Summary

The OnePlus 9 Pro is a phone with a great camera, super screen and charges super fast. The phone is not cheap, but definitely makes up for it.
 
0
4.5/5
 
Design
4.5/5
Display
5/5
Camera
5/5
Hardware
4.5/5
Software
4.5/5
Audio
4.5/5
Battery and charging
4.5/5
Sustainability
3.5/5

Content

In this review we look at the OnePlus 9 Pro, the OnePlus smartphone of 2021. It is the most high-end phone they currently have on the market and has numerous features including wireless charging with 50 W. We have now tested this phone for 3 months to finally form an opinion. The phone we used for this was its predecessor, or the OnePlus 8 Pro. Currently the phone costs 850 to 900 euros depending on the model you choose. In this review we are going to take a closer look at the phone and see what you get for this amount. At the time of writing, OnePlus is running a Black Friday promotion that allows you to buy the phone for 780 euros and get free wireless earphones.

Specifications

The OnePlus 9 Pro looks a lot like its brother the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. Still, compared to the previous generation, a lot of improvements have been made. First of all, the camera has been properly addressed through a collaboration with Hasselblad, warp charge has gone to 65W, wireless charging to 50W, RAM to DDR5 i.c.m. a snapdragon 888. There is also a telephoto lens in addition to the wide-angle lens and the familiar super fast fingerprint scanner, notification slider and a 120 Hz AMOLED screen are also back. The full specifications of the Dutch version can be found here, the American version can be found here. Below we have listed the most important ones for you, it saves you having to click on them and it is nice and clear

ColoursPine Green, Stellar Black, Morning Mist
Dimensions163.2 x 73,6 x 8.7 mm
Display6,7 inch, 3216 x 1440 pixels 525 ppi, 120 Hz Fluid AMOLED with LTPO, Corning Gorilla Glass
PerformanceQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 888, 8/12 GB LPDDR5 met 5G chipset
Storage128 GB/ 256 GB UFS 3.1 2-LANE
Battery4500 mAh
ChargingWarp Charge 65T (10V, 6.5A), charger included, 50W wireless charging
Camera48 MP Sony IMX789 with OIS and EIS, 50 MP ultra wide angle lens, 8 MP telephoto lens, 2 MP color filter monochrome lens
Front camera16 MP Sony IMX471
SecurityFace unlock and finger print scanner under screen
Wi-Fi2×2 MIMO, supports 2.4G/5G, supports WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
BluetoothBluetooth 5.2, support aptX & aptX HD & LDAC & AAC
NFCNFC enabled
AudioDolby Atmos Dual stereo speakers
ButtonsAlert slider

Unboxing

The box of the OnePlus 9 Pro is similar to the previous boxes of OnePlus phones and thus can’t exactly be called small. Due to its size and color, the box is impressive and actually cannot escape the eye, pretty much it will catch your eye in the store. So that’s definitely something OnePlus has done well. If we remove the plastic from the box as a kind of seal and open the box, it takes some effort. The box seems to suck in a bit of vacuum, so it takes a while before you have pulled the top and bottom apart. The advantage is that the bottom slowly slides out of the top and cannot easily fall out of your hands.

After opening the box we first see some paperwork, this includes a quick start manual and a pin for changing the SIM card. Below is the OnePlus 9 Pro in a little plastic inside the mold. Through the tab on the plastic you can pull it out. In addition, there is a brand new Warp Charge 65T charger inside with the familiar red charging cable.

OnePlus also supplies a case. The case is made of TPU and has a somewhat rough pattern on the inside, which may help the phone to stay in the case. On the right half of the back is engraved “Never Settle”, the slogan of OnePlus. The flexible case is of good quality and comes in the color of the phone you have chosen. So in our case that’s matte silver. An advantage of the case is that it protects well around the edges of the phone, also the camera is shielded so it no longer rests on the table, even though the case is only half a millimeter larger.

