[The Lab] OnePlus 9 Pro "Pine Green" Review by dom_k

  1. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 11, 2021

    dom_k , Apr 11, 2021 :

    Hello guys,

    First I‘d like to introduce myself, my name is Dominik and I'm a photography enthusiast from the Czech Republic who takes pictures only by the phone. I'm not a huge fan of DSLRs. Because of the size and weight they aren't so comfortable to carry everywhere. My favourite scenes in general are from nature. Most of them are taken in the mountains and when night comes I don't disdain photographing night sky. I like to push the limits of what the phone can take. I don't really feel like a professional photographer but more like someone, perhaps like most of you, who enjoy their work in every way. So it was a big surprise for me when I got the email that I was chosen. Thank you @Crystal Z. and all members of the Oneplus team which gave me this opportunity. I really appreciate it. After that I would like to say: Everyone have a chance! Don't give up on it and try it definitely next time too!

    Unboxing and first impressions
    Before we get into the main thing - how the camera performs in this beast, let me tell you my first impressions from unboxing and using the 9 Pro. I got mine in beautiful Pine Green and as a lover of nature, especially forests I like it the most of all available colors. My main helper for capturing this task will be mine 7T which I own for some period of time so I will also tell you all my feelings about switching to this brand new Oneplus flagship.

    I think something is missing there... guess what?

    The first thing you will notice is for sure - the box. Chosen design leveled up based on cooperation with Hasselblad. In times of downsizing everything, removing chargers under pretence of fake ecology (thx Oneplus to stay true) I was surprised by the size of it. It's huge and hides many things which you must already know from elsewhere for sure! The phone, charger, cover and stickers are enough for me but unfortunately, no stickers in my box! Oops. Did you guess right?


    The Pine Green between pines

    After picking up the 9 Pro I was amazed by the premium feeling. I didn't have my hands on 8 series, but 7T series are slightly behind it. I really like camera's cutout design which is appropriately showing off the sensors size. The phone's ergonomics is just perfect. So much better grip than on 7T due to its backside matte surface which is the most grippy one I ever held. And the best part - it's fingerprint FREE. Speaking of fingerprints, the sensor position is ok for me.

    Green color can change in some conditions into the greyish tones... looks so luxury

    Included case is finally not the basic transparent one, color matches the phone, material is soft and really pleasant to touch. Lenses and display are decently protected. Thumbs up for that!

    You are watching born of first little scratch on the preinstalled protector due some evil wooden chip :D

    Did I find a difference between 90Hz vs 120Hz display and higher sampling rate? Hell yes! On the other side, higher resolution is really hard to see in my eyes, but it is definitely more bright due to 1300 nits. Thanks to Snapdragon 888 I experience faster daily operations in Oxygen OS and better sound quality when using my Buds Z or simply the onboard speakers. Few days ago I thought that haptic feedback couldn't be much better nowadays - how wrong I was. Last but not least, I have to praise the 65W Warp charge which is ridiculously fast. Is too early to judge the battery life. I will inform you in a couple of days how long it will last.


    Looking on this ̶s̶c̶e̶n̶e̶r̶y̶ display is just a joy

    The Camera


    I really like 7T's Oreo but this is much better!

    What a huge step forward from the 7T! A lot of things are said. But how is it in real life in my eyes? Will Hasselblad's color calibration do its work well? I'm squeezing the camera and my skills to bring you some good results so stay tuned!

    EDIT: I decided to post mine results with the camera as a weekly report. Every week for some period of time I will add a post with a different theme.

    Thank you for your time and feel free to ask me anything.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021

  2. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 15, 2021

    Stickied Post
    dom_k , Apr 15, 2021 :
    Week 1 - The forest

    In the first week of testing the 9 Pro’s Camera I will take you to the old-growth forest near my residence. We will look onto the famous trail Bila Opava at Jeseniky mountains. I got up early before the sunrise so I could enjoy the atmosphere and take advantage of golden rays. Another benefit is absolutely no people. That’s promising, these things are important to take good photos!

    Photos below are unedited and come straight from the camera. In this case I take shots in Automatic mode with HDR on.

