OnePlus 9 Review: Sneaky Value!

Published on March 25, 2021
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All right so this is the oneplus 9. how do i describe this phone this this feels like the phone that oneplus felt like they had to make you know they’re super into they’re very hyped very expensive flagship phone but they can’t only make a hyped expensive flagship phone so this video goes hand in hand with my 9 pro review my last upload so if you haven’t seen that this video is the is the cherry on top of that sunday the 20 minute detailed hasselblad deep dive software oriented sunday this one goes in addition to that so if you haven’t watched it already i’ll link it below the like button but this phone this phone i think could have been an awesome deal but it’s it’s actually kind of frustrating how close it gets so if you can look past all the hype around the oneplus 9 pro and just look at it as a phone i actually think they did what they were trying to do they made a flagship with the full checklist of flagship features high-end specs pretty nice build fast charging an improved camera and all of that for less than something like an s21 ultra or any of the other thousand eleven hundred dollar phones fine but this phone oneplus 9 729 and that’s pretty good that’s very competitive as far as snapdragon 8 phones go that’s about as low as we’re seeing it at launch and so that’s really great that’s competitive but watch how the choices start to get a little bit weird from there so the design here the design is i’m gonna say acceptable but pretty generic like it’s it’s a rounded polycarbonate plastic shell and plastic rails they’re shiny of course so they look maybe kind of like metal if you’re not paying too much attention but they aren’t metal and honestly if i didn’t tell you how much this phone cost just by weight and feel in the hand and the materials i feel like you could easily mistake this for actually a much cheaper phone like literally a nord or any other three four hundred dollar glossy plastic phone it would have been nice if they separated themselves in some way from all the other glossy fingerprinty plastic phones that are out there as much as i hate the glastic term samsung’s s21 which is mostly plastic is a really good example of this like you never say it actually feels or looks super cheap in the hand you hold it it’s decent maybe you’d be more into like a faux leather or something like from the xiaomi mi 11 but also maybe i’m overreacting maybe you’re just gonna put it in a case anyway in which case ignore that that’s just my two cents now with the specs they still do the oneplus thing here it’s the snapdragon triple eight eight or 12 gigs of ram 128 or 256 gigs of storage and a 4 500 milliamp hour battery for those of you who have already seen the 9 pro review you may recognize that as the exact same set of specs as the 9 pro which is of course more expensive so that’s where we expect oneplus to be competitive lower prices still keeping high-end specs but there are a couple small cuts so this cheaper version does not have millimeter wave 5g support not a huge deal right now this phone still has the ridiculously fast 65 watt warp charging setup that’s been so convenient and it still has wireless charging but just at a standard 15 watts nothing too crazy fine for topping up overnight and makes perfect sense if you weren’t going to buy some 70 specialized charger anyway and then for water resistance where sometimes you see cut the t-mobile version does say it’s ip68 certified maybe just t-mobile decided to pay for that but since they’re all built the same i think we can safely assume they’re all somewhat dust and water resistant and this phone is just really enjoyable to use mainly because of that display where i think they nailed it for this price it’s nearly the same size as the pro 6.55 inches and it’s great it’s flat at the edges instead of curved over but the bezels are still thin and the display goes right up to the edges it’s great for watching videos with this speaker setup too that’s just as loud as the nine pro the screen doesn’t get quite as bright as the brightest flagships but it’s still manageable and it’s 1080p 120 hertz so this is a nice screen and you’ll notice it’s just 120 hertz it’s not smart 120 hertz since it’s not an ltpo panel they’ve had slightly weird panels in the past where sometimes you can see off axis yellowing maybe rainbowing but i’m not seeing nearly as much of that here so there’s there’s no distractions when just watching videos or gaming or whatever you’re doing i’m gonna call out this odd fingerprint reader placement every time i see it though i still think it’s weird that it’s so low on this phone but other than that using this phone flipping through oxygen os with all its animations and multitasking has been super fast thanks to the screen and then there’s a camera layout on the back so you can see it’s one less camera than the nine pro so this has a different sensor but the same size primary 48 megapixel chip in there it has the exact same ultra wide which is one of the best in any phone and then it drops the telephoto but keeps the 2 megapixel black and white camera why but like i said using this phone overall is still great like this is what oneplus has gotten so good at there’s not a single thing missing from this software that’s in the nine pro like they’ve been very willing to tweak oxygen os over the years make it smoother add features most people who aren’t coming straight from a more