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OnePlus 8 release date, price, cameras and leaks

OnePlus 7T (Image credit: Future)

The OnePlus 8 rumors are starting to fly fast and furious, which means that a new phone from OnePlus is all but certain to arrive soon. But what can we expect from this year's flagship from the upstart phone maker?

OnePlus has already given us a hint of what's to come, showing off its Concept One concept phone in January. That device features a new electrochromic glass tech, a first for smartphones. This glass changes color from opaque to transparent with the application of an electric current, and is used on the Concept One to hide the rear cameras until you need them, or to act as a filter if you know what you're doing. Also featuring a leather back colored in Papaya Orange, the signature color of OnePlus' automotive partner McLaren, and the same cameras, pop-up mechanism and display as last year's OnePlus 7T Pro, the ConceptOne is a remarkable phone that looks production ready, although the company have said there's no plan to make a production version.

As for the phones OnePlus will release this year, the company tends to take an iterative approach to design, improving its smartphones twice a year. There’s nothing to suggest the company is preparing a radical departure from the general design and feature set established in its current models, the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7T

Still, early OnePlus 8 renders hint at a change for the handsets’ front-facing camera arrays, as well as the addition of a fourth, time-of-flight depth-sensing lens on the back of the new Pro variant. There could even be a third device, called the OnePlus 8 Lite, that will make some sacrifices to achieve a lower price.

Here’s everything we know about the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 Lite.

Latest OnePlus 8 rumors (Updated March 26)

OnePlus 8 specs (rumored)

ModelOnePlus 8 LiteOnePlus 8OnePlus 8 Pro
Price$499$549$799
Screen size6.4 inches6.55 inches6.5 inches - 6.7 inches
Screen refresh rate90Hz90Hz120Hz
CPUMediaTek Dimensity 1000Snapdragon 865Snapdragon 865
RAM8GB6GB, 8GB, 12GB8GB, 12GB
Storage128GB128GB, 256GB128GB, 256GB
Rear cameras48MP, 16MP, and 12MP48MP, 16MP, and 12MP60MP, 16MP, 13MP or 2 48MP sensors plus 8MP and 5MP lenses
Front camera16MP32MB32MB
Battery size4,000 mAh4,000 - 4,300 mAh 4,500 - 4,510 mAh

OnePlus 8 release date and availability

Originally, it seemed unlikely that the OnePlus 8 would debut before May. Going back the last three years, the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 debuted May 14, 2019; the OnePlus 6 was unveiled May 22, 2018; and the OnePlus 5 came out on June 20, 2017.

But OnePlus could throw us a curve for the OnePlus 8. A source tells TechRadar that the phone arrives during the second week of April. Phone leaker Ishan Agarwal has gotten even more specific, tweeting that the new phones will appear April 14.

We rarely hear about which carriers will offer a phone until it's officially announced, but it's worth keeping an ear out for rumors about the OnePlus 8. OnePlus used to just sell its phones unlocked, but starting with the OnePlus 6T, it's been working with U.S. carriers to broaden the audience for its phones. (T-Mobile offers the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren; Sprint sells the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.) 

Verizon may be getting into the mix this year, as an Android Police report claims that the carrier is going to offer the OnePlus 8. What's more, Verizon will reportedly sell a 5G version of that phone.

OnePlus 8 price

The pricing for the OnePlus 8 is trickier to pin down. The OnePlus 7T costs $599, while the OnePlus 7 Pro starts at $629, and OnePlus does not offer the OnePlus 7T Pro in North America. It’s not unusual for the company to increase the price of its phones by anywhere from $30 to $50 from generation to generation, and we’re expecting a similar jump for the OnePlus 8 series. For reference, the OnePlus 6 started at $529, and the OnePlus 5 started at $479.

