Back in April, when most tech companies were postponing new product launches, OnePlus was one of the few to go all-out and launch its 8-series smartphones. With the India price being much lower than the global prices, many people were waiting for these new phones. Ironically, despite being early for the launch, we still have to wait for more than a month before the first sale, as the ongoing pandemic has affected local manufacturing.
OnePlus has currently started selling the OnePlus 8 in small batches, and now that we’ve got our hands on our review device, it’s time to take a closer look. It is the successor to the OnePlus 7T (Review) and is expected to cost a bit more than last year’s model. Unlike the OnePlus 7 (Review) and 7 Pro (Review) series, the OnePlus 8 shares many design cues with the 8 Pro, which is justified considering its starting price is above Rs. 40,000.
Its packaging is quite attractive, which is like the OnePlus 7T series. Inside, you’ll see the standard set of accessories. Some of the stickers look new, and the silicone case now has the letters ‘OnePlus’ in bold. OnePlus still doesn’t provide any headphones in the box.
We were surprised by how light the OnePlus 8 felt when we first picked it up. It’s only 10g lighter than the OnePlus 7T, but it’s quite noticeable. It’s also slim, and the curved glass on the front and back makes it very comfortable to hold. It’s also well balanced for one-handed use. One thing we didn’t like was the pre-applied screen protector. It’s quite irritating as it doesn’t cover the front glass edge-to-edge, and sticks to your finger every time you make a navigation gesture.
All of the phone’s buttons and ports are where you’d expect them to be. There’s no headphone jack, but it’s been a trend on OnePlus devices for a while now. The OnePlus 8 sold in India doesn’t have an official IP rating, though a rubber lining around the SIM tray indicates that it may have some degree of water resistance. Verizon-locked version of OnePlus 8 sold out in the US Claim of IP68 rating.
The overall design may not be that much different from last year’s model, but the big change is in the display. OnePlus has adopted a hole-punch cutout, and the one here looks great. The diameter of the cutout isn’t the smallest we’ve seen, but since it’s hinged in the left corner, it didn’t bother us much.
The display itself is the same size as the OnePlus 7T, which measures 6.55 inches. It is an AMOLED panel with full-HD+ resolution, HDR10+ compatibility, and a refresh rate of 90Hz. OnePlus also brags about the panel’s high color accuracy. From what we’ve seen so far, its display is decidedly bright, with good sunlight penetration and punchy colors. You get a lot of options in the Settings app to change the color as per your choice.
It’s been less than two days since we started using the OnePlus 8 and so far things are looking good. OxygenOS feels fast, apps load very quickly, and we haven’t noticed any heating issues yet. The OnePlus 8 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip, and our test unit is the variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. We’ll be testing a lot of games on this phone, and we’ll have a full report on how well the OnePlus 8 handles stress in our full review.
We haven’t talked about the cameras of this phone yet, but we are expecting a similar performance to the OnePlus 7T. That’s because OnePlus uses more or less the same hardware from that phone in the 8, except for the telephoto camera, which has been swapped out for a macro camera. We’re not too thrilled about this given the limited use case for a macro camera.
OnePlus 8 starts at Rs. 41,999 for the Amazon-exclusive 6GB RAM variant with 128GB storage. There is also an 8GB + 128GB variant at Rs. 44,999, and the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant is priced at Rs. 49,999. The OnePlus 8 will take on Xiaomi’s newly launched Mi 10 5G (Review), Realme X50 Pro 5G (Review), and in a way, Samsung Galaxy S10e (Review) and Apple iPhone XR (Review). Cost around the same.
We’ll be testing the OnePlus 8 more thoroughly in the coming days, so stay tuned for a detailed analysis of its performance, camera quality, and battery life analysis in the full review.
Will OnePlus 8 series be able to compete with iPhone SE (2020), Samsung Galaxy S20 in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts either RSSDownload the episode, or just hit the play button below.