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

OnePlus constructed its model picture round “flagship killers”, promising practically all of the options and capabilities of flagship-class telephones at half the value or much less. These days, flagships are routinely launched at costs north of Rs. 1,00,000, and OnePlus has saved tempo. The new OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro have been simply launched with beginning costs of Rs. 49,999 and Rs. 64,999 respectively, placing them effectively and really into the premium tier. Unfortunately, for many individuals, buying energy has not risen fairly as a lot. The sort of purchaser who felt like they have been getting an ideal deal when, say, the OnePlus 5 launched at Rs. 32,999 in mid-2017, is unlikely to really feel the identical manner in regards to the present technology when it is time to improve.

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


So is the OnePlus 9R an excellent telephone at its beginning worth of Rs. 39,999, or do it’s important to take care of too many compromises? More curiously, what does this imply for the costlier 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 Pro. The distinguishing design contact of this technology is the form and format of the digicam module, and that is one thing that’s frequent throughout all three fashions. The solely factor lacking here’s a Hasselblad emblem – the 9R would not profit from the high-profile model affiliation. You may also discover that the 9R has 4 cameras, identical to the 9 Pro, whereas the OnePlus 9 has solely three – extra on this later.

Another resolution that provides the OnePlus 9R a bonus over its costlier sibling is that the physique is manufactured from steel, somewhat than polycarbonate. This undoubtedly makes the 9R really feel extra premium, and in addition illustrates how reusing the design of the OnePlus 8T could be each an excellent and a foul factor. The back and front are each manufactured from Corning Gorilla Glass. My unit had an adhesive display protector pre-applied.

You have 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 robust to maintain the rear panel freed from smudges. The plastic case you get within the field sadly has a big “Never Settle” model slogan throughout it.

The OnePlus 9R is sort of an identical to the OnePlus 8T, apart from the digicam module design


The glass rear panel is curved on the sides, and the digicam module would not stick out an excessive amount of. The massive display has fairly slim borders and the entrance digicam 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 may discover a small however well-positioned energy button and the trademark OnePlus alert slider which helps you to rapidly silence the telephone or disable vibration. The quantity buttons are on the left. The high is clean, and the underside has one speaker, a USB Type-C port, and the dual-Nano-SIM tray.

Cosmetic touches apart, the OnePlus 9R is nearly an identical to the OnePlus 8T, all the way down to the format of the 4 lenses on the digicam module. It has precisely the identical dimensions however is one gram heavier. There’s no IP ranking Overall, this can be a slick, modern-looking telephone and potential patrons will like that it would not really feel like a “Lite” mannequin.

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There’s a dual-sided Nano-SIM tray, USB Type-C port, and speaker on the underside


OnePlus 9R specs

The greatest distinction between the OnePlus 9R and the 8T is that the newer mannequin has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC somewhat than the previous-gen flagship Snapdragon 865+. Close inspection of their spec sheets exhibits that the 870 is a minor replace that runs a tiny bit quicker but additionally curiously drops Wi-Fi 6E compatibility. This SoC is positioned proper under this 12 months’s flagship, the Snapdragon 888, and can seemingly present up in a number of different “value flagship” telephones quickly. OnePlus says it has used an elaborate cooling system with a number of temperature sensors to make sure consumer 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 manufactured from Gorilla Glass. OnePlus specifies sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut assist, 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 permit it, which can devour some energy.

OnePlus has gone with the identical RAM and storage mixtures throughout many current fashions. You 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 normal used for the higher-end fashions. You additionally get Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 with aptX HD and LDAC codec assist, NFC, and a number of positioning programs (although NavIC is not listed). You get all of the sensors that you simply may be anticipating, apart from a barometer.

The battery capability is 4500mAh, which is about normal for this section. The OnePlus 9R does assist 65W quick charging, however the charger that you simply get within the field is for some purpose an old-style brick with a Type-A port, not the Type-C model that ships with the remainder of the OnePlus 9 household and even the 8T. There’s no wi-fi charging.

Other 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 Type-A connector


OnePlus 9R software program

We’ve praised OnePlus’s OxygenOS software program prior to now, and it is nonetheless feature-rich whereas sustaining a low-key look. This 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 massive screens.

There are plenty of customisations underneath the floor, however nothing too garish. The better part, relative to present traits, is that there is no promoting on the lock display and no barrage of spammy notification adverts. The solely preloaded third-party app is Netflix, which surprisingly cannot be uninstalled. The My Games app has a built-in launcher for “instant games” which do not have to be put in however are usually not nice high quality, and there is an pointless feed of considerably clickbait-y gaming-related articles. You may also see some prompts to strive varied OnePlus options equivalent to its cloud service and buyer loyalty programme.

You get a alternative between normal on-screen buttons and gestures for UI navigation. While 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 can allow or disable the app drawer, and customise the looks of the UI in varied methods.

A Hidden Space characteristic helps you to password-protect sure apps. Work Life Balance mode helps you to outline completely different notification behaviour primarily based on the time of day, GPS location, and/or close by Wi-Fi entry level names. You also can 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 singular trademark OnePlus characteristic


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 consumer expertise. Apps load rapidly, transitions are crisp, and the OnePlus 9R does really feel like a high-end telephone.

