The extravagant price of the OnePlus 9 is the reason why it moved into the ultra-premium category. This phone even competes with other expensive rivals such as Asus ROG Phone 5, OnePlus 8 Pro, Vivo X60 Pro, etc. It is noticeable that the Oneplus 9 specifications possess excellent upgrades and downgrades more than its predecessor (8T).
OnePlus 9 Design
OnePlus 9 design is similar to its predecessor (8T). The difference is in the camera block. It possesses an identical glass-fronted 6.55-inch display and glass back, similar lock button and OnePlus signature ring, silent toggle and vibrates at the right side, while the volume rocker button is on the left side. You can easily access these buttons whenever you’re holding your phone. USB-C port, speaker, and the second speaker out of the earpiece are located at the bottom of the phone.
The frame of the OnePlus 9 is plastic, not metal like its predecessor. It is IP68 rated for water and dust resistant. Looking so much like its predecessor isn’t bad.
The OnePlus 9 looks identical to its other rivals, such as Samsung S21, the makeup materials are of high quality, but it is deficient in some bold statements of the expensive phones. Specifically, they both possess AMOLED displays, but they’re flat and short of their other counterparts’ ‘waterfall’ curved edges.
OnePlus 9 possesses a glass back, unlike S21 having a plastic back. Besides, all glasses are not equal. The previous phone rear doesn’t have a similar density and sophisticated feel like the glass backs of other premium phones. The sound of tapping Oneplus 9’s back is quite hollow, similar to a plastic back.
OnePlus 9 Performance
OnePlus smartphones usually do have a powerful performance unit, and the Oneplus 9 isn’t an exception. It possesses a high-quality Snapdragon 888 SoC. The processor provides raw power, enabling the smartphone to withstand intensive tasks.
The gaming performance was smooth and uninterrupted.
We didn’t notice any frame drops or hesitation. The phone heats a little bit after about 30minutes of gameplay, which may be because of the Snapdragon 888 chip issue experienced in other counterparts.
It possesses 12GB RAM and 256GB of internal memory. The RAM management isn’t causing any problem. The Oxygen OS 11, based on Android 11, provides a clean software experience with lots of optimization and customization settings. However, it has its share of issues and bugs. During the phone test, the multitasking window froze at some point, and the only thing to do was to lock and unlock the phone. While setting up the phone, we saw a notification to complete the setup process. They are minor bugs, which OnePlus has fixed with two software updates.
It possesses an in-display fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication. But it’s positioned a little lower than expected. With that, it’s still accessible. It takes a fraction of a second to detect it and then unlock the phone. Face unlock is also another available option.
OnePlus 9 Camera
OnePlus ran the hype machine at maximum capacity to share the good news about its partnership with a camera maker company, Hasselblad. With that amount of hype, one would expect a lot from the OnePlus 9 series. They partnered with them to work on the color tuning on the 9 series. In most cases, it seems to have worked in their favor.
First, the ultrawide camera is probably the best you can find in any smartphone within that price range. It possesses a similar Sony IMX766 50MP sensor that is on the 9 Pro. Images produced by the ultrawide and 48MP Sony IMX689 primary sensor provide neutral tones, and the result is well-detailed most times. There are times during which it causes an issue with the tones.
You can tweak the saturation in post-process using Lightroom or the snap seed app. There’s a little noise in ultrawide images, but it’s much lesser than other ultrawide cameras on other smartphones. The dynamic range isn’t at par with the primary 48MP Sony IMX689 sensor, but it’s still much better. Also, the temperature and color tones across the two sensors correspond most times.
As regards, low light camera performance is above average. The colors are accurate, and the software makes night look like night. But, you can see some noise in the shadows, even after clicking the photos using the NightScape mode. Well, it actually keeps a check on not blowing out the highlights.
The Shutter lag is quite apparent. And this can be an issue whenever you’re shooting on the go. The preview window may suggest that you got the shot well, but the moment you click it after the processing, you’ll probably see the camera capture the next frame. Also, this device is deficient in Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), which is a big disappointment for this expensive device.
The front camera’s quality is not as good as the rear camera. It provides good details and possesses an acceptable dynamic range. It also strives to get the skin tone right and gives the face an adequate smoothening. The edge detection of the portrait mode is accurate, and the bokeh looks quite natural.
OnePlus 9 Battery Life
The OnePlus 9 possesses a 4,500mAh battery, which is excellent and can get you through the day. As regards the battery, the OnePlus 9’s real benefit lies in the charging speeds. You have a Warp Charge 65T charger in the box when you buy the phone, which OnePlus CEO Pete Lau stated that it would charge the phone to 100% within half an hour. It also has 15W Qi wireless charging.
These insane fast recharging speeds are mainly due to the battery’s construction, as the 4,500mAh unit is split into two roughly 2,250mAh cells charged in parallel by the 65W wired charger.
It’s a development that was first released in the OnePlus 8T, which recharges from zero to 100% within 40 minutes with its Warp Charge 65 charger. The OnePlus 9 removes almost 10 minutes off that time with enhancement to the power brick, hence the ‘T’ in the Warp Charge 65T name.
OnePlus 9 is an amplified upgraded version over the 8T if you compare the spec sheet. But you get a similar smooth 120Hz AMOLED display, an improved performance unit with similar battery capacity, and a clean Oxygen OS software experience. The entire camera performance has greatly improved. The decision to buy it is left to you because you have many options that can serve as alternatives to the OnePlus 9.