OnePlus 9 Review: History Repeats Itself

Victoria D. Doty

Around the previous handful of generations, OnePlus’ non-Professional smartphones have generally been neglected in favour of the Professional types. The element disparity amongst the OnePlus seven and seven Professional is nevertheless the greatest instance to day. Items did strengthen somewhat with the 8 series, but better prices have also intended that the non-Professional types you should not offer as much price for income. With this year’s 9 series, OnePlus’ much-hyped Hasselblad partnership extends to the OnePlus 9, and isn’t really minimal to the 9 Professional, which is terrific.

Add to that the enhanced sensors, similar charging pace, and similar exhibit refresh amount as the 9 Professional, and the OnePlus 9 appears to be like like a terrific improve to the OnePlus 8. Nevertheless, at its new better starting off cost of Rs. forty nine,999, is it much better price than OnePlus’ own 8T and 8 Professional? How does it fare against the levels of competition from other manufacturers? Time to find out.

OnePlus 9 cost in India and variants

OnePlus despatched me the 12GB RAM variant (with 256GB of storage), which is priced at Rs. 54,999. There’s also a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage priced at Rs. forty nine,999. The OnePlus 9 has the similar LPDDR5 RAM and UFS storage as the 9 Professional. There are a few colors on offer — Astral Black, Arctic Sky, and Winter Mist — but the latter is only available if you choose the best-finish variant. The pastel lilac hue of the Winter Mist trim appears to be like rather but the glossy end draws in fingerprints extremely conveniently.

OnePlus 9 structure

In my to start with impressions of the OnePlus 9, I talked about that for the to start with time, the company has made use of a polycarbonate frame for its flagship selection series. We have a short while ago found Samsung make the similar compromise with the building of its non-Furthermore or non-Extremely flagship smartphones. I wouldn’t treatment so much if the OnePlus 9 was priced very similar to the OnePlus 8T’s launch cost, but which is not the case, which makes this very disappointing. It is really puzzling why a manufacturer aspiring to make a identify for alone in the top quality smartphone section would just take such a backward stage.

Owning claimed that, the OnePlus 9 nevertheless feels solidly constructed and the plastic frame does glimpse like steel, even even though it is not. The only silver lining right here is that it is much lighter (183g) and slimmer (8.1mm) than the 9 Professional and even the 8T. The notify slider and buttons have very good tactile comments, very similar to the ones on the 9 Professional. OnePlus has retained Corning Gorilla Glass for the entrance and again of the cellphone. At the base, you get a USB Type-C port, twin-SIM tray, and speaker.

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The OnePlus 9 appears to be like very good but would have felt much more top quality with a steel frame, relatively than plastic


The OnePlus 9 has a very similar six.fifty five-inch AMOLED exhibit as the 8T. It is really not an LTPO OLED screen like the one particular the 9 Professional has, which is fine considering the much lessen charge. It has a complete-Hd+ resolution, is HDR-licensed, and supports a 120Hz refresh amount. You also get an in-exhibit fingerprint sensor, which even with its awkwardly reduced placement, is effective extremely effectively. The 9’s exhibit is flat, not like the curved edges on the 9 Professional, but the borders are evenly slim all close to. There’s a hole-punch cutout for the selfie digicam in the upper still left corner.

The digicam bump on the again isn’t really extremely pronounced and has a very similar condition as the one particular on the 9 Professional, minus a handful of sensors. The OnePlus 9 will not glimpse far too different to the 9 Professional all round, which is a very good point now that we’ve all gotten made use of to it. The plastic frame nevertheless bugs me in the again of my thoughts, considering how much it fees, and is anything which shouldn’t have been compromised. The box contents are very similar to people of the 9 Professional, except for the case, which is transparent relatively than opaque.

OnePlus 9 requirements and software package

The OnePlus 9 utilizes the similar Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC as the 9 Professional, and in India, it only supports two 5G bands when compared to much more in other regions. This aside, the stage-brotherly cure rears its unappealing head once again. In India, the OnePlus 9 does not acquire an IP rating for dust and water resistance, and neither does it get wireless charging. OnePlus proceeds to reserve these characteristics for its Professional product in India, but not in all components of the earth.

The OnePlus 9 sold in Europe and North America supports 15W Qi wireless charging, which also makes it somewhat thicker and heavier when compared to the product sold in India. If you might be in the US and obtain the OnePlus 9 via T-Mobile, it will carry an IP68 badge. There is a rubber gasket close to the SIM tray even on the Indian product, which looks to point out some degree of water ingress security, but make of that what you will.

