Photo: Ryan Whitwam
The huge, 6.55-inch screen offers an OLED display with satisfying, deep blacks plus a high refresh rate to make animations smooth. The OnePlus 8 has a top-of-the-line processor and years of guaranteed OS updates, too, but it lacks water resistance and wireless charging.
The OnePlus 8 is the best option if you want a huge phone that doesn’t cost $1,000 or more. Although it’s one of the fastest phones available, it costs much less than other flagship devices at a typical price of just $700. It has a big, 6.55-inch screen, and the 1080p OLED panel produces dark blacks that look good when you’re viewing videos and photos. The OnePlus 8’s screen also has a fast, 90 Hz refresh rate (50% faster than the Pixel 4a’s 60 Hz screen) that makes animations and movement look particularly smooth. Even with the big display and 5G enabled, the battery is large enough to keep this phone running for two days on a charge.
The OnePlus 8 is one of the cheapest 5G phones available in the US, but it skips a few high-end features, such as water resistance and wireless charging, to keep the price low. And although it provides a clean, easy-to-use software experience, OnePlus’s update support isn’t as good as Google’s.
OnePlus sells the phone unlocked with support for AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The phone also works on T-Mobile’s 5G out of the box. Both T-Mobile and Verizon are selling the phone, as well, but to get millimeter-wave 5G support, you need to buy from Verizon. That will matter only if you live in a place where Verizon has rolled out millimeter-wave 5G; most people don’t.
The OnePlus 8 has a slider on the side to instantly change your alert ringer. Photo: Ryan Whitwam
The OnePlus 8 is one of the fastest phones you can buy. It has the same Snapdragon 865 processor found in phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro, but it’s several hundred dollars cheaper and noticeably faster than Samsung’s phones. The high-refresh-rate screen makes animations look impressively smooth, and the phone opens apps almost instantly. On the flip side, animations can sometimes look rushed, whereas on the Pixel 4a the effect is more elegant, if a little slower. The base-model OnePlus 8 comes with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, but no microSD storage expansion. The in-display fingerprint scanner is less convenient than the Pixel’s Face Match system, but it’s faster and more accurate than the in-display scanner in…