The great and dangerous six months later

Patrick

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Every Spring OnePlus launches a brand new system that goals to finest every little thing about its earlier units. In 2021, that system was the OnePlus 9 Professional — one of many first telephones from the corporate to take a seat within the large leagues with Samsung and Apple. In our OnePlus 9 Professional evaluate, we have been comfy calling it the corporate’s finest telephone in years.

Nevertheless, that each one occurred about six months in the past. Since then, we’ve seen loads of new telephones launch whereas additionally listening to about some large modifications coming down the pipeline for OnePlus as a complete. How does the OnePlus 9 Professional stack up now after the launch pleasure is over? Let’s discover out on this OnePlus 9 Professional evaluate revisit.

Our unique verdict: OnePlus 9 Professional evaluate


The great

We awarded the OnePlus 9 Professional with 4 and a half stars and gave it our Editor’s Alternative award, signifying it as among the best telephones available on the market. As one would guess, that type of pedigree ages nicely, so there’s nonetheless quite a bit to like concerning the telephone six months later.

Design and show

OnePlus 9 Pro rear profile

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Whenever you first take the OnePlus 9 Professional out of the field, there’s no mistaking its premium high quality. It seems to be and appears like a $1,000 telephone (which is nice, as a result of that’s what it’s). The perimeters are {smooth} and comfy, the load is distributed evenly, and the shiny again nonetheless has sufficient texture to forestall you from pondering it’s going to slide proper out of your hand.

Nevertheless, the factor that shocked me essentially the most was how the telephone doesn’t really feel monumental. The Galaxy Word 20 Extremely appears like a behemoth, and the Galaxy S21 Extremely additionally feels a tad too large, though it and the 9 Professional are fairly equally sized. The 9 Professional, although, feels excellent. Granted, that is no compact telephone, however for me, it felt prefer it nailed the shape issue.

Associated: The very best OnePlus 9 Professional circumstances you will get

The true surprise of the telephone, nevertheless, is its show. In our unique evaluate, we raved about it. Even in the present day, although, I haven’t seen many telephones prime it. And I’m saying all this with out even discussing the 1,440p decision combined with a smooth-as-silk 120Hz refresh charge. Whenever you add these into the equation, this turns into among the best smartphone shows I’ve ever used.

The one gripe I’ve with the design of the telephone total is the curved show sides. OnePlus made these fairly steep which makes performing the “again” gesture troublesome. There have been loads of occasions throughout my use of this telephone that I swiped in to return however wanted to repeat the gesture as a result of my finger didn’t run the complete size of the curve. Hopefully, producers determine the best way to actually nail curved shows quickly — or simply cease the pattern altogether.

Digital camera

OnePlus 9 Pro camera module

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

In our unique OnePlus 9 Professional evaluate, we mentioned the digital camera system “outperforms all its predecessors.” Principally, that is one of the best digital camera system on any OnePlus telephone thus far.

Mega shootout: The very best digital camera telephones of 2021 thus far examined

Six months later, that’s nonetheless true. The digital camera can simply rise up in opposition to the large gamers resembling Samsung and Apple (try the hyperlink above to see how aggressive it will get). It has the required flagship trifecta with stable vast, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses. It even throws in a monochrome sensor for enjoyable.

Throughout my time with the telephone, I took a visit to New York Metropolis. Listed below are some pictures I captured there. The photographs beneath are unedited however compressed for loading speeds. For the uncompressed pictures, test this Drive hyperlink.

The very first thing you’ll probably discover concerning the pictures is the muted colours. It is because OnePlus (and associate Hasselblad) have tried to make the colour output of the digital camera as practical as potential. Whereas that is nice for accuracy, many smartphone customers favor punchy saturated colours in pictures. This finally comes all the way down to style, however the vital factor to notice right here is that issues haven’t modified over the previous six months. Software program updates have are available, however the digital camera nonetheless produces the identical ultra-realistic colours.

Nevertheless, OnePlus did carry a brand new digital camera function in because the telephone’s launch: XPan mode. You possibly can learn all about that (and see a few of my instance pictures) in our article right here.

