OnePlus 9 Professional overview: Essentially the most reliable smartphone you should buy

MSRP $969.00

“The OnePlus 9 Professional is enterprise as normal for OnePlus, with enormous energy, a shocking display screen, wonderful software program, and ultrafast battery charging. Simply do not count on the Hasselblad partnership to have reworked the digicam but.”

Professionals

  • All the ability you would need
  • A surprising display screen
  • Very quick wired and wi-fi charging
  • Dependable, {smooth}, and fast software program

Cons

  • Hasselblad involvement is not that noticeable
  • At $969, it faces severe flagship competitors

The OnePlus 8 Professional launched in April 2020, and is simply now being changed by the OnePlus 9 Professional. A yr in OnePlus world is an absolute age, as the corporate has often launched a refreshed “T” mannequin six months right into a mannequin’s life span. However that’s not the case with the 8 Professional. All this further time ought to imply that the OnePlus 9 Professional is one thing actually particular, proper?

It’s the primary OnePlus phone launched in partnership with super-expensive digicam model Hasselblad, which has lent its experience to the OnePlus 9 Professional’s digicam, and that actually sounds particular.  However in any other case, the OnePlus 9 Professional seems to be to be as reliable as we count on from OnePlus, which isn’t essentially a foul factor, however can being reliable even be thrilling? Let’s get into extra element.

Should you’re within the OnePlus 9, which is cheaper however not as technically succesful because the 9 Professional, learn our in-depth overview.

Design

Much less sharp-edged, significantly shinier, and greater than slightly weightier, the OnePlus 9 Professional has a really totally different appear and feel from the OnePlus 8 Professional. The beautiful matte end from the 8 Professional has been changed by a high-gloss mirror end, seen beneath in Morning Mist shade, which is silver to you and me. It’s extra comfy to grip on account of thicker, much less tapered 8.7mm sides, but it surely feels way more substantial within the hand. It weighs 197 grams, with a slight bias towards the digicam module, making it really feel barely top-heavy.

Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The in-display fingerprint sensor is about actually low down on the display screen in comparison with most different smartphones. It’s in the identical place because the one on the Oppo Discover X3 Professional, a comparability we’ll come again to after we speak concerning the display screen later on this overview. On the aspect is OnePlus’s signature, and at all times welcome, alert slider to silence notifications.

The digicam module is within the top-left on the rear panel. It’s resplendent with Hasselblad’s branding and incorporates 4 cameras, a sensor, a flash, and a microphone. It’s not as individual-looking because the OnePlus 8 Professional, or the Samsung Galaxy S21+, however it’s pretty flush in opposition to the physique. It’s all neat and undeniably practical, however there’s not a lot character. This can be a drawback with the OnePlus 9 Professional’s look typically — it’s not unattractive, but it surely doesn’t have a lot id both.

Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

Maybe this doesn’t matter to you, and construct high quality is extra necessary. You’ve acquired no issues right here, because the aluminum chassis is sandwiched between two panels of Gorilla Glass, and it’s all very properly made. There’s nearly sufficient grip from the glass physique, however it is going to slip round on some surfaces.

I’ve nothing in opposition to the OnePlus 9 Professional’s model and design, however it’s a little generic. When the one side that basically tells me it’s a OnePlus phone is the alert slider, you understand the remaining is just too forgettable.

Display

OnePlus has by no means actually nailed its designs, but it surely has hardly ever made a misstep in terms of the display screen. The 6.7-inch AMOLED display screen has a 3,216 x 1,220-pixel decision for a 525 pixel-per-inch density, and a variable refresh charge from between 1Hz and 120Hz. The perimeters have a much less pronounced curve and extra noticeable bezels (however solely simply) in comparison with the OnePlus 8 Professional, to assist keep away from undesirable display screen activations. I’ve nonetheless discovered the display screen to be extremely reactive to aspect touches, and I usually unintentionally open the digicam app or try to vary the wallpaper simply by holding the phone in my hand.

oneplus 9 pro review screen hand

Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

oneplus 9 pro review screen

Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

It’s a ravishing display screen, with wealthy colours and a pure tone that edges towards heat somewhat than cool, in addition to spot-on distinction. By default, it’s set at an FHD+ decision, but it surely’s value taking the battery hit and having it at QHD+ when watching suitable movies. It’s simply wonderful. This Ok Choreo model of Iz*One’s Fiesta is full of shade and element on the OnePlus 9 Professional’s display screen.

How does it evaluate to the 8 Professional, which is itself no slouch within the visible division? It’s not higher or worse, however it’s totally different. The 8 Professional’s display screen is a bit more vibrant, whereas the 9 Professional’s is a tiny bit extra pure, which does introduce some softness, ensuing within the 8 Professional generally wanting extra detailed on account of sharper and extra outlined edges. The 9 Professional’s display screen is on no account a step ahead over the 8 Professional. Once you place it alongside the Oppo Discover X3 Professional, it seems to be equivalent. The positioning of the in-display fingerprint sensor and hole-punch digicam, in addition to specs like 10-bit shade depth and HDR10+, counsel it’s in all probability the identical panel anyway.

