Today OnePlus announced its newest phones, the OnePlus 9 pro and OnePlus 9. The new OnePlus 9 Pro will start at $969, while the OnePlus 9 starts at $829, taking them somewhat out of affordable flagship territory. But for all your dollars, you get better cameras and seriously fast charging.
The OnePlus Pro 9 is a True Flagship Phone
The OnePlus 9 Pro isn’t pretending to be an affordable flagship anymore. Starting at $969 for a model with 8 GBs of RAM and 128 GBs of storage and stepping up to $1069 for a model with 12 GBs of RAM and 256 GBs storage, this phone is in total flagship price territory. But for all the extra dollars, you do get flagship specs.
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 powers the device, which should be plenty speedy. You’ll also get 5G service on compatible networks and some future-proofing thanks to full integration with an X60 5G Modem-RF System. The OnePlus 9 Pro uses h LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage to speed up performance.
OnePlus again confirmed that it will improve its WARP charging options for the OnePlus 9 Pro. Plugged in, it can charge at 65 Watts to get you from 0 to 100% charge in 29 minutes. If you don’t need a completely topped-up battery, OnePlus says you’ll get a “day’s charge” in 15 minutes.
You’ll need to use the included charger to get those speeds; if you use another charger, it’ll drop down to a max of 18 W speeds using Power Delivery and QC fast charging.
And like the 8 Pro, the 9 Pro will support ridiculously fast wireless charging. If you use the $70 charging stand (sold separately), it’ll hit 50 Watt speeds, giving you a from 0 to 100% in just 43 minutes. And with the stand, you can charge in portrait or horizontal positions. If you don’t have the stand, it’ll charge at slower speeds on other wireless charging pads naturally.
Beyond wireless charging, OnePlus put a deep focus on cameras. The company used to take knocks for less than stellar photos, but that changed with the OnePlus 8 Pro. Now with the 9 series, OnePlus partnered with Hasselblad to produce better photos. The 9 Pro has a Sony IMX789 48 MP main camera with optical image stabilization. Additionally, it also has a Sony IMX766 Ultra-Wide Camera 50 MP camera and a telephoto 8 MP camera. And OnePlus tucked in a 2 MP monochrome camera that should add extra details to photos.
But without the right mix of software, great lenses can still produce subpar photos, and that’s where Hasselblad comes in. Hasselblad, the company NASA chose for cameras to send to the moon, worked with OnePlus to finetune its color scheme, dubbed Natural Color Calibration.
Natural Color Calibration will be enabled for all the front-facing lenses and in all shooting modes (auto, pro, etc.). But it will perform a little differently depending on the mode. In auto mode, Natural Color Calibration should provide a more natural and rich look, while in pro mode will aim for authentic colors similar to what a DSLR might provide. It’ll skip computation photography (like HDR) more accurate photos for Photoshop work.
You’ll get new touches as well, like an orange shutter button modeled after Hasselblad’s camera, and a tilt-shift mode. Tilt-shift emulates the famous “miniature” look in distance shots DSLRs can take. OnePlus says the collaboration is ongoing, and you’ll see improvements to Natural Color Calibration in future updates. The deal has the companies working together for three years to improve the photos you get from OnePlus.
It also pulls out tricks like a laser Focus and an extra microphone (three versus OnePlus 9’s two) to help nail down focus as fast possible. The microphone enables audio zoom when you’re taking video. Zoom in on a subject, and your audio recording will “zoom in” as well. OnePlus says it can also remove most distortion usually found in an Ultra-Wide camera, down to to about 1%. If you have straight lines in your photo, they should remain mostly straight even at the edges.
OnePlus didn’t forget about the refresh rate on its displays either. The OnePlus 9 Pro uses what the company calls a Fluid Display 2.0 that allows it to change its refresh rate based on what you’re doing. When you’re reading static text, it could reduce its refresh rate down to 1 Hz to save battery life. And when you’re gaming, it’ll step up to 120 Hz for fluid motion.
The OnePlus 9 Pro will come in three colors, Morning Mist, Pine Green, and Stellar
Black (not available in North America) and offers an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance. You can pre-order the phone on March 26th, and it will release on April 2nd.
The OnePlus 9 Gives Up a Few Features To Save a Few Dollars
If you want to spend a little less and are willing to give up some of the highest-end features, the OnePlus 9 might be a good choice. It uses the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor but steps down to either $729 for a model with 8 GBS of RAM and 128 GBs of storage or $828 for a model with 12 GBs of RAM and 256 GBs of storage.
You won’t get WARP wireless charging with the OnePlus 9. Instead, you’ll have to “settle” for 15 W fast wireless charging. But you will get 65 W wired charging with the included warp charger in the box. Likewise, you won’t get Fluid Display 2.0, but you’ll still get a version of it that you can change from 120 Hz refresh rate to 60 Hz.
The OnePlus 9 uses the same Ultra-Wide camera as the OnePlus 9 Pro, and last year’s OnePlus 8 Pro’s main camera, the Sony IMX766 50 MP Ultra-Wide and Sony IMX789 48 MP main camera, but drops the telephoto lens. You’ll benefit from the Hasselblad collaboration, though, and get the same Natural Color Calibration options in auto and pro mode. While you’ll get the same distortion removing techniques in Ultra-Wide photos, you do give up the laser focus and extra microphone and the better main-camera sensor.
Despite that, OnePlus promises the OnePlus 9 will have “faster focus speeds, 64-times more color information compared with traditional 10-bit sensors, cleaner daytime and night shots and higher dynamic range in videos.” It also has a 2 MP monochrome camera to help add details and layers to the main camera’s photos.
All things considered, you get most of the features the OnePlus 9 Pro boasts, for a little less money. The OnePlus 9 comes in three colors, Winter Mist, Arctic Sky (not available in North America), and Astral Black. It doesn’t have an IP rating, unlike the OnePlus 9 Pro. You can pre-order the phone on March 26th, and it will release on April 2nd.