While the performance isn’t changing with the 9 pro, the price definitely is launching at 969 dollars. The oneplus 9 pro is officially competing with the likes of the samsung galaxy s 21 and the iphone 12 pro. But can it compete everywhere else, i’m, luke pollock with android authority – and this is our review of the oneplus 9 pro the design of the oneplus 9. Pro is clean and minimal. The phone is made up of two 3d gorilla glass, 5 kerf panels that sandwich a thin aluminum frame. The curve of the display is far less than what we’ve seen in the oneplus flagships, and i didn’t encounter any issues with phantom or ghost touches now, while i personally prefer the design of a squared off screen and body, i will admit that the oneplus 9 pro Is very comfortable to hold still. This is a very thick phone coming in at 8.7 millimeters, which makes it overall slightly thicker than the huge iphone 12 pro max now. Turning to the back, you can clearly see that gorgeous morning, missed color, but as beautiful as it is, that mirrored back picks up a lot of fingerprints i’m, a little surprised that oneplus moved away from the frosted mac glass of its previous devices. Personally, i think those devices are more premium feeling there are additional color ways, including stellar black and forest green, that do have a matte finish so i’m, not sure as to why oneplus opted for mirrored glass for this color also because of this glass.
The phone is incredibly slippery, so i would definitely recommend using a case it’s also a little disappointing to not see the latest gorilla glass victus. Considering that the 9 pro is directly competing with the galaxy s21 series, but it’s a small detail that won’t deter most now likely the most notable change to this year’s design is the camera bump. So, with most manufacturers opting for incredibly large camera modules, it’s refreshing to see such a minimal take here on the oneplus 9 pro the module is still sizeable, but it doesn’t jut out as much as the galaxy s21 ultra’s camera module. Does the rest of the design is a oneplus phone through and through including the classic alert slider oneplus fans have come to know and love usbc and stereo speakers. Speaking of speakers. For the most part, this phone sounds a little imbalanced. The soundstage definitely prefers the highs and mids as the bass doesn’t really come through in most tracks. Also, due to the placement of the speakers, it’s pretty easy to accidentally cover the bottom speaker while holding the phone horizontally. That said, the audio is fine. One more thing to note is that dolby atmos is supported for wired audio, which means you’ll get a great audio experience with a good set of headphones. In other news, the haptics on the 9 pro are quite good. It was one of the first things i noticed about the phone as each vibration just feels so much finer than previous device iterations.
Also, the 9 pro is ip68 water and dust resistant, a rating that is expected from a flagship device. Lastly, for whatever reason, oneplus put the fingerprint sensor in an awkwardly low position, the sensor itself is fast and accurate, but its position just makes it hard to use. You do have the option to use face unlock as an alternative. However, i found the in display fingerprint sensor to be faster and overall, more reliable, honestly this year, there’s something just off about the oneplus 9 pros design, it’s kind of hard to describe, but the phone almost feels generic to a fault it’s, incredibly simple and a good Looking phone but it’s not one to turn heads all in, although if you like previous oneplus devices, then you will like this one let’s talk display the nine pro features. Oneplus is calling fluid display. 2.0. This display is a 6.7 inch. Lpto amoled display with a punch, hole for a front facing camera, it’s qhd, plus with a refresh rate of 120 hertz, and the screen can pump out 1300 nits of peak brightness. It supports hdr, 10 plus and features a slight curve along the edge of the display. Alright, so with the specs out of the way, let’s talk about the speed, so this new fluid display 2.0 features an lpto display. If you don’t know what that means. Basically, there is a low temperature, polycrystalline oxide backplate, underneath the oled panel that allows the display to adjust its refresh rate down to as low as 1 hertz, which means, if you’re looking at static content, the display will only refresh once per second.
In theory, this new panel can better adjust power draw from the 120 hertz display and oneplus claims that it can draw half as much power as a full time 120 hertz panel. There is also an option to lock the display at 60 hertz if that’s, something that you want to do. Overall, this new technology seems about the same as previous high refresh rate panels, as i didn’t notice a big difference in battery life performance. Also, i would have liked to see an option to lock the refresh rate at 120 hertz, as there are occasionally some stutters in certain apps. Due to that adaptive refresh rate. This is easiest seen in scrolling apps such as youtube or twitter. There is also a new feature that oneplus is calling hypertouch, which features a 360hz response rate making for a lower input latency when gaming, but specs and refresh rates only mean so much so in real life. The display operates and looks fantastic. The bezels are incredibly slim and while there is a punch hole cutout, i personally would have loved to see a pop out camera, as we have on the 7 pro still it’s, nothing to be disappointed about. If you’ve never used a high refresh rate display, then you’re missing out everything moves incredibly smooth when panning or scrolling around content. However, a couple of strange things that i noticed were the viewing angles and the brightness levels at the edge of the display. So when you’re looking at this device head on, the display looks great, but as you tilt the screen off axis, you can clearly see a bit of weirdness happening due to the curvature of the display.
