OnePlus 9RT Review – The OxygenOS Flagship Smartphone with ColorOS Sprinkled
OnePlus has been launching new smartphones, and with the new software changes, it looks like the new devices aren’t going to impress everyone. These new devices come with a small hardware upgrade and the same software integrations, announced back to back, while the model naming series does confuse us. It’s not everything bad, but we would like to start with a disclaimer that it’s not a flagship killer that you should look forward to, but at the same time, a device that’s powerful in performance and comes with minor design improvements.
Let’s take a look at the OnePlus 9RT that has been launched in India recently at Rs 42,999 onwards for the 8GB RAM and 128GB Storage, though most of you might opt for the higher specced model, which is the Rs 46,999 priced 12GB RAM and 256GB Storage model. We have been testing the latter model that we received for review from the brand. (Amazon Link for Latest Price)
The new smartphone is available in two colour options, i.e. the Stealthy Hacker Black and the Flashy Nano Silver. As much as the model naming is confusing, the colour naming is even more confusing, though at the end of the day, you get Black & Silver colour options.
Unboxing & Package Contents
The package comes with many contents as shown in the followed picture & the list. OnePlus makes sure that you get everything from the Phone Case to the Fast Charger within the package itself, though it would be great if they even bundled a Screen Protector within the box.
- OnePlus 9RT 5G
- Warp Charge 65 Power Adapter
- Warp Charge Type-A to Type-C Cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Welcome Letter
- Safety Information and Warranty Card
- LOGO Sticker
- Transparent Phone Case
- Screen Protector (Open Market only)
- SIM Tray Ejector
Design & Build
The first and most important aspect of the Smartphone that we anticipate is its design.The colour variant that we are testing is the Hacker Black, which looks quite interesting, though it is super black, and the smooth finish yet sandstone-like finish makes it look different when compared to the other smartphones. The texture effect is something you could experience when you look at it from an angle, and honestly, it’s only visible when you hold the phone in your hand.
Since I have shifted to this phone from the OnePlus 9 Pro, in terms of the overall design, I don’t see much of a difference. Considering that the camera placement is almost the same, we might miss the Hasselblad branding, but overall, when the phones are kept next to each other, you might not see much of a difference. The overall holding feel is quite good and it is comfortable to hold, especially with the softback panel.
Overall, if you plan to use this phone without a case, then it’s definitely a device worth flaunting for the beautiful back, while its slim form factor would give you a good experience while holding it.
OnePlus brings you a 6.62″ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the resolution being a full-HD+ gives you a good experience. The same display has been seen on their other recently launched devices. When we compared it with the OnePlus 9 Pro, especially under the sun, we could notice the 9 Pro was brighter and that’s because of the LTPO-type panel used on it, while the phone does come with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Protection.
The phone comes with a few display-specific features like Hyper Touch 2.0, Reading Mode, and the Night Mode, while the Dark Mode is something that I prefer & have set up on the phone by default. The Smart Ambient Brightness & Eye Comfort is something that’s recommended to be enabled for a better experience if you use the phone for a longer duration of time on a day-to-day basis.
Performance & Hardware
The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 888 processor, which is considered one of the fastest, most optimised and best chipsets seen in a few flagship smartphones. The phone also supports the X60 5G chipset that comes bundled with the Adreno 660 GPU, making sure that even when gaming you get the best experience.
In terms of the physical build and the hardware, the phone comes with a super fast fingerprint scanner, that’s bundled with a series of animation effects that can be customised based on your preferences. The 9RT comes with a 4500 mAh battery that easily lasts over a day. That, bundled with the super fast Warp Charger of 65W, would make sure that you do not see any delays in charging nor any battery drains. That said, OnePlus claims that the phone charges from zero to 100% within 30 minutes, which is something we do expect from a flagship smartphone model.
In regards to gaming, the experience is quite good considering that the phone is powered by a powerful chipset, comes with a good amount of RAM, and can also handle the heat very well, making sure that even when playing the games for a longer duration, you wouldn’t notice any bad experience.
There is one important setting that you need to enable to ensure you get the higher performance mode, and this is hidden under the Advanced Battery Settings. Once enabled, this would offer you a higher performance mode, though that would cost you more battery consumption and also might heat up your phone. It is generally suggested to enable this only when you are gaming, editing videos, or running apps that need higher performance.
The 9RT comes with Android 11 out of the box, and there’s an OTA available for installation out of the box itself. We were surprised to see that Android 12 was not available, though it might be available very soon considering that OnePlus makes sure you generally see two major Android version updates. The phone comes with Oxygen OS V11.3, which is something that made us feel happy considering that they are going to switch to the Color OS very soon. It’s good to see this model still retaining the software experience for which the brand is known to date.
That said, this isn’t pure Oxygen OS because we see a few applications that are imported from the OPPO’s Color OS, including the Camera Application and the Settings area. There isn’t much of a difference when you look at the settings area, apart from a few sections that just look like they have moved places, but effectively you find everything. Honestly speaking, when you place both the phones next to each other, you would definitely prefer the Oxygen OS-based settings page considering that it’s clear to go through the options, but then it depends from person to person and that’s our preference.
The 9RT comes with a camera setup that’s better than its predecessors. You will find a 50MP Sony IMX 766 sensor that, bundled with Optical Image Stabilization and Electronic Image Stabilization, makes sure you get a great experience. The phone comes with multiple cameras, including the 16MP Ultra-Wide Camera, which is the Sony IMX481 sensor, along with a 2MP Macro lens, which, honestly, is something brands can start skipping.
Most smartphones these days come with 2MP camera sensors that don’t make much sense apart from the visual appeal when you look at the camera placements and also the perception of a triple or quad camera setup. I hope by 2023 we will see fewer sensors but better optimised sensors.
Moving on, the phone comes with the Color OS based Camera Application that offers you 0.6X to 10X photo mode, while the same setup for videos, though the video recording is limited to 4K 60fps, which is quite practical because the 8K recording we had seen in a few flagships was not worth it and clearly was a gimmick.
Based on the camera samples added above, you can find that the phone does capture some amazing photos and the AI scene enhancement options in the camera app allow you to easily capture better photos depending on the situation you are in. One interesting mode that you should definitely take a look at is the Dual-View Video Mode, where you get the option to record from both cameras at the same time. If you are traveling or a vlogger, this is a feature that’s a time saver for sure. The AI retouching feature is something that’s quite interesting, especially for videos, but then it blows up the whole scene just to make sure the face is brightened up. It feels like the social media app filters do a better job when compared, as those look better and more natural, while this one looks like a white washed video.
If you are planning to buy a new smartphone and are looking forward to something that’s decent from every angle, then this is a phone you can consider because of a good battery life, camera setup, and super fast charger. You shouldn’t expect anything new in terms of the design, but then again, considering that most people use a case, it wouldn’t matter much.
Though there are very limited options at this price point, this phone is something that you could consider, priced a little higher, but if you get it under some credit card offers, then it’s worth trying out. Overall, the best OnePlus phone you can buy right now in India though the 10 series device might launch in a few months.