Six phones that could unsettle the OnePlus 8 in India

One of OnePlus, half a dozen of the other

by: - Last updated on: October 1st, 2020

OnePlus has recently launched the OnePlus 8 series and has seemingly moved away from its “flagship killer” identity. For now, at least. While the Indian pricing of the two phones is still very surprising and affordable as compared to the rest of the world, both phones sit very comfortably in the premium price segment (or very close to it) with prices starting at Rs. 41,999. The OnePlus 8 which starts at that price, maybe the more affordable of the two, but it still is priced higher than its predecessor, which started at Rs 37,999. And because of this, the new OnePlus 8 is no longer the no-brainer option that it used to be during its flagship killing days. If anything, it now has more competition than ever before. Although we have not been able to get our hands on the new OnePlus 8 (yet), its spec and price combination puts it up against some really serious competition – some new, some relatively older but still formidable.

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Here is a list of six phones that we think can prove to be a headache for the OnePlus 8:

1. iQOO 3: It has the IQ(OO) to Unsettle!

With a starting price of Rs. 34,990 (although it was launched at a slightly higher price tag), the iQOO 3 is perhaps the most affordable phone that is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor in the market at present. This is paired with 8GB RAM and 128 GB storage. While the OnePlus 8 runs on the same processor, it comes with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage at Rs. 41,999.

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The iQOO 3 also sports a quad-camera set up on the back featuring a 48-megapixel main sensor coupled with two 13-megapixel telephoto and ultra-wide sensors and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, which on paper seems to carry more weight than the OnePlus 8’s triple camera setup comprising a 48-megapixel main sensor, 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 2-megapixel dedicated macro lens, although the OnePlus main sensor does have the OIS edge. The iQOO also has a clear edge in the battery department. It brings a 4,400 mAh battery to the table with support for 55W Flash Charge 2.0. The OnePlus 8 has a 4,300 mAh battery with support for Warp Charge 30T.

That said, the OnePlus 8 does have a few aces up its sleeve. The phone brings a 6.55-inch fluid AMOLED display to the table with a 90 Hz refresh rate as opposed to the iQOO 3 that comes with a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with a 60 Hz refresh rate. The OnePlus 8 also has support for 5G at its starting price which is only present in the high-end model of the iQOO 3. The OnePlus 8 also comes with dual stereo speakers, while the iQOO 3 has a single one, but then the iQOO does have a 3.5 mm audio jack.

At heart, the iQOO 3 is a gaming phone (with customizable touch buttons) but does well in almost every other department. Some might think its camera performance is not mind-blowing but it definitely is a very mighty overall performer. At its price, we think it will be one of the biggest headaches for OnePlus 8.

(Read our IQOO 3 review here)

2. Realme X50 Pro: A Real(me) Spec Monster

In terms of sheer specs, the Realme X50 Pro not only matches the OnePlus 8 in many departments but actually even outdoes it in some. Just like the OnePlus 8, the X50 Pro is also powered by the Snapdragon 865 processor, and its base variant also comes with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. The display of the X50 Pro might be marginally smaller at 6.44 inches but it does come with a 90 Hz refresh rate, which is a USP of the OnePlus 8 as well.

The OnePlus 8 has a tiny lead in the battery segment. The X50 Pro is powered by a 4,200 mAh battery while the OnePlus 8 runs on a 4,300 mAh battery. That said, the X50 Pro gets completely charged from 0 to 100 percent in about half an hour, thanks to the support for 65W SuperDart Flash charge while the OnePlus 8 comes with Warp Charge 30T, which is relatively slower, although very fast in its own right.

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The X50 Pro also seemingly has an upper hand in the camera department as it brings a quad-camera setup to the table consisting of a 64-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide and a 2-megapixel depth sensor while the OnePlus 8 has a triple camera setup that has a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide and a 2-megapixel macro – again, a point to note is that the X50 Pro’s sensors do not have OIS (the OnePlus 8’s main sensor has).

The X50 Pro’s dominance continues in the front camera zone where it has dual cameras with 32-megapixel wide and an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor as opposed to a single 16-megapixel shooter on the OnePlus 8. Another factor that helps the X50 Pro is the price of the phone. It starts at Rs. 37,999, making it the most affordable 5G phone in the market. It can be a little inconsistent at times in terms of the interface but is definitely one of the most powerful devices in the segment.

(Read our Realme X50 Pro review here)

3. OnePlus 7T: Never Settle, Bro!

It may be a blood relative but that has not kept the OnePlus 7T from making competition more intense for its new brother. The OnePlus 7T might be a little old as compared to the OnePlus 8 but matches its steps in more than one department easily. The OnePlus 7T comes with a 6.55-inch fluid AMOLED HDR 10+ display with a 90 Hz refresh rate which basically matches the display specs of the OnePlus 8.

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Both phones come with triple camera setups on the back, but megapixel numbers seem to give the OnePlus 7T an edge, thanks to a 48-megapixel main camera coupled with a 16-megapixel ultra-wide and a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor. Some might even consider this combination more versatile than the OnePlus 8’s 48-megapixel main sensor, 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and much-criticized 2-megapixel macro shooter. Both phones’ main sensors come with OIS as well.

And while the design of the OnePlus 8 is pretty classy, the OnePlus 7T is one of the most distinct-looking devices, not just from OnePlus but in general, thanks to its circular camera unit on the back.