So in the box we find:

  • OnePlus 9 Pro
  • OnePlus Warp Charge 65T charger
  • OnePlus charging cable
  • Tool to get the SIM card slot out of the phone
  • OnePlus case in the color of your phone
  • Stickers and documents

Design

The design of the OnePlus 9 Pro is extremely similar to the OnePlus 8 Pro, for example, there are still curved edges and a minimal bezel can be seen at the bottom. The phone comes in three colors, silver, black and green where we review the silver version. This one named Morning Mist has a particular coating on the back where the bottom of the phone reflects a bit, but the coating reflects less and less towards the top. The back is made of glass which is obviously conducive to wireless communication over, say, 5g compared to a metal back.

On the front of the phone we see a speaker grill at the top for the dual dolby atmos speakers. To the left of it is the front-facing selfie camera, it hasn’t actually changed from the previous model. Still we are glad that it was put in the corner and not in the middle of the screen, as it is less noticeable now. The phone is certified waterproof with an IP68 rating, but still we recommend you to be careful with water. Diving with this phone is not recommended although short swims in fresh water should allow the phone to survive.

On the sides we find the volume buttons and power button. These buttons feel good and have a clear click. What we’re actually most fan of is the alert slider. This is a slider on the side of the phone that allows you to quickly switch between silent, vibrate and sound. This way, before you have something important to do, you can quickly put your phone on silent. This is a very handy feature and we can’t live without it, we have only seen this feature on OnePlus phones so far. However, this feature is implemented in a somewhat strange way, because if you put the slider up the phone is on silent, in the middle vibrate and at the bottom on sound. It would have seemed more logical to us if this was reversed. On the bottom of the phone we find a speaker grill, a USB-C connector and a microphone.

Perhaps most notable is the new camera island, made in collaboration with hasselblad. However, we’ll write more about that later in the section regarding the camera.

Display

OnePlus has chosen a curved 6.7-inch Fluid AMOLED LTPO display with resolution of 3216 x 1440 pixels in this model, resulting in 525 pixels per inch. The panel has a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz but by means of the “LTPO” developed by OnePlus, this refresh rate is variable. Essentially, it means that the refresh rate can drop to 1 Hz when viewing photos or to 24 or 30 Hz for video to save battery. That’s nice, because then you can just leave the phone at 120 Hz and not have to set it to 60 in the settings to save battery. According to OnePlus, the screen also responds even faster to input, potentially giving you an advantage over your opponents when playing a shooting game. Unfortunately, we can’t verify this, so we’ll just have to believe OnePlus on their brown eyes. 

OnePlus is known for their tremendously good displays, and the panel in the OnePlus 9 Pro is no exception. For example, the color error is a maximum of a 0.3 JNCD according to the specifications, making it visually indistinguishable from perfect. In addition, you can adjust the color temperature and increase the gamut yourself in the software, should you wish to do so. We would do the latter by the way, because with the setting “AMOLED WIDE GAMUT” you can simply conjure up deeper colors on the screen. There is support for the P3 color gamut, where 10-bit colors can be displayed resulting in 10.7 billion different colors. 

In addition, HDR 10+ is used and the maximum brightness is 1300 lux. Furthermore, there are 8192 automatic brightness levels, if this is linear then the brightness means to change by 0.16 lux, making it look smooth indeed. The panel is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, but of this the manufacturer does not give further specifications.

Software

OnePlus wouldn’t be OnePlus if they gave you a lot of options to customize things. We know the standard adaptive brightness, but they also copied from Apple with their Truetone screens. At OnePlus you can now also have the tint of the screen adjusted to the backlight, a handy feature for many. In the advanced options you can adjust several things: If you find that camera hole in the top left corner of the panel extremely irritating, you can simply black out that entire bar in the software so it is no longer visible. The refresh rate is adjustable from 120 Hz to 60 Hz, but defaults to 120 Hz. Not all images are shown at this frequency because with static images, such as a photo, it is often a bit useless and you would rather have the better battery life. In these cases the refresh rate is automatically limited by the software to save battery. Especially when scrolling through menus, the effect becomes visible and you feel that the experience is tremendously smooth. What is new, however, is that OnePlus itself has written some software for this called “LTPO”, photos are displayed with 1 Hz, for example. 