    Welcoming a new day in the cold wind, birds are singing, just imagine.
    Main camera

    I know it is nothing special but the HDR performs well here, details of the trees are visible.
    Main camera

    Among the trees, no magenta effect in lower dark parts, sharp enough.
    Wide camera

    Now my favourite one with small waterfall, IP68 is welcomed here. You have to cross the river to get this angle. Some lens flare appears. If I want to achieve a silky water effect I have to get ND filters. There is a place for improvement - Honor brand has a software tool for it so filters are not necessary.
    Wide camera

    Photos below are slightly edited in Snapseed to meet my expectations. I get them a warmer look in the upper parts. I think software made a decision to process them in colder tones because it identifies the scene as a Snow.

    Wide camera

    Wide camera

    Last photo is heavily edited and the mood changed completely from sunny day to foggy one. I’m not a big fan of editing on PC. I like to edit fast and straight on the phone so always using the Snapseed for everything. Here is an original image. Would you be interested in a tutorial on how to edit photos in Snapseed like this? Leave a comment if yes!

    Wide camera

    I’m absolutely mind-blown how the wide camera performs! It is the biggest upgrade and advantage over the competition so it is my favourite one for sure!

    Next time we will look at some night photography using the NightScape mode.
    See you soon!

    Compressed with Yalmco by @hennes
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021

  3. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 27, 2021

    Stickied Post
    dom_k , Apr 27, 2021 :
    Week 2 - The Night

    It was raining behind the window and I was thinking what type of scene can define it the most? I must start with something different than nature this time. So I packed myself, started the car and went to the capital city of my region - Ostrava. City of raw steel and black coal. Iconic industrial architecture “Dolni Vitkovice” mirrored in the puddle, that was my vision.

    Photos below are unedited, shooted on NightScape mode on the Main camera. It is always best to choose this sensor in the dark scenes due to its aperture of f/1,8.

    Giant ironworks (78m, 256ft tall) in the rain

    I got cold after this trip, hope you will like it unless it was wasted time

    Let’s move to location around my city. I thought that spring was finally here. How dare I am. But I got lucky enough to catch this snowy mood! In this type of scene with lot of unnatural light you can use a Wide camera without worries. Photos are unedited again using the NighScape mode.

    I love the way how wind pulling up the snow into the reflector trajectory, Main camera

    Wide camera performing really well in this scene, sharp enough and beautiful white balance

    Capturing the night sky

    If you want to catch some night sky I have some useful tips for you.

    1. Find best location without light pollution via lightpollutionmap.info

    2. Absolutely best day to shoot is on new moon phase but weather is unpredictable and clear sky is most important so you may end up almost on full moon like me :D

    3. Always use a tripod or stabilize the phone for example by a stone.

    4. To capture use the PRO mode - set shutter speed on 30sec, ISO you must customize to current light condition, start at least with ISO 640 (with higher number you get a more bright image but with more noise). Don't forget to put focus on infinity. Noise in astrophotography is the biggest disadvantage of stock camera app. However there is an alternative way - Google camera app which has Astrophotography mode which can help you reduce the noise a lot so more of stars are visible. Basically it is stacking for example 20 photos into 1 without star trail effect.

    Stock camera, ISO 400, 30s exposure, slightly edited in gallery app, satellite trail included

    Gcam 8.1 by Arnova8G2, Astrophotography mode (ISO800, 23 times 16sec exposure), slightly edited in gallery app

    You can see a difference between these two. Colours are more accurate with stock camera, Hasselblad doing its job really well. But with less noise in Gcam you can edit it much more to look for example like this:

    I really looking forward to test Astophotography again in better conditions. That moon is just too bright now to see the milky way. I hope that weather will be on my side in the new moon phase. Fingers crossed.

    Next time (and it will be really soon because of some delay of my week 2) we will look into some spring vibes photograpy. Stay tuned! :blush:

    Compressed with Yalmco by @hennes

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 17, 2021

  4. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer May 3, 2021

    Stickied Post
    dom_k , May 3, 2021 :
    Week 3 - Spring vibes

    When spring comes, there are so many colours and new life that it is hard to not catch a good photo. In these times of quarantine is a good time to discover your home's vicinity so I do. The best time to take photos will be the golden hour again so you can take benefits from golden rays.

