- Price: Rs 64,999 onwards
- Technical data: 6.7-inch display, 3126 x 1440p resolution, 120 Hz Fluid AMOLED with LTPO, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 8/12 GB RAM, 128/256 GB memory, 48 MP wide camera + 50 MP Ultra-Wide + 8 MP telephoto + 2 MP monochrome camera, 16 MP front camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, 5G, Type C, 4500mAh battery, wireless fast charging
- Colors: morning mist, pine green, star black
- Included in delivery: OnePlus 9 Pro 5G, Warp Charge 65 power supply, Type C to Type C cable, housing, screen protector, SIM tray ejector
Most of the new phones that are launched in the market are usually intended to challenge the champions of their category. With the OnePlus 9 Pro, the company has vehemently dethroned the reigning defending champions and ushered in a new era of “flagships”. With the top-end models of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max exceeding the Rs 1 Lakh mark, the OnePlus 9 Pro has set a new benchmark for Rs 64,999.
With top-notch specs, OnePlus continues to deliver the flagship experience with its latest OnePlus 9 Pro and is moving closer to the Samsung Galaxy. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, however, the OnePlus 9 Pro is not about zooming and capturing the moon, as it approaches taking iPhone-like images. All of this hype about the Hasselblad partnership has put the OnePlus 9 Pro in the spotlight. After all, we’ve seen some stunning camera phones from the Huawei and Leica partnership in the past – P9, P30 Pro, to name a few.
Initially, the OnePlus-Hasselblad partnership worked towards achieving natural color calibration and nothing special. And the OnePlus 9 Pro lives up to the demands. The images captured with this smartphone are balanced with natural colors, very similar to the results I get with the iPhone 12 series. However, if you like the super bright, vivid and oversaturated colors of the flagship Samsung Galaxy S series, you will find this phone’s camera a bit disappointing.
Of all the shots I’ve taken with the OnePlus 9 Pro, my favorite was the bright pink adenium flower with water droplets on green leaves that looked stunning. However, there have been cases where I felt the camera was not doing justice and instead flattened the color, especially with clouds and some bright colors indoors.
Overall, the images captured by the primary 48MP sensor are sharp. The intelligent scene detection function that intelligently recommends the best shooting effect has come in handy. The auto-macro feature was a bit of a hassle, however, as it would move closer and closer between sensors as it got closer to the subject. Fortunately, I was able to turn it off.
In addition to the main sensor, OnePlus has also focused on the ultra-wide-angle lens by adding a 50MP sensor that helped with distortion-free edges. There have been cases where I’ve found the Ultra-Wide’s color accuracy to be better than that of the main sensor, especially when I’m pointing at the sky. There is also an 8MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom and a 2MP monochrome camera.
The 30x digital zoom is nothing to rave about. However, the monochrome filter does an impressive job. Then there are modes that help for all types of shots. The software controlled Nightscape does a good job of taking pictures in low light and darkness, but only when I’ve managed to keep the phone still for a few seconds. Mount it on a tripod and it will take great shots.
Plus, it’s the Hasselblad branded Pro manual settings mode that captures stunning images – this is what professional photographers would love to use. Some of the partnership’s cosmetic additions also include an orange shutter button, the same shutter sound as Hasselblad cameras, and the Hasselblad branding in the watermark. In addition, videos are recorded at 30 fps at 8K or 120/69 / 30fps at 4K resolution. The 16-megapixel front camera takes decent selfies. All in all, the camera doesn’t disappoint.
The OnePlus 9 Pro isn’t just about its camera though, as the display, performance, and battery make it a great flagship smartphone. The 6.7-inch looks super bright and is readable even in bright sunlight. OnePlus used LTPO technology for better control over the refresh rate. The Smart 120Hz was switched on where the refresh rate changes depending on the scenario and also saves battery.
The Hyper Touch (disabled by default) improves responsiveness and frame rate stability while gaming, and can improve gameplay for select games like Call of Duty, PUB-G, and more.
However, it’s not just the display, it’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. The overall performance of the OnePlus 9 Pro is top notch, with no signs of lag, with multiple apps running in the background, including games, streaming videos, video editing, and more. It warmed up a bit after lengthy gaming and camera sessions, but there wasn’t much to worry about.
The experience is complemented by the clean Oxygen OS (my second favorite after standard Android) with apps that are neatly placed in the app drawer. And unlike Apple and Samsung, who got rid of the charging adapter with the latest flagship, OnePlus didn’t.
A 65T wrap charge adapter has been added to the box that juices the Pro 9’s 4,500 mAh battery from zero to 100 in less than 30 minutes. It also supports wireless charging, which is equally impressive – as the Wrap 50 (Rs 3,990) wireless charger gets the job done in just 45 minutes. The 4,500 mAh battery was good enough to last a day of moderate to heavy use. And the heavy duty adapter came in handy.
Overall, the OnePlus 9 Pro looks neat, simple and nothing out of the ordinary. As with other Android flagships, OnePlus has used glass on the front and back that curves towards the edges and merges into the aluminum case. This makes it pretty comfortable to hold.
OnePlus’ ringtone control – my favorite – is still on the right, accompanied by an on / off switch. There is no headphone jack and the speaker is next to the charging port. The built-in fingerprint scanner is slightly towards the bottom, which sometimes makes it difficult to unlock as I am afraid of dropping the phone. The back is neat with a raised camera module and OnePlus branding in the middle. However, the shiny back of my review unit (Morning Mist) attracted fingerprints and I had to clean it often.
Conclusion: It is and does not have to be the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung S21 Ultra or a competitor. It’s the OnePlus 9 Pro. Period!
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