OnePlus has been one of the most exciting smartphone manufacturers in the past few years, and everyone is looking forward to the next device the company would throw at Samsung and Apple. Last year, the OnePlus 8 Pro showed the world that it can not only compete with the big boys but even beat some of the competition on their home turf.
No wonder the hype surrounding OnePlus’ next flagship phones is absolutely immense. The OnePlus 8 Pro received a score of nine in our review, so it’s really exciting to see what would OnePlus do to top this. There are lots of leaks and rumors about the OnePlus 9 Pro circulating the web.
The best thing we can do right now is systematically filter everything we know about the OnePlus 9 Pro and compare it to its predecessor - the OnePlus 8 Pro. As always, we’ll be looking at several key categories: design, display, performance, cameras, and battery life.
Snapdragon 888 with integrated Qualcomm X60 5G modem vs Snapdragon 865
8GB RAM/128GB storage base models
48MP f/1.8 main camera with Hasselblad branding vs 48MP f/1.8 main camera
64MP f/ 2.2 aperture ultrawide camera vs 48MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera
3.3x zoom camera vs 8MP telephoto camera 3.0x zoom
4,500mAh battery vs 4,510mAh
65W fast charging vs 30W fast charging
OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 8 Pro: design
The OnePlus 8 Pro was an evolution in design, compared to its predecessor. From the slim bezels around the display to the curved sides and edges on the front and back, the OnePlus 8 Pro sports a premium design. The construction and materials used are also similar to previous OnePlus phones, using an anodized aluminum frame and curved glass on the front and back. The OnePlus 8 Pro features an elongated vertical camera bump positioned in the upper center on the back of the phone.
The OnePlus 9 Pro seems to follow the design route of its predecessor. Plenty of leaked images and renders show the phone from nearly every side, and we can say that the design is more of an evolution. The screen and the back curve around the metal frame, and the signature OnePlus slider for switching between regular, silent and do-not-disturb mode is also present. The camera bump on the back though is completely different and it sports a rectangular design, similar to that of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
OnePlus was among the first smartphone manufacturers to adopt a higher refresh rate on its phones, and the OnePlus 8 Pro is no exception with its 120 Hz panel. It's a beautiful and very bright AMOLED screen with accurate yet vibrant colors. According to the latest leaks, the OnePlus 9 Pro will have a 120Hz adaptive display refresh rate with LTPO. The tech is also seen in the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and allows the display to adjust its refresh rate based on the content that's being shown to save battery life. Regarding display size and resolution - both phones sport almost identical screens - 6.7" 1440p on the OnePlus 9 Pro vs 6.8" 1440p on the OnePlus 8 Pro.
The CIE 1931 xy color gamut chart represents the set (area) of colors that a display can reproduce, with the sRGB colorspace (the highlighted triangle) serving as reference. The chart also provides a visual representation of a display's color accuracy. The small squares across the boundaries of the triangle are the reference points for the various colors, while the small dots are the actual measurements. Ideally, each dot should be positioned on top of its respective square. The 'x: CIE31' and 'y: CIE31' values in the table below the chart indicate the position of each measurement on the chart. 'Y' shows the luminance (in nits) of each measured color, while 'Target Y' is the desired luminance level for that color. Finally, 'ΔE 2000' is the Delta E value of the measured color. Delta E values of below 2 are ideal.
The Color accuracy chart gives an idea of how close a display's measured colors are to their referential values. The first line holds the measured (actual) colors, while the second line holds the reference (target) colors. The closer the actual colors are to the target ones, the better.
The Grayscale accuracy chart shows whether a display has a correct white balance (balance between red, green and blue) across different levels of grey (from dark to bright). The closer the Actual colors are to the Target ones, the better.
OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 8 Pro: hardware and performance
OnePlus equips its flagship phones with the latest and greatest silicon available and the OnePlus 9 Pro is no exception. The phone will sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset which was announced recently, featuring the integrated Snapdragon X60 5G modem compatible with both mmWave and sub-6 GHz 5G networks. The base RAM/storage options are the same - 8GB/128GB, although there are rumors that the OnePlus 9 Pro will sport a 12GB of RAM, leaving the 8GB option for the vanilla OnePlus 9 model. Tipster Max Jambor has revealed that the OnePlus 9 Pro will also come with IP68 water and dust resistance, which is a really nice bonus.
The last generation OnePlus 8 devices came with Snapdragon 865 chipsets onboard and although you wouldn’t call these slow, there are gains to be had with the new architecture. Of course, OnePlus 9 Pro benchmarks are currently not available but a Galaxy S21 Ultra vs OnePlus 8 Pro comparison would be the closest thing to give us an idea of what to expect, given the Snapdragon 888 processor in the Samsung flagship.
If the T-Rex HD component of GFXBench is demanding, then the Manhattan test is downright gruelling. It's a GPU-centric test that simulates an extremely graphically intensive gaming environment that is meant to push the GPU to the max. that simulates a graphically-intensive gaming environment on the screen. The results achieved are measured in frames per second, with more frames being better.
The OnePlus 8 Pro has a quad-camera setup, although the fourth one is just a “color filter camera”. The main camera sports a 48 MP sensor which takes 12 MP photos by default, and the ultra-wide camera has a 48 MP sensor as well. There's a telephoto camera on board that boasts 3x optical zoom and that's pretty much it. All in all, the camera system on the OnePlus 8 Pro is a well-rounded performer. You can take sharp and vivid images with lively colors, nice portraits and epic landscape sweeps.
The camera system of the OnePlus 9 Pro on the other hand has one key difference and it's spelled "Hasselblad". We can't really compare both camera systems right now, due to the lack of sample images, but in theory, the Hasselblad partnership should result in a better overall performance in the camera department. As for the camera modules on the OnePlus 9 Pro, there's a 48MP f /1.8 main camera with Hasselblad branding, a 64MP f/2.2 aperture ultrawide angle camera, and a 3.3x zoom camera. There's also a mysterious fourth snapper— it might be either a depth sensor, a macro camera, or another color filter.
OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 8 Pro: battery life
OnePlus has been pretty consistent with the battery capacity in its flagship phones. The OnePlus 8 Pro features a 4,510 mAh battery that translates into a stable 9-10 hours through all our battery life tests. Tipster Max Jambor has revealed that both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro will feature 4,500mAh batteries, therefore matching the capacity of the OnePlus 8T and the OnePlus 8 Pro, so no surprises on this front.
The big news is that the OnePlus 9 Pro will support ultra-fast 45W wireless charging, as well as 65W wired fast charging via Warp Charge. Now given that the OnePlus 9 Pro will have a 120Hz variable refresh rate display and the Snapdragon 888 chipset, we can expect even better endurance than its predecessor - the OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 8 Pro: price
The premium OnePlus 9 Pro is scheduled to be announced at some point next month but the price of the phone remains a mystery. There are several ways OnePlus can play this one out. The company could try and match the OnePlus 8 Pro price at launch ($899 for the 8/128GB model), or get the price down in order to better compete with the Galaxy S21 lineup. Although the Galaxy S21 Ultra costs $1,199 and the OnePlus 9 Pro is aiming to compete at this level, so even an $899 price tag is going to be a bargain.
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