    First photo I called "Say goodbye winter", may not be visible but it was snowing in the sunshine
    Main camera, Auto mode, HDR on, unedited

    Finally some telephoto camera catch before sunrise, 29 animals in one photo
    Telephoto lens, Auto mode, edited because it was oversharpened

    Swan gets more closer, zoomed main lens performed better
    Main camera, PRO mode, ISO100, shutter 1/2000, unedited, RAW output is unzoomed
    Other shots from the location, unedited
    IMG_20210427_053758.jpg IMG_20210427_054850-01.jpeg

    Morning walk before the work is always a good idea

    Wide lens, Auto, HDR on, slightly edited in Lightroom

    Same spot from the main lens

    You don't have to switch to the macro manually, it is doing itself automatically.

    Macro mode, unedited

    Alone pine tree

    Main lens, edited in Snapseed

    When sunset kisses the wild garlic
    Main lens, edited in Snapseed

    Wide lens from the same location


    I'm still findiny my way to the telephoto lens. It has tendency to oversharpening and some grain. Also when you shooting towards the light source lens aberration may appear. I hope that next updates will improve it because in the latest update the white balance between all 3 lenses was improved together with oversharpening on main and wide lens. Macro photos are really nice, with 7T I can get slightly closer tho.

    Compressed with Yalmco by @hennes

    Edit 8.5.2021:
    After the update to telephoto performs much better!!
    Last edited: May 17, 2021

  5. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer May 16, 2021

    Stickied Post
    dom_k , May 16, 2021 :
    Week 4

    Cherry blossoms are wonderful trees, in sunny weather they're so photogenic. But how to shoot them on a rainy day? In my town you just wait until the night and this show appears. I totally love it. You don't need to laborate with Pro settings just use the Night Scape mode and it will do its job really well.

    Main camera, Night scape mode, unedited

    Finally I had an opportunity to shoot the Milky Way during the new moon phase. It is not as big as I hoped but almost the total darkness helped a lot. You can again see differences between the stock camera and Gcam and as a bonus I attach a shot from my 7T to show you how far lenses are after 2 years. As you may notice I prefer shooting the night sky with the Gcam so playing with RAW files is a little bit useless. Gcam's stacking will always be better but as I said before the color accuracy on the stock camera is really good and if you post it on Instagram, differences are gone.

    Focused on the milky way itself
    PRO mode, ISO 6400, shutter 30 sec, edited in Snapseed

    Same spot from Gcam 8.1 with much less noise

    Oneplus 7T catch (much less stars and details)

    With forest on horizon
    Pro mode, ISO 6400, shutter 30sec, edited in Snapseed
    Same spot from Gcam 8.1 again with much less noise (this one is my favourite!)

    Another angle, light pollution is close
    Pro mode, ISO6400, shutter 30sec, edited in Snapseed


    9 Pro can catch some pretty nice shots with portrait mode. But sometimes it has problems with bokeh between the trees and oversaturating colors. In these pictures below is everything ok tho.

    Portrait mode, HDR on, unedited
    Portrait mode, HDR on, unedited
    Portrait mode, HDR on, unedited
    Portrait mode, HDR on, unedited

    Shooting architecture in Auto mode it's cool. You will appreciate Hasselblad's natural colors calibration so you don't need to edit it after.

    Main camera, Auto mode, HDR on, unedited
    Main camera, Auto mode, HDR on, unedited

    Black & white photos

    Oneplus 9 Pro has a monochromatic sensor. Lot of people call it useless and I am one of them. I would rather see a better telephoto lens so you can capture 4K video with it. For me it's better to take a colored picture, after that I have a choice to make it B&W and keep the colored one too. But what makes me mad it's not the useless itself but its "secret" location in the effects. Seriously, who invented this? I didn’t know how it works until I read it here on the forum. Definitely 90% of users will be on the same boat as me.

    . IMG_20210418_141130__01_001.jpg . IMG_20210418_140130__01__01.jpg . IMG_20210418_081934__01.jpg .

    Compressed with Yalmco by @hennes
    Last edited: May 17, 2021

    McJader, manuel19, Overzee and 7 others like this.
  6. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Jun 6, 2021

    Stickied Post
    dom_k , Jun 6, 2021 :
    Week 5

    This time I will take you through Moravian region in Czechia. It is now easy to explore my surroundings because I saved an old van from the junkyard, then restored and rebuilt it into a campervan. I am so happy now to have a little home on the wheels :D. All photos taken on software version .

    First stop at Jeseniky, my lovely home-based mountains. Rain was present but within this weather you can take really nice pictures with the 9 Pro.

