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

  1. carlosgm13
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 11, 2021

    carlosgm13 , Apr 11, 2021 :
    O9Pro_carlosgamaphoto_CGP01180 banner.jpg


    Hello everybody! The time has come and I’m ready to tell you about my experience with the new OnePlus 9 Pro! SPOILER: I’m loving it!

    But before I start talking about Oneplus, I'm going to tell you a little about myself. My name is Carlos Gama, I was born in Barcelona and I studied civil engineering, for work reasons I lived in Sao Paulo, Bogotá and Mexico City too. Living in Colombia I realized that I needed a change in my life, I wanted to give myself the opportunity to work as a photographer, because photography has always been my passion. So I left everything and got to it. And after 4 years of hard work here I find myself, with a lot of photos taken and ready to give you my opinion on the new OnePlus flagship thanks to its The Lab program! Many thanks to OnePlus for offering me this opportunity!


    The day finally arrived, I have in front of me the OnePlus package that DHL has just left me. And the desire to see the new phone adds the expectation to know what color it will be. For this second series of reviews the units sent to the reviewers were Pine Green and Stellar Black (the third available color is Morning Mist) but we were not informed of the color that would reach each of us, thus I was eager to know what color my unit would be.

    O9Pro_carlosgamaphoto_CGP01009 1.jpg
    Simple and elegant.

    But calm down, first I need to talk about the OnePlus box. Because it also deserves a comment. Yes, I know, it is a simple cardboard box but it’s very well done one. Maybe it is because of its typical red color, or because of the name of the phone in the elegant OnePlus Sans Font, or because of the Hasselblad logo on the side... Surely it is all together but finally, the important thing is that it seems to me a very elegant and attractive box, it feels premium for sure. With details such as a well-designed and well executed box you can see the love that the brand puts on its products.

    O9Pro_carlosgamaphoto_CGP01088 1.jpg
    Looks like 2001's monolith, isn't it?

    OnePlus 9 Pro co-developed with Hasselblad.

    O9Pro_carlosgamaphoto_CGP01029 1.jpg
    Details that matter, Hasselblad logo.

    Finally I open the box and the big question is resolved. Here it is! My spectacular Oneplus 9 Pro Pine Green! I have to say that this Pine Green is really a very beautiful color, but I'll tell you more about it later. I keep looking in the box and, inside the upper part of the box, quite hidden, I find a cardboard sleeve, which contains the usual safety and use brochures, and the SIM tray extractor, with the cute face characteristic of Oneplus (another simple but great detail), along with the welcome letter, also typical of OnePlus. What I missed were the usual OnePlus stickers. It seems that the EU version doesn't include them.

    And here it is, the OnePlus 9 Pro.

    Pine Green looks awesome.

    Simple and stylish.

    The hidden cardboard sleeve.

    Everything inside, but where are the stickers?

    When I remove the support that cradles the OnePlus 9 Pro, I find a dark green rubber case (beautiful color too) and under it, a fantastic 65W Warp charger and the characteristic red and white OnePlus charging cable with type C microUSB at both ends (probably the best looking charging cable of any brand).

    The green case included matches perfectly with the OnePlus 9 Pro Pine Green. I prefer it over transparent ones.

    In this photo the case seems lighter than it really is.

    The 65W Warp power adapter and the red usb C cable. All included!

    One more thing, on the box everything is arranged in an elegant and orderly way, not like some boxes from other brands where everything is placed a bit haphazardly. Another point to Oneplus.

    The total content of the box is composed of:
    • OnePlus 9 Pro Pine Green 12/256
    • Type C microUSB C charging cable.
    • Warp 65W power adapter.
    • Dark green case.
    • SIM tray extractor.
    • Screen protector already in place.
    • Welcome Letter.
    • Quick user guide.
    • OnePlus Contact and Safety Brochure.
    The complete package.

    First Impressions


    To organize my ideas I am going to divide these first impressions into the following sections:
    • Design and color
    • Screen
    • Sound
    • Performance
    • Battery
    • Camera
    As it is not a complete review, I will be quite concise. Let's go!

    Design & Color

    The OnePlus 9 Pro is a really nice phone. It is true that its front does not have anything that stands out from the competition but its clean lines, the slightly curved screen, the quality of construction and, above all, that awesome Pine Green color make it a very attractive phone.

