OnePlus 9R Review: A Minor Refresh With a New Coat of Paint


OnePlus constructed its model picture round “flagship killers”, promising almost all of the options and capabilities of flagship-class telephones at half the worth or much less. Today, flagships are routinely launched at costs north of Rs. 1,00,000, and OnePlus has stored tempo. The brand new OnePlus 9 and 9 Professional had been simply launched with beginning costs of Rs. 49,999 and Rs. 64,999 respectively, placing them nicely and actually into the premium tier. Sadly, for many individuals, buying energy has not risen fairly as a lot. The type of purchaser who felt like they had been getting an awesome deal when, say, the OnePlus 5 launched at Rs. 32,999 in mid-2017, is unlikely to really feel the identical means in regards to the present era when it is time to improve.

And so, the corporate that promised us we’d “never settle” is now asking a few of its most loyal followers to do precisely that. The OnePlus 9R is a response to rising prices and an try and cater to individuals who need one thing recent and do not thoughts a couple of reduce corners, relative to the OnePlus 9 (Review) and OnePlus 9 Pro (Review). Apparently, whereas it seems to be like its siblings, the OnePlus 9R is strikingly much like the previous-generation OnePlus 8T (Review) on the within.


So is the OnePlus 9R an excellent cellphone at its starting price of Rs. 39,999, or do it’s important to take care of too many compromises? Extra apparently, what does this imply for the dearer OnePlus 9? Let’s discover out.

OnePlus 9R design

From a distance, the OnePlus 9R seems to be identical to its siblings, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Professional. The distinguishing design contact of this era is the form and structure of the digital camera module, and that is one thing that’s widespread throughout all three fashions. The one factor lacking here’s a Hasselblad emblem – the 9R would not profit from the high-profile brand association. You may also discover that the 9R has 4 cameras, identical to the 9 Professional, whereas the OnePlus 9 has solely three – extra on this later.

One other choice that offers the OnePlus 9R a bonus over its dearer sibling is that the physique is fabricated from steel, reasonably than polycarbonate. This undoubtedly makes the 9R really feel extra premium, and in addition illustrates how reusing the design of the OnePlus 8T will be each an excellent and a nasty factor. The back and front are each fabricated from Corning Gorilla Glass. My unit had an adhesive display protector pre-applied.

You’ve two color selections: Lake Blue, which has a easy, shiny end, and Carbon Black, which is extra of a frosted, matte texture. My Lake Blue assessment unit was fortunately not too slippery, although it was a bit powerful to maintain the rear panel freed from smudges. The plastic case you get within the field sadly has a big “By no means Settle” model slogan throughout it.

The OnePlus 9R is sort of similar to the OnePlus 8T, aside from the digital camera module design


The glass rear panel is curved on the sides, and the digital camera module would not stick out an excessive amount of. The massive display has fairly slim borders and the entrance digital camera is embedded within the higher left nook. The 9R is definitely fairly straightforward to make use of even with one hand. It weighs 189g and is 8.4mm thick.

On the precise, you will discover a small however well-positioned energy button and the trademark OnePlus alert slider which helps you to shortly silence the cellphone or disable vibration. The quantity buttons are on the left. The highest is clean, and the underside has one speaker, a USB Sort-C port, and the dual-Nano-SIM tray.

Beauty touches apart, the OnePlus 9R is just about similar to the OnePlus 8T, right down to the structure of the 4 lenses on the digital camera module. It has precisely the identical dimensions however is one gram heavier. There isn’t any IP score Total, this can be a slick, modern-looking cellphone and potential patrons will like that it would not really feel like a “Lite” mannequin.

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There is a dual-sided Nano-SIM tray, USB Sort-C port, and speaker on the underside


OnePlus 9R specs

The largest distinction between the OnePlus 9R and the 8T is that the newer mannequin has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC reasonably than the previous-gen flagship Snapdragon 865+. Shut inspection of their spec sheets exhibits that the 870 is a minor replace that runs a tiny bit sooner but in addition curiously drops Wi-Fi 6E compatibility. This SoC is positioned proper beneath this yr’s flagship, the Snapdragon 888, and can possible present up in a number of different “worth flagship” telephones quickly. OnePlus says it has used an elaborate cooling system with a number of temperature sensors to make sure person consolation.

You additionally get a 6.5-inch full-HD+ Fluid AMOLED display with a 120Hz most refresh price and HDR10+, which is similar set of specs because the panels on the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 9. It has an embedded fingerprint sensor and is fabricated from Gorilla Glass. OnePlus specifies sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut help, however would not explicitly declare 100 p.c protection. There’s an always-on show mode, however this does not keep on on a regular basis until you enable it, which is able to devour some energy.

