A quick review of OnePlus 9 series

Another year and another 2 smartphones. OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 pro. OnePlus did huge marketing of their smartphones on the basis of their camera which is in partnership with Hasselblad. Let’s see how these devices did.

Let’s first take a look at the OnePlus 9 Pro

The best OnePlus smartphone yet which has a 6.7-inch 120Hz display with a resolution of 1440 x 3216 pixels. But there’s a feature in the device which lets the screen go all the way from 120Hz on down to 1Hz, depending on what’s happening on the display. OnePlus has branded the touch response rate on the screen as “Hyper Touch,” clocked at 360Hz for certain games, and though I am dubious it makes that big a difference for gamers, OnePlus says it could. More consequential is the screen resolution: 1440 x 3216 at 525ppi. You can leave it at that high resolution and have the high refresh rate screen going at the same time.

Consisting of quad camera setup with a 48 MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 8 MP, f/2.4, 77mm (telephoto), 50 MP, f/2.2, 14mm (ultrawide), and 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth). The OnePlus 9 Pro’s image output lands mostly in the middle. It tends toward blue, and it definitely lifts up shadows to create more even lighting. Its photos are more striking but less accurate than what you’ll get out of an iPhone.

The camera system is good, but it can’t quite match the quality you get from an iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. The camera can sometimes try too hard to brighten shadows, introducing noise.

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Also the camera is capable of recording 8k at 30fps.

The OnePlus 9 has a slightly smaller screen

For OnePlus, the standout spec is its proprietary charging technology. There’s a 65W charger included in the box, and it can charge up the phone ridiculously fast. The phone’s 4,500mAh battery is actually split in two, which helps further speed charging.

The 65W charger comes in the box (pictured with the regular OnePlus 9).
The 65W charger comes in the box

If you like, you can spend an additional $69 on OnePlus’ new Warp Charge 50 wireless charger. It charges at 25W, but since the battery is split, it’s essentially the same as charging at 50W, wirelessly. It also works if you set the phone on the charger in landscape mode. With the phone fully dead, it charged completely in 45 minutes.

OnePlus’ wireless warp charger can fully charge the phone in under 45 minutes

The OnePlus 9 Pro is not a “flagship killer.” It’s a flagship. Although it still costs a little less than its top-tier competitors, it nevertheless is a pricey phone that makes a lot of promises. Mostly, it delivers on them. Even though a tiny fraction of customers buy OnePlus phones compared to Apple and Samsung, the company has built a track record long enough to deserve its status as an established brand.

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The OnePlus 9 Pro has the top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, which is paired with eight gigs of RAM on the 128GB model. You can’t get it in a smaller screen size, but you can spend $100 more to get 256GB of storage and 12GB of RAM.

OnePlus 9 – cheaper with must to have features.

The OnePlus 9 is a very good phone that holds its own against other (often more expensive) flagships. It has all the things that truly matter: a great screen, excellent performance, good battery life, and a capable camera.

But for better or worse, it still doesn’t feel quite like a device that’s well-suited for the mainstream. It misses a couple of features present on the competition like a stabilized main camera and broad 5G support.

Instead, it offers some neat but arguably not as useful extras, like really fast charging and an excellent ultrawide camera.

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With the main camera’s lack of optical image stabilization, you may end up with photos that look a bit soft due to the camera shake in moderate to dim light. Taking a few extra shots will usually ensure that there’s a tack-sharp one in the bunch, but that workaround doesn’t suit everybody or every situation. OIS would also be a big help with keeping video steady; the 9 offers decent electronic stabilization for this, but results aren’t as smooth as when both technologies are used together. You might know already if you can live with these quirks, but they’re too significant to make this a top all-around pick for the average smartphone buyer.

If you’re curious how the 9 stacks up against the higher specs of its 9 Pro sibling, I have better news: if you opt for this less expensive model, you give up very little. The 9 offers the same Snapdragon 888 processor, top 120Hz refresh rate, 50-megapixel ultrawide camera, and Gorilla Glass back panel as the 9 Pro.

OnePlus likes to make a big phone, and the 9 is no exception. It has a 6.55-inch screen with a 20.1:9 aspect ratio, giving it somewhat tall proportions that make it a little more comfortable to use one-handed. The 1080p OLED display is slightly lower-res than the 1440 screen on the 9 Pro, but it offers the same excellent 120Hz refresh rate.

The OnePlus 9 uses a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 processor and either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. It’s as good as you’ll find in an Android phone at any price right now, so its presence in a $730 phone is a major pro for the 9. And the 12GB RAM variant costs $830.

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Let us know if you think OnePlus released a smartphone which is up to our marks or not.

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