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OnePlus 8 Pro: Developing a Habit for Shoots [Review]

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The founder and CEO of OnePlus, Pete Lau, said in a press release that the OnePlus 8 series is so far their most “powerful and beautiful” flagship smartphone series. The OnePlus 8 series was launched in 2019, and it includes the OnePlus 8 and their ultra-premium flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 8 Pro.

The OnePlus launched its first smartphone, the OnePlus One, in 2014, and it was received with a moment of silence and slow claps by “tech-savvy” people. Since then, successors of the OnePlus family have always caught attention. Often seen as flagship killers or not-so-expensive smartphones, the company surely created a niche market in the smartphone business, including the OnePlus 8 Pro.

OnePlus 8 Pro

Getting the feel of it

What really draws me to the OnePlus smartphones is the screenshot gesture, battery life, and fast charging. One example is enabling the three-finger screenshot gesture in Quick Gestures. This allows you to swipe three fingers down the screen to take a screenshot when you reach the middle of the screen.

However, the placement of the lock and the volume-down buttons are too close for comfort. More often than not, I end up pressing both the buttons together and accidentally clicking a screenshot. This issue was persistent with the OnePlus 6T. With the OnePlus 8 Pro, it is slightly better but not quite right. Aside from that, I have yet to find a way to turn off the default lock button/volume-down button screenshot shortcut.

OnePlus 8 Pro
The three-finger screenshot gesture
OnePlus 8 Pro
The three-finger screenshot gesture

Despite the problematic power button, the availability of the fingerprint lock and facial recognition functions on the OnePus 8 Pro also means less usage of the power button. It also helps that it has pretty animations to go with it.

The OnePlus 8 Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 865 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF system, enabling a great 5G connectivity and Wi-Fi 6 performance. To optimize the stock Android experience for one-handed usage on large displays, the smartphone is packed with OxygenOS 11. Using the golden ratio to fill in all the white spaces on the display, the company has also refreshed the UI layout. This makes my touch experience on this phone flawless.

Exploring the world through four lenses

The OnePlus 8 Pro comes with the company’s first quad-camera setup to cater to the needs of photographers and videographers: the 48MP main camera, 16MP front camera with Sony sensors, and a color filter camera. This phone is ready to be your great digital companion, allowing you to shoot 4K videos at 30/60 frames per second. The screen is 6.78″ in size and a fluid AMOLED display with 3168 x 1440 pixels resolution.

However, the camera is not the only reason to buy the OnePlus 8 Pro. In fact, I did not even know the camera setting I had until someone a photo of me during a windy day and discovered how good Portrait mode is. Since then, taking pictures and making videos became one of the many things I’ve used this phone for.

OnePlus 8 Pro

The camera bump will be troublesome if you don’t buy a back case. Thankfully, the OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a transparent back cover which is good enough to smoothen the bump on the phone. I also ordered a back case for this phone from OnePlus’s website, but I never got used to its texture that felt like used sandpaper. The phone also comes with a thin plastic screen guard that comes off quickly, but I’m still using it because it doesn’t really bother the experience, even on a curved screen.

As for the Nightscape mode, it does a good job. OnePlus 8 Pro is doing amazingly well in managing the colors. The following shots were clicked on a Diwali night in India, and the low light mode did a good job in capturing the color of the peacock better than it actually looks in reality.

OnePlus 8 Pro OnePlus 8 Pro

The front camera can be found on the top left corner of the phone, which, I feel, is not a bad idea. This way, I don’t have to worry about my finger unknowingly popping up on the screen, which usually happens when the camera is placed in the center. They say “Never Settle,” but I have decided to settle for the OnePlus 8 Pro for a long time.

The final say

There are a few bumps, though, on this phone that I should take note of. For instance, I did not notice this issue in my OnePlus 6T, but the OnePlus 8 Pro hangs a lot when you use Instagram. I am not a heavy user of the app, but for those who are, this phone may annoy them as it is highly noticeable.

Accidental touches on the sides of the curved-screen are unfortunately unavoidable. As I had earlier mentioned, the placement of the power and volume buttons makes it messy when you accidentally click a screenshot. Despite a few bumps on it and still has much room for improvement, I am having a great time with the OnePlus 8 Pro. Overall, this device provides a great flagship smartphone experience and is currently priced at $699.

YouTube: OnePlus 8 Pro Review – The Chinese Flagship Phone Checked Out

Photo credits: The featured image and product shot in the body of the article are owned by OnePlus and have been provided for press usage. All other images have been taken by the author for TechAcute.

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Ujala Chowdhry
Hello, I'm a tech journalist here. I did my bachelors in computer science engineering and masters in journalism. Combining the knowledge gained from both my degrees, I have been able to view many facets of technology at TechAcute. I stay healthy by doing yoga and Indian classical dance forms. I would love to hear from the readers about their interests and the tech that intrigues them. Let me know on my Twitter and Instagram profiles.