Review of OnePlus 9 – Flagship to Kill

  • OnePlus 9 is trying to learn from past mistakes and wants to be the killer of flagships again
  • He only makes compromises in places where they can be bitten
  • In addition to its more equipped twin, the 9 Pro doesn’t cost much
  • It’s not hard to imagine that many will prefer him to “branded” competition

OnePlus 9 | photo: Mobilizujeme.cz

Article chapters:

»1. Introduction, parameters, package content, construction, appearance, display
» 2. Environment, performance, batteries, camera and pictures, evaluation


This is not the first time that Swedish ingenuity and Chinese money have joined forces. The Chinese company Geely entered the Volvo carmaker in property to protect the European manufacturer from bankruptcy. When OnePlus adds a Swedish photo legend Hasselblad exclusively their know-how. By color calibration, it adapts generic parts known from older models to the image of its own, even more demanding photographers.

Although OnePlus 9 definitely not a revolutionary phone, it is a pleasant companion. With a well-tuned environment and generous computing power, it can stay by the side of current flagships. I probably won’t lose much if I bet it’ll sell better than a real flagship – OnePlus 9 Pro (review).

OnePlus 9: specifications

Construction metal and glass, 160 × 74.2 × 8.7 mm, 192 g
Display 6.55 ″, AMOLED, 120 Hz, HDR10 +, 2400 × 1080 px, 20: 9 aspect ratio, 402 PPI fineness
Operating system Android 11 + OxygenOS 11
Chipset 8jádrový, 2,84 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Memory 8 GB RAM, 128 GB storage (UFS 3.1), without microSD slot
Camera triple (48 Mpx main + 50 Mpx wide + 2 Mpx monochrome), aperture f / 1.8 + f / 2.2, EIS, artificial intelligence, Hasselblad optics, 8K video, dual LED flash; front 16 Mpx, aperture f / 2.4, EIS
LTE 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz
Technology 5G, Dual SIM, Wi-Fi 6, GPS, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C, NFC, fingerprint reader, face reader, stereo speaker
Battery 4,500 mAh, fast charging 65 W, wireless charging 15 W
Price and availability from CZK 18,990, April 2021

Package contents

  • OnePlus 9 phone
  • needle on SIM
  • 65W charging adapter
  • USB-C / USB-C kabel
  • transparent soft silicone cover
  • technical brochure and basic guide
  • thank you letter from the director of OnePlus

Plastic for number 2

Only flagships receive the latest cries of technology, and only real luxury is reserved for them. This was always and everywhere. This year, however, new orders are entering the scene. Remember: i Samsung Galaxy S21 (review) has a plastic back. And even at OnePlus, they have interesting ideas about materials for high-end phones. No steel frame like iPhones. Even the OnePlus 9 aluminum was not allowed to be worn by its designers. I wasn’t alone in shaking my head – a telephone for 19,000 surrounds its perimeter with plastic.

OnePlus 9, review

Package contents photo: Mobilizujeme.cz

Even if the metallic impression is quite successful, you will know at the first touch that something is wrong. At least the glasses weren’t spared. Both the front and the rear bear the seal of the Corning company – it is Gorilla Glass 5. In addition, the front glass is perhaps covered in China by a mandatory cover foil. Some versions of OnePlus 9 should even meet the parameters of IP698 protection. I have not been able to find out whether this is the one that is entering the European market. Even without certification, however, the phone should be splash-proof.

But for whom the manufacturer’s promises would be few, let him put on the case that is included in the package. It is not an extra class, but it will do its job. And if you get rid of the huge Never Settle slogan, which completes the case when put on the back of the phone, it doesn’t really matter.

OnePlus 9, reviewOnePlus 9, review

Maybe it’s because the design of the OnePlus 9 can be explicitly disrupted only for the better. Don’t get me wrong – not that the new OnePlus is downright ugly. It’s just not very nice either, and it’s definitely ordinary. If it weren’t for the three-position mechanical silent mode switch that is an integral part of OnePlus phones, you would probably swap the device with any other Chinese phone. The same shot in the display, a shiny back with a changing silver-blue effect, in short, one big déjà-vu.

