OnePlus 8 series launch: What we know so far

No. It’s not happening over another Zoom call

As we saw during the ongoing pandemic, the Prime Minister usually gave out an update about how the government is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic at 8 p.m. However, at the end of this long and lengthy 21-day lockdown in India, there's enough news about an extension (for about two weeks).

So, the PM decided to go with an announcement at 10:00 a.m., which also brings a sigh of relief for OnePlus fans as the launch event of the OnePlus 8 series begins at 8:30 p.m. buying OnePlus some prime time coverage indeed.

 

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau made the announcement about the launch event and even explained in a series of tweets how the global pandemic had them reshuffling the launch date, time and again until they locked down on April 14.

Pandemic or not, there’s plenty to look forward to, and going by what we officially know thanks to teasers and the OnePlus CEO, there will be a lot of announcements. So let’s take a look at what we know about the upcoming OnePlus smartphones.

It’s a series, silly!

It’s plastered all over the OnePlus website, so we know for sure that it’s gonna be more than one smartphone. Traditionally, OnePlus has always announced one smartphone at a time, but things changed with the OnePlus 7 as the 7 Pro (the brand’s first entry into the high-end premium segment) was announced alongside. The 7T and the 7T Pro were also launched separately, so it will be interesting to see the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro being launched together. There’s also plenty of rumours about a low-cost OnePlus X revival called the OnePlus Z, but nothing has been confirmed for now, so take that with a spoonful of salt.

Green is the new Black

As with every new OnePlus smartphone series, there’s a new colour. And so far Pete Lau has made official a new Glacial Green colour with the next generation matt finish that should feel like the original OnePlus One’s Silk White texture, just that this one’s made of glass. The team reportedly came up with the colour and finish after testing more than 300 texture combinations. It is supposed to invoke, “fresh, environmentally friendly, natural, and youthful feelings” and honestly, kind of looks cool and different too. In the official post, Lau also explained the design philosophy of the new phones and claims that the new models will look and feel slimmer with a flatter back compared to the OnePlus 7 series. These will continue to be made of glass with a metal frame.

A different approach to a 120Hz display

Another detail that’s been emphasised upon on the launch website and the OnePlus forums is the presence of a 120Hz display in the upcoming OnePlus smartphones. OnePlus will stick to the Fluid Display branding but bump up the refresh rate from the existing 90Hz to 120Hz – effectively adding a ‘120Hz’ tag to it. This could, however, only be reserved for the Pro model. Lau in his post claims that it’s the ‘most advanced 120Hz display in the industry’ and we are pretty excited as it would be the second QHD+ display (after Samsung) to sport that refresh rate (again, hopefully, at native resolution) with a promised 1000 nits of brightness and 240Hz touch sensing, which basically translates to a smoother user experience when it comes to running apps and playing games. Also included in the package will be a video upscaler that will add the missing frames and convert a regular 30fps video into 120fps video. Simply put, the MEMC tech makes your video content look smoother and also makes more sense of that 120Hz display OnePlus keeps boasting about.

Snapdragon 865 chipset. Double check!

Yes, every premium smartphone this year is going to pack in Qualcomm’s finest (that needs a separate 5G modem), so it’s obvious that OnePlus would go with it as well. In a detailed post on the OnePlus forums, Pete Lau once again explained the company’s quest for ‘fast and smooth’ (they actually have a dedicated Fast Smooth Efficient R&D team) and also made official a few hardware details about the upcoming smartphones… without mentioning them, of course! So, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset that not only performs everyday tasks faster but is more efficient as well, which basically gets you better battery life. Lau also went on about LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.0 storage that also helps in the ‘fast and smooth’ department, but most other flagships pack that in as well. So, as a OnePlus 8/8 Pro user, don’t expect to be treated like royalty.

Wireless charging done right!

Yes, it’s 2020 and we are happy to know that OnePlus has officially confirmed that it will include the technology after deeming it worthy for its smartphones. But there’s an element of truth in these claims; more so, because OnePlus is doing wireless charging a bit differently than anyone else. You see, OnePlus will offer 30W wireless charging speeds from its Warp Charge 30 Wireless. And yes, that’s fast enough to charge your OnePlus 8 smartphone from 0-50% in just 30 minutes. It also does all of that while remaining cool thanks to a chip that communicates with the one inside the phone during the charging process. There are downsides and the tech only works with a OnePlus 8 series device and when using a Warp Charge 30 Wireless charger. Still, you will be able to use the slower Qi Wireless 5W/10W speeds to charge up your Oneplus device when the Warp Charger is not around. On a side note, Huawei recently announced its 40W wireless charging with its P40 Pro and called it Wireless SuperCharge.

It’s all 5G

Yep, you can breathe a sigh of relief! Your next OnePlus will pack in a 5G radio, so you won’t have to upgrade to an 8T or an 8T Pro when cellular operators (or what’s left of them after everyone’s done paying their dues in India) will start offering faster 5G data speeds. Lau promised in an interview to CNET that all the new phones will pack in 5G bands. But there’s a slight downside to all of this. Read on...

And it’s gonna cost ya

Get ready for this one! Lau explicitly mentioned that, thanks to the new hardware upgrades, the new phones will cost a bit more. These won’t be competing with Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series yet, but will be priced higher than the usual. Lau told CNET that the Pro model will see a price increase but the regular smartphone (OnePlus 8) will stay around the current price. Of course, it’s not hocus pocus, so the OnePlus 8 may get watered-down hardware in some areas.

Another TV???

Well, we aren’t too enthusiastic about it, but the website graphics hints that a TV or updates to the current ones could be announced alongside the new smartphones. But since nothing has even reached the rumour mill, take this one with a bucket-load of salt!

The launch of the OnePlus 8 Series takes place on April 14 and will be streamed online due to the ongoing pandemic. Keep this page bookmarked as we will be updating it with more official details until launch day.