Now that the OnePlus 8T is out in the world, the rumor mill is shifting its attention towards the next flagship device OnePlus has planned for us all – the OnePlus 9. In fact, there’s word that the release date might be earlier than usual.
We’re still quite early in the rumor cycle, because the OnePlus 8T is still quite a recent release. But we’re starting to hear more about what OnePlus has in store for us. We’ve also started our own wishlist of what we’d like to see included.
What we do know is that the OnePlus 9 is being developed under the codename 'Lemonade', should be better and faster than the OnePlus 8 and 8T, and may well arrive earlier than the OnePlus 8 last year.
Here's everything we've heard so far about the OnePlus 9 and what we would like to see from OnePlus for its early 2021 flagships.
OnePlus 9 news (Updated December 2)
- New OnePlus 9 Pro renders show off a phone with a design that could trump any Samsung flagship. And a less powerful OnePlus 9E could be on its way.
- A new leak has revealed the renders for the OnePlus 9 Pro, and they look pretty stunning.
- Early benchmarks for the OnePlus 9 have been leaked and they don't look promising. But it's early days for the phone, so don't give up hope just yet.
OnePlus 9 release date
OnePlus normally releases its numbered flagship phones in the mid-late Spring. Often that’s May, though last year we saw the OnePlus 8 arrive slightly earlier in mid-April. It’s easy to assume that we’d get the OnePlus 9 around the same time, but apparently this won’t be the case.
We could be seeing the OnePlus 9 in mid-March 2021, or so say industry sources speaking to Android Central. In other words, that means that not only would the OnePlus 9 be released several weeks earlier than usual, it could potentially be up against other flagships from Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, and all the others who like to launch phones around that time.
Why? It’s speculated that this would give the OnePlus 9 more time to sell before the launch of the OnePlus 9T. OnePlus has also been pushing into the mid-range market with the OnePlus Nord series, and it’s possible it just wants to make sure its phone launches are more evenly spread throughout the year. Only time will tell, however.
OnePlus 9 price
There’s no word on how much the OnePlus 9 might cost, but knowing OnePlus it's going to be fairly affordable. Prices for the OnePlus 8 started at $699, though the starting price for the OnePlus 8T rose to $749. Obviously, higher storage options cost more.
The OnePlus 8 Pro had a starting price of $899 for 128GB and $999 for 256GB. OnePlus isn’t one to raise its prices for no reason, but we should expect the OnePlus 9 to cost at least $749 for the lower storage option.
OnePlus 9 design
We've seen a couple of sets of renders for the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro. The first set of renders comes courtesy of 91mobiles. It got a hold of CAD renders of the upcoming OnePlus 9. And it appears to include a flat display, corner camera bump and hole-punch selfie camera in the top left-hand corner of the screen.
The OnePlus 9 Pro renders were revealed by OnLeaks, and it too has a hole-punch camera in the top left-hand corner, but it appears to sport a curved display. The OnePlus 9 Pro will copy the 8T by moving the camera module to the top left of the back.
Steve Hemmerstoffer (OnLeaks) says that the current prototype “includes up to four camera lenses” and adds that two of them are enclosed in “huge mental rings which protrude slightly from the main camera bump.”
The OnePlus 9 Pro is a 6.7-inch device with a glass back, with speakers on the bottom edge. The Alert Slider and power button are on the right side, with a volume rocker on the left.
OnePlus 9 cameras
Because of this early stage in the rumor cycle, we’re still not sure what sort of camera system to expect on the OnePlus 9. However, it seems likely that it will follow the example set by the OnePlus 8 and 8T by including four rear cameras and at least one holepunch selfie camera in the front.
The 8T came with a 48MP camera, and there have been rumors that OnePlus would launch a phone with a boosted 64MP main lens instead. It was suggested that it could have launched with the 8T, though that never came to pass, or the upcoming Nord N10 5G. In any case, if there’s a 64MP sensor lying around at OnePlus, it may well end up in the OnePlus 9 or 9 Pro.
We can also expect an ultra wide lens on the back, as well as two more auxiliary lenses. What those lenses might be is another story, though. Most companies would include a telephoto lens at the very least, though OnePlus has forgone that obvious choice in favor of more eccentric examples – like a macro lens, the 8T’s monochrome camera, or the 8 Pro’s problematic ‘color filter’ lens.
The OnePlus 8 Pro included a 3x telephoto lens, and we'd like to see an optical zoom on the OnePlus 9 as well.
OnePlus 9: Processor and performance
Leaks haven’t revealed what sort of processor we’ll get with the OnePlus 9, but historically OnePlus has opted for the latest and best Snapdragon processor, with the 865 in the OnePlus 8. So expect the OnePlus 9 to come with the Snapdragon 875, which itself is rumored to be launching at the start of December.
It's also likely that OnePlus will release a model with 6GB of RAM in some regions, though the "primary" phone will include 8GB. A 12GB option is also possible, though it's more likely to occur in the OnePlus 9 Pro, should it be on the way as well
OnePlus 9: What we want to see
Competitive pricing: The price of a OnePlus flagship may have creeped up over the years. Even with upgraded hardware and extra features coming along, OnePlus’s strength is making sure its devices are not overpriced. If there has to be a price increase, at least make sure it’s a small one.
Better cameras: The OnePlus 8T was not a bad phone, but it was let down by the camera – which has been a recurring problem on OnePlus devices for years. We want to be able to snap more true-to-life pictures, so we'd like to see a camera system that performs closer to the iPhone 12 and Pixel 5.
Wireless charging: OnePlus had been stubbornly refusing to include wireless charging on its phones for years, using the excuse that the technology still wasn’t ready to meet the standard it holds itself to. Then the company relented and included very fast 30W wireless charging on the OnePlus 8 Pro.
But wireless charging was nowhere to be found on the OnePlus 8T, and there was no Pro model to pick up the slack. So the OnePlus 9 is our next best hope, and it would be great if OnePlus would cut the excuses and start offering what is now a standard feature on all its future phones.
Longer battery life: The OnePlus 8T lasted 9 hours and 40 minutes in our testing, which isn’t terrible but not great. The phones on our best phone battery life list last 11 hours or more on a charge. The screen’s high refresh rate does affect battery life, but there has to be more OnePlus can do to keep their phones going for longer.