Digicam

In our yr of ready for the OnePlus 9 Professional, the corporate has been engaged on the digicam, which though good prior to now, has not managed to surpass or generally even equal these of the competitors. To vary this, OnePlus is working with Hasselblad, a Scandinavian purveyor of mega-expensive cameras, and an organization with a really wealthy photographic historical past. It’s a three-year partnership that begins with help on the software program and can transfer to the pair collaborating on {hardware} sooner or later.

Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

What does it imply for the OnePlus 9 Professional? The digicam has a software-based characteristic known as Pure Coloration Calibration with Hasselblad on board, which guarantees to make colours extra “perceptually correct,” in accordance with the press blurb. Hasselblad has additionally labored on the Professional mode, so that you get an orange shutter button, identical to on a Hasselblad digicam, and a specifically recorded Hasselblad-style shutter button sound.

The largest situation for me is knowing what Hasselblad has carried out within the digicam.

Underwhelmed? I don’t blame you, however that is only the start of the partnership, and it’ll take time for a major alteration to the OnePlus digicam to occur, so we must always preserve expectations in examine. That stated, Hasselblad branding is slapped throughout the digicam module, and loads of noise has been made concerning the link-up already, so it higher do one thing. Previous to launch, OnePlus issued a collection of software program updates that persistently improved the digicam capacity, so whereas I used to be lukewarm about its efficiency in my preliminary overview, it has gotten steadily higher.

Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

Earlier than speaking concerning the efficiency, listed here are the digicam specs. The primary digicam makes use of a 48-megapixel customized Sony IMX789 sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and optical and digital picture stabilization. It’s joined by a 50MP f/2.2 aperture wide-angle digicam and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto digicam with a 3.3x optical zoom. There’s additionally a 2MP monochrome digicam, which can be utilized by itself, together with a dual-LED flash and a 16MP selfie digicam.

The OnePlus 9 Professional’s digicam does take higher pictures than the OnePlus 8 Professional, and after the updates, it’s way more constant too, with higher steadiness, extra shade pop, and a stunning pure tone. I’ve grown to love the pictures taken by the OnePlus 9 Professional, however the issue with understanding what Hasselblad has carried out within the digicam stays. The Pure Coloration Calibration is on on a regular basis, so any inherent “Hasselbladness” within the pictures is fully misplaced on me, as somebody with out expertise of a Hasselblad digicam.

To actually attempt to see what the OnePlus 9 Professional’s digicam is like, I’ve spent extra time than normal evaluating its pictures to these taken by different cameras. This highlights how troublesome it’s to identify one thing which will make the OnePlus 9 Professional’s pictures particular. The above gallery exhibits pictures earlier than the software program replace, whereas the gallery beneath exhibits some examples taken after the primary software program replace, which arrived simply earlier than the phone’s launch.

I do just like the pictures taken with the OnePlus 9 Professional, but when I didn’t know Hasselblad labored on the phone with OnePlus, I wouldn’t be wanting any deeper in any respect, just because it’s a superb digicam and nothing extra. It’s higher than earlier OnePlus cameras, actually, and the crew is clearly working to enhance it on a regular basis, however the efforts of the 2 groups working collectively have but to be totally realized.

Software program and efficiency

OxygenOS model 11 with Android 11 is put in, and it’s excellent. It’s basically the identical software program seen on the OnePlus 8T, so don’t count on new options to go together with the brand new phone. Not that this issues, as OxygenOS is at all times a pleasure. Whether or not it’s the brand new always-on display screen, the efficient darkish mode, the graceful menus, the gorgeous fonts and total design, the clear notifications, or deeper reminiscence and energy administration instruments, the software program is among the many absolute best you should utilize on an Android smartphone.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor offers all the ability you would need — there have been completely no efficiency points for me — and there’s a alternative of both 8GB or 12GB of RAM, with 128GB or 256GB of space for storing. It’s wonderful for gaming. Genshin Affect performs very properly, with solely a slight body charge drop throughout busy battle scenes, though the phone does get heat to the contact when taking part in for lengthy durations. I’ve been utilizing the 12GB/256GB mannequin, however can’t think about I’d discover any distinction in velocity if I used the 8GB mannequin. Nonetheless, there’s no expandable space for storing, so you could contemplate when you’ll want the additional built-in storage sooner or later earlier than shopping for this phone.

Early issues with Wi-Fi vary, and WhatsApp video name efficiency, have additionally been cured via software program updates simply earlier than launch, and name high quality has been uniformly excellent. And though the in-display fingerprint sensor is about fairly low down on the display screen, it’s lightning-fast. Particular point out ought to go to the haptics as properly, that are much more delicate and tactile than on the OnePlus 8 Professional.

Battery and charging

It’s a 4,500mAh cell caring for all of the visuals, gaming, and digicam use on the OnePlus 9T. I’ve discovered it’s good for a day’s value of use, however not for much longer, with a cost wanted every evening nearly whatever the day’s actions. Ninety minutes of Genshin Affect consumed 25% of the battery, so hardcore players might want to cost much more usually.

