Reviews

Nokia C1 review: You get what you pay for

A surprisingly affordable Android Go smartphone

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The competition in the budget smartphone segment is intense. Every month, smartphone companies churn out budget devices that appeal to people that don’t exactly have plenty of cash to spare. While most Chinese tech companies have already perfected the formula for a winning budget device, others are still getting there.

That is the case with the Nokia C1. While the asking price of this phone is surprising, the features that come with it may not impress some people. However, it’s better to expect what you’re getting for a phone that costs less than PhP 3,000. Using this is a matter of moderating one’s expectations. After all, this is an entry-level phone.

So, what can you expect from Nokia C1?

No-nonsense design

Here’s one way to put Nokia C1’s design: it’s simple and refreshingly bland. I said refreshingly bland because this device is a break from the gradient design of most phones out there. It may not be flashy, but its simple, monotone-back design is a striking change in a sea of smartphones with enormous camera bumps and gradient backs.

Plus, there’s much to love with the Nokia C1 in black. It’s discreet, and you can see the signature Nokia logo stand out. As a bonus feature, the phone doesn’t have a camera hump. Nokia positioned the rear camera in the upper center of the device. Honestly, I prefer this camera positioning over other phones released recently — including flagship ones.

Moving over to the front, you will see bezels that pale in comparison to this year’s smartphones. It’s fine. I don’t mind the bezel at all when they’re so symmetrically positioned. If you hate notches in smartphones so much, you’ll find consolation in the lack of one. The top bezel houses the loudspeaker, a camera flash, and the Nokia logo (again). Nokia really wants to remind you that it made this phone.

So-so display

Nokia’s latest budget entry is a step behind this department since most devices today feature an HD+ display as a bare minimum. The display, owing to its low 960 x 480 resolution, is literally blurry. I can almost see the individual pixels on this device when I look at it from a close distance.

As a cost-cutting measure, Nokia put an IPS LCD panel instead of an AMOLED panel. Blacks appear as a washed-out gray color, and there’s not much to talk about the display’s color saturation. The display’s brightness is fine as long as you don’t plan to use the device in direct sunlight.

Performance that can’t keep up with the times

Disappointingly, Nokia C1’s performance can’t keep up with the times. Nokia hasn’t specified exactly what processor was used for the phone. That doesn’t matter, however, as the device’s processor is just enough for light smartphone usage. It’s powered by the lightweight Android Go OS, but you’ll hardly see any differences compared to a full-fledged Android.

Since this is an Android Go Edition device, you’ll spend a lot of time with lite editions of Google apps. These lite apps — Google Go, Gmail Go, Maps Go, YouTube Go — come preinstalled. Plus, Google recommends the lite version of popular apps when you search in the Play Store.

There’s a reason why I think you will need to download lite versions of popular apps for this device. No, it’s not the storage — the 16GB of storage, while inadequate, can be expanded with a MicroSD card. What is not enough, however, is the amount of RAM this device wields.

With only 1GB of RAM, you’ll surely be looking at a blank screen for a few seconds before an app opens. There is a considerable lag with app animations, and certain tasks take minutes to finish.

Don’t expect to game on this device too. The weak processor combined with a little amount of RAM is an indication that this is not built for gaming. For me, the device is fine for a casual gaming session. Surprisingly, the device handled Asphalt 8 on low to medium settings just fine.

Connectivity is also an issue. I’m really annoyed that Nokia didn’t even bother to include 4G connectivity since most networks around the globe now support 4G as a bare minimum. So, you will be stuck between 2G or 3G all the time with this device.

Low-quality cameras for an occasional snap

Nokia C1’s price accurately reflects the state of its cameras. In the back, you’ll find a 5MP snapper and an LED flash. Yes, there are no fancy telephoto or ultra-wide-cameras here. The low-res wide-angle camera shoots images and videos that come straight from a phone of a bygone era. Simply put, the images taken by this device are worse.

