Smartphone maker OnePlus has just launched its new OnePlus series. Thanks to a, at least on paper, pretty impressive looking camera specification, the flagship OnePlus 8 Pro is the device in the series most mobile photographers should have an eye on.

Triple camera setup

The camera features a triple lens-setup, plus an additional time-of-flight (ToF) sensor that will presumably be used to improve depth estimation in bokeh mode and fine-tune the autofocus. Overall the spec sheet looks very similar to sister brand Oppo’s flagship Find X2 Pro.

Like on pretty much any flagship phone these days, the main camera gets support from a dedicated tele and a super-wide-angle. The main module features a 1/1.4″ 48MP Sony IMX689 Quad-Bayer sensor that uses pixel-binning to produce 12MP image output with lower noise and a wider dynamic range than conventional sensors. OnePlus is following the trend for larger image sensors in smartphone cameras, but some competitors, for example Huawei’s P40 Pro or the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro come with even larger chips (1/1.28″ and 1/1.33″ respectively).

The lens is optically stabilized and comes with a F1.78 aperture and 26mm-equivalent field-of-view.

The super-wide-angle uses a smaller 1/2.0″ sensor but is also of the 48MP Quad-Bayer variant which, in combination with the F2.2. aperture, should be able to perform pretty well, even in dim light. The 16mm-equivalent focal length is pretty much in line with many competitors, but some, for example Samsung’s latest high-end models and Apple’s iPhone 11 series, offer wider viewing angles.

The dedicated tele camera features a stabilized 74mm-equivalent lens which equates to a 3x magnification. At 8MP the resolution isn’t the highest we have seen and some models in the high-end bracket feature longer lenses, for example the folded optics from Huawei and Oppo. Xiaomi even applies a dual-tele approach to optimize performance at shorter and longer zoom distances.

The 4K/60fps video mode is pretty much standard in the high-end segment these days and should allow for detailed video capture with smooth motion. It also features HDR video capture. In addition the OnePlus offers 720p/480fps and 1080p/240fps slow-motion settings and a time-lapse mode.

The camera setup is completed with an LED-flash and color sensor. In comparison to the main module, the front camera specs look pretty pedestrian.

Front camera

The selfie shooter uses a 16MP 1/3-inch Sony IMX471 with 16MP resolution and a fixed-focus lens. Video recording maxes out at 1080p/30fps. Some competitors already offer 4K recording and autofocus at the front. What’s new versus the OnePlus 7 generation is the location of the selfie camera. On the new model it is hidden under a cutout in the display. The previous model used a pop-up front camera which allowed for an uninterrupted display without any notches or cutouts. The advantage of the new design is that the 8 Pro is now IP68-rated for environmental protection – something that would have been very difficult to achieve with a pop-up mechanism.

Non-camera specs are pretty much in line with the current crop of flagship Android phones. The device is powered by a 5G-enabled Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chipset and features fast LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.0 storage which should ensure snappy operation, even of the most demanding apps and games.

Images can be viewed and composed on a 6.78-inch QHD+ OLED display with 120Hz refresh rate (up from the previous generation’s 90Hz), 240Hz touch sampling rate and HDR10/10+. A dedicated MEMC (Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation) chip – technology adopted from TVs – reduces motion blur in videos by calculating and inserting additional video frames. Using this technology the OnePlus 8Pro is capable of up-scaling 24fps content to 120fps. According to OnePlus the new technology can be used with a wide range of apps, including Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, BiliBili, iQiyi, MX Player, Netflix, OnePlus Gallery app, Tencent Video, VLC, Youku, and YouTube.

Other specs include a massive 4510mAh battery with 30W fast wireless charging, an in-display fingerprint reader and up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

OnePlus 8

The company also launched the standard OnePlus 8 which shares a lot of the basic specs, including chipset and memory options, with the Pro model, but comes with a smaller 6.55-Inch AMOLED display, a smaller 4300mAh battery and a simpler camera setup. The primary camera features a Sony IMX586 1/2″ sensor and is accompanied by a 16MP ultra-wide and a dedicated macro camera.

Availability and pricing

The new models will be available to purchase from April 21 in Europe and April 29 in North America. Pricing starts at $699 for the OnePlus 8 with 8GB of RAM. The 12/256GB version will set you back $799. The 8/128GB variant of the Pro model is $899 while the top-end OnePlus 8 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage retails at $999.

You can watch the keynote event here:

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