Oneplus 9 and Oneplus 9 pro complete review
so this is the new oneplus 9 and this is the new oneplus 9 pro and they might just be the best value phones in 2021. let’s get into it
10 out of 10 presentation box, the retail boxe is provided by oneplus so heavy that anyone would have only been half surprised if it was just filled with rocks but no as soon as you open it this enormous spaceman poster reveals itself.
This will make more sense later and then we have the oneplus 9 and the oneplus 9 pro there’s also a draw underneath which just shows a couple of the cases you can get,
the first being carbon fiber which is really good in terms of texture but then there’s also a classic oneplus sandstone one which by comparison just feels a little scratchy
Also including a 50 watt wireless charger yeah it’s a chunky bit of kit but at the same time not many phones can wirelessly charge at 50 watts so it’s impressive, but all that stuff’s just a bit of fun
the only thing that really matters here is the retail boxes what you get if you buy one of these so this is the oneplus 9 you get a little manual up top there’s the phone and then apart from earphones which oneplus has never given it’s the full package you get a clear case with a bit of texture a red usb c cable and a 65 watt charger
Now here we’ve got the oneplus 9 pro which is a very similar package so we won’t do the whole thing again, but the one difference is that instead of clear with the pro you get a matte opaque case
okay here’s the thing with oneplus for the last five years they’ve just been extremely easy phones for anyone to recommend they’re cheaper than the competition they’ve still had top-end specs and they run on software that’s both slick and intuitive for non-techies but also with enough depth for people who are looking for it and that mentality hasn’t changed this time around
like bearing in mind that the oneplus 9 starts at 629 pounds here in the uk which makes it about 20 cheaper than samsung’s base s21.
getting a lot of stuff here like both the oneplus 9 and the oneplus 9 pro have a snapdragon 888 chipset with performance that actually comes out slightly higher than that of a galaxy s21 ultra in an isolated test but like that phone does also fall with persistent usage
- they both oneplus 9 and oneplus 9 pro got 120 hertz fluid amoled displays
- they both oneplus 9 and oneplus 9 pro has dual stereo speakers
- 4500 million power batteries
- wireless charging plus wireless reverse charging
- warp charge 65 t which is 65 watt charging but optimized to be able to fully charge from 1 to 100 in 29 minutes
Anyone could be a bit confused though why they were giving a 1 to 100 figure. So i tested it myself and if you’re charging from 0 to 100 which is probably the more likely scenario it’s more like 33 minutes still very rapid though.
After that we’ve got the oneplus 9 pro which for 829 pounds has a few things that separate it from the normal oneplus 9. I’ll say a few things it’s actually one of the biggest jumps i’ve ever seen between a pro and a non-pro phone.
- So 15 watt wireless charging on the oneplus 9 becomes 50 watt in oneplus 9 pro.
- The oneplus 9 pro has an official ip68 rating and aluminium on the sides instead of well glorified plastic
- oneplus 9 pro got a better display the flat 1080p panel becomes a brighter 1440p 10-bit color curved adaptive panel which as you probably know at this stage can scale its refresh rate down based on the app you’re in to save a bit of battery i know some people don’t like curved screens but i do think in this case it helps the phone to look a bit more premium whilst also making gestures a little easier on the fingers however it does have slightly worse viewing angles than the oneplus 9
- it’s the cameras too the oneplus 9 pro has a next generation main sensor capable of shooting 4k video at 120 fps versus 60 fps and also the addition of an optical zoom camera on the back a laser autofocus module on top and an extra microphone which can help to reduce background noise when you’re picking up vocals.
so that’s a lot in fact both these oneplus phones they’ve got a grand spec sheet and they’re so fast that they almost accustom you to everything happening at the snap of a finger
but for the most part we’ve seen this before like
- 120 refresh rates are kind of an industry standard at this point
- 65 watt charging is old news
- we’ve seen even bigger camera sensors than these
- this oneplus 9 pro display look like a 100 carbon copy of the oppo find x3 pro display that i looked at a few weeks ago that was rhetorical i’m telling you they are basically the same
but that’s okay if you can deliver what your competitors are doing for less money then that’s a good thing and to be honest that’s probably better for most consumers than just adding a load of features in on top just for the sake of it
Also it’s not like you’re just getting the basic shell of a phone with some good specs these have character anyone wouldn’t say they look as premium and confident as the s21 ultra but there’s not a huge gap.
the camera lenses are well defined everything’s wrapped in a slick chrome accent to make each component feel purposeful and the general colors on these oneplus phones are pleasant. It’s probably the right word so every option on the oneplus 9 and the oneplus 9 pro is inspired by calm which gives them these really soft color palettes, they do feel distinct
like this one at its core is lilac but you can also see pinks you can see reds you can see yellows and both of these phones have a very subtle gradient they’re like mirrors at the bottom which it kind of fog up as you go higher.
