What do you do when you want the latest OnePlus flagship phone but you don’t want to spend that amount for it? Or, you don’t want many sleepless nights as you have no control over your OCD which will make you keep checking your phone for any display issues on it.
Well, you jump off a cliff.
Or you just buy the Oneplus 8.
So it’s been a month since I have been using the Oneplus 8 and I got its cheapest variant as there was no sense in spending INR3000 or 40USD more for just a 2GB RAM boost. Or it could be that I am just thrifty.
The phone feels well built, and if I compare it to my previous phone which was the Samsung Note 9, I really have no complaints with it. But what was extremely pleasing was the matte finish on its back. The no glass material looks pretty until you put an ugly ass back protective cover as someone has already dropped his phone twice. And no that’s not me. Or maybe.
I got a chance to compare this phone’s camera with the OnePlus 8 pro’s camera and that video has already been published, but during that test, I felt the size of the 8 Pro was too bulky with that cover you are going to put on it. And if you are a biker, you can definitely feel the volume and weight of the phone in your pocket once you are riding. The 8 never felt like it has a smaller screen in my usage.
I mean, of course, bigger is better, for media consumption, but this size too, is perfect even if you like large screen sized phones. Bigger is better is also what she said. You can easily manage it with one hand.
During my usage with the phone so far, the experience has been crazy good. No one on youtube is lying about these OnePlus phones being extremely snappy and fluid. I am a crazy multi-tasker and I expect my phone to behave the same. After coming from Samsung note 9 which had an Exynos processor, the Oneplus 8 and its oxygen OS has taken me down the memory lane of rooting phones back in 2011 or so when the cyanogen mod ROMs and the AOSP ROMs used to give me a similar experience on the Samsung galaxy s2 and then later on phones like the Mi4. God, I have missed this experience so much so that I regret trying other phones over the past few years. But they had better cameras so yeah let’s suddenly talk about them now.
Also because I anyway increase my animation speed to 0.5x in developer settings, keeping it at either 60hz or 90hz didn’t make a huge difference for me. Just open that goddam tap fast – is the motto of my life.
I have already compared the Oneplus 8 to Oneplus 8 pro’s cameras earlier.
But if I have to conclude its performance, I would say that they are good for the price and if you own a phone which is more than 2 years old right now, I’d say you’d be pretty pleased with the cameras of the 8.
The Auto HDR sometimes does this extreme HDR which might be liked by some and might be hated by some.
The videos(starts at 3:04 in the video above) are good in the day time and the low light performance is just above average.
But what’s weird in low light is its nightscape performance. More than often I’d see the normal mode actually taking better pictures than the nightscape mode on the phone. So during low-lit scenarios, I sometimes have to experiment with both. Which is a good experience if you are a mad geek but a casual user won’t love this fiddling so much with the camera app when all you want is a good picture.
But the most awesome night mode is on the Gcam and it works brilliantly and hence I was able to extract more from the cameras in poor lighting. And the wide iso and aperture range in the pro mode for pictures is a bonus too but sadly the video still doesn’t go the pro way. The videos are decent. Remember how much you are paying for the phone and how much you are getting from it. You are not gonna pay over 50000 rupees or 1000 dollars so accept what you are getting. But for me personally, I have no major complaints with the cameras.
So now what else do you expect from your phone? Yeah – PHONE calls. Because it is a phone.
Well, I have had absolutely no issue with any of the calls I have experienced on the phone. Even at some spots in my house where there was almost no reception earlier, I do get some reception now.
The wifi range on the 5 GHz line is excellent and better than any of the phones I have used in the recent past. The range is so good that I have not even connected to the 2.4 GHz line of my wifi yet. Even after standing some good 8 meters from my crappy wi-fi router I do get over 100 mbps of speed which is godsent. Or my ISP sent.
The battery of the phone is 1 of its strong suits. It’s not the bestest one out there, so you need to be satisfied with a range of 5 and half to sometimes 6 and a half hours on the best days. I am a heavy user and I use all kinds of social media apps and read articles and what not – but the phone always provided a solid battery backup. The battery performed similarly on both 60Hz and 90Hz mode. These OS optimizations are smart and they know when to turn it off I guess.
And on top of that, the 30-watt charger charges the phone so rapidly that I have now stopped worrying about the battery more. It feels so much faster out of habit and the fact that my previous phone took 2 and a half hours to completely charge. This is a pure consumer introspect and behavioral changes and I really can’t be more expressive about this change inhabit, a good battery and fast charging combo can provide. It’s of course not as fast as that quick noodle but maybe by the end of 2025, we will see phones charging faster completely than that quick noodle.
