OnePlus 9 Pro 5G - A killer flagship or over hyped smartphone?

Updated: May 1, 2021

OnePlus is definitely a great company which manufactures amazing smartphones with innovative ideas. It's recent smartphone OnePlus 9 Pro 5G proves OnePlus tagline - Never Settle. We can say that OnePlus 9 Pro is the smartphone from the company which is like the complete package.

It gives great performance, an amazing flagship experience with camera-giant Hasselblad's camera setup. This is a handset that can genuinely compete with the other flagship smartphones from the biggest brands.

However, it also comes with a high-end price tag, and the OnePlus 9 Pro is an expensive smartphone but it is also a value for money smartphone.


OnePlus 9 Pro release date, price and availability


The OnePlus 9 Pro was unveiled in a virtual event on March 23, 2021. The OnePlus 9 Pro is OnePlus' most expensive phone to date. It starts at Rs. 64,999 for the base 8GB RAM model. The price of the 12GB RAM model rises to Rs. 69,999. We've been using the smartphone for a while now, and this is our verdict.

Design

The OnePlus 9 Pro has a stunning and eye-catching design. If you've owned a OnePlus phone since the OnePlus 7, you won't be surprised by the design. It's made of glass, but it has a Corning Gorilla Glass 5 layer on both the front and back. The OnePlus logo is prominently displayed in the center. The overall design is clean and elegant.

It has a premium appearance and feels like a flagship smartphone when you hold it. Morning Mist (the silver shade pictured throughout this review), Forest Green, and Stellar Black are the three colours available on the OnePlus 9 Pro's glass back. The power button is located on the right edge of the smartphone, and the alert slider is located above it. The USB type-C charging port, SIM card tray, and two-spot speaker grills are all located on the bottom edge.



The volume control button is located on the left side of the OnePlus 9 Pro. The button placements are both aesthetic and ergonomic. They're easy to use with just one hand.


However, keep in mind that this isn't a small phone: it measures 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm and weighs 197g, which is about average for a phone of this size.

The camera bump on the OnePlus 9 Pro has been reduced in size compared to previous models, but it still protrudes from the back of the phone. The Hasselblad logo, as well as four shooters, are emblazoned on the camera.

It includes a curved display. The curve is subtle, and accidental touches have no effect on usability. The hole punch cutout in the top left corner adds to the overall display experience, and it looks great from every angle.


Display


The OnePlus 9 Pro has a large, high-resolution display that befits its professional status. It measures 6.7 inches from corner to corner and has a QHD resolution of 1440 x 3216 pixels per inch, which translates to 525 pixels per inch. The AMOLED display's resolution is immediately apparent when you turn it on, with images leaping off the screen and text appearing razor-sharp. The display on the 9 Pro is stunning, both in the outdoors and in my personal use indoors. It's vibrant, with deep blacks and a clever 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. The phone's display has a variable refresh rate that can range from 120 Hz to 1 Hz.


OnePlus has introduced LPTO technology, which can help you save power.

The display on the OnePlus 9 Pro is more appealing to me than the displays on the Galaxy S21 Plus and iPhone 12 Pro. It may not be as bright as the S21 Plus or the 12 Pro, with an average brightness of 722 nits (compared to 747 on the S21 Plus and 742 on the 12 Pro), but it performs admirably outdoors. The screen is HDR 10+ certified, which means it has a native 10-bit colour depth. Unsurprisingly, these impressive specs translate to a fantastic user experience, and thanks to the phone's excellent colours and wide viewing angles, I thoroughly enjoyed watching my favourite shows and movies on it. Furthermore, the display's smooth refresh rate makes scrubbing through difficult PDFs a pleasurable experience.

There's also a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, which we found to be comparable to most other flagship phones with this technology in 2021.


Camera


OnePlus made a splash with their camera and generated a lot of buzz in the market about their Hasselblad calibration.

