The OnePlus 9 is set to be the next premium flagship smartphone from OnePlus, launching this month. It follows hot on the heels of the OnePlus 8 series (including the T3 award-winning One Plus 8 Pro), and the budget/ mid-tier OnePlus Nord, which has since expanded into the affordable Nord N series of handsets, including the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and OnePlus N100 announced last October.
With the OnePlus 8 Pro being awarded T3's Gadget of the Year title, we're excited to see what the company has up its sleeve for the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, and as is always the case in the runup to a new smartphone, leaks and rumors have been trickling out about the device; and so far, it's looking promising.
The OnePlus 9 could end up giving goliaths like Samsung a run for its money, with its recently released Samsung Galaxy S21. The upcoming handset will no doubt boast the impeccable quality that's fostered a loyal community, and the price won't be quite as hair-raising as Samsung's smartphones' usual price tags, so it has the advantage.
We expect more tidbits to slip out over the coming weeks, so keep checking in as round up the latest OnePlus 9 news to keep up to speed with everything we know about it so far.
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OnePlus 9: release date
OnePlus usually debuts its flagship series in May every year, but the OnePlus 8 shook things up with an earlier April, 2020 launch.
The OnePlus 9 is set to move the schedule up even further, with a March release on the cards, according to one insider. That'll go some way to fill the gap between the Galaxy S21's launch and the possible debut of a third generation iPhone SE; Apple launched its budget smartphone last year in April, so if it follows the same pattern.
It's been speculated that the OnePlus 9 release date could be brought forwards to allow the device to spend more time on the market before it's inevitably followed by the OnePlus 9T series, but it may just be a reijg to accommodate the new N series within its annual release schedule.
OnePlus 9: price
We haven't heard anything on the grapevine about the price of the OnePlus 9 yet, but it won't reach the dizzying heights of Samsung and Apple devices.
Looking at the OnePlus 8 series, the base model starts at $699/ £599 (approx. AU$1,080) for the 8GB/182GB model, while the OnePlus 8 Pro starts at $899/ £799 (approx. AU$1,440).
Both models are 5G capable, and we expect the OnePlus 9 to follow suit, so prices should be in the same ballpark.
Twitter leaker Ishan Agarwal has already suggested we'll see three variants – that the OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro, will a more affordable OnePlus 9 'lite'. The third handset has recently made the news thanks to a reported name change which will see OnePlus pivot away from the 'lite' moniker, to the OnePlus 9R.
OnePlus 9: display and design
The OnePlus 9 design rumors have been of particular interest because after a leaked CAD render slipped out showing off a camera array that's closer to the OnePlus 8T than it is to the OnePlus 8, company co-founder Carl Pei took to Twitter, hinting that it isn't the final design.
The device is sporting a triple camera setup on the rear accompanied by an LED flash. The camera housing is positioned on the left-hand side of the back panel, rather than the centre, like the OnePlus 8.
The single front-facing holepunch camera is tucked away in the corner as usual, so nothing too drastic there. Shorty after the leak, Pei chimed in with a mysterious tweet, saying:
"No design is ever set in stone. Because if it were, it wouldn't be a very lightweight smartphone."
He may be alluding to other new features that aren't just aesthetic, with his reference to a "lightweight smartphone" so perhaps the OnePlus 9 will not only look different to the CAD renders, but could be switching up its materials for something lighter than the standard fare.
At the end of last year, a video purporting to show the OnePlus 9 in action broke cover, showing the front-facing camera positioned in the centre of the screen, rather than the corner. It also delved into the specs of the device, which you can peruse in the section below.
On the display front, the latest leak points to a 6.48-inch flat screen, that's ditching the curved edges of the OnePlus 8, and is smaller than its predecessor's 6.55-inch display. Staying true to form, the OnePlus 9 display will boast a 120Hz refresh rate.
The rear panel is said to be curved, making it a touch more ergonomic, and the series will feature just two variants; the OnePlus 9, and OnePlus 9 Pro.
Photos of the OnePlus 9 also surfaced, which were revealed by PhoneArena, and corroborated by leaker Max J. The leaked handset sports a 6.55-inch display, and a triple camera array on the rear. The front camera is once again tucked away in the corner.
When it comes to colorways, one tipster has reported that we can look forward to Arctic Sky, Astral Black, Winter Mist, Gloss Black, and Gloss Gradient Purple. And for fans of the sandstone finish first rolled out with the original OnePlus, it's possible that we might see a return of the material for the OnePlus 9 Pro.
OnePlus 9: specs and features
Qualcomm recently unveiled the Snapdragon 888 chipset, and the OnePlus 9 is predicted to house the processor. Things are looking even more positive for fans thanks to the leaked benchmark for the device, which posted a single-core score of 1,122 and a multi-core score of 2,733 – higher than the Galaxy S21.
A video that leaked last year claiming to show off the handset seemingly confirmed the Snapdragon 888 SoC, as well as a 2.84GHz ARM Cortex-X1 core processor alongside clusters of three Cortex-A78 (2.4GHz) and four Cortex-A55 cores (1.8GHz).
Just last month, the OnePlus 9's specs purportedly dropped, backing up the processor rumors, as well as a 120Hz display, and 4,500mAh battery.
When it comes to the camera, the latest tidbit suggests we'll see a quad-camera system, with 48MP + 48MP + 8MP + 5MP lenses. OnePlus is doubling down on the camera with the OnePlus 9; with the hardware not being that impressive to date, its new partnership with Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad should help up its game.
We're also expecting 65W fast-charging support, and for the handset to run Android 11 straight out of the box. While OnePlus recently confirmed that its budget OnePlus Nord N10 5G, and OnePlus Nord N100 will only receive one major Android update, bringing them both up to Android 11, we anticipate the usual two updates for the OnePlus 9.
OnePlus 9: other rumours and news
OnePlus has shaken up its 2021 release schedule, possibly to fit around its new line-up of devices, one of which may be a smartwatch.
The brand was first rumored to be working on a wearable back in 2016, but co-founder and former CEO Carl Pei teased a OnePlus smartwatch back in October, when he was still with the company.
The company has just launched the OnePlus Band; a fitness wearable that's affordable for most people, coming in at roughly $35 / £25 / AU$44, although it doesn't have a confirmed release date outside of India yet.
Along with its OnePlus Buds Z, OnePlus is diversifying more and more, and we can't wait to see what its 2021 line-up looks like.