OnePlus 9 Pro Long Term Review : Does It Justify The Hypes ?

OnePlus recently came up with three new devices, somehow we can call flagship one of those. The OnePlus 9 Pro has all high-end specifications which techie people can consider. The other two offer quite similar specifications compared to the PRO. The company started introducing more and more variants to the market. Started from once in a year, then started introducing T variant within a single year. After that Pro and non-Pro models are released along with the T version in 6 month. Now, the company has introduced three models in single time: the OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9R and OnePlus 9 Pro. OnePlus will then launch the OnePlus 9T and the OnePlus 9T Pro, totaling five phones in one year.

The OnePlus 9R is only for Indian market because it is comparatively cheap in price, and considered as a value for money product by most consumers. The main reason behind the cheap price is that the phone is offering a standard OnePlus camera instead of Hasselblad powered. And is the same reason to pay a high price for the OnePlus 9 Pro because OnePlus collaborated with Hasselblad with over $150 Million. Of course, in the end the customer has to pay that money.

OnePlus is creating differences between global variant and Indian variant in terms of putting limitations on some features. Last time OnePlus did offer IP68 rating in OnePlus 8 US T-Mobile models while in other countries phones came without IP rating. This time also OnePlus made difference in-terms of Wireless Charging because the European Union and North America variant of the OnePlus 9 can be charged with 15W wireless charging while Indian unit does not offer that.

Design:

The design of the OnePlus 9 Pro is very attractive and good looking and also the device is very comfortable to feet in hand. The OnePlus 9 Pro has curved edges on front display as well as on back glass which helps in making good drip. The overall weight of the OnePlus 9 Pro is very well balanced, provides a premium feel and is capable of giving self-satisfaction that you invested in a high-end product. But, personally I am not a good fan about this type of camera bump design because a lot of premium phones in this range offer very eye-catching design. If I compare OnePlus 9 Pro design with Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra then I must pick Samsung design.

oneplus 9 pro vs galaxy s21 ultra

I believe that OnePlus is top-notch at delivering best to best and latest things in their smartphone but somehow it left behind to deliver best protection. The front display and back glass of OnePlus 9 Pro is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, but at this price range we can expect Gorilla Glass Victus or at least 6.

Apart from display protection, the side body of the OnePlus 9 Pro is a metal body made from Aluminium which adds extra premiumness to the phone. And every flagship device nowadays comes with a metal body design and that is nothing new.

One thing you should consider while buying the OnePlus 9 Pro is that the fingerprint sensor of the device is located in a very strange position. It is located on the extreme bottom part of the phone and due to the extensive height of the phone, is not possible to access in every situation. Even the OnePlus 8T has a fingerprint sensor on the correct location but why did this happen to the OnePlus 9 Pro. If you have any idea? let me know.

Display:

The OnePlus 9 Pro does come with a so called “Fluid 2.0” LPTO AMOLED which is able to produce 1B colors. The display of 9 Pro is capable to support HDR 10+ content as well as can boost brightness upto 1300 nits. It supports a 120Hz display refresh rate which dynamically can be adjusted from 1 to 120Hz. The display also supports 2K resolution and users can switch between 1080p and 1440p according to their preference.

There is nothing to complain about the OnePlus 9 Pro display, and yes there is always-on-display which most users want. But nothing new, the new display looks the same like the OnePlus 8 Pro, 120Hz, 2K panel, HDR 10+ and so on, same thing, new year! Even the 8 Pro is better in terms of finger print placement.

Viewing angles are very good and produce great colors that you definitely will enjoy while streaming contents. The minimalist bezels give a very compact look and the display has a small punch hole for the selfie camera.

Camera:

This time OnePlus invested a high amount of money in partnership with Hasselblad to develop high quality of image processing capability. OnePlus and Hasselblad had focused on bringing natural color in photos which was the main drawback of earlier OnePlus phone’s camera. The OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 capture photos with camera software which developed in cooperation with Hasselblad.

