The OnePlus 9 gives up a few of the 9 Pro’s features but costs $240 less
The OnePlus 9 is a very good phone that holds its own against other (often more expensive) flagships. It has all the things that truly matter: a great screen, excellent performance, good battery life, and a capable camera.
But for better or worse, it still doesn’t feel quite like a device that’s well-suited for the mainstream. It misses a couple of features present on the competition like a stabilized main camera and broad 5G support.
Instead, it offers some neat but arguably not as useful extras, like really fast charging and an excellent ultrawide camera. It leaves this device in somewhat unusual territory: it’s good and well-priced, but it’s not the Android flagship I’d recommend to just anyone.
What’s here is good; it’s what’s missing that gives me pause. For example, it’s a 5G phone that, at launch, won’t work on two of the three major US carriers’ 5G networks: Verizon and AT&T.
OnePlus says it’s working with Verizon on 5G certification, and on March 26th Verizon announced it would support 5G. However, OnePlus says that the OnePlus 9 will not support 5G on AT&T. (T-Mobile is selling the OnePlus 9 directly, and as a result, it has no problems with the carrier’s low and mid-band 5G service.)
ONEPLUS 9 PERFORMANCE AND UI
heThe OnePlus 9 uses a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888 processor and either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. It’s as good as you’ll find in an Android phone at any price right now, so its presence in a $730 phone is a major pro for the 9. I tested the version with 12GB RAM, which is $830, so bear that in mind. But let me tell you — this thing is slick as all heck. Apps load quickly, and jumping from app to home screen and back is seamless. I couldn’t really throw anything at it to slow it down. This is a spot where the OnePlus 9 shines, and it’s an important one.