Update, February 24, 2020 (3:45AM ET): We’ve updated the original article with some alleged hands-on images of the OnePlus 8 Pro. We’ve also added details about why we expect wireless charging on the OnePlus 8 series, as well as the suggested launch time frame for the phones.
Original article, October 18, 2019 (2:29 AM ET): In 2019, OnePlus released more smartphones than it had in any other year prior. In 2020, the company isn’t likely to slow down, as we already have solid rumors suggesting a OnePlus 8, as well as a OnePlus 8 Pro, are on the way.
We also have solid rumors to suggest that there is a new mid-range or budget device coming from the company, which we’re tentatively calling the OnePlus 8 Lite. If it does land, it would be the first non-flagship phone product from the company since the OnePlus X, which launched in 2015.
Here are all the rumors we’ve heard so far about the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Lite, and OnePlus 8 Pro. Be sure to bookmark this page as we will update it often with new information as it comes to light!
OnePlus 8 series: Name and release date
OnePlus is very good at keeping vital information about its upcoming products private. As such, we don’t yet have any confirmation that the upcoming phone launches from the company will be known as the OnePlus 8 series. However, there’s been no indication that the company will change up its usual naming scheme, so we can be relatively assured that the OnePlus 8 and its higher-end sibling the OnePlus 8 Pro are what the company will launch soon.
The OnePlus 8 Lite, though, is more of a wild card. The “Lite” moniker seems sensible, but the last time OnePlus released a budget-minded device it went with a whole new name in the OnePlus X. Therefore, it is absolutely possible that the OnePlus 8 Lite might have some totally different name, possibly even the OnePlus X 2 (although that seems unlikely).
Until we hear otherwise, we’ll continue to use the OnePlus 8, Pro, and Lite names.
As for a release date for all these products, it’s likely that we’ll see them launch sooner than expected. The OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 6 both landed in May and the OnePlus 5 landed in June. Tipster Ishan Agarwal has suggested that the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will launch somewhere around late March or April.
There’s no word yet on the launch of the OnePlus 8 Lite, although, it could very well release alongside the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.
OnePlus 8 series: Design
We already have seen leaked renders for all three of the rumored devices in the OnePlus 8 family. The leaks come from reliable source @OnLeaks via partners Cash Karo and 91Mobiles. As such, we are confident that these renders give us a very good idea of what the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, and OnePlus 8 Lite will look like.
Let’s go over each device individually.
The OnePlus 8 looks a bit different from its predecessor, the OnePlus 7, which itself only looked slightly different from its own predecessor, the OnePlus 6T. The rear camera system is arranged in the same fashion with a centered, vertically-aligned bump. However, a third lens is added, which is a nice upgrade.
On the front, the waterdrop notch is gone. Instead, OnePlus appears to be going the punch-hole route by adding a single selfie lens as a cutout in the upper left corner.
The usual OnePlus button layout survives with the volume rocker on the left and the power button and alert slider on the right. The USB-C port is in its usual place and there’s still no 3.5mm headphone jack.
Keep in mind that the OnePlus 7 didn’t see a launch in the United States, so it’s possible that many areas of the world won’t ever see this device on store shelves. Head to the Price and Availability section for more on this.
OnePlus 8 Pro
From the back, the OnePlus 8 Pro doesn’t appear to look at all different from the OnePlus 7T Pro. The camera layout, including the left-of-center ToF sensor, are all arranged in pretty much the same way in these renders as they appear on the 7T Pro.
An alleged hands-on image of the OnePlus 8 Pro was also leaked (via Slashleaks) recently. It was downloaded from the official OnePlus discord server and matches the above shown renders. You can see the image below.
The front is where things get interesting. The OnePlus 7 Pro and the OnePlus 7T Pro featured an all-screen display with no notch and no cutouts. This was possible due to the pop-up selfie camera system on both devices. On the OnePlus 8 Pro, though, the company appears to have abandoned this system, opting instead for a punch-hole cutout just like we saw on the OnePlus 8 renders.
An alleged hands-on image of the front of the phone also corroborates the punch-hole display design as well as some settings of the phone. You can see that image below.
Some may see this as a regression since the all-screen display was such a highlight of the 7 Pro and 7T Pro. However, OnePlus might be doing this for a good reason: it’s possible the OnePlus 8 Pro could be the first IP-certified device from the brand. It’s very difficult for a device with a mechanical pop-up camera to earn an IP rating, so OnePlus may have sacrificed it to earn certification. We can’t think of any other reason OnePlus would sacrifice its all-screen design, which was such a high-profile feature of the 7 Pro and 7T Pro devices.
If you’re already a OnePlus 7 Pro or OnePlus 7T Pro owner, you’ll need to decide for yourself if losing the pop-up selfie camera in the OnePlus 8 Pro is an upgrade or a downgrade.
OnePlus 8 Lite
According to these leaked renders, the OnePlus 8 Lite is the device that is notably different from any other OnePlus phone. The camera bump on the back doesn’t look like any we’ve ever seen on a OnePlus product and the front looks very different from the other entries in the 8 series.
It should also be noted that we’ve seen leaked real-life images that appear to show a OnePlus 8 Lite prototype. This gives us even more confidence that the renders above are correct. Check out that image here:
The first phone you can see all the way to the right is a dead ringer for these @OnLeaks renders. However, it does seem like it has a triple-lens camera in that real-life image, so the renders might be wrong about that. We’re going to assume that the prototype is just that: a prototype. If so, a dual-lens system on the rear is much more likely for a budget-minded device.
Whether this phone is called the OnePlus 8 Lite or not, it’s very clearly a less expensive device. It has a flat display rather than a curved one, seems to have two rear lenses instead of three or four, and larger display bezels. Unfortunately, OnePlus is still not bringing in a headphone jack, even though other companies did so with their cheaper devices, including Google and Huawei.
