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[The Lab] OnePlus 9 Pro | Pine Green | Unboxing & Camera

  1. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 6, 2021

    Zain Ali , Apr 6, 2021 :
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    Hello

    Hi guys, I'm Zain, writing to you from Brussels. I'll be talking about the latest OnePlus 9 Pro with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage in Pine Green color. I will be focusing on unboxing and will share my first impression of this model. Then we will move towards the camera specs and features. From there I will share my experience with real-life photos with this phone. You'll be hearing from me in the coming days and weeks!

    Thank You OnePlus & Community

    First off, I'd like to thank OnePlus, @Crystal Z., and the staff for providing the opportunity and having trust in me to review this device. I'd also like to take a moment to thank the community here who have been welcoming and supportive, thanks to you guys all of this is possible. I am honored and it's my privilege to be part of this.

    My Introduction

    Before we proceed, I'd like to talk about how I am here and why am I thrilled to be part of this.

    I am a photography enthusiast for several years and have kept myself busy in different genres like portrait, landscape, architecture, travel, and most importantly, street photography.
    I am not new to OnePlus at all. In fact, I am a proud owner of the very first OnePlus One. I still remember the excitement of getting the invite from a friend (remember those invite system days?) and then purchasing the phone.

    Being a photography enthusiast, I have been familiar with the Hasselblad brand and aware of its status in the industry. Therefore, OnePlus being my favorite brand, when I first read about the collaboration between these brands, you can imagine how excited I was! That being said, my expectations are higher than usual this time.

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    Unboxing & First Impression

    The phone comes in the familiar red box. I have to give it up to OnePlus for their consistent great packaging! The box has quality smoothness and a premium feel. The style is minimalistic. This time you'll see the Hasselblad logo on the bow too.

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    Unboxing a well-packaged item is always fun, and this was no different. I'll show the unboxed items and present the Pine Green color in the photos below, but first I invite you to join me with the unboxing in the video here (Shot with my OnePlus 7 Pro :) )


    Opening the box feels smooth but it has a sturdiness, but it smoothly slides down. Once the lid is removed you see the phone wrapped in the protective cover.
    Remove the phone and lift the tray underneath to find the wrap charger and the iconic red charging cable along with the protective cover.
    You may be looking for the leaflets. They are sneakily hidden in the box lid that you removed before. Shake a little and the packaging will slide out. That contains Quick Start Guide and Safty Info and Welcome words from the CEO which is always nice.

    Contents of the box:

    • OnePlus 9 Pro in Pine Green (screen cover applied)
    • Warp Changing 65 adapter
    • Red charging cable
    • Pine Green protection cover
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Safety Information
    • Highest SAR Value
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    Pine Green Color Presentaiton

    Now we are done with the unboxing. Now it's time to enjoy the phone itself.
    Before I show you, I want to talk about the color of the phone. I usually like neutral colors, and I usually go for black color whenever possible. When I read on the box that it was Pine Green color, I must say I was not super excited as I didn't really know what to expect.

    But once I opened the phone had a look at it, the color was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It has a matte finish, meaning there will be no fingerprint smudges. I love this color!

    Enough talking now, let the phone do the talking now. As they say, a photo is worth a thousand words :)

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    Pine Green color blending beautifully with nature. Has a fresh feeling, don't you think?

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    Let's not forget about the cover that's delivered! It looks beautiful and feels slim in the hand!

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    The design is minimal and neat

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    Since I'm excited about the camera, it's already making friends with the others

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    In the background, you can also find the album cover of the latest Tame Impala album. Any fans here? Or tell me what music you'll be listening to on your OnePlus?

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    Let me just add that the display is AMAZING

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    I have a positive first impression regarding the design and the color. The volume buttons are now at a better position compared to mu 7 Pro, so that's a plus already.

    That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Let me know what are your impressions of the pine green color!

    Stay tuned, I'll be back soon and I'll talk about the camera and will share photos that I am taking with this camera. Can't wait to share my thoughts with you guys. See you soon!

    Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions. You can send me a message here or find me on Instagram: @Zain.Posts
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021

    #1
  2. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 20, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Zain Ali , Apr 20, 2021 :
    Camera Summary

    You all are aware of the specs, and many of the friends in the community have described them in very comprehensive detail. Therefore, I will not dive deep into the specs and the settings and only go over the important points. I will talk about different aspects along with the photos that I will post in the threads below.

