The lower end OnePlus 9 Pro here makes enough sacrifices that I chose to focus solely on the flagship model. But even the Pro bears some confusing compromises. After several generations of appealing and fingerprint resistant satin finishes, OnePlus has reverted to glossy glass for some reason. And Mist color is striking and it gives the phone an lunar appropriately gradient, that Gorilla Glass 5 is just too slippery for my taste. The fact is that as soon as I unboxed my review unit
And they’re relaunch of their Camo skins Robot, but to tell you the truth, I prefer the simple black leather for this one. Which plays just perfectly with the stylized camera module, to evoke that old-world, late ’60s aesthetic. Let’s talk feature updates real quick. OnePlus has played to its core strengths to make this phone a very useful travel companion. Not in terms of endurance, necessarily. Given moderate to heavy use it’s an all-day phone and nothing more.
Warp Charging lives up to its name like never before. The 65-watt brick and trademark red cable took my review unit from 1% to 40% in 15 minutes, and 75% in 30. That’s almost 40% faster charging speed than both the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. And in the box high quality charger comes with. OnePlus also bumped up wireless charging speeds, with the Warp Charge dock getting me from zero to 70% in a half-hour and a full charge in 50 minutes. This year, the cable is removable from the stand, nice.
Especially, as we slowly get back to traveling and might only have time for a quick hotel room top-up between outings. Another thing that comes in handy when you’re back out in the real world, display brightness. It’s been boosted to a stated max of 1,300 nits here. And while it is bright, it’s still beaten by the S21 Ultra in North Carolina’s brilliant springtime sun.
The display can refresh it up to 120 hertz, which makes it feel as fluid under my fingers as that ROG Phone I tested a couple of weeks back. Despite the gaming phone’s display technically being faster. But while OnePlus has also boosted the syncing speed between processor and display to make gaming more responsive, games need to be updated to take advantage of that. And honestly, if you care enough about mobile gaming that it factors into your phone buying, you’re probably gonna prefer something like the ROG Phone anyway.
The last display tweak I’ll talk about is equal parts cheers and jeers. See, OnePlus wanted to make a curved display, but it also wanted to avoid those false touches that curved edges have become known for. So it reduced the curve radius and implemented software to prevent missed touches. And it works very well. Too well, actually. Because when typing in portrait orientation.
I find that Gboard consistently misses or delays keypresses from the edges of the panel. Maybe a software update can correct this. And this typo, hopefully. But as any reviewer worth his title will tell you, you’ve gotta buy based on what’s on the device at review time, not based on promises of future improvements. And when you combine this with OnePlus typically anemic haptic feedback, it just makes for a phone I really don’t enjoy typing on. Otherwise, it’s the OnePlus 9 pro you expect.
Speedy software, fast fingerprint, serviceable speakers, and clear calls.vThe big changes are in the cameras. So, let’s hop into a road trip review vehicle with friend set a course for moon mountain, and put them to the test.10 1/2. If there were any air to conduct it. ( camera whirring )Yeah, we love that sound. It’s so great. – That is satisfying. Lens, which was modified to ensure fiderlity and the edges all the way to the frame.
This so important because this camera was not just for this generations. In 1969, before teryn mapping lazers and other modern sensors at that time, hyper accurate cameras like this were the only way to measure the height of lunar features, like distant mountains. And again, this replicates almost everything about that original. The only way you’d be able to see a more accurate version of this camera would be to literally go to the Moon.
Now, why did I travel half the Eastern Seaboard to see this replica? Because all the engineering that went into the original, all the pains taking work that ensured the astronauts could safely and reliably capture photos from the Moon, that took massive effort and expertise on the part of NASA and Hasselblad. And by Hasselblad partnering with OnePlus 9 pro is hoping you all associate with this camera that with lunar legacy as well. Remember that lens modification that made sure the image at the edge of the frame was accurate? Well, OnePlus 9 pro used a similar approach on its free-form lens, the lens on the wide-angle camera to prevent distortion at the edges of the frame.
The phones wide angle camera also offers less color variation and at similar resolution to the primary, pretty good stuff. It’s also great to have the option of shooting 4K 120 for those slowmo opportunities. The few Hasselblad touches that did make it into the software, like the distinctive orange button and the custom leaf shutter sound, I liked them too.
And focus peaking in Pro Mode is a nice bonus. As, as the addition of the privacy alert light, when the selfie camera is activated. However, that front camera itself is nothing special. Name a common shortfall, like poor low light performance or poor dynamic range, or a narrow field of view, and they’re all here. There’s no microphone found like that smartphone OPPO Find X3.
The device seems more prone to overheating while recording video than most. And the focus assistant that’s supposed to help you take better close-ups, it does that, but in the process, it basically breaks the camera’s QR code scanner. Something that will drive you crazy when you’re trying to call up a restaurant menu mere minutes before the kitchen closes.
Now Most smartphone cameras face similar shortfalls. It’s true. It’s just that OnePlus 9 pro made such a big deal about this new Hasselblad initiative. This first attempt really doesn’t do anything special. OnePlus 9 pro says Hasselblad will have more input into the next device the companies co-develop, including hardware at some point. And I genuinely look forward to seeing that.
The OnePlus 9 Pro goes on sale April 2nd for a starting price of $969 U.S., or 1,069 for the trim seen in this review. That puts it within spitting distance of the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max. And for the first time, I gotta say, I don’t think OnePlus 9 pro has done enough to justify that kind of pricing proximity. The 9 Pro is a fine phone, more attractive than most, with some compelling features, but the camera is just okay. It’s a substantial amount cheaper. Well, this time, unless you a new line or do a trade-in at T-Mobile, that price difference is almost negligible. Folks, this review was produced on the road, with VO recorded in an Asheville hotel room.
Disclosure. This review was produced following 12 days with an OnePlus 9 Pro review sample provided by OnePlus ,but as always, the company had no editorial input into this review, it provided no compensation in exchange for its production, and it didn’t receive an early preview either.