Written by Cheryl Tan
Let’s be real, OnePlus has been moving away from their “flagship killer” motto the past few iterations, but their newest offerings, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, truly puts that to rest. With a new motto, “Never Settle”, and a price to match, let’s take a look at the smaller brother to see if it’s worth that starting price of S$998.
The OnePlus 8 comes in a few variants, you get to choose between 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and they come with 128GB or 256GB of UFS 3.0 internal storage respectively. The unit we tested was the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage option and at S$1,098, I think it’s still great value for money when comparing the specs.
The phone runs on a Snapdragon 865 processor, which is the flagship chip for 2020 and means that performance is buttery smooth, thanks to the 90Hz screen refresh rate. Web scrolling is an absolute pleasure, and applications open in a flash with the phone never slowing down.
The screen boasts a 6.55″, 2400 x 1080p AMOLED display that supports sRGB and DCI-P3 colour. And of course, the OnePlus 8 runs on the company’s OxygenOS based on Android 10.
We got the Glacial Green colour and it’s absolutely stunning. A satin-like finish on the frosted glass back, it shifts colour from a light green to teal, and even darker blue at times. It definitely doesn’t show in the photos, but it’s a beautiful frosty green in real life.
You get the volume rocker on the left of the phone, the power button on the right and above the power button, there’s also the Alert Slider that toggles between setting the phone to Silent, Vibrate or Ring.
There’s a very narrow physical speaker at the top which is great for watching videos since that means you get stereo sound. I found the phone’s speakers decent for conference calls and the likes. The sound quality while watching movies and shows were equally decent, but not the best you can get.
The one quibble I have with the phone is the cameras. It’s been a recurring problem with OnePlus phones, but the difference becomes really stark when comparing to other flagship phones in 2020.
The phone runs a 48MP main lens, a 2MP macro lens and a 16MP wide-angle lens. And I have to say I’m immensely disappointed in some of the photos coming out of this phone. Overall, photos from the main and wide-angle lenses are decent, but the photos from the macro lens are horrible.
Smudged and blurry, I recommend using the 2x zoom on the main photo mode to get passable close-up shots instead of the macro mode.
Battery life is surprisingly fantastic. Despite only having a 4,300mAh battery inside, there’s OnePlus’ 30W Warp Charge, and the charger actually comes included in the box which is nice. I’m able to go 1.5 days on a full charge, which includes a 30-minute video conference call in the mornings, along with moderate usage and web browsing during the day.
If I video call others for a couple of hours in the evenings, the phone will last a full day and need to be charged at night, which is reasonable.
To keep the phone below S$1000, there have been some tradeoffs made. The OnePlus 8 doesn’t have wireless charging and there’s no IP rating either, both of which the OnePlus 8 Pro has. The OnePlus 8 Pro also has a 120Hz refresh rate and a higher resolution display, a quad-lens camera set up, bigger battery and LPDDR5 RAM instead.
You do get 5G with this phone though, which means it’s relatively futureproofed. All the other specs are all excellent and definitely makes this phone a recommended buy, as long as you aren’t big on smartphone photography because that’s the one big letdown.
The OnePlus 8 (starting at S$998) is now on pre-order until 7 May, and will be available exclusively on Lazada until 22 May. Preorder customers will receive a free cyan bumper case, black nylon bumper case as well as OnePlus’ upcoming Bullets Wireless Z earphones.