Andy Boxall/Digital Developments

The OnePlus 9 Professional makes use of the proprietary Warp Cost 65T quick cost system, so that you get a charger and a USB Kind-C cable within the field, which should be used to get the quickest speeds. OnePlus says it’ll go from zero to 100% in 28 minutes, so can it? Nearly, sure. In my assessments, it took 31 minutes. I’m not going to quibble over three minutes. It’s nonetheless quicker than a lot of the competitors. Helpfully, like Warp Cost 65, the Warp Cost 65T block pumps 45 watts into different devices that may take this quantity of charging energy.

oneplus 9 pro review wireless charger

oneplus 9 pro review wireless charger side

OnePlus’ Warp Cost 50 wi-fi charging system has been given a velocity enhance, however it’s essential to purchase OnePlus’ personal $70/70 British kilos wi-fi charging dock to benefit from it. It guarantees to ship a full cost in simply 43 minutes, and in my assessments, it simply manages this. In contrast to the earlier model, the USB Kind-C cable will not be constructed into the charger, however you do want to make use of OnePlus’s personal charging block and cable to get full velocity. The cable, not the block, is included within the field, however at a couple of meter lengthy, any versatility achieve by not fixing it to the charger finally ends up being misplaced.

Value and availability

The OnePlus 9 Professional prices $969 for the 8GB/128GB mannequin, or $1,069 for the 12GB/256GB mannequin. It’s out there to pre-order on March 26 and set for launch on April 2. Within the U.Ok. the OnePlus 9 Professional prices 829 British kilos for the 8GB/128GB mannequin, and 929 kilos for the 12GB/256GB model. The phone shall be out there to pre-order within the U.Ok. on March 23.

Our take

There’s each all the things I would like and likewise all the things I sadly have come to count on from a OnePlus phone within the OnePlus 9 Professional. There’s the highest cell processor in the mean time, together with a superb display screen, super-smooth and dependable software program, and quick battery charging, that are all of the issues I would like and the stuff OnePlus can do in its sleep. A digicam that nearly, however not fairly, lives as much as expectations, a suitable however not inspiring design, and a value that’s barely greater than I really need it to be are points I’ve come to count on from OnePlus over the previous yr or so. It’s enterprise as normal.

Should you purchase one, you’ll be very happy, however you could really feel it’s lacking one thing actually particular.

I like the reliability of OnePlus phones. Utilizing one every day is fully hassle-free, and the mixture of OxygenOS and lots more and plenty of energy means you’ll battle to discover a higher total smartphone consumer expertise immediately. Nonetheless, the extent of Hasselblad’s involvement within the digicam is just too exhausting to pinpoint proper now, so it doesn’t fairly have that particular further that makes me tingle with pleasure after I take pictures, however there’s potential for the long run.

OnePlus followers shall be pleased with the OnePlus 9 Professional, and whereas the digicam is certainly an enchancment over the OnePlus 8 Professional’s, all the things else is simply a small generational step up, so upgrading from the 8 Professional isn’t actually value it until you’re actually disenchanted by its digicam. For many who aren’t a dedicated OnePlus fan, it’s a tougher promote, as some aggressive pricing from Apple and Samsung this yr means higher smartphones will be had for much less cash. Should you purchase one, you’ll be very happy, because it follows OnePlus’s tried-and-tested, reliable phone system, however you could really feel it’s lacking one thing actually particular.

Is there a greater different?

The OnePlus 9 Professional faces severe competitors within the U.S.. On the time of writing, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely prices $1,000 from Amazon, and it’s the higher buy on account of its excellent digicam, lovely display screen, and total efficiency. The Apple iPhone 12 Professional stays a incredible buy when you’re not set on an Android machine, and at $1,000, it’s equally as competitively priced because the Galaxy S21 Extremely.

Within the U.Ok. the phone is a greater worth, because it’s cheaper than each of the above units, and cheaper even than the 950 British pound Galaxy S21+ 5G. It’s considerably cheaper than the 1,100 pound Oppo Discover X3 Professional, however even the 8GB/128GB model can’t match the Xiaomi Mi 11 5G’s worth at 750 kilos.

How lengthy will it final?

The OnePlus 9 Professional’s highly effective processor, wonderful display screen, 5G connectivity, and quick charging means it gives you at the very least two years of use earlier than you’d even contemplate upgrading. Three years is fully possible when you’re not a hardcore gamer. The phone has an IP68 water-resistance score, however it’s constituted of glass so you could need to put it in a case.

OnePlus says the OnePlus 9 will obtain two years of latest Android updates, plus a further one yr of safety updates, making it one of many higher firms when it comes to coping with essential software program updates.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure, it’s a superb smartphone, however for all of the promise of the Hasselblad partnership, it nonetheless lacks that one thing particular, particularly because the value is greater than that of among the finest smartphones you should buy immediately.

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