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[The Lab] OnePlus 9 Pro | Morning Mist | Unboxing and First Impressions

  1. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 10, 2021

    F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk , Apr 10, 2021 :
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    Who Am I? (spoiler: not Connie from AoT)

    Hello you gorgeous people in the OnePlus community, I'm Sulaimaan Aslam or as you may know me from my charming and easy to read username "F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk" (I only realised whilst writing this review how to change my username). I am in fact not the fictional Connie Springer from Attack on Titan, but a 23yr old medical student who studies in London. Whilst, I certainly haven't been here from the beginning, I can proudly say since purchasing my own OnePlus 3 at the age of 18 I have used OnePlus devices ever since (save for one agonising month in 2019 where I had to use an old iPhone 5s whilst my old phone was broken and my OP7pro was being delivered). As I have grown and matured, I've watched a company grow and mature, from the small enthusiast brand making "flagship-killers" to a company that strives to be at the cutting edge, leading the pack on the competition.

    Despite being a loyal fan to OnePlus for several years, I have never ventured very far into the community forums, only on occasion flicking through the #ShotonOnePlus threads. Embarrassingly, I had never heard of the LAB series, and I probably would not be here if it wasn't for a fateful "targeted" ad on Instagram that caught my eye whilst I was mindlessly flicking through stories (a personal shoutout to all the companies collecting my data 😑). As someone who acts impulsively I immediately clicked on the ad, typed away for an hour under no pretence that I would win, and submitted. A week later I received an email from @Crystal Z announcing I was chosen, I showed it to my all my flatmates and friends who all told me it was a scam! After a few hours and a phone call to customer services I realised I had actually been selected and officially let myself celebrate and bring it up in every conversation I had. And here we are!

    You may be mistaken for thinking I am a Phase 2 reviewer as due to warehouse and delivery issues I received my device a week and a half after everyone else in my cohort. I can confidently say that was one of the longest couple of weeks I have ever experienced. I want to thank the amazing team behind the scenes, who put up with all of my constant pestering, I apologise @Crystal Z, @dsmonteiro, @Jason Z. !!

    Unboxing
    After a few days of failed deliveries to my flat I decided to take the day off work, and pick the parcel up from the delivery office. I got back to the flat, ran up to the living room and opened up the parcel like a kid at Christmas ( I don't really know what that's like because I'm Muslim!). After ripping through the grey bag and carefully sliding a knife through the cardboard box, I laid eyes on the holy grail. IMG_20210408_093248.jpg
    The red box with beautifully embossed Hasselblad and OnePlus 9 Pro lettering​

    The pent up excitement very quickly turned into wonder but also worry. As a poor student who doesn't do photography professionally, I have never carried out product photography before and lacked a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and an appropriate background to shoot on. I reached for my trusty OnePlus 7 pro and used a little creativity to turn my induction hob into a mini studio. All images were edited on snapseed, to make the photos seem less like they were taken in a kitchen!

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    The contrast between the matte surface and the shiny embossed lettering is stunning

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    This box is what we've come to expect from OnePlus, who clearly understand the importance of unboxing as an experience. It's become a grievance at this point because the packaging is always so beautiful I can never bear to throw it away, leaving a pile of OnePlus phone boxes in my room gathering dust.

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    I switched the lid around for this shot so I could get the Hasselblad "H" adjacent to the "ONEPLUS" underneath. The eagle-eyed among you may notice the rings from my hob!
    Opening the box was extremely satisfying as the sides slightly gripped the inside to make the lifting up as smooth as possible. Every detail was immaculately designed, and I loved how the logos of OnePlus and Hasselblad were on the red box and the full names of the company were directly underneath on the black box. I was definitely surprised to see how much Hasselblad branding there was all over, which may have confused someone who had no knowledge of the phone prior to receiving it.