In terms of colors, we recommend setting the phone to “AMOLED Wide Gamut” for the best colors. It may be that the brightness of the screen is slightly reduced, but the difference between 846 lux and 830 lux is, in our opinion, manageable if you get better colors in return.

OnePlus has also added a night mode (vision comfort), in this night mode you can fortunately choose the redness of the screen and how light the screen is. In the reading mode, the mode specifically for reading, OnePlus has also added two nice options. One is black and white (mono) and the other is almost black and white (chromatic). You can have this turned on automatically when opening an app, in addition, you can also automatically block notifications when this is turned on. 

The ambient display, or the screen that you see when the phone is turned off, is also extremely useful. Samsung started with this years ago and OnePlus has had it for about 4 years. On this screen you can see the time and your notifications, so you simply don’t need that notification LED anymore. There is something that works more or less like a notification LED. The edges of the phone can glow when you get a message. So even if the phone is on the table with the screen on, you can still subtly see if you get a message. You can also place a message here, for example: “Found it? Call 06-12345678.” 

There are also some standard options for rotating the screen, or adjusting the font size.

Measurements

Method

Qua apparatuur gebruiken we een Spyder X met de SpyderXElite software versie 5.6. Tenzij anders aangegeven staat de telefoon qua kleuren op de standaardinstelling “Vivid”, met adaptive brightness uit en de helderheid op 100%.

Contrast & brightness

Let’s look at our measurement results, because marketing slogans are nice but what can we actually measure on the phone? For example, for contrast we literally measure infinity, the measured black value is namely equal to 0 while the maximum brightness is measured at 847 lux. Now it is so that with the OnePlus phones the maximum brightness depends on many different options, think of the software settings to give the screen brighter colors or whether the automatic brightness is on. The value of 847 lux was obtained with adaptive brightness on and the brightness on vivid with a lamp above the light sensor. If we set the brightness to manual we get about 550 lux as brightness. This is an improvement over previous OnePlus smartphones such as the OnePlus 8T.

Gamut & Gamma

Looking at the color spaces, we see that the screen with the Vivid setting on the 9 Pro does a lot better than the AMOLED wide gamut in for example the OnePlus 8T which already had a phenomenal screen. Thus, an even larger portion of the DCI-P3 spectrum is covered but in addition more colors are shown than just within this spectrum. For example, we see a volume that is 130% of the DCI-P3 spectrum. Color fidelity is slightly better from the Vivid profile on the 9 Pro compared to the AMOLED wide gamut profile on the 9 Pro.

Color accuracy

Color accuracy we measured on Vivid mode, as this option seems to be the default on OnePlus phones. The criteria used for this is the ISO 14861:2015 color accuracy standard. We see that the average color error is fine at 1.63 and the screen passes the test with this. However, there is a deviation visible in two shades of gray. So overall, with this screen you will have no problem viewing photos before printing them, it will look lifelike.

Refresh rate

A 120 Hz screen, do you really need it? Isn’t a screen that refreshes 60 frames per second already smooth enough, after all, Netflix is often not even 60 frames per second. It’s a good question to ask, but as with so many things, the answer is: you have to experience this. When you have the phone in your hands and swipe through the menus, it all looks so fluid and natural. We are not real counterstrike-like first person shooter players, so our monitors are also only 60 Hz. However, you still notice when you’re then engaged with a 120 Hz panel that it seems to feel much smoother, the image seems to chug less. Anyway OnePlus has added software to upscale your movies, like Netflix. This creates a new frame between two consecutive frames which is a mix of both frames, this artificially creates more frames which makes the image look a little smoother. We noticed a small difference, but it was not noticeable. Hopefully when Netflix stops squeezing the data streams because of Corona this difference will be more noticeable. There is also a mode to improve color depth and contrast in movies.

