OnePlus 8 buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know

Welcome to your definitive guide with OnePlus 8/Pro information, tips, and resources.

OnePlus has been steadily climbing the ranks of the best smartphone makers. While the OnePlus 8T is now available, the OnePlus 8 series is still exceptionally well positioned and the OnePlus 8 Pro remains the highest end model in the OnePlus lineup.

In this OnePlus 8 buyer’s guide, we bring together all the best resources on the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. You’ll find purchase advice if you’re just considering buying the OnePlus 8, but also tips and in-depth resources for OnePlus 8 series owners. In short, welcome to your one-stop-shop OnePlus 8 resource.

Editor’s note: This OnePlus 8 buyer’s guide is current as of January 2021. We will update it with new content regularly.

OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro at a glance

OnePlus 8 screen 1

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority

The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro were launched on April 14, 2020 and released on April 29 in markets from around the world.

The OnePlus 8 (launch price: $699 in the US) is the phone you’ll want if you’re primarily interested in smooth performance on a budget. It lacks some bells and whistles, like a 120Hz display and wireless charging, but it’s one of the most affordable ways to get a Snapdragon 865 processor, 5G, and a high-quality screen.


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The OnePlus 8 Pro (launch price: $899 in the US) is the best choice for those who want a true flagship in 2020. It gets the fast core specs and smooth interface OnePlus is known for, and it ups the ante with fast wireless charging, water resistance, a super-smooth 120Hz display, and a superior camera. It’s not cheap, but it’s not supposed to be, so OnePlus cut no corners here.


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Read more: OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 8: Which one should you buy?

Are the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro worth buying?

OnePlus 8 back upright in chair

As always, only you can make that call, but we think you should definitely consider the OnePlus 8 series.

If you’re coming from an older OnePlus phone, you may find the new OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro expensive. Here’s the thing though: A lot of phones this year are more expensive than their predecessors. That’s the cost we need to pay for a fast, 5G-enabled phone in 2020. In other words, there are not a lot of alternatives.

Learn more: OnePlus buyer’s guide: Everything you need to know about the brand

If you can’t stomach the price of the OnePlus 8 series, you can look at the OnePlus 7T, which now costs only $499. It’s less than a year old and will give you a very similar experience. We asked our readers about it, and out of 16,500 votes, a whopping 75% think the OnePlus 7T is a better deal than the OnePlus 8 series.

But if your budget does allow it, the OnePlus 8/8 Pro phones are definitely great choices, especially since they are cheaper than competitors with similar features. They’re also frequently available at a discounted price now that they’ve been superseded by the OnePlus 8T.

What experts are saying

First, here’s what Android Authority’s David Imel and Eric Zeman had to say about the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 in their respective reviews.

David loved most things about the OnePlus 8 Pro, including that smooth and accurate OLED display, excellent software, versatile cameras, and great battery life. He noted that the phone is still cheaper than the Galaxy S20 Plus or the Huawei P40 Pro, while delivering superior performance in some areas. On the downside, the phone doesn’t have true optical zoom and the Color filter camera is a gimmick at best.

Eric thought the cheaper model was “watered down” in our review, but he still found it a very compelling device. If you don’t compare it to the more expensive Pro version, the OnePlus 8 stands on its own, thanks to the great display, gorgeous design, and formidable battery life. The biggest flaw that Eric noted is the camera, which he called “middling.”

What other reviewers from around the web think

To give you the best picture, we looked at what reviewers from other publications had to say about the phones:

  • Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo noted the OnePlus 8 Pro is the best Android flagship on the market right now, even if “it’s not the slam-dunk value champion that past OnePlus smartphones have been.” Ron loved the display, the mostly stock Android software, and addition of long-requested features like wireless charging and water resistance.
  • Marques Brownlee of MKBHD checked out the OnePlus 8 and loved its high-refresh display (even if it’s only 90Hz), but found the camera lacking; overall, he thought the $699 OnePlus 8 “is not special anymore.” Meanwhile, Marques said the OnePlus 8 Pro is “a bona fide, complete-feeling flagship” that finally includes a great camera. Not to mention, it’s his new daily driver.
  • The Verge’s Dieter Bohn commented on the OnePlus 8 Pro’s price, saying it’s “simultaneously high and low. Nine hundred bucks is a lot for a OnePlus phone, but it’s still less expensive than its direct competition.” Dieter complained about the “huge” size of the device and the addition of the “pointless gimmick” Color filter camera.
  • Wired’s Julian Chokkattu praised the OnePlus 8 Pro’s “fantastic” screen and called the phone’s camera “surprisingly good.” Still, Julian didn’t forget about the elephant in the room – the fact that OnePlus phones used to provide “spectacular value,” which is not the case with the latest generation.