With OnePlus rumored to be planning a trio of phones, pricing has come into focus, at least according to a OnePlus 8 specs dump fueled in part by a leak at online store Giztop. Listings at that site show three phones — the OnePlus 8 Lite, OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro — with prices of $499, $549 and $799, respectively.

oneplus 8 pro

Could this be the OnePlus 8 Pro's price? (Image credit: Giztop)

OnePlus 8 design

While particular aspects of OnePlus’ phone design have changed over the last few years, the general proportions and shape really haven’t. Rumors point to the OnePlus 8 continuing the company’s trend of large handsets with curved front and rear glass panels and tapered sides, alongside triple- and quadruple camera stacks serving as centerpieces on the back.

oneplus 8

A render of the OnePlus 8 Pro, reportedly based on knowledge of the device. Notice the hole punch front-facing camera and fourth lens on the back, adjacent to the main camera stack. (Image credit: OnLeaks/91 Mobiles)

The Concept One might give us some hints about OnePlus' future design language, even if the phone itself doesn't make it to production. The long stripe down the center of the back is more  reminiscent of the OnePlus 7 Pro's centrally-aligned cameras rather than the circular bump with horizontal cameras we saw on the 7T, and that seems to be backed up by other renders, which we will get onto shortly.

OnePlus 8

OnePlus Concept One smartphone (Image credit: Future)

On the front, OnePlus looks to continue to chip away at those pesky bezels. Renders from OnLeaks and 91Mobiles, as well as spy shots that surfaced on Weibo in November, suggest the company has elected to stash a front-facing camera module in the screen, hole-punch style, which has also been supported by an image leaked to True Tech. On the OnePlus 8 Pro, it’s even possible this shooter could comprise two lenses — either stashed in the upper-left corner, or slightly offset to the right, based on what we've seen from different images.

oneplus 8 pro

Shots of a device in public believed to be a OnePlus 8 Pro prototype. The appearance of a dual-lens selfie camera is different from what previous leaks have suggested. (Image credit: Weibo)

Last November, a blog named TrueTech published what it claimed were leaked schematics of the OnePlus 8 Pro sent from an "anonymous OnePlus official." The sketches do fall largely in line with the renders above, though we're not sure why one of the front views shows a device with a single-lens front-facing camera, while the other depicts a dual-lens module. It's possible the non-Pro version will inherit the single-lens shooter, though TrueTech doesn't suggest this is the case. Additionally, the blog was supplied with notes on the design that are also purportedly from the company, though many details — like the "TIme of light" rear sensor — are misspelled or strangely explained, which certainly calls the leak's credibility into question.

OnePlus 8

A leaked OnePlus 8 render (Image credit: Zealer)

For what it's worth, leaked renders purportedly showing off the OnePlus 8 have since appeared on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo. They depict a phone with an oblong camera array similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro. (That's good news if you hated the OnePlus 7T's circular camera bump.) A front image of the phone shows off a punch-hole camera peeking out of the upper left corner of the display. You can see a 5G marker, too, indicating that the OnePlus 8 Pro will join the ranks of 5G phones.

One of the biggest confirmations of what the OnePlus 8 Pro could look like comes from Iron Man himself. A photo from the set of a OnePlus commercial shows Robert Downey Jr. holding a phone that doesn't look like any of OnePlus' current models. We're guessing it's the OnePlus 8 Pro in the flesh.

Is that a OnePlus 8 Pro you're holding, Robert Downey Jr., or are you just happy to see us?

Is that a OnePlus 8 Pro you're holding, Robert Downey Jr., or are you just happy to see us? (Image credit: Sam Jones/Phone Arena)

Now we're starting to see actual photos of the OnePlus 8 Pro — not renders or concept designs, but the real thing. At least that's what PC Tablet says about the photos it published in March reportedly showing off OnePlus' upcoming flagship. These photos match what leaked specs have promised, so they could be the real thing.

OnePlus 8 Pro

Rumored OnePlus 8 Pro photos (Image credit: PC Tablet)

OnePlus 8 specs

OnePlus has always been on the forefront of flagship hardware, and we expect the OnePlus 8 to be no different. Qualcomm's latest range-topping Snapdragon 865 chipset  should make its way into the phone maker’s next products, and that's what a leaked Geekbench benchmark indicates, at least for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. (A LinkedIn profile for a OnePlus engineer also confirms the likelihood that the phones will feature the Snapdragon 865 and 5G connectivity.)

The OnePlus 8 Lite will reportedly be powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1000 chipset, if leaked Gizstop images are to be believed.

oneplus 8 lite

Leaked OnePlus 8 Lite specs (Image credit: GizTop)

The same leaked OnePlus 8 benchmark puts the RAM of the OnePlus 8 at 8GB, which isn't a lot. That said, the OnePlus 7 Pro came in 6GB, 8GB and 12GB versions, so perhaps there will be a version with more RAM that can compete with the Samsung Galaxy S20's 12GB or the S20 Ultra's 16GB version. Gizstop indicates there are multiple memory options planned for the OnePlus 8.

