It may look like some people are given guns – Let’s enjoy the new phones first, buddy! – But in the world of smartphones, you’re only as good as your next version. Even if you’re not thinking about what OnePlus should do with its future phones, you can bet that this is the phone maker.
As a rule, OnePlus does not rest on its laurels for long and brings out a new flagship every six months. With the OnePlus 9 series wraps in March, we’re on the right track for a new phone in September / October.
This model is likely to be one of the OnePlus T phones that tend to replicate many of the features introduced in the spring phone releases, but with an improvement here and a tweak or two there.
With the OnePlus 9T expected to be out in the fall and introducing some modest improvements over the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, the real change will happen in a year if we look at the OnePlus 10.
By the time the phone arrives, we’ll already have a list of the features we’d like to see.
What the OnePlus 9 did right
OnePlus has already set a pretty high bar for its future phones with the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. We checked both devices and came out impressed. The OnePlus 9 Pro is now that best android phone You can buy while the OnePlus 9 gives you an affordable alternative that requires few feature compromises.
Both phones have quick-refresh displays. With the OnePlus 9 Pro for $ 969, the update rate can be dynamically adjusted depending on the version. The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro each last a long time, and thanks to OnePlus’s top-notch WarpCharge 65T technology, you can fully charge a depleted battery in just over half an hour. The Snapdragon 888 silicon in both phones offers an experience that can rival any Android device.
But it’s the cameras that set the latest OnePlus phones apart. In the past, cameras were the only flaw in OnePlus phones – not bad, exactly, but not anywhere near the class of best camera phones OnePlus hoped to compete with.
That has changed with the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, thanks in no small part to a partnership with camera maker Hasselblad that has helped improve the look and feel of the photos these new phones produce.
Where does OnePlus go from here? We have a couple of ideas.
Simpler 5G support
The OnePlus 9 works with 5G networks – Good, something 5G networks anyway. When you use the phone T-Mobile 5GYou’re good to go as the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro fully support this carrier’s 5G network, which is based on the low and mid-band spectrum.
However, the OnePlus 9 is not supported AT & T’s 5G networkand Verizon support is in the air. We were able to connect a OnePlus 9 Pro nationwide Verizon 5GUse of the carrier’s faster Ultra Wideband 5G network will be suspended until Verizon certifies the phone. OnePlus says it is under discussion to make this happen, but as of now, the new OnePlus 9 phones will only officially work with LTE on Big Red.
Part of this is due to the fact that 5G is still in its infancy in the US. In a year 5G networks will be better trained. In this case, we hope the OnePlus 10 will work with any 5G network right away, just like that iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 Models do.
An official rating for water resistance
Buy the OnePlus 9 from T-Mobileand you get an IP68 rated phone for water resistance. However, the unlocked version sold by OnePlus and other online retailers doesn’t have this rating. (The OnePlus 9 Pro, on the other hand, has an IP68 rating, regardless of where you buy the phone.)
OnePlus does this to keep the price of phones down. Official certification of water and dust resistance adds to the cost of a phone. While that kind of compromise was warranted by OnePlus as a mid-priced startup phone maker in the past few days, things are different now.
OnePlus is now on the same playing field as other top smartphone manufacturers. If it wants to stay there, it has to be more consistent in terms of the features it has with its phones.
Nowadays, an official water resistance rating is the price of entry into making a flagship phone. It should certainly not be treated as a function that some models will and some models will not.
No more tricky camera lenses
A year ago, OnePlus was at the forefront of a rather unfortunate trend in cell phones where phone manufacturers increased the number of cameras on their phone by adding a special macro lens.
The OnePlus 8 In addition to the standard wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle shooters, there was a macro lens. For one thing, I got fed up with the trend and urged phone manufacturers to do it Stop putting macro lenses on their phones.
OnePlus kind of listened to these requests. There is no macro lens on the OnePlus 9. Instead, there is a special monochrome camera that is almost as redundant.
I understand that telephoto lenses are expensive features and that not every phone can offer one. A telephoto camera can also be used to distinguish your high-end phones from the basic models. (For example, the OnePlus 9 Pro has a telephoto lens in addition to its main lens, an ultrawide lens and – sigh – Monochrome cameras.) But if OnePlus or another phone manufacturer doesn’t feel the need to add a telephoto lens to some models, that’s fine with me.
However, the cameras that are there should be there for a specific purpose. If there’s a reason a monochrome or macro lens is used on a wide appeal smartphone, I have yet to discover it. So let’s get things down with the OnePlus 10 camera array, please.
Keep improving these cameras
As mentioned above, the cameras on both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are way above anything OnePlus has released before. But there is still room for improvement. When testing the OnePlus 9, I noticed some color inconsistencies, especially when compared to other leading camera phones.
Snap this picture of a marquee outside a restaurant. The OnePlus 9’s shot is fine, although you can see some imperfections in the image – the portion of the sky in the upper-left portion of the shot is overexposed, and the OnePlus tried hard to keep the blue and green neon lights clear. It’s not a terrible shot, but it really doesn’t stand out.
Another photo of the same sign taken with a Pixel 4a 5Gdoes not have this problem. The sky is a brilliant blue. The neon lights catch the eye. While the Pixel 4a 5G uses the same camera setup as the more expensive one Pixel 5Cant get rid of the idea that a $ 499 phone took a better picture than the $ 729 OnePlus 9.
As much progress OnePlus has made with photo processing software in this flagship round, so much work remains to be done before the OnePlus 10 ships.
A less noticeable camera bump
Not pinning to the camera, but there is one aspect of the new OnePlus phones that bothered me, at least with the OnePlus 9. The camera array seems to be quite noticeable.
That’s an issue many phones face in these times of blocky camera arrays, but the OnePlus 9 seems to have a more prominent set of lenses than other phones. I didn’t break out the calipers to quantify how much more, but I know when I turn the OnePlus 9 down with the screen facing up, the camera will wobble. That doesn’t happen with many of the other cell phones that I have on hand.
When developing the OnePlus 10, OnePlus should draw inspiration from the Samsung Galaxy S21 series. These new flagships use what Samsung calls the “contour-cut” design, in which the camera array blends into the edge of the phone for a more seamless appearance. It’s pretty sharp and a great way to feel the camera array as part of the phone instead of something sticking out from the back.
Keep the line in pricing
Telephones are getting more expensive these days. Nobody flashes when a flagship is asking for more than $ 1,000. However, there seems to be some appreciation that prices have gotten a bit out of control, as evidenced by the fact that both Apple and Samsung are now offering cheaper versions of their respective flagships.
OnePlus has always done a good job of bringing feature-rich phones for less than the competition, even though prices have gone up. For example, the high-end model of the OnePlus 9 Pro – the only one you can pre-order from OnePlus right now – costs $ 1,069. But at least the starting prices for the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are between 30 and 70 US dollars below those of the competition.
OnePlus has to keep up with OnePlus 10. Given all the features the company wants to offer, it won’t be easy, let alone the features I just asked for. But it’s a challenge that OnePlus has faced in the past.