OnePlus is a household name in India when it comes to buying premium smartphones on a budget. Even though the 2020 flagships aren't quite as "affordable" as they once used to be, OnePlus has found a way to justify the increase in the cost of ownership. Needless to say, the company with the "Never Settle" attitude has come a long way and the OnePlus 8 series is a testament to its growing commitment to perfection.
OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are easily among the top buying choices for many Indian consumers looking for no-compromise flagship experience without having to spend nearly a lakh. If you're still on the fence whether to buy the OnePlus flagship, here's our review of the OnePlus 8 smartphone.
- Brilliant design
- Great form factor
- Good enough display
- Flawless performance
- Excellent battery
- Affordable price
- Lacks wireless charging
- Old primary sensor and ditches telephoto lens
- Still on 30W fast-charging
OnePlus 8 pricing & availability
OnePlus 8 is available in India for Rs 44,999 for 8GB+128GB configuration and Rs 49,999 for 12GB+256GB model. Buyers can choose from Glacial Green, Onyx Black and Interstellar Glow. The smartphone is available on Amazon India and on the company's official website.
OnePlus 8 Design & Display
OnePlus 8, like previous OnePlus smartphones, continues the legacy of premium design, which not only looks good but feels great too. OnePlus 8 is a lightweight and handy smartphone - which many will find it to be a relief after OnePlus 7 Pro. In fact, take any glass body premium phone and you'll instantly feel the OnePlus 8's design and weight distribution to be a solid advantage.
It has a 3D curved Gorilla Glass 3 wrapped around the phone for a solid grip, but it is also a fingerprint magnet. The black variant we received for review attracts fewer smudges, but you can do away with fingerprint marks by slapping a free "Never Settle" custom silicone case. OnePlus 8 is slightly shorter, lighter and narrower than OnePlus 8 Pro, all of which together make for a huge change.
OnePlus has also stuck to its signature style of vertically-aligned camera lenses in a pill-shaped module in the center. Most of the hardware remains unchanged - from that iconic Alert Slider to USB Type-C port at the bottom and the sharp stereo and earpiece grills. Overall, OnePlus 8 is a delight to look at and its form-factor is addictive.
Complimenting the overall form factor of the OnePlus 8 is its 6.55-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It's smooth, it's vibrant, and doesn't make you feel like you've compromised on something. The punch-hole camera is the first in OnePlus phone and it doesn't get in the way of anything. And the final touch to perfect that display is the integrated fingerprint scanner, which works as great as one would expect from a premium smartphone.
OnePlus 8 Camera
OnePlus 8's camera received mixed reviews based on our testing, but mostly inclined towards the better. It bags, 48MP, f/1.78, OIS, EIS paired with 2MP macro, f/2.4, and 16MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 116-degree FoV triple camera setup.
The camera gets most of the things right - focus, colour, exposure and dynamic range. The results are sharp and crisp in broad daylight and low-light photography isn't disappointing in comparison to older OnePlus phones. The macro shots are something worth digging and the ultra-wide-angle could use some software optimization or distortion correction.
There's no optical zoom, so you'll notice the difference as you zoom past 2x on the OnePlus 8. We'd say try going closer to the subject rather than zooming into it. The portraits are good, but that's no surprise as OnePlus found the sweet spot in the OnePlus 7 series.
Selfie lovers aren't going to be disappointed by the results as the 16MP shooter can get some worthy shots and portraits. Finally, the videos also came out great and we totally loved the 4K Cine mode, which gives a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio to videos.
Overall, OnePlus 8 still lags behind the OnePlus 8 Pro and not entirely a camera phone. But it's a great phone overall, so you wouldn't miss out much on the camera aspects.
Check out some samples below:
OnePlus 8 Performance & Experience
This is where OnePlus phones shine and OnePlus 8 is no different. You can practically throw anything at OnePlus 8 and it will stick. The performance aspect is flawless and the UI is the best there is in the Android realm. OxygenOS keeps getting better by the day and OxygenOS 10.5.3 is formidable. OnePlus chooses the top-of-the-line specs to make sure the overall experience is smooth and lag-free.
From PUBG Mobile to running tens of apps simultaneously, OnePlus 8 can handle it all. In fact, at one point, we went 5 hours straight on a PUBG marathon, and the handset managed the thermals so well, it's just impressive. So if you're fascinated by mobile games, you'll never go back to your old phone after playing them on OnePlus 8. And we are talking about all the high-graphics games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty, not Ludo or Carrom.
The smartphone also supports 5G so you're future-proof. Those who miss the headphone jack can find peace in the Bluetooth 5.1, aptX, aptHD, LDAC and AAC for clear audio.
OnePlus 8 Battery
OnePlus 8 sports a 4,300mAh battery - a huge jump from the 7T's 3,800mAh. But you don't feel it in the weight or width, which is one of the best things. Like performance, OnePlus phones master the battery department and OnePlus 8 easily lasts a day and a half with regular use. The phone can easily deliver 7+ screen-on time, which is brilliant. The usage pattern would be: calls (a lot of IM calls for meetings), messages (WhatsApp mostly), social media (heavy usage), mild gaming (mostly PUBG, sometimes Ludo), browsing and all with either Wi-Fi or 4G. GPS usage was next to nothing as COVID-19 has us all locked down in our homes, but that shouldn't make much difference.
If you're in the habit of charging every night, you'll probably never run out of battery. The 30W fast charger takes about an hour to fully charge the phone, which is no longer unique but still a useful feature to have. But we wish OnePlus had gone faster than 30W on this year's flagships considering there are phones out there doing 65W and even 125W (Oppo).
OnePlus has made sure there are no complaints about the battery aspect of the OnePlus 8.
Who should buy it?
With the OnePlus Nord arrived and OnePlus 8 Pro still out of stock, OnePlus 8 is a sound choice. Nord is not a flagship performing phone like OnePlus 8, so don't think too much if you are not willing to compromise on the performance.
OnePlus 8 has many other advantages like its premium and striking design, excellent battery with fast charging, great Wi-Fi range and Bluetooth connections, vibrant display, promising photographs keep the social media handles busy, and the best user interface there is. Above all, OnePlus has managed to keep the price point that's well-justified for what's on offer.
- The 6GB+128GB model can be bought for Rs 41,999
- The 8GB+128GB model costs Rs 44,999
- The high-end 12GB+256GB variant is priced at Rs 49,999
In conclusion, it's more of a choice between OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro for those who know what they want. OnePlus Nord is a different league and catered towards budget-centric shoppers. And OnePlus hasn't shot itself in the foot by diverting its potential OnePlus 8 buyers to OnePlus Nord.