The LAB: My OnePlus 9 experience after 1 month!

  1. missmobiletech
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 10, 2021

    missmobiletech , May 10, 2021 :
    Alright so about a month ago I received my mysterious OnePlus LAB package with the beautiful Oneplus 9 Winter Mist. I’ve had the pleasure of using this phone now for literally one month and a few days and I just felt the need to give you my thoughts after this time. I thought of doing it the same way as my initial review but for some reason that felt unnecessary and so I decided to go a different route. I’ve thought of all the pros and cons that I’ve encountered and I’ll walk through them in those categories. Some I consider bigger issues than others but I’ll explain as I go and hope you will find this interesting and/or informative. Alright so here we go with all the pros.


    First of all I am a fan of the simple not too big sleek design, I like the way this feels in my (small) hands even though we’re talking about a 6.5 inch screen, I love the color options and I really like the little tweaks they made to make this phone feel more premium. Yes the back gets a little smudgy with fingerprints but not too much and it’s easy to wipe clean. The camera setup is beautiful and I am a fan of flatscreens on phones because they are much less fragile so absolutely no problem with that. Next thing is also to do with the design and it might sound a bit controversial but I happen to really like the plastic frame. Would I have preferred to see aluminum or metal? Absolutely because those are just my personal favorites but am I glad it’s not glass? Absolutely! I always prefer other alloys more than glass because it’s just so darn fragile and you need a case even more which I just don’t like very much because you lose the look of the beauty the phone shows you. I am also a huge fan of the alert slider, always have been always will be. It’s just such a simple way to regulate your phones sound status and always a shame to not have this function on any other brand phones.

    I love the beautiful, colorful screen, the aspect ratio which gives you a lot of screen realty but not such a big phone to hold in your hand. This in combination with the sound is an amazing experience. In all honesty I don’t regularly use the phone speakers but for testing them I did use them a bit and I actually was really impressed. The sound is full and good, just a bit too much at the highest volume but maybe that’s just my sweet sensible ears. This is one of the fastest phones you can get right now processor wize, you breeze through the system, apps and games without any lagg. I love the fact this company and OS does so much in listening to the users and I’ve heard OnePlus is not really consistent with updates but during my test period I’ve already had 4 OS updates with improvements to battery life, OS and camera.

    When we’re talking about the camera I am divided in my opinions but first let me start with what I absolutely love about this camera setup. For me the creme of the crop is the main camera macro (flower) mode. With this mode you can get real close to make some amazing detail shots and provided your subject keeps still, you really get some beautiful shots and they are literally my favorite thing about this setup! Actually you can get some amazing photos with the 48MP main camera over all when you hold it still.. Next thing about the camera setup I like is the selfie camera. I know, I’m not really a selfie shooter but I do have to say when I did take selfies, they looked good ‘colour wize’ and details were pretty accurate (which is not always a good thing :p ) One thing I also mentioned in my initial review but really do want to come back to because I really REALLY appreciate it, is the simple small LED light that lights up whenever your selfie camera is activated. Very simple yet effective way to keep you informed about that. More on the camera’s later!

    Alright, last on my ‘pros list’ is definitely my favorite. Easily, hands down the best thing about this phone is… drumroll please…:
    the charger!


    You may have seen this coming, you may not, anyways, I love this charging system! The 65W charger really makes it so easy so drain your battery almost to the last % before plugging it in and still leaving home with a full battery with only about half an hour left. I. Love. It! Maybe you say this shouldn’t be the best thing about the phone, maybe you’re right but I just can’t deny the fact I really love the stress-free feeling I get when my battery is almost empty but I know it will be full again so fast.

    There we have it, my pro’s list about the OnePlus 9. Now let’s look at the con’s list to see where I think improvements could be made.


    I love the look of the phone but I would have loved a more matte finish so the phone wasn’t as slippery. I really have to advise a case because of this (luckily, the european version has a silicon case provided in the box which is actually a decent one) because it feels very sleek and smooth but that also makes it very easy to fall. I love the camera design but the fact the actual lenses are even more raised above the backphones surface just doesn't make sense. It makes the camera lenses much more fragile and subject to cracks, it really is a shame because I do love the look. It’s just not very safe. Something else about the build that annoys me. Even after a full month, I still haven’t gotten used to the volume rockers on the left side. Because they are on opposite sides of the power button, suddenly I take a lot of screenshots when wanting to turn it off which is very annoying. I understand with the alert slider on the right there is no room there but I would really prefer if they would swap them out. The alert slider back on the left side and the volume rockers on the right side with the power button and the world is right again. The headphone jack or more accurately, the lack of a headphone jack is also a shame. So many companies manage to put headphone jacks on their phones, even on their more low end phones and for me, a headphone jack is so important for recording audio, it really is a shame they dropped it and I really hope they’ll bring it back!

    I got the 256GB internal memory version which I love but I think it’s a shame companies bring out phones with no option of expandable storage. If you had taken the 128GB and realized after half a year you actually needed more storage, there’s just no option for that in the phone. Yes there are options in the clouds absolutely, but physically in the phone you’re screwed. I shoot a lot of footage on my phones and it is so much easier to swap the SD card to a different phone to edit it all together, but now instead of that I more often than not have to send everything through Bluetooth and WeTransfer which costs a lot more time. I would really love to see a 512GB version and each version (beginning with the 128GB) also having the option to use an SD card of some kind.

    The battery is a 4500mAh one and I have to say, for beginning 2021, I find this a bit of a shame. Most phones now come out with around 5000mAh. This would definitely give the OnePlus 9 a bit more edge. Also, it’s alright but not that amazing. I get through a day yes but that’s really it and it’s more because of the amazing charging system I’m not stressed about that but in all honesty, I had expected the battery usage over the last month to have been better in general.