Most of the time, daytime shots are blurry. In this image taken on a gloomy weather, I can’t easily determine the finer details in the grass. Details are smeared — honestly, the images look like an oil painting.  There is not enough saturation, and the colors are all washed out. Dynamic range is absent, and noise is visibly present.

Shooting at night? Forget it, since the shots taken at night is just unusable. The camera’s low resolution is much evident when shooting at a darker environment. Fine details are absent, and the colors are washed-out. Noise is also visible all throughout.

The device’s selfie camera also tells the same story as its rear camera. Even though I don’t usually take selfies, I can tell from the photos that it carried the weakness of the rear cameras into the front. Plus, there is no option to shoot bokeh portraits.

In the end, I don’t recommend taking a picture with Nokia C1 unless you don’t mind capturing low-res, washed-out photos every day.

Dismal battery life

For a device packing entry-level specs, you would expect Nokia to bundle a large battery as a consolation. However, that is not the case since the Nokia C1 packs a dismal 2500mAh battery. I found out that the device lasts for a day on a normal usage scenario. I defined normal usage scenario here as light browsing on the Internet, streaming Netflix or YouTube videos, and responding to messages and calls.

Don’t rely on the device to last you a day if you’ll do some gaming here though. Games typically consume two to three percent of the battery after a minute or so.

Charging is also a disappointing experience. Remember, this is an entry-level device, so fast-charging had to be left out in order to save cost. As a result, charging from 20% to 100% will take a painfully slow four hours.

Do remember, however, that it does come with a removable battery. So, you can just swap an extra battery when you’re low on juice. Still, who removes their smartphone batteries in this day and age?

MicroUSB and a trusty headphone jack

Instead of adopting USB-C connectors for Nokia C1, the company decided to stay behind and put a MicroUSB instead. That’s not an issue if you have a lot of MicroUSB cables lying around, but most people are now adapting to a world where USB-C is the norm. Maybe, in future iterations of this device, we can expect a USB-C connector. But for now, we have to be content with what Nokia provided for us.

We have to give credit to Nokia though for retaining the headphone jack on its budget devices. At home, I still use a speaker that connects only through an AUX cable. The headphone jack reminds me of the long lost convenience of simply connecting a cable and pressing “play” on a device. Nowadays, I use a Bluetooth headphone and adapter to listen to music, and I can tell you that it’s not convenient sometimes.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If there’s any saving grace to this device at all, it will be its asking price. Nokia C1 starts at jaw-dropping PhP 2,990. For an Android Go smartphone, this is a fair asking price. The price alone is enough for those with a very tight budget to forget its shortcomings. Tempering your expectations is a must for something marketed with a super-low price.

Honestly, I think the Nokia C1 makes a nice throw-away/back-up phone too. As an Android smartphone, you can download popular apps and make sure that you’re not missing out on anything. The feature list of this device is respectable, and you’re better off buying this phone than any other feature phone if you’re looking for a back-up.

Overall, the Nokia C1 is a capable entry-level phone that carries a super low price to attract first-time cash-strapped buyers. However, buyers who can afford a bigger budget must look elsewhere for their next smartphone.

Gaming

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 review: A fun beat’em up

Relive the story without having to replay hundreds of episodes

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Have you ever wanted to play as your favorite One Piece character while mowing through mobs like a one-man army? Then One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is for you.

This game from Omega Force incorporates One Piece’s well-loved story and characters with gameplay from the Dynasty Warriors franchise — the property that the developer is most known for. This is the fourth installment in the series and is the follow-up from the 2015 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3.

It adds more to the story, some game elements, and the most noticeable is the character roster that’s massive compared to previous entries. It’s available in Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows platforms.

Simple game modes

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 has three modes: Dramatic Log, Free Log, and Treasure Log. Dramatic Log is where all of One Piece’s story so far. It’s crammed into ten plus hours of chapters and episodes which is no easy feat especially for a long-running series like this one.