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The OnePlus 9 (base) has a flat exhibit when compared to the curved sides of the OnePlus 9 Professional (best)


I imagine OnePlus ought to have presented the 9 an official IP rating, and at least basic wireless charging in India, if not 30W wireless charging like the 8 Professional. I might even have been okay with this experienced the pricing been lessen, but it is not.

The other characteristics are very similar to people of the 9 Professional. Both types element Wi-Fi six, Bluetooth five.2, NFC, numerous sensors and satellite navigation methods, stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, an up to date haptic motor, and a much better cooling system for the SoC. They also have the similar four,500mAh battery together with 65W fast charging.

Software package is taken treatment of by OxygenOS eleven, which is centered on Android eleven. My device acquired a handful of updates put up launch, and all round, the practical experience has been much better than with the 9 Professional, which nevertheless has some bugs that have to have to be squashed. Hyper-Touch, which bumps the display’s contact reaction to 360Hz in specific video games, is one particular of the handful of characteristics that is missing in the 9, but the software package is usually much more or fewer identical to that of the 9 Professional.

OnePlus 9 overall performance and battery everyday living

Functionality has been extremely strong right from the get go. The OnePlus 9 is a much more comfortable cellphone to live with than the 9 Professional or even the 8T. The lessen excess weight and thickness support in acquiring a much better in-hand really feel, and the flat exhibit rather much guidelines out accidental touches. The 120Hz refresh amount makes any gesture really feel snappy and fluid. It will drop down to 60Hz in specific applications, in order to conserve power. The exhibit is excellent – colors are vivid, brightness is extremely very good, and viewing angles are much more than satisfactory.

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The OnePlus 9 has a slim profile, building a bit much more ergonomic to use than the OnePlus 9 Professional


The earpiece and the base speaker offer a extremely very good stereo result, and the quantity degree is very good. Sound high quality is very similar to what I read from the 9 Professional, which makes gaming and online video intake a authentic handle. Just like the OnePlus 9 Professional, the OnePlus 9 can tackle even the most demanding video games in the Google Perform Keep. It will not get far too very hot, due to the fact anything is rendered at complete-Hd+ and not QHD+ like on the 9 Professional. Titles such as Asphalt 9: Legends and Get in touch with of Duty: Mobile seemed fantastic on the phone’s exhibit.

The OnePlus 9 delivers extremely very good battery everyday living a bit much better than the 9 Professional in reality, in my feeling. Our Hd online video battery loop test ran for an hour more time far too, clocking in virtually 17 hrs. With usual use, which provided a bit of gaming, online video watching, and random social and Chrome usage, I was conveniently ready to go one particular complete day and a bit much more prior to having to cost this cellphone. You can eliminate the battery in less than a day with heavy digicam use and gaming, but in most circumstances, it is safe and sound to think you are going to get a complete day’s well worth of use on one particular cost. Even when you do operate reduced on power, the OnePlus 9 rates amazingly swiftly thanks to the 65W charger.

OnePlus 9 cameras

The cameras on the OnePlus 9 are a large improve when compared to its predecessor’s predominantly thanks to much better sensors. There’s of course the entire Hasselblad partnership as effectively, but for the 9 series, the advantage is predominantly found in the colour tuning of JPEGs and not much else. The main 48-megapixel sensor is lifted from the OnePlus 8 Professional, with the added advantage of Hasselblad’s colour science. Nevertheless, OnePlus has taken out optical stabilisation, which I imagine was an odd selection. The 50-megapixel ultra-large digicam has the specific similar sensor and lens set up as on the 9 Professional, whilst the third digicam is a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. The OnePlus 9 lacks a telephoto digicam, which means all magnification is strictly electronic.

Landscape photographs taken for the duration of the day packed in extremely very good element and colors, and generally matched up to the high quality of images taken with the OnePlus 9 Professional. The ultra-large digicam captured excellent element far too, with small distortion close to the edges. Nevertheless, not like on the 9 Professional, the digicam application will not mechanically engage the ultra-large digicam when you near in on a subject. You can have to permit macro manner manually.

OnePlus 9 main digicam sample (tap to see much larger graphic)

OnePlus 9 ultra-large digicam sample (tap to see much larger graphic)

OnePlus 9 macro digicam sample (tap to see much larger graphic)


Near-ups experienced very good sharpness and colors far too, but every once in a whilst, I noticed the subject experienced comfortable emphasis or that the place in emphasis wasn’t particularly what I experienced picked when having the shot. It is really a bit of a random incidence, and I am hoping this can be preset by a software package update. Both the rear cameras do very good positions in reduced gentle with landscape photographs, but near-ups demand a bit of effort and hard work to capture effectively due to the fact you will find no stabilisation to compensate for minor hand shakes. Element and colors are a bit weaker when compared to what the 9 Professional provides.

