Andrew Hoyle/CNET

There is no query that the OnePlus 9 Professional is the very best telephone OnePlus has ever made, however that does not imply it is the one you should purchase. The usual OnePlus 9 with its far more interesting value would possibly really be the precise OnePlus for you. However there’s loads I actually like in regards to the 9 Professional, and there are some nice causes to be excited for it. 

It appears lovely, for one factor, with an aesthetic design that I believe would enchantment as a lot to shirt and tie-wearing enterprise varieties as it might to plaid-wearing microbrewery homeowners. Combine in a strong processor, an important display screen and an immensely quick charging capability and you have your self an important all-round flagship. 

For its digital camera, OnePlus partnered with professional digital camera maker Hasselblad to assist bolster its images abilities. It is a sensible transfer, as OnePlus telephones, whereas good, have not been identified for his or her images prowess. Has that modified? In a phrase, no. 

Along with its two new telephones, OnePlus has additionally launched the OnePlus Watch, which matches up for preorder on April 14.

Like

  • Lovely, stylish design
  • Vibrant, pin-sharp show
  • Plenty of processing energy
  • Exceptionally quick charging

Do not Like

  • No expandable storage
  • Battery life could possibly be higher.
  • Cameras do not hit the excessive water mark that different options do

There is no query that the telephone can take glorious photographs in its normal digital camera mode with its vast, ultrawide and telephoto lenses. It is nice at night time, too and may shoot beautiful video in as much as 8K decision. However OnePlus has made a giant fuss over its Professional mode, and after spending a while with it, I am not significantly impressed. 

Positive, it may well take uncooked photographs in 12-bit (which in principle gives higher dynamic vary) however Professional mode does not use all of the lenses, and there is not any form of computational uncooked options corresponding to we have seen from Apple’s latest ProRaw format. It is an important digital camera throughout and definitely a step ahead for OnePlus, however each Apple and Samsung have taken larger steps ahead with their cameras just lately and the 9 Professional is not fairly up there with them. 

However except your purpose is to get the very best of the very best in telephone cameras then that should not put you off — the OnePlus 9 Professional is an exquisite telephone that ticks nearly each field we would anticipate of a flagship in 2021. 

Higher but, it does this whereas additionally barely undercutting its rivals on value, too. Within the US the bottom mannequin of the telephone (with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage) will value $969, placing it barely beneath the $1,099 required for the bottom iPhone 12 Professional Max or the $1,199 you will should shell out for the Galaxy S21 Extremely. Within the UK it’s going to value £829, which converts to about AU$1,490.

Presently solely a premium mannequin with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is accessible to preorder within the US. Costing $1,069, it ships March 26 and consists of the OnePlus Buds Z Steven Harrington Version as a bonus.

If digital camera abilities are your high precedence, it is nonetheless price wanting in the direction of the Galaxy S21 Extremely with its superb zoom skills. If you happen to’re not entrenched within the Android ecosystem, the iPhone 12 Professional Max gives the very best digital camera expertise you’ll find on a telephone.

OnePlus 9 Professional or OnePlus 9?

The 9 Professional is joined by a smaller sibling, the OnePlus 9, which has a barely smaller show with a decrease decision and a small discount in its digital camera specs. It can also take nice images although and it is rocking the identical Snapdragon 888 processor so there is not any step down within the efficiency stakes. 

I discovered battery life to be higher in the usual OnePlus 9, it additionally has 5G connectivity for tremendous quick knowledge speeds, and it comes with a lower cost of $829 (£629). The cheaper OnePlus 9 gives a hell of loads for a extra cheap value and is probably going the higher possibility for almost all of individuals. 

Learn extra: The very best 5G telephones for 2021

A chic design

The general design of the 9 Professional is not far faraway from earlier OnePlus telephones. The digital camera unit is in the identical spot on the highest left, and it is nonetheless fabricated from glass and metallic like most top-end telephones. However the numerous tweaks which were made have gone a protracted technique to creating one of many classiest-looking handsets round. The Morning Mist variant I reviewed blends from a mirrored silver right into a frosted grey, which along with the metallic edging across the digital camera models and the shiny Hasselblad brand ends in a chic aesthetic that would not look misplaced in a elaborate bar or in a enterprise assembly. 

