It was almost a martial claim that the smartphone manufacturer OnePlus cherished when the first mobile phone from the newly founded manufacturer from China's technology stronghold Shenzen was presented in April 2014.
The “OnePlus One” was presented as the “flagship killer” - no less than the antichrist for the absolute premium models from Samsung, Apple or Huawei.
At the time, the company almost squandered its first devices for less than 300 euros, while Apple only sent the iPhone 6 into the race for at least 699 euros only months later.
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Since then, the company, which, like the brands Oppo or Vivo, belongs to the BBK Electronics group, with its company philosophy and the pithy slogan "Never Settle", the promise of "never standing still", has also gained a growing following in Germany.
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For weeks, leaked information about the latest model series, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, has been circulating on the Internet.
Now the devices have been officially presented.
WELT received one of the few test copies two weeks before the presentation and subjected it to an intensive long-term test.
The heart of the OnePlus 8 Pro is undoubtedly the display, which is one of the best mobile phone screens on the market.
In the Pro version it is 6.78 inches tall and has a resolution of 3168 to 1440 pixels.
Paired with a peak brightness of 1300 nits, it set a total of 13 records in a professional preliminary analysis by DisplayMate.
Just like the back, the screen is slightly curved at the edges, which gives the smartphone an elegant look.
Triple telephoto zoom with 48 megapixels
The built-in 120 Hertz technology is particularly impressive.
The high frame rate ensures that texts are displayed absolutely fluently even when scrolling very quickly.
The OnePlus 8 Pro does not have a flickering screen.
Even those who swipe through menus or websites as quickly as possible can still read chunks of text in passing.
This is not only easy on the eyes, but also makes navigation easier because it allows you to stop at certain points in the menu.
The color reproduction is also first class thanks to HDR10 +.
Even with long use, the view of the display is still pleasant.
This also applies to the blue light filter which can be activated at night or in dark surroundings.
The device also looks really classy in other respects, for example in the matt turquoise color variant we tested, but is rather unsafe in the hand without the protective cover supplied.
Gaps cannot be felt, and there are no other disturbing edges.
Only the camera protrudes a little too far from the case.
But since it is placed exactly in the middle on the back, the device can still be operated comfortably when it is on the table, for example.
OnePlus has also upgraded the built-in cameras.
The main camera with triple telephoto zoom has a resolution of 48 megapixels, the same applies to the ultra-wide-angle camera.
A color filter camera should also compete with the image processing of Instagram and Co.
A simple punchhole camera is installed in the upper left corner of the front.
It has a resolution of 16 megapixels and captures sharp and beautiful selfies;
Wide-angle shots are not possible, however.
The fact that OnePlus said goodbye to the retractable front camera of the predecessor sounds like a step backwards, but it is a plus point.
As a result, the display has a tiny "hole", but a mechanical exit camera was still a risk of failure despite many tests and safety promises.
Sony sensors are used for all lenses.
Work under full load without delay
The photos all look very high quality: the colors are bright and rich in contrast, but not too bright.
The optical magnifications are rich in detail and sharp.
The "Single Frame 3-HDR" technology ensures uniform exposure even in difficult lighting conditions.
Videos are recorded in particularly sharp 4K resolution.
However, the cameras cannot keep up with the current Primus, the ultra version of Samsung's Galaxy S20.
The competitor from South Korea is priced a few hundred euros above the top model from OnePlus, but the 8 Pro could have been even more.
For example, older smartphones such as the Samsung S10 Plus also have an ultra-wide-angle factor of 0.5; with the optical zoom, a five-fold magnification would have been desirable, as the Huawei P30 Pro achieves.
Nevertheless, OnePlus' top model delivers really good pictures and is also very suitable as a pocket camera.
The OxygenOS operating system, a minimalist interpretation of Google's Android 10, is the secret test winner this time as well. The cutting-edge software runs so smoothly and intuitively that - viewed quite subjectively - it is the best Android derivative on the market.
Even Apple users should immediately feel at home in view of the simple design and the intuitive operation.
With the universal dark theme, almost all applications can be immersed in elegant black.
The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and up to 12 gigabytes of RAM.
In some rankings, this choice did poorly recently.
The accusation: The special requirements of the processor, such as an independent modem, would make for slower devices.
This cannot be confirmed at all in the test: The OnePlus 8 Pro works at lightning speed and without delay.
Even under full load and when switching between several complex apps, no speed losses are noticeable.
The latest standards are also installed inside the device, such as Wi-Fi 6 or Bluetooth 5.1.
For the first time, the Pro version is also IP68 certified, i.e. officially dust and waterproof.
Cell phone fans had long criticized the lack of this seal.
There is only one point where this step is still questionable: OnePlus was the first mobile phone manufacturer to announce that it would only produce 5G-capable devices.
The end of the "flagship killer" strategy
They can then surf the mobile network of the future at gigabyte speed with immediate effect, but the network expansion in Germany has hardly started yet.
Corresponding tariffs are currently in short supply - and correspondingly expensive.
And even with the appropriate SIM card, only the existing LTE network was available in eastern Berlin.
The battery would certainly have had a higher capacity than the built-in 4510 milliampere hours (mAh).
In return, the device stays below the magic weight limit of 200 grams and, at exactly 199 grams for its display size, is still comfortable to hold.
But the devices can finally be charged wirelessly.
The "wrap charge" technology scores for particularly fast charging.
The battery is 50 percent full in just 23 minutes, wirelessly it takes half an hour.
In fact, the values could be confirmed in the test.
This is unrivaled in speed.
The battery of the OnePlus 8 Pro is wirelessly charged by 50 percent within half an hour
Ultimately, the same applies to the OnePlus 8 Pro, which applies to many new smartphones - the time of big leaps and revolutionary ideas on the mobile phone market is over for the time being.
The product cycles are simply too small for that.
A previous model had only appeared a few weeks ago.
But how innovative the group can be was most recently demonstrated at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas.
With the “Concept One”, a cell phone prototype, the cameras disappear behind glass when the user is not using them and are thus almost invisible.
That would be a real technical advance.
Instead, with the new prices, the company is finally violating its own claims of the "flagship killer".
The price had risen continuously in the past.
Now the variant with 12 gigabytes of RAM and 256 GB of storage is available for the first time for 999 euros over the counter.
The cheaper OnePlus 8 with 6.55-inch screen, 90-Hertz screen rate, weaker camera set and without wireless charging is available for a fair 699 euros.
The price increase can be explained mainly by the installation of the 5G chips.
Although this is technically advanced in Germany, it is still practically useless.
So if you own a device from the 7 or 7T series, you can save yourself the upgrade.
If you want to start the summer with a new smartphone, you definitely have to deal with the OnePlus 8 Pro at the market launch on April 21.
Admittedly, it is now a real “flagship” in terms of price - but that is precisely why it is all the more attractive.
This article was published in April 2020.
This article was published in April 2020.