The OnePlus 9 series has now started shipping in the US. And as per CEO Pete Lau, pre-orders for the OnePlus 9 series are 324% higher compared to the OnePlus 8 series. The company has done good work with its latest flagships – especially the OnePlus 9 Pro – and it appears that the positive reception has inspired potential buyers to hop on the OnePlus bandwagon. But before you shell out your hard-earned benjamins on a brand-new OnePlus 9 series phone, take a look at the carrier conundrum first. The OnePlus 9 carriers situation is a bit tricky, so here’s a brief explanation to help you out.
T-Mobile and Verizon are the only major carriers that offer 5G support on OnePlus 9 series
Right now, the only major carriers that offer 5G support on the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are T-Mobile and Verizon. If you’re on a Visible line, you can take advantage of 5G too. However, the OnePlus 9 series phones won’t run on AT&T 5G network, as they lack support for its 5G bands. Following is the list of 4G and 5G bands supported by the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro in the US:
But that’s not all. Only the OnePlus 9 Pro brings support for the faster mmWave 5G band, while the vanilla OnePlus 9 is limited to Sub-6GHz frequency. So, if you go with Verizon, you can only enjoy its blazing-fast Ultra Wideband (UW) 5G if you get the OnePlus 9 Pro that currently costs $1,069 for the 12GB + 256GB configuration.
If you go with AT&T, you'll essentially pay a 5G tax for the OnePlus 9 and its Pro model
On the other hand, the OnePlus 9 can only latch on to the slower Nationwide 5G network that is more widely available, but relies on spectrum sharing with 4G bands. Unsurprisingly, tests conducted by PCMag’s Sascha Segan revealed that Verizon’s nationwide 5G is actually slower than its 4G LTE network.
In case you’re wondering, both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro can latch on the 4G network of T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, irrespective of the tricky 5G situation. While that might come out as a relief, it also means that if you have an AT&T line and have purchased either the OnePlus 9 or its Pro sibling, you’re simply paying a 5G tax by not being able to utilize the 5G hardware you’ve paid for.
If you’re planning to splurge on the OnePlus 9 Pro, do check our list of the best cases for OnePlus’ latest flagship. And in case you need more clarity whether it is worth the asking price, check out Pocketnow’s review of the OnePlus 9 Pro below: