Mobile Phone: OnePlus 9: what we would like to ascertain

What we would like to ascertain within the new phone

Mobile Phone: OnePlus 9: what we would like to ascertain

OnePlus 8 (Image credit: Elisa Huttunen)

The OnePlus 9 is not the next smartphone we're expecting from the favored brand - no, the OnePlus 8T is probably going coming soon, and maybe the OnePlus Nord Lite will launch soon too.

But here at TechRadar, we're huge phone fans, and that we can not help but look to the longer term, to the handset we'd expect OnePlus will launch as its main device for 2021. The OnePlus 8 and eight Pro were great phones, but not perfect ones. That's why we've come up with this list of features and changes we'd wish to see within the new model.

At the time of writing, we've not heard one leak or rumor regarding the device, because its launch is probably going an extended way off, but that's a part of the rationale we've come up with this list now. We aren't being influenced by what news and rumors suggest the phone might be like - it's all our own list.

When more information becomes available about the OnePlus 9, we'll update this text, and we're getting to put our release and pricing speculation below also, to offer you some context.

Cut to the chase

  1. What is it? OnePlus' main phone for 2021
  2. When is it out? Likely around April 2021
  3. How much will it cost? Probably a minimum of $699 / £599 (around AU$1,100)

OnePlus 9 release date and price

OnePlus 8 and eight ProOnePlus 8 and eight Pro (Image credit: Future)

We haven't heard any release information for the OnePlus 9, but like many phone makers OnePlus may be a company of habit, so we'd expect the launch to be around April or May 2021.

OnePlus typically teases its phones beforehand of the launch though, so maybe we'll hear something about the launch date in March. the discharge date of the phone will likely be every week or two after the launch.

In terms of price, that's hard to inform, especially because of each successive OnePlus phone creeps into the premium pricing territory more and more, and since the OnePlus Nord means the OnePlus 9 doesn't get to cater to people on a smaller budget.

The OnePlus 8 started at $699 / £599 (around AU$1,100) and went up to $799 / £699 (around $1,372) for more RAM and storage, and therefore the OnePlus 8 Pro started at $899 / £799 and went up to $999 / £899.

Those are some high prices - not Samsung Galaxy S-level eye-watering costs, but pricier than OnePlus phones wont to be. And given the Nord wasn't a thing when the 8-series was launched, we could see the OnePlus 9 phones get pricier than that.

What we would like to ascertain 

OnePlus 8 ProOnePlus 8 Pro (Image credit: Truls Steinung)

1. Wireless charging within the non-Pro phone

The OnePlus 8 Pro has wireless charging, but don't choose the professional and you're losing the feature, which isn't great for people that need a cheaper handset but still want the convenience of wireless charging.

Perhaps that was just the case because the OnePlus 8 Pro was the primary phone from the corporate with the cordless charging tech, and it had been just testing the feature out - if so, maybe the OnePlus 9 will have wireless charging also as its Pro sibling.

2. A zoom lens on the non-Pro OnePlus 9

Here's another piece of tech the OnePlus 8 did not have but the 8 Pro did - a telephoto camera. this enables you to require optical zoom pictures, closing the space without losing any resolution.

Zoomed-in shots are arguably more useful than ultra-wide ones, so it isn't ideal that a lot of companies including OnePlus like better to use the ultra-wide lenses but not telephoto for fewer premium devices.

For full photography potential, we'd wish to see the OnePlus 9 have a telephoto and ultra-wide camera, not only one or the opposite - though if it needs to drop one, a minimum of keeping the telephoto.

3. a better resolution main camera

Both the OnePlus 8 and eight Pro have 48MP main cameras. Since many other companies have 64MP and even 108MP snappers, this feels a touch low-res, and we'd wish to see some improvement.

Sure, the resolution is not the only factor that dictates how good a smartphone picture is, as pixel size is often important - but the OnePlus 8 did not have the bigger-pixel 48MP sensor that other phones have, so it omitted on this advantage.

We'd wish to see the OnePlus 9, or maybe just the 9 Pro, have a high-res main camera, or even just a primary snapper with bigger pixels to require better snaps.

OnePlus NordOnePlus Nord (Image credit: Future)

4. Two selfie cameras

The OnePlus Nord has two selfie cameras, so you'll take standard or wide-angle snaps of yourself and friends. We'd wish to see this type of thing brought over to the OnePlus 9 because it can offer you tons of versatility in selfies.

The second front-facing camera wouldn't necessarily be got to have a good field-of-view - some dual-selfie-camera phones have the most snapper joined by a depth sensor, for improved bokeh or background effects.

5. A 4K screen on the professional model

There have only been a couple of phones with 4K screens - and that they all come from Sony, with recent examples being the Sony Xperia 1 and Xperia 1 II. No other company has tried to form this type of super-high-res display for a phone.

Sure, a 4K display is quite unnecessary in most situations, and therefore the 2K of the OnePlus 8 Pro generally is enough for many people. But a 'Pro' phone should not be for everybody, and by definition, it's a more limited appeal anyway, therefore the people going for it'd need this type of high-res screen.

Now that 5G means streaming games, movies, and television in high resolution isn't out the question any longer, we'd wish to see the primary 4K screen on a non-Sony phone.

OnePlus 8 ProOnePlus 8 Pro (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

6. Palm rejection technology

An issue we had with the OnePlus 8 and eight Pro is that they didn't seem to possess palm-rejection technology, and we'd like to see the OnePlus 9 have something along these lines.

Palm rejection technology ensures that, once you accidentally knock the curved fringe of the phone screen, the device understands you didn't mean to press it, so nothing happens.

This stops you mistakenly swiping between menus or opening apps once you didn't mean to, solving a problem many have with curved-edge phones.

7. a bigger battery

The OnePlus 8 had a 4,300mAh battery, which went up to 4,510mAh within the OnePlus 8 Pro.

5,000mAh batteries in phones aren't uncommon though, intrinsically as size ensures the phone will last as long as possible between charges. If the phone has top specs, sort of a 108MP main sensor or 4K screen (as the OnePlus 9 of our dreams would have), it needs an enormous battery to cope.

Even if the phone doesn't find yourself having these high specs, bigger is usually better for batteries, because it generally increases the life.

Oppo Find X2 ProOppo Find X2 Pro (Image credit: Future)

8. More differences with Oppo Find X line

The OnePlus 8 Pro was very, very almost like the Oppo Find X2 Pro, with the sole real differences being that phone having some improved screen optimizations, a far better main camera, and a better price.

That's not a random comparison - OnePlus and Oppo are both owned by BBK Electronics, as are Vivo and Realme, so they're considered sibling companies, and far of the tech developed by one is employed by another.

But within the OnePlus 8 and Oppo Find X2 lines, it seems a touch an excessive amount of tech was shared, and therefore the phones were a touch too similar. We'd just like the OnePlus 9 to possess tons less in common with the Oppo Find X3 phones so we will see a touch more rivalry within the field.

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