Those are the best parts of the phone, apart from some nifty cool features it comes with. Like the dark mode – you have to go so deep inside the settings to change it that OnePlus is snatching the luxury in their Android 11 update. See, this is how companies ruin good things. From Android 11 you can simply toggle the dark mode from the notification bar. That’s no fun.
Ok enough with the sarcasm, the oxygen OS provides you rapid updates because it’s mostly stock android and the derived customization on the phone has been there for years.
The speakers on the phone are loud but not crazily loud. I mean it does the trick of providing a stereo experience but if you are in a moderately noisy room, they can sound a little low. Or wait for winters till they do appear to be extremely loud with that fan and AC switched off. (Sample in the video)
The face unlock is so fast that I now miss seeing my lock screen wallpaper. I spent time in applying it and now I can’t see it. Sigh.
The fingerprint is extremely fast too but on rare occasions, I have seen me try more than once to get it right. But that really happened on extremely rare occasions.
The earpiece quality for taking calls is pretty amazing too. Also, this trick of the default launcher of renaming a new folder by guesswork is pretty cool when you add apps from the same category together. The live caption feature was a pleasant surprise too. I didn’t know you can do on Oneplus phones too. It worked quite accurately and I was happy with the fact that it was so easily accessible too.
And I really dig this sweet feature of holding the fingerprint sensor and then it showing you these 4-5 apps for quick access without moving your finger. Because you anyway move your finger a lot. FOR USING THE GODDAM PHONE YOU DIRTY MINDED HUMAN.
And these little cute animations, like flight mode, looked good and reminded me of something I will not be able to do happily for a long long time here.
Wow, does this review sound like a Oneplus fanboy onesided blind review? Hahaha. Some of these might sound like extreme nitpicking but here I go.
So a few things which I didn’t like on the phone were like why can’t I make folders in the app drawer. And I am too lazy to put a new launcher and do all that extra work. How about no.
And I don’t know if it was something I did during the first startup boot, but there were few multiple apps on the phone like file manager from Oneplus and another file manager from google and then I love google files so I installed google files too, and voila we have the largest file manager phone server ever made.
Also, I would have loved it if I could remove this useless google play music and tv which I have never used in this life term so far.
And by default, you might see this really bad looking clock on your phone’s screen which will reduce your phone’s worth by at least 100 us dollars. So change it quickly before the value depreciates even more.
The default widget scale of the weather was quite annoying. It has this extra margins which nobody asked for but ya it is going to stay there in your face.
So people love gestures. And I don’t. But I thought why not give them a try and I enabled it thinking I would get more screen space. But what the fish – it still stays the same – SO WHAT’S THE POINT OF GESTURES. They take more time and latency to perform a similar action.
Oh and because of constantly working from home – I have so far hardly ever used these volume rocker keys which everyone says oh are so good that they can’t really stop saying about that in every single video they put up about Oneplus.
The phone has sometimes acted weirdly with WhatsApp. I had to force stop it a few times actually. So hoping whatever hidden or less known bug this is, it will get fixed in the next update. And it has sometimes hung on the lock screen too and I had to turn it on and off a couple of times and that fixes it.
If you think that’s it then no. A couple of weird things happened too. The cloud storage of OnePlus is so damn slow that even the snails denied competing with it. I mean a 5 MB file from their servers were showing 20 mins to download. So I canceled the download, installed Onedrive, and took my file from there. All that took me 5 mins, including the login time.
But then when I had made sure to choose that I want my original files on my phone, the cloud storage somehow entirely ignored it and when I was transferring these files to one drive – it asked if I want to transfer the original photos or the HD ones. GIVE ME MY ORIGINAL PICTURES BACK. So I made sure to save them on the phone and tick off pictures from the backup. And if it’s not clear enough by now – I am asking you to just avoid the Oneplus cloud storage backup feature.
So overall I dig the investment I made on this phone and I just love how snappy the oxygen OS is. Will I recommend the phone – hell yeah. In my opinion, it is a true value for money device right now and future-proofed too whenever that 5G comes here. And if you are waiting for the 8T then you can, but I suspect it will cost marginally more than the Oneplus 8.
Hope you enjoyed reading this. That’s all for today. MuBot out.