OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 officially announced, but first reviews indicate the Hasselblad co-branding is more in letter than in spirit
A lot has been discussed about the new OnePlus 9 series is the past few weeks, and the phones are finally here. OnePlus has introduced the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro, 9R, and the OnePlus Watch with an aim to build an ecosystem of its own. The highlight of the launch is, of course, the Hasselblad camera tech in the 9 and 9 Pro devices, but most initial impressions so far of these cameras recommend keeping expectations tempered for now.
We already know the specs of these devices but for starters, both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC paired with 8 or 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 128 or 256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The 9 Pro features a QHD+ Super AMOLED E4 display with a 10-bit color depth, 1,300-nit brightness, and can refresh between 1 Hz and 120 Hz thanks to the LTPO technology. OnePlus calls this the Fluid Display 2.0
Both the OnePlus 9 and the 9 Pro offer a split 4,500 mAh battery that is compatible with the company's new Warp Charge 65T, which is slated to offer a 0 to 100% charge in 29 minutes. OnePlus is also offering dual wireless coils in the phone that can support 50 W wireless charging in both landscape and portrait orientations. OnePlus says the 50 W wireless charger, which is an optional accessory, can charge the device from 0 to 100% within 43 minutes.
The cameras are obviously the main draw of the OnePlus 9 series and they do look good on paper. The OnePlus 9 Pro's main camera uses a Sony IMX789 1/1,43-inch 48 MP sensor that supports technologies such as dual native ISO, digital overlap HDR (DOL-HDR), 2x2 on-chip lens (OCL), and optical image stabilization (OIS). The camera can shoot in 12-bit RAW and the Hasselblad Pro mode offers enhanced fine-tuning.
The OnePlus 9, on the other hand, still carries the Hasselblad branding but offers a Sony IMX689 48 MP 1/1.43-inch sensor with no OIS and only traditional HDR. Unlike the 9 Pro, which can do 8K 30 and 4K 120 slow motion video, the 9 does 8K 30 but can do only 4K at 60 fps. Both the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro feature the same 50 MP ultrawide Sony IMX766 1/1.56-inch lens.
Initial reviews of the OnePlus 9 Pro point to a surely improved camera system overall, but the results don't seem to live up to the US$150 million Hasselblad partnership hype, at least for now. Popular YouTubers Dave2D, Mr. Mobile, and Marques Brownlee do not seem not be too enthused with the initial image results given the hype around the Hasselblad branding but did say that the cameras were a good improvement over the OnePlus 8 series.
GSMArena did note the apparent lack of detail in daylight images and somewhat aggressive sharpening. Color reproduction wasn't always natural with the white balance often shifting to the cooler side and an average dynamic range. The publication notes that users will be able to get much more out of the cameras when shooting in RAW rather than JPGs. Low-light performance, on the other hand, seems to be very good, particularly with Nightscape mode on. The Verge also put out a similar conclusion that the OnePlus 9 Pro cannot really match the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in terms of pure camera performance.
Of course, this is a three-year partnership with Hasselblad that will see more hardware-centric features in upcoming iterations. For now, the benefits largely seem to be focused around Natural Color Calibration, the Hasselblad Pro mode, and implementation of a freeform lens in the ultrawide sensor to minimize lens distortions near the edges to just 1%. Also, we expect to see OnePlus roll out quite a few software updates in the coming weeks that may fix a lot of the reported peeves with the imaging as well as some minor irritations such as screen stuttering while the refresh rate gets dynamically updated.
With the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, the company is now firmly in flagship territory and the prices are reflective of the same. The following table lists the pricing across India, Europe, and the US -
|SKU||India Pricing||Euro Pricing||US Pricing|
|OnePlus 9 8/128 GB (Astral Black, Winter Mist)||₹49,999||€709||US$729|
|OnePlus 9 12/256 GB (Astral Black)||₹54,999||€809||US$829|
|OnePlus 9 Pro 8/128 GB (Morning Mist)||₹64,999||€909||US$969|
|OnePlus 9 Pro 12/256 GB (Morning Mist, Pine Green)||₹69,999||€999||US$1,069|
Pre-orders start from March 26 in North America with first sales slated for April 2nd. In India, the OnePlus 9 Pro will go on sale on April 1 while the OnePlus 9 will be available from April 15. OnePlus Community members can get the OnePlus 9 Pro on March 31 as part of an early access sale.
OnePlus Press Release