After all the usual gossip on the rumour mill – and an accidental leak of the specs from T-Mobile – the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro have now been launched in an official livestream event. And we’re very excited now that these two handsets are available for pre-order, with the Pro soon to land in stores. Plus… there’s a pretty nice freebie available with the OnePlus 9.
The official unveiling of these two handsets took place in a virtual launch at 2pm GMT on Tuesday 23rd March. Several ambassadors from both OnePlus and camera partner Hasselblad were on hand to wax lyrical about these new flagship handsets, and they were all visibly excited. And by the end of the launch, so were we: you can find out why below.
Read on to learn more about the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, including price, release date and specs – and when they’re both available to buy.
To find out more about which phones to keep an eye out for in 2021, head to our best new phones guide.
OnePlus 9 release date
The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro aren’t being released at the same time. First up is the OnePlus 9 Pro, which is will arrive on 1st April and then the OnePlus 9 will hit UK shelves on 26th April.
Both handsets are available to pre-order now at the OnePlus store. OnePlus is clearly anticipating high levels of interest in the OnePlus 9: you’ll need to part with £100 as a deposit to ensure your pre-order is secure.
OnePlus 9 Pro pre-orders
These are all prices on SIM-free handsets, and it’s likely that you’re scouting for contracts on both phones. These are a little thin on the ground right now, but we can confirm that Three will be stocking the OnePlus 9 Pro, and in one stand-out deal you can pick up the first six months of the 24-month contract for half the usual price:
- OnePlus 9 Pro, unlimited minutes, texts and data | £29 upfront, £57 per month
OnePlus 9 pre-orders
At present, we’re not seeing any contracts advertised for the OnePlus 9 on any phone networks. But that’s simply due to the fact that it’s being released later in April than its big brother, the OnePlus 9 Pro. Our advice is to bookmark this page, as we’ll be updating when these pay-monthly contracts do finally materialise. Fingers crossed they’ll offer the same OneBuds Plus Z giveaway that’s available with the SIM-free handset.
How much does the OnePlus 9 cost?
OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 9 will cost £629, and the OnePlus Pro will cost £829.
These are interesting prices compared to the OnePlus 8, the former flagship, which cost £599 upon release, and the OnePlus 8 Pro, which cost £899. So while the standard model is a little more expensive, the luxe model is, in fact, a little cheaper.
What the launch didn’t mention was the reported third handset that will also be released: a budget-friendly alternative called the OnePlus 9R. This wasn’t mentioned, we suspect because plans are to launch it exclusively on the Indian market. Once we find out more, we’ll be sure to update this page with OnePlus 9R prices and specs.
OnePlus 9 specs: what will the OnePlus 9 look like?
Both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro will come in three separate colour schemes. The OnePlus 9 will comes in Winter Mist (a pale lilac), Astral Black (a glossy bluish-black) and Arctic Sky (a cool frosted glass finish).
The OnePlus 9 will have a 6.55-inch Full HD (1080 x 2200) screen, and the OnePlus 9 Pro will have a 6.7-inch Quad HD (1440 x 3216) screen.
OnePlus 9 camera
Of everything announced in the launch, it’s the OnePlus 9 series’ cameras that sounded most exciting.
OnePlus cameras come from Hasselblad: a company that was founded back in 1841. That’s a serious pedigree – and you can be sure it will be on display in these new flagship phones. Both cameras will feature an astonishing 50MP ultra-wide sensor that will offer unprecedented levels of detail. Indeed, OnePlus representative Ryan Fenwick was at pains to point out just how much bigger this was than that in the iPhone 12 series.
On both phones, the front camera features a 48-megapixel sensor that can capture 12-bit RAW files. These are uncompressed images that offer extra clarity and extra detail – and to prove the point, several photos were shared during the launch (see above). These images were taken on the OnePlus 9 Pro – and haven’t been put through any post-production.
The engineers at Hasselblad have also been working on a uniquely formed lens that keeps lens distortion to a minimum. You know that way the edges of buildings tilt inwards in those pictures you take on your phone? Such things are all-but eradicated in the OnePlus 9 cameras, which keep distortion to 1%.
Video recording on the OnePlus 9 series is just as exciting – on both handsets, you’ll be able to record 8K footage at a highly impressive 30fps and 4K at 120fps. At this level of capture, you’ll be able to record some seriously stunning slow-motion footage.
OnePlus 9 processor and performance
At the livestreamed launch, OnePlus Head of Community, Tilan Pigac, revealed that both the new OnePlus phones would feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. That’s a CPU that is 24% faster than the processor in the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro.
These are phones that also boast LTPO screen technology, which helps keep power consumption to a minimum by automatically recalibrating the screen’s refresh rate depending on what you’re doing on the phone. Gamers will know the feeling of their smartphone getting worryingly hot in the middle of gameplay – this is something that’s avoided.
OnePlus 9 battery life
OnePlus has also put great efforts into improving the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro battery life. Thanks to the new WarpCharge feature, you can expect a 100% charge within the space of 45 minutes with the OnePlus 9 and 29 minutes with the OnePlus Pro. In an age where top-of-the-line devices are often let down by high-maintenance batteries, these are seriously impressive stats.
As you can see, two very formidable-sounding smartphones are on the way. OnePlus isn’t yet a household name in the UK, but we have a feeling the Chinese company’s star is on the rise.
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