While the efforts are commendable, a casual fan who hasn’t closely followed the manga or anime would have more questions than answers. I can understand that this game is geared towards One Piece fans. Anyone who has read the manga up to the latest chapter or watched the latest episode of the anime should have no trouble keeping up.

Free Log is where you can go back to the episodes you’ve already cleared in Dramatic Log with any unlocked character. The last mode, the Treasure Log, is where you go through missions to gain materials for upgrades. Some characters can be unlocked by completing a certain number of missions in this mode.

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 also has a multiplayer feature. You can play co-op with other players to aid you in your missions. Luckily for me, it didn’t have the connectivity issues that frustrated me in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Unlike in that game, it’s easy to join other players’ sessions as long as they’re available.

Most characters can be unlocked by progressing through the Dramatic Log while some others by meeting certain conditions.

Unapologetically a beat’em up game

Pirate Warriors 4 is an action-adventure beat ‘em up game. That means you get to through hordes of pirate or navy lackeys like an absolute badass until the boss shows up. You go through main missions with mini objectives sprinkled here and there. These include eliminating certain characters or protecting allies from getting their HP reduced to zero.

Stronger enemies have armor gauges under the HP bars that are needed to be depleted in order for you to inflict damage. Controls are easy to get a grasp of: two buttons for attack, one for dashing/dodging and one for jumping.

I started the game mindlessly mashing the buttons until I found out my favorite button combinations through experimentation. I learned later that the moves list can be found in the menus with enough digging.

One thing I found challenging was controlling certain characters that are naturally airborne. It can be hard to hit grounded enemies when you can’t control your character’s elevation and have to wait until when you’re just hovering above ground.

This is one of the reasons why I shied away from using Luffy’s 4th gear form or Sanji unless I’m required to in Dramatic Log. Using the camera lock on stronger enemies like bosses alleviates this a bit but the controls still require a bit of a learning curve.

The game also allows for customization options. By earning the required materials and enough of the in-game currency, you will be able to upgrade your character’s stats, skills, and special moves.

There’s a common attribute and skill tree that can be used by all characters. Then there’s also character-specific ones that can be unlocked once that character reaches a certain level.

Thanks to my usual habit of hoarding in-game materials, I didn’t bother with this until later on in the story where I noticed that I’m not dealing enough damage and the missions are becoming more time-consuming. I breezed through the rest of the story after upgrading my offensive capabilities.

You can upgrade your attributes and even gain skills and specials. The Beginning Map applies to all characters while there are maps specific for characters.

A fun way to recap One Piece

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4  lets you relive the story without having to replay hundreds of episodes of the anime. Beating up hordes of enemy pirates as your favorite character from the series while feeling like a one-man army just feels great.

I found it time-consuming at first but once you’ve upgraded your stats, you can easily sneak in a round or two during your short breaks. The menu layout requires a bit of digging to find what you want or need (like reviewing the objectives or your moves list) and some controls can use a little improvement.

I enjoyed playing One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 and I’m sure a bonafide One Piece fan would feel at home. Now, it’s  time to pick up the manga so I can be filled in with the things I missed in the story.


This game was reviewed on a PS4 by Lance Aquino. He juggles multiple hobbies while working in the BPO industry. Outside of gaming, he mostly tries to learn how to draw and write short stories that are often inspired by the anime or manga that he watched or read.

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Philippines

Realme 6i review: You gain some, you lose some

Finally, a budget device with a USB-C

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Realme had been busy over the past years in making feature-packed smartphones at an affordable price. The Realme 5 series last year is compelling evidence that the company nailed it in this regard. That series alone was one of the most sold in the Philippines. Now, Realme is keen to capitalize on its success with the new Realme 6 series.

The first device in the series is now officially available in the country. Realme 6i builds on the popularity and success of Realme 5. Almost everything that made the Realme 5 successful makes a return 0n the 6i. There are some aspects too that got improved. But is it enough to be a worthy successor to the Realme 5?

That question alone bears a significant impact on how successful this device. Realme 6i is once again competing for a spot on one of the best budget smartphones list. Let’s find out how the device 6i fares against the competition.

