OnePlus 9/Pro scored Verizon 5G network support, but you are still better off with Samsung
We may earn a commission if you make a purchase from the links on this page.
Upon announcing the 9 series for the US, OnePlus warned that, while the phones support the important Verizon bands, and then some, it is still in contact with Big Red over certifying the duo for its 5G network.
Well, that certification has now come and you can register the OnePlus 9 or 9 Pro you buy at OnePlus.com on the network if you are a Verizon subscriber who likes their best-in-the-US coverage but also loves what OnePlus crafted this year - you know, the best display and fastest charging among phones in the US.
Regardless of business or consumer, you will be able to activate an American OP9 on Verizon. If you asked prior to certification, it is possible that the person you talked to said "no" because it wasn't in our system yet and it hasn't launched.— George Koroneos (@GLKCreative) March 26, 2021
You need the Verizon certification, as we've heard people complaining about OnePlus 8T compatibility on Verizon even after registering, so what performance can we expect from the OnePlus 9 series now that they have been given the green from Big Red.
OnePlus 9 Pro support and download speeds on the Verizon 5G network
Phones with both the LTE 48 and 5G n48 bands support on which Verizon's newest 4G and 5G network efforts are running, are few and far between, with Samsung's newest Galaxy S21 series leading the pack. That is why we were glad to see that the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are entering the fray. After all, the OnePlus 5G phones have been racking record speeds on T-Mobile's 5G network, even the previous generation, and we thought we'd see the same on Verizon with the 9 series now.
Our good friend from PCMag, Sascha Segan, has run the tests and the analysis, and it turned out that you are still better off with Samsung in terms of Verizon 5G network support and download speeds. Here's what Mr Segan found while testing the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro on Verizon 5G and 4G LTE:Well, certification is not adoption, and, apparently, Verizon hasn't lifted a finger to optimize the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro for its newfangled Nationwide 5G network, band 48 or no band 48.
- With T-Mobile historically being OnePlus’ major carrier partner in the US since 2018, the 9 series was optimized for T-Mobile’s network and continues to display best results there.
- OnePlus models for Europe, India, and China will work more poorly in the US, so consumers shouldn’t import them expecting good results.
- Only the North American model of the OnePlus 9 Pro has millimeter-wave, which is important for Verizon users.
- The SIMs in OnePlus phones must be provisioned as "CDMA-less” to work on Verizon.
- OnePlus may need to update its 5G icons firmware to show the difference between Verizon 5G types like 5G Ultra Wideband or 5G nationwide DSS.
- OnePlus 9 series phones also don't work with Verizon's Wi-Fi calling feature. There's no option to turn it on.
- You can turn off 5G at will on this phone, which you can't do on many phones sold directly by Verizon.
- The OnePlus 9 Pro supports all of Verizon's 4G and 5G frequencies, including mmWave, CBRS and the upcoming C-band. The OnePlus 9 lacks mmWave, but has all the rest.
- On mmWave, we tested speeds up to 2Gbps near a local Verizon tower, similar to what we tested on the Samsung Note 20 Ultra on the same tower at the same time in the day.
Even then, however, the range is a bit shorter than what Samsung flagship phones get on mmWave over at Verizon or Visible, and if Wi-fi calling or even just correct 5G insignia on your phone's status bar are important to you, you are better holding off for a proper 9 series update for Big Red's peculiarities after the April 2 release date. On the other hand, you can actually turn off 5G while using OnePlus 9 or 9 Pro on Verizon, which is a rare sight for most phones in Verizon's roster.
Unlike many phones in Verizon's portfolio, the OnePlus 9 series actually show a 5G kill switch