Apr 15, 2020 - Technology

OnePlus launches its priciest Android smartphone yet

Ina Fried, author of Login

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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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

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Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.