OnePlus 8 series: Specs and features
OnePlus has trickled out a few spec confirmations related to the OnePlus 8 series. Let’s run through those confirmed details first and then dive into the speculations.
At CES 2020, OnePlus confirmed that the OnePlus 8 series will feature 120Hz display refresh rates. These new displays come courtesy of Samsung. This is a sizable increase over the 90Hz display refresh rates present on the OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T, and OnePlus 7T Pro.
However, it is unlikely that the OnePlus 8 Lite will feature that high of a refresh rate. Fret not, though, because OnePlus promised last year that every phone it releases will have a 90Hz display refresh rate going forward, so even the budget-oriented entry should have a higher refresh rate than the usual 60Hz.
Although not explicitly confirmed by OnePlus, a set of leaked presentation slides (in Chinese) confirm that the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will also come with a dedicated MEMC chip. MEMC stands for Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation and is usually a technology available on televisions. It inserts new frames between existing ones in a video to decrease motion blur.
OnePlus’ MEMC tech can apparently upscale low frame rate videos to a maximum of 120 frames per second, making the picture smoother and more natural. If this really works as intended, it could mean a much better gaming experience on future OnePlus phones.
Further, OnePlus’ 120Hz display has a touch sample rate of 240Hz and can apparently hit 1,000 nits peak brightness. It is optimized by something OnePlus calls Smooth Chain technology. However, details are scarce at the moment thanks to the official information being available only in Chinese.
Although there’s been no official announcement, it’s pretty much a given that the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will both feature the latest-and-greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. There has never been a flagship OnePlus smartphone without the latest Qualcomm 800 series SoC, so we are practically certain this will be included.
With the Snapdragon 865 on board, both the 8 and 8 Pro would be 5G-ready, as the 865 has a 5G modem built-in.
Likewise, all OnePlus smartphones released over the past year have had a bare minimum of 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. As such, it’s reasonable to assume that the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro will have at least that much memory included at even the most entry-level of models.
As far as cameras go, it’s possible the OnePlus 8 Pro could feature Samsung’s new 108MP sensor as a primary lens. We expect many flagship phones in 2020 to feature this sensor and OnePlus usually opts for the latest-and-greatest. However, if the Pro variant has it, it’s then possible that the vanilla variant won’t. It’s also possible OnePlus will stick with a 48MP or 64MP sensor for both devices.
Related: OnePlus Concept One hands-on
We did hear a rumor that OnePlus could finally offer wireless charging with the 8 series. The Chinese brand is also a full member of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) now. This group created and supports the Qi wireless charging standard.
If true, wireless charging would likely only come to the 8 Pro and possibly the 8. It is unlikely it would come to the 8 Lite. Then again, OnePlus’s WPC membership could mean it releases earbuds with a wireless charging case or another type of product instead of a wirelessly charging phone.
As mentioned earlier, it’s also possible OnePlus is removing the pop-up selfie cam from the OnePlus 8 Pro to help with finally earning an IP rating. This is purely speculative at the moment, but we can’t think of another reason for OnePlus to ditch the all-screen display of the 7 Pro.
As for the OnePlus 8 Lite, specs for that device are totally unknown at the moment. If OnePlus wants it to be a budget-oriented device in competition with phones such as the Google Pixel 3a, it likely won’t have a Snapdragon 865 on board. Instead, it will likely have a Snapdragon 700 or even 600 series processor. It’s also possible it will dip below the 6GB/128GB memory trend of 2019. Unfortunately, there just is no way to accurately predict what OnePlus has in mind for this phone since we haven’t seen anything like it in nearly five years.
Finally, none of the renders above feature fingerprint scanners, so it’s very likely we’ll see the optical in-display fingerprint sensors in the 7 series carry over to the 8 series.
OnePlus 8 series: Price and availability
OnePlus’ smartphones get more and more expensive every year. There’s no reason to think this year will be any different. We don’t know how much more expensive the phones will be but we can look at 2019 prices to make a good guess.
Here are the 2019 OnePlus prices for each of the base models:
- OnePlus 7 (6GB/128GB) — €559 (~$622)
- OnePlus 7 Pro (6GB/128GB) — $669
- OnePlus 7T (8GB/128GB) — $599
- OnePlus 7T Pro (8GB/256GB) — €759 (~$845)
Judging from that, it’s reasonable to assume the OnePlus 8 might start at around $600 — $650 and the OnePlus 8 Pro might start around $700 — $750. Those are just estimates but it’s highly unlikely the devices will be cheaper than that.
Once again, for the OnePlus 8 Lite, we haven’t a clue what it will cost. If OnePlus wants it to compete with the very popular Google Pixel 3a, we’d guess it would come in at under $400. However, your guess is as good as ours for now.
As for availability, the OnePlus 7 didn’t launch in the US, with the company instead focusing solely on the OnePlus 7 Pro. It’s possible OnePlus could repeat this strategy in 2020.
However, we did hear a rumor that contradicts this. According to Android Police, the OnePlus 8 (not the 8 Pro) could land on Verizon Wireless here in the US. This would be the first time OnePlus launched a smartphone on Big Red. It’s theoretically possible that the OnePlus 8 could land on Verizon and the OnePlus 8 Pro could land at the current home for the company, T-Mobile.
It’s also a good possibility that the OnePlus 8 Lite might not see a release in the US as the company might be focusing that on emerging markets such as India.
That’s all we know about the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Lite, and OnePlus 8 Pro so far. Let us know in the comments below if we missed anything or what you’re looking forward to the most from OnePlus’ next smartphone.