OnePlus will soon be releasing its flagship for the first half of 2021. Supposedly, that would be the OnePlus 9 Pro — the sequel to last year’s 8 Pro, which will land in a market that’s pretty much dominated by Samsung Galaxies and iPhones.

So, tough competition. Will the OnePlus 9 Pro have what it takes to make a dent?

Well, rumors say it’ll start at $799 and, with the expected specs, it’ll definitely be able to make an impression at that price point. If you are pining for a Galaxy S21+, but long for the days that flagships were priced around the $700 mark, the OnePlus 9 Pro should definitely be on your radar.

Let’s take a deeper dive at what it’ll have on offer (allegedly).

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OnePlus 9 Pro design and display

All rumors point to a device that looks like an evolution of the OnePlus 8 Pro concept. A curved screen on the front and a new camera bump on the back — moved to the top corner of the phone like other contemporary competitors.

There’s no motorized selfie camera, like we saw on the OnePlus 7 Pro. Presumably, this will help keep the 9 Pro thin and light, like the OnePlus 8 Pro was. But it also means we expect to see a punch-hole in the screen for the selfie camera.

On the topic of screen, rumors state it’ll have a 6.78-inch diagonal and a QHD (1440 x 3168) resolution. We will, again, have a 120 Hz refresh rate, but also — allegedly — an LTPO OLED panel. Meaning, it’ll have an adaptive refresh rate, allowing the screen to drop the frames when you are looking at still images — all in the name of saving battery life.

Under “good news”, we can file official IP 68 rating. Previous OnePlus phones did have ingress protection but weren’t officially rated in order to cut some costs. The OnePlus 9 Pro will have an official rating for extra peace of mind.

Also, we fully expect to see the OnePlus 9 Pro have a microSD card slot, to draw in those that lament Samsung’s latest change of heart. No headphone jack, though. You can forget about that, Jack.

OnePlus 9 Pro camera

As per the rumor mill, OnePlus is putting some real effort into improving its camera performance with the OnePlus 9 line. Specifically with the 9 Pro. Leaked photos of — presumably — the real phone reveal Hasselblad branding on the camera module on the back. Big name, will we see big achievements?

So, the camera bump is rumored to hold 4 cameras. 3 of them, we know what will do — one 48 MP main camera, one 64 MP ultra-wide camera, and one 64 MP telephoto camera with 3.3x zoom. Sounds like we are to expect some really good photo quality, though that extra-detailed sensor under the ultra-wide lens has us concerned that it won’t be a great performer under limited light. Also, a 64 MP 3.3x telephoto camera sounds like it could make fantastic portraits, but will the pixels be big enough to collect a good amount of light?

But the leaked photos show us two big lenses and two tiny lenses, which puts those sensor resolutions into question. Maybe either the telephoto camera or ultra-wide camera will be smaller than speculated.

Our hopes are high for a killer camera on the OnePlus 9 Pro, but we will approach it with cautious optimism.

As for the 4th lens on the back, we have no idea yet what it’ll do. It’s not very likely it’ll be a photochrom camera like last year’s OnePlus 8 Pro, since that one was disabled after some controversy for possible see-through applications.

On the front, the OnePlus 9 Pro is expected to have a 16 MP selfie camera, much like the OnePlus 8 Pro. Probably with similar performance, which is to say — quite good.

OnePlus 9 Pro specs

Being the top dog of the OnePlus lineup, the 9 Pro will also have the top dog chip — the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. In other words, the same processor that powers the Samsung Galaxy S21 (in the US). Built on a 5 nm process for energy-efficiency, 5G-ready, and having tons of performance headroom for future-proofing.

Rumors say the OnePlus 9 Pro will have a minimum of 12 GB of RAM — quite overkill — and come in three storage tiers — 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB (possibly). All divided by $100 price jumps, so from $799 to $899, to $999.

The lights are to be kept on by a 4,500 mAh cell — not the biggest battery by today’s standards but still quite hefty. Last year’s OnePlus 8 Pro had a similar battery and was quite capable of lasting you a day + extra.

Not enough? Well, the latest 65 W Warp Charge technology will be able to top the OnePlus 9 Pro from 0% to 100% in about half an hour. Intense!

OnePlus 9 Pro expectations

OnePlus phones have come a long way from being the bargain-priced “flagship killer” of yesteryear. Yes, they cost a pretty penny nowadays, but in a market where your regular flagship costs $1,000, if the OnePlus 9 Pro really has a price-tag of $799, it’ll absolutely kill it in that value segment. We can’t wait to get our hands on one and put it through its paces, the OnePlus 9 Pro might very well be the phone to buy in early 2021.



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