The OnePlus 9RT 5G is here at last with top-shelf specs and unbeatable pricing
While a global T-branded cousin of the spring 2021-released OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro is no longer expected to see daylight (ever), hardcore fans of the scrappy company that's grown at such an impressive pace these last few years will undoubtedly be happy to welcome the 9RT... in China.
Unfortunately, there are no words yet on a OnePlus 9RT 5G launch in other regions, and while we do believe the high-end device will eventually follow the 9R to markets like India, US availability is probably out of the question.
A state-of-the-art SoC paired with a gorgeous display
Contrary to many rumors and unlike the OnePlus 9R, the 9RT comes packing Qualcomm's latest and greatest (mainstream) Snapdragon flagship. Technically, the 888 is slightly slower than the even newer Snapdragon 888+ SoC found inside the Vivo X70 Pro+ or Asus ROG Phone 5S, but the difference is arguably too small for most users to notice during day-to-day mobile operations.
The Snapdragon 888 processor powers both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, of course, while providing a considerable upgrade in raw speed compared to the 870 chipset under the 9R's hood.
Because OnePlus naturally aimed to keep the 9RT price tag as close to the 9R as possible, the latter model's 120Hz screen is largely unchanged, slightly growing in size from 6.55 to 6.62 inches while retaining the "FHD+" resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels and the overall flat look complete with a top left hole punch and reasonably thin bezels.
Obviously, we're not suggesting that's a bad thing, especially when you consider the rest of the specifications, and perhaps above all, the recommended pricing of the 5G-enabled OnePlus 9RT.
Phenomenal camera and blazing fast charging
You know the Sony IMX766 sensor employed by the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro as their secondary lens for ultra-wide-angle shots? That same exact camera is present on the back of the 9RT, handling all the "main" photographic tasks with a 50 megapixel count, presumably delivering substantially better real-life imaging performance than the 9R's primary 48MP Sony IMX586 shooter.
Interestingly, the OnePlus 9RT gets rid of its predecessor's monochrome lens entirely while also downgrading the macro sensor from 5 to 2MP, which might be a (not so) subtle way of admitting those particular cameras are largely useless as is undoubtedly a cost-cutting measure.
Fortunately, the 16MP ultra-wide-angle rear snapper looks unchanged, with a 123-degree field of view and f/2.2 aperture, and the same goes for the 16MP selfie cam.
The 9RT 5G also borrows its 65W maximum charging speeds from the 9R (and the "vanilla" OnePlus 9, and the 9 Pro), which will never cease to amaze us, especially when comparing that outstanding number to the middling achievements of Apple or Samsung's latest flagships.
The battery itself is no pushover, at 4,500mAh capacity, but alas, there's no wireless charging support on deck, which will however make perfect sense when you hear how much the OnePlus 9RT is set to cost.
Storage, memory, and pricing
Yes, ladies and gents, this jumbo-sized bad boy is priced at the rough equivalent of $510 (3,299 yuan) in China for an entry-level configuration with 8 gigs of RAM and 128GB internal storage space, which would definitely be affordable enough to give the best budget 5G phones out there a run for their money.
Alas, the limited availability will make it impossible for the OnePlus 9RT 5G to become a true box-office hit, so we're basically left here looking at the CNY 3,500 and 3,800 price points of the 8/256GB and 12/256GB versions respectively and, well, weep.
That equates to around $545 and $590, mind you, with everything from under-display fingerprint recognition technology to dual SIM support, Dolby Atmos-enhanced stereo speakers, and Android 12-based ColorOS 12 (!!!) software also in tow.
Of course, the handset could have never been priced this low stateside even if it was officially headed to Western markets, so you shouldn't feel too sad about the whole Asian exclusivity situation. After all, the OnePlus 9 5G is also pretty affordable... and still very good, featuring on our list of the best phones money can buy right now.