The good and bad six months later

OnePlus 9 Pro in hand angled

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Every Spring OnePlus launches a brand new machine that goals to greatest the whole lot about its earlier units. In 2021, that machine was the OnePlus 9 Pro — one of many first telephones from the corporate to take a seat within the huge leagues with Samsung and Apple. In our OnePlus 9 Professional overview, we have been comfy calling it the corporate’s greatest telephone in years.

Nevertheless, that each one occurred about six months in the past. Since then, we’ve seen loads of new telephones launch whereas additionally listening to about some big changes coming down the pipeline for OnePlus as a complete. How does the OnePlus 9 Professional stack up now after the launch pleasure is over? Let’s discover out on this OnePlus 9 Professional overview revisit.

Our unique verdict: OnePlus 9 Pro review

The great

We awarded the OnePlus 9 Professional with 4 and a half stars and gave it our Editor’s Alternative award, signifying it as probably the greatest telephones in the marketplace. As one would guess, that form of pedigree ages nicely, so there’s nonetheless so much to like concerning the telephone six months later.

Design and show

OnePlus 9 Pro rear profile

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Once you first take the OnePlus 9 Professional out of the field, there’s no mistaking its premium high quality. It seems to be and looks like a $1,000 telephone (which is sweet, as a result of that’s what it’s). The sides are {smooth} and cozy, the load is distributed evenly, and the shiny again nonetheless has sufficient texture to stop you from considering it’s going to slide proper out of your hand.

Nevertheless, the factor that stunned me probably the most was how the telephone doesn’t really feel huge. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra looks like a behemoth, and the Galaxy S21 Ultra additionally feels a tad too huge, regardless that it and the 9 Professional are fairly equally sized. The 9 Professional, although, feels good. Granted, that is no compact telephone, however for me, it felt prefer it nailed the shape issue.

Associated: The best OnePlus 9 Pro cases you can get

The true marvel of the telephone, nevertheless, is its show. In our unique overview, we raved about it. Even at the moment, although, I haven’t seen many telephones prime it. And I’m saying all this with out even discussing the 1,440p decision combined with a smooth-as-silk 120Hz refresh charge. Once you add these into the equation, this turns into probably the greatest smartphone shows I’ve ever used.

The one gripe I’ve with the design of the telephone total is the curved show sides. OnePlus made these fairly steep which makes performing the “again” gesture tough. There have been loads of instances throughout my use of this telephone that I swiped in to return however wanted to repeat the gesture as a result of my finger didn’t run the complete size of the curve. Hopefully, producers determine how one can actually nail curved shows quickly — or simply cease the pattern altogether.

Digital camera

OnePlus 9 Pro camera module

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In our unique OnePlus 9 Professional overview, we mentioned the digital camera system “outperforms all its predecessors.” Mainly, that is the most effective digital camera system on any OnePlus telephone so far.

Mega shootout: The best camera phones of 2021 so far tested

Six months later, that’s nonetheless true. The digital camera can simply rise up in opposition to the large gamers similar to Samsung and Apple (take a look at the hyperlink above to see how aggressive it will get). It has the mandatory flagship trifecta with stable huge, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses. It even throws in a monochrome sensor for enjoyable.

Throughout my time with the telephone, I took a visit to New York Metropolis. Listed here are some pictures I captured there. The photographs beneath are unedited however compressed for loading speeds. For the uncompressed pictures, test this Drive link.

The very first thing you’ll doubtless discover concerning the pictures is the muted colours. It’s because OnePlus (and accomplice Hasselblad) have tried to make the colour output of the digital camera as real looking as doable. Whereas that is nice for accuracy, many smartphone customers choose punchy saturated colours in photographs. This finally comes right down to style, however the necessary factor to notice right here is that issues haven’t modified over the previous six months. Software program updates have are available in, however the digital camera nonetheless produces the identical ultra-realistic colours.