The display is after all vibrant and sharp. The digicam gap is a bit bigger than I’d have appreciated, however will not be too distracting due to its place and design. Videos look good, with sturdy distinction and deep blacks. There are a couple of display calibration profile choices within the settings, and you may select whether or not you need saturated vivid colors or extra impartial, correct copy. Sound from the underside speaker and earpiece is not completely balanced however you continue to get a good 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 Extreme was maxed out. GFXBench’s T-Rex and Manhattan scenes have been capped at 60fps whereas the Car Chase scene ran at 49fps.

Games do run easily and I had no efficiency or graphics high quality points with Asphalt 9: Legends and Call of Duty Mobile. However I did discover that these video games have 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 telephone did not change into uncomfortable, nevertheless 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 via a full day of use with the refresh price set to 120Hz (which regularly drops to 60Hz when idle to save lots of energy). You must be abl to play video games or stream films for a couple of hours every day with out worrying about battery life.

OnePlus claims that you would be able to stand up to a 58 p.c cost in 15 minutes and fill the battery utterly in solely 39 minutes. In my very own expertise this proved to be inaccurate – it took 30 minutes to succeed in 64 p.c and wanted round 50 minutes to succeed in 100 p.c, utilizing the bundled charger and with out turning the telephone on. This remains to be 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

Unlike the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, there is no Hasselblad branding right here, so you do not get the much-hyped color science enhancements. That stated, the OnePlus 8T managed to seize fairly good photographs and movies so I’m anticipating a lot the identical right here. The main digicam 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 digicam, and a 2-megapixel monochrome filter digicam, which is of restricted use. In this fashion, having 4 cameras is not essentially higher than the three on the OnePlus 9.

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

OnePlus 9R daytime digicam samples: fundamental digicam (high); ultra-wide-angle (backside) (Tap to see full dimension)


As for picture high quality, you will not be disenchanted contemplating the value of this telephone. Daytime pictures have been crisp and detailed, with good publicity metering for probably the most half. Colours are a bit of on the boring aspect however that is higher than oversaturated and unnatural color copy. The telephone is fast to lock focus and you may get some dramatic background blurring in close-ups. Objects at a distance tended to have noticeably weaker element although. The wide-angle digicam captures a really huge subject of view however there’s extreme perspective distortion so this must be used sparingly.

Portrait mode manages excellent outcomes, and on-screen prompts assist you with framing and distance. The macro digicam can also be surprisingly first rate relating to element and definition, producing very usable pictures.

OnePlus 9R daytime portrait digicam pattern (Tap to see full dimension)

OnePlus 9R daytime macro digicam pattern (Tap to see full dimension)


At evening, loads depends upon how a lot mild there’s round you. With a bit of synthetic mild, you may get some excellent outcomes and even Nightscape mode could make a dramatic distinction. The wide-angle digicam will not be of a lot use in any respect at midnight, and despite the fact that you should utilize Nightscape mode, it will not assist a lot. The main digicam can seize good pictures and noise is underneath management, although you lose high quality should you enlarge them a lot, and would possibly generally find yourself with movement blur should you do not stand nonetheless.

OnePlus 9R low-light digicam samples: fundamental digicam (high); Nightscape (center); wide-angle (backside) (Tap to see full dimension)



Daytime selfies turned out okay, with first rate pores and skin tone copy. Portraits did have first rate edge detection however the background blur was not very natural-looking. The 16-megapixel entrance digicam did wrestle a bit at evening and pictures have been stuffed with noise.

Video efficiency was additionally good within the daytime. You can shoot at as much as 4K 60fps and curiously, 4K wide-angle video can also be doable. You can change between the first and wide-angle digicam in the midst of recordings. At 4K, colors have been barely overblown and photographs did have a hotter tone. Stabilisation is first rate at 1080p, however it is best to count on some jerky actions when utilizing the wide-angle digicam. Colours and the extent of element are first rate total. At evening, stabilisation does trigger a juddery impact in video at 1080p in addition to 4K. The wide-angle digicam is once more not as helpful, however can work if there’s some ambient mild.

OnePlus 9R selfie digicam samples: daytime (high), low-light (backside) (Tap to see full dimension)




The OnePlus 9R is a really barely warmed-over OnePlus 8T, and a much 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. Performance is nice whether or not you are gaming or simply getting your every day duties finished. OxygenOS continues to work easily and the general utilization expertise is excellent. The cameras are what you’d count on for this worth degree, battery life is nice, and charging is fast.

It’s unlucky that patrons do not get something new or fascinating although. OnePlus must 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 ranking or wi-fi charging, the extra cameras aren’t including a lot worth, and admittedly, lots of people would most likely discover a sub-Rs. 30,000 telephone such because the OnePlus Nord simply as passable.

This launch exhibits that OnePlus is aware of that the 9 and 9 Pro are too costly for a lot of Indian followers, nevertheless it additionally calls into query whether or not anybody can purchase the OnePlus 9, which does not provide a tonne extra by way of capabilities or consumer expertise. Samsung has simply launched the Galaxy S20 FE 5G, Vivo’s X60 sequence seems to be aggressive, and Xiaomi’s Mi 11 sequence is developing as effectively.

If you are a OnePlus fan and wish an improve at this worth degree, the 9R is a secure guess. If you may wait a short time, I feel it may be value testing the way it stacks up in opposition to the competitors.

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