    Wide lens, HDR on, slightly edited
    Main lens, HDR on, edited in Snapseed

    View field comparison between the lenses in the GIF image.

    Webp.net-gifmaker (2).gif

    We will move into the Bile Karpaty in South Moravia close to Slovakian borders which are unfortunately closed. This area is not affected by tourism and it has a lot of potential. Sunny weather helped a lot to get these pictures.

    Main lens, HDR on, edited in Snapseed
    Nizke Tatry and Mala Fatra in the background, High resolution mode, Main lens
    Couple goals - enjoying sunset from the bed, Main lens, HDR, Edited in Snapseed
    On the way to another destination we visited the zoo in Zlin. From bunch of photos these are my favourite.

    Telephoto lens, Auto mode, not edited
    Touch him if you dare, Main lens, Auto mode, not edited
    South Moravia especially Palava is my last and favourite destination. I always go here to get the summer vibes.

    Wide lens, HDR, edited in Snapseed
    Portrait mode, slightly edited, unfortunately phone focused onto the clovers instead of face
    Wine cellars at Plže, Wide lens, edited in Snapseed
    Wine cellars at Mutěnice, Wide lens, not edited
    Hills at Pálava, Main lens, HDR on, not edited
    Pálava views, Wide lens, HDR on, edited in Snapseed
    Sirotci Hradek, Wide lens, HDR on, slightly edited
    Jungle between the hills and vineyards, Wide lens, slightly edited
    Vineyards at Palava, Wide lens, HDR, slightly edited
    Telephoto lens is finally useful, last sun rays before the sunset. No edit, auto mode.

    Macro photos

    I have an opportunity to take some nice macro shots during this trip. All taken without additional lens and in the hands, not edited.







    Bonus: Video samples

    Wide camera stabilization test in steep terrain, 4K 60fps

    Wide camera test at 8K, 30fps

    Main camera performance at night, 8K 30fps


    After many camera updates the phone performs much better in many scenarios. I see improvement in white balance, colors and the biggest difference is the noise, which reduced a lot parallely with the oversharpening. Few days ago you can see that I've complained about performance of telephoto lens, with the update quality improved and now with the newest version of is even better! :D There is also a fresh version which is not delivered yet to me but according to the update list it adds the HDR option in the video.

    Compressed with YalmCo by @hennes

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021

  7. PhotoPicker
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Nord 2 Apr 11, 2021

  8. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 11, 2021

  9. Vigneshxchan
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 12, 2021

    AdrianoS USA and dom_k like this.
  10. Yash Pratap Singh.
    Lollipop Apr 12, 2021

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  11. pkg3107
    Ice Cream Sandwich Apr 12, 2021

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  12. Aaron2017
    Lollipop Apr 12, 2021

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  13. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 12, 2021

    dom_k , Apr 12, 2021 :
    Thank you! I've had already taken some good shots with the 9 Pro yesterday. Looking forward to post them soon.

    Gor.V, Aaron2017 and rasta_firasta like this.
  14. rasta_firasta
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 12, 2021

    dom_k and TibiTibi like this.
  15. Aaron2017
    Lollipop Apr 12, 2021

    Aaron2017 , Apr 12, 2021 :
    Me too, i'm very curious to see if it lives up to the hype they made about the camera.

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  16. gbvreddy
    Honeycomb Apr 12, 2021

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  17. TibiTibi
    Photography Expert Apr 12, 2021

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  18. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 12, 2021

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  19. Mohan_G
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 12, 2021

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  20. NShankaraN
    Jelly Bean Apr 12, 2021

    NShankaraN , Apr 12, 2021 :
    Looking forward for your camera review. Great shots of the phone there in the first post btw.

    dom_k likes this.
  21. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 13, 2021

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  22. Taeyang78
    Froyo Apr 13, 2021

    Taeyang78 , Apr 13, 2021 :
    Someone has the pine green with the original Karbon black case, I'm thinking of buying it but first I would like to see how it looks, because it is quite expensive and I do not like the one that comes with the phone.

    dom_k likes this.
  23. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 13, 2021

    dom_k , via OnePlus 9 Pro Pine Green , Apr 13, 2021 :
    You can see it on the youtube for example on Unbox Therapy channel.. But I'm thinking about dbrand grip case, looks more protective

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  24. GastonLagaffe
    Gingerbread Apr 14, 2021

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