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Should you buy the OnePlus 8 Pro or OnePlus 8 in 2021?

True flagship

OnePlus 8 Pro

$700 at OnePlus


  • Bigger, better display at 120Hz
  • Wireless charging
  • Better cameras


  • Tougher to use one-handed
  • $200 more
  • Same front-facing camera

OnePlus put together all of its strengths in hardware, specs, and software and finally added in missing features like water resistance, wireless charging, and a top-notch screen. It also has a fantastic quad camera setup, and while it is one of the costliest phones OnePlus has ever sold — it is worth it.

A real bargain

OnePlus 8

$500 at OnePlus


  • Less expensive for same core features
  • Easier to use with one hand
  • Same great specs
  • Strong battery life


  • Weaker rear cameras
  • Smaller, lower-res screen at 90Hz

The OnePlus 8 follows more of the traditional OnePlus model: deliver a flagship-like experience with top-end hardware and specs for hundreds less. Even with a higher price than the 7T, you can still see great value in the 8. You just lose out on the top-end cameras, screen, and wireless charging of the 8 Pro.

OnePlus 9 series is here

The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro continue to hold their own in 2021, but if you're looking to pick up a new phone, you'll want to take a look at the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. Both phones offer a fresh design and pack considerable hardware upgrades, particularly around the camera side of things.

You also get 65W wired charging as standard on both phones, and faster 50W wireless charging on the 9 Pro. The devices also feature 120Hz AMOLED panels, the latest internal hardware, and the Hasselblad-tuned cameras are on par with the best phones available today.

Unlike 2019, OnePlus released both of its early 2020 models simultaneously in the same regions, giving you a direct choice between the top-end and more budget-focused phones. These are two of the best Android phones you can buy, but which is right for you?

OnePlus 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 8: Pricing & availability

The OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 were both released April 14, 2020, starting at $899 and $699 respectively. Both phones feature a Snapdragon 865 chipset, along with baseline specs of 128GB and 8GB of RAM. Each model can be upgraded to 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM for an additional $100, and following the launch of the OnePlus 9 series, they've been heavily discounted: the OnePlus 8 Pro is now $700, and the OnePlus 8 is just $500.

Both phones are available in Glacial Green, though Interstellar Glow is exclusive to the OnePlus 8, while Onyx Black and Ultramarine Blue are reserved for the OnePlus 8 Pro. It's worth noting that the newer OnePlus 8T is also available for $600, and you get 65W fast charging and a 120Hz AMOLED.

OnePlus 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 8: What are the differences?

The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are obviously part of the same family, but the branding should give you a hint that this isn't the same device in different sizes — these phones have different specs, features, capabilities, and qualities.

In terms of hardware, specs, and core features, you wouldn't notice a difference.

It's easiest to begin by laying out where the two phones are the same. Their external hardware quality and design are nearly identical, size notwithstanding. You'll see the same curved edges, stereo speakers, button placement, and even camera arrangement — at a glance, they're the same. The colors aren't identical, but they're similar: you can get glossy black or matte green for both, or deviate with glossy "Interstellar Glow" on the 8 and matte "Ultramarine Blue" on the 8 Pro.

Inside, they both have the same basic specs, with a Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of baseline storage. Performance is the same, and the software is thankfully the same between the two as well — and that's a great thing because OxygenOS is wonderful to use. The 8 Pro has a slightly larger battery, fitting its larger overall size, but the battery life is effectively the same between the two phones as the 8 scales down its screen refresh, resolution, and size to match its battery capacity. Both phones stick with the standard OnePlus 30W Warp Charge wired charging, which is incredibly fast.