Camera

Hardware

In the OnePlus 9 Pro there are four different lens systems and 4 camera sensors with a dual LED Flash. This camera has been tuned in collaboration with Hasselblad. Hasselblad is originally a Swedish manufacturer of photographic cameras and in this capacity has also made cameras for NASA. For example, the cameras were used during the Apollo program at the moon landings. Almost all photos taken during these missions were made with a hasselblad camera or a version modified by NASA. The headquarters is still in sweden, but meanwhile the Chinese DJI (known for their drones) owns most of the Hasselblad shares and is thus basically the boss.

The main camera is the Sony IMX789 with 48 megapixels, this is the best smartphone camera sensor Sony currently has on the market. The sensor has gotten bigger compared to last year’s flagship, as the size is now 1/1.43″ resulting in a pixel size of 1.12 micrometers. The light is deflected by 7 lenses and finally reaches the sensor. These lenses have a combined focal length of 23 mm and optical image stabilization is available to sharpen the image. The ultra-wide camera is not a meager sensor either, as it also contains a new IMX766 of 50 megapixels with 7 optical elements. There is also a freeform lens which has a rectangular shape to distort the light at the edges so that the image looks natural and the “fisheye” effect is eliminated. 

The telephoto camera has an 8 megapixel sensor and a pixel size of 1 micrometer. This sensor also has OIS and that is also an important addition, because especially in “zoomed in” photos, shocks are extra visible. Finally, there is the color filter lens or photochrom / monochrome lens, which has 2 megapixels and an aperture of f/2.4. This photochrom can see colors in a different range, the camera is sensitive to infrared. This camera therefore mainly takes infrared light, which can sometimes lead to beautiful photos or give a special effect to photos.  

On the front is a Sony IMX471 with 16 Megapixels as a selfie camera. This camera has a fixed focus and electric image stabilization to counteract blurry photos. The pixels are 1 micrometer in size and the aperature of the lens is f/2.45. This is the same sensor we find in the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Software

Interface

OnePlus has adjusted the interface together with Hasselblad. For example, you can see an orange camera button, but otherwise you can actually find all the options that you previously found on OnePlus’ phones. So you can turn on the flash, macro mode, timer, zoom, monochrome and change photo size with 1 press of a button. If you press the screen then it automatically zooms in on what you pressed, and if you then swipe your finger up or down you can make the photo slightly lighter or slightly darker. Furthermore, there are numerous modes with which you can use the camera, these are: Photo, video, portrait (where the background is blurred for an SLR effect), nightscape (for in the dark), pro, timelapse, panorama, slow motion, xpan (a kind of very wide photo with a retro effect), and tilt-shift (which allows you to make large things look like they are small, kind of like the amusement park madurodam found in the Netherlands).

All in all, the interface works very smoothly and we are happy with the quality of the buttons. The interface is clear although it would have been nice if there was a button that allowed us to set the macro mode to on, off, or automatic just like, say, the flash – currently there is only automatic or off. 

Features

Some features of the camera are the following: CINE Aspect Ratio Video Recording, Video Portrait, UltraShot HDR, Nightscape, Macro, Portrait, Pro Mode, Panorama, Smart Pet Capture, AI Scene Detection, RAW Image, Filter, Video Focus Tracking, Super Stable, Video Nightscape, Face Unlock, HDR, Screen Flash, Face Retouch.

Photos

Day

All photos were taken with the cameras of the OnePlus pro, this is sometimes the macro lens (as with the watch) but mostly the main lens. The photos are tremendously rich in color and this could possibly be due to the adjustments that DJI (Hasselblad) made to the camera. Colors are rich, pictures are sharp and the depth of field (that SLR effect) is very good for a camera of this size.

