The evolution of OnePlus's brand has seen it move from strong, cut-price smartphones to full-on flagship phones for only somewhat less than a typical flagship. Along the way, it has been able to afford more of the little things: flourishes in industrial design, global carrier partnerships, even advanced biometric and camera technology. With the OnePlus 8 Pro, the company now has brought another new thing at the table: an official IP rating for dust and water resistance.
That rating is IP68. It means that the device is fully resistant to dust and can survive immersion under 1.5 meters of freshwater for up to 30 minutes. And that's great. It's the same rating that's been badged on most pricey phones from Apple, Samsung, and LG for the past several years now.
In the case of OnePlus, though, it went out of its way last year to explain why its OnePlus 7 phones would not come with an IP rating: having a third party certify the rating through rigorous tests costs money — money it would rather use on other items and, thus, keep the price tag well below $1,000. That claim didn't wash with critics, though, citing that an IP rating provides assurance whereas an online advertisement featuring a phone dropping into a bucket of water does not.
So, why turn around after a year and get the IP rating? It probably has the most to do with the Snapdragon 865. With 5G included as part of the default configuration, Qualcomm purportedly hiked prices by a substantial amount from the 855. OnePlus faces other challenges specific to silicon that we're discussing in another story today, but the end result is that the company has a higher overall price ceiling for a phone it will market as top-of-the-line anyways. An IP rating probably made sense in the budget for this phone.
This comes at the expense of the OnePlus 8, however. For a couple hundred dollars, buyers would be losing out on wireless charging as well as an IP rating — and those might be tipping factors for some. After all, you might not want to test a phone's limits, but for those worst case scenarios, there's a certain peace of mind in knowing that they have been.