OnePlus 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 8: Which should you buy?

OnePlus 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 8
OnePlus 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 8 (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

OnePlus 8 Pro

Oneplus 8 Pro

OnePlus put together all of its strengths in hardware, specs, and software and finally added in missing features like water resistance, wireless charging, and a top-notch screen. It also has a fantastic quad camera setup, and while it is one of the costliest phones OnePlus has ever sold — it is worth it.

OnePlus 8 Pro

True flagship

Bigger, better display at 120Hz
Wireless charging
Better cameras
Tougher to use one-handed
$200 more
Same front-facing camera

OnePlus 8

OnePlus 8

The OnePlus 8 follows more of the traditional OnePlus model: deliver a flagship-like experience with top-end hardware and specs for hundreds less. Even with a higher price than the 7T, you can still see great value in the 8. You just lose out on the top-end cameras, screen, and wireless charging of the 8 Pro.

OnePlus 8

A real bargain

Less expensive for same core features
Easier to use with one hand
Same great specs
Strong battery life
Weaker rear cameras
Smaller, lower-res screen at 90Hz

OnePlus 9 series is here

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro continue to hold their own in 2021, but if you're looking to pick up a new phone, you'll want to take a look at the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. Both phones offer a fresh design and pack considerable hardware upgrades, particularly around the camera side of things.

You also get 65W wired charging as standard on both phones, and faster 50W wireless charging on the 9 Pro. The devices also feature 120Hz AMOLED panels, the latest internal hardware, and the Hasselblad-tuned cameras are on par with the best phones available today.

Unlike 2019, OnePlus released both of its early 2020 models simultaneously in the same regions, giving you a direct choice between the top-end and more budget-focused phones. These are two of the best Android phones you can buy, but which is right for you?

OnePlus 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 8: Pricing & availability

Oneplus 8 Pro Green In Hand Back

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

The OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 were both released April 14, 2020, starting at $899 and $699 respectively. Both phones feature a Snapdragon 865 chipset, along with baseline specs of 128GB and 8GB of RAM. Each model can be upgraded to 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM for an additional $100, and following the launch of the OnePlus 9 series, they've been heavily discounted: the OnePlus 8 Pro is now $700, and the OnePlus 8 is just $500.

Both phones are available in Glacial Green, though Interstellar Glow is exclusive to the OnePlus 8, while Onyx Black and Ultramarine Blue are reserved for the OnePlus 8 Pro. It's worth noting that the newer OnePlus 8T is also available for $600, and you get 65W fast charging and a 120Hz AMOLED.

OnePlus 8 Pro vs. OnePlus 8: What are the differences?

The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are obviously part of the same family, but the branding should give you a hint that this isn't the same device in different sizes — these phones have different specs, features, capabilities, and qualities.

In terms of hardware, specs, and core features, you wouldn't notice a difference.

It's easiest to begin by laying out where the two phones are the same. Their external hardware quality and design are nearly identical, size notwithstanding. You'll see the same curved edges, stereo speakers, button placement, and even camera arrangement — at a glance, they're the same. The colors aren't identical, but they're similar: you can get glossy black or matte green for both, or deviate with glossy "Interstellar Glow" on the 8 and matte "Ultramarine Blue" on the 8 Pro.