Nevertheless, OnePlus did deliver a brand new digital camera characteristic in because the telephone’s launch: XPan mode. You’ll be able to learn all about that (and see a few of my instance pictures) in our article here.

Finally, the OnePlus 9 Professional digital camera is a flagship digital camera. It doesn’t disappoint. The one downside OnePlus faces right here is the truth that it took eight generations of its flagship telephones to get so far. Can it win over individuals who have already written the model off as a producer of sub-par cameras? Time will inform.


OnePlus 9 Pro Charging

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

In 2020, Apple began the brand new pattern of flagship telephones coming with out chargers within the field. Samsung shortly adopted swimsuit (after making enjoyable of Apple for it, in fact). OnePlus, although, nonetheless provides chargers with all of its telephones. Within the case of the OnePlus 9 Professional, it’s not simply any charger: it’s a 65W monster.

OnePlus says the telephone can cost from 0% to 75% in 20 minutes and from 0% to 100% in 29 minutes. Our goal testing backs up that declare, and my private expertise with it matches. With the 65W charger, I might plug the telephone in empty, soar within the bathe, and are available again to a telephone that’s at about 50%. Granted, that doubtless gained’t get me by means of the entire day (see additional down this text for extra), however it’ll simply get me to the following time I’ve entry to a wall outlet. For individuals who journey so much or do a whole lot of work from espresso retailers, this might be an enormous deal.

See additionally: OnePlus Warp Charge 65 review

What’s extra, is that the in-box charger can deal with just about something you throw at it. It could cost your tablets, different telephones, headphones, and sure, even most laptops. This brings us ever nearer to a real one-cable resolution.

Curiously, the OnePlus 9 Professional is just the third OnePlus telephone ever to have wi-fi charging. This simply provides additional to the comfort of powering up the machine, as it’ll work with all of your Qi-compatible charging pads. If you wish to be tremendous further, you’ll be able to seize the 50W wi-fi charging stand from OnePlus and get blazing wi-fi charging speeds. Nevertheless, I didn’t trouble — primary wi-fi speeds and super-fast wired speeds work wonderful for me.


OnePlus 9 Pro standing tall

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Contained in the OnePlus 9 Professional is the Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm’s flagship Android cell processor of the yr. To nobody’s shock, the 9 Professional is blazing quick, very {smooth}, and completely reliable for reminiscence administration contemplating our mannequin pairs that processor with a bonkers 12GB of RAM.

For this OnePlus 9 Professional overview revisit, I put aside my each day driver, the Galaxy S21. That telephone has the identical chipset inside it, however the 9 Professional outperformed it in my subjective opinion. Apps appeared to launch quicker, transitions have been smoother, and the warmth was much less of a problem. This comes right down to {hardware} and software program optimization and goes to indicate that simply cramming a Snapdragon 888 right into a telephone isn’t all it takes to make flagship.

Associated: Here are the best Snapdragon 888 phones you can buy

However what concerning the throttling controversy? For these of you not within the know, OnePlus discovered itself in scorching water when it got here to mild that Oxygen OS is purposefully throttling the efficiency of the Snapdragon 888. Mainly, you don’t get the complete energy of the SD888 when doing issues that don’t require that a lot energy, like scrolling by means of Twitter or writing your self a notice. It does this to preserve battery energy.

In my expertise utilizing the telephone, this didn’t as soon as change into an issue for me. Every part labored as I anticipated and there was no means for me to inform which apps have been utilizing the complete energy of the chip and which of them weren’t. Granted, OnePlus shouldn’t have tried to cover up this controversy. That was positively a foul transfer. However if you’re involved about it, I don’t suppose it’s an enormous deal. Moreover, the corporate promised to ship a toggle that may shut the “characteristic” off in a future Oxygen OS replace, so keep tuned for that.

The not so good

There’s nonetheless so much to like concerning the OnePlus 9 Professional. Nevertheless, no telephone is ideal, and there are literally just a few issues concerning the machine that haven’t gotten any higher with age. Are they deal-breakers, although?

