We compared smartphones from the new OnePlus 9 series that are slightly better but also more expensive than their predecessors. We’ll also let you know whether or not Hasselblad really brought something to the table
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I’ve seen an increasing number of (former?) OnePlus fans, both online and offline, getting tired of the number of phone versions. Perhaps it is time to jointly draft a Change.org petition to BBK Electronics Corporation, the parent company of OnePlus, Vivo, Oppo and Realme, to get fewer phones out. Lately, writing a review for OnePlus phones has become a chore as there is hardly anything new to talk about.
“Another OnePlus phone that is slightly better, but also more expensive than its predecessor” – this one-line judgment applies to the last five or six OnePlus phones.
That feeling is a far cry from the excitement surrounding the brand in the early years. The system by invitation only gave it a touch of exclusivity and achieved cult status. When it tried to enter a wider market, it lost its image of an indie band with a loyal following. Until 2018, the company released a maximum of two phones per year. There was an anticipation of what was to come next.
However, as of 2019, they have released four phones a year with a few additions. When a few photos of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro leaked out, I was wondering, “Who are these people who can’t wait for the phone to start up? It’s a recurring event now anyway. ‘
Now that the OnePlus 9 series (9 and 9 Pro) hits the market, let’s see what it packs.
The usual good things
The 9 series is OnePlus’s first release since co-founder Carl Pei left last October. However, this does not affect the usual appearance or performance of the phones. There isn’t much of a departure from the normally elegant OnePlus design. The 9 Pro, with a 6.7-inch display, is great for watching videos but is difficult to carry around, especially weighing in at 197 grams, and I’m not a huge fan of phones with glossy surfaces as they are prone to finger stains are. This can be fixed with an all black protective case, but it makes the phone heavier. The OnePlus 9 has a 6.55-inch display and weighs 183 grams.
The 9 Pro has a display with 3216 x 1440 pixels and 525 ppi compared to the 9 with 2400 x 1080 pixels and 402 ppi. Both phones have a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The 9 Pro has a ‘Smart 120 Hz’ option that automatically adjusts the refresh rate based on your usage. You can save battery life by lowering the resolution or the refresh rate. However, this equates to buying a sports car and worrying about fuel efficiency.
Either way, you don’t have to worry about the 4,500 mAh battery running out on either phone. Because a complete refill with Warp Charge 65T only takes half an hour. The 9 Pro also supports wireless charging with 50 watts. If you use the OnePlus Charp Charge 50 wireless charger, it can be charged from 0 to 100 in 45 minutes.
OnePlus 9 | Photo credit: OnePlus
The performance of the phones is not different. both are quick and smooth. They use a Snapdragon 888 processor that promises faster clock speeds and comes with a new Qualcomm Spectra 580 ISP for better signal processing. You work with Oxygen OS (based on Android 11). They are available in two variants – 8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage and 12 GB RAM / 256 GB storage.
The Hasselblad hype
The camera has been a thorn in the side of OnePlus since they turned to the flagship segment. Compared to budget phones, the OnePlus camera is miles ahead. IPhone or Pixel users, especially those serious about photography, have never been satisfied with OnePlus’ cameras. For this reason, the company decided to make the camera its unique selling point in the latest series.
OnePlus announced a three-year partnership with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad in March. Neil Armstrong and Co used these cameras during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969. OnePlus repeated this in one of their video ads for the 9 series, in which a moon-sized moon rolls in our cities. This was OnePlus that promised us the moon.
To be honest, the camera doesn’t live up to its hype. There is no significant difference between the 9 and 9 Pro cameras. The 9 Pro has a quad-cam setup: a 48-megapixel main camera, a 50-megapixel ultrawide camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto camera, and a 2-megapixel monochrome camera. The telephoto camera is missing in 9.
OnePlus 9 Pro | Photo credit: OnePlus
I’ve been using the OnePlus 8T’s camera for a while now. Despite the Hasselblad branding, I didn’t see much of a difference between the 9 and 9 Pro cameras. In automatic mode, the colors were more vivid than in 8T. Photography enthusiasts will love the ultrawide camera. The 3.3x telephoto lens works well in good lighting conditions, but loses image quality when you digitally zoom. The monochrome camera is now just a gimmick. Why do you need a separate camera when you can get good black and white photos with built-in filters or by reducing the saturation?
The OnePlus cameras are good enough for making a birthday video or a fun vlog. However, they are not equipped to record a short film. OnePlus 9 Pro lets you record up to 8K 30 or 4K 120. The images appear overworked and the video quality lags behind the powerhouses of the camera such as the Pixel series, the Samsung Galaxy series and the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.
OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad will continue for the next three years. It has also pledged $ 150 million for camera development. Future OnePlus phones will likely have better cameras.
However, if you’re willing to overlook the 9 Pro’s slightly superior camera and opt for a smaller phone, the 9 (£ 54,999 for the 12GB RAM variant) is a better choice. With the 9 Pro priced at £ 69,999 (for the 12GB RAM variant), OnePlus has really entered the flagship battle.