OnePlus 9 Evaluation: Ups & Downs

It’s actually no shock to actually anybody that OnePlus has launched the 9 sequence of smartphones. Whereas we don’t get the cheaper 9R within the UK, the common mannequin has quite a bit to supply with a partnership with Hasselblad promising to lastly provide the top-tier digicam expertise the agency has by no means fairly nailed.

Is it greater than a brand on the again and a shutter sound? And has OnePlus finished sufficient elsewhere to face out from the gang? Discover out in our full OnePlus 9 evaluate.

Design & Construct

The OnePlus 9 appears pretty much like the OnePlus 8T, which moved the digicam module from the center to the nook. I’ve all the time fairly preferred the central place in its numerous types, partly because it was merely completely different to key rivals like Samsung and Apple.

So, the 9 sequence appears extra like rivals, though the digicam module is camouflaged by being the identical color as the remainder of the again. Whereas this does a superb job of hiding the pretty massive digicam module, I’m fairly shocked OnePlus didn’t do the other and draw extra consideration to it.

Contemplating the Hasselblad collaboration is a serious a part of this launch, I’m shocked the Hasselblad brand is so arduous to see in a small silver font.

Again to color and I’m not notably a fan of this Winter Mist purple possibility with its ‘gradient refraction impact’ the place it’s extra mirrored on the backside. That’s clearly a private factor however, whereas the telephone additionally is available in Arctic Sky and Astral Black, you possibly can’t have all of them in all of the storage and reminiscence SKUs.

Within the UK, solely Winter Mist is available in 12/256GB which is irritating. As the patron, I don’t need my selection of mannequin to dictate the color. It’s an analogous story with the 9 Professional the place the Pine Inexperienced (my favorite of all of them by a mile) is tied to the highest tier capability however elsewhere it’s black or the shiny, shiny Morning Mist.

On the plus aspect, the 3D Gorilla Glass on the again feels good within the hand however the telephone retains getting chunkier, now at 8.7mm thick and 192g which is a noticeable distinction to the comparatively svelte OnePlus Eight at 8mm and 180g.

And, like others, the digicam bump means the telephone rocks from nook to nook on a flat floor (how I take advantage of my telephones quite a bit) like a desk with one quick leg.

I do want OnePlus would have caught with its extra conventional methodology of a frosted matte end to keep away from the smudgy mess and assist with grip. After all, placing a case on avoids many of those issues, and there’s a clear silicone case within the field, however you may not need to revert to this as an answer.

The telephone continues to lack a headphone or any form of IP waterproof score. A number of years in the past, this was pretty acceptable to maintain prices down however when less expensive telephones have each it turns into extra of a con.

The actual fact, as per rumours, that the common 9 has a ‘fiberglass-reinforced polymer’ body is the least of the issues right here. Nonetheless, I stay an enormous fan of the Alert Slider.


OnePlus has seemingly discovered its most well-liked display dimension with the 9 sticking at 6.55in and, just like the 8T, the telephone has a Fluid AMOLED panel that includes HDR10+ and a 120Hz refresh fee. The decision additionally stays at Full HD+ (1080×2400).

In case you are attempting to resolve between this and the Professional, its sibling has a bigger 6.7in show with a Quad HD decision, 3D curved glass and better brightness at a quoted peak of 1300 nits. It additionally has an adaptive refresh fee in a position to go all the way down to 1Hz to save lots of energy.

That’s a pleasant set of extras, however the common OnePlus 9 show shall be lots for lots of people. Some could even favor the smaller dimension and flat panel.

It’s completely crisp, vibrant (quoted most of 1100 nits) and gives nice distinction and color. There are numerous options you possibly can mess around with reminiscent of Vibrant Coloration Impact and Consolation tone which makes use of the telephones two ambient gentle sensors to robotically make the display as comfy to view as potential based mostly in your setting.

It really works nicely however to not be confused with Imaginative and prescient consolation within the fast settings which is extra of your usually evening time mode to scale back blue gentle. There’s additionally a studying mode, too.

The opposite factor to say right here is that the fingerprint scanner is as soon as once more embedded into the show and works very nicely. After per week of utilizing the OnePlus 9, I feel it solely didn’t work first time twice.

Specs & Efficiency

That is an space you needn’t fear about. Flagship telephones like this have been exceptionally highly effective for a few years and that’s no completely different with the OnePlus 9 because of its competent elements.

As you may think, OnePlus has opted for the newest top-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and the telephone has both 8- or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM (the identical because the Professional) and speedy UFS3.1 storage is 128- or 256GB.

And, in case you’re questioning, OnePlus hasn’t instantly determined so as to add a microSD card slot.

