The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro were two of the worst-kept secrets in the tech world. Pretty much anyone who was paying attention saw the photos and specs that have found their way into the wild over the past few weeks. Much of it was a combination of very well-sourced rumors and quite possibly a few strategically designed leaks.
Today, those rumors became a reality. Of course, I'm not entirely sure how many people were actually paying attention considering everything else happening in the world.
But you should.
Really, you should pay attention for this reason, and probably this reason alone: At $699, the OnePlus 8 is easily the most affordable 5G flagship smartphone you can buy. It's also pretty good. The OnePlus 8 Pro is a little larger and more expensive (starting at $899), but honestly, it's still a pretty good deal. In fact--to cut to the chase--in most of the ways that matter, it's better than the Galaxy S20+, its most comparable competitor.
OnePlus provided me with both models to review, and while I'm definitely still an iPhone guy, if you're in the market for a 5G Android device, both are worth a look.
Let's start with the camera, since that's what made the most news with the Galaxy S20. While the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro don't have the same incredible long-range zoom as the Galaxy S20 Ultra, they both have very good cameras. The OnePlus 8 has three cameras, a standard wide, a 120-degree ultra-wide, and a 3X telephoto.
The standard and ultra-wide feature 48MP sensors, but the 3x zoom gives you only 16MP images, since it really just crops out the center of the sensor. The OnePlus 8 Pro also adds a 5MP color filter camera, which allows you to add color effects while you're shooting.
Still, the cameras are a big improvement over previous OnePlus models, and even as an iPhone user, I admit they're really good. Maybe not quite as space-age as the Galaxy, but plenty usable.
The 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch edge-to-edge display, sporting a 120Hz refresh rate. Here's what that means to you: it's likely the best-looking display you've ever seen on a smartphone. Yes, technically the Samsung S20 series includes the ultra-fast refresh, but somehow the OnePlus actually seems smoother and more natural. Admittedly, that's a pretty subjective assessment, but isn't that why you're reading this?
The OnePlus 8, by the way, is no slouch. It sports a 90 Hz refresh rate on a 6.55-inch display. Honestly, that's a more manageable size, in my opinion, and I couldn't tell the difference in refresh rate.
One last thing I want to say about the display: Both devices include in-screen fingerprint readers, and they actually worked for me. That wasn't the case on other devices I've tested in the past, but on these two it was fast and worked every time. (Come on, Apple, this is so much more convenient than FaceID.)
Only the 8 Pro has wireless charging, but the company has introduced its own wireless charger that delivers 30W of charging power. That's ridiculous, to be honest. For comparison, most fast wireless chargers are 10W. Even Samsung's fast charger is only 15W. This is technically twice as fast, and in my experience, it really feels that way.
This is main the reason you should pay attention to these new phones. They both feature ultra-fast 5G wireless, which means the OnePlus 8 is the most affordable 5G flagship you can get right now. You'll have to sacrifice the wireless charging, but in every other way, it's probably the best deal you can get in an Android device.