OnePlus has gone with the identical RAM and storage combos throughout many current fashions. You possibly can select between 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage, and 12GB of RAM with 256GB of storage. This is similar quick UFS 3.1 storage customary used for the higher-end fashions. You additionally get Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX HD and LDAC codec help, NFC, and a number of positioning programs (although NavIC is not listed). You get all of the sensors that you just is perhaps anticipating, apart from a barometer.

The battery capability is 4500mAh, which is about customary for this section. The OnePlus 9R does help 65W quick charging, however the charger that you just get within the field is for some purpose an old-style brick with a Sort-A port, not the Sort-C model that ships with the remainder of the OnePlus 9 household and even the 8T. There isn’t any wi-fi charging.

Different little touches embody stereo audio system, Dolby Atmos tuning, a haptic vibration motor, and a 240Hz contact sampling price.

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The included charger has a USB Sort-A connector


OnePlus 9R software program

We have praised OnePlus’s OxygenOS software program prior to now, and it is nonetheless feature-rich whereas sustaining a low-key look. That is model 11.1 which runs on Android 11, however I used to be shocked to see no safety patch replace past February 2021 on the time of assessment. Samsung’s OneUI has clearly impressed some design parts right here, such because the positioning of parts to make one-handed use simpler on giant screens.

There are many customisations underneath the floor, however nothing too garish. The very best half, relative to present traits, is that there is not any promoting on the lock display and no barrage of spammy notification advertisements. The one preloaded third-party app is Netflix, which surprisingly cannot be uninstalled. The My Video games app has a built-in launcher for “immediate video games” which do not must be put in however are typically not nice high quality, and there is an pointless feed of considerably clickbait-y gaming-related articles. You may also see some prompts to attempt varied OnePlus options corresponding to its cloud service and buyer loyalty programme.

You get a selection between customary on-screen buttons and gestures for UI navigation. Whereas the gestures are non-standard and take some getting used to, they make one-handed use simpler. On the draw back, they could override some apps’ personal gestures. Swiping down on the homescreen exhibits an iOS-style panel with playing cards for varied apps and instruments. You possibly can allow or disable the app drawer, and customise the looks of the UI in varied methods.

A Hidden Area function allows you to password-protect sure apps. Work Life Steadiness mode allows you to outline totally different notification behaviour based mostly on the time of day, GPS location, and/or close by Wi-Fi entry level names. It’s also possible to run two cases of sure apps, launch apps from the lockscreen by swiping on the fingerprint sensor, customise the always-on show, and tweak many extra issues.

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The alert slider is a novel trademark OnePlus function


OnePlus 9R efficiency

It should not be any shock that the OnePlus 9R felt snappy in on a regular basis use. The mixture of high-end SoC and 120Hz refresh price makes for a really fluid and responsive person expertise. Apps load shortly, transitions are crisp, and the OnePlus 9R does really feel like a high-end cellphone.

The display is after all brilliant and sharp. The digital camera gap is a bit bigger than I’d have preferred, however just isn’t too distracting due to its place and design. Movies look good, with robust distinction and deep blacks. There are a couple of display calibration profile choices within the settings, and you’ll select whether or not you need saturated vivid colors or extra impartial, correct replica. Sound from the underside speaker and earpiece is not completely balanced however you continue to get an honest stereo expertise, and the OnePlus 9R can get fairly loud with out distorting.

Benchmark assessments present that the efficiency of the OnePlus 9R is certainly in flagship territory. It scofred 6,72,556 factors in AnTuTu 9, in addition to 965 and three,075 respectively in Geekbench’s single-core and multi-core assessments. 3DMark’s Wild Life take a look at managed 4,198 factors, and Sling Shot Excessive was maxed out. GFXBench’s T-Rex and Manhattan scenes had been capped at 60fps whereas the Automotive Chase scene ran at 49fps.

Video games do run easily and I had no efficiency or graphics high quality points with Asphalt 9: Legends and Name of Obligation Cellular. Nevertheless I did discover that these video games had been additionally capped at 60fps with the display not utilizing its full 120Hz refresh price functionality. I additionally felt the rear panel in addition to the highest of the steel body getting a bit heat after about 10 minutes. The cellphone did not turn into uncomfortable, however it was noticeable.

The OnePlus 9R ran for 15 hours, 49 minutes in our HD video loop take a look at. It managed to final by a full day of use with the refresh price set to 120Hz (which frequently drops to 60Hz when idle to save lots of energy). You have to be abl to play video games or stream motion pictures for a couple of hours every day with out worrying about battery life.

OnePlus claims you could rise up to a 58 p.c cost in 15 minutes and fill the battery fully in solely 39 minutes. In my very own expertise this proved to be inaccurate – it took 30 minutes to achieve 64 p.c and wanted round 50 minutes to achieve 100 p.c, utilizing the bundled charger and with out turning the cellphone on. That is nonetheless fairly good however not near what’s promised.