    In addition to how beautiful the color is, its matte finish does an excellent job with fingerprints. Does not seem like a particularly slippery phone to me, although with the rubber case the grip is even better.


    Regarding the size and weight, there is no objection. With its 6.7-inch screen and a weight of 197 grams, it does not feel especially large or heavy in hand.


    The buttons are well placed and have a good touch. As always, OnePlus included the Alert Slider on the 9 Pro.


    Only good things can be said about the OnePlus 9 Pro's screen. With a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen with QHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate with LTPO technology, the screen cannot be anything other than excellent.


    It is a pleasure to consume multimedia content on it. It is also very configurable so set it to our liking is just a matter of spending some time adjusting to the desired calibration. I personally love to have all these options available.


    I have not tested the speakers a lot but I found that they sound good and loud without distorting. With bluetooth headphones the sound is good and it has Dolby Atmos that can also be configured in different modes. As I am not an expert in sound I will only say that in my humble opinion it sounds pretty good.


    The OnePlus 9 Pro is fast and super smooth with its Snapdragon 888, 12 Gb of LPDDR5 RAM and 256 GB UFS3.1 storage.

    I have not suffered any overheating with prolonged use of the camera. It is also true that in these 5 days that I have been with it I have updated OxygenOS twice. Maybe these updates have solved the overheating issue.

    I need to comment that the fingerprint reader under the screen is the fastest I have had the opportunity to test. Much faster than the one on the OnePlus 8T for example. And if we activate the face unlock, it is even faster to start using the phone.


    The numbers I get from the battery are not extraordinary, 5-6 hours SOT. But with the 65W charger and being able to fully charge the battery in less than 30 minutes this is not a real problem for me. Also with just 10 minutes of charging we can get 50% of the battery. So at any moment I can give a shot of energy to my OnePlus 9 Pro.


    There is much to say about the camera but I will tell you all my thoughts in the following weeks. I will add to my comments photos taken with the different lenses and modes that this OnePlus 9 Pro includes. The main idea is to explore all the possibilites the OnePlus 9 Pro camera can offer. Join me in this adventure!



    Well, It's time to continue! Let's see what the new cameras are capable of.

    Last week I post on
    this thread the first pictures I get with the Oneplus 9 Pro and I made a comparisson between the JPEGs and RAW files you can obtain.

    I found the results to be beyond the expected, the colors were rich and accurate, the contrast was well balanced and the images were full of detail. The main differences between the JPEGs and the edited RAWs were the JPEGs conservative black level (slightly washed) and the, IMHO, too strong sharpness applied to the JPEGs. Talking about the RAW files, I found very easy to work with them. They get a decent amount of info to recover shadows and highligts and push colors.

    Last friday I organized a photoshoot with Nour Yachoui, a beautiful model from Lebanon who's living in Barcelona, to test the portrait capabilities of the OnePlus 9 Pro main camera.

    I shot in PRO mode and RAW, cause I love the flexibilty you get with this format, but I'll be posting just the JPEG copies you automatically get when shooting in RAW. The main
    goal is to see the colors you get straight from the phone. There's no need to remember you that Hasselblad calibrate them.

    All the images are straight from the phone and hasn't been edited in any way, just compressed to upload them.

    Let's see what we get.


    IMG_20210415_171814 compress.jpg



    IMG_20210415_171907 rot.jpg

    IMG_20210415_172025 compress.jpg

    As you can see the main camera is a great perfomer. The colors you get are rich but look natural, far away from the saturated and punchy look you get from other brands. All the images tend to have a mild greenish tint, I assume is the Hasselblad "character".

    The shoot was done on a sunny day with almost no clouds, the shadows were quite hard but the OnePlus 9 Pro did a great job balancing the contrast. The camera got a good ammount of detail in shadows while kept the lights away from been burnt.

    The white balance was reasonably stable but you can see that images 2 and 6 are slightly cooler than the others.

    I never imagine myself doing a photoshoot with the camera of a cellphone but, after this first attempt, I can confirm that with the OnePlus 9 Pro it's possible and you can obtain great images. The only thing I don't like about the images is the excessive sharpness applied but you can get rid of it easily shooting on RAW, of course doing this you'll have to edit them but this is part of the game, isn't it?

