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The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Review

  1. LukasBxy
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Mar 25, 2021

    LukasBxy , Mar 25, 2021 :
    The Lab Review Banner.png

    That´s Me

    My name is Lukas Boguth, and I am overwhelmed and proud to be part of this year's “The Lab” - review team for the OnePlus 9 series. Many thanks to everyone who has worked hard to make this possible!

    But before I start my review and show my impressions, I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself.

    I am currently working as a developer for Vision Systems in Germany. I've been crazy about technology since my early years. Every time a new smartphone arrives, I'm excited to see what it can do to make my life easier, smarter and more fun in some way. As I work with cameras on a daily basis, I was even more excited when OnePlus announced that they would partner with HASSELBLAD to bring home this year's camera crown.

    My OnePlus journey started last year with the beautiful OnePlus 8 Pro. It's just a perfect all-round package. With its fluid experience and the feeling of effortlessly getting through a day even as a power user without having to charge your phone, I'm addicted to know what OnePlus will do for the next few years.

    Join me on a little tour of my impressions on the new OnePlus 9 Pro.

    Contents
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    Unboxing
    Box Contents / Design

    Product Design
    Workmanship / Colour / Look

    Display
    Colour / Viewing Angles

    Camera
    Wide / Ultra-Wide / Tele / Monochrom

    Battery & Charging

    Capacity / Charging Speed / Battery Life

    Verdict

    Personal Opinion
    Unboxing:

    The feeling when the long-awaited package finally arrives… the doorbell rings and the parcel service hands over the expensive package. I am rushing inside again, quickly fetching a knife to open the package, cut open the box with trembling fingers and see this red shining box. I pause, take a deep breath, and lift the box out of the packaging.

    If you have this feeling when a product arrives at home, the company that owns the package has done everything right. So, congratulations OnePlus! You did everything right and I can't wait to see what awaits me inside this box.

    So, what's in the box? We’ll find out together now...

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    The box has the typical OnePlus red color that we have been used to for years. This year with a very noble "Hasselblad" lettering on the front.
    You have the feeling of invested your money well while holding this premium box. I personally really like the weight and angular design.

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    Inside the box you will find nothing less than a perfect scope of delivery. Right at the beginning, the beautifully presented device shows up. Underneath you will find a light gray silicon case and the WarpCharge 65T power supply unit as well as the charging cable in OnePlus red.

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    There is also some paperwork including a letter from CEO Pete Lau. This shows very well how important it is for OnePlus to stay in personal contact with its users and how the cooperation between OnePlus and its Community has helped to improve their products in recent years.

    Here is a list of everything you´ll find inside:
    • OnePlus 9 Pro (Morning Mist, 12 / 256 GB)
    • Warp Charger 65T
    • USB-C to USB-C cable
    • Light grey back cover
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Welcome letter
    • SIM eject tool
    • Safety information
    • SAR information
    Fortunately, OnePlus has remained true to itself and has not left the power supply out of the box like other manufacturers. It's not even a normal power supply. Despite its compactness, this power supply charges the device from 1% to 100% within 29 minutes! Other manufacturers should be ashamed of themselves if you consider that OnePlus is sometimes even a bit cheaper than some other competitors and they still manage to include such a great power supply...

    _1050820-01.jpg

    The first impression of the OnePlus 9 Pro is flawless. The workmanship is perfect and the smartphone is good and comfortable to hold.
    What is immediately noticeable, however, is that the reflective silver back ("Winter Mist" as OnePlus calls it) magically attracts fingerprints. After picking it up the first time, you can clean the back straight away... But I am sure the green and black versions do not have this problem.

    _1050811-02.jpg


    Product Design:

    The OnePlus 9 Pro is characterized by elegant curves, high-quality materials, a good feeling in the hand and a well-balanced weight.
    The workmanship is impeccable and first class. Of course, there is also an IP68 certification, which is appropriate and expected for this price.


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    The aluminum frame feels good and merges seamlessly into the curved glass. It feels more valuable than its predecessor. The OnePlus 8 Pro felt like a rock. Due to the pleasant curves, this is no longer the case this year.

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    The camera segment doesn't stick out that far and has a coherent design that harmonizes well with the rest of the smartphone. Last year, the camera module protruded extremely far from the OnePlus 8 Pro and was neither elegant nor comfortable to hold.

    IMG_20210330_175853.jpg

    The color “Winter Mist” looks pleasant and beautiful. The transition becomes matte from bottom to top and looks like a mirror on the bottom.

    _1050846-01.jpeg

    This mirror effect is very counterproductive, as you can see fingerprints immediately and the device has to be cleaned constantly. A completely matte back would have been more appropriate.