In terms of displays, OnePlus introduced its 90-Hz Fluid AMOLED screen with the OnePlus 7 Pro in 2019, and brought the technology over to the cheaper OnePlus 7T Pro this past fall. The 90-Hz refresh rate is faster than the traditional 60Hz refresh rate of most panels, resulting in smoother, more responsive animations.

You'd expect the OnePlus 8 series to at least continue the 90Hz standard. But the OnePlus 8 Pro model might go even further.

oneplus 8

OnePlus is promising a 120-Hz refresh rate on its upcoming Fluid Display. (Image credit: OnePlus)

A rumor promoted by self-proclaimed “industrial leaker” Max J. on Twitter that OnePlus was looking to ratchet the refresh rate up to 120 Hz seems like it's going to pan out, at least for the OnePlus 8 Pro. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau announced on Chinese social network site Weibo that the company has successfully researched and designed a 120Hz display and will be showing off this new technology soon. There's no specific mention of the OnePlus 8, but we can be fairly sure that this will be the device that will first use this tech. That would be the highest refresh rate of any smartphone on the market — putting the device on equal footing with the Asus ROG Phone 2 and Razer Phone 2.

While the 120Hz display is now all but a given, the question remains of what choices the user has to alter it. After all, the 90-Hz display on the Google Pixel 4 only works at certain brightness levels, and Samsung's Galaxy S20 only gives 120Hz at FHD resolution rather than the full QHD quality it offers at lower refresh rates.

An image published by True Tech shows a settings menu allowing users to swap between 120Hz, 90Hz and 60Hz at will, letting them prioritize battery life, display smoothness or a balance of the two. It also backs up the rumors of a punch-hole selfie camera, but True Tech is an unfamiliar name when it comes to leaks, so we'll have to wait and see if anyone else can back this up before we're fully confident in this claim.

oneplus 8

True Tech's leaked image, showing the punch-hole camera and display refresh rate options. (Image credit: True Tech)

There's some dispute as to the size of displays on the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. Earlier leaks suggested both phones would have 6.5-inch screens, but leaked OnePlus 8 specs posted by Ishan Agarwal on Twitter suggest the Pro version will feature a 6.78-inch panel. 

The OnePlus 8 is expected to include 5G connectivity no matter which version you buy — even if it's the cheaper OnePlus 8 Lite. And in a first for OnePlus phones, the OnePlus 8 could finally have an official water resistance rating, at least according to a TechRadar report.

OnePlus 8 cameras

OnePlus’ imaging technology has made strides in recent years, though it’s still not quite at parity with Google and Apple’s mobile cameras and the best camera phones.

We don’t know if that could change for the better with the OnePlus 8 series, but we do have a strong suspicion the company will continue its multi-lens approach, potentially adding a fourth, time-of-flight sensor to the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro.

The render from OneLeaks and 91Mobiles depicts a vertically-stacked stripe of three lenses on the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro, flanked by that tiny extra depth camera to the left. We don’t yet have details on the sensors or optics tied to each camera, though in theory the time-of-flight lens should allow for more precise background bokeh for shallow depth-of-field portraits.

We assume OnePlus will continue to tweak its computational photography algorithms and software, to improve special features like Nightscape Mode, which leaves the shutter open for longer to increase light sensitivity when shooting in darker conditions.

For what it's worth, initial leaked specs for the OnePlus 8 lineup suggest triple rear cameras regardless of what model you buy. The OnePlus 8 Pro is expected to have the most impressive cameras, at least in terms of megapixel rating with 60MP, 16MP and 13MP shooters. But the OnePlus 8 Lite is rumored to feature 48MP, 16MP, and 12MP sensors, which isn't shabby.

