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OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 8T smartphone camera comparison: Is Hasselblad the winner or is it OIS?

Which OnePlus smartphone has the better cameras?
Which OnePlus smartphone has the better cameras?
After several camera updates and just in time for the market launch of the OnePlus 9, we compare the cameras of the latest high-end phones from OnePlus. Our review features the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 8T. Although the 2021 model has a Hasselblad-branded camera setup on the back, it lacks the OnePlus 8T's IOS.
Marcus Herbrich (translated by Stephanie Chamberlain), 🇩🇪 🇳🇱 ...
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Not only positive aspects were revealed by the OnePlus 9 in our camera comparison with the Xiaomi Mi 11. Due to the omission of optical image stabilization, there aren't only advantages on the spec sheet compared with the predecessor from a technical point of view. We will take a closer look at the photo quality of the latest high-end OnePlus phone compared with the OnePlus 8T using different photo subjects and lighting conditions. All the photos in this comparison were taken with the help of artificial intelligence. The camera settings were left in their respective factory state, and all photos were saved in their original size for better comparability.

You can find the exact specifications of each camera module in the detailed reviews of the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 9.


Cameras in the OnePlus 8T (left) and OnePlus 9 (right)
Cameras in the OnePlus 8T (left) and OnePlus 9 (right)

Daylight photography with the OnePlus smartphones

Compared with the OnePlus 8T, the Hasselblad cooperation doesn't raise the OnePlus 9's (Oxygen OS 11.2.3.3) main camera to a new level, but the 9 model takes better photos. The pictures taken with this year's OnePlus smartphone are often oversharpened, but the base sharpness is still higher than that of the 8T, especially at the edges. Color reproduction is also slightly better than that of the OnePlus 8T, although the "Hasselblad colors" don't always match reality accurately. The OnePlus 9 also takes photos with much more dynamic range in difficult situations with background light.

OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 9 | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 9 | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode

The Chinese manufacturer intends to take a big step with the ultra wide-angle camera, since the new Sony sensor is used here, just like in the Pro model. The 1/1.56" IMX766 reproduces subjects appealingly, but the qualitative difference is surprisingly small compared with the OnePlus 8T. Details in the photos taken with the OnePlus 9 are a bit more pronounced than with the 8T, but the distance to the good ultra wide-angle lens of the predecessor is shorter than to the Xiaomi Mi 11.

The differences are more pronounced when it comes to zoom photos. Shots taken with 3x zoom achieve decent results in everyday use with the OnePlus 9, while photos taken with the OnePlus 8T look relatively blurry and artificial in some cases.

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OnePlus 8T | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 8T | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 9 | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 9 | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 8T | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 9 | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 8T | 3x zoom
OnePlus 9 | 3x zoom
OnePlus 8T | 3x zoom
OnePlus 9 | 3x zoom

Night-time photography with the OnePlus smartphones

The qualitative difference between the two OnePlus smartphones is big in low light. Even though the OnePlus 9 doesn't exactly cover itself in glory when compared directly with the competition, it still emerges as the clear winner against the OnePlus 8T. The latter reveals weaknesses in terms of focus in low-light scenes, and details become blurred.

OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Photo Mode
OnePlus 9 | Photo Mode
OnePlus 8T | Night Mode
OnePlus 9 | Night Mode

In low-light situations, the OnePlus 9 leverages the advantages of the larger sensor in the ultra wide-angle camera. While hardly any details are visible with the OnePlus 8T, this year's OnePlus smartphone allows for comparatively good illumination as well as solid sharpness.

When it comes to 3x zoom photos, neither the OnePlus 8T nor the OnePlus 9 can really deliver appealing results in low light.

OnePlus 8T | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 8T | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 9 | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 9 | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 8T | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 9 | Ultra-wide angle
OnePlus 8T | 3x zoom
OnePlus 9 | 3x zoom

Selfies taken with the OnePlus smartphones

The 16 MP front-facing cameras with Sony's IMX471 enable decent selfie shots, but there are hardly any differences in a direct comparison - the OnePlus 8T scores points with its  slightly higher image sharpness. However, photos taken with both OnePlus smartphones could have more sharpness and contrast for our taste. It's almost impossible to take decent selfies in low-light conditions.

OnePlus 8T | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 8T | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 9 | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 9 | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 8T | Portrait Mode
OnePlus 9 | Portrait Mode

Verdict on the camera comparison - Clear progress can be seen in low-light photography

In review: OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 9. Test devices provided by OnePlus Germany.
In review: OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 9. Test devices provided by OnePlus Germany.

The camera comparison between the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8T mainly shows differences in poor light situations. Particularly when it comes to low-light photography, this year's OnePlus model can make up quite a bit of ground compared to its predecessor. The ultra wide-angle lens of the 8T is also visibly beaten by the Chinese manufacturer's 2021 flagship smartphone.

The differences aren't too drastic in daylight, but the OnePlus 9 has slight advantages here as well - especially in zoom shots. The OnePlus 8T can keep up surprisingly well when it comes to wide-angle photos in daylight.

We see a reason to upgrade when low-light performance is really important, because the OnePlus 9 clearly improves in this area.

Price and availability of the OnePlus phones

At the time of writing, you can find the OnePlus 8T with 256 GB of storage and 12 GB of RAM on Amazon for $599 (discounted price). Furthermore, the OnePlus 9 with 128 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM is also available on Amazon for $699.

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Marcus Herbrich
Editor of the original article: Marcus Herbrich - Senior Tech Writer - 256 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I have always been very passionately interested in mobile technologies, especially smartphones. Being a tech enthusiast means the half-life of my devices isn’t exactly long, and being the latest hardware is not enough to suffice as the manufacturer and operating system play a minor role – the most important aspect for me is that the device is state-of-the-art. After posting for Mobi Test I joined Notebookcheck in 2016, where I have been pursuing my enthusiasm for technology by reviewing the latest smartphone, tablet, and accessory trends.
contact me via: @Marcus_Herbrich
Stephanie Chamberlain
Translator: Stephanie Chamberlain - Translator - 372 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2020
I've been fascinated with technology ever since I got my very first Android smartphone, which was quite a while ago. The power packed into such a small footprint still amazes me. Learning to program made my understanding of technology deeper, and at the same time, it expanded my interest to the area of desktop computers and laptops. All this led me to enjoy reading and watching reviews of new devices, and that's how I stumbled upon Notebookcheck. I immediately found their reviews to be very comprehensive, and luckily, I've even had the chance of translating them since 2019. When it comes to the huge field of technology, I'm currently also interested in specializing in Java programming.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 8T smartphone camera comparison: Is Hasselblad the winner or is it OIS?
Marcus Herbrich, 2021-04-27 (Update: 2021-04-27)