That said, being the newer one of the two, does give some substantial edge to the OnePlus 8. It runs on the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 processor as opposed to the Snapdragon 855+ which powers the OnePlus 7T. The OnePlus 8 also has a bigger battery at 4,300 mAh while the 7T has a 3,800 mAh battery. Both come with support for Warp Charge 30T, though.

The OnePlus 8 also comes with 5G support which is missing in the OnePlus 7T. But the OnePlus 7T’s base variant comes with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage, while you get 6 GB and 128 GB storage on the OnePlus 8. And the biggest plus point of the 7T over the 8 is its price. It is now available at 34,999 which is considerably lower than the starting price of the OnePlus 8.

(Read our OnePlus 7T review here)

4. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite: Why Not Settle for an S-Pen!

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite might not look like a formidable contender for the OnePlus 8 at first because it runs on a two-year-old Exynos 9810 processor paired with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. But the device does have a few very Note-able features that helped it make it to this list. It has a bigger 6.7-inch super AMOLED display as opposed to the 6.55-inch fluid AMOLED display of the OnePlus 8. Yes, the OnePlus 8 comes with a 90 Hz refresh rate while the Note 10 Lite comes with a 60 Hz refresh rate, but this is a Samsung AMOLED display so we can see people being swayed by its dazzling colors.

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Both phones have triple primary camera combinations on the back. The Note 10 Lite has three 12-megapixel shooters where one is wide, another is ultra-wide and the other is telephoto, a kind of setup we have seen on flagship iPhones and Samsung devices, while the OnePlus 8 has a 48-megapixel main sensor, 16-megapixel ultra-wide and 2-megapixel macro camera. Both phones have OIS on their main sensors, but we suspect the Note 10 Lite might hold an edge here. On the front, the Note brings a 32-megapixel shooter while the OnePlus 8 has a 16-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Note 10 Lite also has a bigger battery at 4,500 mAh and support for 25W fast charging. The OnePlus 8, on the other hand, has a 4,300 mAh battery but is likely to charge much faster thanks to Warp Charge 30T.

But perhaps the biggest difference between the two devices is the Note 10 Lite’s stylus, the incredibly versatile S Pen, that makes the Note 10 series hands down the most different Android smartphones out there. With a starting price of Rs. 38,999, the Note 10 Lite brings not just very solid basics (display, camera and battery) but also something that no other device in this list has – the ability to scribble and draw with its own stylus. And that definitely makes it a very Note-worthy rival to the OnePlus 8!

(Read our first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite here)

5. Realme X2 Pro: For those who want to settle for a lower price!

You might be wondering what is this kid doing here amongst these beasts, but what may look like an older budget device with a starting price of Rs. 27,999 for its 6GB RAM and 64 GB storage variant, is actually quite strongly specced. Just like the OnePlus 7T, this one also runs on Snapdragon 855+ processor. It has a 6.5-inch super AMOLED display with support for 90 Hz refresh rate, pretty much matching the OnePlus 8.

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The X2 Pro also has a quad primary camera setup consisting of a 64-megapixel main sensor, a 13-megapixel telephoto, an 8 megapixel ultrawide, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, again more than a match for the OnePlus 8’s triple camera arrangement, although the latter does have optical image stabilization.

It might have a slightly smaller battery at 4,000 mAh but comes with SuperVOOC charge support at 50W which can charge the phone from 0 to 100 percent in almost half an hour, which is must faster than what we have heard Warp Charge 30T can charge the OnePlus’ 4,300 mAh battery. Yes, it has a slightly older processor (albeit a flagship one) and no 5G to speak of, but many might feel tempted to opt for the X2 Pro simply given the price difference between the two. You can pick the Master edition of the phone with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage at Rs 36,999 and would still be left with some loose change in your pocket.

(Read our Realme X2 Pro review here)

6. iPhone SE 2020: Want to settle? Think Different!

It is the OG competitor of the OnePlus 8, thanks to the extremely close pricing of the two. As OnePlus is moving up the price ladder, and Apple is seemingly descending it gently, these two devices bring the two very different brands face to face. The iPhone SE is nothing like the OnePlus 8 but brings a compact form factor (with thick bezels around a much smaller display though), single primary camera, and physical fingerprint scanner to the table.

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The OnePlus 8, on the other hand, sports a tall, curved, bezel-less display, with triple camera setup and in-display fingerprint scanner. We have not used either of the two phones but the reason why iPhone SE is here on this list is because of its A13 Bionic chipset, which is widely considered to be perhaps the best mobile chipset around, and the relatively affordable (by iPhone standards) price tag of Rs. 42,500.

The phone also brings something that no other phone in the list has, the iOS interface and app ecosystem. Add to this the sheer aura that an iPhone enjoys, and the iPhone SE is not the most affordable new iPhone around, but also the closest in terms of price to the OnePlus 8 in this last. That could be a little problematic for the Never Settler.

(Read our opinion here)

One plus one more unsettling releases

And that’s not all. As this is being written, we have news that the iQOO Neo 3 has been launched, complete with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip, a display with 144 Hz refresh rate, and 5G, at a starting price of 2698 Yuan, which translates roughly into less than Rs 30,000. We do not know when it will be launched in India, but when it does, it would not only pose a threat to the OnePlus 8 but also most likely lead to a reduction in the price of the iQOO 3 as well. And then there’s the matter to Xiaomi Mi 10, which features a Snapdragon 865 chip, a 108-megapixel camera, and 5G. It was expected to launch at a premium pricing before the COVID-19 crisis, but there is speculation that the delay in its launch might lead to its coming at a much lower price than expected.

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