OnePlus 9 Pro review: Nearly perfect

The OnePlus Pro 9 offers blazing fast performance and charging speeds, along with an improved camera.

OnePlus 9 Pro review

Bottom line

Editor's choice GeekSpinThe OnePlus Pro 9 is a nearly perfect Android flagship that offers buttery-smooth performance and superfast charging speeds, along with an improved camera.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • Excellent Display
  • Blazing fast performance
  • Sleek, balanced form factor
  • Superfast charging
  • Improved camera
  • Great for gaming

Cons

  • Camera still has room for improvement
  • No 5G support for AT&T
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The eagerly anticipated OnePlus 9 Pro has arrived alongside the OnePlus 9, and it’s debuting with Hassleblad cameras. The cameras on previous OnePlus devices have always been the area where the device could use the most improvement, so we’ve been super excited to test out the new cameras on the OnePlus 9 Pro.

Design

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But first, let’s start with the OnePlus 9 Pro’s design. Aesthetically, the OnePlus 9 Pro isn’t a huge departure from previous generation handsets. The combination glass and aluminum body is extremely durable and lovely in the way that it shows no metal seams. The glossy backside is made of Gorilla Glass 5 and is unfortunately a fingerprint magnet. Weighing just 197grams, the phone feels balanced and sleek, despite its large 6.7-inch display. Our biggest gripe is that the design itself isn’t very inspiring or original. to that effect, it looks like it could easily be mistaken for a Samsung or Huawei phone.

Display

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The OnePlus 9 Pro’s display is simply phenomenal. It features dual-curved panels, that aren’t obnoxious at all. In comparison to the Oneplus 8 Pro, the curve has been reduced. The display itself supports HDR 10+ and 1300 NITs peak brightness. It uses a “Smart 120Hz display” that dynamically alters the refresh rate based on what’s on the screen. The display also uses a new technology called Hyper Touch. HyperTouch offers reduced touch latency, enabling 6x faster-syncing speeds between the display and the processor and it supports several popular games at launch including Call of Duty, PubG, and League of Legends.

Camera

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OnePlus has said that the OnePlus 9 Pro (alongside the OnePlus 9) are their first phones that utilize Hassleblad technology, with a focus on using the Hassleblad’s color tuning software, but that future phones will also introduce dedicated Hasselblad hardware and lenses too.

So how do the OnePlus 9 Pro’s cameras fair? Standard auto camera mode takes beautiful shots with sharp detail, vivid natural colors, and balanced exposure. Hasselblad is known for its natural colors, and it’s with the photo’s colors that you can really see what the Hasslebad partnership has brought so far to the table.

Photos taken with the wide-angle lens generally look just as good. Notably, the wide-angle lens uses a freeform lens that helps reduce the distortion that’s usually found with wide-angle lenses. There’s also an 8-megapixel telephoto lens that supports 3.3x of optical zoom and it takes capable shots with plenty of detail. When it comes to video, the 4K video on the OnePlus 9 Pro looks really good with great stabilization, balanced exposure, and natural colors. The 16-megapixel front-facing camera takes good selfies that are well lit. OnePlus has also improved nightscape mode within the ultra-wide, so you can take cityscapes even at night.

The Pro mode on the 9 Pro has been redesigned to emulate the traditional Hassleblad U.I. That includes bringing in the signature shutter sound and orange shutter button that Hassleblad cameras are known for.

There’s no doubt that the OnePlus 9 Pro cameras are an improvement over the previous generation, however, we haven’t been seeing a huge difference in quality in comparison to the OnePlus 8 Pro. That said, this is definitely OnePlus’ best camera to date. Unfortunately, when it comes to imaging, the OnePlus 9 Pro still can’t go quite toe-to-toe with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Performance

OnePlus handsets are known for their record-breaking performance and the OnePlus 9 Pro follows in those footsteps. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, and LPDDR5 ram, everything about using the phone feels buttery smooth. The OnePlus 9 Pro earned a GeekBench multi-score of 3616, and a single-core score of 1122, effectively beating out the likes of the powerful S21 Ultra. If you’re looking for a phone that can handle gaming with aplomb, and pretty much anything you throw at it, look no further.

Battery

The OnePlus 9 Pro houses a 4,500 mAh battery. Its battery life is respectable and you’ll pretty much get a full day of mixed-use from it. Fortunately, its fast-charging helps make up for its so-so battery life. The OnePlus 9 Pro supports Warp Charge 65T, which means it can charge from 0 to 75% in 20 minutes and 0 to 100% in 29 minutes. Offhand, we don’t know of super crazy fast.

Using the (optional) OnePlus Warp charge wireless charger, it’s able to charge from 0 to 70% in 30 minutes or 0 to 100% in 50 minutes. The OnePlus 9 Pro also supports reverse wireless charging.

OnePlus 9 Pro review verdict

The OnePlus 9 Pro is yet another excellent OnePlus flagship; it offers a superb “buttery” smooth performance, a phenomenal display packed inside of a sleek ergonomic body, along with insanely-fast charging speeds, and OnePlus’s best ever camera. Unfortunately, its camera still isn’t as good as the likes of the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone Pro Max.

Pricing and availability

Pricing for the OnePlus 9 Pro begins at $969 for the 8GB / 128GB model. The 12GB /256GB adds on $100 to the price tag. It’s also available directly from T-Mobile. While many folks will lament that the OnePlus 9 Pro’s pricing is high, we think it’s a reasonable price when you compare it to the competition, specifically the Galaxy S21 Ultra which offers similar hardware yet costs several hundred dollars more. That said, for many, the OnePlus 9’s will more than suffice. the OnePlus 9 costs $250 less and still has a ton to offer, so customers do have a solid lower-cost alternative.