New Smartphone: OnePlus 8

For Black Friday this year, I bought a new Oneplus 8 smartphone. Here’s what I thought of it so far.

OnePlus 8 back
My new phone

I had to buy a new phone because my old LG G5 was getting really long in the tooth. The storage was running low. The battery life was bad even after I had replaced the original battery. And most importantly of all, my wireless carrier was going to shutdown their 3G network early next year, and apparently the G5 doesn’t support any of my carrier’s newer networks, so I had to get a new phone.

OnePlus 8 box
The OnePlus 8 comes in a bright red box

OnePlus 8 contents
OnePlus 8 box contents

It took two weeks or so to get my phone in the mail. The bright red box is definitely bold and it’s the longest smartphone packaging box I’ve seen. Inside the box, there was the OnePlus 8 itself, bright red USB-C cable, a 30W fast charger, and reading material. I bought the T-Mobile version since it was the one that was on sale, but the phone can be unlocked easily from the settings menu, and also doesn’t come with much carrier bloatware.

First impressions on the OnePlus 8 was that it is a big phone. It’s longer than my G5 or my Google Pixel 5 work phone with about the same width, but it’s a little thinner than both. The biggest smartphone I’ve ever had. The back is curved, metallic and shiny. The Interstellar Glow finish looks pretty nice, but the phone feels slippery and the glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet. I put a case on it for some protection and better grip.

LG G5 vs OnePlus 8
My old LG G5 (left) with my new OnePlus 8

It was pretty easy to migrate from my G5 to the OnePlus 8 thanks to the Android software. OnePlus’ customized Android system OxygenOS looks pretty nice and was easy to setup. The OS experience has been smooth, as expected from a new phone. The battery life is definitely better than my old phone. I find the battery drains a bit quicker than my Pixel 5, and that could be because the Pixel 5 has a larger battery, and I use my personal phone more than my work phone.

As for other features, the most important for me is the camera. The OnePlus 8 has three rear cameras: the normal one, the wide angle, and the macro. Quality looks better than my old G5. Compared to my Pixel 5 work phone, the day time shots seems similar, but Pixel 5 has the edge for night time. Overall, the photo quality is decent enough.

That’s my first impressions of the OnePlus 8. I’ve had my G5 for 5 years so hopefully the new phone will last at least as long. Maybe in 5 years we’ll have some new interesting form factors and mobile gadgets.

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