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OnePlus 8 buyer's guide: Everything you need to know

Welcome to your definitive guide with OnePlus 8/Pro information, tips, and resources.

Published onAugust 6, 2021

OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in front of box

OnePlus has been steadily climbing the ranks of the best smartphone makers. While the OnePlus 9 series is now available, the OnePlus 8 series is still well-positioned and the OnePlus 8 Pro remains one of the best high-end phones in the company’s lineup.

In this OnePlus 8 buyer’s guide, we bring together all the best resources on the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. You’ll find purchase advice if you’re just considering buying the OnePlus 8, but also tips and in-depth resources for OnePlus 8 series owners. In short, welcome to your one-stop-shop OnePlus 8 resource.

Editor’s note: This OnePlus 8 buyer’s guide is current as of August 2021. We will update it with new content regularly.

OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro at a glance

OnePlus 8 screen 1
David Imel / Android Authority

The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro were launched on April 14, 2020, and released on April 29 in markets around the world.

The OnePlus 8 (launch price: $699 in the US) is the phone you’ll want if you’re primarily interested in smooth performance on a budget. It lacks some bells and whistles, like a 120Hz display and wireless charging, but it’s one of the most affordable ways to get a Snapdragon 865 processor, 5G, and a high-quality screen.

The OnePlus 8 Pro (launch price: $899 in the US) is the best choice for those who want a true flagship. It gets the fast core specs and smooth interface OnePlus is known for, and it ups the ante with fast wireless charging, water resistance, a super-smooth 120Hz display, and a superior camera. It’s not cheap, but it’s not supposed to be, so OnePlus cut no corners here.

OnePlus 8 Pro

Are the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro worth buying?

OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro backs

With the launch of the OnePlus 9 series, the OnePlus 8 series is now officially “last year’s model.” As such, you might want to check out our buyer’s guide for the latest models instead.

However, the OnePlus 8 series is still filled with good phones. Additionally, it is now easier to find OnePlus 8 phones at a discount. If you don’t mind being a year behind the curve, it’s still worth checking out these devices.

The OnePlus 8 Pro, specifically, would still be a great buy even in 2021. Its specs are still great, its design is still premium, and it still has flagship-quality features like wireless charging and a full IP rating. Granted, the OnePlus 9 Pro is definitely superior, but that phone will also invariably be much more expensive.

Read up: Our full OnePlus 8 Pro review

The vanilla OnePlus 8 is also still a good phone, assuming you can get it at a steep discount. We definitely wouldn’t recommend paying the original list price of $699 for it, as the $729 OnePlus 9 will be superior in many ways. If you can shave a couple of hundred dollars off, though, it would be well worth it.

Read up: Our full OnePlus 8 review

What experts are saying

First, here’s what Android Authority’s David Imel and Eric Zeman had to say about the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 in their respective reviews.

David loved most things about the OnePlus 8 Pro, including that smooth and accurate OLED display, excellent software, versatile cameras, and great battery life. He noted that the phone is still cheaper than the Galaxy S20 Plus or the HUAWEI P40 Pro, while delivering superior performance in some areas. On the downside, the phone doesn’t have true optical zoom and the Color filter camera is a gimmick at best.

Eric thought the cheaper model was “watered down” in our review, but he still found it a very compelling device. If you don’t compare it to the more expensive Pro version, the OnePlus 8 stands on its own, thanks to the great display, gorgeous design, and formidable battery life. The biggest flaw that Eric noted is the camera, which he called “middling.”

What other reviewers from around the web think

To give you the best picture, we looked at what reviewers from other publications had to say about the phones:

  • Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo noted the OnePlus 8 Pro was the best Android flagship on the market at that time, even if “it’s not the slam-dunk value champion that past OnePlus smartphones have been.” Ron loved the display, the mostly stock Android software, and the addition of long-requested features like wireless charging and water resistance.
  • Marques Brownlee of MKBHD checked out the OnePlus 8 and loved its high-refresh display (even if it’s only 90Hz), but found the camera lacking; overall, he thought the $699 OnePlus 8 “is not special anymore.” Meanwhile, Marques said the OnePlus 8 Pro is “a bona fide, complete-feeling flagship” that finally includes a great camera.
  • The Verge’s Dieter Bohn commented on the OnePlus 8 Pro’s price, saying it’s “simultaneously high and low. Nine hundred bucks is a lot for a OnePlus phone, but it’s still less expensive than its direct competition.” Dieter complained about the “huge” size of the device and the addition of the “pointless gimmick” Color filter camera.
  • Wired’s Julian Chokkattu praised the OnePlus 8 Pro’s “fantastic” screen and called the phone’s camera “surprisingly good.” Still, Julian didn’t forget about the elephant in the room — the fact that OnePlus phones used to provide “spectacular value,” which is not the case with the latest generation.

