OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro: What’s different

OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 9
(Image credit: OnePlus 9 Pro vs OnePlus 9)

OnePlus has finally taken the covers off the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, bringing in a pair of Android phones that come with powerful specs and improved cameras made in partnership with Hasselblad. 

If you've decided you want a new OnePlus phone over the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S21 or Oppo Find X3 Pro, then you're not faced with a choice between the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro. 

We're going to break down the different major parts of these new phones and see what differences we can figure out. With these features laid out before you, we hope we can help you figure out which of these two phones is the one to pick.

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OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro specs
Header Cell - Column 0 OnePlus 9OnePlus 9 Pro
Expected starting price $729$969
Display6.5-inch, FHD (2400 x 1080) 6.7-inch, QHD (3168 x 1440)
Refresh rate120Hz 1Hz - 120Hz
Rear cameras 48MP main, 50MP ultrawide, 2MP monochrome 48MP main, 50MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto, 2MP monochrome
Front camera 16MP 16MP
ChipsetSnapdragon 888 Snapdragon 888
Storage 128GB/256GB128GB/256GB
Battery 4,500 mAh 4,500 mAh
Charging65W wired, 15W wireless65W wired, 50W wireless

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro price

The OnePlus 9 starts at $729, which is more expensive than the $699 OnePlus 8 but a little less than the $749 OnePlus 8T

The OnePlus 9 Pro starts at $969, which is a lot more expensive than the OnePlus Pro as it started at $799. But you're getting a lot more phone this time around. 

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro display

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro display

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Both OnePlus 9 phones come with a 120Hz refresh rate on their AMOLED displays. But the OnePus 9 Pro's 6.7-inch is not only a little larger than the 9's 6.65-inch display, but it also comes with an LTPO panel

That means its refresh rate can scale from 120Hz down to a mere 1Hz when a high refresh rate isn't needed. This can help save battery life. In practice, the 9 Pro lasts 11 minutes less than the 9 in our tests, but that's probably because it uses a QHD+ resolution panel, while the standard phone makes do with a FHD+ resolution. 

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro cameras

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

While both the OnePlus 9 and onePlus 9 Pro have the same 16MP front-facing camera with an f/2.4 aperture, the major changes can be found on the rear camera array. 

Developed in conjunction with camera specialist Hasselblad, the OnePlus 9 features a 48MP main camera with the Sony IMX689 sensors, a 50MP ultra-wide camera with Sony's IMX766 sensors, and a 2MP monochrome camera. 

Comparatively, the quad rear camera array of the OnePlus 9 Pro comprises a 48MP main camera with the higher-end Sony IMX789 with optical image stabilization, the same 50MP ultra-wide camera and 2MP mono camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera. That gives the 9 Pro a zooming advantage over its standard sibling, as well as a better main camera sensor. 

In practice, both phones aren't going to dissa[point in photography performance. The OnePlus 9 is a marked improvement on its predecessor, offering better image processing and photo results. But the OnePlus 9 Pro with its extra camera and the improved main camera delivers phone photography that's now up there with some of the best Android phones, going by our testing, and that makes it a phone worth considering if you're after impressive photos. 

Both phones can shoot video up to 8K at 30 frames per second, as well as s[protng slow-motion video capture. 

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro specs performance

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Both phones come with the Snapdragon 888 chipset and either 8GB or 12GB of LDDR5 RAM. Unsurprisingly, both phones put in a similar performance in our tests. 

In Geekbench 5, the OnePlus 9 manages a multi-core score of 3,618, while the 9 Pro delivered 3,685. 

In 3DMark's Wild Life Unlimited test, the OnePlus 9 turned in a result of 5,726, or 34.4 frames per second. And the OnePlus 9 Pro managed 34.5 frames per second with a score of 5,755.

There's very little difference here, so you're not really going to see a big performance advantage from the 9 Pro over the standard 9. Furthermore, both phones have 128GB or 256GB storage options. 

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro battery and charging

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Both OnePlus 9 handsets come with a 4,500 mAh battery pack. In our testing where a phone is left to endlessly reload webpages repeatedly on a 5G connection, the OnePlus 9 Pro managed to keep alive for 10 hours and 40 minutes at 120Hz. 

The OnePlus 9 managed to last a little longer giving up the ghost at 10 hours and 51 minutes. Neither phone lasts long enough to make it onto our best phone battery life list. 

Both phones have 65W Warp Charge wired charging. But the OnePlus 9 Pro has access to 50W wireless charging via Warp Charge 50, whereas the OnePus 9 has to make do with 15W Qi wireless charging. 

However, both phones last a good bit of time for the specs and displays they offer and charge pretty fast, so there's no loser here. 

OnePlus 9 vs. OnePlus 9 Pro Outlook

Given the upgrades across the board for both OnePlus 9 phones, you can't really go wrong with either. They are a little more expensive than their predecessors, but the OnePlus 9 Pro especially offers a lot more than the 8 Pro. 

And if you want the very best OnePlus has to offer then the OnePlus 9 Pro is the one to go for, with its more expensive camera array and LTPO display. The OnePlus 9 is impressive but it's dangerously close to stellar handsets like the Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12. 

Whichever model you go for, you're likely to have one of the best Android phones that'll last you a good while before you need to consider upgrading. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.