OnePlus 9 Review: History Repeats Itself

OnePlus 9 Review: History Repeats Itself

Over the previous few generations, OnePlus’ non-Pro smartphones have usually been uncared for in favour of the Pro fashions. The function disparity between the OnePlus 7 and seven Pro continues to be the most effective instance up to now. Things did enhance barely with the 8 sequence, however increased costs have additionally meant that the non-Pro fashions do not supply as a lot worth for cash. With this 12 months’s 9 sequence, OnePlus’ much-hyped Hasselblad partnership extends to the OnePlus 9, and is not restricted to the 9 Pro, which is nice.

Add to that the improved sensors, similar charging pace, and similar show refresh charge because the 9 Pro, and the OnePlus 9 seems to be like an incredible improve to the OnePlus 8. However, at its new increased beginning worth of Rs. 49,999, is it higher worth than OnePlus’ personal 8T and eight Pro? How does it fare towards the competitors from different manufacturers? Time to search out out.

OnePlus 9 worth in India and variants

OnePlus despatched me the 12GB RAM variant (with 256GB of storage), which is priced at Rs. 54,999. There’s additionally a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage priced at Rs. 49,999. The OnePlus 9 has the identical LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage because the 9 Pro. There are three colors on supply — Astral Black, Arctic Sky, and Winter Mist — however the latter is barely accessible should you select the top-end variant. The pastel lilac hue of the Winter Mist trim seems to be fairly however the shiny end attracts fingerprints very simply.

OnePlus 9 design

In my first impressions of the OnePlus 9, I discussed that for the primary time, the corporate has used a polycarbonate body for its flagship quantity sequence. We’ve not too long ago seen Samsung make the identical compromise with the development of its non-Plus or non-Ultra flagship smartphones. I would not care a lot if the OnePlus 9 was priced much like the OnePlus 8T’s launch worth, however that is not the case, which makes this extraordinarily disappointing. It’s puzzling why a model aspiring to make a reputation for itself within the premium smartphone section would take such a backward step.

Having stated that, the OnePlus 9 nonetheless feels solidly constructed and the plastic body does seem like metallic, though it isn’t. The solely silver lining right here is that it is a lot lighter (183g) and slimmer (8.1mm) than the 9 Pro and even the 8T. The alert slider and buttons have good tactile suggestions, much like those on the 9 Pro. OnePlus has retained Corning Gorilla Glass for the back and front of the cellphone. At the underside, you get a USB Type-C port, dual-SIM tray, and speaker.

The OnePlus 9 seems to be good however would have felt extra premium with a metallic body, fairly than plastic


The OnePlus 9 has the same 6.55-inch AMOLED show because the 8T. It’s not an LTPO OLED display screen just like the one the 9 Pro has, which is okay contemplating the a lot decrease value. It has a full-HD+ decision, is HDR-certified, and helps a 120Hz refresh charge. You additionally get an in-display fingerprint sensor, which regardless of its awkwardly low placement, works very nicely. The 9’s show is flat, not like the curved edges on the 9 Pro, however the borders are evenly slim throughout. There’s a hole-punch cutout for the selfie digital camera within the higher left nook.

The digital camera bump on the again is not very pronounced and has the same form because the one on the 9 Pro, minus a number of sensors. The OnePlus 9 does not look too totally different to the 9 Pro general, which is an effective factor now that we have all gotten used to it. The plastic body nonetheless bugs me behind my thoughts, contemplating how a lot it prices, and is one thing which should not have been compromised. The field contents are much like these of the 9 Pro, apart from the case, which is clear fairly than opaque.

OnePlus 9 specs and software program

The OnePlus 9 makes use of the identical Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC because the 9 Pro, and in India, it solely helps two 5G bands in comparison with extra in different areas. This apart, the step-brotherly therapy rears its ugly head as soon as once more. In India, the OnePlus 9 doesn’t obtain an IP ranking for mud and water resistance, and neither does it get wi-fi charging. OnePlus continues to order these options for its Pro mannequin in India, however not in all components of the world.

The OnePlus 9 bought in Europe and North America helps 15W Qi wi-fi charging, which additionally makes it barely thicker and heavier in comparison with the mannequin bought in India. If you are within the US and buy the OnePlus 9 through T-Mobile, it is going to carry an IP68 badge. There is a rubber gasket across the SIM tray even on the Indian mannequin, which appears to point some degree of water ingress safety, however make of that what you’ll.

