mm (wide), 1/1.43″, 1.12µm, omnidirectional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 8 MP, f/2.4, (telephoto), 1/1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
  • 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 116˚ (ultrawide), 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF
  • 5 MP, f/2.4, (Color filter camera) [Disabled on my unit]
  • Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, Auto HDR, gyro-EIS, Cine mode (4k30 and 4k60 only)
  • Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.5, (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0µm
  • Auto-HDR
  • [email protected], gyro-EIS

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to the sample shots. First, let’s focus on the photography aspect and later move on to the videos. Instead of hovering around the obvious, I’ll try to focus on the issues and criticisms that others have brought up. First up let’s discuss the main wide lens along with the ultra-wide in normal day lit conditions:

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OnePlus 8 Pro Regular HDR Shot
OnePlus Day Ultrawide scaled
OnePlus 8 Pro Ultrawide HDR Shot

As you’d probably notice, there is honestly very low scope to criticize them. Both of these lenses when given enough light, perform stellarly. Here are a few takeaways:

  • 48 MP does make a difference in detail when you crop in, so if you’re willing to ignore the comparatively very long shutter delay and huge storage space, you have the option to use it.
  • HDR seems to be on point in almost every case, not overdoing the effect to make it seem unnatural.
  • Colors produced tend to romanticize the scene just a tad bit. But I don’t mind that. Nothing that can’t be tweaked in post.
  • Auto exposure works fine, but I love the AF/AE lock option which gives me complete control.
  • The camera UI is minimal and simple to use. Although I would love the option to turn HDR on and off from the camera itself and not going to the settings again and again. Silly how it isn’t there in the first place.
  • The post adjustment capabilities of these images are excellent. They do not have any pixel leaks even with my heavy presets on Lightroom, something even my DSLR struggles with if the images are not shot in RAW mode.
  • Nightscape is the best it has ever been. It consistently delivers amazing images with great detail in all sorts of light. However, you might wanna keep your hands a bit still in pitch black conditions.

Marching ahead to the telephoto. I’ll say this straight, if you’re having trouble capturing amazing photos with this lens, you should probably start looking within. One of the best and most detailed telephoto lens I’ve used by a mile. Don’t believe me? Check these out yourself:

One Plus 8 Pro Evening Telephoto 1 scaled
Post-Sunset 3x Telephoto
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7x Optical Zoom on the Telephoto lens on the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Takeaways for the telephoto and macro lens:

  • As opposed to popular opinion, the photos do not come out over sharpened. If you think they are, maybe try using a Samsung device once and see what over-sharpened looks like.
  • The levels of details captured are unmatched in medium to good light.
  • Probably avoid using it in the dark, stick to the main lens.
  • HDR works fine for the telephoto as well.
  • Macro mode works stellar. I’m so excited to experiment with it more in the future!

Time for a portrait:

Portrait
Portrait 2
3x Telephoto without Portrait Mode.

Takeaways:

  • Edge detection is almost always stellar, I tried throwing difficult scenes at it and it seemed to mask the subject with ease.
  • The level of detail captured is over the top.
  • Sometimes, the portrait mode photos do seem over sharpened. Nothing that can’t be fixed in lightroom though.
  • Portrait mode works on the wide lens as well as the telephoto lens.
  • It works with multiple subjects as well.
  • Colors are not really close to natural and again, are romanticized a bit.

So that was it for the photos guys, let’s get going to discuss the videos. Now my laptop doesn’t support 4K playback and I’m having issues putting a video together, so instead of giving out sub-par content, I am liking a great video by Mr. Dave West, a fellow lab reviewer from the 7 Pro lab on the 8 Pro. It covers all video-related aspects of the device. In the meantime, I’ll try to figure something out to put out my video as well!

