In the last few years the OnePlus series of phones have been making small steps towards becoming the best handsets for gamers. And the 9 Pro is OnePlus’s most accomplished effort yet.
It is very much a case of evolution rather than revolution, but that’s no bad thing. The additions and improvements are all welcome, even if some are more cosmetic than others.
The Morning Mist finish is supposed to appear like a steamy mirror for instance, but just ends up attracting a host of fingerprints. Other key design choices are wisely holdovers from previous models though, such as the front curved screen being the same (to all extents and purposes) as the OnePlus 9.
The back however feels identical to that of the OnePlus 8T too, aside from the obvious camera upgrade. There’s a 48MP main sensor on the back of the OnePlus 9, part of a quad-camera that also offers the back up of a 50MP ultrawide option. This is all thanks to a partnership with Swedish camera specialist Hasselblad, and we certainly ran into no issues with the shots we took – with exterior snaps especially impressive.
It’s a hefty unit, but is certainly a touch lighter than we were expecting – with Gorrila Glass at the front and back offering up more than enough protection from knocks and minor drops.
Gaming is where the OnePlus 9 really shines though. The picture is sensational no matter the game, with visuals boasting a real pop – and the screen combats glare with ease.
With a 360Hz touch response rate we ran into no real performance issues with high-end games on the system either, with only minor stutters once you pushed the graphics level to their absolute maximum on higher end titles.
The Pro Gaming Mode which allows you to block notifications and streamline your memory is a welcome addition also. We found gaming for 3-4 hours did tend to drain the battery, although you can fill that back up in under an hour via the supplied charger.
Audio is also impressive, with stereo speakers offering solid feedback – although things are even crisper and clearer via headphones.
On the downside there’s a strange lack of key functions you might ordinarily expect. The omission of a headphone jack is disappointing but expected, but there’s no excuse for the inability to pop in a memory card to add extra storage space.
Despite these minor quibbles the OnePlus 9 Pro is certainly one of the best options out there if you’re looking to play games on your phone. It has a sensational screen, boasts a huge amount of power under the hood, and has a number of other very useful perks.