OnePlus 9 Pro leak reveals just revealed design, RAM and carriers

OnePlus 9 Pro renders
(Image credit: Lets Go Digital/Concept Creator)

New leaks for the OnePlus 9 have revealed some details about the phone's RAM and display design.

These changes look like they're going to be welcome refinements to the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. More specifically, it looks like OnePlus may be positioning its new phone to be less of a spec monster and more of a great hardware package at an awesome price.

OnePlus 9: 12GB of RAM

According to a tweet from leaker Max Weinbach, the OnePlus 9 Pro will offer 12GB RAM. That's the same amount of RAM that the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro offered in their higher specced versions.

It's not the most RAM we've seen in a phone this year, since you can find 16GB RAM in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. That's probably still enough memory for the 9 Pro to blitz through everyday tasks and score highly on benchmark tests.

Snapdragon 888 or 870?

What will truly inform the OnePlus 9's performance potential is the chipset. It was assumed OnePlus would go for the latest Snapdragon 888 chip from long-standing partner Qualcomm. But there's also the Snapdragon 870, a less powerful but cheaper flagship-grade chip. There's a chance OnePlus will go for the 870 in order to save money on silicon and undercut rivals on the price of its handset, even if it does mean a little less computing grunt.

Weinbach doesn't mention the basic OnePlus 9 in his tweet. This might just be because he didn't get specific details from his source. However, it could be interpreted as a sign that OnePlus will not offer 12GB on the base model.

We can look to OnePlus' rivals for why it might do this. Samsung and Apple, with the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 respectively, are offering cheaper ways to buy into their flagship phone series. The catch is you lose out on some of the latest features, but most users won't miss them. Perhaps it's this example we'll see the standard OnePlus 9 follow, too.

OnePlus 9 carrier: T-Mobile to carry both phones

For U.S. users, Weinbach says there will be a T-Mobile version of both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. That's notable since it's different from last year; T-Mobile only offers the OnePlus 8, not the Pro.

OnePlus 9 display: Less curve for the Pro

The display will also be changing slightly. In the comments of Weinbach's tweet, we also see a message from leaker Max Jambor, who claims that the OnePlus 9 will have a flat screen, while the 9 Pro will have a curved one, but "less curved than the 8 Pro." 

Curved displays are attractive to look at, but can prove irritating for certain users who find the rounded edges are prone to accidental touches. It looks like OnePlus is trying to find a compromise with its Pro model this year.

OnePlus 9 release date

We expect to see the OnePlus 9 appear around late spring or early summer, based on previous launch dates for OnePlus phones. There is a rumor that the OnePlus 9 series could appear as early as next month however, in order to give a greater gap between the OnePlus 9 and the inevitable OnePlus 9T that will appear in the fall of this year.

We at Tom's Guide really liked the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, even if the OnePlus 8T was a little disappointing. 

With a few upgrades, such as the ones the leak mentions, it's likely the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro will be a shoo-in for our best Android phones list, if not our overall ranking of the best phones. Although it could use some better cameras in order to really shine.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.