OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 8T smartphone camera comparison: Is Hasselblad the winner or is it OIS?
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.
Daylight photography with the OnePlus smartphones
Compared with the OnePlus 8T, the Hasselblad cooperation doesn't raise the OnePlus 9's (Oxygen OS 18.104.22.168) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Verdict on the camera comparison - Clear progress can be seen in low-light photography
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.