In the end, the OnePlus 9 Professional digital camera is a flagship digital camera. It doesn’t disappoint. The one downside OnePlus faces right here is the truth that it took eight generations of its flagship telephones to get thus far. Can it win over individuals who have already written the model off as a producer of sub-par cameras? Time will inform.

Charging

OnePlus 9 Pro Charging

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

In 2020, Apple began the brand new pattern of flagship telephones coming with out chargers within the field. Samsung shortly adopted swimsuit (after making enjoyable of Apple for it, in fact). OnePlus, although, nonetheless gives chargers with all of its telephones. Within the case of the OnePlus 9 Professional, it’s not simply any charger: it’s a 65W monster.

OnePlus says the telephone can cost from 0{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} to 75{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} in 20 minutes and from 0{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} to 100{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24} in 29 minutes. Our goal testing backs up that declare, and my private expertise with it matches. With the 65W charger, I might plug the telephone in empty, soar within the bathe, and are available again to a telephone that’s at about 50{2d266c2b7f7b21b9d5247541775384085ff4c78fbe34d1f6195ea0b207eacd24}. Granted, that probably received’t get me via the entire day (see additional down this text for extra), however it can simply get me to the subsequent time I’ve entry to a wall outlet. For individuals who journey quite a bit or do loads of work from espresso outlets, this might be an enormous deal.

See additionally: OnePlus Warp Cost 65 evaluate

What’s extra, is that the in-box charger can deal with just about something you throw at it. It could possibly cost your tablets, different telephones, headphones, and sure, even most laptops. This brings us ever nearer to a real one-cable answer.

Apparently, the OnePlus 9 Professional is barely the third OnePlus telephone ever to have wi-fi charging. This simply provides additional to the comfort of powering up the system, as it can work with all of your Qi-compatible charging pads. If you wish to be tremendous further, you may seize the 50W wi-fi charging stand from OnePlus and get blazing wi-fi charging speeds. Nevertheless, I didn’t hassle — fundamental wi-fi speeds and super-fast wired speeds work superb for me.

Efficiency

OnePlus 9 Pro standing tall

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Contained in the OnePlus 9 Professional is the Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm’s flagship Android cellular processor of the 12 months. To nobody’s shock, the 9 Professional is blazing quick, very {smooth}, and completely reliable for reminiscence administration contemplating our mannequin pairs that processor with a bonkers 12GB of RAM.

For this OnePlus 9 Professional evaluate revisit, I put aside my each day driver, the Galaxy S21. That telephone has the identical chipset inside it, however the 9 Professional outperformed it in my subjective opinion. Apps appeared to launch sooner, transitions have been smoother, and the warmth was much less of a problem. This comes all the way down to {hardware} and software program optimization and goes to point out that simply cramming a Snapdragon 888 right into a telephone isn’t all it takes to make a superb flagship.

Associated: Listed below are one of the best Snapdragon 888 telephones you should purchase

However what concerning the throttling controversy? For these of you not within the know, OnePlus discovered itself in scorching water when it got here to gentle that Oxygen OS is purposefully throttling the efficiency of the Snapdragon 888. Principally, you don’t get the complete energy of the SD888 when doing issues that don’t require that a lot energy, like scrolling via Twitter or writing your self a word. It does this to preserve battery energy.

In my expertise utilizing the telephone, this didn’t as soon as develop into an issue for me. Every thing labored as I anticipated and there was no means for me to inform which apps have been utilizing the complete energy of the chip and which of them weren’t. Granted, OnePlus shouldn’t have tried to cowl up this controversy. That was undoubtedly a foul transfer. However if you’re involved about it, I don’t assume it’s a giant deal. Apart from, the corporate promised to ship a toggle that may shut the “function” off in a future Oxygen OS replace, so keep tuned for that.


The not so good

There’s nonetheless quite a bit to like concerning the OnePlus 9 Professional. Nevertheless, no telephone is ideal, and there are literally a number of issues concerning the system that haven’t gotten any higher with age. Are they deal-breakers, although?