    The positioning of the speakers and the USB-C port are the same as usual and serve their purpose. However, I would like to see a manufacturer who uses two front-facing stereo speakers, as it was common in the past with HTC.

    The buttons are well positioned and have a very satisfactory pressure point. The alert slider has become a bit firmer this year, which helps to ensure that the slider does not move when you put it in your pocket. Nice to see that OnePlus fixes this problem with the 9 Pro.

    _1050842-01.jpeg


    The display bezels have only gotten slightly smaller this year. I hope that next year there will be further progress towards thinner bezels.

    All in all, the design of the OnePlus Pro series has evolved into a positive one. The only thing I personally don't like is the color variant. That's because it's way too susceptible to fingerprints. OnePlus, as a pioneer in matte backs, has taken a step backwards in this regard in 2021.

    _1050839-01.jpeg

    Display:

    The display panel of the OnePlus 9 Pro is 6.7 ” large and has a WQHD resolution with LTPO technology with which the panel can adaptively clock from 1Hz to 120Hz in order to save power and adapt to the content.
    The image is razor-sharp and, in my experience, has been fluid at all times with no hiccups.

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    The color scheme of the display is incredibly good and dynamic. The calibration is perfect and accurate.


    The punch hole on the top left corner of the display is small and doesn't bother me. Over time you get used to it and fade it out. The UI also does a good job of hiding the punch hole most of the time with black areas.

    _1050836-01.jpeg


    The viewing angles of the panel are stable and very good. Depending on the lighting conditions, it has a minimal bluish cast from the side, but that is hardly noticeable.

    I really like that the edges on the sides are no longer as rounded as they were in recent years. This means that there are no more accidental touches at the edges of the panel and also there is no more color shift to see. Good job OnePlus!

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    The only downside is the far too low placed fingerprint sensor. Although it is very fast and reliable, it is installed too far down in the display panel to be easily reached.


    Camera:

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    The camera performance of the OnePlus 9 Pro benefits this year from a specially with Sony developed sensor, which is built into both the main and wide-angle cameras. It captures sharp images with high dynamics and barely noticeable distortion. The large sensor manages to collect a lot of light and produce natural images even in low-lighting situations.

    IMG_20210325_160656.jpg

    The main sensor is a spectacle. It is hardly possible to take bad pictures. The focus is lightning fast and accurate, the exposure usually fits exactly, even if the picture is occasionally a little overexposed.

    The Pro-Mode offers a multitude of possibilities to influence the picture and should please many people with an affinity for photography. The only difference I noticed between auto and pro-mode is that the images in pro-mode are a little brighter.

    IMG_20210328_180018.jpg

    The wide-angle camera has an almost identical color scheme to the main sensor. The distortion is minimal and almost non-existent thanks to the new freeform lens. The sensor triggers quickly and produces beautiful dynamics with good sharpness.

    The Hasselblad tuning was mostly positive for me. One notices a clear difference in the color scheme. This year it is much more natural with realistic colors which for the most part match what the eye sees. The images are not overly saturated and offer a natural hue that is constant throughout all images.

    IMG_20210328_005011.jpg

    The tele-camera is unfortunately a disappointment this year. Don't get me wrong, it is good, but hardly better than the tele-camera from last year and for a flagship smartphone like the OnePlus 9 Pro, a periscope zoom of 5x upwards would be more appropriate instead of a 3.3x zoom.

    The monochrome-camera is also a contra. It is only active when the black-and-white filter is used and even there has only a minimal effect. And let's be honest ... How often do you really use a black and white filter?

    OnePlus should have saved this money and invested in a 5x periscope zoom.


    IMG_20210327_003018.jpg

    In general, one can say that the cameras are incredibly good and versatile. They leave plenty of room for creativity and the Hasselblad tuning ensures beautiful and natural colors. However, both the telephoto- and the monochrome-camera are not what you would have expected for this price in 2021.


    Battery & Charging:

    The battery of the OnePlus 9 Pro has remained unchanged this year. At least that's what you think ... The capacity is in fact identical to the previous year, but this year it is not just one, but two battery cells. This ensures that the battery can be charged from 1% to 100% in just 29 minutes with the help of the included power adapter with 65 Watts! This is incredibly fast and automatically changes the loading behavior of each individual. It should be noted that the smartphone does not even get anywhere near warm when charging.

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    Unfortunately i wasn't able to test the 50W wireless charging. But I'm sure it's at least as impressive as the wired charging.


    Fortunately, the battery is not empty as quickly as it is full. However, you have to be honest and point out that the incredible battery life of the OnePlus 8 Pro is not achieved. You can get through a day as a power user, but that's about it. I honestly expected a little more this year. Fortunately, the battery is fully charged again extremely quickly.