A polarizing design on the back

Right off the bat, the design of the Realme 6i stands out like on the Realme 5. This time around, the gradient pattern on the back is different. When hit by light, the back of the device gives a grill-like pattern. The new design pattern is surely polarizing. Some will love it, but others may not. I fall in the latter.

It comes in two colors: Matcha Green and Milk White. Sure enough, if you saw the Realme 6i in press renders, you’ll be forgiven for imagining your favorite drink too. In real-world usage though, the colors are much more subdued than what Realme wants you to see. I have the Matcha Green on hand and it looks more like the color of a leaf to me.

It is easy to handle the device despite its large size. Also, you won’t feel that the device is made out of plastic. Realme 6i is well-made, and it can trick you into thinking that it’s made from aluminum.

Moving over to the front, you still get a waterdrop notch up top and narrow bezels all-around. The power button is still on the right, and the volume controls are on the left. If there’s one big change this year, that will be the new USB-C port on the bottom. Finally, a budget device with a USB-C. And, there’s still a headphone jack on this device!

Vibrant but dim screen

There’s nothing to write home about Realme 6i’s display. It carried over the display from its predecessor. As such, you still get a 6.5-inch 1600 x 720 IPS LCD screen. You won’t notice the individual pixels on this phone and the colors are vibrant enough for HD videos. However, it can’t compare to an OLED screen. On my OnePlus 6T, colors are much more vibrant and saturated. Granted, this is a lower-res screen, but putting an OLED there could have helped in making the display much more true-to-life.

The notch above the display is small that you don’t notice it on day-to-day usage. Plus, the display is almost near the sweet spot of 21:9, so you can use two apps side-by-side comfortably if that’s your fancy.

There’s a major problem with the display though. The maximum brightness of this device is not enough for a comfortable outdoor viewing experience. On a sunny day, I can’t even read the text and see the content on my screen. I don’t know if this is a software or a hardware issue. Realme has to fix this problem urgently in the future.

Zippy performance for everyday use

The Realme 6i flies through daily tasks. There’s a Helio P90 processor powering the device which is more than enough for day-to-day use. I didn’t notice any lag while browsing the web, peeking through Reddit threads, and viewing my Messenger conversations. Suffice to say, it’s more than capable and can confidently handle any task you throw at it.

Gaming’s a mixed bag, though. For graphics-intensive tasks, the device struggles a bit. When I played the relatively-obscure but polished clone of Minecraft — Survivalcraft — the frame rates dropped to an unacceptable three FPS after setting off multiple explosions. I recommend toning down the graphics a bit if you want to play modern graphically-intensive games.

Realme’s own twist to Android 10 is a bit polished, but you can’t help but notice its similarity to iOS and OneUI. However, to distinguish its own OS, it added a few niceties that anyone will surely appreciate in their day-to-day usage. You can customize the navigation gestures and even tweak the icons if you like. Realme UI has come a long way, and overall, I like the coherent design of the icons and the system.

However, that’s where the good side ends. Personally, there’s a lot of performance drawbacks that I experienced on the Realme 6i. Chief among them is loads of bloatware on this thing. Right out of the box, I get the Agoda, Opera, Lazada, Facebook, Trip.com, and Webnovel app. I don’t need these apps, along with Realme’s own app store that annoyed me every time I install an app from the Google Play Store. Fortunately, I can disable or uninstall these apps.

There are gesture bugs and touch input delays too. I can’t count the times I had to double-tap or even triple-tap a button on the bottom of the screen because the screen can’t recognize my touch.

Decent all-around cameras

Now onto the tricky part: the camera. Realme 6i’s camera takes decent photos if there’s enough light. The photos taken on this thing showed punchy colors and enough details to make it usable for day to day use. On the photos below, I can commend Realme 6i for getting the colors of the foliage right. What I liked most about this photo is how it gets the bokeh right:

And since pizza’s one of the comfort food we miss during the lockdown, we had a pizza delivered right into our house. Look at how the Realme 6i nailed the colors green and red bell peppers, white onions, and the bits of meat.