What people like you think of the OnePlus 8 series

OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 8 backs

We asked our readers how they feel about the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in several polls throughout the launch process. In general, our readers represent die-hard OnePlus fans and Android enthusiasts, so keep that in mind when reading the results.

In a head-to-head poll against the Galaxy S20 Plus, the OnePlus 8 Pro pulled ahead by an impressive 15%. That’s from 10,000 votes, so quite a large sample.

The OnePlus 8 Pro fared worse against OnePlus’ own 7T, though (from 16,500 votes). Three quarters of respondents thought last year’s phone is a better deal.

Meanwhile, when asked what score they would assign to the OnePlus 8 Pro, 33% of respondents gave it a five-star rating. Another 29% gave it four stars, and only 6% thought the OnePlus 8 is a terrible, one-star phone.

How good is the OnePlus 8 Pro camera?

OnePlus 8 series cameras 1

Cameras have always been the big weakness of OnePlus devices. That changes with the OnePlus 8 Pro, which we (and other reviewers) found to be really good.

You can read more about it in our OnePlus 8 Pro review, and we also recommend you check out this camera comparison between the OnePlus 8 Pro, the Galaxy S20 Plus, and the Huawei P40 Pro. If you just want the conclusion, the OnePlus 8 Pro came in second, behind the more hardware-heavy P40 Pro, but ahead of the Galaxy S20 Plus. That’s a big deal for OnePlus.

One thing we weren’t impressed with is the Color filter camera, which changes the color of objects in the scene to ethereal sepia tones. We called it “little more than a gimmick” in our analysis. It’s quite puzzling why OnePlus opted to include a dedicated camera just for this feature.

The standard OnePlus 8 is a bit of a different story – it’s not that good, though it’s certainly useable. Just don’t expect results to match its more expensive brother. Learn more details in our review.

Can the Color filter camera really see through clothes and plastic?

OnePlus 8 Pro Color filter camera 1

A few weeks after the phone’s launch, social media became awash with images taken with the OnePlus 8 Pro’ Color filter camera, specifically the Photocrom filter, that revealed the camera can actually see through certain types of materials. These include plastic casings of electronics including TV remotes, Apple TV, Nintendo Switch, game controllers, and more.

More troubling, the camera can also “see” through some thin layers of clothing.

Needless to say, this ability is problematic and OnePlus moved quickly to assuage any privacy fears. The company said it would disable the Photocrom filter via OTA, but only on phones sold in China and running Hydrogen OS. In the rest of the world, OnePlus said it would update the OnePlus 8 Pro in order to tone down this ability. In May, an update for the global variant has actually completely disabled the controversial filter, but the feature was brought back in June.

Does the OnePlus 8 have good battery life?

Both the OnePlus 8 (4,300mAh) and the OnePlus 8 Pro (4,510mAh) have solid battery life, despite their high-refresh rate screens. Based on our testing, both phones can last about a day and a half of normal use. The smaller phone actually has better battery life, consistently pushing towards one day and three-quarters of use.

While neither model is the best phone around when it comes to batteries, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro have solid battery life. You can also eek out a bit more screen on time by lowering the refresh rate to 60Hz, which is easy to do from the settings menu.

Check out this article for a more in-depth look at OnePlus 8 Pro’s battery life.

Competition and alternatives

OnePlus 8 Pro 16

It’s clear the OnePlus 8 Pro targets the Galaxy S20 Plus and that makes sense – it’s the Android flagship to beat. The good news is that it came on top in our comparison with the Galaxy S20 Plus, thanks to the comparable user experience and a similar set of features, offered at a lower price.

When compared to the Huawei P40 Pro, the OnePlus device has the clear upper hand thanks to the preloaded Google apps and services. The P40 Pro has the better camera by some margin though.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is the same price as the LG V60. If the price is one of your main concerns, you won’t get a better bang for your buck with these two devices. The V60 offers a headphone jack and quad-DAC audio, a microSD slot, and a bigger battery, at the cost of clunkier software.

