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 that sports a high-quality 120Hz display, ultra-fast wireless charging and a game-changing Hasselblad camera.
The ninth-generation phone is due to launch today (23rd March) at 10am GMT / 10am ET (watch the live stream here). We already know exactly what it looks like thanks to the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro leaked press pics, not to mention the press pics tweeted by OnePlus themselves.
- Read our OnePlus 9 Pro review
OnePlus is expected to launch the vanilla OnePlus 9 alongside the pricier OnePlus 9 Pro and entry-level OnePlus 9R. The 9R looks it have a gaming focus and be exclusive to India and China, and may not go on sale in the UK, US or Australia. The company's also set to show off its first-ever smartwatch, the OnePlus Watch – here's the first image (via Unbox Therapy).
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has tweeted that the "Number 9 will leave you speechless, so today's launch could be a big deal. Details of the spec, display, colours and design have all been thoroughly leaked. Here's all the juicy details of the OnePlus 9 ahead of today's big reveal...
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OnePlus 9 launch at a glance
- Three new OnePlus 9 handsets
- Launching TODAY at 2pm GMT / 10am ET
- 6.5in and 6.7in AMOLED displays
- 120Hz display and 48MP Hasselblad camera
- Predicted price: £599 ($699, AU$1099)
- OnePlus Watch also expected today
OnePlus 9: release date
The OnePlus 9 promises to be the next biggest phone launch of the year, following Samsung's Galaxy S21 in January.
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 (see below).
Sure enough, on the 8th March, OnePlus announced the official launch date for its next phones: March 23rd 2021 at 10am ET / 2pm GMT. It also formally confirmed its partnership with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad.
OnePlus has already set-up its live stream on YouTube (below) so you tune in early and check out the comment section. The OnePlus 9 launch event kicks off today at 2pm GMT / 10am ET / 7am PST.
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OnePlus 9: price
OnePlus has now confirmed it will launch three new models within the OnePlus 9 series. Here's how the line-up is expected to be priced, 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.
As for the OnePlus Watch, it's expected to feature an Sp02 oxygen monitor and cost €150 in Europe (around £130, $180, AU$230).
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 now seen the first official images of the OnePlus 9 Pro (pictured above in fetching "Morning Mist" silver) and they seem to show a much sleeker, more refined device. The pricier Pro model is set for a 6.7-inch AMOLED QHD display with a variable refresh rate (as seen on the Samsung Galaxy S21).
PCMag has even published this exclusive first test of the OnePlus 9 Pro''s 120Hz variable refresh rate display, which dials itself down to 1Hz to save power. The article also reveals that the OnePlus 9 Pro "will have a 360Hz touch sampling rate, the fastest available on any US phone." A handful of compatible games will be announced at launch to highlight the OnePlus 9 Pro's display.
According to a combination of leaks and official OnePlus tweets, the OnePlus 9 will be available in three colours: blue, black, and violet. The OnePlus 9 Pro will come silver, "Forest" green and possibly "Stellar" black. OnePlus may be holding back few extra colours until launch day.
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 CEO has no confirmed the OnePlus 9R (previously referred to as the "9 Lite" and "9E", although not by leaker Evan Blass, who unofficially confirmed the 9R moniker). It's
OnePlus 9: camera
After much speculation, OnePlus has confirmed its rumoured partnership with Hasselblad, the Swedish company best known for making the camera that NASA used to photograph the Moon landings.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau stoked rumours by tweeting this "Moonshot" Twitter teaser, complete with a photograph of planet Earth taken by a Hasselblad camera. He followed that up with the image above, which he captioned "Two of my favourite things."
More recently, the company has revealed it will splurge $150 million on camera development in the next three years, presumably in hopes of getting the jump on rivals.
The official statement also confirmed that the OnePlus 9 Pro model will feature a Sony IMX789 sensor, coupled with HDR video and the ability to capture 4K at 120 FPS and 8K at 30 FPS.
Users will also get a "panoramic camera with a 140-degree field of view, T-lens technology for lightning-fast focus in the front-facing camera, and a freeform lens... that practically eliminates edge distortion in ultrawide photos."
OnePlus has yet to reveal full details of the cameras but the triple-lens OnePlus 9 is tipped for a 48MP main camera, an 48MP ultra-wide lens and a third, unknown lens. The quad-lens OnePlus 9 Pro is said to boast 48MP, 50MP, 8MP and 2MP lenses.
The pricier OnePlus 9 Pro also gets a "Hasselblad Pro" mode that will take 12bit RAW images. Theoretically, the OnePlus 9 Pro will be able to capture 68.7 billion colours – far more than the 1 billion colours the Samsung Galaxy S21 can manage. In theory, those extra colours will allow professional photographers to tackle more complex edits.
Both models are expected to feature moon-based photography filters and modes, presumably in honour of the company's partnership with Hasselblad.
OnePlus 9: specs and battery life
There was talk of the latest OnePlus flagship phone making do with the mid-range Snapdragon 865 processor, but it's now all-but-confirmed that both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro will boast Qualcomm's state-of-the-art Snapdragon 888 chipset.
Better yet, OnePlus has revealed that the "Pro" handset will deliver super-fast 50W wireless charging (if you buy the firm's dedicated 50W wireless charger, pictured above). According to OnePlus, the tech means you can charge the 9 Pro's battery from 0 - 100% in precisely 43 minutes (via GSMArena). Both models will also support 65W wired charging, which takes their batteries from empty to full in just 29 minutes.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau also also confirmed that the Pro will feature the new OnePlus Cool Play technology, which promises to keep the phone's 888 chip running a couple of degrees cooler than the chipset inside the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
As for the other OnePlus 9 specs, the latest leaks point to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal 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 for the budget-friendly OnePlus 9R, leaks suggest it will be powered by the Snapdragon 690 processor. To make up for the drop in power, it could have a slightly larger battery. Like it's pricier siblings, it's said to come with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
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 ahead of today's big OnePlus 9 launch. There's even rumours that the company could surprise tech watchers with a fourth Android phone...
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