OnePlus 9 Pro smartphone review

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REVIEW – With the risk of sounding like a broken record, I love testing smartphones and especially new models. I am always looking for a business phone to match the performance of my usual personal iPhone at the time. This time around, I am looking for an Android smartphone to adequately match my iPhone 13 Pro. Let’s see what the OnePlus 9 Pro smartphone can do.

What is it?

The OnePlus 9 Pro smartphone features a 6.55″ Fluid AMOLED Display that offers ultra-smooth scrolling in every frame. With the fluid AMOLED 120 Hz technology panel, this flat display delivers a flagship visual experience including enhanced color accuracy and detail. It also features 5G, the ultra-powerful Snapdragon™ 888 CPU, next-gen RAM, and a Warp Charge 65T charging solution that delivers a day’s power in 15 minutes.

What’s in the box?

  • OnePlus 9 Pro 5G Smartphone
  • Warp Charge 65 Power Adapter
  • Warp Charge Type-C to Type-C Cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Welcome Letter
  • Safety Information and Warranty Card
  • LOGO Sticker
  • Screen Protector (Open Market only)
  • SIM Tray Ejector

Design and features

Features

  • Hyper-Touch
  • Reading Mode
  • Night Mode
  • Vibrant Color Effect Pro
  • Motion Graphics Smoothing
  • Ultra-high Video Resolution
  • Adaptive Display

Specifications

Dimensions: Height: 163.2 mm, Width: 73.6 mm, Thickness: 8.7 mm
Weight: 197g
Display Size: 6.7 inches (Measured diagonally from corner to corner.)
Display Resolution: 3216 X 1440 pixels 525 ppi
Display Aspect Ratio: 20.1:9
Display Type: 120 Hz Fluid AMOLED with LTPO Support sRGB, Display P3, 10-bit Color Depth
Display Cover Glass: Corning® Gorilla® Glass
Operating System: OxygenOS based on Android™ 11
CPU: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888
5G Chipset: X60
GPU: Adreno 660
RAM: 12GB LPDDR5
Storage: 256GB UFS 3.1 2-LANE
Battery: 4,500 mAh (2S1P 2,250 mAh, non-removable)
Warp Charge: 65T (10V/6.5A) 50W Wireless Charging
Main Camera:
Sensor: Sony IMX789
Sensor Size: 1/1.43″
Megapixels: 48
Pixel Size: 1.12µm
OIS: Yes
Lens Quantity: 7P
Focal Length: 23mm equivalent
Aperture: ƒ/1.8

Ultra-Wide Camera

Sensor: Sony IMX766
Sensor Size: 1/1.56″
Megapixels: 50
Lens Quantity: 7P
Focal Length: 14mm equivalent
Aperture: ƒ/2.2
Lens: Freeform Lens

Telephoto Camera

Megapixels: 8
Pixel Size: 1.0µm
OIS: Yes
Aperture: ƒ/2.4

Monochrome Camera

Megapixels: 2

Flash: Dual LED Flash

Autofocus: Multi Autofocus (All pixel omni-directional PDAF+LAF+CAF)

Video: 8K video at 30 fps; 4K video at 30/60/120 fps; 1080p video at 30/60 fps; Super Slow Motion: 1080p video at 240 fps, 720p video at 480 fps; Time-Lapse: 1080p at 30 fps, 4K at 30 fps
Video Editor

Features

Nightscape, Super Macro, UltraShot HDR, Smart Scene Recognition, Portrait mode, Pro mode, Panorama, Tilt-shift mode, Focus Peaking, Cat/Dog Face Focus, RAW Image, Filters, Super Stable, Video Nightscape, Video HDR, Video Portrait, Focus Tracking, Timelapse, Hyperlapse

Front Camera

Sensor: Sony IMX471
Megapixels: 16
Pixel Size: 1.0 µm
EIS: Yes
Autofocus: Fixed Focus
Aperture: ƒ/2.4

Video: 1080p video at 30 fps Time-Lapse

Video Features: Face Unlock, HDR, Screen Flash, Face Retouching

Connectivity

LTE/LTE-A: 4×4 MIMO, Supports up to DL Cat 20/UL Cat 18 ( 1.4Gbps /200Mbps), depending on carrier support

Band:

GSM:B2, 3, 5, 8; WCDMA:B1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 19; CDMA: BC0, BC1, BC10
LTE-FDD:B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 66, 71
LTE-TDD:B38, 39, 40, 41, 46, 48
5G NSA:N1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 25, 28, 38, 40, 41, 48, 66, 71, 77, 78
5G SA:N1, 2, 3, 7, 25, 28, 41, 66, 71, 78