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The OnePlus 9 (backside) has a flat show in comparison with the curved sides of the OnePlus 9 Pro (prime)


I believe OnePlus ought to have given the 9 an official IP ranking, and no less than primary wi-fi charging in India, if not 30W wi-fi charging just like the 8 Pro. I would even have been okay with this had the pricing been decrease, nevertheless it’s not.

The different options are much like these of the 9 Pro. Both fashions function Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, a number of sensors and satellite tv for pc navigation methods, stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos, an up to date haptic engine, and a greater cooling system for the SoC. They even have the identical 4,500mAh battery together with 65W quick charging.

Software is taken care of by OxygenOS 11, which is predicated on Android 11. My unit obtained a number of updates put up launch, and general, the expertise has been higher than with the 9 Pro, which nonetheless has some bugs that must be squashed. Hyper-Touch, which bumps the show’s contact response to 360Hz in sure video games, is among the few options that’s lacking within the 9, however the software program is in any other case kind of similar to that of the 9 Pro.

OnePlus 9 efficiency and battery life

Performance has been very stable proper from the get go. The OnePlus 9 is a extra snug cellphone to dwell with than the 9 Pro and even the 8T. The decrease weight and thickness assist in reaching a greater in-hand really feel, and the flat show just about guidelines out unintentional touches. The 120Hz refresh charge makes any gesture really feel snappy and fluid. It will drop right down to 60Hz in sure apps, as a way to save energy. The show is great – colors are vibrant, brightness is superb, and viewing angles are greater than passable.

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The OnePlus 9 has a slim profile, making a bit extra ergonomic to make use of than the OnePlus 9 Pro


The earpiece and the underside speaker supply an excellent stereo impact, and the quantity degree is sweet. Sound high quality is much like what I heard from the 9 Pro, which makes gaming and video consumption an actual deal with. Just just like the OnePlus 9 Pro, the OnePlus 9 can deal with even probably the most demanding video games within the Google Play Store. It does not get too sizzling, since the whole lot is rendered at full-HD+ and never QHD+ like on the 9 Pro. Titles comparable to Asphalt 9: Legends and Call of Duty: Mobile regarded improbable on the cellphone’s show.

The OnePlus 9 delivers excellent battery life; a bit higher than the 9 Pro in actual fact, in my view. Our HD video battery loop take a look at ran for an hour longer too, clocking in almost 17 hours. With typical use, which included a little bit of gaming, video watching, and random social and Chrome utilization, I used to be simply capable of go one whole day and a bit extra earlier than having to cost this cellphone. You can kill the battery in below a day with heavy digital camera use and gaming, however most often, it is secure to imagine you may get a full day’s value of use on one cost. Even whenever you do run low on energy, the OnePlus 9 expenses extremely shortly because of the 65W charger.

OnePlus 9 cameras

The cameras on the OnePlus 9 are a giant improve in comparison with its predecessor’s primarily as a consequence of higher sensors. There’s after all the entire Hasselblad partnership as nicely, however for the 9 sequence, the profit is especially seen within the color tuning of JPEGs and never a lot else. The major 48-megapixel sensor is lifted from the OnePlus 8 Pro, with the additional advantage of Hasselblad’s color science. However, OnePlus has eliminated optical stabilisation, which I believe was an odd alternative. The 50-megapixel ultra-wide digital camera has the very same sensor and lens setup as on the 9 Pro, whereas the third digital camera is a 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. The OnePlus 9 lacks a telephoto digital camera, which implies all magnification is strictly digital.

Landscape photographs taken in the course of the day packed in excellent element and hues, and sometimes matched as much as the standard of images taken with the OnePlus 9 Pro. The ultra-wide digital camera captured wonderful element too, with minimal distortion across the edges. However, not like on the 9 Pro, the digital camera app does not mechanically interact the ultra-wide digital camera whenever you shut in on a topic. You’ll need to allow macro mode manually.

OnePlus 9 major digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

OnePlus 9 ultra-wide digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

OnePlus 9 macro digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)


Close-ups had good sharpness and hues too, however each every now and then, I seen the topic had tender focus or that the world in focus wasn’t precisely what I had chosen when taking the shot. It’s a little bit of a random prevalence, and I’m hoping this may be fastened by a software program replace. Both the rear cameras do good jobs in low gentle with panorama photographs, however close-ups require a little bit of effort to seize nicely since there is no stabilisation to compensate for minor hand shakes. Detail and hues are a bit weaker in comparison with what the 9 Pro produces.

