Just the other day I was able to test a new flagship smartphone model from OnePlus. This time, the device has been dubbed the OnePlus 9 5G.
You can also order an even more improved version with the Pro ending in the device name. In addition, there is a weaker version called OnePlus 9R, which also has more simplistic technical features.
If you are interested in knowing my opinion in detailed reviews of these two smartphones, then write in the comments, maybe I will review them. As it will depend on your requests.
In terms of cost, the price tag for the base version of the OnePlus 9 is currently around $615. As for the flagship model of the device, this is a good price. Considering that the main competitor, the Xiaomi Mi 11 will cost you $750.
Here I can note that both smartphones from OnePlus and Xiaomi were equipped with the same Snapdragon 888 5G processor. In addition, other features are very similar to each other and let me go through the main ones.
For example, one of the main features is the 6.55 inch Fluid AMOLED screen with standard Full HD resolution. This screen also received a 120Hz refresh rate and support for the HDR10 + function.
Other features include a triple modular main camera, stereo speaker, and IP68 water resistance. The smartphone also boasts a good battery life thanks to a 4500 mAh battery capacity and support for fast charging at 65W of power.
Okay, from the brief technical details, I really liked the smartphone. But let’s put it to the test in my routine tests and find out its strengths and weaknesses.
OnePlus 9: Specifications
|Display:||6.55 inches AMOLED with 1080 x 2400 pixels, 120Hz|
|CPU:||Snapdragon 888 5G Octa Core 2.84 GHz|
|RAM:||8 or 12GB|
|Internal memory:||128 or 256GB|
|Memory extension:||Not support|
|Cameras:||48MP + 50MP + 2MP main camera and 16MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band,3G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC and GPS|
|Dimensions:||160 x 73.9 x 8.1 mm|
Unboxing and packaging
The new model of the OnePlus 9 smartphone comes in bright red packaging. At the same time, the box itself received an elongated shape and the name of the model was located on the front part. But at the bottom, there is a designation of cooperation with Hasselblad.
Hasselblad makes a variety of camera lenses and has helped the OnePlus brand achieve very good camera performance. But is it? I’ll be sure to check in the following sections just below.
Inside the package itself, I was happily greeted by the smartphone itself, which was packed in a protective shipping film. The package also includes a transparent silicone case, various documentation, a needle for a SIM tray.
But at the very bottom of the box is a 65 W power adapter and a Type-C format charging cable in red. I can also note that the cable has received the Type-C format on both sides since the power adapter also uses a Type-C connector, not USB-A. As you may have noticed, I have a Chinese version on the review, but I did not notice any particular problems, both in terms of the equipment and the quality of the materials used.
Design, build quality and workmanship
Since the model of the OnePlus 9 smartphone is a flagship model, you should not expect budget materials in production. Thus, the body of the device was made of Gorilla Glass 5 protective glass on both sides of the smartphone. But the frame of the device was made of plastic. Although most smartphones are also making a plastic frame lately.
I had no particular complaints about the build quality. All components have been assembled perfectly well, as is typical of any flagship smartphone model. In addition, I can note that some smartphone models received IP68 water protection, but this only applies to T-Mobile versions. As I understand it, I have the most common Chinese version, so my smartphone model is not water-resistant.
In my review, the simplest color scheme of the device from OnePlus, which is called Arctic Sky. Also, the smartphone has other colors such as Winter Mist and Astral Black. I did not find a strong overflow on the back of the device. In addition, since the body was made of glass, fingerprints easily remained on the back cover of the smartphone. Therefore, I recommend that you always use a protective case, even the one that comes out of the box.
When I first took the OnePlus 9 smartphone in my hands, I was pleasantly surprised by its size and weight. For example, my version of the smartphone has dimensions of 160 x 73.9 x 8.1 mm, and the device weighs about 183 grams. It is, indeed, a thin and light smartphone that was very easy to operate and use for everyday tasks.
