This was the one. The phone that took OnePlus from underdog success story to wiping the floor with the competition. The phone that proved brand superiority is not a case of being most established or having the shiniest logo, it's about making possibly the best product possible and doing it with confidence and flair. The point of no return: OnePlus has become a flagship manufacturer, with a premium handset truly deserving of that designation.
Already a winner of our T3 Awards 2020 (opens in new tab) Best Phone (opens in new tab) gong, the OnePlus 8 Pro also takes home our big award – Gadget of the Year – because no tech release of the last 12 months has better reached the peak of what that type of product can be. It's impeccable as a whole package, and that's why it wins our recognition as the greatest gadget this year.
• Read our full OnePlus 8 Pro review (opens in new tab)
OnePlus' biggest win with the 8 Pro isn't necessarily its pin-sharp design, because that's something it's had a handle on for years, though we'd argue that the OnePlus 8 Pro is every bit as beautiful as rival flagship handsets.
No. The OnePlus 8 Pro's appearance is an element of its charm, but it extends much further than that. Everything else is just so perfect. A glorious 120Hz AMOLED screen, amongst the best we've ever seen, with QHD+ resolution and brilliant HDR10+ colours. A tiny and unobtrusive pinhole selfie cam tucked away in a corner, about the best option until we get through-screen cameras. Beefy guts comprising a Snapdragon 865 processor backed by 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and an Adreno 650 GPU – an absolutely no-compromise combination. And the hits keep on coming, with wireless charging, a massive battery, 5G compatibility and full waterproofing wrapping everything up and tying a bow on top. If you want en example of what it means hone something to perfection, look no further.
This was a transitional year in which many of the biggest brands are looking to find the right path for phones. OnePlus has drawn up its own map. Others might have slightly better cameras or other unique features the OnePlus 8 Pro doesn't have, but that's really not the point. The reason the OnePlus 8 Pro works so well, the reason it's such a strong combination of features, is that OnePlus hasn't just fired out a phone that hits the right notes on headlines or in ads. It's very deliberately and carefully made a phone that checks the boxes for what people actually want.
When people complained about the less-than stellar battery of the 7T or the lack of IPX-certified environment proofing, OnePlus didn't just listen; it threw everything at surpassing expectations. In doing so, it has created a flagship phone that's great for everyone else, too.
That approach is why it's a truly deserving winner of our Gadget of the Year award, and it's one we hope OnePlus (and not just its phone rivals, but all tech companies) will continue in the future, which just as game-changing results.
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