Like many of my colleagues here at Android Central, I'm psyched about the forthcoming OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro smartphones. We all have our favorite devices and companies that we root for, but OnePlus has always had a special place in my heart as that scrappy upstart that is able to deliver high-quality devices at more reasonable prices than its competitors (yes, I know they're owned by a massive corporation). I have also always loved that the company is genuinely engaged with its fan base and takes direct feedback from them to innovate its hardware and software, not only year-over-year but from release to release.
It is this admiration for the company, and many impressive and exciting leaks, that has me seriously considering ditching my daily carry for the latest and greatest from OnePlus. So what, you ask? Oh yeah, did I not mention? My daily carry is an iPhone (gasp!).
Elephant in the room
Ok, let's get this part over with, intervention-style. Yes, I am an iPhone user. Yes, I write for an Android website. No, I don't feel conflicted about it — that much.
The simple fact is, I've used an iPhone as my primary mobile device for over ten years. My family is exclusively on iOS. Most of my friends are, too. I love iMessage and the build quality and interoperability of Apple devices and the Apple ecosystem. That lock-in is real, y'all.
That being said, I've always considered myself an open-minded technology enthusiast, and have been a regular user of Android devices and Chromebooks for years. Even before coming to work at Android Central, I could tell you just as much about the newest Pixel, Galaxy, or OnePlus phones as I could the latest iPhone (thanks in large part to reading about those devices here on AC).
Actually, over the years I've owned or used Android handsets from the likes of HTC, Motorola, Samsung, OnePlus, Asus, and even more obscure manufacturers such as Nextbit and Fairphone. I bet a lot of our readers can't even say that. In fact, I use a Galaxy Note 9 every day, and probably more during the workday than I do my iPhone XR.
As time has gone on, however, I've found the confines of Apple's walled garden less and less of an obstacle to completely branching out. Even on my Apple devices, I mostly use Google apps, including Google Calendar, Google Photos, Gmail, and Tasks. I find myself using messaging apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and even Signal just as much, if not more so, than iMessage. Even a great service like Apple Pay doesn't have a stronghold on me, as I'm perfectly comfortable using Fitbit Pay on my Charge 3 or using Google Pay on my Android phone for contactless payments.
Long story short, it's time for a full iOS to Android migration. I'm ready. But now the biggest question: What will be my next phone after the iPhone?
Looking for the one... plus
So, what is it about the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro specifically, and OnePlus and Oxygen OS generally, that are likely to pull me out of iOS for good? As with any good product, it's not any one specific feature, but rather the totality of features that make the OnePlus 8 the right choice for me.
The things that have kept me in the iOS and iPhone world for so long are, among other things, the phones' build quality, solid software experience, good cameras, great support, and nearly seamless integration (at least with other Apple devices). Therefore, for me to switch off the iPhone, I need an Android phone that can hit all of these points. This is where I think the OnePlus 8 wins out over the other Android phones, at least for me.
For starters, OnePlus phones have always had an excellent reputation for build quality, with stunning displays and unibody construction. With different materials and color choices, they've also managed to stand out against a sea of samey slabs. The company was one of the first to feature 90Hz displays on its phones and pushed others in the industry to up their screen game. It's rumored that the OnePlus 8 Pro will even have 120Hz display to compete with the likes of Samsung and some of the high-end gaming phones. That's something I've never experienced on an iPhone, and I'm really looking forward to it.
OnePlus phones have always had decent battery life, but even better than that has been the company's approach to fast charging, through their proprietary Warp Charging technology. It's also been confirmed that the highest-end OnePlus 8 Pro will be the first OnePlus phone to support wireless charging.
The cameras have generally been a bit of a let down with OnePlus phones, at least in comparison to the Pixels, Samsungs, and iPhones of the world. Despite the opinion of my reviewer colleagues, though, I've always thought that the pictures from OnePlus phones looked fine. The camera on the 7T was (to me) as good, if not better, than that on my iPhone XR, and rumblings are that the 8 series will be another step or two beyond that. Honestly, that is good enough for my needs and tastes.
The biggest hurdle that I would need to clear coming from iOS to Android is the feel and performance of the software experience. Not that iOS is perfect by any means, but it is generally consistent, coherent, and easy to use, and I would want for my Android daily carry to match or exceed that. I've heard reviewer after reviewer rave about Oxygen OS, and how it's their favorite implementation of Android (even over Google's). People I respect and trust, like my colleague Hayato Huseman, has even said so in his videos, and that carries a lot of weight in my book.
Signs point to eight
Call it a funny coincidence, karma, or fate, but just as I set down to write this article, I checked my email, and the first thing in there was the message above. Was I procrastinating? That's not important right now. The important thing is that the universe appears to want me to get a OnePlus phone.
As someone coming from an iPhone XR and Galaxy Note 9, I'm not necessarily as concerned with the top-of-the-line specs. I've tended to eschew "Pro" devices in favor of more mainstream offerings, and I also don't feel like forking over nearly $1,000 (or whatever the Pro version will cost), especially during these tough economic times. In that spirit, I think the "regular" OnePlus 8 is probably the right choice for me (thanks to Joe Maring for the nudge). I'm already on T-Mobile and eligible for an upgrade, so that's one less hurdle.
Stay tuned for future updates on how the transition worked out for me!
OnePlus 8: News, Leaks, Release Date, Specs, and Rumors!
A great phone at an even better price
The OnePlus 7T is the newest phone in OnePlus's lineup right now, and it continues to deliver an excellent Android experience. There's a 90Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 855+ processor, and a decent array of three rear cameras. Plus, thanks to the $100 discount offered right now, the 7T is a better deal than it's ever been.
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Jeramy was the Editor-in-Chief of Android Central. He is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand.