The LAB : OnePlus 9 Pro Review after 45 days

  1. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 13, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , May 13, 2021 :

    Hello everyone,
    I have been using the OnePlus 9 Pro as my daily driver for the past one and a half months and over the period, the device has received a number of software patches to fix the various issues. Now, I think it's the perfect time to share my experience using the device as a daily driver.
    I won't be getting into the technical details of the device in this thread and you can find my detailed review in the link below.

    In this thread, I will be summing up the pros and cons that I have noticed during my usage.


    Let's first talk about the design and build quality of the device. The ObePlus 9 Pro is a flagship device that comes with a flagship price tag and it does offer excellent build quality. The device with its aluminium frame and glass sandwich design is well built. The subtle curved edges, the excellent weight distribution makes the device easier to use and carry around in the hand.

    • The device is well built and feels premium to hold
    • Excellent weight distribution.
    • Despite packing all those flagship internals and a 4500 mAh battery, OnePlus has managed to keep the weight under 200g.
    • Use of GG5 instead of GG6 or GG Victus which is being used in other flagship devices.
    • The Morning Mist variant, even though looks premium when clean, is a fingerprint magnet and the device feels slippery in hand. If you are planning to buy one, I would suggest going for the Stellar black or Pine green variants which has a matte finish on the back and the rails.


    The device has a 6.7-inch QHD+ 120Hz AMOLED screen with LTPO technology. The display also has support for HDR 10 playback and 10-bit colours.

    • The display is punchy, vibrant, colour accurate and is one of the best display you can find on a smartphone.
    • The AMOLED panel produces deep blacks and good contrast and can get fairly bright and is legible even under bright sunlight.
    • The 120 Hz refresh rate and LTPO display tech work like a charm. After the launch, there were some issues with the variable refresh rate switching in the device and OnePlus has fixed the issue via an OTA update and now it works perfectly.
    • The Always On Display is a great feature and you can also customise the style and also schedule the AOD timings.
    • The display is free from issues like black crush, purple/green tinting and hole punch banding. The display also has excellent viewing angles.
    • There are still some issues in the HDR playback of the device, especially in the darker areas of a scene. The darker areas seem to be a little more darker than the real scene and also lack the fine details in those areas.

    IMG_20210417_215855 (1).jpg

    Now let us looks at the most hyped up and controversial subject in OnePlus 9 Pro - "The Cameras"

    The device has a quad-camera setup, but I would call the rear camera system a 'triple camera' setup. I don't really find any use for the monochrome sensor included in the module and so, I will be only speaking about the Main, Ultrawide, telephoto and the selfie shooter.
    Just after the launch, the camera system on the OnePlus 9 Pro's camera was judged as a failure by so many tech reviewers and users. The cameras were not that bad, but it didn't live up to the hype which OnePlus had created around the multi-million dollar Hasselblad partnership. The cameras lacked in terms of colour science and white balance consistency, had issues with auto-focus, HDR performance and there was a major overheating issue while using the cameras. The good thing is that OnePlus heard the issues pointed out by the community and was releasing updates constantly to improve the camera performance of the device. After a number of updates, the camera performance has become more consistent and is now on par with the competition out there.
    The images produced from the cameras are now consistent in white balance and colours, the HDR performance is good in most scenarios. Overall the cameras now delivers good quality images. The only issues which I had found were with the colour processing algorithm boosting the reds, blues and greens and also the images were heavier in contrast. Hoping Oneplus will fix this in the coming updates.
    The UW camera is one of the best you can see on any smartphone in 2021. The 50 MP sensor produces crisp and detailed images with good colours and dynamic range and the colour science is matched between the main and the UW lenses.
    The main and UW lenses are capable of shooting videos up to 8K 30 fps and the 4K and Full HD videos from the device has good dynamic range, details and excellent stabilization.
    The telephoto camera is nothing to brag about and gets its job done. The images produced are a little bit darker and doesn't match with the colours from the other 2 lenses.
    The selfie shooter is an area where the camera disappoints. The images produced from the selfie shooter are just okayish and is nowhere in the flagship territory. The videos are capped at Full Hd resolution and also the field of view is narrower.
    The cameras have improved a lot compared to day one and it's now a good camera system that can stand among the rest of the flagship camera systems in the market.


    The OnePlus 9 Pro is a powerhouse when it comes to performance. The flagship internals paired with fast and fluid Oxygen OS makes the feel really fast. The device works like a charm in practically any use case scenarios and could play graphic intensive games at the highest possible graphics and frame rate settings. One thing I had noticed is that the device gets uncomfortably warm during gaming and touches around 42-43 degree Celsius while playing games like COD for 20-30 minutes. The updates have brought some improvements to the overheating issue, but still, there is room for improvement in the thermal performance of the device. even though the device becomes warm, it doesn't affect the performance of the device and the gameplay was smooth with minimal frame drops.
    Oxygen OS is still one of the best android skins which deliver a smooth and fluid experience. Oxygen OS offers an ample amount of customisation features along with a better one-handed usage experience, Always ON Display and digital wellbeing features like Zen mode which adds to the overall user experience of the device.


    The battery life is one area in which the OnePlus 9 Pro has disappointed me. I was only able to get around 5 hours of SOT on medium usage scenarios with the screen set to Full HD+ and smart 120 Hz settings. On the same usage case, my OnePlus 8T with the same 4500 mAh battery was able to last around 7-8 hours. The OnePlus 9 Pro was unable to last the whole day on not even a single day and I had to plug it in around 7 pm in the evening to get through the rest of the day. Luckily, the shortcomings of the battery are solved by the superfast 65W warp charging which fills the battery from 0-100% around half an hour. The 65W charging speeds were extremely useful for short topups.