As per my opinion, i strongly recommend the matte options if you’re considering going caseless but you get the idea oneplus has spent years building this reputation of creating high end on an upper mid-range budget and i mean this is a compliment when i say that the oneplus 9 and the oneplus 9 pro haven’t really strayed from that
Apart from one thing hasselblad branded camera systems, let me be very clear about this hasselblad is a high-end camera brand we’re talking the kind of company who makes fifty thousand dollar cameras ten thousand dollar lenses and even 100 cables and so it kind of seems like a weird match for a company who’s whose main selling point is price but i think it’s an indication that oneplus wants to change that over the next few years they want to become their own standalone premium brand with their own standalone premium prices
but that doesn’t change the fact that for now these are affordable these are pretty much the most affordable pieces of tech you can get with the hasselblad brand name on them so it’s not surprising that oneplus is slapping that name every where all these space-themed teasers the phones had the astronaut on the box those are referencing hasselblad and how hasselblads were the first cameras to be taken to the moon you’ll see hasselblad on the retail box the camera app itself is inspired by hasselblad design it’s inscribed on the back of every phone it was even on the instruction manual.
you get a hasselblad themed pro mode you get an optional hasselblad watermark on your photos you get their signature orange shutter button which is made to sound like one of their high-end cameras it’s very satisfying to use and i think just the fact that hasselblad is a more respected name in the camera space than oneplus is naturally means that this association is going to bring up the perception of oneplus phones but i think that’s pretty much the extent of this collaboration.
So on one hand these are good cameras even for the standard oneplus 9 the main 48 megapixel sensor is the one that we used to get in the pro phone last year and for the most part it’s as crispy and snappy as you’d want in an upper mid-range 2021 camera with a couple of luxuries like a flagship great ultra wide camera actually the same ultrawide camera that the 1099-pound find x3 pro was bragging about
remember this oneplus 9 is 629 pound and even though it’s still a little laggy the fact that we’ve got tworeasonably high-end sensors makes transitioning between them aboutas seamless as i’ve seen on android. There’s nightscape video 2.0 which makes for undeniably cleaner low-light footageit can shoot 8k video at 30fps though i’m still struggling to see the benefitin most lighting conditions and that new ultrawide camera it also doubles as what i would call a solid 6 out of 10 macro camera
and the oneplus 9 pro can do one better in low light it just gets more information in photos than the non-pro and laser autofocus means it’s more likely to be pin sharp
plus i just i like the fact that oneplus isn’t jumping around with the kind of things that they put their efforts into, you get some smartphone companies who one year say zoom is the best thing in the world for example and then the next year they just kind of move on and scrap that old feature
the oneplus 9 pro has basically taken the oneplus 8 pro and improved everything which also means it’s kept the optical zoom camera but made it better
it can do 3.3 times magnification at full quality which means that as long as you’ve got good lighting you can get to about 10 times without it looking like anything’s off is this the best camera you can get on a phone well it’s up there
but i think the important thing to remember for this blog is that the hasselblad collaboration is probably causing more problems than it’s solving you see when a smartphone company works with a big camera brand it can mean a lot of different things
like when huawei worked with leica they basically said to them you do itthey gave like a free rein with everything from which sensors were usedto how the lenses should be built to what kind of feel the end images should have and as a result anyone can tell the images had a very distinct quality to them even down to the style of portrait mode when sony worked with zeiss they integrated zeiss’s signature t-staranti-reflective glass for better optics but that’s not reallywhat’s happening here what it feels likeis that oneplus has already decided what lenses and sensors they want and they’ve just said to hasselblad well you can have some say over colors but ironically colors are probably the weakest part of this camera
but sometimes these phones are oversaturated sometimes they can completely crush darker areas. Moreover, this whole hasselblad collaboration it’s all about consistent color right
you can knock one camera off either of these phones because technically the oneplus 9 is a triple camera and the oneplus 9 pro is a quad camera but for both of them one of those cameras is a two megapixel monochrome sensor that in some cases might help you to take more accurate black and white photos if you open up the camera go into filters and scroll right to the end to activate it
okay so should you buy these phones well hang on because oneplus is probably about to come out with something that is about as good but cheaper and that’s pretty much what’s happened here from the screens to the cameras to the specs
but what’s kind of surprising here is how much cheaper So the actual price is not reveled yet so i was looking at other devices from samsung and xiaomi and asus and other competitors trying to work out how cheap they would need to be such that i would recommend them and it turns out they’re quite a bit below that threshold i would rather have this oneplus 9 pro that’s 829 pounds or let’s just say 900 pounds for the sake of getting the highest storage option than the find x3 pro which is 1100 pound or i would rather have the base oneplus 9 that’s 629 pound than just about any other phone under 750 pound fundamentally because it makes cuts in what i think are the right places like they’ve gone for gorilla glass 5 instead of the very latest gorilla glass victors
the things like having splash resistance but not paying extra to get an official ip certification things like slower wireless charging they’re the kind of omissions that you would notice if you were looking for them but you probably wouldn’t if you weren’t
okay think about this for a second your location your exact operating system every hardware detail about the device you’re on right now as well as all your past browsing history
these are things that you’d want to keep to yourself right because if someone had all of this information they’d be able to know exactly who you were well this is how much information a website immediately knows about you the second you click on it and to be honest if it’s a website you trust then it’s fine but there’s probably a fair few that you wouldn’t want to know these details
so these much for this blog hope you have known much about these oneplus 9 and oneplus 9 pro