With this, you can also see that there is some color shifting happening as well. It isn’t bad by any means, but it’s just something to make note of all in all the display gives you everything. We’Ve come to expect from premium flagships and then some now, because of that high refresh rate panel, there has to be a significant power source and while the 4 500 milliamp hour battery included in the 9 pro is no slouch. Unfortunately, battery life is questionable at best out of the box. The oneplus 9 pro is set to the dynamic 120hz mode at full hd resolution. With this stock configuration, the phone can get through a full day, but just barely with regular use, some photography and youtube. I got about 6.5 to 7 hours of screen on time. However, gaming on this phone causes some serious strain on the battery. You can literally watch the battery life drain from the phone in five percent increments. Now remember this is in 120 hertz mode. So if you dial back the refresh rate to 60 hertz, then the phone will make it through a full day and then some battery life in its stock configuration isn’t great. But if you’re willing to compromise on the smooth experience, then the phone can last longer. I wish oneplus would have included a 90hz mode, as this would have provided a good balance between performance and battery life. Also, these results don’t include the option to use the display’s full resolution at qhd, plus the device battery life decreases significantly.
This does sound pretty bad. However, oneplus is counting on its charging technology to save its bacon. The 65 t charger included in the box charges the phone from zero to 75 in 20 minutes and from zero to 100 in just under 30.. This is an absolute insane amount of charge for such a small amount of time and it’s, not only wire charging that’s fast, either with one plus a 50 watt wireless charger. The phone can power up from zero to 70 percent in just 30 minutes again. This is incredibly fast for a normal charger, let alone the wireless one do keep in mind. This is limited to oneplus. First party wireless charger and regular wireless chargers will default to 15 watts. Lastly, there is reverse wireless charging included and that’s capped at 5 watts. So when it comes to overall performance, the oneplus 9 pro it’s a beast of a machine shipping with the qualcomm snapdragon 888, with either 8 gigabytes or 12 gigabytes of ram, the phone can handle everything you throw at it. Moving in between apps is fluid because of that 120 hertz panel and everyday tasks are incredibly enjoyable. Oxygen. Os 11 is here on this phone and while some users don’t particularly like the aesthetic shift from oxygen os 10, i didn’t notice anything particularly jarring there’s. Little to no bloatware, in fact, i think the only thing that shipped with this phone was netflix also the default oneplus launcher is very clean.
Oxygenos has a good deal of native google integration with the google feed on the left and you can customize your icons in size to your liking. Out of the box, i will say that the text and overall sizing are a bit big for my taste. But again you can easily change that in settings in terms of gaming. Again, there are no hiccups here either i tested the phone playing pubg, mobile and asphalt 9., and both titles ran beautifully on the phone frame rates were great, with no frame skipping, and i was honestly surprised at how cool the device remained throughout an intense hour of Gaming again you’re going to experience a drop in battery life, but with those incredibly fast charging times. This shouldn’t be that big of an issue i’ll go ahead and throw up some benchmarks here on screen, but the overall impression of performance is that it can hang with. If not outperform the competition now, another important fact to note is that the oneplus 9 pro ships with more 5g bands than almost any other phone on the market. However, the support for 5g in north america isn’t great at launch the phone supports t mobile’s 5g network, but that’s it att and verizon are both out of the loop, so you’ll be limited to 4g lte on both of those carriers. Oneplus did say that it continues to work with verizon to certify the 9 and 9 pro on its 5g network, but there’s no telling how long consumers will have to wait for that to happen.
