Stunning OnePlus 8 design makes Samsung Galaxy S20 look blah

OnePlus 8 video design
(Image credit: OnePlus)

The OnePlus 8's design has been revealed in the latest of a series of teasers published by OnePlus itself. And it has officially announced one of the more striking color options for the new phone. Even as a tease the OnePlus 8 looks more tantalizing than the ho-hum Samsung Galaxy S20.

In a forum post written by OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, he describes in detail the outline of the OnePlus 8, along with the help of some pencil sketches and a YouTube video. Lau says that "Good design is just as important as robust hardware or fast and smooth software", and the way he puts it, the OnePlus 8 sounds like a gorgeous phone.

In the video above you can see the return of OnePlus staples like the alert slider (something the Galaxy S20 lacks) a USB-C charging port, and the curved display of the OnePlus 7 Pro. But there's more to look at than just what's familiar.

(Image credit: OnePlus)

The forum post focuses on what OnePlus calls "CMF", which stands for color, material and finishing. The back of the OnePlus 8 will be made of matte-frosted glass, which should delivering a premium look while resisting fingerprints. The Galaxy S20's glass back, by contrast, picks up fingerprints very easily; it's essentially a smudge magnet.

OnePlus' forum post also boasts about how the frosted finish on the OnePlus 8's back is silky smooth, and keeps the OnePlus 7 Pro’s curve for comfort in the hand. This finish is also designed to produce a gradient effect, described as changing between transparent and opaque color, depending on how the phone is held in the light.

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Glacial Green is the name of the color you can see in the video provided by OnePlus, the result of testing more than 100 potential shades according to Lau. It's reminiscent of the Midnight Green colorway on the iPhone 11 Pro. Apple's phone is also green-colored with a matte glass back, except it's much darker, and holding my own handset up to the light doesn't result in the kind of dancing shades that OnePlus promises on the OnePlus 8. 

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S20 comes in Cosmic Gray and Cosmic Black, which are both boring. But they also have Cloud Blue and Cloud Pink options that are brighter. Still, the Glacial Green color seems a bit more modern.

Also making the OnePlus 8 more ergonomic is a lighter weight and thinner profile, no doubt helped by the rumored removal of the pop-up selfie camera in favor of a punch-hole notch. Considering other rumors point to a large 6.7-inch display, keeping the rest of the phone narrow will help keep the phone usable for a majority of users.

The OnePlus 8 series will launch on April 14 in an online event. We're expecting a standard OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro variants, with the Pro getting the most exciting new features like a 120Hz refresh rate display and a quartet of cameras on the back. But both new phones should offer 5G connectivity.

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.