“Phone pe phone. Phone pe phone. Phone pe phone launch hote gaye, My Lord! Par ideal OnePlus nahi mila.”
(“Phone after phone. Phone after phone. Phone after phone was launched, My Lord! But the ideal OnePlus was not found!”)
If film star Sunny Deol had been a OnePlus fanboy in 2020, we can imagine him delivering this dialogue with the same frustration and angst as we saw him deliver the original one in his iconic movie, Damini (see it here in case you missed it). Not because some grave injustice has been committed by OnePlus but because for the first time we have so many OnePlus devices that it has got really confusing as to which one is the perfect one, or rather OnePlus, for whom.
This is the first time in the OnePlus smartphone history that we have not one, not two, not three but five different OnePlus devices in circulation at the same time. Before you think these are different variants of the same phone, THEY ARE NOT! And neither are they one or two-year-old models. No, all of them have been released within the last twelve months! OnePlus actually has five completely different smartphones in the market at the moment, covering a bigger price bracket than the brand has ever covered before. We thought last year was confusing enough, but this year with the launch of the Nord, and price cuts in last year’s models, figuring out the perfect OnePlus is an even more difficult task.
So if you are looking to invest in a OnePlus smartphone but cannot quite figure out which one out of this array would be your ideal match, there is no need to get frustrated as our Sunny Sunny paaji. We are here to help you find THE one. Here you go:
OnePlus Nord: The affordable jack of all trades
Rs 24,999 onwards
Fresh out of the OnePlus oven is this bun, the OnePlus Nord. The latest OnePlus offering which is also the most affordable of the lot. The OnePlus Nord comes with a starting price of Rs. 24,999 (although this variant will not be available until September). So, if you want the OnePlus experience and want it quick and still light on the pocket, the Rs. 27,999 variant of the Nord would be the one for you. Unlike all of its other siblings that boast about being either flagship killers or flagships themselves, this one is more like an upper mid-segment OnePlus which aims to deliver the OnePlus experience at a more affordable price. But that does not mean the smartphone does not come with decent specs.
It sports a tall, thin bezel-ed 6.44-inch Fluid AMOLED full HD+ display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It might look slightly washed out to those who are used to typically rich contrast and deep color reproducing AMOLEDs but is very good for its segment. It is powered by a new Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, the Snapdragon 765G and currently comes in 8 GB/ 128 GB and 12 GB/ 256 GB RAM and storage variants – as we pointed out, the base variant with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage will be available sometime in September. The OnePlus Nord also comes with 5G support, and runs on OnePlus’ Oxygen OS (like all OnePlus devices), making it future proof.
It can run high-end games but you might not get the level of smoothness that a flagship-level processor provides. In the camera department, it comes with a quad-camera setup on the back consisting of a 48-megapixel main sensor, an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. On the front, it has a dual-camera setup with a 32-megapixel main sensor and an 8-megapixel ultrawide sensor – the first dual front cameras in OnePlus history. The primary camera performs well in good light conditions… mostly. The color and detail produced are good but the phone can sometimes take a second to focus on the subject. It is powered by a 4,115 mAh battery with support for Warp Charge 30T, and will mostly see you through a day of use and get charged up in no time at all.
The Nord is more or less a OnePlus that is a Jack of all trades rather than a master of some. It does everything well. If you want to experience a OnePlus device without burning a deep hole in your pocket, this definitely would be the One(Plus) for you.
OnePlus 7T: The most affordable true flagship
Rs 34,999 onwards
Smartphone designs are getting kind of predictable in pretty much all the segments but that is one complaint you cannot have with the OnePlus 7T. It is one of the most distinguishable OnePlus in the brand’s portfolio, all thanks to the massive circular camera unit on the back. Along with the distinct design, the OnePlus 7T also brings some very serious specs power to the table. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor and comes with RAM and storage variants of 8 GB/ 128 GB and 8 GB/ 256 GB.
At Rs. 34,999, the OnePlus 7T is the most affordable flagship-level smartphone that you can get from OnePlus. It will be able to handle the needs of your high-end game with ease. It comes with a triple camera setup that features a 48 megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor. The cameras on the OnePlus 7T are very consistent and offer good detail. The smartphone also has a slightly bigger Fluid AMOLED display than the Nord at 6.55 inches with a 90 Hz refresh rate, and also comes with very good dual stereo speakers. It has the smallest battery present in the OnePlus family with 3,800 mAh but has support for 30T Warp Charging, so you can be back up and running in no time at all. Of course, it runs on OxygenOS built on Android 10 and is likely to get regular updates for a few years.
The OnePlus 7T is a device for those who want a flagship-level processor that can handle high-end tasks without breaking into a sweat – the 855+ remains the second most powerful chip out there after the 865. It is also for those who would like their phone design to match their phone specs and do not want a smartphone that looks like the smartphone next door. Most importantly, it is the OnePlus for those who still do not wish to splurge too much but STILL wants a proper flagship.
