OnePlus 8: what we want to see

The OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro are out, but we’re already looking at the next models in the series: the yet-to-be-confirmed, but probably-to-be-named OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.

2019 was an interesting year for OnePlus, which split its lineup between the flagship specs at a mid-range price in the OnePlus 7 and the more polished (and pricey) true budget flagship OnePlus 7 Pro. Those were refined with additional features in the 7T versions later in the year, as follows the phone maker's traditional tick-tock schedule. 

As such, we’re expecting the new phones coming early in 2020 to make a similar tech leap. But what will the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro include? 

We’re pretty early to the game, and haven’t seen too many rumors, but leaked images are starting to emerge, and there's even talk of a third phone, possibly dubbed the OnePlus 8 Lite.

Beyond that we can speculate about some things. For example, both the 7 Pro and the 7T Pro had 5G versions, so we can expect a OnePlus 8 Pro 5G – especially as those advanced wireless networks start rolling out more coverage. You'll find everything else we've heard or suspect below.

Update: Leaked renders have revealed that we might see a OnePlus 8 Lite alongside the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.

  • What is it? The next OnePlus smartphone line
  • When is it out? Possibly April 2020
  • What will it cost? Likely more than $599 / £549 /  AU$874 for the OnePlus 8

OnePlus 7T

OnePlus 8 / 8 Pro release date and price

Given the release windows OnePlus has followed for years, we can expect the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro to launch in late spring or early summer – the last two non-T versions came out in May 2018 and 2019, respectively, so mid-May 2020 is a good guess. 

We’re expecting at least two phones, and given the prices for its predecessors, we don’t expect the standard OnePlus 8 to cost less than $599  / £549 / AED 1,949 (around AU$868). 

Likewise, we don’t anticipate the OnePlus 8 Pro to cost less than $699 / £699 / AED 2,699 (around AU$1,010).

However, there's now talk of a OnePlus 8 Lite, which could prove a cheaper option, though it's anyone's guess how much it would be.

OnePlus 7T Pro

OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro rumors and leaks

While the OnePlus 7 Pro introduced a pop-up selfie camera that allowed an unblemished front bezel, the OnePlus 7 didn’t – it kept the teardrop notch of its predecessor. 

An early leak suggests the OnePlus 8 will go for a simple punch-hole in the top-left corner for the front-facing camera. That leak also suggested the Pro would shrink from 6.67 inches down to 6.5 inches.

We've seen how the front camera might look in the leaked sketches below, which show both single-lens and dual-lens punch holes, with the dual-lens one likely being the OnePlus 8 Pro.

The images also show minimal screen bezel and a quad-lens rear camera, but as with all leaks we'd take them with a pinch of salt.

That said, another leak similarly supported the punch-hole selfie camera concept. This leak also suggests the OnePlus 8 Pro will introduce a fourth rear camera, introducing a Time of Flight depth sensor to the trio of main, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses, which are still vertically aligned in the center

The leak suggests the pop-up camera was removed to make room for other features like wireless charging, but it’s easy to speculate other possible reasons: the pop-up mechanism could have been had reliability issues (not that we’d heard of any). 

That mechanism could’ve also been a vector for water and dust to get in – unlike other phones, OnePlus handsets don’t have an IP dust/water resistance rating, which are almost industry standard.

As well as the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro (or whatever they launch as) we might also get a OnePlus 8 Lite, as just such a phone has also now leaked.

OnePlus 8 Lite leak

The render above shows how it might look, with the source (@OnLeaks – a reliable leaker) saying it's likely to have a 6.4 or 6.5-inch screen.

That would make it smaller than the OnePlus 7T range, but not necessarily smaller than the rest of the OnePlus 8 range if other leaks are accurate.

It's also apparently 8.6mm thick, putting it between the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro on that front, and it's shown as having two rear cameras and a punch-hole camera on the front. It's unknown what the specs are, but this could be the cheapest OnePlus phone in a while.

OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition

OnePlus 8 / 8 Pro: What we want to see

1. Improved cameras

The OnePlus 7 Pro introduced a third ultrawide lens, like many other smartphones released in 2019, and it was good: the extra range makes the phone’s photo suite more versatile. But it can be better.

Specifically, we’d love an improved Nightscape, the company’s night mode – and yes, it’s wholly because the iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4 raised the bar again this year. Clarity, color vibrancy, and general brightness are being achieved to astonishing degrees, and we’d love to see Nightscape catch up.

So long as we’re asking, we’d also like a few of the modes that come standard in other phones. The new Macro Mode introduced in the OnePlus 7T is neat, but we’d also like standbys such as panorama and slo-mo. Heck, we’d even love slofies.

2. Wireless charging

True, wireless charging still isn’t speedy, but it remains a convenient addition to any phone. Slapping your phone down on one of the best wireless chargers is more convenient than having to plug it in and yank it out every time you need to check something. 

And while it’s not exactly a killer feature, the “reverse wireless charging” capability to lend some of your handset’s capacity to another device is handy (in theory, anyway.)

3. Face unlock

While fingerprint sensing is important, it’s nice not to have to perch your finger in a certain place every time you want to check something quickly on your phone. Given Android 10 enables Face Unlock, it would be great to have the feature in addition to (and not in replacement of, like in the Pixel 4) the fingerprint scanner.

4. 5G in the base OnePlus 8 model

While both generations of OnePlus phones in 2019 had a 5G version – the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and the rarer OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren Edition – they were both the highest-specced Pro models of the phones. While certainly more affordable than other 5G phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, they were notably pricier compared to the base OnePlus models. 

We'd love to see the 5G revolution come to the masses in what will assuredly be a lower-cost yet high-specced setup that OnePlus is known for. While most 5G phones have been marketed as premium devices, the Moto Z3 and Moto Z4 have still delivered respectable (though not record-breaking) speeds with the 5G Moto Mod; if we could internalize that in the base OnePlus 8, it would go a long way toward bringing 5G to folks who don't want to spend top dollar.

5. A 3.5mm headphone jack

We might sound like a broken record here, but we love the 3.5mm jack in all phones and were sad to see it go with the OnePlus 6T.  While most of the industry has done away with it, we still yearn for the day when we can plug our nice headphones into our phones.