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Which OnePlus 9 should you buy? 9, 9 Pro, or 9R?

By Prakhar Khanna April 1, 2021, 2:00 pm
OnePlus Europe market

OnePlus took the wraps off its OnePlus 9 series a few days ago, and the smartphones are all set to go on sale soon. But before you get your hands on the devices, it is important for you to understand the differences between them. Are you planning to purchase one, but are still confused? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s which OnePlus 9 you should buy.

Specs comparison

OnePlus 9R OnePlus 9 OnePlus 9 Pro
6.55” AMOLED
2400×1080 pixels at 402 ppi
120Hz
20:9
sRGB, Display P3
6.55” AMOLED
2400×1080 pixels at 402 ppi
120Hz
20:9
sRGB, Display P3
6.7” AMOLED with LTPO
1440 x 3216 at 525 ppi
Smart 120Hz
20.1:9
sRGB, Display P3, 10-bit
color depth
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
8GB/12GB LPDDR5 8GB/12GB LPDDR5 8GB/12GB LPDDR5
128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1
Rear:
48MP primary
16MP ultra-wide
5MP macro
2MP depth
Front: 16MP
Rear: 48MP Sony IMX689 7P lens, EIS
50MP ultra-wide Sony IMX766
2MP monochrome
Front: 16MP Sony IMX471
Rear: 48MP Sony IMX789 7P lens, OIS, EIS
50MP ultra-wide Sony IMX766
8MP telephoto
2MP monochrome
Front: 16MP Sony IMX471
4500mAh
Warp Charge 65T
4,500mAh
Warp Charge 65T
15W Qi wireless charging
(North America / Europe)
4,500mAh
Warp Charge 65T
Warp Charge 50 Wireless
189 grams 192g (North America / Europe)
183g (India/China)
197 grams
IP68 only on T-Mobile IP68

Design

oneplus 9 angled rear pocketnow

The OnePlus 9 series smartphones share a similar design language. Starting with the OnePlus 9 Pro, it is the most premium offering and hence comes with curved glass panels on the front and back that are held together by a metal frame. Plus it is the only phone in the series which is IP68 rated globally. You get the regular alert slider, punch-hole selfie camera, and stereo speakers on all three phones. As for the camera module, it comes with “Hasselblad” branding on the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro but not the 9R. 

Moreover, the 9 sports a plastic frame, while the more premium and cheaper offerings both come with a metal frame to hold the glass panels together. Further, the OnePlus 9 is only officially IP68 rated on T-Mobile, which means if you purchase a 9 unlocked or anywhere apart from T-Mobile, you won’t get the official IP rating. However, it is worth noting that all devices are built similarly. Hence, you can expect some sort of water and dust protection at least. All three devices weigh under 200 grams with the OnePlus 9 Pro maxing out at 197 grams.

Display

oneplus 9 front

The OnePlus 9 Pro features a 6.7-inch AMOLED LTPO display that has a 1440 x 3216-pixel resolution at 525 PPI. It comes with a 20.1:9 aspect ratio and supports a Smart 120Hz refresh rate that can go down to 1Hz when needed. On the other hand, both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9R offer a 120Hz refresh rate. However, it’s not adaptive like the OnePlus 9 Pro. Further, the vanilla 9 and 9R feature a 6.55-inch FHD+ display, while the Pro model offers an LTPO panel and a QHD+ resolution.

Performance and Battery 

The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are both powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, whereas the 9R comes equipped with the Snapdragon 870 chipset. All three models share the same RAM and storage versions. They come with 8GB/12GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Moreover, they share the same battery capacity at 4,500mAh with support for 65W fast wired charging.

Performance on the three devices is more or less the same. The major difference is wireless charging capabilities. The 9R doesn’t support wireless charging, while the 9 comes with 15W wireless charging only in the US and Europe but not in India. By contrast, the OnePlus 9 Pro offers the fastest, 50W wireless charging support.

Cameras

OnePlus 9 in hand

Let’s start with the 9R. The OnePlus 9R sports a quad rear camera setup. It comes with a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor that has a 6P lens and support for OIS as well as EIS. The primary sensor is accompanied by a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens that has a 123-degree field of view. Plus, you get a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP monochrome lens. It is capable of shooting 4K at 30/60 FPS and slo-mo of 1080p at 240 FPS. On the front lies a 16MP selfie shooter.

As for the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, they feature the same 50MP ultra-wide angle Sony IMX766 7P Freeform lens. While the vanilla variant sports a 48MP Sony IMX 689 sensor, the 9 Pro comes equipped with a 48MP Sony IMX 789 lens. Both devices come with a 2MP b/w camera but the Pro also supports an 8MP telephoto lens. They can shoot 8K videos at 30fps and 4K at 30/60/120 FPS. Plus, there is a new Hasselblad camera mode instead of RAW mode on both smartphones.

Price

OnePlus logo on OnePlus 9

The OnePlus 9 Pro starts at $969 for the base variant, whereas the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage model will set you back $1,069. 

By contrast, the OnePlus 9 is priced at $729 for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model, whereas the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant will cost you $829. The OnePlus 9R is limited to India where it costs INR 39,999 for the base 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant, and goes up to INR 43,999 for the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage model.

Which OnePlus 9 should I buy then?

Still wondering which OnePlus 9 you should buy? Let’s sort this out. Global users outside India get two options with the 9 and 9 Pro.

Buy the OnePlus 9 Pro if you…

  • want a curved QHD+ display with an adaptive high refresh rate.
  • are someone who requires wirelessly charging the phone.
  • want the best camera setup.

Buy the OnePlus 9 if you…

  • want a flat display.
  • charge your phone in wired form.
  • don’t want to spend $1,000 on a phone but still want the best possible version.

Buy the OnePlus 9R if you…

  • want the cheapest OnePlus 9. 
  • don’t shoot in 8K.

Here are the best deals available on the OnePlus 9 series right now. You might also want to pick up a case alongside your purchase. We’ve compiled a list of the best cases for both the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.

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