OnePlus is known for charging your smartphones with lightweight but customizable software with many useful additional features. OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are no different. With the latest version of Oxygen OS, built on Android 10, there are many things you can sink your teeth into. We’ve found some of our most used and favorite tips and tricks for you to try on your new OnePlus phone.
It’s worth noting that while some of these only apply to the OnePlus 8 Pro, most of them will also be available on OnePlus 8 and could even make it to older OnePlus models when they upgrade to Oxygen OS 10.5.
OnePlus has put one of the best displays on the market on its latest flagship phone, but more importantly, it has given us many ways to make it fit for us individually. Whether you want to adjust the color, sharpness, or refresh rate, it’s all there.
Enable 120Hz refresh rate: OnePlus has put a 120Hz screen on OnePlus 8 Pro, but it is not active by default. Head to Settings> Display> Advanced, and now choose ‘Refresh Rate’. Select ‘120Hz’ and now your screen will be able to deliver up to 120 frames per second.
Maximum QHD + resolution: In the same ‘Advanced’ configuration menu, you will find ‘Resolution’. Select that and now choose ‘QHD +’. If you have selected both, it will run your screen with its maximum resolution and highest refresh rate simultaneously.
Screen calibration: Sticking back into the same ‘Advanced’ menu, select ‘Screen Calibration’. What you can do now is choose how the screen appears. You can choose to make it vivid and colorful, or go dimmer and more natural. If you select the ‘Advanced’ option, you can now choose between ‘sRGB’, ‘P3 Display’ or ‘AMOLED Wide Gamut’, and even adjust the color temperature slider to make it warmer or colder.
Screen recording: You can record everything on your screen by displaying the quick setting tone and searching for the ‘screen recorder’ tile. Select that, and then you’ll get a little popup on the screen. Press the red button to record or press the setup button to access the recording settings.
Hide the front camera: The OnePlus 8 Pro’s front camera is in a small perforation cutout, which doesn’t interrupt as much. However, if you prefer to hide it, you can activate a virtual bezel to camouflage it. Head to Settings> Display> Advanced> Front camera display area. Now choose ‘Hide Front Camera’ to enable the black bar at the top of the screen that hides the appearance of that selfie camera.
Comfort zone: This setting enables a feature whereby the phone uses information from ambient light sensors to adjust the color temperature of the display to more closely match the temperature of the light wherever it is located. Go to Settings> Display and activate ‘Comfort zone’.
MEMC / motion graphics smoothing: With a high refresh rate display, there is always a risk that the content will not match the smoothness of the screen, so MEMC helps improve it. Head over to Settings> Display and now choose ‘Motion Graphics Smoothing’ and turn it on.
Automatically enable night mode: It is an old, but useful feature. Night mode cuts off the blue light on the screen to help relax your eyes at night. Go to Settings> Display> Night mode and manually turn it on with the toggle or tap ‘Activate automatically’ to set a default time to activate every day.
Enable reading mode: If you want the display to be more contrasting and desaturated for when you read e-books on your phone, you can enable reading mode. Go to Settings> Display> Reading mode and enable it there or swipe down the notification / quick setting tone from the top of the phone screen and find the Reading mode tile.
Automatic reading mode: To make sure that Reading Mode starts automatically when you launch a relevant application, go to Settings> Display> Reading Mode and now tap on ‘Add applications for Reading Mode’ and now choose the applications you want to start the function automatically.
Screen Scale: From the main Settings menu, choose ‘Display’ and now search for ‘Screen Scale’. You can now adjust the slider that resizes various interface elements when they appear on the screen. It also affects how spaced all the elements are.
Change the font size: Just above the display scale option, you will find ‘Font size’. This is similar, but only related to the text in any of its menus and applications. Touch it and now adjust the text to your liking.
Pick up the phone to display the Ambience screen: The ambient screen is the OnePlus version of a low power consumption lock screen. Rather than displaying a full-color wallpaper, it’s a completely black screen with a basic clock and notification icons. To show it when you pick up the phone, go to Settings> Display> Ambient display and check “Pick up your phone to show”.
Touch the screen to display the Ambience screen: Similar to the above, turn on the ‘Touch screen to show’ option, and now when you touch your phone screen when on standby, you will see the ambient screen.
Home screen and customization tips
Set more apps on your home screen: Long press on your home screen wallpaper and select ‘Home Screen Settings’, now tap on ‘Home Screen Layout’. Here you can adjust the number of columns of the application on your home screen and adjust the size of the icons.
Choose a live wallpaper: Press and hold your home screen wallpaper and choose ‘wallpapers’. All cheering OnePlus live wallpapers have a little mountain icon in the top corner surrounded by little dots. Pick one of these and see how the images move and change depending on how you slide the phone screen.
Change the shape and style of the icon: Go to Settings> Personalization and you will find a lot of customization options. Scroll to the bottom and you will see ‘Icon Pack’. Choose this and select one of the pre-installed packages, or you can tap ‘More’ and download / install one of the many options available in the Google Play Store.
Hide icon labels: Long press on your home screen wallpaper and choose ‘Home Screen Settings’, now turn on the ‘Hide Icon Labels’ switch.
Show all apps on home screens: You can launch a similar iPhone if you want, where all your apps are on your home screens. Tap and hold the wallpaper and choose ‘Home Screen Settings’ again. Now choose ‘Launcher Layout’ and tap on ‘Home Screen Only’.
Change the shape of the Quick Settings tile: In addition to changing the appearance of app icons, you can change the shape of Quick Settings tiles in the drop-down settings tone that appears when you swipe down from the top edge of the screen. Go to Settings> Personalization and choose ‘System Icons’. You can now select round, square, tear, or round rectangle.
Choose a preset theme: In this same ‘Personalization’ menu, you will see ‘Preset theme’ at the top of the page. Tap this and then choose one of the available options. In doing so, choose a color scheme, icon pack, horizon light, and various other visual element styles for yourself.
Customize accent color: Stay in this same menu and choose ‘Accent Color’ (if it doesn’t open, you need to go to ‘Hue’ and make sure you choose ‘Light’ or ‘Dark’. This affects the way accents are found in the your phone settings Now, choose one of the colors at the bottom or press ‘personalization’ to create your own color by sliding a color selector and adjusting the saturation and darkness.
Environmental display clock style: In Settings> Personalization again, you will see a tile near the top that says ‘Clock style’. This changes the clock that appears on your ambient display. Choose the style you like best.
Change the ‘Horizon Light’ color: Horizon light is the way the OnePlus screen presses a color on both sides of the screen when a notification comes in (when it’s on hold). Go to Settings> Display> Ambient display> Horizon Light, and now choose one of the colors. You have a choice of blue, red, gold and purple.
Change fingerprint animation effect: In Settings> Personalization, tap the tile that says ‘Fingerprint animation effect’, now you can choose from the available animations that appear when you rest your thumb or finger on the fingerprint sensor.
Buttons, navigation tips and gestures
Use navigation buttons: If you want to use the old school navigation buttons to go home, go back and access recent apps, head to Settings> Buttons and gestures and now select ‘Navigation and gestures’. Now select ‘Back, Start, Recent’.
Use navigation gestures: Follow the same route as the previous advice and this time select ‘Navigation gestures’. Now to interact with your phone, swipe up from the bottom to go home, swipe in from the sides to go back, and swipe up and hold to access recent apps. To quickly switch between applications, swipe up and then drag to the right.
Remove the bottom bar: With navigation gestures enabled, there is a thin gray bar at the bottom of the screen to indicate where to swipe from. If you want to remove it, stay within the ‘Navigation and gestures bar’ menu and activate the ‘Hide bottom bar’ switch.
Bring back the power button: By default, when you press and hold the side on / off button, it doesn’t turn off the phone, it starts a wizard (Google or Alexa). If you want to use it again as a power button, go to Settings> Buttons and gestures, now tap on ‘Press and hold the power button’.
Double-click the power button to start the camera: It’s a standard OnePlus feature, but if you press the power / lock button twice quickly, the camera starts.
Three finger screenshot: Go to Settings> Buttons and gestures and tap ‘Quick gestures’. Now turn on ‘Three Finger Screenshot’ and when you swipe three fingers on the phone screen it will take a screenshot.
Draw letters to start applications: In the quick gestures menu, you will see a list of letters that you can draw to start a function or application. Pick one and now decide what you want that gesture to start with.
Pick up to answer calls: To answer calls automatically when you pick up the phone and bring it close to your ear, go to Settings> Buttons and gestures> Raise to answer / change. Now activate ‘Pick up to reply’.
Lift to switch from Bluetooth to headset: As a standard when you have Bluetooth headphones connected during a call, if you pick up the phone to your ear within the first five seconds of the call, it will automatically switch to your phone’s earpiece.
Double tap to lock the phone: If you want, you can lock your phone by double-tapping the home screen wallpaper quickly, but you need to enable it. Long press on the wallpaper and tap on ‘Home screen settings’ and now turn on the ‘Double tap to lock’ switch.
Notification apps and tips
Clone apps: If you have a job and a personal account for messaging apps, you can consider having a ‘Parallel App’ so you can access any of your accounts whenever you want. Go to Settings> Utilities> Parallel Applications. A list will appear with any compatible applications you have installed. Just activate the ones you want and a clone will appear in your app drawer.
Quick search instead of app drawer: By default, as always, your apps are in an app drawer that swipes up from the bottom. If you prefer to just launch a quick search option, tap and hold your home screen wallpaper and select ‘Home Screen Settings’. Now tap on ‘drawer’ and choose the ‘Quick Search’ option.
Choose your default apps: If you want a specific app to be your default browser, SMS, phone, gallery, music or email app (etc.), you can manually configure their default settings by going to Settings> Apps & notifications> Default apps. Now select the type of application you want to configure and choose the application you want as the default for that.
Set timers for individual applications: If you want to control how much time is spent on a specific app, go to Settings> Apps & notifications> Screen time, and now you will see a list of apps at the bottom. Tap the hourglass icon next to the app name, choose a time limit and tap ‘OK’.
App permissions: To see which apps have access to things like your location, phone camera, body sensors, calendar, etc., go to Settings> Apps & notifications> App permissions, and now you can see and control which apps have access to what functions.
Hide sensitive notifications: Head to Settings> Apps & Notifications> Notifications and now disable the ‘Sensitive Notifications’ switch. Now you will not see the content of the message on the lock screen.
Block notifications from specific apps: In the same Settings menu, you will see a list of recent notifications by app at the top, you can quickly disable any of them there. Or, ‘View all from the last 7 days’ will give you a longer list, and you can disable any of them.
Turn off notification points: In the notification settings at the bottom, you will see the option “Allow notification points”. Turn it off and you will no longer see dots on the app icons when you have an alert waiting for you.
Security and privacy tips
Add multiple fingerprints: This is great advice if you often pick up your phone with both hands, or if you want to be able to unlock it with an index finger while lying on your desk. Head to Settings> Security & lock screen> Fingerprint unlock. Now tap on ‘Add fingerprint’ and scan the additional prints you want to use.
Change screen unlock mode: In Settings> Security and lock screen, you will find the option ‘Screen lock’, where you can choose to configure a pattern, PIN code or password. If you have fingerprint scanning enabled, you will have to choose one of those three as a backup.
Smart lock: Smart Lock is a feature that Android has had for a while. It allows you to keep the phone unlocked if it detects that it is on you, or if it is in your house (or other normal location), or if you have a specific Bluetooth device (such as your favorite headphones) connected. To enable it, go to Settings> Security & lock screen> Smart Lock. Now choose whether you want to turn it on for body detection, trusted locations, or trusted devices.
Hidden space: If you place a thumb and a finger on your home screen simultaneously, and now vertically separate them, it will launch into a hidden space where you can store applications. You can also access it by opening the app drawer and sliding to the right.
The password protects the hidden space: To put this space behind a password / fingerprint scan, open your hidden space and tap the three dots in the corner. Now tap on ‘enable password’ and enter your phone lock screen password or scan your finger / thumb.
Enable face unlock: This feature allows you to unlock your phone with your face, but it is not as secure as a fingerprint scan, so it cannot be used for pay / download authentication. In Settings> Security & lock screen> Face unlock, tap ‘Add face data’ to go through the capture process, now turn on the ‘Face unlock’ switch.
Instantly unlock with your face: If you don’t want to slide your finger to unlock your phone with Face Unlock, you can toggle the option ‘Automatic Unlock Once Screen is On’. It will instantly unlock the phone as soon as it recognizes your face.
Lock any app behind fingerprint / password: Go to Settings> Utilities> App Lock, and now you can add apps you want to lock behind a password / fingerprint scan, and even choose to hide notifications from those apps to keep them private.
Battery and charging tips
Optimized load: The latest OnePlus phones have a feature called ‘Optimized Charging’ that essentially learns your charging habits at night and ensures that the battery only reaches 100% of capacity just before it wakes up when it’s plugged in, or in its cradle wireless charging. To make sure this is enabled, go to Settings> Battery and make sure the ‘Charge Optimized’ lever is activated.
Wireless charging mode for bedtime: OnePlus’ first wireless charger is fast, and that means you need extra help to cool down. In this case, that’s a hum fan. To make charging quieter (and slower), head to Settings> Battery> Bedtime Mode and turn it on manually or schedule it.