The main camera of the OnePlus 9 Pro is 48MP wide which uses Sony IMX789 sensor with f/1.8 aperture and 1.12µm pixel size along with optical image stabilisation provides good image quality. The rear main camera offers autofocus and is capable of focusing objects very quickly. The OnePlus 9 Pro is capable of recording 8K videos at 30fps while 4K at 30,60fps. It can record 4K slow motion videos in 120fps and 1080p in 240fps.

It uses Sony IMX766 sensor for 50MP Ultra-Wide camera which produces comparatively widest images. The ultra-wide camera of OnePlus 9 Pro has f/2.2 aperture and 1/1.56″ sensor size which does not offer optical image stabilisation. Wide angle camera produces decent quality photos and no color shifting is noticeable during the time of lens shifting. That was a bigger issue in previous OnePlus smartphones but this time OnePlus tried to solve that. Users can capture macro photos within the Ultra-Wide camera and that is a good thing because previously OnePlus was implementing a dedicated macro lens.

The third one is an 8MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 aperture which offers 3.3 times optical zoom with OIS implementation. The Telephoto camera of the OnePlus 9 Pro is the same camera as the OnePlus 8 Pro which launched in 2020, the difference is 9 Pro gives 3.3x optical zoom compared to 3x on 8 Pro. And the last one is Monochrome camera known as a depth sensor, which produces 2MP photos with f/2.4 aperture. Although it has a dedicated telephoto lens, we cannot capture portrait photos by using it. The device uses 2x digital zoom to capture portraits and I am totally disappointed with that. Because telephoto provides comparatively more accurate portraits.

After a lot of investment on partnership with Hasselblad, OnePlus is still behind the other flagship phones. Even it is not able to give competition to one year old Samsung’s and Apple’s flagship devices. The camera of OnePlus still boosts the colors and sometimes it produces over saturated colors, not in a good manner. But still it is better than previous OnePlus devices. If I talk particularly about the Ultra-Wide camera then it is one of the best cameras which produces too good colors as well as it covers more area.

It produces over exposed results whenever it comes to human objects and always over saturated skin-tone of humans. Even in portrait shots human objects are always in whitening tone while background colors are considerable.

The front camera of the OnePlus 9 Pro is 16MP which has Sony IMX471 Sensor, ƒ/2.4 Aperture and 1.0 µm pixel size. OnePlus gave the same 16MP Sony IMX471 sensor since OnePlus 7 and never tried to upgrade it. Still captures the same cropped photos and videos with over saturated skin-tone. Even in a Rs 65,000 device, you get the same selfie camera from past 7 phones. Front camera of the OnePlus 9 Pro is not capable of recording 1080p videos at 60fps and forget about 4K videos (obviously you’re not getting.) If you are a vlogger, then you must not have to consider this phone, otherwise your audience would unfollow you! (Jokes apart)

Performance:

Performance of the OnePlus 9 Pro is top-notch and for this department, OnePlus always wins. It delivers high-end speed and greatest smoothness ever in any smartphone. The main reason is the Octa-Core 2.84 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chipset and it is the best performing processor in Android phones history. With the combination of 8GB/12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 128GB/256GB UFS3.1 storage. The LPDDR5 RAM is more powerful and battery efficient compared to previous generations. It makes multitasking more powerful and stores applications for a longer time without taking more battery.

It has Adreno 660 GPU which makes gaming more powerful and gives high performance as well as maintains average frame rate while playing heavy games. UFS 3.1 is a better and powerful upgrade of UFS 3.0 which gives more read and write speed. The OnePlus 9 Pro does have this advantage and is capable of opening applications as fast as possible. UFS 3.1 gives 3x faster sequential write speed while in terms of sequential read, both performs similarly. In a random read test, UFS 3.1 gives 1.6x better performance compared to UFS 3.0, but in a random write test, not led by heavy margin.

5G:

Everyone knows that OnePlus 9 Pro supports 5G networks but in reality it supports only two 5G bands in India. In other regions, it supports almost every band. Even some mobile phones under Rs 20,000 support a minimum of 5 bands. Users should consider this issue because in future 5G may not work with different operators and I am not sure that OnePlus will fix this issue through software updates.