This camera actually works perfectly in the fencing as well, sunsets do get a little heightened in terms of color but in our opinion that actually makes them look more natural. Many cameras today do not do that and therefore photographed sunsets often look a bit sparse, luckily OnePlus has done that a little better. Clouds are also captured with great detail, as if viewed through (sun) glasses with polarized lenses. If you don’t know what we are talking about, borrow a pair of sunglasses from a friend and compare them to your sunglasses. She will see much more detail in clouds and other objects that reflect a lot of light. Again, the colors are deep, dynamic range high, and the pictures are well focused.

At night, you’ll actually enjoy the larger sensor of the main camera more than anything else. Even with low light, the phone still captures very reasonable pictures. For example, it was 12 o’clock at night outside the sunflower and although there was a street lamp nearby, this photo without flash still turned out very nice. The hedgehog was a tricky one to capture, as it moves quite a bit. This sometimes led to blurry photos which is logical since the shutter has to be open longer. That in itself is not a problem but we hope that in the future a machine learning algorithm will run underneath which takes multiple small photos and stacks them on top of each other. You can say what you want though, but the camera really performs phenomenally in low light situations. Fortunately, OnePlus does the same, namely with the Nightscape mood mode. When you use the nightscape mode, a form of HDR is used. This means that multiple photos with a short shutter speed are taken and pasted on top of each other. What you clearly see in nightscape mode is that points that would normally be overexposed (white with red post) are now normally exposed and points that are underexposed (bushes next to the hedgehog) are now well-exposed. There is hardly any noise and most of the time the pictures are super sharp with lots of color. So we are certainly satisfied with the camera, and it is by far the best phone camera we have ever tested.

Twilight

Night

Telelens

The telephoto lens is not bad either, at 3.3x zoom it manages to pick up almost the same image as the main sensor. If you manage that in terms of software in a rather difficult environment (twilight with many small lights), you know that the cameras are well adjusted to each other. However, as soon as you start zooming in further, the camera adapts its settings to the image visible on the phone and not to the total image. On the one hand, this provides some extra sharpness, on the other hand, it also ensures that your photos will deviate from the main sensor. 

Ultra wide-angle lens

The ultra wide-angle lens of the OnePlus 9 Pro is a big improvement over OnePlus’ previous phones. Because they have placed a free form lens in front of the sensor, you have much less of a fish-eye effect and the photo looks much more like what you would have seen with your own eyes. In addition, the sensor is a bit larger than before and thus picks up much more light and thus details. We are very pleased with the ultra wide angle lens and use it often.

Selfie

These selfies were taken with the OnePlus 8 Pro, but it contains the same front-facing (selfie) camera as the OnePlus 9 Pro. Quality of the selfie camera is fine, there are a lot of options for example to make your face look thinner, eyes bigger or to make your skin look better. Nice to know is that, when the selfie camera is on, there will be an automatic white circle around the camera: so you always know if the camera is on or off.

Video

Below are 6 videos, including 1 in 8k resolution, 4 in 4k resolution and 1 in 1080P slow-motion. It is great that the sensor in the OnePlus 9 Pro can film in 8k resolution, unfortunately this can only be done at a maximum frame rate of 30 FPS with HDR off and you can not zoom in. So we would recommend to keep filming at 4k resolution, because then you can film HDR although with a maximum refresh rate of 30 FPS. Would you like 60 or even 120 FPS, which is certainly possible in combination with 4k filming but then HDR must be turned off. Furthermore, there are options such as “Super stable”, which makes your image look enormously stable as if you used a gimbal. In addition, there is a portrait mode just like the photo mode where the background of a person or object is blurred. 

Hardware

The OnePlus 9 Pro runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 with an Adreno 660 graphics card. It has an X60 chipset for 5G and comes with 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which is an upgrade from the LPDDR4(X) RAM used last year. In terms of storage, you have 128 or 256 GB of UFS 3.1 2-Lane, something the OnePlus 8T also had but OnePlus 8 Pro did not.