OnePlus 8 OnePlus 8 Pro
Operating system Android 11
OxygenOS 11
Android 11
OxygenOS 11
Display 6.55-inch 90Hz Fluid AMOLED
2400x1080 (20:9)
Gorilla Glass 6
6.7-inch 120Hz Fluid AMOLED
3168x1440 (19.8:9)
3D Gorilla Glass
Chipset Snapdragon 865 Snapdragon 865
Storage 128GB/256GB UFS3.0 128GB/256GB UFS3.0
MicroSD slot No No
Rear camera 1 48MP, 0.8um
f/1.75, OIS
4K at 60fps
48MP, 1.12um
f/1.78, OIS
4K at 60fps
Rear camera 2 2MP, 1.75um
f/2.4, macro lens
8MP, 1.0um
f/2.4, OIS, telephoto
3x hybrid zoom
Rear camera 3 16MP, 1.0um
f/2.2, ultra-wide lens
116° FoV
f/2.2, ultra-wide lens
119° FoV
Rear camera 4 n/a 5MP Color Filter
Front camera 16MP, f/2.4
1080p video, fixed focus
16MP, f/2.4
1080p video, fixed focus
Connectivity 5G Sub-6, SA and NSA
Wi-Fi 6 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0
5G Sub-6, SA and NSA
Wi-Fi 6 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.1
Audio USB-C
Stereo speakers
Stereo speakers
Battery 4300mAh
Charging USB-C 3.1
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
USB-C 3.1
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
Warp Charge 30 Wireless (20V/1.5A)
Water resistance IP68 (some models) IP68
Security In-display fingerprint (optical) In-display fingerprint (optical)
Dimensions 160.2x72.9x8.0mm
Colors Onyx Black, Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue Onyx Black, Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue

Now, let's address the differences. The first is the size, of course. The 8 Pro's 6.78-inch screen expands the phone's height, width, and weight beyond the 8's body wrapped around a 6.55-inch panel. It doesn't seem like much, but the 8 Pro is very large and might be pushing the limits of what you can do with the phone in one hand. By comparison, the OnePlus 8 is a tad smaller than the Pixel 4 XL and Galaxy S20+, staying within the "normal" size realm. The other notable difference in hardware is wireless charging: the 8 Pro has it, the 8 doesn't.

The 8 Pro is bigger, with a better display, and notably better cameras.

The 8 Pro's display also looks marginally better and has a higher 1440p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate compared to the 8's 1080p and 90Hz. That extra refresh rate smooths out motion just a bit more, though the 8's screen looks great on its own. You probably won't notice the screen resolution, but your eyes will enjoy the 8 Pro's screen more overall — and there's just more room for anything you want to do.

Being a more expensive phone, the OnePlus 8 Pro can deliver better cameras. The main sensor is still 48MP, but it's a larger and better sensor that produces improved photos across the board. It's also supported by a telephoto camera for zoom, which the 8 doesn't have at all, and an ultra-wide camera sensor that's better than the 8's as well. The only part of the camera experience that's equivalent is the front-facing shooter. Otherwise, the 8 Pro outperforms across the board.

Should you buy the OnePlus 8 Pro or OnePlus 8?

If you can afford the 8 Pro, go for it — and if not, the 8 is a great value.

When it comes to actually choosing between these two phones, you have to start with the price. OnePlus upped prices on both models compared to previous years, with the 8 starting at $700 and the 8 Pro starting at $900. These aren't inexpensive anymore — the OnePlus 8 Pro, in particular, is getting up in the range of the top-tier flagships. If money's not a big factor, and you can handle (or prefer) a large phone, the 8 Pro is the one to get. But if either point is of concern, the OnePlus 8 still provides excellent value and is a really good phone in its own right.

There are also a couple of quirks with availability in the U.S. If you want to buy from a carrier, the OnePlus 8 is your only choice — you can get it from T-Mobile or Verizon. Though you can, of course, buy the 8 Pro unlocked and bring it to any carrier. Things get murky if you want to use Verizon, however, because the only way to get Verizon's 5G network is to buy a OnePlus 8 directly from the carrier. If you bring the 8 Pro to Verizon, you'll be on 4G.

True flagship

OnePlus 8 Pro 5G

$750 at Amazon $700 at OnePlus

Still a great flagship

The 8 Pro has everything you want, with no more shortcomings — and the flagship-level price reflects that. But you can't argue with how it all comes together.

A real bargain

OnePlus 8 5G

$500 at Amazon $500 at OnePlus

An excellent value option in 2021

You give up some screen size, camera quality, and a couple of extras, but the phone follows the usual OnePlus model of giving you way more than you paid for.

Source: androidcentral

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