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    The OnePlus 9 Pro in all its glory​

    The phone came wrapped in plastic which included a handy pull tab to help pull it out of the indent it is neatly cradled into. The wrap pointed out where the magnetic rings for wireless charging, and the NFC chip is located on the phone. Before you get to the phone, however, was a red sleeve which contained:
    - A letter from Pete & a sim ejector tool
    - A quick start guide
    - Safety Info
    - SAR values
    I shook and shook the red sleeve several times hoping for some stickers to fall out, but alas they were nowhere to be found
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    Can't complain about not getting stickers when OnePlus send you a phone for free!​
    Despite not receiving any stickers, on opening the white sleeve, I realised the phone was shipped with a really simple but modern TPU case which I instantly fell in love with and was a huge step up design wise from the clear case given previously. The case was smooth, with a good lip around the screen and camera and felt really nice to grip. Nevertheless, I truly do not understand the reasoning behind the slightly glossy "Never Settle" placed on the right side of the case which ruins and other-wise perfectly designed case. I'm interested to see if anyone actually likes the Never Settle writing on the case (let me know in the comments). Underneath the loose case was the updated 65W power brick and characteristic red USB-C to USB-C dash charger.

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    The case colour goes so perfectly with the phone, here you can also see the camera bump in detail including the slightly hideous HASSELBLAD typeface towards the bottom of the bump

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    And after all that, the unboxing was over seemingly as soon as it began. I picked the phone up witnessing the incredible mirror effect on the glass back. This quickly disappeared as the back became covered in fingerprints making me feel like I had the dirtiest fingers in the world. I know it has been said before, but the OnePlus 9 Pro could be used as a forensic tool on CSI as it can pick up fingerprints like nothing I've ever seen.

    IMG_20210408_115754.jpg A rare moment of this phone without any fingerprints on the back

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    A shot that demonstrates how well the case suits the phone-if you can ignore the dying plant in the background!​

    And there we have it the unboxing and first impressions of the "fingerprint collector" also known as the Morning Mist OnePlus 9 Pro. I then put it on my bedside to charge and install updates. Follow this thread as the rest of the review is coming soon where I'll be discussing the Design & Display, Battery & Charging and lastly the Camera.

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    The last photo I took with my 7 Pro before it I switched over the data and wiped it :disrelieved:
     

    Attached Files:


    #1
  2. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 25, 2021

    Stickied Post
    F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk , Apr 25, 2021 :
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    Display and Design
    Hey everyone it's Sulaimaan back with the design and display section of my review. You may remember that my last phone was the OnePlus 7 Pro and I had that in the stunning Nebula Blue colour that shapeshifted depending on lighting. The Morning Mist model of the OnePlus 9 Pro is also a shapeshifter except instead of changes in colour, the back of the phone mirrors with the surroundings so beautifully.

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    That is until you hold the phone and it becomes covered with fingerprints. There is a subtle yet elegant taper from slightly matte at the top of the phone, to fully reflective towards the bottom which gives the phone a very modern feel. I really liked the idea of the pop up camera on the 7 Pro in theory, however, in practice the pop up would get in the way slightly. I wouldn't use face unlock because of the time it took for the camera to come up, it also made it more obvious when I was taking selfies, which I'd prefer people didn't know as its slightly embarrassing. This is why I fully embraced the switch to the cut out front camera which really blends away into the stunning display. The cut out camera becomes truly unnoticeable when using the phone, all the apps are optimised so that vital menus and information aren't covered by the camera. The only situation where it becomes noticeable is in full screen video (at which point the aspect ratio means the top and bottom are cropped and so the cutout is the least of your problems). I also haven't noticed it in the limited gaming I have played on the phone. The dramatic curves seen on my 7 Pro have given way for a more subtle and refined curve, which makes the phone look modern, without causing as much distortion at the sides.

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    The phone comes pre-installed with a plastic screen protector which has been applied with precision, however, has shown signs of wear and tear very quickly. On the top of the phone is a standard phone call speaker, which works the same as on the 7 Pro, and on the bottom is the dual speaker, on the bottom right, the usb-c port centrally.

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    The sides of the phone have a really thin 2.2mm aluminium frame, the combination of metal and glass lets you know that this is a premium flagship- plastic who? The phone is perfect to hold, it's not too slippery, and is well balanced in hand. But like all phones with a glass display and a glass back, there's no way I'm walking around without a case. Especially since an older generation of Corning Gorilla glass 5 has been used unlike the Victus used in other flagships.