Benchmarks

In terms of benchmarks, we ran 3DMark Wild Life and Wild Life Extreme. After all, after 3 months of use, benchmarks are not that relevant anymore, after all, the scores can be found online in almost every review so in this piece we are more inclined to write about our experiences when using the phone, and they are as follows:

Let’s preface by saying that we are not gamers per se, so our experiences are mostly based on Runescape. By that we don’t mean the beloved old school runescape, but RuneScape 3 with rather hefty graphics for a phone. After all, the game is made to run on computers with generally much more processing power. The experience is tremendously smooth and we achieve an average fps of 55 with anti-aliasing off and all settings on high. That’s hugely impressive for a smartphone and indicates how powerful the device is.

Furthermore, due to the large amount of RAM you have the ability, or well it happens automatically, to keep many apps in your RAM memory making them always start up arrow fast. The browser experience is also good, web pages load quickly even if they are graphically heavy. If you have more specific questions, you can always ask us!

Software

The software on OnePlus phones is an aspect they have been talked about for years. The software is stable, light, without bloatware, and with useful features that actually matter. Also, the update policy is good and you get at least 3 years of security updates and major updates to new Android versions. 

OnePlus’ phones run on Oxygen OS, and the latest version at that: Oxygen OS 11. Since this is the same version as in the OnePlus 8T we reviewed a while back, the below is still completely accurate. Although OnePlus will soon merge the software of their sister brand Oppo with that of OnePlus. When this will happen is still unknown to us, but we trust that all the good elements of Oxygen OS will be retained. Currently the Oxygen OS 12 beta is already installable, so Oxygen OS 12 will be available in the not too distant future.

Together with the community, they have made this version more user-friendly by looking at some good points from other manufacturers. For example, more is now easier to reach with one hand and they have refreshed the design. However, they are using isometric design for figures such as an astronaut. Isometric design, however, died with most designers back in 2016, but we think it looks sleek in this modified form and fits well with OnePlus’ friendly style. Other than that, the software feels tremendously fluid, actually as fluid as it always was and without any hiccups. The improved vibration motors do give you finer haptic feedback when tapping or scrolling through menus, for example. So that too is a pleasant improvement. We will show some photos and screenshots of the interface below. However, OnePlus did install Netflix by default, according to them this is so because then the codecs are supported and you can watch Netflix at full resolution.

When you first install the phone you are asked how you want to configure it. You get a choice of 2 fonts, and you can choose if you like to use navigation buttons or navigation gestures. If you choose the gestures then OnePlus will put you through a short course so you know how they work, we use them constantly now and don’t want to go back. You simply just keep more screen and it works just as fast. As soon as we turned the phone on we got an update right away!

The fingerprint scanner is again a very quick guy. It’s tucked away under the screen but as soon as you need it a fingerprint will light up on the screen. According to OnePlus, it has become slightly larger which should make it even more accurate and faster, of which note. The fingerprint scanner is tremendously accurate and incredibly fast. You will hardly notice the difference with the OnePlus 8 Pro and 8T because those fingerprint scanners were fast as well, but this one is still tremendously fast.

Audio

Microfoon: stem

The microphones inside the OnePlus 9 Pro do a great job at picking up bass in voices and noise blocking. The computer was running with clearly audible fans at a distance of 1 meter from the phone. The quality is clear however misses some treble and we would say that it is kind of bass-heavy. 

Speakers

Like the OnePlus 8T and 8 Pro, the OnePlus 9 Pro has a dual-speaker layout, with Dolby Atmos support allowing sound to come from the top and bottom of the phone. The phone’s casing seems to be used in part as a speaker for the lower tones, but whether this is actually designed that way by OnePlus we still don’t know but are guessing. We can say that we are very pleased with the sound quality from the small speakers in this phone, especially since the phone is waterproof. There is quite a nice amount of bass coming out and is comparable to the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Accu