OnePlus has improved its camera setup by including new sensors, at least one of which was developed in collaboration with Sony, and by collaborating with renowned camera manufacturer Hasselblad to improve colour calibration, ensuring that the colours you see are accurately reproduced. The company calls it "natural colour calibration with Hasselblad," and it aims to give photos taken with the OnePlus 9 Pro more natural-looking colours. It also works well, but not as well as advertised. The phone's camera system includes a 48MP Sony IMX 789 sensor, a 50MP Sony IMX 766 Ultra-wide angle lens, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 2MP monochrome sensor. A 16MP Sony IMX 471 sensor is used for selfies on the device.

The OnePlus 9 Pro's telephoto zoom camera can shoot at up to 3x optical zoom, after which it will switch to digital zoom for anything up to 30x zoom.

When comparing images taken with previous OnePlus phones, you'll notice that the colours are far more natural, which we assume is due to the aforementioned Hasselblad collaboration. The image quality is similar to that of Apple's iPhones rather than that of a Samsung phone.



Performance


The Snapdragon 888, which is currently the best system-on-chip available in an Android device, is paired with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM in the OnePlus 9 Pro. You won't be able to make this phone stutter or slow down. It's a true force to be reckoned with. Nothing slowed down the OnePlus 9 Pro, whether I was editing documents, messaging on Slack, listening to Spotify, or jumping into a Call of Duty: Mobile match.The 12GB RAM variant had a Geekbench 5 multi-core score of 3630 on average. This puts it just behind the Asus Rog Phone 5 and ahead of other high-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21.

The OnePlus 9 Pro is also a 5G-ready device, so you'll be ready to use next-generation internet connectivity even if you don't expect to do so anytime soon.

We discovered that the phone had some Bluetooth connectivity issues, but we're hoping that these will be resolved in the company's final software update. When we learn more, we'll update this review.

The OnePlus 9 Pro has very little bloatware, and those who like OnePlus's signature look will appreciate the way the software works on the device.


Battery


The OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a 4,500 mAh battery that, in my experience, lasts a long time. With the Smart 120Hz enabled, the 9 Pro averaged 10 hours and 40 minutes in a battery test where a device is left to endlessly reload webpages on a 5G connection. Surprisingly, switching to 60Hz mode didn't make much of a difference — it was actually 10 hours and 38 minutes less. What could account for the disparity? My theory is based on the LTPO technology. For static content, the OnePlus 9 Pro can go all the way down to 1Hz in 120Hz mode. When needed, such as when scrolling through a web page, the refresh rate increases to 120Hz. However, you'll most likely be on the lower end of the spectrum. In 5G mode, the iPhone 12 Pro only lasted 9 hours and 6 minutes, while the Galaxy S21 Plus lasted 9 hours and 41 minutes. In our opinion, any phone that lasts more than 10 hours on 5G while maintaining a high refresh rate is impressive.

OnePlus calls the 9 Pro's charging system 65T. The T indicates that the internal resistance is lower, allowing the phone to charge at a higher wattage for longer. You don't have to be an electrical engineer to realise that this phone's charging speed is insane.

The OnePlus 9 Pro, on the other hand, supports wireless charging up to 50W with the OnePlus Wireless Charger. That's right, the iPhone 9 Pro can charge wirelessly faster than the Galaxy S21 Plus and the iPhone 12 Pro!

We put the 9 Pro's wired charging prowess to the test, and it went from 0% to 61 percent in 15 minutes, and it was nearly fully charged in 30 minutes, reaching 99 percent from 0%. We didn't test wireless charging times, but OnePlus claims that it can charge from 0% to 70% in 30 minutes and from 0% to 100% in 50 minutes.


Final Verdict

The handset starts at Rs 64,999 for the 8GB/128GB variant, with the 12GB RAM model with 256GB of storage costing just under Rs 70,000.

If you want a powerful smartphone with natural-looking photos and a great screen experience, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the way to go.

However, if you require a smartphone with a long battery life, plenty of storage space, and a low price, you should consider other options.





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