Inside, they both have the same basic specs, with a Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of baseline storage. Performance is the same, and the software is thankfully the same between the two as well — and that's a great thing because OxygenOS is wonderful to use. The 8 Pro has a slightly larger battery, fitting its larger overall size, but the battery life is effectively the same between the two phones as the 8 scales down its screen refresh, resolution, and size to match its battery capacity. Both phones stick with the standard OnePlus 30W Warp Charge wired charging, which is incredibly fast.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 OnePlus 8OnePlus 8 Pro
Operating systemAndroid 11OxygenOS 11Android 11OxygenOS 11
Display6.55-inch 90Hz Fluid AMOLED2400x1080 (20:9)HDR10+Gorilla Glass 66.7-inch 120Hz Fluid AMOLED3168x1440 (19.8:9)HDR10+3D Gorilla Glass
ChipsetSnapdragon 865Snapdragon 865
Storage128GB/256GB UFS3.0128GB/256GB UFS3.0
MicroSD slotNoNo
Rear camera 148MP, 0.8umf/1.75, OIS4K at 60fps48MP, 1.12umf/1.78, OIS4K at 60fps
Rear camera 22MP, 1.75umf/2.4, macro lens8MP, 1.0umf/2.4, OIS, telephoto3x hybrid zoom
Rear camera 316MP, 1.0umf/2.2, ultra-wide lens116° FoV48MPf/2.2, ultra-wide lens119° FoV
Rear camera 4n/a5MP Color Filter
Front camera16MP, f/2.41080p video, fixed focus16MP, f/2.41080p video, fixed focus
Connectivity5G Sub-6, SA and NSAWi-Fi 6 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0NFC, A-GPS5G Sub-6, SA and NSAWi-Fi 6 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.1NFC, A-GPS
AudioUSB-CStereo speakersUSB-CStereo speakers
ChargingUSB-C 3.1Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)USB-C 3.1Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)Warp Charge 30 Wireless (20V/1.5A)
Water resistanceIP68 (some models)IP68
SecurityIn-display fingerprint (optical)In-display fingerprint (optical)
ColorsOnyx Black, Glacial Green, Ultramarine BlueOnyx Black, Glacial Green, Ultramarine Blue

Now, let's address the differences. The first is the size, of course. The 8 Pro's 6.78-inch screen expands the phone's height, width, and weight beyond the 8's body wrapped around a 6.55-inch panel. It doesn't seem like much, but the 8 Pro is very large and might be pushing the limits of what you can do with the phone in one hand. By comparison, the OnePlus 8 is a tad smaller than the Pixel 4 XL and Galaxy S20+, staying within the "normal" size realm. The other notable difference in hardware is wireless charging: the 8 Pro has it, the 8 doesn't.

The 8 Pro is bigger, with a better display, and notably better cameras.

The 8 Pro's display also looks marginally better and has a higher 1440p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate compared to the 8's 1080p and 90Hz. That extra refresh rate smooths out motion just a bit more, though the 8's screen looks great on its own. You probably won't notice the screen resolution, but your eyes will enjoy the 8 Pro's screen more overall — and there's just more room for anything you want to do.

Being a more expensive phone, the OnePlus 8 Pro can deliver better cameras. The main sensor is still 48MP, but it's a larger and better sensor that produces improved photos across the board. It's also supported by a telephoto camera for zoom, which the 8 doesn't have at all, and an ultra-wide camera sensor that's better than the 8's as well. The only part of the camera experience that's equivalent is the front-facing shooter. Otherwise, the 8 Pro outperforms across the board.

Should you buy the OnePlus 8 Pro or OnePlus 8?

OnePlus 8 Pro

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

If you can afford the 8 Pro, go for it — and if not, the 8 is a great value.

When it comes to actually choosing between these two phones, you have to start with the price. OnePlus upped prices on both models compared to previous years, with the 8 starting at $700 and the 8 Pro starting at $900. These aren't inexpensive anymore — the OnePlus 8 Pro, in particular, is getting up in the range of the top-tier flagships. If money's not a big factor, and you can handle (or prefer) a large phone, the 8 Pro is the one to get. But if either point is of concern, the OnePlus 8 still provides excellent value and is a really good phone in its own right.

There are also a couple of quirks with availability in the U.S. If you want to buy from a carrier, the OnePlus 8 is your only choice — you can get it from T-Mobile or Verizon. Though you can, of course, buy the 8 Pro unlocked and bring it to any carrier. Things get murky if you want to use Verizon, however, because the only way to get Verizon's 5G network is to buy a OnePlus 8 directly from the carrier. If you bring the 8 Pro to Verizon, you'll be on 4G.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.