OnePlus started out in life producing ‘flagship killer’ phones for around the £500 mark, and although the recently released OnePlus Nord returned to this strategy, the company’s main handsets now sit firmly in the flagship sector.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is currently their top phone in both price and specification and competes well with the top Samsung and Apple handsets. Although there is a OnePlus 8, this has a smaller screen, three cameras (instead of four) and a smaller battery, as well as costing about £100 less.
Great screen and looks
The Pro has a big 6.78″ Samsung supplied AMOLED screen with, what is now becoming a flagship standard, a 120Hz refresh rate for super-smooth scrolling and graphics. The front looks great with the waterfall edges giving the effect of an edge-to-edge screen with super-thin side bezels, whilst very small top and bottom ones help complete the all-screen appearance.
This has a high 90.8% screen to body ratio, sharp 1440p resolution and 513ppi density. With Gorilla Glass 5 protecting both the front and back, with the back having a matt metal-look finish. It is held together with an aluminium frame and offers IP68 dust and water protection, weighing in at just under 200g.
Class-leading internals but no SD card expansion
The chipset is the latest Snapdragon 865, so supports 5G. This is paired with Android 10 and OnePlus’ own OxygenOS 10. There are two variants available, the entry level has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the top one has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Sadly, like all OnePlus handsets, the Pro does not have a MicroSD card slot and so you cannot expand the storage yourself.
I don’t know if it is space, or some other reason, but I am never quite sure why companies like OnePlus and Apple stubbornly refuse to offer SD card expansion in their phones. It is annoying and looks like they are deliberately trying to get you to buy the higher specified model, whether you want to or not.
Enough of my griping, on with the review. The Pro is equipped with stereo speakers, under-screen optical fingerprint sensor and NFC. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack or infrared sensor though. Finally, the whole thing is powered by a 4510 mAh battery. This comes with 30W fast charging giving you an advertised 50% charge in 30 minutes. Also, a first for OnePlus, this supports wireless charging and reverse wireless charging. Bringing it in line with the top Samsung models.
Good quad array camera setup
Onto cameras and the rear array is a quad one. Three of these are positioned centrally in a black pill-shaped unit, with the other (the telephoto) located separately to the left. These cameras are, a 48MP f/1.8, 25mm wide with omnidirectional PDAF, Laser AF and OIS, 48MP f/2.2, 14mm ultrawide with PDAF, 5MP f/2.4 colour filter camera and the separate telephoto which is an 8MP f/2.4 with PDAF, OIS and 3X optical zoom. This combination produces crisp shots, with great detail and accurate colour reproduction. You can also shoot 4K video with this array at 30/60fps and 1080p video at 30/60/240fps.
On the front is a single selfie camera located in a pin-hole cutout in the top left of the screen. This is 16MP f/2.5 wide unit that will also shoot 1080p videos at 30fps. Both front and rear video shooting is steadied by a gyro EIS to stop wobble in your masterpieces.
The OnePlus Pro is available in Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue and Onyx Black and sells for a similar price as the Samsung S20+, which it matches in both size and features. After years of producing ‘flagship killers’ OnePlus has produced a genuine flagship more than capable of holding its own with the best currently out there.
Is it for you?