What people like you think of the OnePlus 8 series

OnePlus 8 Pro Android 11 dev preview always on display unlock count
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

We asked our readers how they feel about the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in several polls throughout the launch process. In general, our readers represent die-hard OnePlus fans and Android enthusiasts, so keep that in mind when reading the results.

In a head-to-head poll against the Galaxy S20 Plus, the OnePlus 8 Pro pulled ahead by an impressive 15 percentage points. That’s from 10,000 votes, so quite a large sample.

The OnePlus 8 Pro fared worse against OnePlus’ own 7T, though (from 16,500 votes). Three-quarters of respondents thought last year’s phone is a better deal.

Meanwhile, when asked what score they would assign to the OnePlus 8 Pro, 33% of respondents gave it a five-star rating. Another 29% gave it four stars, and only 6% thought the OnePlus 8 is a terrible, one-star phone.

How good is the OnePlus 8 Pro camera?

OnePlus 8 series cameras 1

Cameras have always been the big weakness of OnePlus devices. That changes with the OnePlus 8 Pro, which we (and other reviewers) found to be really good.

You can read more about it in our OnePlus 8 Pro review, and we also recommend you check out this camera comparison between the OnePlus 8 Pro, the Galaxy S20 Plus, and the HUAWEI P40 Pro. If you just want the conclusion, the OnePlus 8 Pro came in second, behind the more hardware-heavy P40 Pro, but ahead of the Galaxy S20 Plus. That’s a big deal for OnePlus.

One thing we weren’t impressed with is the Color filter camera, which changes the color of objects in the scene to ethereal sepia tones. We called it “little more than a gimmick” in our analysis. It’s quite puzzling why OnePlus opted to include a dedicated camera just for this feature. Please note, that OnePlus eventually nerfed this feature after people figured out how to turn it into a pseudo-x-ray camera (see next section for more).

The standard OnePlus 8 is a bit of a different story — it’s not that good, though it’s certainly useable. Just don’t expect results to match its more expensive brother. Learn more details in our review.

Can the Color filter camera really see through clothes and plastic?

OnePlus 8 Pro Color filter camera 1

A few weeks after the phone’s launch, social media became awash with images taken with the OnePlus 8 Pro’s color filter camera, specifically the Photocrom filter, that revealed the camera can actually see through certain types of materials. These include plastic casings of electronics including TV remotes, Apple TV, Nintendo Switch, game controllers, and more.

More troubling, the camera can also “see” through some thin layers of clothing.

One of the best examples 🤯#OnePlus8Pro Color Filter Camera can see through some plastic
— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) May 13, 2020

Needless to say, this ability is problematic, and OnePlus moved quickly to assuage any privacy fears. The company said it would disable the Photocrom filter via OTA, but only on phones sold in China and running Hydrogen OS. In the rest of the world, OnePlus said it would update the OnePlus 8 Pro in order to tone down this ability. In May, an update for the global variant has actually completely disabled the controversial filter. Now, the main camera uses the filter lens for certain things, but the original idea of the filter is gone.

Does the OnePlus 8 have good battery life?

Both the OnePlus 8 (4,300mAh) and the OnePlus 8 Pro (4,510mAh) have solid battery life, despite their high-refresh-rate screens. Based on our testing, both phones can last about a day and a half of normal use. The smaller phone actually has better battery life, consistently pushing towards one day and three-quarters of use.

While neither model is the best phone around when it comes to batteries, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro have solid battery life. You can also eke out a bit more screen-on time by lowering the refresh rate to 60Hz, which is easy to do from the settings menu.

Check out this article for a more in-depth look at OnePlus 8 Pro’s battery life.

Competition and alternatives

OnePlus 8 Pro 16

In 2020, it was clear the OnePlus 8 Pro targeted the Galaxy S20 Plus and that makes sense — it was the Android flagship to beat. The good news is that it came on top in our comparison with the Galaxy S20 Plus, thanks to the comparable user experience and a similar set of features, offered at a lower price.