The power button and mode switch were located on the right side of the OnePlus device. But on the left side, there is already a volume rocker. This is a typical button layout, as is the case with most OnePlus devices. I always like the three-level mode switch, which is convenient to use. With it, you can quickly select normal mode, do not disturb mode, and vibration mode.
On the top, there are holes for an additional microphone. But at the bottom of the case is the main speaker, microphone, Type-C port, and a slot for two nano-SIM cards. Naturally, you will not find a slot for a memory card here. If we talk about the quality of stereo sound, I liked the way the sound plays in the OnePlus 9 smartphone. It has a good maximum volume level and there is also bass and good dynamics.
Screen and image quality
As I mentioned at the beginning of the review, a 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED screen was installed on the front of the case. Its resolution was Full HD or 1920 x 1080 pixels. At the same time, the aspect ratio is standard 20: 9 and the pixel density per inch was within 402 PPI.
I cannot say that Full HD resolution will be small, since I did not detect individual pixels with the naked eye. If you remember, the smartphone model Xiaomi Mi 11 received a 2K screen resolution. Yes, the Xiaomi model may have had a higher pixel density. But the power consumption on the Mi 11 will also be higher than that of the ninth generation in the line of smartphones from OnePlus.
I also want to say that the bezels around the screen on the OnePlus 9 smartphone model have become much thinner. Especially when you look at the bottom frame of the smartphone, the so-called chin. The selfie camera was located in the upper left corner in the circular cutout of the screen. But the fingerprint scanner was built into the screen and I had no strong complaints about its work.
I also liked that OnePlus used a straight screen, without any curvatures. This is very good news, as I like straight screens better, due to the absence of unnecessary glare and accidental clicks.
As for the screen itself, I really liked the color reproduction with bright and saturated colors. Also, due to the AMOLED matrix, the black looked very rich and deep. You can also find the Always-on display function in the device settings. In addition, in the settings, you can set the screen refresh rate from 60 to 120 Hz. At the same time, a smooth operation with a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz will greatly delight any user.
Peak screen brightness was 1100 nits. Yes, maybe this is not the highest screen brightness that can be found on flagship smartphones. But during my testing, this brightness value was sufficient for comfortable use even in sunny and bright weather.
Performance, benchmarks tests, games, and OS
Naturally, the flagship smartphone OnePlus 9 has the latest Snapdragon 888 generation processor. It is one of the most powerful processors in the mobile market, but it has not proven itself in the best way. Since the main problem of this chipset was a slight overheating during heavy processes and tasks.
The very first device that received this processor was a smartphone from Xiaomi with the Mi 11. Even then, some tests showed rather significant heating of the smartphone. Therefore, some manufacturers ditched the Snapdragon 888 version towards the Snapdragon 870 model, which had more stable performance in operation.
But let’s see how the new OnePlus 9 device behaves. Will it overheat and have the same problems as the Mi 11? And let’s find it out right now.
First of all, I want to check the benchmark tests for their performance. In the Antutu test, the device scored about 720 thousand points and this is a really good result. But during this test, the smartphone warmed up to 42 degrees and this is really a lot. For example, other smartphone models heated up to 36 degrees during this test.
As for gaming capabilities, the new smartphone model from OnePlus has received the Adreno 660 graphics accelerator. Naturally, I did not find any problems in games, even in ultra-high graphics settings. Yes, the device may not be a gaming device and it heats up quite a lot during long sessions of games, but I had no problems with drawdown and latency.
As I said, I have a version of the OnePlus 9 smartphone with basic memory. This is 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. Also, the smartphone has a version with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory. But there is no slot for an additional memory card. AndroBench benchmark showed the results of 1633 MBps read speed, but the write speed was only 211 MBps.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the device has got everything it needs. For example, the sixth-generation Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, an accurate GPS module, and even NFC have installed onboard the smartphone. Each module worked well during my testing and had no major issues.