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    The display is good and I mean REALLY GOOD - when it works. The OLED display means colours are vibrant and blacks are truly black, everything is so snappy, the Quad HD is overkill but great for future proofing. HOWEVER, the LTPO (120Hz to 1Hz) has been a bit temperamental and has caused a lot of stuttering whilst continuous scrolling in certain apps, such as twitter, instagram and google photos. Usually it just takes a longer time than it did on my 7 Pro to scroll quickly down a long page. The speed can be reached but only if you 'ramp it up' by scrolling continuously with your finger, and the scroll will quickly lose momentum. I am sure that this issue is easily fixed with software updates.

    Battery and Charging
    What can be said about the charging power of this phone that hasn't already been said. OnePlus have historically led the pack when it came to charging and charging speeds and this year is no exception. The dual cell technology coupled with the 65W Warp charger (provided in the box) provides insanely fast charging speeds. My real world testing found a consistent 0-100 charge indoors within 30 mins, with no obvious overheating or throttling problems. This has changed my charging routine dramatically, whereas before I would charge my phone overnight and risk affecting the battery health, now I put my phone on charge first thing in the morning and by the time I have showered and got dressed the OP9 pro is sitting pretty with 100% charge. It almost feels like witchcraft. It's not all sunshine and rainbows though, the 4500 mAh isn't the largest, and due to the split batteries, the charge on this phone drains a little quicker than my 7 Pro. I'm usually finding that if I leave the house for work at 7am and use the phone throughout the day for mild-moderate tasks (watching tik-toks, social media and taking photos), I am left with zero charge before I get home for 6. The same usage on my 7 Pro would have left 10/15% by the time I got home. This does mean that carrying my charger or some form of battery pack with me at all times has become essential.

    STAY TUNED FOR MY CAMERA REVIEW
     

    #6
  3. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 25, 2021

    Stickied Post
    F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk , Apr 25, 2021 :
    Camera Review
    It's been 2 weeks now since I have received my Morning Mist OnePlus 9 Pro and whilst I have been very busy and with UK is Lockdown for the first week, I have managed to get a feel for what this quad (triple!) camera system has to offer. Before we begin it's important to get the camera specs out the way:

    Main Camera
    - 48 MP Sony IMX789 sensor
    - Sensor Size of 1/1.43"
    - OIS and EIS
    - Aperture f/1.8
    - 23mm Equivalent


    Ultra-Wide Camera
    - 50 MP Sony IMX766 sensor
    - Sensor Size of 1/1.56"
    - Aperture f/2.2
    - 14mm Equivalent
    - Free-form lens


    Telephoto Camera
    - 8 MP
    - 70mm Equivalent
    - Aperture f/2.4
    - OIS

    I'm primarily a street photographer and I enjoy capturing the soul of the places that I visit. I really enjoy the works of classic street photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and
    Fan Ho. With my film camera broken and London in lockdown for 4 months I haven't been able to shoot as much as I would like. Receiving the new OnePlus 9 Pro with the hyped Hasselblad-branded quad camera system helped push me outside into the rare UK sunshine and go on a few Photowalks. Using a phone for street photography has a lot of pros over my Canon A-1 film camera. The lightning quick autofocus and focus peaking on the pro mode helps you grab your photo the second your eyes see the composition. Despite the stunning design of the the OnePlus 9 Pro, it is a lot less noticeable than a camera and therefore you can take your shots without people noticing. For a lot of my shots I have edited in Snapseed where I have adjusted the colour profile, perspectives and added grain to make the photos seem more filmic. All photos where shot on normal automatic mode at 12MP JPEG as street photography doesn't require a huge amount of detail (composition is more important). The ability to switch from essentially a 14mm to a 23mm to a 70mm in seconds means you are able to capture a wide range of compositions for the same scenes. So before I critique the camera systems I thought I would share with you my favourite shots edited.


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    I hope these photos have given you an idea of the broad uses of this quad camera set up. All black and white photos were edited from colour rather than using the dedicated monochrome camera as many of them I wasn't sure whether they would be black and white and so shooting in full colour gives you flexibility. The main and wide camera were able to work seamlessly for me even difficult lighting situations such as direct bright lighting conditions and shooting directly into the light. Often times even if the initial photo came out slightly washed out due to the lighting, a huge amount of detail was still collected in 12MP JPEG to create a great looking final image. The Telephoto camera was used a great deal as you often do not want to get too close to the subject as it makes taking the shot more obvious, and due to COVID-19 its probably best to keep a distance. The images using the optical zoom at 3.3x were not hugely detailed and sharp, however the images were usable if the only purpose was to post on Instagram. I was impressed that there wasn't a huge amount of differences in colour grading between ultra wide and the main camera, however the jump into telephoto can be very obvious due to a difference in quality and colour profile.
     

