In what could be considered one of the most significant releases from OnePlus is their Series 9 smartphones consisting of the “9” and “9 Pro”. This is mostly in part because they are putting extreme emphasis on what has been seen as a thorn in their side which is their camera department. Its being taken so seriously they have teamed with world renowned camera/lenses creator Hasselblad. But does this do wonders for OnePlus or not make a difference?
Going as far as the OnePlus 6 Series, they have been known to have utilized two-tone styling but looks like they are opting on two solid color choices this time around for each model. The OnePlus 9 has Winter Mist and Astral Black while the OnePlus 9 Pro has Pine Green and Morning Mist. I been using Morning Mist which is a silverish color which looks stunning as it gives off a mirror type reflection. It is prone to fingerprints left and right though. The OnePlus 9 I been rocking in Astral Black doesn’t reflect as much but also does not show off as many smudges either. Both are utilizing Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and black while the 9 Pro has an aluminum frame and the 9 is plastic. The 9 is shorter and lighter than the 9 Pro but not by much.
OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro comes with Warp Charge 65 Power Adapter, Type USB-C wire. Screen protector only included with Unlocked version (not T-Mobile)
OnePlus never skims on power and both devices are identical for the most in what is under the hood. Each version having a Snapdragon 888 processor, Adreno 660 GPU, 8GB RAM, and 128GB of Storage (there is also 12GB RAM / 256GB Storage versions). Both phones also have a 4,500mAh battery that supports OnePlus’ speedy Warp Charge 65T with the only difference is the OnePlus 9 only goes up to 15W for wireless charging while the 9 Pro powers up faster with 50W.
OnePlus 9 Pro Data Speeds and Battery
These phones easily charge from almost 1% to 100 in a little around 30mins which is a gem. Of course, as mentioned if you want faster wireless charging the 9 Pro is key. I found using the OnePlus 9 Pro initially I was getting about 5hrs OST over a 15hr period but seen it increase slightly more using it. This could be contributed to the various updates that the phone has received from OnePlus and adapting to my usage on the device. The OnePlus 9 was similar territory.
OnePlus 9 Data Speeds
I have always found long as you have the included Warp charger nearby you are good to go. Both have Bluetooth 5.2 that support codecs aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, and AAC. I have used with various headphones such as the Sony WF-SP800N, Sony XM4, Soundcore Liberty 2 Pro without issue.
Here is an area where you start to see the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro differ. The OnePlus 9 has a 6.55” 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display with 2400×1080 pixels and 402ppi while the OnePlus 9 Pro has a 6.7” 120Hz Fluid AMOLED w/ LTPO, 3216×1440 pixels and 525ppi. This would make the OnePlus 9 a Full HD display while the 9 Pro is a Quad HD screen. Also, the display on the 9 Pro is slightly curved whereas the 9 is flat.
From the naked eye each display does a good color details but side by side you can see the 9 Pro is a bit punchier and dynamic. I noticed it a bit while checking out some content on YouTube and some movies such as Lucy which has a variety of colors. From using both these on the daily the past month or so one issue is I have is how these handles in broad daylight. They just are not the brightest when compared to say the Z Fold 2 or iPhone 12 Pro I have as well.
The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro have Unlocked versions that I have used on T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Mobile. With Verizon both phones take advantage of their 5G speeds but the OnePlus 9 Pro I have gotten 5G UW speeds hitting almost has high as 2,000/Mbps at times. On the T-Mobile side you can hit their 5G speeds which i seen go as high as 200/Mbps. I even gave them a run with US Mobile which is an up and coming prepaid carrier that utilizes 4G LTE and 5G speeds from a couple of top-tier carriers. I got some speeds topping at about 100-200/mbps at times. But with all these speeds from carriers you know its all based on where you live as I’m in the NYC metro area. So you want to check your coverage maps as always.
Seeing as these phones came out in early April, each device is using Android 11 aka Oxygen 11. Android 12 is still in beta as of this writing and we most likely won’t see till the Fall. Having gone back to Samsung’s One UI and coming back to OxygenOS this OS by OnePlus is still one of my faves. This always come out to customization and options. OxygenOS has it all ranging from the gestures, support of icon packs, and just smooth look and feel. It always has something for everyone. I did receive some minor hiccups such as quick opening the camera on the 9 Pro and some app crashes. But luckily OnePlus is always pushing updates to improve things. I’d be interested to see what Oxygen 12 aka Android 12 looks like when it arrives possibly later in the Fall.
Cameras Powered by Hasselblad
A spot OnePlus made a huge deal of noise with for the Series 9 phones was with its cameras. The OnePlus 9 has Triple Camera System with lenses consisting of 48MP(Main), 50MP(Ultrawide), and 2MP (Monochrome). On the 9 Pro side you have a Quad Camera System with 48MP(Main), 50MP(Ultrawide), 8MP(Telephoto), and 2MP(Monochrome). The OnePlus 9 doesn’t have OIS or Laser AF. Both devices have 16MP selfie cameras, shoot up to 8K 30fps video and take advantage of Hasselblad’s Color Calibration.
OnePlus 9 Gallery
OnePlus 9 Pro Gallery
I will be honest but out the box I was looking at the cameras like they were slightly better than its predecessors but the more using them and even the updates that OnePlus has continued to put out and these lenses have become more impressive over time. I used to want to grab a secondary device to take pictures but the detail and color with these phones are grand. I don’t find myself having to take various shots over and over like I used to which equals a more pleasant experience. I think they need to focus on upgrading that front lens now in their next models. Overall I felt the new camera system is nice and of course like most cameras works better with outside lighting. Low light wasn’t bad but something I can see them improving.
Verdict – Which one to buy?
OnePlus never really fails on giving you a great smartphone encounter especially for Android. Processing power is top notch and identical on both giving you a speedy experience and 120Hz displays always look good. So, when it comes down to which Series 9 phone it is all about premiums and pricing. The OnePlus 9 Pro has one more camera lens, a slightly better-looking body, higher res display, and faster wireless charging but also is a $300+ difference. I personally feel you can go either way and not be disappointed.