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2021 OnePlus OnePlus 9 series Phone Review Reviews

OnePlus 9 Pro Review

It’s been fascinating to watch the company morph over the past few years from a plucky startup brand to becoming just another Android smartphone OEM like Samsung.

I still like using OnePlus phones for the most part but they seem to make some interesting choices with each new flagship. 

Design & Hardware

OnePlus 9 Pro (Morning Mist)

Build quality has become a strong point of recent OnePlus phones like last year’s OnePlus 8 series and this year’s OnePlus 9 Pro is no different. The phone’s body is made of an aluminum frame with glass on the front and back. 

OnePlus 9 Pro (Morning Mist)

While the OnePlus 8 Pro had a brushed finish on the back, the OnePlus 9 Pro does away with that for more shinny and slippery back. The phone is IP68 water and dust resistant like last year’s phones. 

OnePlus 9 Pro (Morning Mist)

The OnePlus 9 Pro offers a 6.7-inch AMOLED with LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) display with a resolution of 1440 x 3216 at 525 PPI. This new screen is called Fluid Display 2.0 by OnePlus.

OnePlus 9 Pro (Morning Mist)

The 120Hz display on the OnePlus 9 Pro makes everything just feel smooth, like buttery smooth. Similar to other flagship Android phones, you can set the OnePlus 9 Pro’s screen to QHD+ or FHD+, either resolution is supported as 120Hz.

One issue I have with the OnePlus 9 Pro’s display is that sometimes I would unlock the phone and the screen would be really dim and then slowly go back to its regular brightness, even though auto brightness is off. 

I’m unsure if this has to do with the new LTPO display or some other setting on the OnePlus 9 Pro. 

Powering the OnePlus 9 Pro is the Snapdragon 888 processor with up to 12GB of RAM. The high amount of RAM and 120Hz display makes the phone fly when navigating around. 

OnePlus 9 Pro (Morning Mist)

For storage, the phone comes with 128 or 256GB at UFS 3.1 speeds. There’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor (which is oddly placed to basically the bottom of the display), face unlock, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6 and 5G support. 

Previous OnePlus phones would have super quick face unlocking but it seems to be slower in the OnePlus 9 Pro. More often than not, the OnePlus 9 Pro’s face unlock doesn’t work, at least half the time. 

Battery life on the OnePlus 9 Pro is good thanks to the 4,500 mAh battery with Warp Charge 65T wired and Warp Charge 50 Wireless. To get the full 50W wireless charging, you’ll need the new Warp 50 Wireless Charger that now has a removable USB-C cable and adapter. 

Colour options for the OnePlus 9 Pro include Morning Mist, Pine Green and Stellar Black (in select markets outside of North America).

Pricing for the OnePlus 9 Pro is as follows:

  • $1,349 CAD ($969 USD) for 8GB RAM/128GB*
  • $1,499 CAD ($1,069 USD) for 12GB/256GB

*Only available in Morning Mist

The OnePlus 9 Pro is available now from the company’s website.

The new Warp 50 Wireless Charger costs $99 CAD ($69 USD) and ships alongside the OnePlus 9 series.

Software

The OnePlus 9 Pro is running OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11. 

The biggest changes with the new OxygenOS update are the visual look and feel. It’s been completely revamped and looks more in line with Samsung’s OneUI 3.0, which can be a good or bad thing to some. 

One feature is the Always On Display, letting you see quick information like notifications and a clock. There’s also Dark mode scheduling, Google Discover Feed to the homescreen, Zen Mode 2.0

Most of the changes in OxygenOS 11 are with a new coat of paint to help make the OS feel more refreshed. 

Apart from the visual changes, one issue I had with OxygenOS 11 on the OnePlus 9 Pro is the delay of notifications. Sometimes I would not get notifications from apps until I open the specific app. 

It’s unclear if this has to do with OnePlus’ aggressive battery optimization or something else. 

Camera

(L-R): OnePlus 9 Pro (Morning Mist) and OnePlus 9 (Winter Mist)

When the OnePlus 9 series was first announced back in March, one of the biggest things OnePlus touted with its camera partnership with Hasselblad.

OnePlus says the cameras in the 9 Pro were co-developed with Hasselblad but it’s unclear how in-depth it went for this phone.

The OnePlus 9 Pro’s Hasselblad Camera for Mobile system uses four lenses, a 48MP main lens (via the custom Sony IMX789 sensor), a 50MP ultra-wide (Sony IMX766), 8MP telephoto and 2MP monochrome lens.

Phones that were taken on the OnePlus 9 Pro are good but nothing to the likes of the Google Pixel phones or iPhones. 

One issue I would have with the camera, is that I would take a photo on the OnePlus 9 Pro and then look at it and it would come out blurry, even though I was completely still and it during the daytime. 

Low-light photos are another story, you could use the Nightscape mode but it just takes a long time to take and process photos. 

There are also a few different modes including Portrait, Pro, Time-lapse, Panorama and Slow Motion.

The camera on the OnePlus 9 Pro can shoot 8K video at 30fps or 4K at 30/60/120fps. 

Videos taken on the OnePlus 9 Pro are great and stabilized but if you plan on shooting in 4K 60fps, the phone gets very warm, uncomfortably and hot to the touch. The phone will also warn you that you’re phone is getting too warm and can’t record videos right now. 

Final Thoughts

The OnePlus 9 Pro is a good phone with an awesome 120Hz display and smooth performance overall. But it’s let down but it’s Hasselblad Camera.

Pros

  • Great 120Hz display
  • Good cameras (mostly)
  • Smooth performance
  • Good battery life
  • Slightly cheaper than the OnePlus 8 Pro
  • Fast 50W wireless charging and 65W wired charging

Cons

  • Hasselblad branding doesn’t add much to the camera experience
  • The phone gets very warm when shooting high-quality video
  • Photos take a long to process and can turn out blurry
  • Low fingerprint reader placement

By Sachin Bahal

Sachin is a talented and versatile writer with a passion for technology and loves to write about gaming, entertainment, tech and more. He started TheCanadianTechie back in 2012 to become the ultimate, independent source for tech enthusiasts or “techies”.

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