As talked about earlier, the issue right here is that the 12/256GB possibility (examined right here) solely comes within the purple Winter Mist mannequin which sucks if you’d like this prime spec however don’t like the color.

Purple or not, there’s no complaints about efficiency right here with a phenomenally easy and responsive expertise. Actually, the one signal of lag I may discover was processing the odd photograph after I’d taken it.

As you possibly can see within the benchmark scores beneath, the OnePlus 9 is a top-performer.


For a lot of smartphone customers, the cameras are make or break. And it’s lengthy been the case that OnePlus has finished an inexpensive job right here however remained a little bit manner off the competitors. With the Hasselblad Digicam for Cell collaboration, OnePlus thinks it’s lastly nailed it on the 9 sequence with a ‘large leap ahead’.

Other than beauty components like an orange button and Hasselblad’s feather shutter sound, the most important level is that Pure Coloration Calibration with Hasselblad guarantees to “deliver extra perceptually correct and natural-looking colours.”

Software program is one factor, {hardware} is one other and the OnePlus 9 centres round a 48Mp predominant digicam. A Sony IMX689 with an aperture of f/1.8. Word that the Professional has a bigger, customized IMX789 sensor with largely comparable specs in any other case, although it does have OIS.

Each telephones have the identical 50Mp (IMX766) ultra-wide digicam with a ‘Freeform’ lens to keep away from the fish-eye distortion you usually get. The Professional has a telephoto digicam as well as so that may be one motive to splash out on it.

Whereas there could be three cameras on the again of the telephone, you possibly can solely instantly use the principle two. The 2Mp monochrome sensor is there to assist present further element whenever you take black and white photographs.

In testing, the OnePlus 9 digicam efficiency is a blended bag. There’s definitely good element available from each predominant cameras and the ultrawide does a superb job of decreasing distortion. The portrait mode can be spectacular, even managing to deal with canine fur, and for those who prefer to shoot in black and white then it is a good telephone for that.

Nonetheless, it’s ironic that the largest problem is said to color consistency when OnePlus says months have been spent fine-tuning issues with Hasselblad. I’ve pulled out some examples from the gallery for instance.

Not solely is there a noticeable distinction between the principle digicam and the ultrawide, the color even modifications whenever you use the zoom mode – which is simply cropping on the principle sensor since there isn’t a telephoto right here. You’ll additionally see within the gallery the identical problem once I took some pictures of the sky at sundown.

And this isn’t a problem with simply the 9 as my colleague Dom discovered the identical factor with the OnePlus 9 Professional, even with its devoted telephoto lens.

Outside I didn’t discover the shortage of OIS to be a problem – for pictures or movies (now as much as 8K at 30fps) – even with the canine pulling at me on one arm whereas I took pictures with the opposite. Inside, although, it might seemingly assist to get higher outcomes because the 9 typically struggled to focus. In case you’re capturing in very low gentle then the Nightscape mode does a good job of supplying you with a usable picture.

A smaller problem is that utilizing HDR, which most individuals will by default, can look a little bit excessive and likewise ends in extra noise in photographs. Though, I did not discover the noise problem to be as unhealthy the 9 Professional which has extra simply noticeable artefacts.

The principle digicam is pixel-binned to 12Mp however you possibly can shoot within the full 48Mp for those who like – though there’s no main benefit except you intend to crop in on photographs.

It’s a little bit hidden away within the prime settings bar, however you’ll additionally discover a ‘tremendous macro’ possibility. With no devoted macro lens, this makes use of the ultrawide digicam cropped in to get nearer to things. In case you overlook, the principle digicam is okay however merely can’t get as shut. Even when not getting tremendous shut to things the digicam has fairly a powerful vignette of focus which you’ll or could not need.

The 16Mp entrance digicam – punch-holed within the prime nook of the show – is about common for telephones in the mean time. That’s to say, it’s fairly respectable and gives good high quality together with a portrait mode that always works nicely.

The underside line is that different telephones are nonetheless higher on this essential space, whether or not you spend extra on an iPhone or Galaxy, or go together with one thing cheaper like a Pixel. Even the Pixel 4a 5G has an analogous dual-camera setup, however with higher software program processing.

Battery Life & Charging

I’ve not likely acquired a lot to complain about right here both, maybe solely that the Professional will get a lot sooner wi-fi charging however there have to be some variations and that one is smart. It’s nonetheless the primary time the common or T fashions have been given wi-fi charging.

Other than 15W wi-fi as an alternative of 50W – I used to be type of anticipating it to match the 30W of the Eight Professional – the OnePlus 9 has the identical quick wired charging with Warp Cost 65T, which is included within the field and can be used to cost gadgets like tablets and laptops at 45W.

OnePlus guarantees a day of utilization with a 15-minute cost and the power to achieve full in lower than 30.

