OnePlus 9 Pro review: High on performance
Is OnePlus 9 worth buying?
OnePlus 9 Pro has come a long way from the introduction of the “flagship lender” to the nullification of the idea of offering premium smartphones at an affordable price. OnePlus 9 Pro joins the leading community as a new member and adds more powerful features to compete in the premium category. This is the first time the Chinese brand has partnered with a camera company (Hasselblad) to bring an updated camera setup to the table.
With a liquid AMOLED display with a high fresh rate of 120Hz, RAM piles and a powerful Snapdragon 888 SoC, the device definitely ensures sustainable performance. But even with the polished offering, can the new Whistle remove the old curse and justify the premium price of the OnePlus 9 Pro? We found out in our review.
India OnePlus 9 Pro Price: Rs 64,999 for 8GB RAM / 128GB storage 12GB RAM / 128GB storage for Rs. 69,999 Read: OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, OnePlus 9R, Realme 8, Realme 8 Pro, Vivo X60 Series – Phones launched in India this week
OnePlus 9 Pro Specifications: 6.7 Inch Fluid AMOLED Display | 120Hz Fresh Fresh Rate | Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC | 8GB / 12GB RAM | 128GB / 256GB internal storage | 4,500 mAh battery | 16MP front camera | 48MP + 50MP + 8MP + 2MP rear cameras | Oxygen OS 11 based on Android 11 | 65 W Distortion Load | 50W wireless charging
The design of the OnePlus 9 Pro is not unusual. The phone retains a premium glass sandwich and shares a design aesthetic similar to the previous functionality. The only subtle difference you will find is the location of the camera, which is now moved to the left corner. The phone is a tall form factor that is tapped on the back and blends seamlessly with the screen at the edges. OnePlus has Glancy reflective glass back with a metal frame and antenna straps.
The buttons, the design of the ports remains the same. The volume controls are on the left, the power button on the right, and the OnePlus signature alert slider sits slightly higher on the right edge. The bottom houses the USB-C 3.1 port and is flanked by the hybrid SIM slot and dual-slot stereo speakers. Ergonomically, the phone is good, although it feels quite large in the hand, the seamless edges provide a good grip (although it is slippery).
Speaking of the rear, OnePlus has integrated a rectangular camera module to house the Hasselblad brand’s four-camera setup. We got the Morning Mist variant which certainly looks premium, but is prone to smudges and fingerprints. The glossy back panel can also be used as a second mirror in case you want to quickly take a look at your face before a shoot.
As for the cameras, two out of four stick out significantly with a metal ring covering the lenses, while the rest sit intact on the body. While there’s not much to complain about about the design, except that it’s a bit slippery and it’s a fingerprint magnet, the design ethos of the OnePlus 9 Pro is nothing exciting, but rather familiar as the previous iteration.
To recall, OnePlus doubled the conventional 60Hz refresh rate on the OnePlus 8 Pro last year. The OnePlus 9 Pro also gets the same high 120Hz refresh rate. The screen supports QHD + resolution and supports HDR10 +. With a maximum brightness level of over 1000 nits, the display provides adequate brightness in direct sunlight. You get five color profiles to fine-tune contrast and saturation. The default Vivid setting changes slightly to a cooler shade, but the natural profile provides true-tone colors.
Colors are accurate, with deep blacks and no gloss level leaks. The phone offers two notable features: Pro Vibrant Color Effect and Motion Graphics Smoothing. While the former optimizes the colors in the video to make it appear vibrant, the latter enhances the videos by inserting additional frame rates. The feature works well with smooth playback, but is best suited for playing animated series or live action series.
The display is set to 120Hz by default, but the phone uses adaptive mode which changes the refresh rate to conventional 60Hz depending on the content. The phone incorporates an in-display optical fingerprint sensor that is accurate and responds quickly.
Overall, the OnePlus 9 Pro offers the best display in its class, with rich colors, smooth scrolling, fast touch response, and excellent sunlight readability. With the QHD + resolution and 120Hz combo, the prowess of the screen can be witnessed in all the activities that are being played, be it games, scrolling browsers or streaming content on OTT platforms. The only issue I faced is palm rejection as the screen registered phantom touches near the curved edges, especially while playing games where the fingers kept gripping the device from all sides.
High Performance OnePlus 9 Pro
As with previous OnePlus Pro models, the new flagship receives the same premium treatment. The OnePlus 9 Pro equips Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 888 mobile platform, which is paired with up to 12GB of RAM. Speaking of synthetic benchmarks first, the new OnePlus phone managed to score 1123 points in Geekbench’s single-core scoring test and 3665 points in the multi-core scoring test. In the 3D Mark stress test, the device scored 5752 points on the best loop scorecard and 3214 points on the lowest loop scorecard. The OnePlus 9 Pro performed well in the multi-core test, but since the test results can be manipulated, we have published the real-world usage report.
With such powerful hardware, performance is expected to surpass the zenith. Well, the OnePlus 9 Pro does manage to deliver a smooth experience. From quickly switching between applications, opening multiple tabs, to playing 3D games, the phone can balance anything. Haptic feedback is accurate courtesy of the vibration motor. When running Call of Duty: Mobile-Day of Reckoning, Real Racing 3 (EA), and Genshin Impact, at the highest graphics settings, I didn’t encounter any stutters.
