System Performance

System performance of the new OnePlus 8 phones shouldn’t be a big concern given the Snapdragon 865 chipsets as well as the fact that both phones have high-refresh rate displays. Still, software can play a big role in the experience of a device, so let’s look at our typical system performance benchmark suite:

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0

The web-browsing workload is a little bit lighter in terms of load, and is most sensitive to the actual performance responsiveness of a device’s scheduler. The OnePlus 8 phones in their regular 60Hz mode don’t seem to be all that convincing as they’re seemingly tuned to be more conservative than most other phones on the market. Increasing the refresh rate to respectively 90Hz and 120Hz ups the scores, but still not quite as high as what other phones are achieving.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0

The writing sub-test of PCMark is the most representative of a device’s performance and how it will compare in the real world. Here the OnePlus 8 phones also fare relatively average in their rankings. Amongst the Snapdragon 865 devices it’s on par with the Xiaomi Mi10 Pro, but lose out to the LG V60 and particularly the Samsung S20 Ultra which has a considerable lead. Samsung usually tunes their BSP software more than other vendors and this can be seen here in particular.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0

In the GPU-bound Renderscript photo editing test we see a similar ranking, the new generation devices are the top scoring phones but the OnePlus 8 falls a bit short of the V60 and S20.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation

The data manipulation score is also very sensitive to performance scaling speed – at 60Hz the OnePlus devices aren’t particularly noteworthy, but at 90/120Hz they more closely match up the top performing devices.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Overall, in the PCMark ranking the OnePlus 8 phones do well, although there’s a lot of other phones which seem to have more aggressive scheduler settings that are able to distance themselves more from the pack, in particular Samsung’s S20 series with the Snapdragon 865.

WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView

In the browser based benchmarks, we again see that the OnePlus 8 phones generally fall in line with other phones of its generation such as the V60 and the Mi 10 Pro, however fall short of the performance that the S20 is able to achieve.

JetStream 2 - OS WebviewSpeedometer 2.0 - OS WebView

The Speedometer scores were quite odd in that I measured a bigger difference in performance between the two phones, with the regular OnePlus 8 for some reason being in the lead. I don’t have any good explanation for this other than possibly we’re seeing differences in the memory architectures of the two units and the benchmark is maybe exposing some sensitivities between the two units.

I had run my memory benchmarks on the two phones as this was the first time we’ve had access to an LPDDR4X version of the Snapdragon 865. The results were mixed – full random memory access latency was better on the LP5 system by about 5ns, but some other access patterns were slightly lower latency on the LP4 system. Sequential memory latency access in particular being oddly 10% lower latency on the LP4 system. Memory bandwidth wise, the LP5 system had a clear win with a 21% lead in memory reads at 35.71GB/s vs 29.31GB/s – however it lost on memory writes at 19.84GB/s vs 20.56GB/s in favour of the LP4 system. In actual memory copy loads it was thus also the LP4 system which had a notable lead of 12% at 10.22GB/s vs 9.09GB/s.

These are all results I hadn’t quite expected and shows that the newer memory technology doesn’t necessarily mean it’s outright better in every regard. The difference here in the Speedometer test could be very much tied to one of the memory performance characteristics of the systems

Overall Performance Verdict

Although the OnePlus 8 phones didn’t particularly top the benchmark scores in our system tests, they still showcase outstanding experiences in the real world. The 90Hz refresh rate on the OnePlus 8 is very much noticeable and a great addition to the product, and the 120Hz scrolling experience of the OnePlus 8 Pro even exceeds it.

I tried hard to compare the OnePlus 8 Pro to Samsung’s S20 series phones, and whilst the differences were minute, Samsung’s devices did seem just a little bit snappier and that fact does materialise in our benchmark scores. It’s possible here that OnePlus opted to leave the more conservative DVFS and scheduler tuneables at the Qualcomm defaults for a more balanced battery life experience.

Still – you can’t go wrong either OnePlus phone as both are exemplary in their performance characteristics.

Introduction & Design GPU Performance
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  • boeush - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    Yup. People with expensive high-fidelity headphones want to be able to listen to their extensive, high-fidelity music catalogs on their expensive, high-fidelity flagship smartphone. I don't see what's so hard for designers/vendors to comprehend about this...

    Just because Apple decided to go full retard with deliberate omission of a headphone jack, doesn't mean the rest of the world has to voluntarily lobotomize itself in response. Even though it did, and continues to do so - it doesn't HAVE TO keep on doing it. Idiots....
    Reply
  • wr3zzz - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    OnePlus8 pretty much makes the case that flagship killer is henceforth pointless. There is hardly any "need" that can only be possible on $1000+ phones for 99% of the usage cases. Since OnePlus7 Pro, the extra $300-500 tacked onto the flagship class phones are mostly for checklist and not utility. Rational consumer, i.e, the flagship killer demo, pay for need and not marketing. Reply
  • Quantumz0d - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    Not a flagship at all when it lacks 3.5mm jack and no Micro SD slot. Esp with their proprietary bullshit charging and uber high speed, high current, high voltage battery destroying tech all for Samsung level of price with their bloated garbage Oxygen OS.

    And it's CCP powered. Only good thing about this phone is its Bootloader unlockability.
    Reply
  • watzupken - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    "Not a flagship at all when it lacks 3.5mm jack and no Micro SD slot. Esp with their proprietary bullshit charging and uber high speed, high current, high voltage battery destroying tech all for Samsung level of price with their bloated garbage Oxygen OS."

    My question to you is whether you have used a OnePlus phone before to come to the conclusion that the Oxygen OS is garbage? I have not tested the OneOS from Samsung, but the Oxygen OS is leaps and bounds cleaner and smoother than the old TouchWiz OS from Samsung. Having used a OnePlus 7 Pro for some time, I feel the software support/updates from OnePlus is also better than Samsung. I am confident to say that Samsung probably included more bloatware than OnePlus, since OxygenOS is pretty much the closest to the stock Android experience.

    The lack of micro SD slot is a bummer, but 3.5mm jack is pretty much missing in most of the new flagship phones.
    Reply
  • Siva - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    Coming from a pixel 3 to the OnePlus 8 this phone is incredible but the camera is straight trash. Reply
  • serendip - Monday, June 29, 2020 - link

    What's Samsung's secret sauce for the high CPU numbers on the SD865? Reply
  • Roph - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Too bad both the headphone jack and MicroSD slot are missing, making it totally irrelevant to me. "Never settle", right?

    Also bizarre that the reviewer says good riddance to a pop-up camera. Having a piece of the screen missing is a negative.

    Absolutely don't want these phones, I wouldn't use them even if they were free.
    Reply
  • airdrifting - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    It's funny OnePlus's mainstream model beats their high end "Pro" mode practicality wise. I almost never considered the "Pro" model. Reply
  • Brane2 - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    After so many iterations, what does "flagship phone" even mean ?

    Does anyone even care anymore ?
    When you need a toothpick, do you go for base model or check the sites for a "flagship" one ?
    Reply
  • AsturzioAugias - Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - link

    Thanks for the detailed review, from a new op8pro user.
    In your opinion, in terms of battery drain what the difference will be between 90hz and 120hz?
    Reply

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