Battery life

OnePlus 9 Pro Battery

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Within the earlier part, I talked about how nice the charging features of the OnePlus 9 Professional are. Sadly, that fast-charging is a necessity because the battery lifetime of the OnePlus 9 Professional remains to be not nice.

Let me be clear: the battery lifetime of this telephone is ok. It bought me by means of a whole day and not using a downside, even on that day spent in New York Metropolis after I was utilizing navigation, music streaming, and NFC funds seemingly continuous. Nevertheless, even on days with lighter use, there was no means I might have gotten by means of a second day. This can be a one-day, presumably 1.5-day telephone, regardless of the way you slice it.

The battery life on the OnePlus 9 Professional shouldn’t be a lot better than it was six months in the past.

Sadly, this hasn’t modified a lot since our unique OnePlus 9 Professional overview. Regardless of there being a bunch of software program updates since then, the battery life doesn’t appear to have gotten noticeably higher. Granted, that doesn’t imply it gained’t ever get higher, but it surely’s turning into clear that the telephone will doubtless lack on this division for good.

That is notably irritating if you consider each the dimensions of the twin battery within the telephone (4,500mAh) and OnePlus’ historical past of normally excelling on this space. Is the Snapdragon 888 a battery-hogging beast? Is the fluid show pulling an excessive amount of juice? Or is Oxygen OS getting too slowed down? Regardless of the cause, if lengthy battery life is your prime requirement for a smartphone, you might want to look elsewhere.

Software program and updates

OnePlus 9 Pro Oxygen OS

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

There have been fairly just a few software updates for the OnePlus 9 Pro over the previous six months. My machine was operating on Oxygen OS which options the September 2021 Android safety patch. In different phrases, it was up-to-date.

Nevertheless, Oxygen OS dropped means again in July. Meaning the OnePlus 9 Professional by no means bought the August 2021 safety patch — it jumped proper from July to September. That is fairly unacceptable when you think about this text goes stay after the machine has been out for simply six months. It’s one factor for a top-of-the-line flagship to overlook a month after over a yr on the cabinets, however six months? Yeesh.

See additionally: What you need to know about the end of Oxygen OS and the start of “OnePlus 2.0”

If that’s not unhealthy sufficient, now we have completely no concept what to anticipate so far as software program goes for the OnePlus 9 Professional going ahead. We all know it’ll get Oxygen OS 12, based mostly on Android 12, someday this yr. Nevertheless, when the supposed OnePlus 10 comes out in 2022, it’ll include a completely totally different working system that will likely be a hybrid of Oxygen OS and Oppo’s Colour OS. OnePlus isn’t telling us something about this new OS so we do not know what it is going to be like. It might be nice. It might be horrible. We don’t know. However both means, it’s additionally coming to the 9 Professional and can exchange the present pores and skin on the telephone.

If software program stability, frequent updates, and familiarity are necessary to you, it will be sensible to suppose lengthy and exhausting earlier than investing in a OnePlus 9 Professional, particularly when different manufacturers like Samsung and Google have raised the bar in recent times.

Fingerprint reader

OnePlus 9 Pro Fingerprint Reader

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

OnePlus was the primary firm to deliver an in-display fingerprint sensor to the US with the OnePlus 6T. That makes the corporate a little bit of a pioneer within the space. As such, you’d suppose OnePlus can be means forward of the sport with regards to the know-how.

Nevertheless, the OnePlus 9 Professional’s fingerprint sensor is just so-so. Throughout my time with it, I discovered it to be a bit sluggish. I additionally discovered it to fail to acknowledge my prints means too usually for my liking. Granted, if it failed it will work on the second or third attempt, however that is fairly disappointing for a $1,000 telephone.

See additionally: The best phones with in-display fingerprint scanners

The factor that irked me probably the most about it, although, was its placement on the show. OnePlus, Samsung, and different manufacturers with in-display fingerprint tech normally put the sensor up in the course of the underside half of the display. On the OnePlus 9 Professional, nevertheless, the sensor may be very close to the underside of the show. Not solely does this make inserting your finger there awkward, but it surely compelled me to unlearn what’s change into a years-long behavior of instinctively going in the direction of the center of the underside half of the display.

