Now that I’ve rolled with the Oneplus 9 Pro for nearly a year, I think I can leave behind an accurate review for the device, as well as compare it against its future siblings. In terms of pure hardware alone, OnePlus phones have never disappointed, as they are always cheaper than their rivals. The same may not be said of the software, which has been quite a mess for the year (on about that later).
As my previous phone was the OnePlus 7 Pro, the only thing I miss is a 100% unobstructed display; as the OnePlus 9 Pro has a hole-punch camera, like most modern phones. Oh well. The OnePlus 9 Pro’s display is smooth like butter, as this is my first device with a display that can go up to 120hz. Compared to 60hz, it is a very noticeable difference. Scrolling has never been any smoother, and the fluidity of games at 120hz is just a breathtaking experience.
Paired with 12 gigs of RAM and a snappy Snapdragon 888, both casual usage and gaming is bliss. The cameras are also a great experience; the massive 48 megapixel primary shooter can make for amazing nighttime photography, and film at 8k, 4k 120fps, in low light, and in HDR (HDR filming is quite unique). The 50 megapixel ultra-wide camera is also impressive, as it features a unique lens that eliminates distortions.
The OnePlus 9 Pro’s 5G is better than the 10 Pro and 10T’s. Let that sink in. To be specific, the 9 Pro supports mmwave 5G, the 5G that’s known for gigabit speeds. Of course, mmwave 5G isn’t very common, but it’s nice to have, especially when you go to areas where mmwave 5G is present, and once you do, you’ll love knowing that you have it. Why an older phone has better network speeds makes me wary of upgrading. Other than that, the phone supports the Wi-Fi 6 standard, so rest assured that the 9 Pro will take advantage of fast Wi-Fi.
Charging and battery
One of the best features of this phone is its charging, as it can charge up to a blistering fast 65 watts. Sure, this pales in comparison to the 100+ watts the future OnePlus phones have, but a full charge in only 30 minutes is nothing to scoff at. But another feature that many don’t talk about is the USB-PD standard the charger supports (which is also present for the US OnePlus 10 Pro and 10T), up to 45 watts.
This can at least charge standard USB-C devices like a laptop, and it seems my laptop is happily powered by it, which is just so convenient. The 4500 mAh battery is capable of lasting the day with typical usage, but if it does ever get low, a quick plug-in for a few minutes can easily pull in a hour or two’s worth of charge. The OnePlus 9 Pro is my first phone to also support wireless charging, a feature that has came in handy when the only charger around was a wireless charger.
If there’s one thing I absolutely have issues with on this phone, it’s the software. Note the present tense; there wasn’t software issues with the OnePlus 9 Pro when it was running on Oxygen OS (OOS) 11 (based on Android 11). With OOS 12, or dare I say, Color OS 12 (the software used by the bigger company, OPPO, that Oneplus merged with), built on Android 12, has been a very bumpy ride. The system at random runs sluggishly and is unresponsive; I have trouble just switching between apps, as the recents app interface doesn’t work properly in landscape view. Certain system settings randomly switch off, and in all, I just don’t like Android 12.
I hate that most apps now take on an ugly tinge based on the color of your current wallpaper. Believe it or not, I still think that despite the buggy mess that OOS 12 is, I still prefer it over stock Android 12. For one, the Quick Settings for A12 is hideous. There’s also a lack of features on stock android, as Google gutted the ability to cast your phones screen to another device, a feature which I do use. For the most part, OnePlus is continually working on squashing out the bugs, and hopefully we’ll see a smoother transition with OOS 13, when it rolls out for the 9 Pro.