El Reg caresses a claw on the OnePlus 9 Pro • The Register

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See again OnePlus has come under fire in recent weeks because of benchmark tests that appeared to limit the actual performance of the OnePlus 9 series, dividing fans who think a full Snapdragon 888 could supercharge the pudding for most use cases and cases. ‘others who like to run warmer combined.

Throughout its life, OnePlus has tried to determine its position in the increasingly crowded mobile market. The company initially targeted the burgeoning enthusiast segment, which was otherwise overlooked amid a sea of ​​mass market blowers. Since then, it would be fair to say that it has oscillated between ambitious and affordable midrange.

The OnePlus 9 Pro is an example of the former. He doesn’t exactly push boundaries and sacrifices novelty on the altar of sophistication, but he’s not damaged by it. Benchmarks notwithstanding, this is a complete phone, offering performance, screen quality, and imaging.

Hands on

The screen measures 6.7 inches and uses an AMOLED panel, with QHD resolution (1440 x 3216). Color fidelity was top notch and the OnePlus 9 Pro offered a welcome degree of realism, especially when it comes to darker hues that can look washed out on cheaper panels. Brightness was above average, with the company claiming the device can hit 1,300 nits at its peak. In practice, this means that the content is easily read, even in the sunniest outdoor conditions.

Speaking of hot, while the screen can run up to 120Hz, in practice you might want to lower it to a more reasonable 90Hz to save battery life, while still enjoying smooth animation and scrolling.

Under the rugged Gorilla Glass 5 hides a very responsive fingerprint reader, and although The Reg generally prefer a rear mounted physique, it works well.

In terms of RAM, the OnePlus 9 Pro is offered in 8 GB and 12 GB variants. Storage is available in two versions: 128 GB or 256 GB of UFS 3.1. OnePlus provided The register with the 12GB / 256GB model, which costs £ 929. The base 8GB / 128GB model costs £ 100 less, but those with a tendency to pile up apps and content should probably pay the difference as there isn’t a MicroSD slot to be found.

The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 platform, with built-in 5G support. This gives a smooth experience with no lag when opening apps and rendering web pages almost immediately. More difficult tasks, such as a few sessions PUBG Mobile, were just as smooth.

Calm your enthusiasm

Switching to the battery, you get a 4,500mAh cell, which provides a full day of battery life with moderate use. In practice, this means increasing the refresh rate to 90Hz, using Wi-Fi over 5G, and limiting your consumption of games and videos.

Both 65W wired USB-C charging and 50W wireless charging are supported. OnePlus claims it can fully replenish the empty battery in just 29 minutes and 43 minutes respectively, and its estimates were not far from the mark.

As you might expect, the OnePlus 9 Pro comes with the latest (for now) Android 11, which is featured in the company’s own OxygenOS. This reviewer usually has a bit of trepidation when it comes to personalized experiences, but OxygenOS was conservative and intuitive, building on the best bits of Android.

Snap-happy

Photography has been OnePlus’ weakness, allowing competing manufacturers, notably Samsung and Huawei, to overtake it.

This time around, the company has teamed up with the optical company Hasselblad. While partnerships of this flavor aren’t a guarantee of quality (as is the case with Nokia’s long-standing engagement with Zeiss), it’s hard to fault the snaps produced on the OnePlus 9 Pro.

It comes with four cameras. The main one uses a 48MP sensor, attached to a wide-angle lens. This resulted in some superb photos, with faithful color reproduction and a multitude of details. The inclusion of Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) minimizes blur when capturing photos in environments where you’re likely to be shaken and pushed, such as on a busy street, and its autofocus was extremely fast.

Another interesting touch – although expected given the price – is the inclusion of a telephoto lens. While it doesn’t have the longest range we’ve ever seen (3.3x) and is attached to an 8MP sensor, it still produces crisp, vibrant images.

There’s also a 50MP ultra-wide and 2MP monochrome hidden in the bulbous camera module. Meanwhile, on the front of the device, you’ll spot a 16MP wide-angle selfie camera, which lends itself to video calls with multiple participants in the frame.

Conclusion

The first OnePlus phone was introduced in 2013. Since then, the Android market has changed dramatically, with mid-tier fighters increasingly in a hurry. In contrast, the high-end of the market seems relatively sparse, with the only real competitor Samsung (especially given Huawei’s decline).

In recent years, OnePlus has reoriented itself towards this level, culminating in the OnePlus 9 Pro.

As for this model, the camera is exceptional. Performance is solid, even if that 12GB of RAM is overkill. While it might be a bit too big for some people, the display looks stunning. This reviewer is part of the camp that loves the revamped OxygenOS – although some have criticized recent iterations for bloatware – and we’re reassured by OnePlus’ recent commitment to deliver three operating system updates and four years of security updates.

It’s probably not the best value for money compared to other midrange we’ve seen recently, like the ZTE Axon 30 Ultra. And it comes with a steep asking price: it costs € 899.00 or £ 829 for the 8GB version (€ 999 and £ 929 for 12GB) and across the pond, $ 1,069.

For a touch of over £ 800, this looks like a real flagship. But while it has plenty of finer touches and is a worthy successor to the OnePlus 8T, which we reviewed last year, you can’t help but wonder if it can muster a flagship target market with deep pockets. where the discounted Android buyers on steroids once were.

Did we mention the benchmarks? ®


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