The phone could reproduce graphics in the best quality without frame lag. While the gameplay was pretty consistent across the board, I did face warm-up issues, especially while playing Genshin Impact. Speeding up the game for about 45 minutes, the left edge of the metal frame got hot to such an extent that I had to turn the game off. I hope OnePlus fixes this problem with a firmware update. Other than that, the OnePlus 9 Pro still promises incredible performance, with a fast touch response rate and smooth graphics playback. Although it gets a little warm, it barely skips a beat. The 120Hz refresh rate on the widescreen and Dolby Atmos surround sound further levitate the gaming experience.
Software / UI OxygenOS
OnePlus changed the look of the interface with the Oxygen OS 11 update. Although the Chinese brand added a layer of polish, it no longer offers that vanilla Android experience. New users may like the user interface, but those who upgrade from an older OnePlus phone may find it difficult to adapt to the changes at first. The new Oxygen OS skin includes a number of custom enhancements. Starting with customization, you can switch from Roboto to OnePlus Sans, which now offers more space and thinner fonts.
It takes time to adapt to a small plan, but at least it does not take up unnecessary space. Since the custom interface is based on Android 11, you can also get insiders from the Google operating system, for example, chat bubbles, dialogs, notification history and permissions.
One cool feature of the new Oxygen OS interface is the ability to send photos from the camera app itself. All you have to do is open the camera app, take a photo and press Quick View for a long time. Options will appear to share the image on social media platforms, scan it through Google lens, or save it as a note. Another useful feature is the quick access to the brightness level from the notification shadow. Previously it was necessary to display the full notification tone to access the brightness toggle bar and now it is located just below the quick settings icons.
There is also an instant boot option (in the utility), which can be activated via the visual fingerprint reader. To use the feature, unlock the device and hold down the fingerprint authentication area, the Quick Launch option will appear. You can customize and add apps to your liking.
Other features include: Built-in dark mode scheduling, RAM boost (optimizes RAM usage based on your usage), canvas mode (beta version), your selfie, fingerprint animation, and flashing light whenever an announcement appears. Of the device. Simply put, Oxygen OS still maintains a simple approach that you can easily get used to.
Battery With Quick Charge
Compared to the big brother of the OnePlus 9 Pro, this time the 4,500mAh battery is a bit smaller. The phone supports 65W wireless fast charging technology and carries a 50W wireless charger.
Speaking of real life usage, I was concerned that the high freshness rate would greatly reduce battery life, but it did not, thanks to optimization and LTPO technology. With 120Hz full resolution mode, you can get up to 7 hours of backup.
With casual use, you can get more than 9 hours of battery backup and 15-16 percent charge left until the end of the day. Depending on the charging speed, the 65W wire charger takes about 40 minutes to fully charge the device. The 50W wireless charger takes between 47 and 48 minutes to fully charge the battery.
The OnePlus 9 Pro Tick ticks almost everything you need to get the flagship logo, but optics is still one area where the device sings the same old story. The Chinese brand has once again segregated the 48-megapixel sensor into the main camera of the OnePlus 9 Pro. The ultra-wide sensor has been increased to 50 megapixels. The phone also has an 8-megapixel telephoto lens and a 2-megapixel sensor for photos.
OnePlus has enabled the Hasselblad brand camera setup, but the camera software is flawless but not extensive. During daytime shooting, the area near the camera module tends to overheat, which limits the use of the camera. The large sensor certainly produces good dynamic range and shallow field, but the main camera finds it difficult to focus on this subject, especially when zooming in or using super-macro mode. The super macro mode produces blurry images, even after maintaining a (required) distance from the subject.
The main camera manages to produce well detailed and textured photos during the day. Photos taken with the ultra-wide sensor have good focal focus, but distortions can be seen around the edges. Nightscape mode tends to brighten images and add enough detail to shadows. But the extremely wide sensor does not provide similar performance. The color and exposure balance is good but produces an aggressive sound in all scenes. Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a Pro model that allows for ISO, white balance, shutter speed, exposure, and focus. You can take photos in RAW mode, which is useful for later editing.
Speaking of the front camera, selfies and photos look good during the day with good subject separation. However, I did notice a strange change in color tone with a red outline on my forehead. Other than that, the non-portrait clicks had good dynamic range and precise sharpness. Night shots, however, are often accompanied by noise and pale skin in low light.
It’s worth noting that OnePlus recently released a software update to correct nighttime brightness and optimize white balance and sound. Although the white balance has been adjusted to some extent, the focus problem still exists. However, a low light bug has now gone away with the update. Confused by what I’m talking about? Here is a sample for your reference.
In short, the camera software is energy efficient and the sensor provides a mixed bag effect. Sure, the quad-camera array offers good color and dynamic range, but it tends to over-saturate images sometimes. The autofocus incompatibility is another disappointment, as the slower software pours cold water on the Hazelblad stimulus. I hope OnePlus fixes these issues in a future update.
OnePlus 9 Pro Verdict
Gone are the days when OnePlus smartphones were used as ‘flash boat lenders’. To keep the premium unchanged, the Chinese brand has started charging higher prices for its flagship phones (not yet as expensive as the iPhone). The OnePlus 9 Pro undoubtedly makes money for many of the features you need: the top-notch high-speed display, powerful hardware, immersive audio quality, and super-fast wireless charging support.
However, looking at the camera, the OnePlus 9 Pro’s performance is a bit low. The Hazelblad brand motivates OnePlus users, and we recommend that users wait until OnePlus releases software updates to address these key issues.
Should you pick this new OnePlus flag? If you’re looking for the fastest Android phone right now, not only offering a better viewing experience, but also offering faster performance and an exceptionally fast charging solution, the OnePlus 9 Pro is sure to ring that bell and whistle. Hasselblad-tuned cameras are better than most, but Shutterbug can be found as a viable alternative to the iPhone 12.