The only element that makes the new OnePlus easy to identify, and that’s why you’ll find it in all product photos, is the camera backpack. In the case of the cheaper model, it carries two large openings in the photographic system and one input to an additional depth sensor. It’s one less than the Pro. But both siblings have one thing in common – Hasselblad logo among them.

OnePlus 9, review

OnePlus 9 | photo: Mobilizujeme.cz

Nothing against legendary brands. But very often they are characterized by one thing. They cling to their legend so much that their logos are carved in stone – they do not change for decades. Specifically, the Swedish photo producer has changed its logo only four times in its history, and even the last facelift from 2005 sticks to the font line set in the 1940s. In other words, italics with extended center feet do not suit a modern phone with clean lines at all.

120Hz. It’s not much?

“What do you mean, too?” a confused reader is probably asking now? Yes, I know this is the highest screen refresh rate that occurs among current serial phones. And it’s really nice that OnePlus 9 can handle it. After all, previous generations have been among the pioneers of this “new big thing” with their 90Hz displays.

OnePlus 9, review

OnePlus 9 | photo: Mobilizujeme.cz

The thing is that the whole world has been waiting for a real innovation, and this is the LPTO display with variable framerate up to 1Hz, which is offered by the Pro model. The basic OnePlus 9 must be satisfied with a more fixed frequency moving up the stairs 60-90-120Hz. Even here, however, I must repeat the statement that applies to the entire phone in all respects: OnePlus 9 is not for a fake in a pub. OnePlus 9 has good functionality.

And this applies to the standard “Nine” display without compromise. The combination of the top AMOLED with pleasant natural colors and entrails, led by the Snapdragon 888 and 8GB RAM, means that you can play even demanding games in full detail, in a few seconds, and the car’s movement in the most demanding races will be completely smooth.

The mischievous people might argue that the flagship’s job is not to deliver just 1080p resolution. But I would repeat it too much with the sentence about dignity and good service. It’s probably no coincidence that lately, Samsungs are no longer impressed by the resolution and focus more on really useful parameters. And here’s OnePlus to complain about. A maximum brightness of 1100 nits, HDR10 support or several color adjustment options play a higher role than the number of pixels. After all, at a density before 400 PPI, I have no idea what anyone would complain about with this 20: 9 aspect ratio display.

OnePlus 9, review

OnePlus 9 | photo: Mobilizujeme.cz

On the contrary, we will praise – I was very interested in the always-on display mode, which in OnePlus is called the Ambient display. On the one hand, it is possible to personalize it really from the ground up, but in addition to the standard time functions and notifications, it also offers interesting skins. You can either have a vector drawing of your face made by phone, or you can entrust yourself to young artists from the Parsons School of Design.

They created a very imaginative screensaver, which is dominated by a colored vertical line. The more times you turn on the display during the day, the more the line will be bitten and disharmonious at the end of the day. OnePlus thus forces you to do other things than just stare at your mobile screen.

But once you decide to stare, be sure to use the fingerprint reader below the display to unlock the phone. Once you get used to the fact that it is located a little lower than it should be according to the strictest ergonomic standards, you will just be amazed at its speed. I dare say that it is the fastest optical type sensor I have ever had in my hands, and I don’t really see that much difference compared to the latest generation Qualcomm ultrasonic readers.

OnePlus 9, review

OnePlus 9 | photo: Mobilizujeme.cz

The less secure 2D facial scan deserves the same praise, and especially the fact that OnePlus is one of those phones that does not bother its owner by the fact that the two unlocking systems cannot agree between each other.

Article chapters:

»1. Introduction, parameters, package content, construction, appearance, display
» 2. Environment, performance, batteries, camera and pictures, evaluation


Source: Mobilizujeme.cz by mobilizujeme.cz.

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