Are these issues large enough to not purchase the telephone? Completely not. Nevertheless, if you mix them with the opposite issues listed right here, it might be the straw that breaks the camel’s again, because it have been.


OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

You would possibly suppose this can be a nitpicky ding. Nevertheless, we will’t neglect to level out that OnePlus has performed a reasonably poor job with regards to the supply of the OnePlus 9 Professional.

Most egregiously, the entry-tier mannequin of the telephone — with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM — by no means made it to the US, regardless of OnePlus closely suggesting it will. In the meantime, the Stellar Black colorway (pictured above subsequent to the iPhone 13 Professional Max) — which is totally matte black and wonderful — additionally by no means made it to the US and plenty of different nations.

US consumers have solely had one storage variant obtainable and a selection between solely two colours.

In different phrases, US consumers have one storage/RAM choice (256GB/12GB) and two coloration selections: Morning Mist (proven elsewhere on this article) and Pine Inexperienced. Not precisely a wealth of choices.

Clearly, the continuing international chip scarcity might be partially and even principally accountable right here. Nonetheless, OnePlus might have been extra upfront concerning the lack of the entry tier mannequin and will even have performed higher to deliver the Stellar Black colorway to the US.

In a spot of excellent news, although, the telephone is at the moment very straightforward to seek out for a lot decrease costs than its $1,069 checklist value. In fact, that doesn’t assist for those who needed the 128GB mannequin or the Stellar Black colorway.

OnePlus 9 Professional overview revisited: The decision

OnePlus 9 Pro close up of hassleblad

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

In a whole lot of methods, the OnePlus 9 Professional remains to be probably the greatest telephones ever from the model. It provides flagship specs, a killer design, a legitimately nice digital camera, and nonetheless comes with a charger within the field — and what a charger it’s! Even six months after its debut, it’s a killer telephone.

Even if you consider my complaints about battery life, the fingerprint sensor, and the shoddy availability of the telephone, there’s not a lot to fret about. This telephone will doubtless make a purchaser as glad at the moment as they might have been six months in the past.

Additionally learn: The best OnePlus phones

The massive downside, nevertheless, isn’t what’s occurred up to now six months — it’s what’s coming sooner or later. With OnePlus planning to drastically alter its software program because it turns into ever nearer to its sister model Oppo, is the OnePlus 9 Professional nonetheless funding? Sadly, I can’t reply that query, as a result of I simply don’t know.

I’d wish to suppose that OnePlus goes to deal with its followers with care and be sure that the unified working system on the way in which will likely be nice. Nevertheless, the corporate has lately had no downside with wildly revamping what Oxygen OS seems to be and looks like. Keep in mind when it tried to pre-install Fb on its telephones with Fb providers being unremovable? That’s the form of factor that considerations me. It’s very doable — possibly even doubtless — that OnePlus isn’t going to maintain followers in thoughts because it revamps the software program.

This all signifies that funding now right into a OnePlus 9 Professional is an funding into the unknown. Certain, you might simply not replace to the unified OS when that point comes. However why would you spend $1,000 on a telephone to cease getting updates a yr after it launches?

The neatest factor to do proper now could be to attend it out for extra particulars on the software program roadmap. If you happen to desperately need a OnePlus 9 Professional, go forward and get one — you gained’t be disenchanted, it’s an incredible piece of {hardware}. Simply do it with the understanding that there’s no assure what’s across the nook with regards to its software program.

OnePlus 9 Pro close up of hassleblad

OnePlus 9 Professional

The OnePlus 9 Professional reaches the market with a refreshed design, a 6.7-inch AMOLED show, a Snapdragon 888 processor, and a brand new Hasselblad digital camera partnership for improved imaging. | The great and unhealthy six months later


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