    Both security unlock features, the fingerprint scanner and the face unlock, work very fast and reliably but they both have their limitations too, which I find a bit annoying because it’s not steady. The fingerprint scanner sometimes works when your screen is totally off but often I also have to tap the screen first for it to work. Then we have the face unlock which works just fine and fast BUT.. it only works when you push the power button first. It would be awesome if you could select a raise to wake function in the main menu and I would love to see both of these features working better through an upcoming OS update.


    Alright now I have come to it, the apple of this phone's eye, the Hasselblad camera setup. Like I said in the pro’s section, there are some amazing shots you can take with this camera set up. That being said. I have had no personal experience with a Hasselblad camera before this moment but I have to say, I am not actually that impressed..

    The simple fact there is no OIS on this phone didn’t bother me at first but when I started to use the camera in more personal settings, settings where the object of photography didn’t keep still that much, I started to realise just what OIS really does. When taking photos of nature and architecture, you won’t have any troubles with getting great shots. I’m not a professional photographer but still, I think some of my shots are pretty good (and of course all without any edits). When you try to capture a moving object, an animal, a kid or something else. That’s when I noticed the difference and I have to say, I was disappointed. Especially when considering previous OnePlus flagships did support this.

    The ultra wide camera has extra technology which makes sure the edges of photos are not as rounded off like they usually are in most ultra wide photos. When taking these photos, they are in fact less rounded off.. They just instead seem to be tipping over a bit, I’ll add a few examples so you understand what I mean. The first photo is from OnePlus 9, the second from a different one, I’ll state the phones. It’s just not really my personal favorite look.

    And then, last but not least my favorite but such an unpopular lens on a smartphone; the monochrome lens. I already mentioned it in my initial review but want to come back to this again because I really don’t get it. OnePlus puts a dedicated monochrome lens on the back of their flagship device but then doesn’t give a ‘monochrome’ option in the camera menu. Yes you can select it as a filter but that’s the thing, it shouldn’t be JUST a filter because it is an actual lens. On my Huawei P40 I have a monochrome lens and(!) a dedicated option in the menu for monochrome photos and guess what, I use it and I love it! I would really really love to see this being added to the menu in an upcoming update so I can start using it. I don’t use it now because I don’t use filters and also, if I don’t see the option, I forget it’s there, I’m just simple that way.


    All in all there is a lot I love about this phone but there are some serious points to consider when deciding to buy this phone. Should you get this one or the OnePlus 9 Pro instead? Well, since I personally haven’t used the 9 Pro, it’s difficult for me to say.

    I hope they’ll allow me to keep it and see what more updates this phone will get and what these will do to the OS because I think at least some of the points I mentioned here could very well get better with updates but I’m sure it’s not the glowing review they wanted so I’m holding my breath to hear if I’ll be able to keep it. If not, it was certainly worth it and please don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity and there are some great sides to this beautiful device but as a reviewer I do think it’s important to be honest about all aspects both good and improvable. I would love to see a lot of these points improved on and otherwise some of them coming back better on the upcoming T model.

    If you decide to purchase the OnePlus 9 or OnePlus 9 Pro, you can use the code MISSMOBILETECH at checkout until May 15th 2021, which will make sure you will receive the 50W Wireless Warp Charger for free with your purchase so that’s pretty cool. Be sure to add the wireless charger to your basket and then apply the code, EU only since I am a European reviewer. With this wireless charger, your 9 Pro will be able to charge at 50W, your 9 standard will be charging at the maximum of 15W. If you have further questions about the points mentioned in this article/review, please feel free to leave a comment, I will try to reply to as many comments as I can! :)

  2. missmobiletech
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 10, 2021


  3. #4
  4. Kvl_21
    Honeycomb May 10, 2021

  5. psycholover
    Froyo May 10, 2021

  6. missmobiletech
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 10, 2021

  7. Nbalugas
    Gingerbread May 10, 2021

  8. I1620405202056
    Cupcake May 10, 2021

  9. Mr. BG
    Community Hero 2020 May 10, 2021

    Last edited: May 10, 2021

  10. darrelllmr
    Gingerbread May 10, 2021

  11. SRD.
    Lollipop May 10, 2021

    SRD. , via OnePlus 7T , May 10, 2021 :
    TL; DR, 'll read tomorrow. I read the conclusion 😜 and think it'll be a worth read. 'll read the thread tomorrow.
    It's a wonderful gesture by OnePlus to provide Lab tester's user name as a discount/freebie coupon.

  12. anunayC
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 10, 2021

  13. Slobekrack
    Donut May 10, 2021

    Slobekrack , via OnePlus 9 Pro , May 10, 2021 :
    Thank you for a detailed and good review. You write in a way so it is easy to read, easy to understand your points and easy to see what you mean in whole. Thumbs up to you!

  14. khalid121
    Cupcake May 10, 2021

  15. Vinay Raghvani
    Honeycomb May 10, 2021

  16. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester May 10, 2021

    Starcommander , May 10, 2021 :
    Thanks for these points. I am definitely not going to buy op9

  17. meatandy
    Oreo May 10, 2021

    meatandy , May 10, 2021 :
    Thanks for the Roundup , I think a 30 or 45 day review Roundup would be a great idea and should be added as a regular part of the Lab.👍


  18. meatandy
    Oreo May 10, 2021

    meatandy , May 10, 2021 :
    The charger is also free until May 15th as mother's Day promotion here in the States. ;)

    SMRasel, Adesh.sanmukh, SRD. and 3 others like this.