    OnePlus 9 Pro is more of a flagship than a flagship killer both in terms of the specifications and the pricing. The device checks all the right boxes of a true flagship and delivers flagship performance. The device is expensive but still offers a good value when compared to the direct competitors in the market. If you are looking for an android flagship that has a premium build, excellent software, a good camera system, faster-charging speeds and also all bells and whistles of a flagship like IP rating and wireless charging, the OnePlus 9 pro would be a great choice.
    Last edited: May 18, 2021

  2. Shailender Sharma
    Marshmallow May 13, 2021

  3. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 14, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , via OnePlus 9 Pro , May 14, 2021 :
    Thank you.
    It's not mandatory to share a second review. I have shared it because the updates have solved some of the issues which i had initially faced.

    JanPod, kamzee96, Maltad and 18 others like this.
  4. jlasensiofi
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 17, 2021

    jlasensiofi , May 17, 2021 :
    Thanks for that review! :);)

    I am waiting for a camera update to see if there are any changes. For the rest, the use after release, in general terms, has not changed my appreciation of the first review.

  5. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 18, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , May 18, 2021 :
    Cameras have been improved since launch. They are now more stable and consistent for the most part.

  6. jlasensiofi
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 18, 2021

    jlasensiofi , via OnePlus 9 Pro , May 18, 2021 :
    Yes, but there are still some things to fix 👍

  7. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 18, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , May 18, 2021 :
    Yes, indeed there are some more issues to be fixed.

  8. NShankaraN
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2021

    NShankaraN , via OnePlus 9 Pro Stellar Black , May 18, 2021 :
    Nice review again @Nipu_1998 👍🏼Thank you for your insights.

    The follow up review was necessary in this case as many issues were fixed/still being fixed by OP after the launch.

    I do agree that the blue and red colours appear to be boosted in the camera.

    Honestly had to search where they had hidden the monochrome functionality in the camera app. I expected that there would be a straight forward option just like Portrait/Nightscape.

    Btw do you have any suggestions for a protective case for 9 pro with good grip and max protection?

  9. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 18, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , May 18, 2021 :
    Thank you brother.
    I am not a fan of the monochrome sensor and the way it is hidden deep inside the menus. I personally don't use the monochrome mode that often.
    I am using my 9 Pro with the OnePlus sandstone case
    It is well built and the texture adds grip to the device. The case fits snug onto the device and offers drop protection from small heights ( the case has raises lips on the front and around the camera module). But the case does look too generic.
    The Karbon cases are good-looking but I am not sure about their drop protection. ( Maybe @JelleZon could help you with that)
    if you want a hybrid case, I would suggest the Spigen Ultra hybrid cases.

    a cheaper alternative would be Glazed inc cases https://glazedinc.com/products/oneplus9procase

    For Good drop protection,

    1. https://www.amazon.in/Spigen-Tough-Armor-Cover-OnePlus/dp/B08P2DYX5D?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1&psc=1

    2. https://www.amazon.in/Urban-Armor-G...YHQC6BQBQCJ&psc=1&refRID=78MN1PFTSYHQC6BQBQCJ

  10. RacerZ
    Honeycomb May 18, 2021

    RacerZ , May 18, 2021 :

    Thanks for the updated review. You don't often see second reviews of a product after the manufacturer has issued a series of updates. Reviews tend to become stale and no longer useful. And it's obvious that OnePlus has been hard at work trying to resolve any shortcomings.

  11. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 18, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , May 18, 2021 :
    Thank You
    The device had some major issues at the time of launch and they have fixed the heating and camera issues to a certain extent. But the issues are not completely fixed and require some more fixes. There is still room for improvement in battery, cameras, and thermal performance.
    Anyways, It's good to see the issues being addressed.

  12. NShankaraN
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2021

    NShankaraN , via OnePlus 9 Pro Stellar Black , May 18, 2021 :
    Thank you
    I had used Spigen for my OP5
    May be I'll choose it again . Will try to order once they allow delivery to my place after the lockdown ends.

  13. RacerZ
    Honeycomb May 18, 2021

    RacerZ , May 18, 2021 :
    I'm just wondering since there are several variants of the phone, are certain variants more prone to some of these issues than others? It might be interesting to see if there's any correlation based on the variant.

    Nipu_1998 likes this.

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    Nipu_1998 likes this.
  15. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 18, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , May 18, 2021 :
    Did you mean the regional variants like the Indian, US, EU and Chinese variants?

    Helder_DAlmeida and Caoimhín like this.
  16. Khushii21
    Ice Cream Sandwich May 18, 2021

    Khushii21 , via OnePlus 7 , May 18, 2021 :
    Thankyou so much for the second review @Nipu_1998 !
    I believe that first impressions of the phone can mislead you. You can give a real review after using it for some time !
    Your review was very informative and it felt authentic. It was very well written. Everything was explained in detail. 🌟 said:
    Now all the people who wanted to buy this phone could make a more rational decision ✨

  17. Nipu_1998
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series May 18, 2021

    Nipu_1998 , May 18, 2021 :
    Thank You my friend ☺️

  18. RacerZ
    Honeycomb May 18, 2021

    RacerZ , May 18, 2021 :
    Yes, regional variants and variations in hardware components across regions.

  19. SRD.
    Lollipop May 18, 2021

    SRD. , via OnePlus 7T , May 18, 2021 :
    Interesting to notice the conclusion part.
    So, the updates are working. Good good.

    Camera consistency still a question???

  20. Vishnu640
    Froyo May 18, 2021

    G1578398067599 likes this.