Battery life

OnePlus 9 Pro Battery

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

Within the earlier part, I talked about how nice the charging points of the OnePlus 9 Professional are. Sadly, that fast-charging is a necessity because the battery lifetime of the OnePlus 9 Professional continues to be not nice.

Let me be clear: the battery lifetime of this telephone is ok. It acquired me via a complete day with no downside, even on that day spent in New York Metropolis after I was utilizing navigation, music streaming, and NFC funds seemingly continuous. Nevertheless, even on days with lighter use, there was no means I might have gotten via a second day. It is a one-day, probably 1.5-day telephone, irrespective of the way you slice it.

The battery life on the OnePlus 9 Professional will not be a lot better than it was six months in the past.

Sadly, this hasn’t modified a lot since our unique OnePlus 9 Professional evaluate. Regardless of there being a bunch of software program updates since then, the battery life doesn’t appear to have gotten noticeably higher. Granted, that doesn’t imply it received’t ever get higher, however it’s changing into clear that the telephone will probably lack on this division for good.

That is significantly irritating once you consider each the dimensions of the twin battery within the telephone (4,500mAh) and OnePlus’ historical past of often excelling on this space. Is the Snapdragon 888 a battery-hogging beast? Is the fluid show pulling an excessive amount of juice? Or is Oxygen OS getting too slowed down? Regardless of the purpose, if lengthy battery life is your prime requirement for a smartphone, you may wish to look elsewhere.

Software program and updates

OnePlus 9 Pro Oxygen OS

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

There have been fairly a number of software program updates for the OnePlus 9 Professional over the previous six months. My system was working on Oxygen OS 11.2.9.9 which options the September 2021 Android safety patch. In different phrases, it was up-to-date.

Nevertheless, Oxygen OS 11.2.8.8 dropped means again in July. Meaning the OnePlus 9 Professional by no means acquired the August 2021 safety patch — it jumped proper from July to September. That is fairly unacceptable when you think about this text goes dwell after the system has been out for simply six months. It’s one factor for a top-of-the-line flagship to overlook a month after over a 12 months on the cabinets, however six months? Yeesh.

See additionally: What it’s essential to know concerning the finish of Oxygen OS and the beginning of “OnePlus 2.0”

If that’s not dangerous sufficient, we’ve completely no thought what to anticipate so far as software program goes for the OnePlus 9 Professional going ahead. We all know it can get Oxygen OS 12, based mostly on Android 12, someday this 12 months. Nevertheless, when the supposed OnePlus 10 comes out in 2022, it can include a completely totally different working system that might be a hybrid of Oxygen OS and Oppo’s Shade OS. OnePlus isn’t telling us something about this new OS so we do not know what it is going to be like. It might be nice. It might be horrible. We don’t know. However both means, it’s additionally coming to the 9 Professional and can exchange the present pores and skin on the telephone.

If software program stability, frequent updates, and familiarity are vital to you, it might be sensible to assume lengthy and onerous earlier than investing in a OnePlus 9 Professional, particularly when different manufacturers like Samsung and Google have raised the bar in recent times.

Fingerprint reader

OnePlus 9 Pro Fingerprint Reader

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

OnePlus was the primary firm to carry an in-display fingerprint sensor to the USA with the OnePlus 6T. That makes the corporate a little bit of a pioneer within the space. As such, you’d assume OnePlus could be means forward of the sport in the case of the know-how.

Nevertheless, the OnePlus 9 Professional’s fingerprint sensor is barely so-so. Throughout my time with it, I discovered it to be a bit gradual. I additionally discovered it to fail to acknowledge my prints means too usually for my liking. Granted, if it failed it might work on the second or third attempt, however that is fairly disappointing for a $1,000 telephone.