Nicely, in my check the OnePlus 9 hit a whopping 54% within the first 15 minutes and didn’t fairly get to 100% in 30 however it’s nonetheless the most effective outcomes we’ve ever seen at 95%.

The battery itself is 4500mAh and I’ve discovered the telephone comfortably lasts two days even on the weekend with heavier utilization. And that’s utilizing it at 120Hz and contains working benchmarks.

Software program

Oxygen OS could be farther from inventory Android than the sooner days, however I nonetheless actually prefer it and like it to the overwhelming majority of different skins on the market. That is model 11.2 based mostly on Android 11

It first arrived on the OnPlus 8T with enhancements like new animations, playback controls within the notification bar and always-on display choices. A few of which was higher late than by no means.

Not a lot has modified right here with OnePlus touting a shifting second hand on the lockscreen clock as a giant deal.

In case you’re an everyday OnePlus person then you definately’ll really feel proper at house, whereas new customers will discover all the pieces laid out intuitively. It’s a trendy and slick OS with loads of extra options and the power to customize issues to your liking.

Which may simply be one thing easy just like the accent color or deep diving into the superior display settings to get the look as you prefer it all the way down to the color temperature.

Other than some names that too comparable, like Consolation tone and Imaginative and prescient consolation talked about earlier, the one factor I actually needed to get used to was having the Google Uncover display to the left of the principle house display and swiping all the way down to fetch the OnePlus Shelf.

Worth & Availability

The OnePlus 9 is a good bit costlier than the OnePlus 8T, which began at £549.

You’ll now must splash out £629/US$729 for the cheaper mannequin and £729 (not accessible within the US) if you’d like the upper reminiscence and storage configuration.

The telephone launches absolutely within the US on 2 April and within the UK on 26 April. You possibly can pre-order the telephone now from OnePlus or Amazon worldwide. Within the UK you may additionally be capable of get it from Three and John Lewis as soon as gross sales begin formally, whereas take a look at T-Cell or Verizon within the US.

Whereas the value has gone up, the OnePlus 9 stays cheaper than some key rivals such because the Apple iPhone 12, Samsung Galaxy S21 and Xiaomi Mi 11 at £799, £769 and £749 respectively. The Google Pixel 5 is a bit more inexpensive at £599.

That’s to not say there aren’t cheaper telephones accessible with comparable specs and options. The spectacular Redmi Word 10 Professional has a 120Hz AMOLED show and a 108Mp digicam for below $300 and the Realme Eight Professional appears like it would have an analogous spec sheet for across the similar value.

With the Redmi you even get an IP53 score however do need to sacrifice issues like wi-fi charging and 5G.

Take a look at our greatest smartphone chart in addition to the most effective mid-range telephone chart to see what’s on the market.


There’s quite a bit to love in regards to the OnePlus 9 with its beautiful 120Hz AMOLED show and highly effective elements for starters. Nonetheless at an inexpensive value, even whether it is greater than its predecessor.

It additionally has wi-fi charging and when utilizing wired, Warp Cost 65T can virtually hit 100% in lower than 30-minutes.

A number of years in the past we might be falling over ourselves at these sorts of specs and options however they’re largely the usual now and may typically be discovered on mid-range telephones.

What’s extra necessary here’s what the OnePlus 9 is lacking or has points with.

Small issues like no headphone jack or an IP score could be forgivable if the telephone hadn’t taken a step again on the design entrance with its chunkier dimension and divisive end, which continues to be tied to the RAM and storage configurations taking away shopper selection.

Worst of all, although, is {that a} collaboration with Hasselblad headlining with color accuracy hasn’t labored out. The principle problem with the 9 (and Professional) is strictly that, inconsistent colors.

It might sound a little bit nit-picky however we now have to be at this stage in 2021 and the actual fact is, telephones each costlier and cheaper are higher on this essential space.

If rivals nonetheless do not enchantment then you definately could be finest off getting a OnePlus 8T at a now-reduced value.

OnePlus 9: Specs

Android 11 with Oxygen OS 11

6.55in Full HD+ (1080×2400) Fluid AMOLED, 20:9, 120Hz, HDR10+

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor


128/256GB inside storage (UFS 3.1)

48Mp predominant, f/1.8, EIS
50Mp ultrawide, f/2.2
2Mp monochrome
Video as much as 8K at 30fps

16Mp selfie digicam, f/2.4

Fingerprint scanner (in-screen)

11ax dual-band Wi-Fi 6

Bluetooth 5.2



Twin-nano SIM
Stereo audio system with Dolby Atmos


4500mAh non-removable battery

Warp Cost 65T (included)
15W Qi wi-fi charging

160.7 x 74.2 x 8.7mm


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