The combinations of modes that are possible to be shot on this device are just too long. I shot a total of 24 clips and still then missed out on some not so important modes. Here’s a brief list:

  • 1080-30 Normal
  • 1080-30 Normal with super steady
  • 1080-30 Normal with HDR
  • 1080-30 Ultrawide
  • 1080-60 Normal
  • 1080-60 Ultrawide
  • 4K-30 Normal
  • 4K-30 Ultrawide
  • 4K-30 with super steady
  • 4K-30 with HDR
  • And so on…

Here are my thoughts on the video capabilities of the device:

  • The color reproduction mimics the photo processing, a bit popping and beyond true to life. For me, it looks just fine and I don’t mind the extra punch.
  • Super steady mode and HDR mode are only available with 1080/30, 4K/30, and 4K/30 cine modes, and that too only one at a time!
  • Super steady works immensely well. It’s removed the need for a gimbal.
  • HDR mode is just magic. It gives the perfect subject and background exposure harmony to the videos, helping them stand out from the crowd.
  • Details captured at 4k resolution are enough to crop in 2-3x.
  • I’d avoid using the telephoto lens in less than optimal lighting conditions. Its quality is nowhere near the other two lenses. Something to improve upon in the future.
  • The videos tend to get a tad bit over-sharpened in some less than perfect environments. I wish they’d remove that with a future update.
  • The bitrate on the 4k60 mode crossed 150Mpbs, which is extremely high for a smartphone.
  • For most people, this video camera can easily beat an entry-level DSLR and become their only device to record videos!
  • 1080p240fps slow-mo is a delight to watch and I’m looking forward to using that mode even more in the future! However, 720p480fps was a little bit too much, also the quality is not that great.

There you have it guys, the real-life performance of this not so quad-camera system! Since we’re done with the interesting parts, I’m adding a few screenshots of the stock camera UI to give you an insight into what’s available:

Now obviously I wasn’t able to cover each and every aspect in this brief review, if you’re interested to know more, kindly follow me on Instagram @yashonagori where I’ll be uploading more and more photos in the future.

Battery and charging

Perhaps the easiest part of a review of a OnePlus device from the point of a reviewer is the battery and charging aspect. From its inception, OnePlus have been on top of the game when it comes to battery and the process to charge it.

The OnePlus at Pro comes in with a massive Non-removable Li-Po 4510 mAh battery with support for Warp Charge 30T, the adapter for which is included in the box. The phone does support wireless charging but I, unfortunately, do not have one at my disposal, so I’ll be talking about only the wired charging aspect. The phone also does support wireless reverse charging at 3W which as the wattage suggests, is only for emergencies.

OnePlus at the launch has claimed 30W wired charging which can juice up 50% within 23 minutes and 30W wireless charging which can do the same in 30 minutes. In my testing, I found the claims to be perfectly true and the phone does get charged to 100% from around 10-15% within 40 minutes. To put it into perspective, other flagship manufacturers support fast-charging up to 15-20W of fast charging which takes almost double the time to charge the device to save levels. And that’s insane how it has been so many years of OnePlus domination.

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To test the screen on times, I tested the device on two available display settings; FHD+ and QHD+. On the first day with FHD+, I got the following results:

I started the day with 100% and got 5 hours and 29 mins of the screen on time with 23% left. Which basically means I had scope for around an hour or so more. So if you as me whether it is a one-day battery, the answer would be a “No, it’s more than that.” Another thing to be noted is that the refresh rate was fixed at 120 Hz and I just could convince myself to reduce that to 60 Hz. If you do try so, it might even last for two whole days with decent usage!

Next up, QHD+ resolution with 120 Hz settings.

Same as the day before, I started the day with 100% usage and ended the day with 5 hours and 28 minutes of screen on time (what a co-incidence) and 8% battery left. But this day, I had put the device under more stress as I was recording a lot of videos and capturing photos for my camera review. But I can draw out that this phone can easily deliver 5 and half hours+ of the screen on time consistently, which honestly is good!

All in all, if you’re getting this device with the expectations of a good battery, it’ll easily cross them. No nooks and hooks left by OnePlus in this aspect and this is certainly a strong part of the device.

Oxygen OS

A major contributor to the user experience of any smartphone is the medium of interaction between the user and the hardware of the device itself, and for smartphones, that medium is the OS. Although vanilla stock android with absolutely no bloatware is preferred and demanded by a lot of android enthusiasts, there are some shortcomings. And thus, this brings into the picture the OxygenOS developed by OnePlus.