OnePlus 8: The latest for those that do not want to spend the greatest
Rs 41,999 onwards
If you want to buy the latest but do not want to spend the greatest, OnePlus 8 is the OnePlus you are looking for. It is powered by one of the most powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon processors yet, the Snapdragon 865. And it comes in three variants: 6 GB/ 128 GB, 8 GB/ 128 GB and 12 GB / 256 GB. It definitely has the sort of specs and numbers that gamers’ dreams are made of, and the presence of dual speakers and a large 4300 mAh battery only help its entertainment cause. It looks darn good too with a really sleek design, featuring a tall 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED display with 90 Hz refresh rate that curves out on the side, and being incredibly slim and lightweight too (it is lighter than the Nord, which is a smaller phone!).
It also comes with a triple camera setup on the back with a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 main sensor, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor. The cameras of the OnePlus 8 are not the device’s strongest suit as we think the camera setup on the OnePlus 7T has better functional value (that 2 MP macro is really not that great) and also performance as compared to the OnePlus 8.
The phone also runs on OxygenOS based on Android 10. With a starting price of Rs. 41,999 the OnePlus 8 would be the OnePlus for those who want to hop onto the latest OnePlus smartphone bandwagon and do not want to compromise on the processor power, but still do not have pockets deep enough for the top variant. It is walking on eggshells with OnePlus 7T around as it is a very different looking smartphone with pretty much similar specs (barring the Snapdragon 865 processor) and we think a better primary camera setup. But yes, it is the most affordable brand new OnePlus flagship.
OnePlus 7T Pro: For those who love flagships and hate notches!
Rs 47,999 onwards
If nomenclature does not bother you, you HATE notches and you want a beast of a OnePlus under the 50K mark then the 7T Pro is going to be your cup of tea. It is the only notch-less OnePlus in the company’s portfolio right now. But that is not the only thing working in favor of the OnePlus 7T Pro. It comes with a tall 6.67 inch curved, Fluid AMOLED QHD+ display with a 90 Hz refresh rate and because it has no notch, this is the only OnePlus with an all-display front. It is paired with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor with 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage which is more than capable of handling all the heavy-duty tasks you put it through.
This one also comes with a triple camera setup on the back with a 48 megapixel Sony IMX568 main sensor paired with an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor and a 16-megapixel ultrawide sensor. That notch-less display means that the OnePlus 7T Pro comes with a 16-megapixel front-facing camera that pops right out of the frame. Some might find the camera performance of the 7T Pro a little underwhelming but it gets the job done in well-lit conditions and has the ability to deliver some really good macro images.
What’s more, we think the cameras on the 7T Pro are still a step ahead of the OnePlus 8 which makes a good case for the device. It has a slightly smaller battery than most OnePlus phones (other than its Pro-less sibling, the 7T) with 4,085 mAh fueling it but it can last a good day of normal usage and with support for 30T Warp Charge, the phone can get charged pretty quickly too. It also runs on OnePlus’s OxygenOS which is based on Android 10. With a price of Rs. 47,999, the OnePlus 7T is a good prospect for anyone looking for a flagship-level OnePlus under Rs. 50,000. It has the curved, notch-less display, the pop-up camera, and the backing of a flagship-level processor. Do not go by the number in its name – this is almost as good as it gets. Yes, we said “almost” because guess what’s next?
OnePlus 8 Pro: Budget, what budget? Other OnePlus, which other OnePlus?
Rs 54,999 onwards
If budget is not an issue and you have your heart set on OnePlus, then you might as well as skip whatever has been written so far and go for the beast in the Never Settling business. The OnePlus that is the out and out premium flagship — the OnePlus 8 Pro. It has everything you would want from a premium phone. It comes with a massive 6.78-inch curved, Fluid AMOLED QHD+ display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. It might feel a little heavy in the hand (and on the pocket) but the 8 Pro has premium written all over it, with a fantastic frosted glass finish that makes quite a statement. What’s more, it is the first OnePlus with an IP Rating – it has IP68 dust and water resistance.
And all those premium externals is backed by some really high-end innards. The OnePlus 8 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and comes with 8 GB/ 128 GB and 12 GB / 256 GB RAM and storage variants. These specs paired with that massive, QHD+, AMOLED display, and dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support spell “High-end heaven!”
Other than the Nord, this is the only other OnePlus device with a quad-camera set up on the back. It consists of a 48 megapixel Sony IMX689 main sensor, a 48-megapixel ultrawide sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 5-megapixel color filter lens. All these numbers do translate into some serious camera performance and it is no surprise that the cameras on the OnePlus 8 Pro are the best in the OnePlus family. On the front, there is a slightly underwhelming 16-megapixel sensor, though.
Battery wise, the OnePlus 8 Pro comes with the biggest battery in all of its clan with 4,510 mAh but all that display and power-hungry specs drain it fairly quickly, which means the phone sees a day of normal usage even though it has a big battery. It comes with 30T Warp Charge support and also offers 30W wireless charging, which means wires or no wires, the phone will get charged up to 50 percent in about half an hour. And yes (do we STILL need to say this?), it is powered by Oxygen OS based on Android 10. With a starting price of Rs. 54,999, the OnePlus 8 Pro is the most expensive OnePlus of the lot, but it is hands down the best smartphone OnePlus has created. If you are after the best, and money is an enabler rather than a restraint, then this is the one you should go for!
(Note: the prices and variants of the devices were as on the day of writing. These could change with the passage of time.)