The OnePlus 7 was introduced by OnePlus in the summer of 2019 as a less expensive alternative to the more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro. It was essentially a redesigned OnePlus 6T with a few minor adjustments and started at a lower price of Rs 33,000. The OnePlus 7 sold like hotcakes because the formula worked for Indians. The OnePlus 9R, which starts at Rs 39,999 and is essentially a OnePlus 8T with minor cosmetic upgrades and a “new” chip, will follow in 2021. It is significantly cheaper than the standard OnePlus 9, and it makes a lot of sense (at least on paper) for the majority of smartphone buyers in the sub-Rs. 50,000 price range. It has an all-day battery, is extremely powerful, and is ready for the future with 5G. If that worries you, it’s even made of metal and glass.
Does all of that make it a good idea to buy an expensive Android phone? After using the OnePlus 9R for ten days, I received my responses, and here are my thoughts.
With its smartphone designs, OnePlus plays it safe, giving in to the annual design trends while attempting to appeal to the masses. With its “safe approach” to design, the OnePlus 9R is no exception. It’s the same piece of glass with a basic design on the back and a huge display on the front. The four cameras are displayed on the rectangular camera hump. OnePlus has stuck to listing the main camera’s sensor details rather than any Hasselblad logo.
The OnePlus 9R appears classy in either blue or black. However, there are times when the elegance becomes almost pointless, and I wish OnePlus produced a variant with an insane design because, after all, it is intended to appeal to mobile gamers (see the advertisements). Perhaps a OnePlus 9R with a fancy gradient, matte finish, or RGB lighting is a good idea, right? Please consider this as some food for thought, OnePlus designers.
Although the 9R’s build quality is excellent for a smartphone priced under Rs. 50,000, the design is not particularly appealing for a phone geared toward gaming. All of the buttons feel like they were made to last forever and are tactile. The in-display fingerprint sensor is convenient, and the Alert Slider is useful on the go. Keep in mind that the phone comes pre-loaded with a TPU case and a screen guard from OnePlus. In addition, the box contains a cable and adapter for charging the phone (in 2021, this will be a bonus for an expensive phone).
For a smartphone priced under Rs. 50,000, the OnePlus 9R’s display meets all requirements. technology for AMOLED? Check. High rate of refresh? Verify that it is all 120 Hz. Scanner built into the display? It is present, yes. This display has everything you need to make a big deal out of your friends.
It also does well in the real world. It is large enough, at 6.5 inches, to enjoy watching The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, as well as a few Call of Duty Deathmatch matches in succession: Mobile. The display responds quickly and has smoother visuals as a result of the high refresh rate and touch sampling rate. There is the traditional “AMOLED punchiness,” which refers to higher contrasts and vivid colors. The viewing angles are wide and the legibility in sunlight is good.
The fingerprint sensor built into the display is quick and dependable. This optical sensor actually performs verification faster than the Galaxy S21 Plus’ ultrasonic sensor. However, it dislikes fingers that are wet. When compared to the uninterrupted displays on the 2019 OnePlus 7 Pro, the camera cutout is undesirable. However, compared to the centrally mounted cutouts on Samsung and Xiaomi phones, the cornered positioning does not cause nearly as much disruption.
Over the years, OnePlus has become synonymous with straightforward performance. Its smartphones consistently rank among the fastest Android devices, if not the fastest. This year, the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are responsible for maintaining the “fast and smooth” label thanks to their Snapdragon 888 chips. The “technically inferior” Snapdragon 870 found in the OnePlus 9R performs admirably in the real world.
Despite using a less powerful chip, the OnePlus 9R’s performance is difficult to distinguish from that of its Snapdragon 888-flaunting siblings. Due to the well-optimized OxygenOS 11 experience, this phone probably does not know what lags or stutters are. Even though I’m exaggerating, I never felt like I was missing out on anything compared to my coworkers who were using the OnePlus 9 or OnePlus 9 Pro while I was using the OnePlus 9R.
The OnePlus 9R is well-suited for typical smartphone tasks. When using the phone to browse social media, text a friend, or watch a video on YouTube, there are no lags or lengthy pauses. Applications launch and function as anticipated. OxygenOS 11’s intuitive animations and user-friendly layout make it simple to use. For common smartphone tasks, the OnePlus 9R has enough power.
Nothing changes when I play mobile games on the 9R. The Snapdragon 870 chip delivers on gaming expectations. I pushed the 9R for hours at a time in games that required a lot of resources, like Call of Duty: Mobile and Genshin Impact with the graphics turned up to their highest setting; The phone met expectations in terms of frame rates and graphics quality. Two examples of games that run smoothly are Candy Crush and Shadow Fight 3.
Similar to the Vivo X60 Pro, I observed the phone heating up after 30 minutes of gaming. The metal frame does get warm, but it never feels bad. The Pro Gaming mode of OxygenOS 11 is a delight because it uses minimal notification UI to maintain uninterrupted gaming. You can also block incoming calls and lock the brightness levels of the display for mobile gamers.
OxygenOS 11 on the OnePlus 9R is more stable than on other OnePlus phones I’ve used. The minimalist approach to the smartphone experience is tasteful, despite the fact that there are sufficient customization options to keep users interested. Compared to Samsung phones, the new AOD options are more useful and less draining on the battery. It does not have any system ads like Samsung’s OneUI does, but you might occasionally see reminders to try OnePlus’ Cloud services.
