OnePlus 9 Pro 5G Review: Too exceptional for most customers

Best OnePlus smartphones to buy in June 2022

OnePlus’ latest innovation, the OnePlus 9 Pro recently got into the market and I grabbed it without thinking too much. I mean at first, I thought a bit about the value for money as we all do. But later on, looking at its gorgeous design and some of the attractive features I couldn’t resist getting one. So, here we are with the OnePlus 9 Pro review!

OnePlus came a long way! Starting from the OnePlus 3, the one from which it got recognized as a subtle brand. The way of its success is that it offered more without taking the price into consideration or we can say it’s the company’s first priority that many other brands ignore most of the time.

Before going through the unboxing you should check out the OnePlus 9 Pro Unboxing

Despite the catchy name, it also got its own legacy in the field. OnePlus has always been following one trend that is offerings. It means that this Chinese phone maker has always been into flagship-grade products which are meant to satisfy its customers in every sense. And they are doing I suppose.

I still remember hearing a lot about this company ever since it launched the OnePlus 5T and that was the kind of smartphone that we would expect at that time. Since then I have been following it and being an Android user, I think the OS that it offers is the one I admire the most.

Flaws on which OnePlus still needs to work

The only thing about OnePlus I feel is unsatisfactory is the software management system. Some OnePlus users are still waiting for the Android 11 on their flagship phones, while the other OEMs such as Samsung have already upgraded its eligible Galaxy S, Galaxy Note series phones, and even the budget ones. The South Korean giant has released another iteration of its Android 11-based One UI 3.0.

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The software upgrade system is the one where this company lags but other than that it’s completely worth it. Well, this is not even worse as most of the OnePlus phones are running the latest Android 11 based OxygenOS 11 with a whole bunch of features. And so do the latest OnePlus 9 series devices which come pre-installed with this OS.

OnePlus 9 Pro! That’s the one that can be considered as the true flagship. Well, it’s not the flagship killer anymore and finally, we got the high-end smartphone for which we were waiting for so long. With a slight increase in the price, OnePlus has introduced the OnePlus 9 Pro 5G, the first-ever flagship.

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G specifications:

  • Display – 6.7-inch 1440×3216 120Hz (525 ppi, LTPO, adaptive from 1-120Hz, 10-bit, Gorilla Glass)
  • SoC – Snapdragon 888
  • RAM and Storage – 8/12GB (LPDDR5)
  • Battery – 4500mAh
  • Rear camera -Primary: 48MP f/1.8 (23mm equivalent, IMX789, 1/1.43″)
    Ultra-wide: 50MP f/2.2 (14mm equivalent, IMX766, 1/1.56″)
    Telephoto: 8MP (3.3x zoom) f/2.4
    Monochrome: 2MP
  • Front camera – 16MP f/2.4 fixed-focus
  • Software – OxygenOS 11 (Android 11)
  • Connectivity -Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, 2×2 MIMO Wi-Fi (dual-band, up to Wi-Fi 6), 5G (including mmWave in US)
  • IP Rating – IP68
  • Measurements and Weight – 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm, 197g
  • Other features – Alert slider, in-display optical FP sensor, stereo speakers (via earpiece), single-SIM
  • Colors – Morning Mist, Forest Green, Stellar Black
  • Price – Starting $969 (8GB/128GB)

Physical overview: design and hardware

Starting from the physical overview, we got here is the Morning Mist color for this OnePlus 9 Pro review which comes with a gradient finish at the back. Keeping color aside, it looks pretty from the back as it got the rear made of glass. The attractive curved screen of this device makes it look more like any Galaxy-S series device. The design of this smartphone is something and anyone can fall for it.

OnePlus made some serious design changes with this handset. Despite many of its own features are still there such as the iconic alert slider and the punch-hole camera at the front. Like any other smartphone, it has all the obvious hardware such as the SIM tray at the bottom, the USB-C port, a mic, and the speaker grille.

The fingerprint scanner is also present under the display which, in my opinion, is the smoothest which I have ever used in any of the smartphones. And thanks to its 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display that makes it even smoother.