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    OnePlus 9 Pro is equipped with a quad-camera system at the back:
    • Main sensor: 48 megapixels
    • Ultra-Wide sensor: 50 megapixels
    • Telephoto sensor: 8 megapixels
    • Monochrome sensor: 2 megapixels (aids the main camera)
    • At the front, we have 16 megapixels for selfies and video calls.

    One thing that some people seem to get wrong is the type of collaboration with Hasselblad. The camera sensors and lenses were not designed by Hasselblad (they might have giving advice on the subject). But the main collaboration comes in color science and processing.

    After using the camera for a couple of weeks, I must say that I do like the colors it is producing. They are not overly saturated. I think OnePlus is going in the right direction with "True Colors".
    With true colors, it is also possible that the photos don't look anything "special", but that means better skin tones and also the flexibility to edit photos as you like. Personally, I like minimal interference when taking the photos, as I'd like the control at the end.

    One thing I found a bit surprising is that it seems that people are not fans, or let me say, not understand the separate monochrome sensor. I actually think that this is a fantastic idea, and this should be improved in future releases. This has been my favorite feature. I will talk more about this in the next thread.

    Camera App

    UI Design

    The design is simple and to the point. I like the fact that the video modes are on the left side of the list and the photo modes are on the right side

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    You can slide the menu up and all the options will be listed as icons. The pro mode is in the middle, so you can quickly select it

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    In the settings, you'll find some very handy tools.
    I like the Smart Scene Recognition mode, it detects the kind of photo you are taking and takes the best effects for the scene. If you are pointing the camera towards a building, it will show an architecture icon on the bottom left, same goes for Macro, for example

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    For the Grid, I like the 3x3 one, as it helps to frame the photos better.

    Pro Mode

    The Pro model is well done.

    Just like a camera, you have control over the main settings like Shutter Speed, ISO, White Balance, and Focus. You can manipulate these settings to your creative advantage.

    When using the manual focus, do not panic when you see the bleeding red edges. That actually shows which area is in focus at that moment.

    The histogram at the top is handy to know the exposure levels of the photo before you take it.

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    In the image size, you have three options, JPG, Enlarged JPG, and RAW. My advice is to use the RAW, as you will get the RAW (.dng) file which will give your more flexibility when editing. And it creates a JPG along with it. So you have nothing to lose, except your storage, but it's worth it.

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    One feature I absolutely love is the ability to save two pre-selected settings in the C1 and C2 options.
    This handy when you go to a different place with different lights.
    In C1, I save the settings suitable for outside when it's sunny, so I'd have a higher shutter speed and low ISO value, so I can quickly capture the actions.
    In C2 I keep the settings for low-light situations, for example, when inside.

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    #6
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  3. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 20, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Zain Ali , Apr 20, 2021 :
    Real Life Camera Use

    MONOCHROME

    I know, I know, OnePlus has marketed their phone with the True Colors tagline. We know that the colors are nice and the Wide-angle lens great! We will talk about it.

    I want to take a different route to start this with the Monochrome sensor. I was disappointed by the fact that it wasn't received with enthusiasm and also kind of made fun of. I get that people want more money to be invested in the main camera. I get it. But having a dedicated Black & White sensor is an amazing idea. This is the right direction if OnePlus wants to attract more photography-minded people.

    We cannot deny the fact that Black & White photography is a subject on its own and it is here to stay.
    The dedicated sensor in OnePlus 9 Pro helps the main sensor with the details with Black & White. So it's not just a digital filter slapped on the photo.

    Photographers in this community will be familiar with the Leica M10 Monochrome. This is a camera that costs thousands of dollars but can only take black & white photos. That may sound absurd, but it's one of the best cameras out there. It doesn't have to bother with color processing, and the result is razor-sharp b&w photos.

    As a b&w lover, I was super excited to have this option. And I shoot a lot in Mono mode. You can already see the photo in b&w.
    Artistically speaking, "limitation" can be a great tool. When you turn this mode on, then you don't have to pay attention to the colors, then you are thinking more about the framing, lines, etc.

    Let me share some of the B&W photos I've taken in the past couple of weeks. I traveled to three cities so far to bring you guys this content.

    Please note that the following photos are not edited any way. I've taken them by simply using the Monochrome sensor.