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The shiny floor is a little bit of a fingerprint magnet, so anticipate to present it polish earlier than exhibiting it off. It feels snug and reassuringly strong to carry and that shiny again is constructed from toughened Gorilla Glass 5, which is able to hopefully preserve it wanting good after a tumble or two. That mentioned, the extra careless amongst it is best to take into account a protecting case. It is IP68 rated although, which is able to preserve it secure from spilled drinks, from taking calls within the rain, and even an unintended plunge in the bathroom bowl (we have all been there, proper?). 

The ability button sits on the precise facet of the telephone and is in straightforward thumb attain for me (I am right-handed) with the vibrate/ring toggle slider above it and the quantity buttons sitting on the left facet. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack (however we did not anticipate one), so your headphones will join both through Bluetooth or by means of the USB-C port on the underside of the telephone. 

The Hasselblad digital camera

The eagle-eyed amongst you’ll have observed the shiny Hasselblad brand sitting on the digital camera unit. Hasselblad, for those who’re unfamiliar, is a digital camera firm that’s higher identified for its high-end skilled cameras. That bodes properly for OnePlus, as its cameras have typically been good however have not stood out above the competitors. 

Nonetheless, whereas the OnePlus 9 Professional packs the very best digital camera that OnePlus has put right into a telephone, it isn’t the very best digital camera telephone round. You may learn my extra in-depth evaluation of the digital camera, together with extra instance photographs, however I’ve summarized my findings beneath for those who’re pushed for time earlier than pizza arrives. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The 9 Professional comes with 4 digital camera lenses on the again, made up of a 48-megapixel most important digital camera, a 50-megapixel ultra-wide digital camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto digital camera (offering 3.3x optical zoom) and a 2-megapixel monochrome digital camera. The primary digital camera makes use of a sensor that’s bodily bigger than what you’d discover on most telephone cameras — the iPhone 12 Professional Max and Galaxy S21 Extremely included. In principle, a bigger sensor can seize extra gentle with much less noise.

In the usual auto digital camera mode, I am typically very impressed with the pictures the telephone can obtain. It is nice at balancing publicity between brilliant skies and shadowy foregrounds and pictures are filled with element. Colours — due to the colour calibration from Hasselblad — look glorious. 

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Lovely colours and an important, even publicity. No complaints.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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Lovely, pure colours on this scene with great management of the highlights within the sky and plenty of seen element within the shadows on the bushes.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Whereas there’s little distinction in high quality between the usual and ultra-wide modes, there may be usually a noticeable shift in white steadiness, which may be irritating. The 8-megapixel telephoto lens offers 3.3x optical zoom which is sufficient that will help you get that bit nearer up in your topic and the outcomes are typically good. Nonetheless if zoom is a precedence for you then it is best to look as a substitute in the direction of the Galaxy S21 Extremely which completely blew me away with the standard of its photographs from its whopping 10x optical zoom. 

The OnePlus 9 Professional can take some actually beautiful photographs and it is positively a step ahead for OnePlus within the digital camera recreation. However rivals like Apple and Samsung have taken even larger steps ahead with their images just lately, and OnePlus is once more taking part in catch-up.

It will possibly shoot video as much as an enormous 8K decision, which is arguably a little bit of a novelty (in addition to bragging rights) as it’s kind of overkill on a telephone. Positive, you could have a little bit of room to crop into your video must you need to, however keep in mind that only one minute of 8K video is a 1GB in measurement, so it is most likely finest to scale it again to 4K for probably the most half. 

Fortunately then, 4K footage appears nice, with glorious stabilizing and far the identical spot-on dealing with of publicity and coloration seen in nonetheless photographs. The 16-megapixel front-facing digital camera captures vibrant and sharp selfies and makes use of a lot the identical HDR strategies to make it possible for your face is properly lit and your background is not utterly over uncovered. 

Filled with energy

The 9 Professional runs the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, and my evaluation mannequin comes with 12GB of RAM, though some regional variants might solely have 8GB. Evidently, it is filled with far more energy than you will actually need. Uncooked picture modifying in Adobe Lightroom and Snapseed was dealt with with no points, whereas demanding gaming in Asphalt 9: Legends was a breeze, even with the graphics settings cranked to excessive.