A Closer Look at the design

The OnePlus 9 Pro is slightly bigger than the OnePlus 7/8 and it feels heavy too. But even being that big, it feels more comfortable to handle as compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. And the thing that makes it more comfortable is its slimness and easy to handle grip.

Ok! now coming to the camera setup, it’s quite strange and new for the OnePlus phones. The quad-camera setup contains two big lenses places vertically while the other two are small and placed horizontally below the other two. And then there’s another row of the AF lens and an LED flash. However, it’s just the physical overview and we’ll be getting more in-depth camera review later on.

The audio quality of this handset is good as it got the support of the stereo speakers, one at the bottom while another one on the top. So, it got a lot better design than Google’s Pixel and the trending flat edges in some sense.

Internals: Software, Performance, and Battery

There has been a lot of improvements in the software of the company with OnePlus’ OxygenOS. This UI is completely based on Google’s Stock Android OS that comes with the Pixel phone but believe me it’s much better than that and has some added customizations. If you are an Android user then you will feel right at home.

The Android 11-based OxygenOS 11 has a lot to offer on the OnePlus 9 Pro. There are a bunch of features within this smartphone but I will go with some trending and noteworthy ones. First comes the quick gestures which work a lot smoother and are easy to trigger with the help of certain gestures. You can use it for certain commands that you want to trigger quickly.

The other is the Ambient display on the OnePlus 9 that pop-up when you lift the smartphone or tap on its display. While there’s another Always-on Ambient display that is already been defined by its name itself. Then comes the most advanced Canvas AOD the other major highlight and to understand that in deep you should check out this recent OnePlus 9 tip and there are more to come.

The company is integrating more of the Google apps and their existence in its smartphone. The OnePlus 9 Pro already comes with several Google application pre-install and it also has Google Discover. These features make it more like the Pixel phones.

Despite the goodies in this software, also it has some bugs that I have noticed while using the smartphone such as the Bluetooth audio performance issue as most of the OnePlus users face. And some issues while using the dark theme. But hopefully, the issues were fixed by the OnePlus itself with the latest software update.

The powerful Snapdragon 888

Coming to the performance of the OnePlus 9 Pro, it’s quite impressive, although it also has some hiccups in some areas overall, it’s as good as we expect from the Snapdragon 888. But still, it could have been better. It easily handles multitasking with some heavy apps and also has a lead from the other smartphones such as the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The battery back up while playing games is better on the OnePlus 9 Pro rather than the iPhone. By games, I mean the heavy ones like PUB-G and COD (Call of Duty).

Surely, the iPhone takes a lead with its A14 Bionic but considering it with the Galaxy S21, it’s better than what I expected. Though it’s just the one-month review and we’ll be getting more insight into this chipset in the coming months.

Is 4500mAh battery enough for OnePlus 9 Pro?

The battery of this smartphone has been quite impressive and thanks to its 45000mAh capacity along with a 65W fast wired charging. And also OnePlus includes the adapter in the box, which is indeed an impressive call from the company, looking at the current trend.

OnePlus claims that it can charge from 0-70% in just 30 minutes. With heavy usage over some of the high-end applications and games, the phone was easily able to give me around 5-6 hours back up. But no worries when you got a 65W fast charger in your pocket that can make it last even more with just a few mins of charging.

Well, it has also got the support for wireless fast charging for up to 50W which is another great feature offered on the device. The battery department is indeed better than the iPhone 12 Pro Max if you are an ultra user.

How successful is the Hasselblad with OnePlus phones?

This might be a lengthy one and I think it won’t fit in this overall review. I might have to give you a separate one for the OnePlus 9 Pro ultimate camera. But as of now, let’s catch up with some basics on this as well. Hasselblad they say for the OnePlus 9!

The camera on the OnePlus phones has already been making us buy them and now with the Hasselblad camera techs, this might get even more interesting. OnePlus offers a bunch of camera functionalities with the OnePlus 9 Pro.