From my experience, the foremost objective of OOS is to provide the user with the most near-stock experience while adding on all the missing values from their end. This includes various customization options, purpose-oriented modes, and a ton of cool stuff!

In this part of the review, I’m going to cover as many of these customizations and modes available to the user. Currently, my device is running OOS 10.5.10IN11DA on top of Android 10.

Customization

Keeping in mind the various orientations of users over aesthetics, OOS allows you to choose a variety of GFX options to change the visual appeal of the device which I’ll explain along with screenshots below:

The customization option is available on the front page of the settings menu.

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The main menu displays all the available customization options ranging from a preset theme, of which 3 are available and contain various combinations of customization depending on the theme. These might even help you get started if you’re not looking to tweak everything one by one. Otherwise, you could just select one and change up every option available above.

The accent color option lets you pick from the above colors available. The fonts option provides two variables, which to my eye looked almost the same. You can also switch between light and dark mode from here. I feel all the other options are pretty self-explanatory, so let’s move on to the custom modes available on the device.

Zen Mode and digital well being:

When it was first launched, I applauded OnePlus who recognized the need to introduce this mode. What it basically does is, it locks out the device for 20 minutes where you can only use it to make emergency calls.

Every other function gets blocked. It is aimed to help those addicted to continuously check on their phone to reduce their screen time and phone usage. OnePlus has also introduced a digital well-being section in the settings to help users track their screen on time and application wise usage on a weekly and daily basis.

This menu allows the user to customize a lot of the settings to help them reduce their smartphone usage. There are options to limit daily app time, screen time, and a lot more. As you might notice, my screen time has been off the charts lately crossing 7 hours on a regular basis, so clearly I needed this the most.

Gaming and FNatic mode

As the name suggests, these modes are properly focused on gaming and aimed to enhance the experience of the user by providing various options. To enable, simply launch a game or open the Game Space app pre-installed on the device.

The home screen of gaming mode allows you to navigate between various games and options. Swiping up from bottom allows you to turn on the Fnatic mode for superior CPU and GPU optimization and reveals available customization options.

Tapping in the top right corner allows the user to view and review their gaming statistics.

Other Modes

Other modes include Reading mode, DND, and Night mode. Reading mode tweaks the display of the device to make it more comfortable for long reading sections by eliminating a lot of colors and stressful light frequencies. Night mode eliminates blue light from the display which is supposed to make it easier on the eye while using it at night time or in low light.

Final Thoughts

Even though I covered each and every aspect in as much depth as possible, there still remains one ultimate question unanswered; should you buy the OnePlus 8 Pro?

Let me begin by telling you what’s good with this device. First, it’s the extremely sleek and minimal design paired with a breathtaking satin finish, making it an absolute pleasure to just hold the device.

Second, the cameras have massively taken a jump in terms of both hardware and software capabilities and this does fare to be one of the best in the market.

For people like us who are passionate and keen on getting the best of the best, we don’t mind bearing that small risk. But for the consensus, no one in their right mind would be willing to shed off Rs.60,000/$1000 on a smartphone only to find that they need to get their piece replaced.

Unfortunately, there’s no short answer this time. On paper and in practice, this for me is hands down the most delightful piece of tech I’ve used in a long time. I’m in love with my device. But for you, It all boils down to one thing, are you comfortable with the fair chance that your display might be skewed and you’d have to go through a hassle to get it changed?

The third is that gorgeous fluid display making it an ever so fast and a treat to look at. Fourth, would be OnePlus, Oxygen OS, and the amazing community you get to be a part of. The list can go on and on, but only to be hindered by one little flaw, the risk of having a skewed display panel on your unit.

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So, if you’re willing to shed the bucks and bear the minimal risk, trust me, you won’t be disappointing yourself. If you don’t want to get involved in any sort of hassle, I’ll sadly have to ask to look at some other device, maybe even a 7T which in my opinion, is the current value champion in the market.


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