    #7
  4. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 25, 2021

    Stickied Post
    F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk , Apr 25, 2021 :
    For the rest of the review I will be posting un-edited JPEG photos with the main camera, wide angle, telephoto and selfie camera to demonstrate how OnePlus with the help of Hasselblad process the photos in auto-mode.

    Main Camera

    This camera has proved itself to be hugely capable and does well to determine adequate exposures, and using the new exposure sliders, can produce photos with great dynamic range and character. When it comes to the natural colour grading Hasselblad have provided, I would say it works very well on buildings, clothes and other things in the surroundings. My biggest problem that crops up time and time again with all the cameras is skin-tone. It's a complaint I have had with OnePlus phones for a while now and hoped the collaboration with Hasselblad would remedy this, but alas, any skin tone that isn't white is hugely inaccurate when compared to real life. The processing often blurs the skin slightly but will also give this white cast to brown and black skin that makes it look unnatural and loses the natural glow. I believe this must be OnePlus software processing to enhance the beauty of the subjects in the photo, however this does not work on brown and black skin and I implore OnePlus that we get the option to turn this in-built beauty mode off or at least the whitening. This problem is seen in Portrait mode more severely and is possibly my biggest gripe with an incredibly capable camera system. Here are some photos to demonstrate this problem in real life:

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    Here you can see both in portrait mode and out of portrait mode, my friends deep brown skin has been turned into a pale almost grey like colour which is hugely disappointing. The camera did do a better job when the photo was taken in direct afternoon lighting, however, it was still unable to capture the real life skin tone I saw.

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    But as I said skin tone aside, the natural colours and proficient auto-mode makes using the OnePlus 9 Pro a delight to use as photos come out completely useable straight out of camera. Here are a few taken in Oxford & London:

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    As I mentioned previously portrait shots have been a bit hit and miss with both human subjects and especially inanimate subjects. Whilst I struggled getting good portrait shots at the beginning, after a few updates performance has improved dramatically. Whilst the shots with this portrait mode has much improved quality, exposure control, contrast and colour profile as my 7 Pro, I dislike the fact that the telephoto camera isn't used for portraits. On my 7 Pro the telephoto lens was used which gave a much more natural looking portrait where the background was flattened out more and bought closer to the background making the shot look more like it was taken on a mirrorless or DSLR. The 9 Pro uses the main camera and therefore the portraits look exact same as a normal photo, with the background blurred which makes the shot look less natural. Having said that the depth of field can look natural, and is capable of producing nice round bokeh in the right conditions. I'll show you a few early ones which struggled with edge detection and then two later ones which did a better job.

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    Here you can see the edge detection has really struggled with what to keep in focus and what to blur, the leaves on the tree are too sharp, along with the man directly behind her. It has also really struggled with the hair strands making this look like a bad photoshop job.
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    This photo eventually came out well, on the right, however it required 5/6 attempts where the results looked like the one on the left where the wrong things are in focus and the shot looks unnatural. We had had a very long day at work hence why my friend is fast asleep!

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    At first glance this photo looks good, the skin tones are perfect, the exposure is well controlled, there is a nice taper to the depth of field so things further away are blurred more. However, the shot is ruined by the edge detection on the right hand side, on the jeans in the background, and the hair looks very unnatural also due to the cut out.

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    ...and there is nothing nice I can say about this photo, this was the best I could get after multiple attempts. The software was truly confused by this scene. However after a couple updates the portraits did redeem themselves:

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    #8
    meatandy, tobias14, McJader and 2 others like this.
  5. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 25, 2021

    Stickied Post
    F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk , Apr 25, 2021 :
    Wide Angle
    I've not had enough time to properly utilise this the way I have wanted, but I'm so impressed with the way it works. Everything is so effortless and it really helps when trying to capture a lively city like London in all its glory. I first took a few photos of my OnePlus 9 Pro box, through a hole in my table using the wide angle as it produced a really nice effect. The distortion has been removed so well using the freeform lens I'm shocked no-one has had this idea sooner. This is TRUE INNOVATION and is one of my favourite parts of this phone.

