OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T

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OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T
The OnePlus 9 is now official, bringing the company's "flagship killer" experience to 2021. But if you own a OnePlus 8T, which was released in late 2020, will the OnePlus 9 offer enough over it, warranting an upgrade? Or should you just stay with the 8T? Alternatively, if you're planning to get the 8T, should you just go with the newer OnePlus 9 instead?

Let's compare the two OnePlus phones side by side, in order to find out how they measure up against each other and whether you should "never settle" on the 8T, or it will hold up just fine to the OnePlus 9 in 2021.

OnePlus 9

Buy at BestBuy

OnePlus 9 Pro

Buy at BestBuy

OnePlus 8T

- Snapdragon 865, 5G, 12GB RAM, 6.6" 120Hz AMOLED
Buy at OnePlus

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OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: prices and design

The OnePlus 9 starts at the price of $729 for the 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage option. Alternatively, there's a $829 variant with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

The OnePlus 8T was also released with 8GB / 12GB of RAM variants, but those had less storage, 128GB / 256GB respectively. In the US OnePlus store, the 12GB of RAM OnePlus 8T still sells for $599.

In terms of design, the OnePlus 9 features a Gorilla Glass-covered back and an aluminum frame, just like the OnePlus 8T.

Both phones share a similar modern design with curved edges, a rectangular camera module on the back, and about the same small, unobtrusive hole punch selfie camera embedded into the top-left corner of their displays.

As for color options, the OnePlus 9 is offered in three color variants:
  • Winter Mist
  • Astral Black
  • Arctic Sky (not available in North America)

The OnePlus 8T is available in:
  • Lunar Silver
  • Aquamarine Green

In terms of feel in the hand, both phones are about equally thin and light, and look the same in terms of width and height. When looked from the front they're almost indistinguishable, as both have the same size hole punch selfie camera and display with curved corners.

Unlike the 8T, the OnePlus 9 doesn't have visible antenna lines on top, and its power key is slightly raised closer to the lock switch, but again, those are minimal differences nobody would be able to notice unless comparing them side by side.

From the back is where the real visual difference stands, as the camera module of the OnePlus 9 is larger, with larger sensors, but blends more into the body of the phone due to its color matching the back color. The camera module of the 8T is all dark and stands out.

The OnePlus 9 has a glossy back, while the OnePlus 8T has a matte back, which does better at hiding fingerprints.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: displays

The two phones share the same 6.55-inch display size and exactly the same pixel resolution of 2400 x 1080. Both phones' screens are also AMOLED, offering superior contrast and colors as compared to the average LCD phone screen. Both are also protected with Gorilla Glass.

The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8T's displays also support Ambient Display (aways-on display), and both can either run at 120Hz screen refresh rate or the more traditional 60Hz.

The screen sharpness between the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8T isn't visibly different, as both have 402 PPI (pixels per inch).

It's worth noting that the OnePlus 9 supports Comfort Tone / Adaptive Display, which can change the screen color temperature based on the lighting conditions in the user's environment, similar to True Tone on iPhones. The OnePlus 8T doesn't have that feature.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: hardware and performance

The OnePlus 9 packs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor (which has a built-in 5G modem) and comes in 8GB and 12GB of RAM variants. The OnePlus 8T uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, it is also a 5G phone and it too comes with 8GB / 12GB of RAM.

The lesser RAM variant on either OnePlus phone isn't normally something most users would notice or should worry about. Technically, less RAM suggests that during usage less apps will be able to remain open in the background, with some restarting when the user switches back to them after a while. But even power users who multitask all the time likely won't see this happen too often.

Regardless, both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8T are great performers. Users shouldn't face performance-related issues, such as stutters, during both gaming and general usage.

The only noticeable difference in terms of speed between the two phones is due to the OnePlus 9 having faster interface animations over the 8T, making the OnePlus 9 feel snappier.

Both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8T are running Android 11 and Oxygen OS 11 at the time of writing this comparison.

Higher is better
OnePlus 9
OnePlus 8T

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: cameras

The OnePlus 9 comes with a 48MP main camera, a 50MP ultra-wide camera and an additional 2MP monochrome camera. As for its front-facing selfie camera, it's 16MP. Those camera sensors are larger than on previous OnePlus phones, in order to capture more light for clearer photos, and were designed in partnership with iconic camera maker Hasselblad.

The OnePlus 8T also sports a 48MP main camera, a 16MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP macro camera, in addition to a fourth 2MP monochrome sensor. On the front, its holepunch selfie camera is 16MP, like the one on the OnePlus 9.

Both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8T have up to 10X digital zoom. In addition, both phones have Pro camera modes and can take Portrait shots with both their main and front cameras.

As can be seen above, the OnePlus 9 takes visibly brighter photos over the OnePlus 8T, while you could argue that the 8T produces more realistic-looking photos, particularly when it comes to the lighting.

We see similar results when comparing the OnePlus 9's wide angle camera against the one on the OnePlus 8T. The OnePlus 9 again has brighter colors and a generally clearer image, while the OnePlus 8T's wide angle camera produces darker images with stronger contrast in some areas.