When compared to the HUAWEI P40 Pro, the OnePlus device has the clear upper hand thanks to the preloaded Google apps and services. The P40 Pro has the better camera by some margin though.

If you’re in a market where it’s sold, the cheaper realme X50 Pro is a decent OnePlus 8 Pro alternative. It has blazing-fast performance, great build quality, and super-fast 65W charging, though the camera will probably disappoint.

But the biggest competitor to the OnePlus 8 Pro is this year’s OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. Both phones are more expensive than the list prices of the OnePlus 8 series. However, if you were planning on spending $900 on a OnePlus 8 Pro, you’re likely going to be OK spending $1,000 on the superior OnePlus 9 Pro. The 9 Pro is far and away the best camera ever from OnePlus, which is a big deal.

Known OnePlus 8 issues

OnePlus 8 pro green tint
OnePlus Community forums

Relatively few OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro issues have surfaced so far. The biggest one is a problem that causes green tints or black crush artifacts when the screen is set to low brightness. According to OnePlus, the issue is software-related, so it should be fixable through an update. As of the time of the last update, some users still report this green tint issue, and OnePlus says it’s working on the problem.

A minor issue that we spotted in our OnePlus 8 Pro review is a small amount of jittering during multitasking. Given the strong specs, this software-related issue will likely be patched, if it hasn’t been already.

This isn’t a defect per se, but you should know that Verizon-branded OnePlus 8 models are physically different from all the other models. A minor change in the alignment of the buttons means OnePlus 8 cases designed for the unlocked model will not fit the Verizon model properly. You’ll need to look at dedicated cases instead.

In early June, we heard of an issue affecting certain OnePlus 8 Pro units that made it impossible to play Netflix in high resolution. OnePlus acknowledged this issue and fixed it via an OTA update.

For more, check out our roundup of various other OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 issues that have surfaced so far, including some troubleshooting tips.

OnePlus 8 software updates

OnePlus 8 Pro in hand 2

The OnePlus 8 series launched with Android 10. If you bought one now, though, it would have an Android 11 upgrade waiting for you when you first powered it on.

OnePlus used to be known for fast and stable Android updates. However, this reputation has started to slide a bit. Although the OnePlus 8 series is already on Android 11, the OnePlus 7 series took a long time getting there. This could suggest that it will be a while before the OnePlus 8 series gets Android 12, which is right around the corner.

In July 2021, OnePlus announced that it will bring three years of Android upgrades to the OnePlus 8 series. That means there are two upgrades to go: Android 12 and Android 13. We can’t make any promises on how soon you’ll see those upgrades, but OnePlus has promised to deliver them.

OnePlus 8 cases and accessories

OnePlus 8 Pro on warp charge pad 3

If you want to protect your new phone, you’ll want to check out our roundups of the best cases and screen protectors for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. We’ve selected the best products, not just from OnePlus, but also from top third-party manufacturers like Spigen, Dbrand, Ringke, and more.

If you’re interested in original OnePlus accessories, you should check out the Cases & Protection section of the OnePlus store. You’ll find a great variety of quality cases.

You may also want to check out other OnePlus 8/8 Pro accessories, including chargers, cables, and the OnePlus Bullets Z wireless earbuds. If you want more options, here’s a roundup of the best headphones for the series.

Also check out OnePlus’ accessories bundles, which let you shave a few dollars off your purchase.

Finally, if you want fast wireless, you’ll need to pay a bit extra (currently, $69.95 at for the Warp Charge 30 Wireless charger. We tested the Warp Charge 30 charger out, and it’s indeed very fast. The catch is, if you use the OnePlus 8 Pro with any third-party wireless charger, you won’t get the full 30W charging speed.

Which OnePlus 8 version should you get?

OnePlus 8 back pretty colors

The OnePlus 8 Pro is currently available in a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and one with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. If you don’t have high storage requirements (usually for downloading lots of media on your phone), we recommend you pick the 8GB/128GB version, which costs $899. We think 12GB of RAM is overkill in 2021.

Unfortunately, the only way to get the Ultramarine Blue model is to pony up for a 12GB/256GB version.

It’s the same story for the OnePlus 8. The $699 model, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage should be enough for most people. If you want the fancy, but fingerprint-prone, Interstellar Glow colorway, you’ll need to get the 12GB/256GB model for $799.

If you’re in the US on T-Mobile or Verizon, you should check out your carrier deals on the OnePlus 8. Both let you get the phone for cheaper, with some strings attached.

