Good Sufficient to Be Nice, However Not Sufficient to Be the Greatest – Evaluate Geek

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Ranking:
8/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Sizzling Rubbish
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Rubbish
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Execs, Tons Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Sufficient to Purchase On Sale
  • 7 – Nice, However Not Greatest-In-Class
  • 8 – Implausible, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Cash
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Value: $1,069

The back of the Morning Mist OnePlus 9 Pro against a rust red background
Cameron Summerson

Final yr’s OnePlus 8 Professional was a departure for the corporate. It marked a costlier, extra premium telephone than earlier OP (OnePlus) fashions. The 9 Professional is an enlargement of this philosophy, packing higher cameras and extra high-end options than ever earlier than. To place it merely: that is the most effective telephone OnePlus has ever constructed.

Here is What We Like

  • Loopy quick
  • Large, lovely show
  • The perfect cameras ever in a OnePlus telephone
  • Silly-fast charging (wired and wi-fi)

And What We Do not

  • The telephoto lens is not nice
  • Battery life is hit or miss
  • Quick wi-fi charger is a expensive add-on

For followers of OnePlus, the 9 Professional is certain to be successful. It’s huge, lovely, and quick, with wonderful cameras and a stunning show. It additionally has the quickest charging I’ve ever used—each wired and wi-fi. With the included charger, it could hit 65 watts with a cable. It could actually additionally hit a staggering 50 watts wirelessly—quicker than most different telephones can do with a cable (by a big measure).

So yeah, there’s rather a lot to like about this telephone.

Desk of Contents

Energy for Days

OnePlus has by no means shied away from packing its telephones with a few of the greatest guts you may get on the time, so it’s no shock that the 9 Professional is crammed to the brim with top-tier innards.

Specs

Not too shabby, huh? As I stated earlier, it’s huge, lovely, and quick. Whereas there are technically two variations of the telephone, solely the high-end model is on the market on the time of writing. The lower-end mannequin drops the RAM from 12GB to 8GB and storage from 256GB to 128GB for a $100 worth distinction, which is actually not definitely worth the downgrade in my thoughts. When you’re already spending virtually $1,000 on a telephone, would possibly as nicely go for the additional $100 to get the additional RAM and extra storage—each of this stuff will go a great distance in rising the lifespan of the machine.

And to associate with these highly effective innards is equally as highly effective charging. Final yr’s OnePlus 8 Professional included 30-watt Warp Cost (each wired and wi-fi), whereas the marginally upgraded 8T launched the blisteringly quick Warp Cost 65 wired charging. The 9 Professional does one higher on each fronts with its new charging choices.

To place that into perspective, most different telephones (not less than in the USA) can’t even come near hitting 50-watt charging with a cable. However the OnePlus 9 Professional can do it wirelessly. In fact, that may come at a value—it’s important to purchase the proprietary Warp Charge Wireless Charger and present your individual brick. You should use the one which comes with the telephone when you solely plan to cost the telephone wirelessly, however if you’d like the most effective of each worlds, you’ll have to pony up the cash for an additional 65w charger . With the charger and brick, that’s simply an additional $100 on prime of an already costly telephone.

All that’s to say one factor: Warp Cost is freakin’ cool. I’m glad the Warp Cost 65 brick comes within the field as a result of when you want to cost the telephone rapidly, you have already got what you want. Warp Cost Wi-fi, nevertheless, is far more of a novelty in my thoughts. It merely isn’t value the additional $70 only for the charger when it doesn’t supply a major profit…apart from scratching that “I actually like cool stuff” itch. For my cash, I’d somewhat use the wired Warp Cost providing after I want a fast increase and keep on with a extra reasonably priced and far slower wi-fi possibility for in a single day charging. However I can respect both selection.

And with that, let’s discuss the whole lot else.

However It’s a Large Boi

Do I even have to let you know that this telephone is, nicely, it’s fairly huge? That’s just about a given for a contemporary telephone with “Professional” within the identify at this level, proper? With a 6.7-inch show, the 9 Professional is an enormous boi, and at 197 grams, it’s a hefty one, too. When you like huge, heavy telephones, then you definitely’ll love the OP9 Professional. As a bonus, when you by no means have to bludgeon somebody to loss of life (in self-defense, after all), it might most likely be an excellent device for the job.

