Apr 15, 2020 - Technology

OnePlus launches its priciest Android smartphone yet

The back of the phone.
Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

OnePlus launched two Android smartphones on Tuesday, including its most expensive model yet, the OnePlus 8 Pro, which starts at $899 and also comes in a $999 version with more memory.

The big picture: Product launches have changed a lot in the coronavirus era, but less so for companies like OnePlus that already did a lot of their events online. The biggest issue in the smartphone business, though, is demand, amid a struggling economy and a shelter-in-place market that favors home electronics.

Details: The OnePlus Pro features a 120-Hz refresh rate display, Qualcomm's top-of-the-line Snapdragon 865 chip and a 48-megapixel main camera, along with ultrawide and telephoto lenses plus a unique color filter camera.

  • The OnePlus 8, which starts at $699, features a similar processor with a 48-megapixel main lens and a 16-megapixel ultrawide lens.
  • Both models will be available on OnePlus.com beginning April 29. T-Mobile and Verizon will also sell versions of the OnePlus 8 suited for their 5G networks.

Between the lines: OnePlus managed to get a lot of online chatter around its products, in part because there just isn't that much new tech to write about right now.

Our thought bubble: OnePlus is a Chinese-owned phone brand that has developed a strong fan base in the U.S. which other, larger Chinese brands have struggled to duplicate. The company makes gorgeous hardware, and the new 8 and 8 Pro continue that trend, along with higher-end features.

  • One big question mark is how the new devices stack up on the camera front, which is critical for most smartphone buyers, but particularly in the high-end market.
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