5G mmW NSA: n258, 260, 261

MIMO:LTE: B1, 2, 4, 7, 25, 38, 66, 41, 48; 5G-NSA: N1, 2, 7, 25, 38, 41, 66, 77, 78 ; 5G-SA:N1, 2, 7, 25, 66, 41, 78

Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, Support 2.4G/5G, Support WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax

Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2, support aptX & aptX HD & LDAC & AAC

NFC: NFC enabled

Positioning: GPS (L1+L5 Dual Band), GLONASS, Galileo (E1+E5a Dual Band), Beidou, A-GPS

Sensors: In-display Fingerprint Sensor; Accelerometer; Electronic Compass; Gyroscope; Ambient Light Sensor; Proximity Sensor; Sensor Core; Flick-detect Sensor; Front RGB sensor; Barometer
Ports: USB 3.1 GEN1; Type-C; Support standard Type-C earphones; Single nano-SIM slot
Buttons: Gestures and on-screen navigation support; Alert Slider
Audio: Dual Stereo Speakers: Noise cancellation support: Dolby Atmos®
Audio Supported Formats: Playback: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MIDI, M4A, IMY, AC3, EAC3, EAC3-JOC, AC4; Recording: WAV, AAC, AMR

Video Supported Formats: Playback: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265 (HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM; Recording: MP4

Image Supported Formats: Playback: JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, WEB, HEIF, HEIC, DNG; Output: JPEG, DNG

The back of the OnePlus 9 Pro is smooth and slick and has outward-facing cameras on the top left corner. When facing the phone from the front, on the right edge there is the alert slider and the power/sleep/wake button. On the left edge, there is the volume button. The top edge has the top speaker and the bottom edge has the USB-C port and SIM tray.


Performance

After fully charging the OnePlus 9 Pro, I inserted my SIM card in the SIM tray and then I went through the software setup process including copying over files from my existing Android phone. The process was quick and easy and just as usual.





Once the setup process was done I waited for a while until all of the apps from my previous device were automatically downloaded and installed:

Scrolling through the phone was smooth and fast with amazing responsiveness. once I confirmed that all of my apps were now on this device, I was anxious to take some photos and videos.

The following is a video that I shot while walking towards downtown Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue. It was the day before Thanksgiving so traffic was light:

The video was taken with the OnePlus 9 Pro while I was walking in the cold with a heavy backpack on my pack. As you can see, the image stabilization is quite good.

Here are some photos that I took while walking down Flatbush Avenue in New York:

As you can see from the previous examples, the phone takes great photos and videos. One issue I found is that at close range, the focus is not great and the photo is not sharp. The photo below on the left is from the OnePlus 9 Pro and the right is the iPhone 13 Pro:

Overall, I think the OnePlus 9 Pro is the best Android smartphone that I have tested so far. The screen is brilliant, the touch function is flawless and responsive, and when typing the feedback is great. The apps all function well and open quickly. The battery lasts all day with frequent use and more than a day with less than frequent use. The included power brick charges this phone very quickly in a time that can be measured in minutes rather than hours. The speaker volume is good and the phone call quality is pristine. I also love the in-screen biometric fingerprint sensor that works flawlessly and is very convenient.

OnePlus includes a folder that contains the following apps: Settings, Community, OnePlus Switch that allows you to migrate all of your data, including backup and restore, a File Manager, a Weather app, and A Notes app.

One more amazing feature that I must point out with this phone is the Reverse Charge option which when enabled, allows you to place another Qi-enabled phone on its back and charge that phone:

What I like

  • The build quality
  • The sleek design and finish
  • The full-size screen that wraps around the sides
  • The screen resolution
  • The touchscreen response and overall performance of the phone
  • The quality of the phone calls
  • The quality of the audio
  • The in-screen fingerprint sensor
  • The convenient Alert Slider button

What I’d change

  • IMHO, more work should be done in partnership with Hasselblad to enhance ay weak areas of the camera and lenses

Final thoughts

After using the OnePlus 9 Pro daily for quite some time, it has become my new daily use phone for business. I love the build quality and the sleek and sexy look. I once jumped out of my truck and it fell out of my back pocket and onto the road with the glass facing the road but sustained no damage. The phone is fast and the touchscreen is flawless, I love the resolution and when using it for video calls it looks fantastic. The Hasselblad lenses do a fantastic job with photos and videos with the one caveat being the need for better and quicker focusing when the subject is very close. Otherwise, this phone makes the Android OS a pleasure to work with, and this is coming from an IOS guy. The feedback when typing is present and the fingerprint sensor that is built into the screen works flawlessly. IMHO, the OnePlus 9 Pro is a very good phone.

Price: $899.99
Where to buy: OnePlus, Best Buy, and Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was provided by OnePlus.

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