Little brother of the Pro version, the OnePlus 9 also benefits from the partnership with Hasselblad. While waiting for a complete test, here is a first grip of the phone.
The OnePlus 9 offers a more affordable alternative to the OnePlus 9 Pro, while retaining many of its qualities, as well as certain benefits provided by the partnership with Hasselbald. But is this enough to justify a price of more than 100 euros higher than the OnePlus 8T? While waiting for a more complete test following our more extensive protocol, here is a first opinion based on the first days of use of the OnePlus 9.
OnePlus 9 technical sheet
Like an air of OnePlus 8T
Like last year, the OnePlus 9 offers a refined and simpler version of the “Pro” model. If this can be seen on the technical sheet of the phone, it can also be seen at first glance as soon as you take it in hand. And for a very simple reason: its screen is flat, like on the OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 8T, and not curved like on the 8 Pro and 9 Pro.
Despite this, it remains very qualitative in its design with a glass back shell (Gorilla Glass) and a polymer frame reinforced with fiberglass. Not using metal for the outline thus allows it to remain uniform, without band of antennas, while keeping a very similar finish at first glance. We will be more worried about the resistance over time since the scratches may be more numerous if the material chosen is not resistant enough. On all previous models, these edges were made of aluminum.
The grip remains very pleasant, soft in the palm and ergonomic, with a good grip of the phone. Above all, OnePlus has revised the positioning of the keys compared to the 8T, making interactions more accessible, especially to increase the volume. Unfortunately, just like on the OnePlus 9 Pro, the fingerprint sensor also drops a few inches down, which is particularly disturbing and requires some getting used to, and sometimes a little thumb gymnastics to get used to.
The photo block is also thicker and more imposing than on the OnePlus 8T. It is however very well integrated and swears less, aesthetically speaking, than on its predecessors. It is nonetheless imposing and causes a logical instability of the telephone when the latter is placed flat, on a desk for example.
Also note: the shiny glass back (the Winter Mist) marks extremely fingerprints. We imagine that this is also the case on the glossy version (Astral Black).
A very nice screen
Unlike the “Pro” range, which pushes excellence to the point of offering a Quad HD + panel, the OnePlus 9 remains on a Full HD + screen as efficient as it is classic. The Oled is still beautiful, very contrasting, very bright and above all with colors very pleasing to the eye. We will nevertheless wait to pass the screen under our probe to say more about its intrinsic qualities.
Note that in just a few days of use without manhandling the phone, a few micro-scratches, invisible when the screen is on, have already appeared on the surface. We therefore advise you to keep the protective film installed by default, which we inevitably remove during our tests (so as not to deceive our probe).
Note that if the screen is 120 Hz, it is not adaptive. This could therefore have an impact on the autonomy of the phone.
A user experience at the top of the top
If there is one point that OnePlus always emphasizes, it is of course the user experience. For this, the smartphone needs good performance and a neat software interface, which OnePlus has always provided. Here, we find a Snapdragon 888, 8 to 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and OxygenOS 11, the manufacturer’s home interface based on Android 11.
In terms of performance, OnePlus is as always at the forefront, with not only very good at the hardware level, but also a big software optimization in partnership with the actors who matter. Fortnite, for example, spins like a charm with impressive stability at 60 FPS. It is the same on a daily basis. Navigation in the interface is always perfectly fluid and switching from one application to another is done without the slightest hitch.
Whatever task you feel like doing, you can get it done very quickly. And if you feel like it, you can also customize your interface at will to adapt it to your habits. On this point, however, the benefits gained over the Snapdragon 865 of the OnePlus 8T remain quite limited, especially if you are not a daily gamer. The main benefit is the year of software support earned.
Hasselblad on the camera
All the interest of this OnePlus 9 will therefore be in its camera. Signed Hasselblad just like that of the OnePlus 9 Pro, this camera has been particularly neat this year. There are three modules on board: a 48 Mpx Sony IMX689 wide-angle optically stabilized (F / 1.8), a 50 Mpx Sony IMX766 ultra wide-angle (f / 2.2) identical to that of the OP9 Pro and a 2 Mpx monochrome sensor. The interest of the latter is however very limited and we will therefore focus on the other two.
To determine if the evolution is major, it will obviously be necessary to wait for a more complete test, under more varied conditions. Our first tests nevertheless show good light management and a correct dive when conditions are good, but, as on the OnePlus 9 Pro, a tendency of the pixels to drool a lot on the edges and in the angles.
We also notice that the uniqueness of the colorimetry between the different sensors is less good than on the Pro model. While on the latter there is a slight distortion of colors, the OnePlus 9 regularly displays clearly different colors, clearly marking the gap between the optics.
At night, the general atmosphere of the scene is good, with good treatment of the different levels of light, but you immediately lose sharpness of the details.
It is also a shame to have lost the telephoto lens and to keep the 2-megapixel monochrome sensor. The costs are obviously not the same, but neither are the utility.
The 16-megapixel front sensor is a Sony IMX471 with a lens opening at f / 2.4. The result is often poor focus and grain in the image.
Further tests will of course have to be done to check whether the camera is more efficient than that of the OnePlus 8T. Answer to come in our full test.
Wireless charging on the program
We will give our feedback on battery life in our full test, but we can already say that the 120 Hz screen may have a noticeable impact. However, we appreciate the presence of the 65 W charger in the box, as well as the compatibility with 15 W wireless charging.
A bit of a wait for the OnePlus 9
The OnePlus 9 is already available for pre-order, with a pair of Buds Z offered to those who will enjoy it. Unlike the OnePlus 9 Pro, which is scheduled for delivery next week, the OnePlus 9 will require a bit more waiting, however. Sales will begin on April 26.
For prices, count 719 euros for the 8/128 GB version and 819 euros for the 12/256 GB version.
The developments are nevertheless quite limited at first glance and it may be interesting to turn to the OnePlus 8T if wireless charging is not important for you.