There is a lot of haptic feedback on the OnePlus 9R. The user interface and a number of third-party apps have elegant vibrations that make it easier for users to become immersed and enhance the overall experience. As Honor did with the Honor Play in 2018, OnePlus could have done a better job of incorporating its excellent haptics into games.
The audio from the stereo speakers is good. At higher volumes, there is no discernible distortion, and the volume levels can reach high levels. Qualcomm’s support for the most recent audio codecs ensures that wireless audio streaming is of high quality despite the absence of a headphone jack.
The OnePlus 9R supports 5G connectivity, which is not yet available to Indians; however, the phone performs admirably in 4G networks. In areas where the iPhone SE struggled, the 9R, like previous OnePlus devices, was able to connect to a data network and provide fast internet. The quality of the calls is excellent regardless of whether the phone is connected to VoWiFi or VoLTE. Please be aware that the OnePlus 9R was connected to my Jio account.
The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro’s Hasselblad logos raise photography performance expectations. We saw what the OnePlus 9 Pro’s Hasselblad-tuned cameras can do in our review. The Hasselblad accessories are missing from the OnePlus 9R. Is it bad that the OnePlus 9R’s camera specifications are identical to those of the OnePlus 8T? Necessarily not. The OnePlus 9R’s cameras are absolutely excellent, and for most casual photography needs, they are sufficient. The main 48-megapixel camera uses a Sony IMX586 sensor that has been around for two years. Even with a lens aperture of f/1.7, the photos show how old the sensor is. The photos have a soft appearance and fail to capture the fine details that a Vivo X60 Pro camera can. The photos are frequently underexposed, particularly in scenes with clouds, and the color science is cooler (bluish tones).
Positively, most of the time, the main camera gets the colors right. For instance, the OnePlus 9R’s red packaging box appears red on the camera (the Vivo X60 Pro directs it toward the subject, whereas my iPhone SE gives it an odd yellow tint). The OnePlus’ style of photo editing, with its brighter colors and higher contrast, was preferred by the majority of my friends and family. The 9R’s excellent cameras show that OnePlus knows what makes people want to buy it.
When compared to other phones’ night modes, the Nightscape mode is quicker and more useful in situations with streetlights. During the day, the portrait mode employs muted color tones while successfully separating the subjects.
The 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera has a fascinatingly wide field of view, but it should only be used in daylight. The color profile is closer to that of the main cameras, and there is no discernible distortion at the edges. However, there is a lack of detail, and the ultra-wide photos frequently acquire the “watercolour painting” effect in difficult lighting conditions.
This phone’s 5-megapixel macro camera makes up for its absence. Although the color profile is slightly brighter than that of the main camera, it produces sharp macro shots with a lot of detail. Some examples of photos are provided below.
The OnePlus 9R’s video recording performance is stable even at 4K 60 fps due to the presence of OIS and EIS. The video has a color profile that is comparable to that of the main camera’s still image output and has good quality. Contrary to what you see on an iPhone, the majority of the footage employs increased contrast and color saturation. However, the final product looks good. The OnePlus 9R is a good choice for vloggers looking for a smartphone with a good video camera. It has a front camera with 16 megapixels, which lets you take good-looking selfies with lots of details and vivid colors. In fact, it outperformed the primary rear camera in terms of color accuracy. The artificial blurring needs to be improved, but the portrait mode separation is satisfactory.
The OnePlus 9R’s cameras perform well overall. The OnePlus 9R’s cameras are fine for everyday use as long as your mobile photography needs aren’t particularly demanding. The Vivo X60 Pro and the Google Pixel 4a are worthy options for photographers.
The OxygenOS 11 experience and the 4500mAh battery help the OnePlus 9R get through a busy workday. During my time with the OnePlus 9R, I used it with two SIM cards and put it through a variety of use cases, including texting, browsing social media, attending video calls, making regular calls, casual photography, gaming for an average of 30 minutes, and wirelessly streaming music. The OnePlus 9R had 30 percent remaining at the end of the day, even on the worst days.
In the WFH scenario, the 65W wired charging solution is a luxury. I was able to get a full charge from less than 5% of the battery in about 40 minutes. A quick 10-minute boost gives you 25-30% more stamina. I don’t think the OnePlus 9R’s intended audience will be bothered by the absence of wireless charging.
The OnePlus 9R is an interesting attempt to keep the “flagship killer territory” alive in a market where Android flagships are getting closer and closer to the price of the iPhone 12. The OnePlus 9R provides a lot of performance for customers who care about it. In real life, the Snapdragon 870 chip is just as powerful as the Snapdragon 888, and OnePlus has tuned it to produce as much performance as possible. You should give the OnePlus 9R a shot if you’re a mobile gamer, multitasker, or vlogger. The 120Hz AMOLED display is fun, and the all-day battery with lightning-fast charging is great for general users who want to upgrade to a premium phone. The elegant yet understated design should appeal to many people, and the cameras are good enough. Additionally, OxygenOS 11 gives the impression of an expensive phone.
Although the OnePlus 9R is not, without a doubt, the best phone that the company makes, it offers the same high-end smartphone experience at a more affordable price. In conclusion, it is the most sensible and expensive phone that OnePlus is currently selling.