When I buy a phone for my own use, I usually get big because I have hands and pockets that can handle big phones. However, there are definitely people who like a smaller and more portable phone. So it’s great to see OnePlus have the OnePlus 9, which is priced at $ 240 below the flagship OnePlus 9 Pro.
Although some compromises were made in addition to size and battery capacity in order to offer a cheaper phone, the software developed as part of the OnePlus / Hasselblad partnership is available on the smaller OnePlus 9. There is no telephoto camera, but the more popular ultra-wide camera is there and very powerful.
Likewise: OnePlus takes mobile photography with Hasselblad partnership seriously: OnePlus 9 starts on March 23
I’ve now spent more than a week with the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro (see the full review). The smaller OnePlus 9 challenges the Galaxy S21 and the iPhone 12 Mini for your pocket.
OnePlus 9 specifications
- processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
- display: 6.55 inches, 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution (402 ppi), AMOLED 120Hz refresh rate
- operating system: Android 11 with OxygenOS
- R.A.M.: 8 GB LPDDR5
- camp: 128 GB / 256 GB internal storage, UFS 3.1
- Cameras: Custom Sony 48MP f / 1.8 main camera, 50MP f / 2.2 ultra wide camera with freeform lens and 2MP monochrome camera. 16MP f / 2.4 front camera.
- Connectivity: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS / Galileo / GLONASS / Beidou, NFC
- Sensors: Accelerometer, ultrasonic fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, electronic compass, proximity sensor, RGB light sensor, laser sensor, ambient light sensor
- battery: 4,500 mAh non-removable with wired Warp Charge 65T and wireless 15 W charging function. Reverse wireless charging is also available.
- Dimensions: 160 x 74.2 x 8.7 mm and 192 g
- Colours: Winter fog, arctic sky and astral black
The display on the OnePlus 9 is the same flat display called Fluid Display that we saw on the OnePlus 8T. It supports a refresh rate of 120 Hz, with a switch to 60 Hz in the display settings.
The latest generation fingerprint sensor under the display is present and worked perfectly. I’ve used it in combination with the face unlock feature with a quick and consistent response.
Top ZDNET reviews
There are minimal bezels on all four sides with a flat screen that so many love, ready for action. With the top speaker in a narrow line above the display, we probably won’t see any smaller frames until they’re all gone. The front-facing camera is on the far left of the phone.
The volume button is on the left and the power button is on the right. The traditional three-way ringtone switch is located on the right-hand side above the power switch. Microphones are positioned above and below. The USB-C port and SIM card tray are at the bottom.
There are three camera lenses and a flashlight on the back of the OnePlus 9. The cameras have a 50-megapixel Sony sensor with a width of 50 MP, which is 3.2 times larger than that of the iPhone 12 Pro Max. A free-form lens with curves is integrated into the camera system to capture the incident light to correct that the distortion at the edges is reduced to about 1%. Other smartphones with ultra-wide cameras have edge distortions in the range of 10% to 20%.
The ultra-wide camera also lets you take macro photos, and the camera software will automatically switch to this camera when you get up to 4 cm near your subject. There is a switch in the camera software that can be used to automatically switch to macro mode. This has proven itself.
The main camera with 48 MP is a Sony IMX789, which was specially developed for OnePlus. It supports 12-bit RAW while other phones support 10-bit RAW. The black and white camera works in conjunction with the main camera to add detail and layer to your black and white photos.
Reverse wireless charging is new to OnePlus, and it’s great to see it in the smaller, lower-cost model too. With a simple switch on the quick controls, you can place another device, headphones, and more on the back of the OnePlus 9 to charge them. The phone stops charging other devices when the phone’s battery has dropped to 15%.
Likewise: OnePlus 8T hands-on: is there a place for a T series in the OnePlus range?
Warp Charge 65T delivers a daily output in 15 minutes or 1% to 100% in just 29 minutes. Unlike Apple and Samsung, OnePlus includes this charger in the retail package. The OnePlus 9 also supports wireless charging of Qi with up to 15 W.
The 8GB / 128GB OnePlus 9 is available for $ 729 in Winter Mist and Astral Black. The 12GB / 256GB model is available in Astral Black for $ 829. Pre-orders will start on March 26th. The devices will be available on April 2nd. T-Mobile configurations and pricing information will be available shortly.
The OnePlus 9 starts with Android 11 and Oxygen OS 11.2.x. The Android security update from February 1, 2021 is available in our test device. Given the timing of the release, the retail device security update is expected to be released in March. OnePlus also has a good track record of providing timely security updates.
It was a breath of fresh air using a OnePlus phone after spending time on Samsung phones as there are no ads, useless bloatware, or other utilities to distract you from a near-stock Android experience. There are some useful utilities in OxygenOS such as: B. Quick start, quick gestures and game mode. The game mode settings are very cool and provide the best gaming experience for those who play games after they finish work.
While the Hasselblad name is on the phone near the cameras, its influence on OnePlus 9 is limited to software improvements. A key component of the Hasselblad partnership is natural color calibration. OnePlus and Hasselblad let three of the 12 Hasselblad experts use the OnePlus 9 Pro to provide subjective feedback on fine-tuning the camera software.
In Pro (Manual) mode, users see software similar to the Hasselblad camera user interface. In addition, the camera capture button is orange and the iconic shutter sound from Hasselblad cameras is present on the phone.
While I have to spend a lot more time with the camera software, I enjoyed testing the tilt-shift mode. OnePlus uses software and not lenses in the OnePlus 9 to achieve tilt-shift effects. This mode helps simulate miniature effects and straighten vertical lines. I’ve never seen a tilt-shift on a phone and enjoy the creativity that the software offers.
With the OnePlus 9, you can record videos at 8K, 30fps or even 4K at 120fps. Portrait and night mode videos are also supported, so you can get very creative with this new phone.
Likewise: OnePlus 8 Review: Least Expensive 5G Phone with Flagship Specs and Minimal Compromises
Daily usage experiences
With the hardware loopholes filled by OnePlus, we can take a look at the software, and it’s more pleasant to use OxygenOS with a near-stock Android experience. There’s no bloatware on the phone, we don’t find a multitude of duplicate apps, and we don’t get inundated with ads from Samsung on the OnePlus 9.
The strength of cellular coverage has always been one area where Samsung stood out from the iPhone and some other Android brands. OnePlus was the only competitor in this space and remains one of the best when it comes to coverage and speed. I enjoyed great connectivity with the OnePlus 9 and phone calls sounded crystal clear on both ends of the call. For some reason I still can’t get the native visual voicemail to work on this verification device, but I’m confident that it is part of the phone app.
The OnePlus 9’s display looks good. If you try a high refresh rate Android phone, you can’t go back to less.
We often see a lot of compromises with smaller, lower-cost options from Samsung and Apple, but the OnePlus 9 has very few. A big tradeoff for Verizon customers is the lack of mmWave 5G support. There’s no telephoto camera, no fast wireless charging, and a display that’s not quite as advanced as the OnePlus 9 Pro. However, the OnePlus 9 is an excellent smartphone that starts at just $ 729.