    1
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    I like how it's so balanced and yet tasteful. It's a tough lightning situation with very bring light and dark shadows. The whites are not overblown because of the deep shadows and vice versa. I personally like high-contrast photos and appreciated that it didn't try to lighten up the shadows when it was not necessary.

    2
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    At night time, it also kept the details nicely. Noise is not a big issue in such a photo. Though I think because of some noise reduction, some sharpness might be lost, but it's not noticeable.

    3
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    Black and white is a great medium when it comes to street photography. In such a photo color has no importance, so why have it? It's merely a distraction. The only thing important in this photo is the action that's going on and the line that is leading us to one of the subjects. Even without the colors, we can see the story unfolding.
    (I slightly adjusted the alignment, as it was bothering me)

    4
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    No one was harmed taking this photo. Due to the lockdown, there was almost no traffic at that hour, and made sure that there was no tram behind me.
    In this photo, the light was a bit tricky, the sun was setting. There is some noise, but I consider it grain that can also look good in a photo. Though I wish it handled the sky against the architecture better..

    5
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    I am so happy with this photo. It gets the contrast just right for my taste. I glad to take photos where I don't have to think about editing and doing some dodge and burn to make it pop out. This is already a great result out of the phone.

    6
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    When taking photos in the Mono mode, I forget to go back to the normal mode, as I enjoy it too much. It's a great tool for architecture photography.

    7
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    Again, a harsh lighting situation, but it was handled well. I might add that this shot was taken quickly, so I am impressed with the quick calculation, as speed is important in such scenarios when the subject is moving quickly.

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    Such photos can be easily "mistaken" for one taken by a camera. The clarity is impressive.

    10
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    With these black & white photos, I hope I am able to convey my message better.

    I am interested in your thoughts about monochrome photography and your experience with it. Let me know what you guys think!

    I'll be back soon with other (color) photos!
     

    #7
    woSch, Crystal Z., puccellino and 3 others like this.
  4. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 27, 2021

    Stickied Post
    Zain Ali , Apr 27, 2021 :
    Everyday photography

    Today I'd like to share some photos with the spirit of "everyday photography". The focus will not be on "photography skills", but rather on as a normal user walking down the street and they find something interesting and want to take a photo and what to be sure that they will get a good result. They are not necessarily waiting for an interesting subject to enter the frame, or try to find an interesting frame with leading lines etc.

    Please bear in mind that, there is sometimes a difference between a snapshot and a photograph. What I mean by that is that the photographer, when taking photos, is concerned with the framing, focus, and colors, for example. You may have an interesting subject, but the photo may become less interesting if the framing is off.

    Therefore, I want to clear this first, when I talk about everyday photography and not really focusing deeply on the "photography aspect" of things. Because I am assuming that the audience cares about the camera capabilities. Otherwise, any camera would do more than just fine for snapshots.

    1
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    In this photo, I was mainly concerned about how the phone will process the blue colors. It was a cloudy day, and I was afraid that the white balance might overly warm the photo.
    The final result is a very neutral color processing. I'm glad to see that the blues weren't saturated too much. These subtleties may not be "visible", but they contribute to the overall image. The color science seems to be working well.

    For the photographer here, I understand that some OCDs might be kicking in here with the positioning of the subject, not in the middle, not on the gold rule of the thirds spot. It is intentional, to demonstrate, that "there are no rules", and to show an everyday photo.

    2
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    It feels as if the stars are aligned when you find similar colors on the street. This was a busy street and I needed to take the shot without any other subject in between. In such a scenario it is important to have a good dynamic range quickly. I pointed my camera quickly, as I positioned myself to frame and without adjusting for the exposure, took the photo. I am fairly happy with the color processing and dynamic range.

    3
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    This was a good opportunity to test the results with so many colors being present at the same location. I think this is where Hasselbald's color science came in handy to bring more natural colors. Now, admittingly, some people might like a bit more saturated photos where the colors look more vibrant. but for me, it's important to stay as close to reality as possible in the original photo, though it may look "boring", as I can always change color levels in editing.

    4
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    This is your normal touristic photo. This looks like it could have been taken by a digital camera. The details are nicely preserved. A fantastic result. I would feel confident to photograph a little city trip with this camera.

    Hope you guys enjoyed this segment. I'll see you in the next post!
     

    #15
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  5. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 13, 2021


    #2
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  6. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 14, 2021


    #3
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  7. SRD.
    Lollipop Apr 20, 2021


    #4
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  8. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 20, 2021

    Zain Ali , Apr 20, 2021 :
    Thanks! I have taken several photos with it and hopefully will be able to post them later today!
     