Read: Full details on OnePlus 8’s price and availability

Where to buy the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro




Key OnePlus 8 specs

OnePlus 8 ProOnePlus 8
OnePlus 8 Pro
6.78-inch AMOLED
3,168 x 1,440 (19.8:9)
120Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
3D Corning Gorilla Glass
OnePlus 8
6.55-inch AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 (20:9)
90Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
3D Corning Gorilla Glass
OnePlus 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8 Pro
128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0
OnePlus 8
128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0 2-LANE
OnePlus 8 Pro
48MP, f/1.78, 1.12µm, OIS, EIS
8MP 3x telephoto, f/2.44, 1.0µm, OIS
48MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 119.7°
5MP color filter, f/2.4

16MP, f/2.45, 1.0µm, EIS, fixed focus
OnePlus 8
48MP, f/1.78, 0.8µm, OIS, EIS
2MP macro, f/2.4, 1.75µm
16MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 116°

16MP, f/2.0, 1.0µm, EIS, fixed focus
OnePlus 8 Pro
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
Warp Charge 30 Wireless
OnePlus 8
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
IP Rating
OnePlus 8 Pro
OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8 Pro
Oxygen OS
Android 10
OnePlus 8
Oxygen OS
Android 10
Dimensions and weight
OnePlus 8 Pro
165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm
OnePlus 8
160.2 x 72.9 x 8.0mm

What about OnePlus Nord?

OnePlus Nord N100 in the hand showing the back close up
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

OnePlus unveiled a cheaper device in July of 2020 under the name OnePlus Nord. The phone isn’t as premium as the OnePlus 8, but it still packs quite a punch. It comes with the Snapdragon 765G processor, up to 12GB of RAM, four rear cameras, a big battery with Warp Charge 30T, and 5G support.

The phone costs £379/€399/24,999 rupees, putting it on the low end of the mid-range market. It faces some fierce competition from the Pixel 4a, LG Velvet, and others. OnePlus later released two cheaper models in the same lineup: the Nord N10 and the Nord N100. These phones are much, much cheaper than the OnePlus 8 series, and should not be considered as alternatives for premium shoppers.

Help other readers out

Do you own the OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro? Do you plan to buy them? Then make your voice heard in our polls below and then go ahead and post your own mini-review in the comments!

In general, would you recommend OnePlus phones to a friend?

521 votes

Is the OnePlus 8 Pro a good deal?

477 votes

Is the OnePlus 8 a good deal?

443 votes

Which OnePlus 8/OnePlus 8 Pro version is the better deal?

495 votes

Other frequently asked questions

Q: Is the OnePlus 8 Pro water-resistant?
The OnePlus 8 Pro is rated IP68, so you can safely submerge in water. Read more about IP68 and the limitations of IP ratings here.

Q: Is the OnePlus 8 water-resistant? 
Only the US carrier versions (T-Mobile and Verizon) are rated IP68 for water resistance. Unlocked versions and all international models are not officially water-resistant. It’s likely they could still survive some water contact, but it’s best to avoid it.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 have a headphone jack?
Neither the OnePlus 8 nor the OnePlus 8 Pro features a headphone jack.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 support a memory card?
Neither the OnePlus 8 nor the OnePlus 8 Pro have a microSD card slot.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 support 5G?
Yes, both the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro support sub-6GHz 5G connectivity. However, only Verizon’s OnePlus 8 5G UW supports mmWave spectrum.

Q: Does the OnePlus 8 Pro run at 120Hz at all times?
Yes, unlike other devices, the OnePlus 8 Pro’s display runs at 120Hz at all times. However, you’ll also need the app to be compatible. For example, not all games are optimized for high-refresh-rate screens. Read more 120Hz screens here.

Q: What colors are the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro available in?
A: The OnePlus 8 is available in Glacial Green and Interstellar Glow (color gradient). If you buy it from Verizon, you’ll also be able to get it in Onyx Black and an exclusive Polar Silver. The OnePlus 8 Pro is available in Onyx Black, Glacial Green, and Ultramarine Blue. The Interstellar Glow and Ultramarine Blue are only available on the versions with 12GB of storage. Finally, OnePlus tends to release new color versions a few months after the initial launch, so you might want to wait for that if you don’t like the colors available right now. More details about OnePlus 8 colors here.

Q: Can I play Fortnite at high refresh on the OnePlus 8?
Yes, on May 26, OnePlus announced that both variants will support playing Fortnite at 90Hz.

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