This month sees the launch of the 9 Series, the latest collection of smartphones from Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus. Consisting of the OnePlus 9 & the OnePlus 9 Pro, these 5G smartphones have been very well received by reviewers, and soon they can be in your hands!
OnePlus have made the rather strange decision to launch the larger 9 Pro before the regular 9 - possibly because of Covid-related logistics issues, or maybe they want people to consider the (more expensive) 9 Pro over the regular model. Whatever the reasoning, these are the UK release dates for the OnePlus 9 Series:
Eagle-eyed readers will also notice the *OnePlus 9R* mentioned online. Sadly this model is exclusive to the Indian market, so won’t see a UK launch. Apart from a slightly more powerful camera and a less powerful CPU the 9R is almost identical to the standard 9, so it’s not a large issue.
They also announced a smartwatch releasing in the near future - the ‘OnePlus Watch’ - which has a lot of potential given the high-quality of their smartphones.
So what does the 9 Series have to offer in the crowded Android smartphone marketplace? OnePlus have built a reputation as a manufacturer specialising in high-quality, top-shelf Android phones - offering excellent build quality, a minimum of bloat and fast interface speed.
The OnePlus 9 & 9 Pro continue this trend - they have an sleek minimalist design both inside and outside. The physical design apes the best of Samsung’s Galaxy series, while keeping the design simple and elegant. The cameras - lacking in previous models - have got a hefty boost courtesy of Hasselblad, a Swedish imaging specialist. They have improved everything from the algorithms that tweak photos to the UI of the camera app. The end result is these phones are much nicer to take photos with, and the results are significantly higher quality. Which for someone like me - who obsessively takes photos of his dog - is an important improvement!
Who are OnePlus?
OnePlus is a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, originally set up by the vice-president of ‘Oppo’, another phone company. While originally separate, the two have since largely functioned together since OnePlus’ success.
OnePlus billed themselves as a ‘boutique’ smartphone maker, creating phones that could rival the big flagship brands, but not compromise on build quality or user experience. They launched the ‘OnePlus One’ in 2014 to massive levels of hype, so much that they implemented an invitation system to handle the demand.
Whether there was a legitimate shortage or just a clever PR strategy, it helped put OnePlus on the map next to Samsung and Apple. Since the OnePlus One, they have released a series of well-received smartphones, concentrating on the company slogan of ‘Never Settle’.
Under the hood, the 9 Series runs the latest version of ‘OxygenOS’ - OnePlus’ modified version of Android 11. OnePlus have prided themselves on making their operating system as bloat-free as possible, concentrating on speed and ease-of-use over flashy graphics and lots of pre-installed apps. It functions pretty well, providing an excellent user experience with a couple of annoying quirks, but few gamebreakers.
It’s worth noting that OnePlus phones still have full access to Google Apps - unlike their fellow Chinese manufacturer Huawei. Indeed, they even make a point of stating it front-and-center on their adverts. This is a relief, since the legal troubles of Huawei have significantly impacted anyone using their phones.
The 9 Series also boasts a handsome battery life of 2 days use and a super fast-charge system that can charge from 0 to 100% in 30 minutes! Finally both phones offer full 5G, as you’d expect from a cutting-edge smartphone. This isn’t OnePlus’ first rodeo with 5G - they are actually responsible for launching the 1st 5G phone in the UK, the OnePlus 7 Pro in 2019.
The final question - what are the differences between the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro? As you’d expect, the more expensive Pro model is slightly larger (6.7” vs 6.5”) screen, and boasts a more powerful camera array. However the processor, RAM and battery are all the same, meaning you’re getting the same performance, no matter which you choose. The largest difference is in the body - the 9 has a plastic body and a flat screen, while the 9 Pro has a metal body and a slightly curved screen. The effect makes the 9 Pro nicer to hold, though both models have excellent build quality.
If you’re interested in these latest phones from Oneplus, we have the OnePlus 9 Pro on Kagoo. We’ll have the OnePlus 9 ready for you as soon as it releases later this month. Until then, you can browse other bestselling phones on our Smartphone Hub.