OnePlus 8: there is a taste of unfinished business
Coronavirus or not, OnePlus sticks to its calendar and launches the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. The price increase attests to this, the manufacturer wants to rub against market references. A daring bet, but not impossible. Does OnePlus manage to make us forget Apple, Samsung and others? First elements of response with my test of the OnePlus 8.
Seven years is the age of reason. But it is also that of OnePlus. In a few years, the Chinese manufacturer has built such a reputation that it now occupies fourth place in the ranking of the largest manufacturers of premium smartphones in the world (more than 700 euros).
After a convincing 2019, the one that some perceive as a challenger was expected at the turn. In 2020, the brand’s objective is clear: to come and rub shoulders with the three tenors Samsung, Apple and Huawei. First indicator of this ambition: the price increase of OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro (our test by Vincent) unveiled on April 14, 2020. Over 100 euros for the first, almost 150 euros for the second, the bill is starting to be salty.
OnePlus 8 design and screen
Could OnePlus have taken criticism of the 7T wrong ? The brand admits half-word and swaps the round photo module (bold but far from unanimous) against a more classic vertical format already used on the OnePlus 7. It’s a shame, I was one of the followers of this module if original. From the back, the OnePlus 8 therefore looks like two drops of water to the OnePlus 7. That said, it does not affect my test of the OnePlus 8 in any way.
Same rounded lines, same dimensions (to within a few tenths of a millimeter), same weight (to within 2 g), the new kid is not really distinguished by its aesthetics. At first glance, only the new Interstellar Glow and Glacial Green colors (our particularly attractive OnePlus 8 test model) distinguish a OnePlus 8 from the previous OnePlus 7.
OnePlus seems to have concentrated its efforts on the screen of the OnePlus 8. Besides, from the front, you will observe at the first glance the replacement of the notch drop of water by a small punch placed in the upper corner left.
Unlike the 7T, the manufacturer opts for a slightly curved slab which plunges towards the edges. This choice has two advantages and a disadvantage. The curved panel gives the OnePlus 8 in test the appearance of resolutely high-end smartphones and makes handling easier. On the other hand, involuntary touches are more recurrent which can sometimes become annoying. This is a personal feeling, so I advise you to try the smartphone (in stores for example) to make your own opinion.
The OnePlus 8 inherits a 6.55-inch AMOLED Fluid Display panel in 20: 9 format HDR10 + compatible with a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a Full HD + definition. OnePlus promises a higher contrast ratio, more “precise” colorimetry and better brightness.
The screens of previous models already shone by their accuracy, that of the OnePlus 8 improves further and reaches the level of a 7T Pro. If Samsung remains master in the field, OnePlus can claim to be one of the new benchmarks on the market. The refresh rate of 90 HZ brings more fluidity (less than a 120 Hz panel, of course) and better everyday comfort. Difficult to do without after having tasted it.
Nothing new in the tropics, OnePlus continues to offer the most powerful smartphones on the market. On this ground, the manufacturer does not distinguish between its two models, the OnePlus 8 has exactly the same components as the version 8 Pro. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chip comes with the 5G X55 processor, an Adreno 650 graphics chip, 8 to 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128 to 256 GB of UFS 3.0 memory. My test model has the most powerful configuration (12 GB / 256 GB). Note that the OnePlus 8 also incorporates WiFi 6 connectivity, “up to 2.7 times faster than WiFi 5”, assures the brand.
Unsurprisingly, the results on the various benchmarks reach new heights with this OnePlus 8. This translates daily into smooth, fast navigation without any hitch. The most demanding players will find their happiness since OnePlus is once again based on a “game mode” which boosts performance and gives access to various customization parameters. If for you a smartphone is above all a working tool, the OnePlus 8 should satisfy you.
The large bowl of Oxygen (OS)
From the start of its adventure, OnePlus has relied on software to distinguish itself from the competition. By involving its community, the manufacturer is undoubtedly among the most attentive to its users. Today, Oxygen OS logically stands out as one of the best version of Android, if not the best.
The OnePlus 8 therefore inherits the latest version of the software (based on Android 10) which remains faithful to the OnePlus philosophy. With its light, fast interface, its new animations and transitions, Oxygen OS takes a breath of fresh air (pun intended).
Among the main new features that I could discover in this test of the OnePlus 8, I particularly appreciate the new dark mode (compatible with more applications) or the dynamic wallpapers (watch out for the battery). Gesture navigation is still just as effective (special mention when opening the notification bar from anywhere on the screen) while the fingerprint reader placed under the screen glass becomes more responsive.
On the autonomy side, OnePlus is historically among the good students – and I could see it during this test. If the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro did not reach the two days of continuous use, this OnePlus 8 revives the performance of yesteryear. Supported by a 4300 mAh battery (13% more than the 7T), it easily takes two days for versatile use with a screen refresh rate of 90 Hz. Allow just over a day and a half if you are part of the binge watchers or chain the kills on Call of Duty Mobile.
The OnePlus 8 inherits the Warp Charge 30T fast recharge launched in 2019 with the 7T and 7T Pro. The manufacturer promises to recharge the battery from 1 to 50% in 22 minutes. I was able to check these scores with a charging time of between 16 and 25 minutes depending on the day. A full recharge takes less than an hour – very much convinced by this part of my test of the OnePlus 8.
Some will say that rapid recharges test the batteries. To get around this problem, OnePlus offers Smart Charging , a software optimization that promises to extend battery life. Artificial intelligence analyzes your usage habits and optimizes charging accordingly. For example, if you charge your phone every night, the OnePlus 8 battery will stop running out of energy a few minutes before you wake up. Then the system will authorize a final boost to reach 100%.
Photography poses considerable challenges for OnePlus for two reasons. Firstly, to rub shoulders with premium models, you have to offer a photo quality worthy of the best. And we have all seen the good news from Apple, Samsung and more recently Huawei. Then because a price increase must also be justified by better photo quality.
If like its competitors OnePlus has put the package on the Pro version, the OnePlus 8 must also perform on this ground. Here are the details of the composition of the triple module located at the back of the device:
- a wide angle lens: 26mm, f / 1.75; 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor (0.8 µm photosite); 6 lenses (against 7 on the 7T); PDAF, OIS
- an ultra wide-angle lens: 17 mm, f / 2.2; 16 mpxls sensor (field of view of 116); PDAF, OIS
- a macro objective: f / 2.4; 2 megapixel sensor (1.75 µm photosite); no optical stabilization
this OnePlus 8 leaves an unfinished aftertaste. For 100 euros more compared to its predecessor (justified by the integration of 5G) I would have liked to take advantage of wireless charging or enjoy a more efficient camera. Especially since in a few weeks, the excellent Galaxy S20 + from Samsung will be available at the same price. In wanting to rub shoulders with the biggest, OnePlus had to be flawless.