The OnePlus 8 is set to arrive in early 2020, and we’ve already uncovered plenty of leaks and rumours that give us a good idea of what we can expect.
The OnePlus 8 may well be the most significant handset the brand has ever released, with a report suggesting it may launch in the US for the first time in the company’s history, and several sources claiming that there will be three separate variants available from launch (another first).
But with so many leaks and rumours surrounding the new phone, you may find yourself struggling to keep up with all the latest news. Here to help we’ve created a definitive guide detailing all the latest credible reports and news about the OnePlus 8.
OnePlus 8 Design
So far we’ve received plenty of hints at the direction that OnePlus will take with its next design, and if the information is legit then we expect some feathers to be ruffled.
The OnePlus 7 Pro took the bold step of introducing a pop-up selfie camera so that the screen was uninterrupted by even the most subtle notch. But now it seems that OnePlus will adopt a cut-out selfie camera similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S10, an rumour that’s been since corroborated by several different sources.
But the speculation was given extra weight by a blueprint leaked by True Tech, which indicates that the OnePlus 8 will have a single selfie camera cutout, and the Pro edition will have a dual camera.
The surprising design appeared to be confirmed in a tweet from YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who showed surreptitious snaps of a physical device out in the wild with the design tweaks that we’ve mentioned (below).
With every leak, we become more confident that this design is indeed correct.
The logic behind this move, which could be regarded as a backwards step, seems to be that a cutout notch allows for two separate sensors for better selfies. The trade-off is of course that you’ll no longer have an uninterrupted screen.
Aside from this key element of design, the body of the phone looks strikingly similar to the OnePlus 7T Pro. The vertical camera module remains this time around, in place of the circular style favoured by the OnePlus 7T, and the bezels look to be are minimal, while the screen appears to have a gentle curve at the edges.
Of course, the rumours also point towards a ‘Lite’ version of the OnePlus 8, which could be a welcome return to the company’s low-cost high-performance roots. Above is a render purporting to be of the Lite version, and below is a tweet showing off what is supposedly a dummy model of the handset in the open air.
The leaks appear to show that the Lite version will have three rather than four cameras as one of the compromises we’ll have to accept for a lower price point, and the design is slightly different from the other variants as the camera module is shifted to one side rather than centred.
OnePlus 8 Display
With the OnePlus 7 Pro’s 90Hz display, the brand pushed high refresh rates firmly into the mainstream of the smartphone market.
Razer and Asus may have had specialist gaming phones with high refresh rate screens before it, but the OnePlus 7 Pro was the first “mainstream” handset with a 90Hz screen. It has since become a benchmark to judge most competing flagships, offering users smoother scrolling and much more reactive mobile gaming experiences – and now the manufacturer will up the ante.
During an event in China on January 13, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau unveiled a new 120Hz Fluid AMOLED screen panel and heavily alluded that it’ll be used by the company in the very near future, boasting: “We believe that the smoothest smartphone display must also be able to deliver a superior visual quality and viewing comfort. We’re sure that OnePlus’s new 120Hz Fluid Display will be the best you’ll lay eyes on in 2020.”
It has since been confirmed definitely that OnePlus’ next flagship will host 120Hz refresh rate tech, and on top of that the screen will support 10-bit colour and 1000 nts peak brightness, with a 2K+ resolution. These highly impressive display specs will no doubt be a key selling point for the upcoming device.
OnePlus 8 Specs
Typically, OnePlus phones run on the latest flagship Snapdragon chipset, which in 2020 is expected to be the Snapdragon 865.
They pack a considerable punch of processing power, and performance level is one of OnePlus’ major attractions. We’ve already come across a few juicy rumours about the Snapdragon 865, expected to be announced before the end of this year.
The first rumour concerns whether or not the chip will have an integrated 5G modem for greater efficiency.
Roland Quandt reports that there are two different variants of the chip, one with and one without the crucial modem. This raises the interesting point of whether OnePlus will stick with its strategy of releasing a separate 5G-enabled phone (such as the OnePlus 7 5G), or whether 5G will become a standard specification of the Pro model.
We’ve also spied some information about the actual performance of the new chip. The GPU will apparently be an Adreno 650 with a clock speed of 587MHz, and a 17-20% gain over the performance of the Snapdragon 855’s Adreno 640 GPU.
Considering we described the 855-toting OnePlus 7 Pro as “unbelievably fast, with great multitasking credentials”, this is very encouraging news indeed.
OnePlus 8 Camera
Camera tech is always and interesting area on OnePlus smartphones. The company has a track record for innovating when it comes to camera designs. This was showcased last year when it loaded the OnePlus 7 Pro with a nifty pop-up front camera. The design was way more elegant than the notch solutions seen on competing phones. But, sadly, the rear camera didn’t manage to match the quality of key competitors when the phone first came out.
This year, it looks like the first trend will continue. OnePlus debuted an interesting Concept One handset at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) tradeshow in Las Vegas in January. The design had a cool camera design that uses custom colour shifting glass to make the rear snappers invisible to the naked eye when they’re not in use. It’s possible that this incredible tech will appear on the OnePlus 8.
Sadly there’s still no word what exact sensors will be used in the new phone however, so at this point it’s still anyone’s guess how well the cameras will perform.
OnePlus 8 Release Date
The OnePlus range has settled down to form a fairly reliable pattern of release over recent years. Excluding the T-series (released approximately six months after the main line of phones), here’s when the mainstream handsets have hit the market:
- OnePlus 7 — May 2019
- OnePlus 6 — May 2018
- OnePlus 5 — June 2017
- OnePlus 3 — June 2016
Therefore it’s reasonable to expect that the OnePlus 8 will be unveiled in or around May 2020. We’ll keep scanning the horizon for any more specific information as it comes in.
OnePlus 8 Price
OnePlus’ prices have risen considerably over recent years — but in all fairness, so have prices in the rest of the market as well.
The £699 OnePlus 7T Pro is comfortably the brand’s priciest handset yet, and the OnePlus 7T is excellent value for money but hardly cheap, at £549. Below is a graphic showing the rise of OnePlus smartphones over time, up to spring 2019:
It’s possible that the OnePlus 8 could be an exception to this rule, since trendsetter Apple has reduced the price of its new base model, the iPhone 11, to £729. It would be considerably against the ‘flagship-killing’ philosophy of OnePlus were they to release handsets costing even more than the notoriously pricey iPhones.
So we’d expect the prices to be around the same again this year, and hopefully the devices will still deliver the good value for money that OnePlus has traditionally delivered in spades.