And finally, that brings us to the cameras. Arguably the most significant change. This year, in short, the cameras are good, actually really good. In the past, the cameras have always been a weak spot for oneplus, and this year, it’s teaming up with renowned camera brand hasselblad to try and fix these issues. According to oneplus, the partnership with hasselblad will be a multi year, collaboration with the first two years of their collaboration, focusing only on software and then down the road to eventual hardware and for right now. The oneplus 9 pro makes use of hasselblad’s natural color calibration. At a sensor level, the 9 pro ships with a custom built sony, imx 789 sensor, and this new sensor enables 12 bit raw capability out of the box. It’S, a 48 megapixel, f 1.8 shooter here that will pump out 12 megapixel photos, but the option to take advantage of the full 48 megapixels is also there. Should you choose to enable it? For the most part, the photos coming out of the main lens are crisp and clean. The colors look spot on. In fact, they almost look a little bit too spot on. What i mean to say is that the color science is so accurate that i prefer the look of the iphone 12 pro max and the galaxy s21 ultra over the oneplus 9 pro, because the colors were more saturated and punchy on those devices. The easiest way to explain this is that the photos just look more true to what your eye is actually seeing.
That said, this isn’t necessarily a con, as you can clearly alter the photos in post to have more saturation and contrast. Apart from that white balance, detail focus and general exposure are all reliably good. There does seem to be a small amount of over sharpening in some photos, something we’ve come to see from previous oneplus devices, but it’s not bad. I will admit that the hdr isn’t as good as the iphone 12 pro max or galaxy s21 ultra, but only marginally so there’s – also a cool tilt shift feature that makes objects and photos kind of see miniature and yeah that’s kind of cool to play around. With now this year, oneplus opted for an extra wide ultra wide lens that features a sony imx 766 sensor. This 50 megapixel shooter uses a freeform lens to mitigate edge distortion and it works really well, while i personally prefer the ultra wide angle distorted, look, the photos coming out of the ultra wide lens are on par with the main lens again detail. Exposure and sharpness are all pretty good on this camera and, for the most part, the color science matches the main sensor as well. Hdr performance is not as good as the competition, but by a slim margin then there’s, the zoom lens it’s, only an 8 megapixel f. 2.4 lens, but for what it’s worth the images produced are more than usable the color isn’t as accurate as the ultra wide, but again it’s, not that bad.
There is an option to punch all the way up to 30 times digital zoom, but this is more of a party trick than anything else. Overall, at 3.3 times, optical zoom, the oneplus 9 pro gets the job done. The 2 megapixel monochrome depth camera isn’t, half bad either in portrait mode. The camera handles itself respectively when shooting further away objects. The edge detection and simulated shallow depth of field is pretty solid. Closer objects are good as well, but honestly, the blurred effect here is a bit strong. The selfie 16 megapixel camera does a decent job as well it’s, nowhere near as good as the rear cameras, but dynamic range, color, white balance and exposure are overall, pretty good for a selfie camera. I will say, though, in low light. The front facing camera struggles a lot with white balance and noise it’s, not the worst i’ve seen, but it’s not great. Lastly, the oneplus 9 pro can shoot video in 8k at 30fps and 4k at up to 120 fps. For the most part, video is pretty respectable. I found that stabilization was definitely better than past one plus flagships and the footage was clean, color, accurate and sharp all in all the video is good and pretty much meets all the other android handsets on the market. So does this new partnership with hasselblad meet the hype for the most part? Yes, oneplus did make some big claims with this new camera system and that may have overhyped the phone for some.
I will say that you should have some tempered expectation when it comes to the telephoto and selfie camera, but the ultra wide and main cameras are very good. Alright, so let’s talk value is the oneplus 9 pro worth its starting cost of 969. This is a little bit of a harder question to answer. Yes, the phone does meet a lot of the premium flagship requirements. The display is quite simply fantastic. The design, while not revolutionary, is beautiful and the cameras. Well. These are some of the best cameras, we’ve seen to date on a oneplus device, but does all of this make the 9 pro a good value, maybe it’s hard to say considering the poorer battery life performance and the various quirks here and there right now. I think the oneplus 9 pro sits pretty well in comparison to the iphone 12 pro max and the samsung galaxy s21 ultra. Those phones compete in almost every category, say, maybe the camera in which they both slightly outperform the nine pro oneplus, has never come so close to building a complete package of a phone, and the nine pro is a welcome addition. So then, considering all you get, i think the asking price of 969 dollars is fair. Oneplus does have some work to do when it comes to battery life and more support for 5g, but all in all the oneplus 9 pro packs a lot of features into a pretty competitive price. Alright, so that’s going to wrap it up, for this review, make sure to check out our in depth.
Written review over on the site also we’ll have a full review of the oneplus 9 over there as well. Lastly, let us know your thoughts on the oneplus 9.