Ishan Agerwal's leaked OnePlus 8 specs suggest more significant differences between the standard and Pro models. He suggests four cameras on the OnePlus 8 Pro — two 48-MP sensors along with 8MP and 5MP lenses. The OnePlus 8 is supposed to have 48MP, 16MP and 2MP sensors, though that last number feels like a typo.

oneplus 8

OnePlus devices no longer enjoy the massive price advantage they once did. The iPhone 11, left, for example, costs just $100 more than the OnePlus 7T. (Image credit: Future)

OnePlus 8 batteries

Expect big batteries on the next OnePlus phones. Spec leaks point to the OnePlus 8 Lite and OnePlus 8 offering 4,000 mAh power packs while the OnePlus 8 Pro gets a 4,500 mAh battery. All of that's an improvement over the 3,800 mAh battery in the OnePlus 7T. (Agarwal's specs point to slightly larger batteries — 4,300 mAh for the OnePlus 8 and 4,510 mAh for the OnePlus 8 Pro.)

More importantly, the OnePlus 8 is expected to add wireless charging support, along with a reverse charging feature that will let you power up other Qi-compatible devices just by placing them on the back of your OnePlus 8. 91mobiles reports that wireless charging will be available at super-fast 30-watt speeds.,

What about the OnePlus 8 Lite?

oneplus 8

(Image credit: 91Mobiles and @OnLeaks)

Rumors suggest OnePlus could return to its roots and offer a more affordable new entry-level phone alongside the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. Renders of this device, purportedly named the OnePlus 8 Lite, surfaced in mid-December courtesy of 91Mobiles. The images based on CAD data depict a more rectangular looking handset with a dual-lens camera array, a 6.4- or 6.5-inch screen, flat display glass and a hole-punch front-facing camera.

As noted above, the OnePlus 8 Lite could feature a less powerful chipset than the other phones in the OnePlus 8 family, giving OnePlus the opportunity to slash the price. That will give OnePlus a model that's true to its roots of offering a solid Android phone for far less than what other flagships charge.

What we want from the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro

We likely won’t see the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro in their final, official form until April at the earliest. However, we’ve had extensive experience with all of OnePlus’ 2019 devices, and there are a few things we’d like to see improved for the forthcoming generation.

  • Wireless charging: OnePlus has never been apologetic about its distaste for wireless charging. The rationale is that the fastest charging still requires wires, and of course, everyone wants their device to charge quickly. While a mockup that's been making the rounds on Twitter initially gave rise to a rumor that the OnePlus 8 is getting the feature, the creator of the render has dismissed it as just a mockup. Comments from OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, recently given to The Verge, have played down the likelihood, though the latest rumors about the OnePlus 8 and wireless charging give us hope.
  • Camera improvements: OnePlus hasn’t queried us for pointers on how to better its cameras (the nerve!) But if they were to ask us for advice, we’d tell them they should concentrate on improving the white balance, which had a tendency to paint photos in cooler tones in previous models. We’d also like to see better low-light performance that doesn’t blow out highlights quite so strongly.
  • Native support for all major networks: The OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T can be used on Verizon, though users are required to contact the carrier and make sure a technician provisions their device as LTE-only, because neither phone can connect to Big Red’s legacy 3G networks. If OnePlus were to make its next handsets compatible with CDMA bands as well as GSM ones, it would make the process of using one on a carrier that isn’t T-Mobile or AT&T much simpler. So that's why we're heartened by reports that Verizon will offer the OnePlus 8.
  • Rein in that price hike: Several years ago, when the OnePlus 3 launched at just $399, we weren’t particularly bothered by the successive 3T model costing an extra $40, because even then, $339 was several hundred dollars cheaper than comparable flagships at the time. These days, things are a bit different. The cheapest new iPhone, the iPhone 11, starts at $699 — only $100 more than the $599 OnePlus 7T. Sure, OnePlus is still undercutting the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google, though not by as much as it once did. If OnePlus increases the cost of its next handsets in kind, it’ll only make them a tougher sell relative to devices from more established brands.
  • A smaller model: This is highly unlikely, as OnePlus hasn’t offered a smaller or “Lite” type model since the OnePlus X way back in 2015. But some of the Tom’s Guide staff would give anything for a OnePlus handset that mostly matches the internals of its larger brethren, yet comes in significantly smaller than the unwieldy 6.55 inches of the OnePlus 7T. Indeed, the company’s offerings have only grown in size year over year, and those who prefer small phones are finding themselves pushed out of OnePlus range of otherwise great devices, which is a shame.