See additionally: The very best telephones with in-display fingerprint scanners

The factor that irked me essentially the most about it, although, was its placement on the show. OnePlus, Samsung, and different manufacturers with in-display fingerprint tech often put the sensor up in the course of the underside half of the display screen. On the OnePlus 9 Professional, nevertheless, the sensor may be very close to the underside of the show. Not solely does this make putting your finger there awkward, however it pressured me to unlearn what’s develop into a years-long behavior of instinctively going in the direction of the center of the underside half of the display screen.

Are these issues large enough to not purchase the telephone? Completely not. Nevertheless, once you mix them with the opposite issues listed right here, it might be the straw that breaks the camel’s again, because it have been.

Availability

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

You may assume it is a nitpicky ding. Nevertheless, we are able to’t neglect to level out that OnePlus has performed a fairly poor job in the case of the provision of the OnePlus 9 Professional.

Most egregiously, the entry-tier mannequin of the telephone — with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM — by no means made it to the USA, regardless of OnePlus closely suggesting it might. In the meantime, the Stellar Black colorway (pictured above subsequent to the iPhone 13 Professional Max) — which is solely matte black and superb — additionally by no means made it to the US and plenty of different nations.

US consumers have solely had one storage variant accessible and a alternative between solely two colours.

In different phrases, US consumers have one storage/RAM choice (256GB/12GB) and two coloration selections: Morning Mist (proven elsewhere on this article) and Pine Inexperienced. Not precisely a wealth of choices.

Clearly, the continuing world chip scarcity might be partially and even largely guilty right here. Nonetheless, OnePlus might have been extra upfront concerning the lack of the entry tier mannequin and will even have performed higher to carry the Stellar Black colorway to the US.

In a spot of fine information, although, the telephone is at the moment very simple to search out for a lot decrease costs than its $1,069 checklist worth. After all, that doesn’t assist in case you wished the 128GB mannequin or the Stellar Black colorway.


OnePlus 9 Professional evaluate revisited: The decision

OnePlus 9 Pro close up of hassleblad

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

In loads of methods, the OnePlus 9 Professional continues to be among the best telephones ever from the model. It gives flagship specs, a killer design, a legitimately nice digital camera, and nonetheless comes with a charger within the field — and what a charger it’s! Even six months after its debut, it’s a killer telephone.

Even once you consider my complaints about battery life, the fingerprint sensor, and the shoddy availability of the telephone, there’s not a lot to fret about. This telephone will probably make a purchaser as joyful in the present day as they’d have been six months in the past.

Additionally learn: The very best OnePlus telephones

The large downside, nevertheless, isn’t what’s occurred prior to now six months — it’s what’s coming sooner or later. With OnePlus planning to drastically alter its software program because it turns into ever nearer to its sister model Oppo, is the OnePlus 9 Professional nonetheless a superb funding? Sadly, I can’t reply that query, as a result of I simply don’t know.

I’d wish to assume that OnePlus goes to deal with its followers with care and be sure that the unified working system on the way in which might be nice. Nevertheless, the corporate has not too long ago had no downside with wildly revamping what Oxygen OS seems to be and appears like. Bear in mind when it tried to pre-install Fb on its telephones with Fb companies being unremovable? That’s the type of factor that issues me. It’s very potential — possibly even probably — that OnePlus isn’t going to maintain followers in thoughts because it revamps the software program.

This all signifies that funding now right into a OnePlus 9 Professional is an funding into the unknown. Certain, you can simply not replace to the unified OS when that point comes. However why would you spend $1,000 on a telephone to cease getting updates a 12 months after it launches?

The neatest factor to do proper now’s to attend it out for extra particulars on the software program roadmap. In the event you desperately desire a OnePlus 9 Professional, go forward and get one — you received’t be disillusioned, it’s a tremendous piece of {hardware}. Simply do it with the understanding that there’s no assure what’s across the nook in the case of its software program.

OnePlus 9 Pro close up of hassleblad

OnePlus 9 Professional

The OnePlus 9 Professional reaches the market with a refreshed design, a 6.7-inch AMOLED show, a Snapdragon 888 processor, and a brand new Hasselblad digital camera partnership for improved imaging.

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