Opladen

In the OnePlus 9 Pro, just like in the OnePlus 8T, there are two batteries with a total capacity of 4500 mAh. These batteries are not removable, so imagine that the battery breaks down you really have to have a new one installed by OnePlus. The battery can be charged with Warp Charge 65T at 65 watts. The OnePlus 8 had the previous version of Warp Charge where the phone charges the smaller 4300 mAh battery from 0 to 50% in 22 minutes. However, this OnePlus 9 Pro T does from 0 to 50% in a measly 15 minutes and after 20 minutes the phone is already 66 percent full. You can certainly get through a day with that. After 35 minutes, the phone is fully charged and this is really super fast, you can now put your phone on the charger last minute before you go to exercise. We think it’s really a breath of fresh air. Unlike the 8T, the 9 Pro does have the option of wireless charging and namely with 50 watts. You have to buy this wireless charger with it, but in our opinion it is definitely worth it. That charging is still tremendously fast although your phone is then charged for 7 minutes slower than if you would do it wired. in our opinion that is still extremely fast, and certainly for wireless charging.

One drawback of fast charging is that it generates a lot of heat which can degrade the quality of the battery. We are also curious to see how OnePlus will come up with possible solutions to this problem in the future. Xiaomi is already at 120W, but we can imagine that the battery will not last 2 years or after 2 years it is only 70% usable. In the wireless charger, because of some of the losses, there is a fan that keeps the phone cool. You do not see the fan because it is neatly concealed in the housing and fortunately you do not hear it, or it must be very quiet. 

Furthermore, with warp charge 65T you can charge ipads, macbooks and other devices.

Earlier we mentioned the “heat problem” with fast charging that every manufacturer has to deal with. Since you usually hang the phone on the charger when you go to sleep, the phone doesn’t need to be charged that fast at all. So OnePlus has come up with a clever way to charge at night. Normally, the battery is recharged to 100 percent, after which the battery falls to about 99 percent and is recharged again to 100 percent. This causes the battery to make relatively many cycles which is bad for the battery life. Based on your usage pattern and possibly alarm clocks or appointments in calendars, the phone is first charged more slowly to 80%. Just before you wake up, the phone is then fully charged to 100% so that the battery makes fewer cycles and therefore lasts longer.

During charging, we see that despite charging at 65W, the temperatures of the phone and the charger remain quite low. For example, with warp charge 65T, the OnePlus 8T remained body temperature and the charger got slightly warmer to 43 degrees – not a temperature to worry about.

Battery life

With our usage, the battery lasts about 27 hours on one battery. With that, we use the battery for several hours a day for social media like whatsapp, Youtube videos and for sending emails. We have read many complaints in the past about the battery life of the OnePlus 9 Pro and that it would be shorter than the 8T. Whether that is true we can’t tell from the measurements, but our feeling after 3 months of use and having the OnePlus 8T is as follows: it differs as good as nothing. Sometimes there is a day that the phone is empty just a little earlier, for example if we have been playing a game. Then we just hang it on the charger for 15 minutes and then we can go on for quite a few hours. The battery life is not gigantic as you sometimes see in a Cat S62 Pro, but it certainly does not fall short. This combined with the fast charging means that we have no complaints.

Sustainability

For sustainability, we look at 5 characteristics:

