OnePlus 8 Pro has amazing X-ray vision — check this out

OnePlus 8 Pro
The rear cameras of the OnePlus 8 Pro. (Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The OnePlus 8 Pro is a fantastic Android flagship, and it now seems that OnePlus equipped the phone with an 'X-ray camera' without realizing it. The Galaxy S20 Ultra has a powerful camera, too, but it can't do what you see below.

This semi sci-fi feature comes courtesy of the OnePlus 8 Pro's Photochrom camera mode, which is normally used to "turn ordinary scenes into surreal landscapes" as OnePlus puts it. But an XDA Developers forum user called 'combat goofwing' flagged an odd effect from the Photochrom mode after finding that the OnePlus 8 Pro could see through a TV remote. 

XDA Developers' Max Weinbach took some additional photos, proving that this camera could be used to see circuitry inside a security camera or VR headset, among other things. You don't even need to hit the shutter button as it works in the live viewfinder, effectively making it a pseudo-x-ray scanner, albeit for electronics rather than finding fractured bones. 

It's not fully understood why this color filter camera can do this, but it seems to involve the way the sensor processes infrared light in order to give the pictures this "photochrom" effect.

I tested this out myself with my OnePlus 8 Pro review unit, and was amazed with what I found. Here's my parents' induction stove using the phone's normal 48MP camera.

OnePlus 8 Pro x-ray camera before

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

And here's what it looks like with the color filter camera.

OnePlus 8 Pro x-ray camera after

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

In our review of the OnePlus 8 Pro, we were very complimentary about its cameras, although we questioned what the color filter sensor was for, since many of the effects it offers can be applied through software. What we didn't anticipate was that the OnePlus 8 Pro could see through certain objects.

However, the display on OnePlus' new top tier phone has some issues. Its curved shape means you' may accidentally tap things on the edge of the screen. And it was recently discovered that the 120Hz QHD display actually has a strange green tint, though OnePlus issued a fix.

Overall, the OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the best Android phones of the year because of its sheer value. At $899, it costs $300 less than the Galaxy S20 Plus and $500 less than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. And now we know it comes with a superpower.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.