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OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 officially announced, but first reviews indicate the Hasselblad co-branding is more in letter than in spirit

The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are now official. (Image Source: OnePlus)
The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are now official. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus has officially announced its premium lineup of smartphones this year — the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro. With the 9 and 9 Pro, OnePlus is now firmly in flagship territory. The company hyped its Hasselblad partnership quite a bit, but early reviews indicate there's much more work to be done before it can fully compete with the likes of the iPhone 12 Pro Max or the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
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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.

Buy the Olixar case with screen protector for the OnePlus 9 Pro on Amazon

OnePlus 9 - Winter Mist. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 - Winter Mist. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 - Arctic Sky. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 - Arctic Sky. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 Pro - Pine Green. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 Pro - Pine Green. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 Pro - Stellar Black. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 Pro - Stellar Black. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 - Features. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 - Features. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 Pro - Features. (Image Source: OnePlus)
OnePlus 9 Pro - Features. (Image Source: OnePlus)

Source(s)

OnePlus Press Release

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1309 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 03 > OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 officially announced, but first reviews indicate the Hasselblad co-branding is more in letter than in spirit
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2021-03-24 (Update: 2021-03-24)