    #5
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  9. dom_k
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 20, 2021


    #8
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  10. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 21, 2021

    Zain Ali , Apr 21, 2021 :
    Thanks Dom! Looking forward to seeing you test the monochrome!
     

    #9
  11. Mohan_G
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 21, 2021


    #10
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  12. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 22, 2021

    Zain Ali , Apr 22, 2021 :
    Thanks a lot, Mohan :)
     

    #11
  13. rasta_firasta
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 25, 2021


    #12
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  14. WASIM OnePlus
    Gingerbread Apr 25, 2021

  15. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 27, 2021

    Zain Ali , Apr 27, 2021 :
    Thank you! :blush:
     

    #14
  16. Mohan_G
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 28, 2021


    #16
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  17. T1619621737017
    Cupcake Apr 29, 2021

    T1619621737017 , Apr 29, 2021 :
    Zain thanks for the awesome review and images. I too am interested in the B&W capabilities of the cameras on this phone. I have what may be a dumb question but here goes. There are four apparently B&W filters available when not shooting macro. These are labeled P1, P2, P3 and Mono. What are the differences between these "filters" if that is indeed what they are? Is Mono using only the 2mp B&W sensor? Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. Keep up the good work!
     

    #17
  18. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 29, 2021

    Zain Ali , Apr 29, 2021 :
    Thanks for your comment. You have a very valid question about the Mono, and I'm glad you brought it up.

    To use the Monochrome function, you need to choose the "Mono" option listed in the "filters".

    Two ways to confirm it:

    • You cannot use the wide-angle and telephoto lense when using the Mono function, because the extra Mono sensor only aids the main sensor. You can use other sensors with PI, P2, and P3 filters.

    • You can test this: While using the mono "filter", put your finger on the monochrome lens (the small one on the left when facing the cameras). If you cover it, the photo display will turn to color and you'll get a pop-up message to not cover the lens. You do not have the same case with the other filters. @blueskywhale had the same question, and he tested it like this, a good technique to confirm too.
    Now, I don't understand why the Mono option is under "filters"? This is indeed very confusing. I am guessing that they are not taking big chances with it being a fill feature, as the sensor is not too big. I hope they can change that in a software update or in future releases. A separate button that is easily accessible.
     

    #18
  19. blueskywhale
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 29, 2021

    blueskywhale , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Apr 29, 2021 :
    Yeah some weird tricks always works 😁✌️even though it's a 2mp camer, but the results are pretty good and more than expected. The details are crisp also creating better depth of field while close to the object
     

    #19
    Zain Ali likes this.
  20. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer May 6, 2021 at 4:54 PM

    Zain Ali , May 6, 2021 at 4:54 PM :
    Lines & Architectures

    One of the things that differentiate a photograph from a snapshot is geometric symmetry. It can be either lines leading towards a subject or they themselves making a pattern. The idea is to make it "easy" for the viewer to know what's important and make it visually pleasing. Therefore, it can take some time and effort to look for interesting angles and perspectives. Below I'll share some photos that I've taken with these thoughts in mind.

    1
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    This is one of my favorite spots in Brussels. But it's the first time I came here to take photos. This is right above an exit of a tunnel in the EU district filled with EU buildings. On the right side, you can see the EU Commission. These leading lines are interesting, as they are leading towards the sunset. For me, it has a bit more meaning as I also know that they are leading towards the city center if you keep following this road.
    The camera handled this situation very well. The dynamic range is great.

    2
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    This is one of those times where the Wide Angle lens shines! There is no distortion, which is really essential in such photos where straight lines are important. This photo was taken at an old port in Antwerp. These old cranes are still standing strong as part of the port museum. I decided to stand under one and see how I can work with the lines.

    3
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    Liège-Guillemins railway station is a real treat if you like such photography. The architecture is impressive. It's imposing, yet minimalistic. The wide-angle lens was again perfect for this shot. I remember in other phones, I used to be cautious when using the wide lense due to the lack of quality. But now I can use it without any hesitation.

    4
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    This was mainly a test to see the performance of the wide lens in extreme contrast conditions. On one side there's the bright sunny sky and then inside a dark area. As you can see, the dynamic range is impressive. The whites are not blown and the shadows are not lifted unnecessarily.
     

    #20
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