OnePlus 9 reduced-gentle selfie digicam sample (tap to see much larger graphic)

OnePlus 9 Nightscape sample (tap to see much larger graphic)


The selfie digicam is the similar one particular made use of for the OnePlus 9 Professional, and it is good but not terrific. You can get some pleasing selfies for the duration of the day if you angle the digicam just right, but for the most part, photographs glimpse reasonably ordinary and the high quality dips even more in reduced gentle.

With most OnePlus flagships of the previous, the cameras got a little much better immediately after a handful of software package updates, and the OnePlus 9 has previously acquired a bunch of them due to the fact it launched. Immediately after updating the 9 and 9 Professional to the most up-to-date Oxygen OS eleven.2.2.2 (at the time of this review), this is what I noticed. Both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Professional continued to aggressively sharpen textures, which leads to a bit of fringing together the edges of objects if you enlarge the photographs all the way. The OnePlus 9 nevertheless made somewhat much better particulars in landscape photographs when compared to the 8 Professional, even with having the similar sensor. Nevertheless, near-ups remained a bit strike-or-skip with the OnePlus 9, as even even though it may seem as even though you have got a very good shot in the viewfinder, the ultimate image might not match up to that.

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The OnePlus 9 tends to struggle with near-ups every now and then, which isn’t really a dilemma for the 9 Professional or 8 Professional


The OnePlus 9 has very similar online video capabilities as the 9 Professional. It can shoot at 8K 30fps, but 4K recording is minimal to 60fps and not 120fps like on the 9 Professional. Video high quality is very good in the daytime and even reduced-gentle footage is clean and relatively totally free from sounds. Nevertheless, the electronic stabilisation leads to a bit of jitter in the online video, which is much more pronounced at night. The OnePlus 9 can shoot HDR online video far too, but this requires to be enabled manually, not like on the 9 Professional which can engage it mechanically centered on the scene.

The OnePlus 9 did give me an overheating warning when shooting 8K online video, but this was immediately after recording a third consecutive clip (8K movies are minimal to 5 minutes per clip). The cellphone ultimately stopped recording for the duration of the fourth clip somewhat much better than the 9 Professional, which generally stopped mid-way by the 2nd clip.

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The OnePlus 9 has the similar ultra-large digicam as the OnePlus 9 Professional


Given that the OnePlus seven series, every single non-Professional OnePlus product has been intended to cater to mainstream purchasers, whilst the Professional product was for people who want it all, with the correct prices. With the 9 series starting off at Rs. 50,000, it seems that both types are now getting focused at the top quality section. OnePlus has gone as significantly as to introduce a third product this year for the Indian market, the lessen-priced OnePlus 9R, which comes in to bridge the “value” hole amongst the OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus 9. So, ought to you be paying out your income on the OnePlus 9?

If it is just the most up-to-date Qualcomm SoC you crave, then the pricing is not that undesirable. Other telephones with the Snapdragon 888 SoC such as the Asus ROG Cellular phone five also start out at the similar cost. When when compared to the OnePlus 8T, the OnePlus 9 has much better ergonomics and rear cameras, which for some would be well worth the top quality.

If I experienced to choose amongst the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8 Professional for Rs. five,000 much more, I would go with the 8 Professional. The latter might not be as slim or gentle as the 9, and its ultra-large digicam overall performance is a bit weaker in some circumstances, but it has a sharper exhibit, an aluminium overall body, an optically stabilised main digicam, IP68 rating, and 30W wireless charging. The OnePlus 8 Professional also appears to be like and feels a whole lot much more top quality than the OnePlus 9.

I won’t be able to support but really feel an acute perception of déjàvu immediately after reviewing the OnePlus 9, as it is the similar sentiment I experienced immediately after tests the OnePlus 8. The 9 is a very good smartphone in its own right, but hard to advise when you have the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G and OnePlus 8 Professional offering for close to the similar cost. Furthermore, with the OnePlus 9R in the image, the OnePlus 9 looks to be stuck in limbo for the time getting.

Orbital, the Devices 360 podcast, has a double monthly bill this 7 days: the OnePlus 9 series, and Justice League Snyder Cut (starting off at twenty five:32). Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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