By Alex Walker-Todd, Consumer Tech Editor | 100 mins ago
OnePlus burst onto the scene back in 2014 with the OnePlus One – a “flagship killer” that undercut top-tier phones on price, while still delivering on premium features and performance.
Since then, the company’s success and expansion has meant that its latest smartphones have grown to embody the very devices it once set out to “kill”. More competitive hardware has come with an understandable price increase but that’s also opened up the mid-range market, which OnePlus hadn’t operated in since the OnePlus X back in 2015.
In 2020, OnePlus returned to the mid-range swinging with superb OnePlus Nord, along with the promise of the even-more affordable Nord N10 5G (which we’re currently reviewing) and the first true budget OnePlus phone, the Nord N100.
Pair this with an already-capable premium phone lineup in devices like the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8T and you’ve got a selection of superb smartphones, backed by a vibrant community and delivering against some of the biggest players in the industry.
Here’s our rundown of the best OnePlus phones you can buy right now and stay tuned as we’ll no doubt be slotting the OnePlus Nord N10 5G in there somewhere soon too.
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If you’ve kept an eye on the smartphone scene of late, the fresh-faced OnePlus Nord has proven to be a formidable smartphone in the mid-range market; delivering a premium experience typically found on devices at around twice the price, including great performance, 5G, versatile cameras, fast charging and a slick user experience.
Sure other mid-range phones offer even more for less, but few can match the Nord’s sense of style and OnePlus’ superb OxygenOS user experience.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is arguably the company’s first full flagship, finally incorporating long-requested features like wireless charging and IP68 water resistance to make it a genuine contender with Samsung’s finest.
Understandably the price has gone up accordingly, but even the base model – no slouch at 8GB RAM and 128GB storage – still represents serious value by flagship standards; meaning you will save at least some money by opting for OnePlus over most other manufacturers.
The 8 Pro’s camera is OnePlus’ best yet, and while it still lags behind rivals slightly in some areas, software the hardware is among the best around, which has helped to close the gap considerably. Throw in 5G, a great design, and the best Android skin around and the OnePlus 8 Pro is easy to recommend to anyone who can afford it.
Bigger numbers in all things except price renders the OnePlus 8T a great buy over the standard 8. It’s cheaper than the OnePlus 8’s original RRP and yet sports a smoother 120Hz refresh rate display and is the first of the company’s phone’s to integrate blisteringly-fast 65W fast charging.
It’s also one of the first phones outside of Google’s own Pixel 5 to boast the latest and greatest Android 11; in this instance, covered by OnePlus’ new OxygenOS 11 user experience on top.
Colour quirks aside, the OnePlus 8 is a fantastic flagship-class smartphone at an amazing price. You rarely get this quality level of design, features and performance at such good value.
When the biggest let down is that the main camera can do a better job of close-ups than the macro lens, you know you have an excellent device on your hands.
The main problem is that the newer, better 8T outperforms the standard 8 in practically every sense but costs even less. There’s also the argument of whether you should instead justify splashing out for the 8 Pro.
The OnePlus 7T is a phenomenal smartphone that offers quite the upgrade over 2019’s standard OnePlus 7, featuring a large 6.55in AMOLED display with speedy 90Hz refresh rate, an upgraded triple-camera setup on the rear consisting of a wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lens and rapid 30W charging that boosts your phone by just under 50 percent in 20 minutes.
The design is eye-catching without being too in-your-face, thanks mainly to the frosted glass finish and the lightweight form factor makes it feel great in the hand.
Admittedly it’s not perfect, with a slightly buggy Super Stabilised video mode and a 60fps cap on games despite the 90Hz refresh rate, but there’s still a lot to be excited about with the OnePlus 7T, especially as its age means it’s up for grabs at a discount.
While the OnePlus 7T Pro doesn’t make quite as big a leap as the 7T did following on from the OnePlus 7, it’s still a phenomenal smartphone with a gorgeous design, powerful internals and great camera performance at a pleasing price.
The 90Hz refresh rate display really makes all the difference when using this smartphone, but this is no longer a feature exclusive to the Pro variant – and it’s the same with the triple-camera setup too.
While it looks great and offers impressive performance thanks to the upgraded Snapdragon 855+ processor, it isn’t much of an upgrade from either the 7 Pro or the new 7T, ultimately, picking this over its launch sibling comes down to the offer of a larger screen and the ability to find it at a good price.
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Alex has covered every phone, tablet and wearable worth shouting about over the past eight years. Look out for him on Tech Advisor’s YouTube channel.
OnePlus, 5G, Mobile phone, Android, iPhone
World news – THAT – OnePlus’ best phones to buy right now