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    On a typical day, I had a display-on time of 5.5 to 6 hours. The display settings were set to dynamic 120Hz, WQHD and automatic brightness control.


    Verdict:

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    Ultimately, OnePlus launched a flagship this year that can compete with other major OEMs in every aspect. OnePlus shows its strengths in the performance, display and fast charging sector.

    I hope OnePlus will take into account this year's weaknesses for next year's Flagship and convince with a better zoom and no unnecessary gimmicks like the monochrome camera. Focus on what is really important, OnePlus!

    _1050853-01.jpeg

    The OnePlus 9 Pro is another step in the right direction and shows that there is still a lot of potential left. Hopefully they will be able to prove this in the next few years.

     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2021

    #1
  2. jlasensiofi
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Mar 26, 2021


    #2
  3. SRD.
    Lollipop Mar 30, 2021

    SRD. , via OnePlus 7T , Mar 30, 2021 :
    Looks great so far. 👍 I am waiting for the more hyped Hasselblad real life performance.
    Thanks for the great unboxing.
     

    #3
  4. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Mar 30, 2021

    MosheG1 , Mar 30, 2021 :
    Apparently the hasselblad colors are only in pro mode and not in the regular mode, can you compare the differences between regular coloring and the pro mode coloring?
     

    #4
    Tanish_palSingh, meatandy and SRD. like this.
  5. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Mar 30, 2021


    #5
  6. Zain Ali
    The Lab - OnePlus 9 Pro Reviewer Apr 2, 2021


    #6
    LukasBxy likes this.
  7. meatandy
    Oreo Apr 2, 2021

    meatandy , Apr 2, 2021 :
    Thank you for the review and your honest insights.
     

    #7
    PhotoPicker and LukasBxy like this.
  8. keithnyc
    Moderator Moderator Apr 2, 2021

    keithnyc , Apr 2, 2021 :
    Great job, Lukas. Really nice read (and beautiful shots). Yeah, I too was hoping for an even longer battery life, but with the rapid charging, I've never run out of power. If the battery is a bit low, I top it off for a few minutes and I'm good to go. I'm always by an outlet and I usually keep one charger at home and one in my knapsack.
    Thanks again for an excellent review
     

    #8
    LukasBxy likes this.
  9. MikeDE1976
    Cupcake Apr 2, 2021

    MikeDE1976 , Apr 2, 2021 :
    Great Article. Trank you. 👍
     

    #9
    LukasBxy likes this.
  10. lividram
    Froyo Apr 2, 2021

    lividram , Apr 2, 2021 :
    I'm bummed the series is overpriced and that Morning Mist color variant is so lame :mad:
     

    #10
  11. J1579018029223
    Gingerbread Apr 3, 2021

  12. siong23
    Cupcake Apr 5, 2021


    #12
  13. globranojr
    Cupcake Apr 5, 2021

    globranojr , Apr 5, 2021 :
    Lukas,Thanks for your review, very insightful. Maybe I missed some things or overlooked and if I did apologies, if you could remind me or point me to where I can find them. My first question is what's the average battery life? I have a oneplus6 right now that will work all day and into the evening, does the OnePlus9Pro have the same? Can I use the cables for the OnePlus6 on the OnePlus9Pro? Does the OnePlus9Pro have slots for 2 SIM cards and support the use of 2 numbers from different providers in the USA? Thanks in advance!
     

    #13
  14. LukasBxy
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus 9 Series Apr 6, 2021

    LukasBxy , Apr 6, 2021 :
    Hi #globranojr.

    Battery:
    On a typical day, I had a display-on time of 5.5 to 6 hours. The display settings were set to dynamic 120Hz, WQHD and automatic brightness control.

    Dual Sim:
    Yes it supports two sim-cards but i am not sure if you are able to use them at the same time.

    Cable: you can use any type c cable. but warpecharge 65t will only work with the oneplus cable as far as i know.

    Best regards
    Lukas
     

    #14
  15. BlueStreak93
    Cupcake Apr 6, 2021

    BlueStreak93 , Apr 6, 2021 :
    So i got a OnePlus 9 Pro ( switching from Galaxy S20+), the first impression is great. Phone looks stunning, feels premium and i love that little profile switch on the side, also the camera is really impressing especially at night. After transfering my data from the old phone, i noticed the lack of some basic functions like : the ability to sort my apps, the ability to create folders and customise them ( installed nova launcher to sort and organise my apps) , the sound is pretty flat to be honest and it lacks bass, the phone also lacks a music player and a sound equalizer (Samsung has an equalizer built into its firmware. I had to spend like 1 hour on Google Play Store to find a decent music player (installed MX player pro because it is a video and music player in one app...also i had to tinker with the equalizer within the app to get a decent sound, close to the Galaxy S20+). That's it for now, i will be using my OnePlus 9 Pro as my daily driver and will post again if i'll have another suggestion. Thanks and take care!
     