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OnePlus 9 low-light selfie digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

OnePlus 9 Nightscape pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)


The selfie digital camera is similar one used for the OnePlus 9 Pro, and it is first rate however not nice. You can get some pleasing selfies in the course of the day should you angle the digital camera good, however for probably the most half, pictures look pretty common and the standard dips additional in low gentle.

With most OnePlus flagships of the previous, the cameras obtained somewhat higher after a number of software program updates, and the OnePlus 9 has already obtained a bunch of them because it launched. After updating the 9 and 9 Pro to the most recent Oxygen OS (on the time of this evaluation), this is what I noticed. Both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro continued to aggressively sharpen textures, which causes a little bit of fringing alongside the sides of objects should you enlarge the pictures all the best way. The OnePlus 9 nonetheless produced barely higher particulars in panorama photographs in comparison with the 8 Pro, regardless of having the identical sensor. However, close-ups remained a bit hit-or-miss with the OnePlus 9, as though it could appear as if you’ve got obtained shot within the viewfinder, the ultimate picture won’t match as much as that.

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The OnePlus 9 tends to wrestle with close-ups from time to time, which is not an issue for the 9 Pro or 8 Pro


The OnePlus 9 has related video capabilities because the 9 Pro. It can shoot at 8K 30fps, however 4K recording is proscribed to 60fps and never 120fps like on the 9 Pro. Video high quality is sweet within the daytime and even low-light footage is clear and comparatively free from noise. However, the digital stabilisation causes a little bit of jitter within the video, which is extra pronounced at evening. The OnePlus 9 can shoot HDR video too, however this must be enabled manually, not like on the 9 Pro which may interact it mechanically primarily based on the scene.

The OnePlus 9 did give me an overheating warning when taking pictures 8K video, however this was after recording a 3rd consecutive clip (8K movies are restricted to 5 minutes per clip). The cellphone finally stopped recording in the course of the fourth clip; barely higher than the 9 Pro, which normally stopped mid-way by the second clip.

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The OnePlus 9 has the identical ultra-wide digital camera because the OnePlus 9 Pro


Since the OnePlus 7 sequence, every non-Pro OnePlus mannequin has been meant to cater to mainstream patrons, whereas the Pro mannequin was for many who need all of it, with the suitable costs. With the 9 sequence beginning at Rs. 50,000, it seems that each fashions are actually being focused on the premium section. OnePlus has gone so far as to introduce a 3rd mannequin this 12 months for the Indian market, the lower-priced OnePlus 9R, which is available in to bridge the “value” hole between the OnePlus Nord and the OnePlus 9. So, must you be spending your cash on the OnePlus 9?

If it is simply the most recent Qualcomm SoC you crave, then the pricing shouldn’t be that unhealthy. Other telephones with the Snapdragon 888 SoC such because the Asus ROG Phone 5 additionally begin on the similar worth. When in comparison with the OnePlus 8T, the OnePlus 9 has higher ergonomics and rear cameras, which for some can be definitely worth the premium.

If I had to decide on between the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8 Pro for Rs. 5,000 extra, I’d go along with the 8 Pro. The latter won’t be as slim or gentle because the 9, and its ultra-wide digital camera efficiency is a bit weaker in some circumstances, nevertheless it has a sharper show, an aluminium physique, an optically stabilised major digital camera, IP68 ranking, and 30W wi-fi charging. The OnePlus 8 Pro additionally seems to be and feels much more premium than the OnePlus 9.

I am unable to assist however really feel an acute sense of déjàvu after reviewing the OnePlus 9, because it’s the identical sentiment I had after testing the OnePlus 8. The 9 is an effective smartphone in its personal proper, however laborious to suggest when you’ve gotten the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G and OnePlus 8 Pro promoting for across the similar worth. Plus, with the OnePlus 9R within the image, the OnePlus 9 appears to be caught in limbo in the meanwhile.

Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, has a double invoice this week: the OnePlus 9 sequence, and Justice League Snyder Cut (beginning at 25:32). Orbital is obtainable on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.