Bad timing or not, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are on track to be announced tomorrow, April 14 at 11 a.m. ET. Unlike previous OnePlus launch events, due to the coronavirus, this time there won't be ecstatic fans packed into a warehouse or queued up at a pop-up shop.
Live events have been a staple of OnePlus' explosive growth in the U.S. and Europe. As an underdog, being able to let people — fans and skeptics alike — experience firsthand hard-to-perceive features like performance speed and high refresh rate displays has been invaluable for the brand.
Without the same hands-on experiences for consumers, OnePlus is heading into uncharted waters. Can the Chinese startup keep the momentum going during a time when retailers are closed and people are staying at home and clamping down on non-essential spending?
Bookmark OnePlus' livestream here and tune in tomorrow to find out. In the meantime, here's a briefer on what to expect from the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro thanks to the many leaks that have been dumped onto the internet in the past few weeks.
Two models — One small (OnePlus 8) and one big (OnePlus 8 Pro). This is the first time OnePlus is going to announce two sizes at once.
Meanwhile, Display-Mate already awarded the OnePlus 8 series displays an "A+" rating, calling its color accuracy "visually indistinguishable from perfect." A big claim, and while it's great for OnePlus to brag about, it's ultimately meaningless since DisplayMate awards every new premium phone an A+ screen rating.
The phones also have a hole-punch style selfie camera instead of pop-up selfie cameras like the ones on the 7 Pro and 7T Pro.
Power and speed — OnePlus phones have always prioritized speed and performance above all else. Count on both the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro to be fast.
Confirmed specs include:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip
- Up to 12GB of RAM (LPDDR4X for the 8 and LPDDR5 for the 8 Pro)
- 128GB or 256GB of storage
- 4,300 mAh (OnePlus 8) and 4,510 mAh (8 Pro)
- 5G for both
- IP68 water resistance for the 8 Pro
New cameras — Per Agarwal's leak, the OnePlus 8 will have a triple-lens camera on the back: 48-megapixel + 16-megapixel + 2-megapixel. The OnePlus 8 Pro will have four cameras: 48-megapixel + 48-megapixel + 8-megapixel + 5-megapixel.
Both phones are expected to come with 16-megapixel selfie cameras.
Even higher refresh rate displays — OnePlus made the case for high refresh rate panels with the OnePlus 7 Pro / 7T Pro / 7T's 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display. For the 8 series, the company is ratcheting the refresh rate up to 120Hz for even smoother scrolling. We've already seen how buttery smooth a 120Hz display is on Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra so we're excited to see if OnePlus has included anything special with its implementation.
Wireless charging — Finally! After holding out for years, the company will add wireless charging to the 8 Pro, but it's going to be fast wireless charging. OnePlus last week announced its "Warp Charge 30 Wireless." The upright wireless charger is capable of wirelessly charging the new phone from "1% to 50% in only half an hour."
After holding out for years, the company will add wireless charging to the 8 Pro.
Motion smoothing? — On April 10, OnePlus tweeted this interesting spec: "The #OnePlus8Series' custom MEMC chip intelligently inserts frames into your movies, TV shows and sports games for maximum smoothness" along with a clip of blurry text being sharpened up.
MEMC stands for "Motion Estimation / Motion Compensation" and is used in many TVs to smooth out choppy video. You may know this as "motion smoothing" which produces an undesirable "soap opera effect," aka a crime against movies and TV. No really, motion smoothing is so bad Tom Cruise had to make a PSA video condemning it.
OnePlus says the MEMC chip can upscale videos "from 24 fps up to a breathtakingly fluid 120 fps." We'll be the judge of that.
Fancy new colors — Various leaks by Agarwal and Winfuture.de's Roland Quandt revealed several of the colors the phones will come in. Agarwal's leak claims "glow, black, and green" for the 8 and "blue, black, and green" for the 8 Pro.
Lau has also been teasing the OnePlus 8 series for weeks. On Sunday, he confirmed a sea-green colorway:
And if you care about accessories, there are leaked images of various new bumper cases for the phones courtesy of Agarwal again.
New wireless earbuds — In addition to the new phones, OnePlus is also expected to announce a new version of its Bullets Wireless earbuds. OnePlus is saying a 10-minute charge will last for 10 hours of listening time.
How much will they cost? — Once significantly more value-friendly than Apple and Samsung, OnePlus has steadily increased the pricing for its devices over the years.
The OnePlus 7 Pro started at $669, the OnePlus 7T at $599, and the 7T Pro McLaren Edition pushed pricing to $899. If OnePlus sticks to these figures, the 8 and 8 Pro could cost anywhere from $669 to $899 (if not more).
It's difficult to justify an expensive phone in this economy — cheaper devices may find more success — so we're hoping OnePlus keeps things relatively affordable. Failing that, it's going to have to bring something else to the table to compete with the likes of the latest Galaxy devices and iPhones.