Camera comparison OnePlus 9 Pro vs. OnePlus 8 Pro as blind test - Progress at first glance?
The OnePlus 9 Pro can score with its good camera package in our current review. But is the photo quality of the 2021 OnePlus flagship smartphone much better than the predecessor? The OnePlus 8 Pro already had to prove itself in a Camera test against the OnePlus 7T Pro and revealed not only improvements but slightly less progress than expected.
The question is: Is the current flagship from OnePlus superior to its predecessor at first glance? We clarify this in a blind test and take a closer look at the main cameras of both OnePlus models using different photo subjects and light situations. All pictures in this comparison are taken with the help of artificial intelligence. The camera settings are left in the respective factory state and all photos are stored in their original size for better comparability.
Shots of the OnePlus smartphones during the day
The differences between the two main cameras of the OnePlus models are minor in daylight. The blur in model B is a bit more pronounced and appears less over-sharpened in direct comparison to model A. The latter offers the better contrasts and also a slightly cooler representation of the subjects, which is usually more in line with reality. Photos with model A are visibly brighter and calibrated warmer. However, big differences in sharpness and detail range are not really observable.
Can large differences be assumed between the ultra-wide-angle cameras - based purely from the spec sheet? The differences are actually relatively small in everyday use. Both smartphones have a visible blur in the peripheral area, but the sharpness level is relatively balanced. The same applies to zoom photography. Shots with 5x zoom achieve usable results in everyday use with both model B and model A. However, the latter renders the subjects a bit too warm. However, model A is a bit better in terms of color fidelity for our taste when taking pictures with the ultra-wide-angle camera.
Shooting the OnePlus phones in the dark
Generalized statements are difficult to make in low light. Model B has the clearly better dynamics in the photos at twilight. This observation is also true when using the night mode, which combines the pictures over a certain time interval to create the best possible image. Especially in very low light, however, model A is visibly better in terms of image sharpness, although the dynamics are not good here either. Even in "dim" room lighting, both the OnePlus 8 Pro and the OnePlus 9 Pro show big deficits in our book.
If the wide-angle lens is used to record the photos, model A has the better sharpness - especially in night mode - and also less noise. Pictures taken with model B look blurry in increasing darkness and darken very quickly, so many details are lost in the darkness. However, a visible reduction in details and sharpness has to be accepted for both OnePlus smartphones.
Could you distinguish both OnePlus smartphones for sure based on the photos?
Smartphone A is the OnePlus 9 Pro | Smartphone B is the OnePlus 8 Pro
Conclusion of the camera test - The Hasselblad effect has fizzled out a bit
As in the camera test to OnePlus 9 we deliberately took a little more time with the OnePlus 9 Pro before comparing the current flagship with the OnePlus 8 Pro as several system updates have improved the cameras again and again.
In very good lighting conditions, the camera quality of both OnePlus smartphones is convincing in this comparison. Slight differences are visible in brightness and details as well as color management. The OnePlus 9 Pro has the more realistic colors overall, but the Chinese manufacturer advertises its photo quality with "unbelievably authentic colors" - but the deviations and also the results of the ColorChecker in our detailed individual test are a bit too high. In the future, the cooperation with Hasselblad will also be expanded in terms of hardware, and perhaps visible sharpness advantages can be achieved then.
When the rear-facing main camera is challenged in very low light, the OnePlus 9 Pro preserves more image details in the subjects with comparatively low image noise, but the image quality is not as good as in the OnePlus 8 Pro however, the dynamic range of the pictures is clearly lost in "solid" lighting conditions. Overall, we can hardly speak of "progress" here.
The ultra-wide-angle camera of the OnePlus 9 Pro can easily conceal the weaknesses of the predecessor, especially in low light. However, as with the telephoto lens, the improvements in the pictures are minor.
OnePlus can certainly improve the camera quality via software updates, but the status of the previous year remains the same for now: A good camera system, but the progress is negligible.
Prices & availability of the OnePlus phones
The OnePlus 9 Pro is available for 880 Euros (~$1056) in the 8 GB version, available, among others at NBB.com and Cyberport, available. As an import, among others via Trading Shenzhen, the prices start at 790 Euro (~$948) for the OnePlus 8 Pro at 590 Euros (~$708). In this country, the 2020 model is available from 620 Euros (~$744), among others at NBB.com among others