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There’s nothing new in regards to the cameras on the OnePlus 9R


OnePlus 9R cameras

Not like the OnePlus 9 and 9 Professional, there is not any Hasselblad branding right here, so you aren’t getting the much-hyped color science enhancements. That stated, the OnePlus 8T managed to seize fairly good images and movies so I am anticipating a lot the identical right here. The first digital camera has a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor with an f/1.7 aperture and optical stabilisation. You additionally get a 16-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 5-megapixel macro digital camera, and a 2-megapixel monochrome filter digital camera, which is of restricted use. On this means, having 4 cameras is not essentially higher than the three on the OnePlus 9.

The OxygenOS digital camera app is simple sufficient to get used to and most controls are inside attain. There are no unique digital camera modes to play with past Professional, Panorama and Nightscape however there are two Cyberpunk 2077-branded filters, as a continuation of OnePlus’ affiliation with the sport.

OnePlus 9R daytime digital camera samples: fundamental digital camera (prime); ultra-wide-angle (backside) (Faucet to see full measurement)


As for picture high quality, you will not be disenchanted contemplating the worth of this cellphone. Daytime photographs had been crisp and detailed, with good publicity metering for essentially the most half. Colors are just a little on the uninteresting aspect however that is higher than oversaturated and unnatural color replica. The cellphone is fast to lock focus and you will get some dramatic background blurring in close-ups. Objects at a distance tended to have noticeably weaker element although. The wide-angle digital camera captures a really extensive discipline of view however there’s extreme perspective distortion so this ought to be used sparingly.

Portrait mode manages superb outcomes, and on-screen prompts provide help to with framing and distance. The macro digital camera can be surprisingly first rate in terms of element and definition, producing very usable photographs.

OnePlus 9R daytime portrait digital camera pattern (Faucet to see full measurement)

OnePlus 9R daytime macro digital camera pattern (Faucet to see full measurement)


At evening, loads is dependent upon how a lot mild there’s round you. With just a little synthetic mild, you will get some superb outcomes and even Nightscape mode could make a dramatic distinction. The wide-angle digital camera just isn’t of a lot use in any respect at midnight, and despite the fact that you should use Nightscape mode, it will not assist a lot. The first digital camera can seize good photographs and noise is underneath management, although you lose high quality in the event you enlarge them a lot, and may generally find yourself with movement blur in the event you do not stand nonetheless.

OnePlus 9R low-light digital camera samples: fundamental digital camera (prime); Nightscape (center); wide-angle (backside) (Faucet to see full measurement)



Daytime selfies turned out okay, with first rate pores and skin tone replica. Portraits did have first rate edge detection however the background blur was not very natural-looking. The 16-megapixel entrance digital camera did battle a bit at evening and photographs had been filled with noise.

Video efficiency was additionally good within the daytime. You possibly can shoot at as much as 4K 60fps and apparently, 4K wide-angle video can be attainable. You possibly can swap between the first and wide-angle digital camera in the midst of recordings. At 4K, colors had been barely overblown and photographs did have a hotter tone. Stabilisation is first rate at 1080p, however you need to anticipate some jerky actions when utilizing the wide-angle digital camera. Colors and the extent of element are first rate general. At evening, stabilisation does trigger a juddery impact in video at 1080p in addition to 4K. The wide-angle digital camera is once more not as helpful, however can work if there’s some ambient mild.

OnePlus 9R selfie digital camera samples: daytime (prime), low-light (backside) (Faucet to see full measurement)




The OnePlus 9R is a really barely warmed-over OnePlus 8T, and an even bigger worth discount would have made it much more fascinating than it’s. It seems to be slick and trendy, and it is easy sufficient to deal with. Efficiency is nice whether or not you are gaming or simply getting your each day duties carried out. OxygenOS continues to work easily and the general utilization expertise is excellent. The cameras are what you’d anticipate for this worth degree, battery life is nice, and charging is fast.

It is unlucky that patrons do not get something new or fascinating although. OnePlus ought to be pushing the envelope and delivering newer, higher merchandise at every worth degree, however actually what you get on your cash is just about the identical as earlier than. There’s nonetheless no IP score or wi-fi charging, the extra cameras aren’t including a lot worth, and albeit, lots of people would most likely discover a sub-Rs. 30,00Zero cellphone such because the OnePlus Nord simply as passable.

This launch exhibits that OnePlus is aware of that the 9 and 9 Professional are too costly for a lot of Indian followers, however it additionally calls into query whether or not anybody should purchase the OnePlus 9, which doesn’t offer a tonne more by way of capabilities or person expertise. Samsung has simply launched the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, Vivo’s X60 series seems to be aggressive, and Xiaomi’s Mi 11 series is arising as nicely.

For those who’re a OnePlus fan and want an improve at this worth degree, the 9R is a secure guess. For those who can wait a short time, I believe it is perhaps value trying out the way it stacks up towards the competitors.


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