While most 2020 flagships hype up their camera more than any other feature, the OnePlus 8 Pro is a phone that values display quality above all else.
Building on the foundation on the OnePlus 7 Pro – a phone that bought a fast 90Hz to the mainstream – the OnePlus 8 Pro ramps things up to the next level. It matches the even quicker 120Hz refresh rate we saw on the Galaxy S20 but removes the need for the resolution to be dialled down to 1080p for it to work.
You’ve also got full HDR 10+ support, a specific mode to display the P3 colour gamut which is used to master films and brightness levels that OnePlus says peak at 1300 nits. I’ve been using the phone for the past week, and even though the lack of the pop-up camera from the OnePlus 7 Pro means you don’t have that full-screen display, this is still a stunning panel that ticks all the boxes – at least from a technical standpoint.
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From a user-facing perspective though I think OnePlus could have tried a little bit harder to make this very large phone feel nicer to hold.
The 6.7-inch panel here is heavily curved – a design element that causes issues at this size, and it makes it hard to comfortably hold. Pair that with tightly sloping back and thin rims and you’ve got a device that’s sharper than most.
The curvature to the display also means accidental presses become commonplace, more so even than on other phones with a similar design. It’s hard to tell whether this is due to the curves themselves, or if the software here isn’t very good at preventing accidental presses. If it the latter then hopefully OnePlus could fix this with a software update.
While the OnePlus 8 also has a curved display, the slightly smaller dimensions make it far easier to grip.
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After a few days of using the Pro, I slipped a case on it, not something I would usually do, and it was immediately a far more pleasurable experience. While adding a case to most phones is done more so for protection, adding one here makes it a whole lot better to use.
OnePlus certainly isn’t the only brand to have a curved screen, however even Samsung – who used it consistently for years – went in a different direction with the S20 series and they’re all the better for it. Hopefully, OnePlus will make a similar change with the OnePlus 9, or even the likely OnePlus 8T.
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