After all that signifies that it’s going to blitz by means of your on a regular basis important emailing, WhatsApping, Spotifying and whatnot with out breaking a sweat. Navigating across the Android 11 interface is buttery-smooth too, with no stuttering or lag when opening apps or flicking between just lately used apps within the multitasking panel. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It runs the newest Android 11 software program, over which OnePlus has slapped its Oxygen OS software program. I really like OnePlus’s tweaks. The interface is neat and straightforward to learn and does not preload the telephone with a bunch of ineffective apps that you just inevitably both uninstall or cover in a folder someplace. Long term, I discover that this gentle contact strategy to software program skinning means OnePlus telephones age fairly properly and really feel zippy and responsive for longer.

My evaluation mannequin got here with 256GB of storage, which is the utmost OnePlus gives. The opposite variant gives 128GB, additionally a good quantity, however keep in mind the telephone doesn’t assist expandable storage with microSD playing cards. On condition that the telephone can shoot 8K video — and just one minute of 8K video takes up 1GB — I might hope to see both expandable storage or extra beneficiant storage choices. 

An enormous, daring show

The 6.7-inch display screen has a most decision of 1,440×3,216 pixels, which provides a pixel density of 525 pixels per inch. In additional actual phrases, which means it is completely pin sharp, with high-quality textual content being clearly readable and excessive decision photographs look beautiful. 

Colours are excellent, too, being vibrant and punchy however to not the extent of wanting unnatural or overly saturated. That is at all times a high-quality steadiness to tread, and I believe OnePlus has finished properly to discover a completely satisfied medium that can please these of you eager to take pleasure in colourful video games or movies, whereas additionally guaranteeing that the photographers amongst you respect the realism in your photographs. 

There are numerous show choices which let you use a decrease decision (which saves on battery) or to regulate the colours for those who do not just like the defaults. Personally, I benefit from the Vivid relatively than Pure coloration profile and for probably the most half preserve the decision at its max. It additionally has a 120Hz refresh price for smoother scrolling, but it surely’s adaptive, which means that it solely makes use of the upper refresh price when it is wanted — throughout gaming, for instance — however makes use of decrease refresh charges at different instances to be extra energy environment friendly general. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The display screen itself is protected by Gorilla Glass 5 (very similar to the again panel) and comes with a display screen protector already put in. Personally, I might suggest conserving this on, significantly for those who are inclined to preserve your telephone in the identical pocket as your keys — these tiny scratches will all add up over time however a protector simply retains issues wanting contemporary.

Battery life and quick charging

The 9 Professional makes use of a 4,500-mAh battery which put up a good struggle on a few of my early checks. After one hour of streaming full HD video on YouTube with the display screen at max brightness, the battery stage had dropped from full to 90% remaining and after a second hour had dropped to 79%. By comparability, the bottom OnePlus 9 dropped to solely 88% after two hours of streaming, whereas the S21 Extremely had dropped to 87%.

The bottom OnePlus 9 does have a barely smaller and lower-resolution show nonetheless, which in consequence is less-demanding of the battery. On our full rundown checks the OnePlus 9 Professional lasted round 15 hours, whereas each the OnePlus 9 and S21 Extremely achieved round 23 hours. You may assist battery life on the Professional by lowering the display screen decision within the settings (I can not inform the distinction in high quality, although you could have higher eyes than I do) and setting the refresh price to 60Hz. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

After all, the standard ways of conserving the display screen brightness down and avoiding taking part in demanding video games will go a protracted technique to assist in squeezing out each final drop of energy. That being mentioned, I anticipate the telephone will be capable of put up with a full day of blended use. 

And for those who do end up needing a fast top-up later within the afternoon then you definitely’ll be happy to know that it helps 65-watt quick charging, which is able to take the telephone from 1% to full in simply 29 minutes. You have to a OnePlus 65W charger to get the very best charging speeds (a generic 65-watt charger will not be fairly as quick) however fortunately OnePlus places one within the field as normal. 

It additionally gives 50-watt wi-fi charging, which is able to take the telephone from empty to full in 43 minutes. It can want OnePlus’s personal wi-fi charger to do it, however that does not come included. 

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