If you’re in a market where it’s sold, the cheaper Realme X50 Pro is a decent OnePlus 8 Pro alternative – it has blazing-fast performance, great build quality, and super-fast 65W charging, though the camera will probably disappoint.

But the biggest competitor to the OnePlus 8 Pro is last year’s batch of OnePlus phones. We checked out the OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 7T. The older phones might offer better value for money, but you can’t argue with the addition of features like wireless charging and water resistance.

Other alternatives: These 6 flagship killers are the best alternatives to the OnePlus 8 series

Moving on to the cheaper model, the OnePlus 8 is a bit trickier. The value for money is less clear, simply because there are not a lot of phones in this price range to compare it with. Besides OnePlus’ older devices, you could check out other phones released last year, that can be now had for much cheaper, including the Galaxy S10 series, the Huawei P30 Pro, and the LG G8X.

Known OnePlus 8 issues

OnePlus 8 pro green tint

OnePlus Community forums

Relatively few OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro issues have surfaced so far. The biggest one is a problem that causes green tints or black crush artefacts when the screen is set to low brightness. According to OnePlus, the issue is software-related, so it should be fixable through an update. As of the time of the last update, some users still report this green tint issue, and OnePlus says it’s working on the problem.

A minor issue that we spotted in our OnePlus 8 Pro review is a small amount of jittering during multitasking. Given the strong specs, this software-related issue will likely be patched, if it hasn’t been already.

This isn’t a defect per se, but you should know that Verizon-branded OnePlus 8 models are physically different from all the other models. A minor change in the alignment of the buttons means OnePlus 8 cases designed for the unlocked model will not fit the Verizon model properly. You’ll need to look at dedicated cases instead.

In early June, we heard of an issue affecting certain OnePlus 8 Pro units that made it impossible to play Netflix in high resolution. OnePlus acknowledged this issue and said it would fix it via OTA.

For more, check out our roundup of various other OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 issues that have surfaced so far, including some troubleshooting tips.

OnePlus 8 software updates

OnePlus 8 Pro in hand 2

OnePlus is known for frequent and regular Android updates. We don’t expect that to change with the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, which have already received several updates since their launch. The updates added Google’s Live Caption feature, improved system stability, and brought other optimizations.

In terms of long-term updates, we expect that the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will receive the Android 11 update sometime in September 2020 and Android 12 in 2021. OnePlus has already put out a beta of Android 11, though it has quite a few issues.

Read: OnePlus teases exciting new features coming to Oxygen OS

OnePlus could do better when it comes to security patches – the company currently releases security patches every other month, as opposed to monthly like other manufacturers. It’s not a huge issue, but this is a true flagship now, so we expect the best.

OnePlus 8 cases and accessories

OnePlus 8 Pro on warp charge pad 3

If you want to protect your new phone, you’ll want to check out our roundups of the best cases and screen protectors for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. We’ve selected the best products, not just from OnePlus, but also from top third-party manufacturers like Spigen, Dbrand, Ringke, and more.

If you’re interested in original OnePlus accessories, you should check out the Cases & Protection section of the OnePlus store. You’ll find a great variety of quality cases.

Note that that the Verizon model is slightly different from other versions, meaning you’ll need to buy a special case for it.

You may also want to check out other OnePlus 8/8 Pro accessories, including chargers, cables, and the OnePlus Bullets Z wireless earbuds. If you want more options, here’s a roundup of the best headphones for the series.

Also check out OnePlus’ accessories bundles, which let you shave a few dollars off your purchase.

Finally, if you want fast wireless, you’ll need to pay a bit extra (currently, $69.95 at OnePlus.com) for the Warp Charge 30 Wireless charger. We tested the Warp Charge 30 charger out, and it’s indeed very fast. The catch is, if you use the OnePlus 8 Pro with any third-party wireless charger, you won’t get the full 30W charging speed.

Other frequently asked questions

Q: Is the OnePlus 8 Pro water resistant?
A:
The OnePlus 8 Pro is rated IP68, so you can safely submerge in water. Read more about IP68 and the limitations of IP ratings here.