However, I put the emphasis on decent photos: if you really are nitpicking, you will notice that the photos are a bit muted and dull. Take this photo, for example:

The leaves on the tree turned out nice. However, looking over to the house, I can definitely tell that the color is washed out. In real life, the color is much more vibrant than what Realme 6i wants you to believe. The house has a much vibrant pink to it. The issue here could be blamed on getting the white balance wrong.

Turning on the HDR helps to boost the colors a bit. Some details are also recovered too. I recommend turning on the HDR on shots with contrasting scenes like this one to make the photos a bit nicer to look at.

The camera of the Realme 6i starts to show its limitation on dimly-light environments too. There’s a night mode on this device to help it capture better photos at night. However, just avoid taking a photo at night since it tends to capture blurry photos.

The camera also had different shooting modes to meet your needs. There’s Panorama mode and Ultra Macro mode so you can take landscape and close-up shots. Personally, I find them useful in certain scenarios, but photos taken with these modes sometimes lack detail with washed-out colors and blurred details.

The shots taken on the front-facing camera of the Realme 6i is fine for social media posts. However, when you look closely at the photos below, you’ll see that the colors are a bit washed-out. The camera tends to smoothen out my face, which is a result of the beauty filter turned on by default. The camera app itself has settings to “beautify” and tweak your face appearance, which is nice for people like me who always have pimple break-outs.

Humungous battery that charges quickly

The battery on this device remains at a massive 5,000mAh. That alone will give you solid two-day battery life for normal use cases. However, if you heavily game on the Realme 6i, expect to last only a day. Either way, it is a solid battery champ.

Even better, this device now has a quick-charging feature. Realme 5 doesn’t have that feature and as a result, you have to wait for hours just to recharge. With the quick-charging feature, I can just plug the Realme 6i and wait for two hours to go from 20% to 80%. It’s not exactly the fastest, but other devices in the budget segment don’t have this feature yet. So, this is a win-win for users and Realme itself.

Is the Realme 6i your GadgetMatch?

The Realme 6i really tries its best to offer the features that made the Realme 5 a fan-favorite. In some aspects, it even tried to one-up its predecessor by including new features that really matter to consumers. And I love what Realme did this year: they offered fast-charging on their budget device and they even bundled a USB-C. Granted, there are some drawbacks to this device, but they are minor complaints that you won’t notice or can be remedied in future software updates.

Perhaps the one thing that will make you consider this device is the price: the 3/64GB storage retails at PhP 7,490 while the 4/128GB storage retails at PhP 9,490. Combined with the features it has, the Realme 6i can be your next GadgetMatch.

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OnePlus 8 Pro review: Best of the best

True blue flagship

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Before we dive into our review, let’s take a quick trip back in time to exactly a year ago. When the company launched the OnePlus 7 Pro — their first phone to get the pro branding — it marked a new direction for the company.

Known as the flagship killer, OnePlus sold phones with top of the line specs at a fraction of the cost of any other Android favorite. At US$ 669, the OnePlus 7 Pro was priced unlike anything that came before it. 

With that pricing strategy, it was clear that OnePlus wanted to compete head to head with the likes of Apple and Samsung. While a valiant effort — particularly when it came to its superb display — there was one big area where the OnePlus 7 Pro fell short: its camera.

Don’t get me wrong, the phone took good photos, just not great, and certainly not what you’d expect from a phone at that price point. That made it a good buy, but not an easy one to recommend. 

This year the new OnePlus 8 Pro is even more expensive; so the stakes are even higher and expectations greater. Is the OnePlus 8 Pro a phone I can recommend?

Premium looks

On the outside the OnePlus 8 Pro looks very similar to last year’s model — from its shape, to its curves, to the positioning of the rear camera system — except that the curves meld more into the frame so it doesn’t feel as sharp when you wrap your palms around it.