    With some work on the DNG files you can easily get results like this:

    RAW from OnePlus 9 Pro edited with Capture One Pro 21 and Photoshop.
    RAW from OnePlus 9 Pro edited with Capture One Pro 21 and Photoshop.
    RAW from OnePlus 9 Pro edited with Capture One Pro 21 and Photoshop.
    RAW from OnePlus 9 Pro edited with Capture One Pro 21 and Photoshop.
    RAW from OnePlus 9 Pro edited with Capture One Pro 21 and Photoshop
    For my second test I wanted to do a studio portrait session. So I talked with Vic Pinzón a beautiful and talented colombian model and organize the shoot.

    This was such a challenge cause I love closed framing for portraiit photogrpahy. For me that kind of framing gives the viewer a special connection with the photographed subject. For this reason I'm used to shoot with long lenses, I normally shoot with a 85 or even with a 70-200 on the long side when I want to close the framing even further.

    With the Oneplus 9 Pro you get two awesome cameras, the main camera with a 23 mm equivalent lenght, and the ultra wide, 14 mm equivalent length, and the not so awesome telephoto camera with a 70 mm equivalent length. My first idea was to shoot with the telephoto camera but after the firsts shots I decided to try the main camera and get closer to the model, far from ideal because the distortion on a portrait is not the best thing, but it done the job pretty well as you will see.

    Lightning was the second challenge, my idea was to create an intimate atmosphera to add some drama to the images but all my studio lights are flash lights. Of course, with the OnePlus 9 Pro a flashlight is useless so I have to use the modelling light of my Godox V1 with a set of barn doors to add control. I had to keep it simple but for the kind of images I wanted to take I think it worked.

    Let's see what we get.








    I shot on color and then I done the black and whte conversion on Capture One Pro 21 and make some light adjustments with the contrast slider and the luma curve. I added some grain to the export images and resized them to 4000x3000 pixels cause I shot on 48 Mpx (8000x6000 pixels).

    The images you get from the OnePlus 9 Pro are quite good but I feel that the JPEG it produces had some kind of minimal beauty filter or, maybe, it's the sharpen filter that softens the surfaces and enhance the edges giving that kind of beauty filter look to the skin... Don't know exactly what it is but I prefer the look you get from the RAW files.

    It's sad not to have a telephoto camera with the same awesome performance as the other two. The OnePlus 9 Pro could become the perfect photographer phone cause it's main camera and ultra wide are really spectacular but the teleohoto it's just ok and I love to shoot telephoto. Maybe the OnePlus 10 Pro?

    But stop! I don't want to end this here, cause I already need to test the portrait mode! But it will be on another moment.

    To be continue...
    Last edited: May 10, 2021 at 9:14 PM

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

    dom_k , Apr 13, 2021 :
    Beautiful pictures, looking forward what you can take with 9 Pro :)

  3. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Apr 14, 2021

  4. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Apr 14, 2021

    YRJ , Apr 14, 2021 :
    Just a heads up, the second half of your thread is not community app friendly in dark mode. You can consider changing the font color to a lighter shade. (Grey)

  5. SRD.
    Lollipop Apr 14, 2021

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  6. PhotoPicker
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 14, 2021

    PhotoPicker , via OnePlus 9 Pro Morning Mist , Apr 14, 2021 :
    Yeah I've noticed that. Even I made the same mistake on my review. [e]1f602[/e]

    YRJ and carlosgm13 like this.
  7. meatandy
    Oreo Apr 14, 2021

    meatandy , Apr 14, 2021 :
    Nice start Carlos.

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  8. sanki_man
    Ice Cream Sandwich Apr 14, 2021

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  9. MuneerKalayath
    Cupcake Apr 14, 2021

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  10. Anshu2705
    Gingerbread Apr 14, 2021

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  11. carlosgm13
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 14, 2021

    carlosgm13 , Apr 14, 2021 :
    Changed! Thank you!

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  12. O. Priya
    Honeycomb Apr 14, 2021

    O. Priya , Apr 14, 2021 :
    Nice pictures. But why are the images blurred? Or is it me who is getting blurry images?

    Y.Benaissa and iamrj like this.
  13. Anshu2705
    Gingerbread Apr 14, 2021

  14. Q1613123931673
    Gingerbread Apr 14, 2021

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  15. Ronin-hc
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 14, 2021

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  16. GitarthBorchetia
    Gingerbread Apr 14, 2021

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  18. Nbalugas
    Gingerbread Apr 14, 2021

    Cupcake Apr 14, 2021

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    Cupcake Apr 14, 2021

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