Q: Is the OnePlus 8 water resistant? 
A:
Only the US carrier versions (T-Mobile and Verizon) are rated IP68 for water resistance. Unlocked versions and all international models are not officially water resistant. It’s likely they could still survive some water contact, but it’s best to avoid it.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 have a headphone jack?
A:
Neither the OnePlus 8 nor the OnePlus 8 Pro features a headphone jack.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 support a memory card?
A:
Neither the OnePlus 8 nor the OnePlus 8 Pro have a microSD card slot.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 support 5G?
A:
Yes, both the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro support sub-6GHz 5G connectivity. However, only Verizon’s OnePlus 8 5G UW supports mmWave spectrum.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 Pro run at 120Hz at all times?
A:
Yes, unlike other devices, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s display runs at 120Hz at all times. However, you’ll also need the app to be compatible. For example, not all games are optimized for high-refresh-rate screens. Read more 120Hz screens here.

Q: What colors are the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro available in?
A: The OnePlus 8 is available in Glacial Green and Interstellar Glow (color gradient). If you buy it from Verizon, you’ll also be able to get it in Onyx Black and an exclusive Polar Silver. The OnePlus 8 Pro is available in Onyx Black, Glacial Green, and Ultramarine Blue. The Interstellar Glow and Ultramarine Blue are only available on the versions with 12GB of storage. Finally, OnePlus tends to release new color versions a few months after the initial launch, so you might want to wait for that if you don’t like the colors available right now. More details about OnePlus 8 colors here.

Q: Can I play Fortnite at high refresh on the OnePlus 8?
A:
Yes, on May 26, OnePlus announced that both variants will support playing Fortnite at 90Hz.

Which OnePlus 8 version should you get?

OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro backs

The OnePlus 8 Pro is currently available in a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and one with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. If you don’t have high storage requirements (usually for downloading lots of media on your phone), we recommend you pick the 8GB/128GB version, which costs $899. We think 12GB of RAM is overkill in 2020.

Unfortunately, the only way to get the Ultramarine Blue model is to pony up for a 12GB/256GB version.

It’s the same story for the OnePlus 8. The $699 model, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage should be enough for most people. If you want the fancy, but fingerprint-prone, Interstellar Glow colorway, you’ll need to get the 12GB/256GB model for $799.

If you’re in the US on T-Mobile or Verizon, you should check out your carrier deals on the OnePlus 8. Both let you get the phone for cheaper, with some strings attached.

Read: Full details on OnePlus 8’s price and availability

Where to buy the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro

USA

UK

India

Key OnePlus 8 specs

  OnePlus 8 Pro OnePlus 8
Display 6.78-inch AMOLED
3,168 x 1,440 (19.8:9)
120Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
3D Corning Gorilla Glass
6.55-inch AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 (20:9)
90Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
3D Corning Gorilla Glass
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM 8GB / 12GB LPDDR5 8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0 2-LANE
Cameras Rear:
48MP, f/1.78, 1.12µm, OIS, EIS
8MP 3x telephoto, f/2.44, 1.0µm, OIS
48MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 119.7°
5MP color filter, f/2.4

Front:
16MP, f/2.45, 1.0µm, EIS, fixed focus

Rear:
48MP, f/1.78, 0.8µm, OIS, EIS
2MP macro, f/2.4, 1.75µm
16MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 116°

Front:
16MP, f/2.0, 1.0µm, EIS, fixed focus

Battery 4,510mAh
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
Warp Charge 30 Wireless
4,300mAh
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
IP Rating IP68 None
Software Oxygen OS
Android 10
Oxygen OS
Android 10
Dimensions and weight 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm
199g
160.2 x 72.9 x 8.0mm
180g

What about OnePlus Nord?

OnePlus Nord N100 in the hand showing the back close up

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

OnePlus unveiled a cheaper device in July of 2020 under the name OnePlus Nord. The phone isn’t as premium as the OnePlus 8, but it still packs quite a punch. It comes with the Snapdragon 765G processor, up to 12GB of RAM, four rear cameras, a big battery with Warp Charge 30T, and 5G support.

That said, significant concessions were made when compared to the more expensive OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. The camera is notably worse, and there’s no headphone jack or microSD card support.

The phone costs £379/€399/24,999 rupees, putting it on the low end of the mid-range market. It faces some fierce competition from the Pixel 4a, LG Velvet, and others. OnePlus later released two cheaper models in the same lineup: the Nord N10 and the Nord N100.

More OnePlus 8 coverage

Help other readers out

Do you own the OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro? Do you plan to buy them? Then make your voice heard in our polls below and then go ahead and post your own mini-review in the comments!

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