Portrait (bokeh) shots from the 8T's main camera appear to be better in terms of keeping the subject in focus and only blurring the background. Note how in the OnePlus 9 portrait photo part of the hat is wrongly blurred and the face of the subject is less detailed too. We also see a big difference in color vibrancy between the two phones, particularly in the shirt.

Selfie shots look a bit too artificially over-sharpened on the OnePlus 8T, while the OnePlus 9 produces more natural selfies with less aggressive sharpness.

And lastly, when comparing portrait selfies from the OnePlus 9 against the OnePlus 8T, we can conclude that besides the difference in brightness, both phones arguably produce satisfactory selfie portraits that successfully separate the subject from the background. Again the OnePlus 8T's photo is a bit too over-sharpened, but whether that looks better or not is up to the individual user's preference.

OnePlus 9 video sample

Video Thumbnail

OnePlus 8T video sample

Video Thumbnail

When it comes to video, the OnePlus 9 can record at up to 8K at 30 frames per second, or 4K at 60. The OnePlus 8T on the other hand can only shoot at up to 4K, 60 frames per second. While both phones have solid video stabilization, we can easily see a difference in colors and detail between the two, with the OnePlus 9 producing overall more realistic-looking and detailed videos. This is to be expected, in part due to its larger sensors and higher video recording resolution, should the user choose to film at 8K.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: battery life

The OnePlus 9 packs a 4,500 mAh battery and supports the impressive 65W Warp Charging, plus it even comes with a Warp Charge 65 Power Adapter out the box. With that charging brick, the OnePlus 9 can charge from zero to 100% in just 30 minutes. The European and US versions of the OnePlus 9 also support 15W Qi wireless charging.

As for the OnePlus 8T, it has the same size 4,500 mAh battery and also comes with a 65W charger, which can charge the OnePlus 8T completely in just about 32 minutes. No wireless charging support on the OnePlus 8T, though.

Browsing test 60HzHigher is betterBrowsing test 120Hz(hours)Higher is betterVideo Streaming(hours)Higher is better3D Gaming 60Hz(hours)Higher is better3D Gaming 120Hz(hours)Higher is betterCharging time(hours)Lower is better
OnePlus 911h 45 min
11h 29 min
9h 16 min
9h 6 min
No data
0h 30 min
OnePlus 8T10h 54 min
No data
8h 48 min
No data
5h 15 min
0h 32 min

In our battery performance tests the OnePlus 9 always outlasted the OnePlus 8T, notably with almost an hour particularly in the 60Hz browsing test.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T extended specifications

6.5 inches
6.5 inches
Refresh rate
86.86 %
87.27 %
Scratch-resistant glass, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
HDR support, Scratch-resistant glass, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor
System chip
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SM8250-AB (7 nm)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (5 nm)
Octa-core, 2840 MHz, Kryo 585, 64-bit
Octa-core, 2840 MHz, Kryo 680, 64-bit
Adreno 650
Adreno 660
Internal storage
256GB, not expandable
128GB, not expandable
Android (11), Oxygen OS UI
Android (11), OxygenOS UI
4500 mAh
4500 mAh
OnePlus Warp Charge
OnePlus Warp Charge
Quad camera
Triple camera
Main camera
48 MP (PDAF)
Aperture size: F1.7; Focal length: 26 mm; Sensor size: 1/2"; Pixel size: 0.8 μm
Aperture size: F1.8; Focal length: 23 mm; Sensor size: 1/1.4"; Pixel size: 1.12 μm
Second camera
16 MP (Ultra-wide)
50 MP (Ultra-wide)
Aperture size: F2.2; Focal Length: 14 mm; Sensor size: 1/3.6"; Pixel size: 1 μm
Aperture size: F2.2; Focal Length: 14 mm; Sensor size: 1/1.56"
Third camera
5 MP (Macro)
2 MP (Black and White)
Aperture size: F2.4
Fourth camera
2 MP (Black and White)
Aperture size: F2.4
Video recording
3840x2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (240 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (480 fps)
7680x4320 (8K UHD) (30 fps), 3840x2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps), 1920x1080 (Full HD) (240 fps), 1280x720 (HD) (480 fps)
Time-lapse video, EIS
HDR, Continuous autofocus, EIS
16 MP
16 MP
Video capture
1920x1080 (Full HD) (30 fps)
6.33 x 2.92 x 0.33 inches (160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4 mm)
6.30 x 2.92 x 0.34 inches (160 x 74.2 x 8.7 mm)
6.63 oz (188.0 g)
the average is 5.9 oz (168 g)
6.77 oz (192.0 g)
the average is 5.9 oz (168 g)
Back: Glass (Corning Gorilla Glass 5); Frame: Aluminum
Back: Glass (Corning Gorilla Glass); Frame: Aluminum
2D Face unlock, In-screen fingerprint
2D Face unlock, In-screen fingerprint
n1, n2, n3, n5, n25, n41, n66, n71, SA, NSA
n1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n20, n25, n28, n38, n40, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78
Buyers information
$ 749 / € 699
$ 729
See the full OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 9 specs comparison or compare them to other phones using our Specs Comparison tool.

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