And the last thing in this section is about the operating system. The OnePlus 9 smartphone is controlled by the latest version of the OS – Android 11 with the OxygenOS user interface. Despite the fact that I have a Chinese version of the firmware, all the necessary programs such as google services and applications have already been installed. There are also no problems with the language barrier here, and most languages are available on the smartphone, including English, German, French, Spanish, and others.
As for the work of the user interface itself, I cannot say anything negative. All processes worked very quickly and without any slowdowns. Also, the smartphone from OnePlus has received many interesting functions and features that will definitely surprise and delight you.
Camera and sample photos
The main camera on the OnePlus 9 received three sensors, where the main camera module has a resolution of 48 megapixels. The Sony IMX689 sensor is used here, which takes pretty good pictures, like for a flagship smartphone. As usual, you can see examples of photos taken with the OnePlus 9 in the album below.
The second camera module was equipped with a 50-megapixel resolution and was created for ultra-wide shots. It is on this sensor that OnePlus, together with the Hasselblad brand, has made its emphasis. Indeed, the detailing of ultra-wide shots is very good. I think this is the best smartphone that has the highest resolution ultra-wide lens.
The third sensor received a 2-megapixel camera resolution and was made as a monochrome sensor. That is, its work did not receive special privileges, such as bokeh or macro mode. This sensor is necessary for brighter photos, as its algorithm was created to detail the subject in black and white.
The front camera hasn’t received any major differences between mid-range smartphones. For example, if you compare OnePlus 9 devices with Redmi Note 10, then it will be difficult to notice much difference in the examples of selfies. But I note that a 16-megapixel Sony IMX471 Exmor RS module was installed on the front camera.
As for video shooting, the smartphone is able to shoot video with different resolutions on the main camera. Such as 8K and 30 frames per second, 4K and 60 or 30 fps, and 1080p at 30, 60, and 240 fps. But the front camera received only one resolution – 1080p with 30 frames per second.
Battery and run time
Inside the body of the OnePlus 9 smartphone, a non-removable rechargeable battery with a capacity of 4500 mAh was installed. Yes, maybe this is not the largest battery capacity, since budget smartphones from Redmi or Xiaomi use batteries with a capacity of 5000 or even 6000 mAh.
But on flagship smartphones, especially when it comes to the OnePlus brand, large capacities of built-in batteries have never been installed. But this does not mean that the battery life will not be significant. For example, during my active use, the device worked full time. You may be able to achieve more results, but for this, you should activate the screen refresh to 60 Hz and not overload the processor with heavy tasks.
On the other hand, it took me 36 minutes to fully charge from 0 to 100%. This is really fast since the device received a 65W power adapter. Also, the OnePlus 9 smartphone received 15W wireless charging.
Conclusion, reviews, pros, and cons
The new generation of the flagship OnePlus 9 smartphone has received a number of significant improvements over the previous generation.
For example, I liked the performance of the smartphone, thanks to the new Snapdragon 888 processor and a decent amount of internal and RAM.
Also, the smartphone pleased me with a small AMOLED screen with a size of 6.55 inches. It is really comfortable to operate and hold in hands, as the frames around the screen were very minimal. And 120 Hz screen refresh rate can only please future users with its smooth running.
In addition, fans of ultra-wide shots will love the new smartphone model. The device uses a new high-resolution 50-megapixel sensor on board. Therefore, the detail and night shots turned out to be an order of magnitude better than that of smartphones from Apple products.
But there were also some drawbacks, so let me talk about the main ones. I didn’t really like the overheating of the device during heavy processes and tasks. Also, I do not understand the work of the third sensor of the main camera with a resolution of 2 megapixels. I would also like to get a little quality selfie camera.
Price and where to buy cheaper?
Now you are able to get the new model of the flagship OnePlus 9 smartphone at a really good price. Currently, the price tag for the smartphone is only $616.11 for the base configuration. Meanwhile, the version with 12 and 256 GB of memory will cost you $698.40.
Of course, I can easily recommend the new flagship from OnePlus. It has good functionality, both in terms of performance and in terms of build quality and workmanship.