Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has made a name for itself with its affordable flagship Android phones. It’s latest? The OnePlus 9 – a 5G phone rumoured to sport a high-quality 120Hz display and new camera tech linked to NASA.
The ninth-generation phone is hotly tipped to arrive later this month, so there’s not long to wait. In the meantime, we’ve checked out all the most reliable leaks, tweets and rumours to build up a credible picture of the new OnePlus series, which is said to comprise the OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro and entry-level OnePlus 9R.
So, should you start thinking about ditching your existing phone? How will it compare to the best smartphones we’ve tested? Here’s everything we know about the family of OnePlus 9 phones so far…
- All the latest rumours and news about the iPhone 13
New OnePlus 9: latest rumours at a glance
- Three new OnePlus 9 handsets
- Announcement due 8th March 2021
- 120Hz display and 48MP camera
- Predicted price: £599 ($699, AU$1099)
OnePlus 9: release date
Now that Samsung has launched the Galaxy S21, tech fans have turned their attention on the next big phone launch of 2021 – the OnePlus 9.
OnePlus typically unveils its flagship Android phones in April or May but it seems like the company has chosen to accelerate the release of the OnePlus 9 (just as Samsung did with when it launched the Galaxy S21 ahead of schedule in January).
On 1st March, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau teased that we could expect “something new” on the 8th March. The Twitter post featured an image of planet Earth and a link to register for something called ‘Moonshot’ (more on that below).
However, it’s unclear whether the company will use the 8th March to announce the launch event or the actual handsets themselves. There are a few other dates floating around: a report spotted by 91Mobiles mentions the 11th March, which would clash with an Oppo event, while known tipster Mukul Sharma (@StuffListings) has hinted the OnePlus 9 could break cover on Tuesday 23rd March.
iPhone 13: price
OnePlus is expected to launch three new models within the OnePlus 9 series. It’s yet to officially confirm the existence of the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro and 9R (previously known as the Lite/9E) but here’s how the line-up is expected to look based on recent rumours:
OnePlus 9 (2021) – 6.5-inch AMOLED display, £599 ($699, AU$1099)
OnePlus 9 Pro (2021) – 6.7inch AMOLED display, £699 ($799, AU$1299)
OnePlus 9R (2021) – 6.5-inch LCD display, £499 ($599, AU$999)
All phones would join or replace the company’s existing models, which include:
One Plus 8T 128GB (2020) – 6.5-inch AMOLED, £549 (AU$1000, limited to the 256GB storage variant in the US, priced $749).
OnePlus 8 Pro 128GB (2020) – 6.7-inch AMOLED, £799 ($899)
One Plus Nord (2020) – 6.5-inch, £379 ($480, AU$680)
We’ll keep you updated as and when we hear more about the price of the OnePlus 9.
OnePlus 9: design and display
OnePlus is known for making bargain Android phones, but its recent flagship phones suggest CEO Pete Lau is aiming higher. Could the OnePlus 9 be an attempt to go toe-to-toe with the mighty Samsung Galaxy S21?
We brought you the first leaked photos of the OnePlus 9 a couple of months ago and, sadly, the design doesn’t look especially exciting. The next-gen device seems to copy the OnePlus 8T with ultra-slim bezels and a pinhole selfie-cam sunk into a 6.55-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Hardly ground-breaking.
However, we’ve also seen the first official renders of the OnePlus 9 Pro (the main image at the top of this page) and they seem to show a much sleeker, more refined device. The pricier Pro model is said to boast a 6.78-inch AMOLED QHD display with a variable refresh rate (as seen on the Samsung Galaxy S21). The phone should be able to lower the refresh rate to save battery when you don’t need the full 120Hz.
The 9 Pro also tipped for an IP68 rating, meaning it could be dunked in 1.5m of water for up to 30 minutes.
On a budget? OnePlus is also set to unveil an entry-level model called the OnePlus 9R (previously referred to as the “9 Lite” and “9E”, before leaker Evan Blass confirmed the 9R moniker). The budget model is set for a 6.5-inch Full HD LCD display and no official IP Rating.
As for colours, an OxygenUpdater leak suggests the OnePlus 9 will come in Astral Black, Arctic Sky, and Winter Mist colour options while the 9 Pro is reported to come in Forest Green, Morning Mist, and Stellar Black.
OnePlus 9: camera
Rumour has it that OnePlus has partnered with Hasselblad, the Swedish company best known for making the camera that NASA used to photograph the Moon landings.
That would explain why OnePlus CEO Pete Lau posted this “Moonshot” Twitter teaser, complete with a photograph of planet Earth taken – presumably – by a Hasselblad camera.
Prior to that, trusted tipster Dave Lee (@dave2d) appeared to let the cat out of the bag when he reposted a photo (above) that appeared to show the OnePlus 9 Pro camera sporting an official “Hasselblad” logo.
Apparently, the 9 Pro will feature a quad camera (48MP, 50MP, 8MP, 2MP) with ultra-wide and macro lenses. Disappointingly, there’s no sign of a dedicated periscope camera so the phone’s zoom could be limited to a fairly anaemic 3.3x.
That said, we’ve also heard rumours that the 9 Pro will tote a larger 64MP camera and that the new Hasselblad-developed tech will “raise the bar”. We should know more following the company’s 8th March announcement.
The vanilla OnePlus 9 handset is expected to come with a 48MP triple camera. There’s also talk of a 16MP selfie camera, but that’s nothing more than speculation at this point. Both models are expected to feature moon-based photography filters and modes, presumably in honour of the company’s partnership with Hasselblad.
OnePlus 9: spec and battery life
Usually, the latest OnePlus flagship phone is powered by the latest Qualcomm processor. But it seems that might not be the case this time around…
Instead, the OnePlus 9 could make do with the mid-range Snapdragon 865 chip while the pricier OnePlus 9 Pro hogs Qualcomm’s state-of-the-art Snapdragon 888 processor to itself.
Then again, other rumours suggest the OnePlus 9 could benefit from Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 870 chip – a clever new 5G chip that could offer a next-gen AI engine without costing as much as the range-topping 888 chip.
As for the other OnePlus 9 specs, the latest leaks point to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, rising to 256GB if you’re willing to splash out. Meanwhile, tech watcher Max Weinbach has tipped the 9 Pro for 12GB of RAM as standard.
As you’d expect, battery life is due to get a boost. Whereas the OnePlus 8 had a 4300mAh battery, the OnePlus 9 will tote a 4500mAh capacity unit with ultra-fast 65W and 45W wireless charging (and, yes, OnePlus will apparently supply a charger in the box). The 9 Pro is said to up the stakes with a 5000mAh battery.
Finally, there’s talk of the OnePlus 9 having the OnePlus 8 Pro’s reverse charging functionality, which would allow the phone to power up devices that are compatible with the Qi wireless charging standard. Fingers crossed.
Stay tuned and you’ll bring you all the latest rumours, leaks and news in the build-up to the launch of the One Plus 9, 9 Pro and 9R this month.
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