It’s a tiny bit taller, thinner, and narrower. Whatever millimeters they shaved off from its sides makes a huge difference. Last year’s phone felt big. This one is more manageable. It’s still bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Huawei P40 Pro, which are, at least to me, the perfect size.

The button layout is the same. The physical mute switch which everyone loves is still there. Ports, antenna bands, speaker grilles are all unchanged.

The OnePlus 8 Pro also finally has official water and dust resistance rating: IP68.

The biggest design change is the removal of the pop-up selfie camera. Punch hole it is this year. 

It’s not intrusive, although I would much rather have it in the middle like on the S20. I also personally would pick a punch hole over a pop up camera any day. I’m just not a fan of moving parts. I also like how there’s a white ring around the punch hole so people know where to look when taking a selfie. 

The official name for this lovely finish is Ultramarine Blue — a color that’s exclusive to the Pro Series here in the US. It’s also available in Glacier Green, and for those who want something more classic there is Onyx Black. 

OnePlus 8 in Interstellar Glow

The non-Pro OnePlus 8 has its own exclusive color in the US as well: Interstellar Glow. This has a mirror finish that picks up colors from its surroundings. 

If you follow me on social media, you’d know of my affinity to the color blue so forgive me if I write a few more sentences about this lovely color.

The finish is matte satin that still glistens in the light. It isn’t much of a fingerprint magnet, and is a little bit slippery.

One con is that this finish scratches easily so you won’t want to put keys or coins in the same pocket. 

It’s more royal blue with brighter tones than last year’s Nebula Blue. As Blue is the Pantone Color of the year, it’s no surprise there have been a host of blue phones this year.  As a lover of all things blue, however, this has got to be my favorite out of everything I’ve seen this year. 

Best display on a smartphone

One thing you’ll find on any 2020 flagship worth its salt is a display with a fast refresh rate. While 120Hz displays have been found on gaming phones long before OnePlus put one on last year’s OnePlus 7 Pro, the company deserves credit for being the first to bring them to mainstream devices.

With the OnePlus 8 Pro, it gets even better. On paper it’s the best display we’ve seen on a smartphone.  

It’s got everything you could ask for in 2020, if display technology is important to you: An AMOLED panel that provides rich colors and great contrast, a level of color accuracy that Display Mate calls “visually indistinguishable from perfect,” 120Hz refresh rate at quad HD+ resolution. 

Other phones like the Galaxy S20+ that offer the same refresh rate do not support higher resolutions. Gamers will love the 240Hz touch sampling rate as well. Baked into the display is a fingerprint scanner that’s fast and accurate. 

What does this all mean? With Oxygen OS optimized to benefit from the 120Hz display, this phone — long known for feeling fast — feels faster than ever.  

Coupled with HDR boosting and Dolby Atmos dual stereo speakers, the OnePlus 8 Pro is one heck of a content consumption device — which is a godsend during quarantine. 

Really loud speakers

I quickly wanna talk about how loud these speakers actually are. I noticed it when I left a YouTube video playing in the background while I was in the shower. 

Usually the water will drown out whatever it is I’m listening to — whether it’s music or a podcast on Spotify, or even a YouTube video — but not on this phone.  

Best of everything

The best of everything narrative continues when you peruse its spec sheet. You name it, the phone’s got it: Snapdragon 865, X55 5G modem, Wi-Fi 6 support, 8 or 12GB of RAM with fast DDR5 memory, 128 or 256GB of storage with UFS 3.0.

While this might seem overkill, OnePlus tells us it’s all about building phones that will last several years. The goal is for the phone to still be powerful and fast enough 3-5 years down the road. 

“You don’t need to pay for a feature you’re not going to be able to use most of the time.”

I played plenty of games while reviewing the OnePlus 8 Pro — from Asphalt 9 to Marvel Contest of Champions — and the OnePlus 8 Pro took it like a champ.

Long battery life and fast charging

Battery life on the OnePlus 8 Pro is impressive. Consistently in the week that I used it as a daily driver the phone often lasted me a day and half of average use.

I was indoors the whole time, but I did my best to mimic outdoor use. Some days I used the phone exclusively on WiFi, some days entirely on LTE.

I averaged about 7 hours of screen on time watching plenty of YouTube videos and spending a lot of time on social media, as well as some online shopping and games. What else is one to do during quarantine? 

This marks the first time a OnePlus device gets wireless charging — and it was well worth the wait.  

Do you need wireless charging? Usually my answer is no; but with wireless charging speeds just as fast as wired charging, why even bother plugging it in?

In my tests a 30 minute wireless charge got the phone from 0 to 55 percent and it took a total of 70 minutes for a full charge. With the bundled cable and adapter, a 30 minute charge gives you 60 percent, and a full charge takes 68 minutes. 

The 30W Warp Charger is an optional purchase and it retails for US$ 69.95. 

Camera performance that matches its price tag

The OnePlus 8 Pro has 4 cameras: 3x telephoto, 48MP wide angle, 48MP ultra wide angle, and a dedicated photocrom filter.

I’m not convinced that last camera is necessary — OnePlus even recently disabled it in China via an over-the-air update.

The main 48MP wide camera uses the same Sony sensor that OPPO says was customized for the Find X2 ProThey produce very similar results, although the OnePlus 8 Pro is better at not blowing out highlights and better at white balance, more often than not. 

At night some results vary, but in most cases they still came out similar.

The question everyone is asking, myself included, is if it’s any better than the Samsung Galaxy S20+, Huawei P40 Pro or the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro. The short answer is it’s really a matter of personal preference.

During the day, shots like this one come out so similar, differing mostly in saturation and warmth. 

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro vs OnePlus 8 Pro vs Huawei P40 Pro vs OPPO Find X2 Pro.

Through blue hour and night fall I was thrilled to see the OnePlus 8 Pro hold its own.

Here are more camera samples.

Is it worth the upgrade?

The biggest differences between the OnePlus 7 Pro and One 8 Pro are an updated processor with 5G Support, a 120Hz display vs 90 Hz, fast wireless charging, IP68 rating, and an entirely different camera system. Of these improvements it’s the camera upgrade that means most to me. 

OnePlus is keeping the 7 Pro around for a reduced price of US$ 449. So if an excellent camera is not your priority save the US$ 450 bucks and get the OnePlus 7 Pro this year.    

If you already own one, my recommendation is to wait at least another year before you upgrade. I even recommend the 7 Pro over the OnePlus 8 — its camera is betterThe difference between Snapdragon 855 and 865 will be hardly noticeable unless you intend on pushing it real hard.

And no, you don’t need a 5G phone in 2020. If you see yourself upgrading in a year or two, skip for now. You don’t need to pay for a feature you’re not going to be able to use most of the time.

Is the OnePlus 8 Pro your GadgetMatch?

We recently reviewed the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro and the OPPO Find X2 Pro, brands that were known to dabble in the flagship killer space previously. These phones retail for about US$ 1,000 in Europe, which is disappointing to say the least.

It’s something I feel really passionate about. I know at the end of the day that these are all business that need to make money, but these brands made their name on being able to offer the best for less. That’s why I became a OnePlus fan from the very beginning. 

As the OnePlus 8 launch drew closer, my biggest fear — which many of you shared — was that OnePlus would follow the same route. 

Fortunately, this is not the case, and it’s funny how perspective changes based on context. With all other flagship phones breaching the thousand-dollar bracket — with the LG V60 as en exemption — the OnePlus 8 Pro is looking very appealing at US$ 899, even if it’s US$ 230 more expensive than last year.

This pricing strategy is the smartest thing OnePlus could have done this year. The hardware on this phone is the cream the crop; performance is great, photos are excellent, and the experience? Possibly the best in the Android space.

The OnePlus 8 Pro not only gets the GadgetMatch Seal of Approval, it also earns a space in my pocket as my new Android daily driver.

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