Battery and Charging:

The OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a 4500mAh battery which is capable of charging with a 65W wired charging that comes with a phone. There are actually 2 x 2250mAh batteries installed to provide 65W fast charging. The device also supports 50W fast wireless charging, and for that you have to buy a dedicated wireless charger which costs you around Rs 4000 in India. This is one of the fastest wireless charging that I ever experienced. It is even more powerful than most of the wired charging. The 65W wired charging can charge the device from 1 to 100% within half an hour while 50W wired charging takes around 45 minutes to charge the device completely.

battery charging comparison
Battery Charging Comparison – Percentage VS Minutes

The battery life on the OnePlus 9 pro is decent and by normal usage you will get 4 to 5 hours of average screen on time while using it with 120Hz and 1440p resolution. With normal usage, the battery will last all day and you don’t need to put the device again to charge. With 1080p resolution, the OnePlus 9 Pro gives 5-6 hours of screen on time.

Issues:

The OnePlus 9 Pro heats up very quickly even in normal day to day tasks and shows high temperature warning and prevents high usage to cool it down faster. In usual situations, the phone heats up and due to the metal body, it catches heat very fast. By 5 to 10 minute of outdoor camera usage, the device prevents the use of the camera and also decreases the brightness level to keep it in a normal situation faster. OnePlus needs to solve this issue as early as possible because it is a very weird issue and everyone gets irritated after facing this issue regularly. Imagine yourself at a party and capturing photos and videos, then all of a sudden your phone refuses to use the camera due to heating. And you didn’t have a chance to capture moments in your device. How are you going to react? Be sure to comment below!

Misc:

The OnePlus 9 Pro delivers good sound quality with the help of stereo speakers which produces clear and loud sound. The haptic vibration motor is also improved this time with enhanced system integration. OnePlus is also trying to improvise haptic feedback in games through OTA updates. The overall experience related to vibration is quite good and comparable to other flagship devices.

It comes with an IP68 certification and protects devices from dust and water. It can survive a maximum depth of 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. OnePlus 9 supports Wi-Fi 6 standards and it has Bluetooth v5.2 support for faster connectivity as well as NFC support.

The OnePlus 9 Pro runs on OxygenOS 11 based on the Android 11 operating system which is very fast and smooth. OxygenOS is one of my favourite OSes that offers a lot of customization features. It controls multitasking very well and manages to store many apps in RAM. No Frame drops, No lagging, No flickering. Just neat and clean UI with no ads inside.

OnePlus provides one back case, charger, red USB 3.1 Type C to Type C cable, along with a lot of paperworks in the box of 9 Pro. The company also engages in environmental conservation by organizing tree plantation campaigns. But what about a lot of paperworks that come along with a box?? These include Quick Start Guide, Welcome Letter, LOGO Sticker, Safety Information and Warranty Card, for example. By reducing these paperworks, it would save more trees because no one needed them. Would you mind stating your opinion on it?

Variants:

There are three color options available for the OnePlus 9 Pro; Morning Mist, Pine Green and Stellar Black. The Morning mist color has glossy finishing on back, while Pine Green has soft matte finish and frosted matte finish on the Stellar back. The 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant of OnePlus 9 Pro costs Rs 64,999 ($969) while 12GB and 256GB costs Rs 69,999 ($1069.)

Suggestion:

The overall package of OnePlus 9 Pro is considerable, and this time OnePlus tried to improve camera department and led to the next level. But the main question is, does it justifies the price? My clear answer is NO. One thing we always see in OnePlus smartphone is a price because initially they started to deliver maximum feature at lowest price. At the price of 65,000 Rupees, other flagship smartphone gives tough competition.

The Galaxy S21 5G starts from Rs 68,999 (current price), which has great cameras with more beautiful design as well as better brand value. If you can invest more 15,000 Rupees then you can purchase iPhone 12 which is obviously a better device. But, if you are a OnePlus fan and as always looking for a OnePlus device then nobody can stop to buy. You can buy it without looking for specifications, but I am suggesting other phones to the user who actually look for better device. If your priority is performance, fast charging speed, better user interface and good software update then you definitely should buy this device because nobody can beat OnePlus 9 Pro.

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