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    I was surprised that the wide angle mode also worked in macro! I never had a macro mode on the 7 Pro and never had the chance to use it on the 8 Pro and so I was blown away by the images you could produce in macro and hopefully I can take a few more pictures to show you guys!

    Telephoto
    I have used this camera a lot as I have discussed previously and many of my street photography shots at the beginning were shot with the telephoto zoom. I will display a few photos I've taken at 3.3x zoom that were unedited. Overall I am pleased with the results I get from this mode, but wished the sensor size was bigger and a higher resolution image could be produced. Whilst the usefulness of a 50x periscope zoom is debatable, I would have loved an optical 5x zoom from this telephoto.

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    Selfie Camera

    The selfies from this phone suffer from the same skin tone problem I have discussed previously. Whilst selfies indoors do a better job with white balance and finding the correct skin tone, when taking selfies outside or with direct light on the face, the photos become unusable. The highlights often get blown out massively and the post processing makes my skin look extremely washed out and un-lifelike. Some of the selfies from this phone has made me look like a corpse which isn't quite the aesthetic I am after. I have attached one selfie that I have taken on snapchat and on the camera, and the differences in skin tone is staggering. Bare in mind Snapchat essentially takes a snapshot of the camera preview rather than using the actual camera. Snapchat is on the left and Camera is on the right
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    Taking a selfie indoors however, has proved to pick up skin tone better if the lighting is soft.

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    However, this changes dramatically when facing lighting, the highlights become too blown out and the white balance and exposure is metered incorrectly, as seen below.

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    Hopefully this problem could be fixed in a software update as this problem puts OnePlus way behind in this category compared to competitors, especially the iPhone.

    LOW-LIGHT
    Lastly, I wanted to touch on low-light performance, which as expected with a sensor size as large as this is impeccable. Majority of the time I found that taking a shot straight from auto mode instead of switching to Nightscape did a really good job at capturing a shot that ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE ITS TAKEN AT NIGHT. Sometimes I've noticed in nightscape and especially in other phones nightmodes, the image is brightened so much the shot looks like it's shot in the daytime. I really love how glare from light sources have been all but erased by this camera system, leading to clean and clear night-time shots. Here are a few shots I took at night with all three cameras.

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    And there we go, since Video is truly not my expertise and I rarely use it, I will leave it up to my colleagues in the Lab Series to cover. I have been impressed with the Portrait video mode as I would have assumed it was a gimmick but surprisingly works super well. I want to thank all of you for engaging in my review, I hope I have done a good job worthy of a Lab Series Reviewer. I hope I remain a OnePlus user and become a more prominent community user in the years to come. Goodbye for now!!
     

    #9
  6. PhotoPicker
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 10, 2021


    #2
  7. Ronin-hc
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 18, 2021

    Ronin-hc , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Apr 18, 2021 :
    Amazing photos ! You definitely fooled me into thinking that the surface was anything other than an induction hob ! Great stuff, can't wait to see more of it.
     

    #3
  8. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 18, 2021

    F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk , Apr 18, 2021 :
    HAHAHAHAH thanks!!!
     

    #4
  9. Rcoupe_XBM
    Froyo Apr 19, 2021

    Rcoupe_XBM , Apr 19, 2021 :
    Great review and nice photos ;) and yes i can 100% confirm, Morning Mist OnePlus 9 Pro is "fingerprint collector"!!! And yes - includet protection case was also not to my taste - so i did buy sandstone version instead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2021

    #5
  10. Bouncer71
    OnePlus 7 Pro Sample Shot Photographer Community Expert Apr 26, 2021

    Bouncer71 , Apr 26, 2021 :
    Thank for the nice review @F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk...!

    Very well done..👍
    Especially liked the camera part..💪

    Also the 7Pro has that "fade to gray" effect..
    Hope they fix it at some time...🤞
     

    #10
  11. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 26, 2021


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    Froyo Apr 27, 2021


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    Cupcake Apr 27, 2021

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    Cupcake Apr 27, 2021


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    Gingerbread Apr 27, 2021

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    Donut Apr 27, 2021


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  19. F_Sulaimaan_Aslam_zVXk
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 27, 2021


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    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 27, 2021


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