Reverse wireless charging: You can wirelessly charge other Qi-compatible products from your OnePlus 8 Pro. To activate it, go to Settings> Battery> Reverse charge and turn it on, or pull down the quick settings screen from the top of the screen and look for the ‘Charge’ tile reverse ‘. Now turn it on, turn on your OnePlus 8 Pro on its front and place the object you want to charge on its back, near the center.
Battery saving: To help make your battery last even longer when you’re draining it faster than normal, go to Settings> Battery and turn on ‘Battery Saver’. This eliminates some background processes that drain the battery to help the phone last even longer.
Another tip to save battery: Change the screen back to FullHD + resolution and 60Hz refresh rate using the tips shown in the Screen section. You can also enable the dark ‘Tone’ on the personalization screen to save a little more battery.
Shoot a full 48MP shot: As with most high pixel cameras on smartphones, OnePlus uses pixel linking to reduce image size from 48 megapixels to 12 megapixels. To shoot at the full 48 megapixel resolution, open the camera and tap the little ’12MP’ icon at the top.
Shoot macros: OnePlus uses the ultra wide-angle camera to enable ‘Super Macro’ mode. Enable it by tapping the macro icon that looks like a little flower in the camera app.
Shoot with the color filter camera: One of the most unusual features of the OnePlus 8 Pro. Open the camera app and in normal ‘Photo’ mode tap on the little filters icon in the upper right corner. It appears that three circles overlap the shape of a pyramid. Now swipe down to the last filter, named ‘Photocrom’.
Night mode: This is easy. Just open the camera and slide to ‘Nightscape’. When you use this setting, you can trigger your handheld in very low light conditions to automatically attract more light, while a clever algorithm ensures any shaking in your hands is negated.
Long Exposure Night Shot: Open the camera app and switch to ‘Nightscape’ mode. Now tap on ‘Settings’ and look for the option ‘Long Tripod Exposure’. Flip the switch, now when your phone is mounted on a tripod at night, when in Nightscape mode, it will automatically take a much longer exposure than normal.
Shoot a burst shot: To take a quick burst of photos, just hold down the shutter button when shooting in normal ‘Photo’ mode.
Turn off the shutter sound: Open the camera app, tap on ‘Settings’ and now uncheck the ‘Shutter Sound’ option. Now there will be no noise when you take a photo.
Record the CINEMA 21: 9 video: Open the camera app, tap on ‘Settings’ and now choose ‘Video resolution’. The last two options are 4K CINEMA 30 fps and 4K CINEMA 60 fps. They both shoot 4K videos at a 21: 9 ratio for a much wider shot than the usual 16: 9 ratio.
Shoot at 480fps in slow motion: In that same list of options, at the bottom of the screen you will see two slow motion settings. The default is Full HD at 240 frames per second. If you want an even slower slow motion shot, choose the ‘720P 480FPS’ option. It will be lower resolution, but it will be much slower.
Add / remove camera shooting modes: When you open the camera, there are many different shooting options available to choose from, and sliding between them is easy. If you want to add or remove some of those options, tap ‘Settings’ in the camera app and choose ‘Custom modes’. You can now easily add, remove, or reorder any of the shooting modes.
Add a grid: On-screen grids are found by some to be useful for framing while taking pictures or videos. To enable one, open the camera app, tap on ‘Settings’ and choose ‘Grid’. You will have the option to choose 3×3, 4×4 or ‘Golden Ratio’.
Other tips worth trying …
Fast food: An interesting feature is the quick start. Go to Settings> Utilities> Quick Start and activate it. Now when you hold your thumb on the fingerprint sensor after unlocking the phone, a Quick Launch menu appears and allows you to select quick actions to dive right in. By default, that is: Google voice search, New note and New calendar event.
Change quick start shortcuts: To change the shortcuts that appear in this menu, stay on the Quick Launch settings menu and tap on ‘Shortcuts Settings’ and now select ‘Add Shortcuts’.
Schedule on and off times: If you want your phone to turn off and back on at a set time each day, head to Settings> Utilities> Scheduled Power On / Off. Now enable the ‘Power On’ option, then choose to set the time and do the same for the ‘Power Off’ option.
Transfer your old contacts / data to OnePlus: In recent years, OnePlus has facilitated the transfer of data, photos, applications, contacts, etc. from an old Android phone. Go to Settings> Utilities> OnePlus Switch and then tap ‘I am a new phone’ before downloading the app and following the process on your old phone.