    #15
  16. Steps Parku (DJ STEPS)
    Gingerbread Apr 6, 2021

    Steps Parku (DJ STEPS) , Apr 6, 2021 :

    i'd like to comment on the sound. i am an audiophile. i am not too sure about the oneplus 9pro but it should have a native sound enhancer (equalizer) oneplus always has a good sound tuner, it used to be Maxx audio but they part with them and opt for Dirac HD. Head over to settings, sounds & vibration. Look under sound effects and modes, and select dolby atmos. there you are with all the preset sound enhancements. if you still want to go pro. look below there's an option that says earphone adjustment. tap on it and you are greeted with several options to personalize your equalizer.

    1. settings
    2. sound & vibration
    3. Dolby Atmos

    4. Earphone Adsutment
    5. style preference
    6. choose any intelligent style
    7. Equalizer : customize to suit your listening pleasure.



    Now if you are still not happy with the native system audio enhancer. head over to the play store and download Jet audio pro. make sure you are on the latest version. you can still get a pre-activated fully functional version on filecrdotcom. now after purchasing and or downloading jet audio pro, set it up and open the app,

    tap on the equalizer symbol on the screen, select AM3D Audio Enhancer and hell yeah!! you will thank me later. you've got Z-bass and so on this will nuke your audio experience real good. there are also other audio enhancements you can still play around with. hope this helps .

    Screenshot_20210406-172735[1].jpg Screenshot_20210406-172817[1].jpg Screenshot_20210406-172817[1].jpg Screenshot_20210406-172824[1].jpg
     

    #16
  17. BlueStreak93
    Cupcake Apr 6, 2021

    BlueStreak93 , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Apr 6, 2021 :
    Thank you, but the point is that end users want these things built in, not spending time on searching basic apps or settings. Besides, that app caused sound distortions and it sounded like the speakers had a hard time because i think they're not designed for for much tuning. This is just my opinion and i know that this depends on everyone's tastes or preferences. Thank you!
     

    #17
    LukasBxy likes this.
  18. Steps Parku (DJ STEPS)
    Gingerbread Apr 6, 2021

    Steps Parku (DJ STEPS) , Apr 6, 2021 :
    That's a Nice Review Lukas. while i still wait to receive my OP9pro i am glad you have been honest about the camera. Most of the reviews online doesn't speak well about the camera but it's a great device after all. i've owned every oneplus device since the OP1 and currently on the 8Pro. my main issue is the camera. it appears this year's 9pro is still a disappointment in the camera department. especially for the price and how it's being compared to the competition. i've always looked forward to oneplus to improve the camera department, it breaks my heart to still see that crappy monochrome camera setup when everyone is rooting for periscope zoom lenses. i mean Mi 11 ultra and the rest are attempting to lead the pack. anyway i am only getting this device because i am a oneplus fanboy and rooting is my highest priority which oneplus offers the freedom into this venture. should i be comparing best device for the price segment, trust me S21ultra or the iphone 12 pro or the Mi 11 Ultra is way better than the OP9pro. however i hope the bigger change is in the pipeline. i am still getting the 9Pro regardless. ..
     

    #18
    LukasBxy likes this.
  19. Steps Parku (DJ STEPS)
    Gingerbread Apr 6, 2021

    Steps Parku (DJ STEPS) , Apr 6, 2021 :
    i see. but i was trying to let you know that it should be there. did you check and it was amiss from your Oneplus 9 Pro using the steps i narrated? i am yet to get my device but if it's not there then it's a huge disapointment, however i am really confident to say it should be there. really, every oneplus device has this. even my old 6t is still rocking with a good sound enhancement. so check properlly. also for jet audio pro. you might want to check out the latest version. it fixes all the known issues and works great with most oneplus devices. you can even have custom equalizer set for the phone's internal speakers, bluetooth devices and so on. it's great. trust me.
     

    #19
  20. BlueStreak93
    Cupcake Apr 6, 2021

    BlueStreak93 , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Apr 6, 2021 :
    well, i installed jet audio and tinkered around. Honestly i got better results with mx player pro, it outputs a more cleaner sound (by my preference). You can try yourself when you get your OP9 Pro and maybe let me know if u got around the problem LOL.
     

    #20