The OnePlus 9 Pro, unveiled in 2021, is a part of OnePlus’s continuous effort to solidify its position in the premium smartphone segment. With the 9 Pro, OnePlus emphasized its partnership with Hasselblad to enhance its camera capabilities. Here’s an in-depth review of the OnePlus 9 Pro:
Introduced in March 2021, the OnePlus 9 Pro was designed to compete with the best in the premium smartphone segment. With a focus on camera improvements through its collaboration with Hasselblad, the device aimed to address one of the historically weaker aspects of OnePlus phones.
- Operating System: Shipped with OxygenOS based on Android 11.
- Display: 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED with a resolution of 1440 x 3216 pixels, supporting a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+.
- Processor: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888.
- Memory: Options of 8 GB or 12 GB RAM with 128 GB or 256 GB internal storage (UFS 3.1).
- Camera: Quad-camera setup with a 48 MP primary sensor, 50 MP ultrawide sensor, 8 MP telephoto lens with 3.3x optical zoom, and a 2 MP monochrome sensor. The front camera is a 16 MP shooter.
- Battery: 4500 mAh non-removable battery with 65W Warp Charge fast charging and 50W wireless charging.
- Other Features: In-display fingerprint scanner, IP68 dust/water resistance (for select markets), 5G connectivity, stereo speakers, and Bluetooth 5.2.
- Display: The 120Hz QHD+ Fluid AMOLED display was lauded for its vibrant colors, deep blacks, and smooth animations.
- Fast Charging: Both wired and wireless charging were incredibly fast, ensuring the device could be quickly topped up.
- Performance: The Snapdragon 888, combined with ample RAM, ensured top-tier performance across all tasks.
- Camera Improvements: The partnership with Hasselblad led to noticeable improvements in color accuracy and overall camera performance.
- Build and Design: The device featured an aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass on both the front and back, emphasizing its premium positioning.
- Price: The OnePlus 9 Pro was priced in the premium segment, moving further away from the brand’s “flagship killer” origins.
- Camera Consistency: While the camera was improved, it still wasn’t always consistent, especially when compared to competitors in the same price bracket.
- Battery Life: The 4500 mAh battery, while decent, wasn’t the best in its class, especially with the display set to QHD+ and 120Hz.
Comparisons to Other Technologies:
In its segment, the OnePlus 9 Pro faced competition from:
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: Offering a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, Snapdragon 888 (or Exynos 2100), and a versatile camera setup.
- iPhone 12 Pro Max: With its Super Retina XDR OLED display, Apple A14 Bionic chip, and a triple-camera system with LiDAR.
- Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra: Featuring a AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 888, and a comprehensive camera setup.
The OnePlus 9 Pro was announced in March 2021 and became available shortly after.
- Overheating: Some users reported overheating issues, especially when using the camera for extended periods or during intensive tasks.
- Software Bugs: Early software had a few bugs, though OnePlus was quick to address these with updates.
- Camera Expectations: Despite the Hasselblad partnership, some users felt the camera didn’t live up to the hype, especially in terms of consistency.
The OnePlus 9 Pro was a testament to OnePlus’s ambition to compete directly with top-tier flagships. With a focus on refining the camera experience, a stellar display, and rapid charging, it offered a compelling package for those in the premium segment. However, as with any device, it had its set of challenges, especially concerning its camera consistency and price point. For users who value a high-refresh-rate display, fast performance, and rapid charging in the premium segment, the OnePlus 9 Pro was a strong contender. However, those prioritizing camera performance above all else might have considered other options in the same price range.