  • Sustainable ambitions of the company
  • Sustainable packaging
  • Sustainable design
  • Energy efficiency
  • Safety
When it comes to sustainable ambitions, OnePlus scores well. They have published an extensive sustainability report for 2019 which states, among other things, that compared to 2018, OnePlus used 2.5 times more electricity in 2019 but produced less carbon dioxide. So it seems that OnePlus has started using green electricity. Furthermore, the report also contains rather useless things like “anti-corruption” for us Westerners. For example, OnePlus shows that 100% of all employees have signed the anti-corruption compliance commitment and 100% of employees have passed the anti-corruption training. That in itself seems to be useless, as it is probably a requirement to pass it before being allowed to work at or for OnePlus, so every employee has passed it. What we are certainly pleased about is that OnePlus states it does not use raw materials from conflict zones. However, in the context of transparency we would like to inform you that OnePlus is a company from China, a country without press freedom that does not take the civil rights of its own population (Uighurs and Tibetans) and foreign populations such as Thailand very seriously. Of course we look at it from a Western point of view, but we merely draw your attention to its existence. OnePlus has its headquarters in the Netherlands and despite the fact that there is cooperation with the headquarters in China, only Dutch people work here.
On the packaging we could not find anything about FSC labels, however OnePlus says in their sustainability report that they have started using FSC certified packaging material since 2017 and that 99% can be recycled.
About the design, OnePlus themselves say that more than 80% of the phone can be recycled, which is more than the 55% required by the EU. In any case, we like the fact that OnePlus has made the phone waterproof. On the other hand, it is a shame that the battery is probably not so easy to replace.
About the energy efficiency we can say that we like the fact that OnePlus has built in features to make the phone last longer on a battery. Think of the saver modes, but also a mode to permanently set the screen to 60 Hz instead of 120 Hz, or to lower the resolution to 1080 pixels wide.
Security includes the update policy, and from OnePlus it is good. Almost monthly OnePlus releases updates and all their phones get 3 years of support with updates and major android updates, which are usually 2 or 3. 
 
3.5/5

Conclusion

The OnePlus 9 Pro is a phone where OnePlus has improved quite a few things again. We have been scrutinizing it for 3 months and have finally come to the following conclusion:

In particular, the camera, which was certainly not bad in the OnePlus 8 Pro, has improved tremendously again. We think the collaboration with Hassenblad, owned by DJI, has actually added something. The colors are brighter, deeper, and especially at night and dusk you notice that. The screen has also had another upgrade, with the maximum brightness going up again and the screen being able to show even brighter and deeper colors. It is also nice that OnePlus has introduced a piece of proprietary code or technology that allows the screen to work at a variable refresh rate, because you just don’t need 120 FPS when looking at a simple picture. The latter again saves battery life which is top notch. The software from OnePlus we find one of the finest on the market, there is no heavy shell over it like with Samsung or Xiaomi, so everything keeps running smoothly. OnePlus has added some useful features that make the phone extremely functional despite its lighter system. The interface works fast and because there is quite a lot of RAM in the phone you will not be bothered by slow starting apps. This is also due to other powerful hardware such as the Snapdragon 888. The sound is top by two stereo dual Dolby Atmos speakers, and is huge compared to the OnePlus 8 Pro. So here we don’t see a whole lot of improvement, and also the microphone is “just” fine. The battery life is something we read complaints about in many reviews with companies that measured it with a synthetic test, however if we look at how we use the phone we can do 26 hours with it before it needs to be recharged. That means that most of the time we can easily make it to the end of the day, and if by chance we can’t, then use the Warp Charge 65T charger. This charger can get the phone to 66% within 20 minutes and fully charged after 35 minutes. We also like the fact that it comes with a charger, since some companies don’t do that anymore, and it comes with a good usable phone case.

We also found some points of improvement, for example, the selfie-camera is the same as in the previous generation. That does not mean it is bad, on the contrary, and it is also located in a great location in the top left corner of the screen, but it could have been better. Furthermore, there is a small color flaw in our screen at 2 shades of gray and the battery life is good but more is always better. 

All in all, the OnePlus 9 Pro is a great phone that is well worth its price. In November 2021 there is a promotion on OnePlus’ own website where you get something like 120 euros off. This makes the phone just a little bit more attractive. 

  • Interesting design colors
  • Nice screen is brighter and with deeper colors
  • Camera is a huge improvement
  • Software is very smooth
  • Powerful hardware
  • Sound is top by dual Dolby Atmos
  • Battery life is good and charging is lightning fast
  • Fast charger and phone case included
  • Selfie camera has been the same for a while
  • Small color error in the gray
  • Battery life fine but could have been better
 
No schema found.
 
Design
4.5/5
Display
5/5
Camera
5/5
Hardware
4.5/5
Software
4.5/5
Audio
4.5/5
Battery and charging
4.5/5
Sustainability
3.5/5

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