The OnePlus 9 Pro on a bench
Cameron Summerson

You already know what goes together with a having an enormous telephone? An enormous show. And the 9 Professional makes probably the most of it with a fully lovely AMOLED panel that clocks a 120Hz refresh charge. I don’t know when you’ve ever used a telephone with a 120Hz refresh charge earlier than, however when you do, it’s arduous to return to 60Hz. It’s simply fluid and good to make use of—something decrease appears to be like uneven as compared.

That stated, if you wish to save just a little battery life, you may drop it right down to 60Hz. However actually, I don’t discover the affect on battery life to be that dramatic, because the 9 Professional makes use of a dynamic show that may shift between 1Hz and 120Hz relying on what you’re doing.

Past the silky easy refresh charge, you’ll additionally respect the 9 Professional’s wonderful shade accuracy. However hey—that’s what it is best to count on from a contemporary flagship telephone, proper? Proper. As soon as once more, DisplayMate has given the 9 Professional an “A+” rating, stating that it’s “visually indistinguishable from good.” At this level, I really feel like that’s getting an A in gymnasium class for high-end telephones, although—they simply want to point out up they usually’re good to go.

One other cool factor that the 9 Professional does is robotically regulate the show tones in keeping with the atmosphere and lighting. This characteristic is named Consolation Tone and will be enabled in Settings—it’s not on by default, nevertheless it needs to be (and I like to recommend enabling it). It’s not a dramatic shift, thoughts you, it simply subtly modifications the colours to raised swimsuit the situations of the atmosphere. I actually like this characteristic.

The upper half of the OnePlus 9 Pro's display.
Word the curved edges. Cameron Summerson

Whereas most of us can agree that larger refresh charges and wonderful shade accuracy are each good issues, the sides of the show are a bit extra polarizing—as a result of they’re curved. I’ll stage with you: I’m not a fan of curved shows. I discover that I by accident faucet or swipe curved edges extra typically than flat screens, and it simply annoys the hell out of me. This hasn’t been as dramatic on the 9 Professional as many different curved-edge shows I’ve used, however given the selection, I’ll nonetheless take a flat show each time.

That stated, I do love how fashionable a curved show appears to be like—the OnePlus 9 Professional’s svelte edges make my flat-screened Pixel 5 look historical as compared. I dig that.

Earlier than we transfer on to the remainder of the telephone, let’s take a second to speak in regards to the in-display fingerprint sensor. In-display fingerprint sensors are positive, I suppose, however I nonetheless preserve that they’re an answer to an issue that doesn’t exist. They’re typically slower than exterior sensors and they are often awkward to make use of. The 9 Professional’s sensor can be weirdly low—it’s virtually on the very backside of the show. I haven’t had any points with it to date (apart from having to re-adjust my thumb virtually each time I unlock the telephone as a result of I’m not used to a sensor that low). Whereas I’d take a rear-mounted sensor over the in-display sensor, this one has been positive.

The 9 Pro's in-display fingerprint sensor
It’s low. Cameron Summerson

As for the remainder of the physique and body, it’s a reasonably commonplace affair right here. The one notable factor for anybody who has by no means used an OnePlus telephone is the alert slider, which lets you rapidly go from ring to vibrate to silent with the flick of a change. I completely adore this characteristic and can by no means perceive why extra producers don’t steal it.

Oh, and the end. My overview unit is Morning Mist and it’s mainly a mirror. A silver, fingerprint gathering mirror. You’re going to desire a case on this one if for no different purpose than your sanity.

Efficiency is Killer and Oxygen OS Rocks (However Battery Life is Simply OK)

Look, I don’t assume there’s any purpose to beat a lifeless horse to loss of life (once more) right here: the telephone is quick. Like, stupid-fast. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 paired with 12GB of RAM needs to be greater than sufficient for mainly anybody. Everybody. Each.

However that’s to be anticipated from a contemporary smartphone, proper? I’ve been saying it for years, however specs simply don’t matter anymore—particularly within the flagship house. Now it’s all in regards to the expertise. You already know, the software program.

And when it comes right down to it, Oxygen OS is the place it’s at. I’m an Android purist at coronary heart, however I refuse to cover my love affair with Oxygen OS. It’s simply pretty much as good as inventory Android. In some methods, it’s even higher. Significantly, it’s so good.

The OnePlus 9 Pro's setting menu The OnePlus 9 Pro's battery and status bar options

There are quite a lot of little high quality of life enhancements in Oxygen that make it nice. The flexibility to one-hand the Settings menu as a result of the menus begin midway down the display screen, for instance (one thing clearly stolen from Samsung’s One UI). Or the choice to allow/disable sure UI components within the standing bar with out the necessity for a third-party app. The aforementioned Consolation Tone mode. Or the flexibility to set a customized font. There’s rather a lot to like about Oxygen OS.

However!—you knew it was coming didn’t you?—it’s not good. Reminiscence administration will be completely overbearing and kill background duties prematurely. This factor has 12GB of RAM, so there’s no want for that kind of nonsense. OnePlus virtually definitely does this within the identify of battery life, nevertheless it’s extra annoying than useful. Don’t like.

Talking of, the battery life on this telephone is attention-grabbing—regardless of the aggressive reminiscence administration, it nonetheless doesn’t get what I’d name stellar battery life. It’s sufficient to get me via a day, certain, nevertheless it’s not nice by any means. What’s extra, it appears to be inconsistent. Even with the identical form of utilization, at some point will kill the battery whereas one other received’t have as extreme an affect. I suppose it’s a great factor it could cost stupid-fast, huh?

General, although, I’ve quite a lot of love for Oxygen OS. It feels sufficient like inventory Android to be acquainted, with a lot of little tweaks all through that make over a (largely) nice expertise.

The Cameras are the Greatest Ever in an OnePlus Telephone (However Nonetheless Not the Greatest in Common)

That is all the time the final a part of a telephone overview I write as a result of it’s simply probably the most advanced. I don’t contemplate myself a photographer by any means and I attempt to choose digicam efficiency via a “common folks” lens. However on the similar time, I’ve to take a look at the total bundle, how OnePlus sells the options, and the way folks will doubtless use the digicam. It’s rather a lot.

The 9 Pro's Hasselblad cameras
Cameron Summerson

To sum it up with a pleasant little bow, the 9 Professional has the most effective cameras ever in an OnePlus telephone, virtually definitely because of the corporate’s partnership with iconic digicam maker Hasselblad. OnePlus has improved its digicam programs yearly, however I suppose it required just a little assist to push the cameras excessive within the 9 Professional. It appears to have labored.

However they’re nonetheless not fairly pretty much as good as what you’ll get on a top-end iPhone, Galaxy, or perhaps a Pixel in some circumstances. That doesn’t imply it could’t produce excellent images, as a result of it completely can. You’ll doubtless by no means scoff on the outcomes or assume “wow, I ought to’ve gotten an S21 as a substitute.” As a result of though it’s not fairly pretty much as good as a few of its opponents, the variations are marginal and solely the pickiest of customers will doubtless discover it. Additionally, in comparison with an iPhone 12 Professional Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely, the OnePlus 9 Professional is extra reasonably priced, which additionally needs to be thought of.

OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: A mural shot with the ultra-wide lens OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: A closeup of a mural with the telephoto lens OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: An outdoor shot of buildings with the main camera OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: A night streetscape shot with the telephoto lensPrime left: Extremely-wide; Prime proper: Telephoto; Backside left: Principal Digital camera; Backside proper: Telephoto in low mild (observe how grainy it’s). Click on for full measurement.

And with that, let’s get just a little extra granular.

The OnePlus 9 Professional has three (nicely, 4, however we’ll get to that in a second) cameras: a 48MP primary sensor, 50MP ultra-wide, and 8MP telephoto. The fourth is a 2MP monochrome sensor which is meant to make black and white footage higher. Appears foolish to me.

In relation to shade accuracy, that’s one thing OP talked up rather a lot with this telephone, as a result of it has been a difficulty for OnePlus telephones for, nicely, so long as I can bear in mind. However this time round, I really feel like nailed it…not less than largely. In good lighting, the colours are about as correct as I’ve ever seen from a smartphone—not less than from what my eyes can see anyway.

That stated, it leans just a little on the cool aspect, favoring blues. That is much more prevalent in low mild, the place the digicam compensates by making an attempt to sharpen the picture. This additionally results in some noise in shadows and different darkish areas, although it’s nonetheless satisfactory. Once more, solely the pickiest of customers will find yourself seeing this as a difficulty.

OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: An alleyway shot with the main camera OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: An archway on a walking path shot with the main cameraEach: Principal Digital camera. Click on for full measurement.

That is all in auto mode, after all. I determine that is the place most customers will spend their time, however extra superior customers will most likely additionally wish to discover Professional mode. This mode has been completely redesigned to supply a few of Hasselblad’s options—a primary for a smartphone. Customers who wish to shoot in Professional mode will get all the products they’re used to right here: ISO, publicity, focus, white steadiness, and all that different stuff. Professional mode can even shoot in 12-bit RAW if that’s your factor.

I’d be mendacity if I stated most of these items wasn’t misplaced on me. I can respect the additional management in a smartphone app, however actually, if I’m going to spend that a lot time tweaking settings, I’d somewhat simply use my DSLR. To me, smartphone cameras are supposed to be quick—the one you all the time have on you to seize a shot at a second’s discover.

As such, you’ll additionally wish to benefit from the telephone’s ultra-wide and telephoto lenses. I’m typically not an enormous fan of ultra-wide cameras and discover them a lot much less helpful than telephoto, however I’m blissful to see each on the 9 Professional.

OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: A closeup of three Fender Telecaster guitar headstocks shot indoors with the main camera OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: A Fender Telecaster guitar on a red rug, shot with the main camera in low indoor light OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: An outdoor low light shot of an awning with red lights OnePlus 9 Pro Camera Sample: Portrait mode of a Leatherface Funko PopPrime two: indoors, reasonable mild (primary digicam); Backside left: outdoor, nightfall, low mild (primary digicam); Backside proper: portrait mode (primary digicam). Click on for full measurement.

The ultra-wide does a great job of capturing pictures which are sharper and clearer on the edges than different smartphones. OnePlus claims the Freeform Lens is designed in a approach that it brings edge distortion right down to 1% (in comparison with 10-20% on different telephones), and I’m inclined to imagine it. Whereas the principle shooter is not less than on par with most different telephones a lot of the time, the ultra-wide is a winner right here. It nonetheless has a few of the similar blue hue tendencies of the principle digicam, however in any other case, it’s fairly strong.

The telephoto is fairly hit or miss. In some conditions, it’s nice. However in low lighting and different less-than-perfect environments, it’s very grainy. Whereas I discover telephoto lenses to be extra utilitarian than ultra-wides, that utility goes out the window if the general result’s poor. With the 9 Professional’s telephoto lens, you’ll have to take a handful of photographs to get a great one, which is one thing I by no means skilled with the principle or ultra-wide lenses.

Conclusion

The 9 Pro's Morning Mist finish against a rusted pole with a brick wall in the background.
When you can hold it clear, the Morning MIst end is beautiful. Cameron Summerson

So, on the finish of all of it, I really feel bizarre in regards to the OnePlus 9 Professional. I really feel prefer it’s a marginal improve from the 8 Professional—in different phrases, you probably have an 8 Professional and are contemplating the improve, don’t. It’s not sufficient of an enchancment to justify the associated fee. When you’re utilizing a 7 sequence or older, nevertheless, it’s may be a greater funding.

The cameras are a marked enchancment from earlier OnePlus telephones, however nonetheless not really aggressive with the newest Galaxy, iPhone, or Pixel gadgets. It can get some actually nice photographs, nevertheless it additionally would possibly take two or three tries to seize the one you need. Generally you don’t have that form of time. Nonetheless, I don’t wish to sound just like the cameras are dangerous as a result of that’s not the case. They’re (largely) nice cameras in their very own proper.

The quick wired charging velocity is nice, particularly because the battery life generally is a little finicky. The 50w wi-fi charging, although, is a a lot more durable sale. Not solely do you want to purchase a $70 charger and probably one other energy brick with a purpose to get the highest velocity, however the usefulness of wi-fi charging this quick is controversial at greatest. It’s neat, however that’s it.

General, the 9 Professional is an excellent telephone. It’s the most effective OnePlus telephone up to now (although I nonetheless have a comfortable spot for the 7 Professional), and it has a price ticket to match. When the 8T and eight Professional are $600 and $700 respectively, it’s important to actually ask your self if the nicer cameras are value the additional $300-$400. And to me, that’s a tricky promote.





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