OnePlus today announced the OnePlus 8, and the T-Mobile-compatible model will be the most affordable 5G phone in America at $699. The company also announced the OnePlus 8 Pro, which has the brightest display of any smartphone, as tested by DisplayMate Labs.
The OnePlus 8 has a 6.55-inch, 1080p, 90Hz screen and runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. It has a main 48-megapixel camera, a 16MP wide-angle camera and a 2MP dedicated macro camera, along with a 16MP hole-punch-style selfie camera.
The unlocked and T-Mobile versions will be compatible with T-Mobile’s low- and mid-band 5G networks, as well as AT&T and Verizon’s 4G networks.
“5G is, and will continue to be, a huge priority for OnePlus,” OnePlus spokesman Ryan Fenwick said at the launch event.
The OnePlus 8 will be available on April 29 at OnePlus.com and Amazon. A green model, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, will cost $699, while a mirrored “glow” finish with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will cost $799.
So far, $699 is the floor for a current-generation 5G phone that’s been approved by US carriers. The just-announced Nubia RedMagic 5G costs $579, but it doesn’t look like it has the appropriate 5G frequency bands to work well on any US carrier.
You can get a Moto Z4 with a 5G backpack for $700, but that’s bulky, has short battery life, and has an earlier version of 5G hardware that sometimes overheated in our testing last summer.
The OnePlus 8 will also come out on Verizon starting April 29 as the “OnePlus 8 UW,” for $799. The extra $100 looks to be the cost to include Verizon’s millimeter-wave 5G system, which requires expensive additional antenna modules and radio design elements. On Verizon, the phone comes in black or silver.
While OnePlus has always made its own high-quality cases for its phones, the tie-up with Verizon appears to have gotten some prominent casemakers to pull the trigger as well. Verizon will offer cases from Otterbox, Speck and InvisibleShield to go with the phones.
OnePlus 8 Pro: Better Screen, Better Cameras
The OnePlus 8 Pro won’t be sold by any US carriers, but it will be compatible with T-Mobile’s low and mid-band 5G networks, and with AT&T and Verizon 4G networks.
The 8 Pro adds IP68 waterproofing, and amps up the screen and cameras further. It has a 120Hz, 3168-by-1440 screen which DisplayMate found to be the brightest in the business. The main 48-megapixel camera has bigger pixels than the one on the OnePlus 8, for better low-light performance. There’s also another 48-megapixel wide-angle camera, and an 8-megapixel 3x telephoto camera.
The 8 Pro is the first OnePlus phone to have wireless charging, using a proprietary “Warp Charge 30” wireless charging cradle that can charge the phone to full charge within an hour. It also works with standard Qi chargers, but more slowly.
OnePlus 8 Pro specs
The OnePlus 8 Pro will be available on OnePlus.com on April 22, and on Amazon on April 29. That model will cost $899 for an 8GB/128GB version in green or black, or $999 for a 12GB/256GB version in green, black or blue. The small Samsung Galaxy S20 costs $999 for a 12GB/128GB model, and the Galaxy S20+ costs $1199 for a 12GB/128GB model.
While there had been rumors of a third “OnePlus 8 Lite” model, it was not mentioned during the launch event. The company did, however, announce $49.99 “Bullets Wireless Z” wireless headphones, which it says have 20 hours of battery life.