Getting a deep dive into the Hasselblad camera

The camera system on the OnePlus 9 Pro is powered by Sony’s 48MP IMX789 main sensor and it also has another 50MP Ultra-Wide camera that’s too from Sony. Besides this, there’s an 8MP Telephoto lens with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization). And lastly, the fourth one is the 2MP monochrome camera.

There are a series of new camera functionalities on the OnePlus 9 Pro camera such as the Nightscape, Super Macro, UltraShot HDR, Smart Scene Recognition, Portrait mode, Pro mode, Panorama, Nightscape, Video HDR, Video Portrait, Focus Tracking, Timelapse, Hyperlapse and so on.

OnePlus 9 Pro in-depth camera review

It will take too much time to get through all these features at once and it seems there’s a requirement for a separate camera-focused review that you’ll be seeing in the coming days. For now, we can go through the modes I tried on this OnePlus 9 Pro’s camera.

Getting on over the overall camera performance on the device, it may surprise you in some scenarios and at the same time, it might also make you disappointed. But mostly you are gonna be impressed with its supernatural and very well-focused pictures.

The Pro mode is another great feature to try on and you might handle it well if you like photography. Well, In my case, I’m not that good at photography and videography as well. This camera offers better contrast and also does great at the night.

Coming to the videos on the 9 Pro, it got support for up to 8K videos at 30fps while it can shoot slow-motion videos at 1080p at 240fps. It also has the capability to shoot Time-Lapse videos with 1080p resolution or 4K at 30 fps.

Videos on OnePlus 9 Pro

Now, the videos on OnePlus 9 Pro are super steady and provides natural colors. It does have some flaws when shooting in low light but overall it’s better than what was expected. The slow-motion video is another interesting feature to try on this handset.

After this OnePlus 9 Pro review, I think this might be enough for you guys to come to the conclusion if this is the phone you are looking for or do you expect some more from your ideal smartphone. below I have mentioned all the goodies of the OnePlus 9 Pro and its flaws that you should check to get a more detailed review.

In case I have not mentioned anything that you want to know about this handset then you can ask me in the comment section below. I’ll try my best to answer that!

Is OnePlus 9 Pro worth buying?

Surely it is! If you are looking for a smartphone that is value for money then you should definitely consider the OnePlus 9 Pro which completely defined its price. But most importantly all smartphones have their own flaws and pros that you might like or sometimes not.

What’s good in the OnePlus 9 Pro?

After reading this whole review you might discover that there are many key things that you’ll like on this handset, starting from its design which is I think outstanding if you like the smartphones with curved edges. It equips the latest Snapdragon 888 SoC that will not disappoint you with performance.

The build quality of the handset also looks totally fine with the Gorilla glass protection on both the front and the rear. Additionally, it also has the IP68 water and dust rating, so you can use it without any worries.

What should have better with the OnePlus 9 Pro?

The major flaw with this phone is its software support commitment which is very poor as compared to its price. Also, there are several OEMs that offer even better upgrade plans. Consider any Samsung device which promises three major upgrades and up to four years of security improvements.

OnePlus should offer some more support to its flagship-grade phones and the other thing is its battery which may have more improved. While it has support for a 65W fast charger but the back is the thing we consider most of the time.

Should you buy the OnePlus 9 Pro?

Buy the OnePlus 9 Pro if:
  • You are looking for a smartphone with high performance
  • A smartphone that offers a classy design
  • If you like curved edge display
  • You want to have a stock Android-like experience
  • If you are looking for a phone with high-end features at a lower price
Don’t Buy the OnePlus 9 Pro if:
  • Your priority is software updates and you want to get a longer software support
  • You don’t like the curved edge display

Where can I buy the OnePlus 9 Pro?

If you are inspired by this OnePlus 9 Pro review and made your mind to get this amazing handset and try on its super cool features then it’s time to get this one right away. There are several ways from where you can grab this device but the most common is the OnePlus Store.

However, there are more ways to get this handset such as any retail store near you or online stores as well. So what are you waiting for just go and buy one! And don’t forget to share this OnePlus 9 Pro review with your friends. Check below from where to buy the OnePlus 9…

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