A few weeks ago we published our review of the OnePlus 8 Pro concluding that it was an amazing phone but was not cheap, especially after jumping through requisite hoops to get it here. As they did last year, OnePlus has made a slightly cheaper version of the ultra-premium flagship in the OnePlus 8.
The OnePlus 8 is slightly more budget-conscious and as such misses out on some of the trimmings you get when you fork out for an ultra-premium smartphone such as the OnePlus 8 Pro. It seemed fitting that even though we had already given our thoughts on the One Plus 8 Pro that we share our thoughts on the OnePlus 8 even though its specifications are incredibly similar.
What’s in the box for this one?
Although the OnePlus 8 is not *that* much cheaper than the OnePlus 8 Pro OnePlus has omitted the clear protective case from the box. A very unusual decision in my opinion considering basically every other phone in every other price range I have seen include one in the box.
If you want decent protection though OnePlus has some great cases for sale and although they are not cheap that are extremely high quality and fit perfectly. Even with that though they still should have included a basic clear plastic case in the box.
Aside from that though the same Warp Charge 30 is still included in the box along with the same red USB-C cable.
What are the hardware differences from this and the Pro
From the outside the phone is nearly identical. The 8 is slightly smaller than the Pro but it looks the same, just a slightly mini version of the Pro. The display and the rear of the device are curved nearly the same (the Pro has more of a waterfall than a slow curve), both have an in-display fingerprint sensor and they both have a similar vertical camera module. The buttons are all the same as well as you would expect and the much-loved alert slider once again makes an appearance.
So where are the differences? There is really only one you notice while holding the device and with the display off — the slight difference in the rear camera. The Pro has a thicker and longer camera module and has the flash and a fourth camera to the left of the module. The 8 has its flash below the camera module as well.
Inside is where the main differences are — and even then most of them are only slight. The 8 arrives with the same chipset with 5G support, same variations of RAM between the two (8GB or 12GB) and the 8 does NOT have wireless charging which is disappointing but when aiming for a price point something often has to give.
The display on the 8 is a very good display and is a 6.55-inch 90Hz AMOLED 1080P display. While it is advertised as an A+ DisplayMate-rated display there is a world of difference between this display and the one in the Pro — also A+ rated. The Pro display is in a whole other league to this one. When you use them side by side you can certainly see the difference but by itself it is still good.
I do wish OnePlus had gone with the same 2K display that was in the 7 Pro last year as the 2K would make a large difference I suspect — and with a 4300mAh battery the 2K should not have that much of a deleterious effect. Another difference that may affect some purchasers is the lack of an IP rating in the 8 whereas the 8 Pro has an IP68 rating.
|OnePlus 8||OnePlus 8 Pro|
|Display||6.55-inch AMOLED, 2400 x 1080, 402 PPI, 20:9, 90Hz, HDR10+||6.78-inch AMOLED, 3168 x 1440, 513 PPI, 19.8:9, 120Hz, HDR10+|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
|RAM||8/12GB LPDDR4X||8/12GB LPDDR5|
|Storage||128/256GB UFS 3.0||128/256GB UFS 3.0|
|Cameras (rear)||48MP, Sony IMX586, f/1.75, OIS (wide)
16MP, 116°, f/2.2 (ultra-wide)
2MP, f/2.4 (macro)
Up to 4K 60fps video
|48MP, Sony IMX689, f/1.78, OIS (wide)
48MP, 119.7°, f/2.2 (ultra-wide)
8MP, f/2.44 (telephoto)
5MP, f/2.4 (colour filter)
Up to 4K 60fps video
3x hybrid zoom
|Battery||4300mAh, 30W Warp Charge 30T (wired)||4510mAh, 30W Warp Charge 30T (wired), 30W Warp Charge 30 Wireless, reverse wireless charging|
|Dimensions||160.2 x 72.9 x 8.0mm, 180g||165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm, 199g|
|Colour options||Onyx Black, Glacial Green, Interstellar Glow||Onyx Black, Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue|
Table source: Android Police
Software is the same and that is a good thing
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Oxygen OS is THE best Android software skin bar none. Anyone who uses it in its current iteration invariably agrees. OnePlus did not change anything on the 8 from the 8 Pro (aside from the small things associated with the hardware differences such as the higher resolution and refresh rate display).
How do the cameras compare?
The largest noticeable difference in day to day use beside the display between the 8 and the 8 Pro is with the camera. As you can see in the table above, although the 8 still has a triple rear camera it has an older main lens and lacks a telephoto lens. The 8 Pro also has laser focus on the rear camera but the 8 does not.
Although it still has useful lenses you would think that a telephoto lens would be more useful than the macro lens they have decided to go with. Although it is lower specced the 8 still produces some great images.
The photos are a tad less vibrant than those taken with the 8 Pro but they are still far from unacceptable. The quality of the photos is what you would expect from a premium device but not quite at the ultra premium level.
The front-facing camera is exactly the same for the two devices and as you would expect it produces some great selfies.
The night mode with the 8 is not as strong as it is in the 8 Pro but it is still decent.
OnePlus have a large number of accessories you can buy with the OnePlus 8 but the most specific are the cases. OnePlus offer some of the best first-party cases for their smartphones out of every single manufacturer. There is the usual nylon and Karbon cases which fit great and protect the device from bumps and scrapes extremely well.
This year they have brought back the sandstone cases but this time they have expanded from the black to include a cyan and a smokey purple colour. The cyan which we tried out was bright and colourful and added extra grip to the phone with its sandpaper-like surface — be careful though as the case is likely to scratch any displays it rubs against so if you carry two phones be careful how you position them if you carry them in the same pocket. The sandstone cases will set you back US$24.95.
OnePlus has also collaborated with street artist André Saraiva to produce some exclusive OnePlus 8 André Limited Edition Protective Case Street Art cases. The price though is on the expensive side coming in at the same price as the Karbon bumper case at US$39.95 but you get what you pay for (the nylon case is US$34.95).
So which should you buy?
That is the million dollar question isn’t it? There is a price difference between the two flagships from OnePlus and while not insignificant it is close enough to make the decision very difficult.
According to Kogan, who have a large variety of OnePlus 8 SKUs, the OnePlus 8 Pro varies from around the AU$1329 mark up to AU$1649 while the OnePlus 8 is in the AU$1000-1200 range. With the difference basically $300-400, if you can afford it, the price increase is certainly worth it.
For the extra $300 or so you get a much better display and a better rear camera — and the fastest wireless charging on the market (but you will have to buy their wireless charger) and a few other things. If you take a lot of pictures and are able to discern differences in photos such as those above then that price increase should not bother you.
On the other hand if you are ok with a great display with just 1080P rather than a best-in-class display at 1440P and a camera that is decent but not mind lowing then the increase in price is not warranted and you should buy the OnePlus 8. There are not many devices this premium offering such a great user experience at this price (I’ll hazard a guess that none do).
The OnePlus 8 is a great phone, no questions about it, but if your budget can extend a few more dollars to the Pro level then you should buy that — the hardware differences are worth the extra outlay for many. Whichever you choose though you won’t be disappointed.
OnePlus has allowed Ausdroid to hang onto the device to monitor future updates and bug fixes