First things first, we will start by saying that the OnePlus 9 addresses one of the biggest issues with the flagship models: The cameras have had an overhaul thanks to a partnership with Hasselblad. They have improved color correction, and photos look great whether they are captured with the regular or ultra-wide lens. 

This budget model doesn’t sport the telephoto lens that is found on the higher-end models but you probably won’t miss much. If you are shopping at the low-end then the specs that the OnePlus 9 has to offer that match more expensive options will probably keep you more than happy. The charging is unbelievably fast and it genuinely makes for a decent flagship Android phone.

Pros +

  • Specs are great for the outlay
  • The camera is more than adequate
  • Charges impressively fast

Cons –

  • No telephoto capturing
  • Lacks storage
  • Looks much cheaper than the premium models

Price and Availability

The OnePlus 9 launched on March 23 and will be available to buy on April 2. In the US, it will be sold by online vendors Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, and at OnePlus.com. T-Mobile will be the sole carrier for the phone, but it will be able to work with Verizon. It will also have some compatibility with AT&T but this will be restricted to their 4G network connectivity and not their new 5G.

The OnePlus 9 price starts at $729/£629 for the 8GB of RAM/128GB of storage model while increasing that up to 12GB RAM/256GB storage raises the price to $829/£729.

If you are buying from the UK you have the choice of 2 different storage options but anyone in the US is stuck with the smaller storage variety. As David Lumb at TechRadar points out is unlikely that the OnePlus 9 will be available within Australia as the manufacturer hasn’t ventured down-under with any of its other smartphone model releases. But who knows?

The OnePlus 9 asking price slightly undercuts the Samsung S21, which is currently available at $799 / £769 / AU$1,249. The low price tag also renders it very good value when you compare it to its superior Pro variant. Granted, the OnePlus Pro comes with a few attractive features that give it that pro edge such as the aforementioned telephoto lens and 50W wireless charging but the One Plus 9 is ultimately more affordable. If you haven’t got the $969 to spare (£82 /AU$1,250) then you are sacrificing much to save yourself close to a couple of hundred bucks. 

As for now, the OnePlus 9 is available in three colors: the light-purple Winter Mist with a gradient effect, the light-blue Arctic Sky with a matte finish, and the glossy Astral Black.

OnePlus 9 Overview

OnePlus has been trying to compete with other premium smartphone suppliers for a while. Until now the one thing that has been holding them back with any of their flagships has been in the camera department. The OnePlus 9 is the latest flagship on the market and it looks to have addressed the issue to compete directly. 

As we mentioned, OnePlus has partnered with Hasselblad to work together over the next three years to improve its smartphone photo capabilities. Hasselblad is a legendary photography company with a wealth of experience. They have already solved the deficiency of previous OnePlus camera flaws giving this model noticeable improvements. The color capturing has more fidelity and it functions much better than before in low-lighting conditions. The latest model now also benefits from macro-simulating close-range effects that enhance your ultra-wide shots giving them more detail and the digital zoom has also been ameliorated.

OnePlus 9 cameras
OnePlus 9 camera specs

Despite some big changes to the camera functioning, the phone itself has hardly changed. It is essentially identical, the placement of the buttons hasn’t been altered and it has the same display as the OnePlus 8T, and its immediate predecessor as well. So little has been done in terms of the overall design. The display wasn’t changed, either, but there’s no complaining about the sharp 6.55-inch Full HD Plus resolution AMOLED display.

The storage remains the same as previous iterations, at 8GB / 128GB or 12GB / 256GB RAM. The main difference being, of course, that the OnePlus 9 has been given a shiny new Snapdragon 888 processing chip. This puts it on a much more competitive level with other flagship smartphones such as the Samsung S21 giving it more of a footing within the market than it previously had. But, the OnePlus 9 trumps many of its opponents with its impressive recharging capabilities. Harboring a 4,500mAh battery and its Warp Charge 65T charger it can charge from 0 to 100% in around 30 minutes which is extremely fast.

At the end of the day, the performance and Warp Charging capabilities of the OnePlus 9 make it valuable. The specs are impressive within the price range. Add to that the camera improvements and enhancements and you have a great package. While it hasn’t evolved considerably from the OnePlus 8T, it is evidently much better at photo capture which was one of the previous models’ biggest caveats. Ultimately, the OnePlus 9 is a fantastic Smartphone with impressive value for money.

Perfect if…

You are shopping for affordable specs 

The best Android specs on the market are packed in the OnePlus 9 for its price range right now, and it’s indeed a great-value phone.

Photography is still important to you

If you’re looking for the best Android camera phone at this price, and it should be the one that doesn’t skimp on specs (sorry, Google Pixel 5), the OnePlus 9 is worth considering for sure.

You can’t hang around waiting for it to recharge 

You can fully charge the OnePlus 9’s battery in under 30 minutes over a cable, and in 45 minutes using wireless charging. If you hate waiting for hours to charge your phone, the OnePlus 9 is a great choice for you.

But not if…

You need a high-quality zoom

The main and ultra-wide lenses do a great job on the OnePlus 9 and have arguably been improved, but the zoom is digital and therefore a little lackluster. If you are desperate for a telephoto capture then you might be better off looking at the Samsung Galaxy S21 which retails at a similar retail price level.

You require a tonne of storage

The OnePlus 9’s only offers 128GB or 256GB internal memory and it isn’t expandable in any way. This is pretty limited so if you know you are going to need a lot more you might want to consider the Samsung S21 with its microSD card slot or another smartphone that offers the same benefit.

You want a bigger battery

The OnePlus 9’s 4,500mAh  battery isn’t the largest capacity battery on the market. Sure it charges at lightning speeds but if you would prefer a larger battery in the first place there are others worth looking at. The Samsung S21 Ultra sports a 5,000mAh battery and the Asus ROG 5has a larger capacity still with its 6,000mAh battery. The choice is yours.