Up to this point, OnePlus has climbed its way up from the high-end budget phone to the fully-fledged flagship. The brand once called its phone the "Flagship Killer", and the OnePlus 8 Pro has become the very thing that the company initially aimed to dethrone.
Surely, the smartphone landscape has changed over the past several years. There are now so many contenders in the sub-$500 and sub-$400 price that the company has shifted its focus to creating a more prestigious brand name. With this iteration, the company has presented itself with an updated all-CAPS "ONEPLUS" typeface and tweaked "1+" logo.
Now with the OnePlus 8 Pro, the company thinks it has what it takes to compete in the flagship category at the $1000 price mark. Well, technically - the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $900. The OnePlus 7 Pro was a strong seller, but will OnePlus have just as much success in a higher price bracket?
The 8 Pro has an impressive spec sheet: high-end CPU, 10-bit high-end AMOLED screen, Warp Charge 30T, and for the first time from OnePlus: support for wireless charging and even reverse-wireless charging for sharing juice with an accessory or a to give some juice to a friend.
That high-end display is of the 120Hz variety - and it's a panel made by Samsung. OnePlus is promising near-perfect color accuracy, over 1 billion colors, and the brightest output of any display it has ever put in a smartphone. The smoothness of the still-higher refresh rate display is the company's way of staying ahead of the trends - which could be an advantage in markets like the US where the company has a presence.
There's a new camera system with the notable larger Sony IMX 689 sensor behind the quad-camera's main lens. The ultrawide camera gets a larger sensor as well, but the telephoto camera remains pretty much the same as the OnePlus 7T. OnePlus has a new "Color filter camera" whose long-term usefulness remains to be seen.
OnePlus has further refined its Android skin, Oxygen OS with new icons, and its revamped its UI's animations for the 120Hz experience. Oxygen OS offers a stock-Android like experience, close to that of a Google Pixel, and OnePlus is known for its speedy turnaround when it comes to firmware updates.
OnePlus is the only high-end Chinese brand available from three of the four major US carriers - and many American consumers might be clueless of the brand's existence in a market where Apple, Samsung, and Google are the most known (and most advertised) brands.
We always praise OnePlus for its packaging. The high-quality cardboard materials, and soft-touch red finish make a very good first impression. Our review unit doesn't have the new all-CAPS name on the side, but it does have the updated "1+" logo.
Taking the lid off the long red box, we're greeted by the OnePlus 8 Pro in Ultramarine Blue with a pre-installed factory screen protector. A notice on the plastic wrapper recommends using official OnePlus screen protectors for best compatibility of the in-display fingerprint scanner.
The cardboard cradle that holds the 8 Pro in place is also a box where the phone's documentation is held, along with a SIM tool, welcome letter, and quick start guide. The words "Never Settle" sit below the smartphone as you unbox it - reminding us of the company's long-time motto. Beneath this phone cradle is an included clear case to show off that deep blue color, and the Warp Charge 30T adapter and cable.
Now that we've seen what's inside the box, head to the next page where we'll spend some time talking about the phone's design, ergonomics, and build quality.