expensive phone will find this perfectly fine it handles multitasking everyday use exactly the same as its 969 dollar brother there’s no extra stutters no earlier drops in the ram it even had slightly better battery life in our testing otherwise same deal but of course it’s my job to point out the things that aren’t quite the same in this phone so you’re not surprised when you get them so just so you know the haptics in this phone aren’t quite as good they’re not as strong they’re pretty weak honestly um and they’re not quite as tight now they still lean into it in the software so they emphasize the haptics a lot when you drag brightness and volume and a lot of other ui elements in the stock apps like in the clock here it still feels like it’s trying to emulate that high-end haptics but it’s not as great the alert slider on this phone is also much looser than it was on my pro and you know what maybe it’s just this exact phone i got but it’s so loose that it’s particularly easy to switch it to ring as you pull the phone out of your pocket and then it’s not quite the same camera setup as the pro like i said it’s the same size main sensor but it’s a different 48 megapixel sony sensor for the main camera it still gets the hasselblad branding though and it still looks slightly more natural like this more muted color profile than before so it looks pretty much the same in good lighting and almost has this neutral version of a contrasty pixel-like look but you can’t zoom in nearly as far of course without it starting to get soft there is a 2x button here in the viewfinder but that’s just a digital punch in and that’s about as far as i’d go if i want a good quality photo the ultra wide is amazing like i said honestly it’s the best part of this particular camera system this year but then the shutter lag that i talked about from the oneplus 9 pro it’s still here there’s still this overall weirdly slow camera performance and i’m really hoping that that’s something that’s fixable through a software update and then let’s let’s just talk about the two megapixel monochrome camera for those who are wondering why i said i was just going to ignore it in the nine pro review the best case for this extra piece of hardware they’ve thrown in here according to oneplus is it helps add detail to your black and white photos which number one it’s two megapixels how much detail could it possibly be adding to the 48 megapixel sensors black and white photos but also number two just for black and white photos like if i want to take a good black and white photo i don’t know about you but i just take a regular photo and then later i just make it black and white i just i just turn the colors down saturation off so this is it’s it’s basically a useless extra piece of hardware to me look this extra sensor is a waste of money a small amount of money but it’s a waste of money and you should have spent that money on something else changed my mind but long story short oneplus 9 is a pretty good phone and it’s one that i’ll be recommending to certain people but not all you know some phones are just so good overall that you can sort of blanket recommend them to a bunch of people this isn’t quite that phone but for people who value the oneplus software experience like the the clean near stock type of look the fast and smooth experience the fast charging that they offer all of that this phone is actually i think sneaky good value like i obviously don’t love the design as i said maybe put in a case fine but if you weren’t going to buy that extra 70 turbo wireless fast charger and if you’re cool with 1080p flat and no telephoto this using the phone experience this software experience is exactly the same to the spec to the speed to the performance it’s exactly the same as the phone that costs 240 dollars more whether you believe it deserves to cost that or not that’s what makes this actually a pretty good deal now if you compare it to something like the galaxy s 21 which launched at a little higher of a price but now is roughly 700 bucks this is probably what oneplus was looking for this is probably about the comparison they were aiming at and it’s kind of a toss-up like for build quality i would give the edge even though they’re both plastic i would give the edge to samsung because the camera and the rails are metal and they’ve got a nicer finish then they’re both 120 hertz flat 1080p displays but i would again give the edge to samsung just a little bit for extra brightness then they’ve got the same ram same storage same snapdragon 8 but i give the edge to one plus for the bigger battery and the faster 65 watt wired charging i think this is a better battery setup and then they’re both triple camera systems technically but i’m giving the edge to samsung because there’s a real zoom in there and they didn’t waste a sensor so and then it’s just software how much do you prefer what samsung’s doing with theirs versus what oxygen os is doing on oneplus phones i personally would prefer oxygen os and i think i would lean towards this phone over this one but it’s going to be about your priority are you about that battery are you about that software are you about that camera it’s all about you so there you have it it’s the oneplus 9 it’s a good phone if you know what you’re getting yourself into no doubt cast in a little bit of a shadow by the hype of the oneplus 9 pro but this is worth looking at there you have it thanks for watching catch you guys the next one peace.
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