I had my first date with OnePlus totally in the dark, buying a OnePlus One in pre-order (and with an invitation system, very difficult to find). It was 2014 and I bought my first one OnePlus, now it's been about 7 years and the company has churned out a lot of smartphones.
Perhaps OnePlus no longer has the appeal it once did (the first OnePlus, with hardware at the top of the range, cost only € 269), but one thing is certain: I still like these devices, especially by design. Today is the turn of OnePlus 9RT 5G, a top-of-the-range smartphone with a competitive price and which, unfortunately, does not officially arrive in Europe.
OnePlus 9RT 5G review
Design and Materials
OnePlus 9RT represents a further piece that is added to the great work done by OnePlus in recent years; Sure, these claims might sound fanboy, but you have to be honest. This OnePlus 9RT looks a lot like the 9, the aesthetic appearance is almost identical and it is clear that OnePlus tries to give continuity to the devices it makes.
His weight and of poco less than 200 grams, and its dimensions equal to 162.2 x 74.6 x 8.3 mm allow us to easily grip it with one hand; it must be said, however, that if the back cover is the part that I found most attractive, it makes it not poco slippery smartphone that, in my opinion, you will do well to use with the cover included in the package.
Il side frame it is made of aluminum and the shades that join the back cover, which I would define almost “enamelled”, create a combination of an elegance that, to be honest, few are able to show off. Among other things, the rear part partly thanks to a good oleophobic treatment and partly thanks to a “smart” painting does not retain practically any kind of fingerprints, even if you want to.
Under the OnePlus has inserted a biometric reader to unlock the device; it works well, it is accurate and I much preferred it to the face unlock, which is also present.
La key supply and doors, on the other hand, is practically identical to all the other models of the 9 series with which this RT almost entirely shares the design: on the left side there is the volume rocker, on the right side the power button and the scroll button for the silent one, while below there is the sim slot (which supports two!), the USB-C input and the speaker.
Il it's a AMOLED Samsung E4 6.62 ″ with resolution FullHD + 1080 × 2400 pixels, with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, 397ppi, a sampling rate of touch up to 300Hz and the support for HDR10 +. The screen supports the sRGB color profile and has 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut; the edges, moreover, are very thin even if on the lower part perhaps OnePlus could have done better.
That said, the quality the panel here is tall, but I didn't really fall in love with it; ok, the color range is good, the calibration is not far behind, the brightness could have been a bit better, the fact is that compared to the OnePlus 9R here the company has taken a step back.
Yes, because here the panel is not a Fluid AMOLED and the colors are a little less bright: mind you, unless you have tried more than a few smartphones for real, you will not be able to see the differences, even if you try hard. However in the settings there are the usual options for adjusting the colors between three predefined presets (Vivid, Natural and Pro Mode) and the adjustment of the fluidity of the screen, which cannot be dynamic, in fact, but only at a choice between 60 and 120Hz.
Hardware and Perfomance
The technical equipment, knowing the price, is what you do not expect: OnePlus 9 RT has a processor under the body Snapdragon 888 Octa Core (1 × 2.84 GHz Kryo 680 + 3 × 2.42 GHz Kryo 680 + 4 × 1.80 GHz Kryo 680), 8 or 12GB of RAM memory LPDDR5, 128 / 256GB of internal storage UFS 3.1 type and an Adreno 660 GPU.
Through software, then, it is possible to extend the (virtual) RAM memory by another 5GB; all this to tell you that the performance is top notch and, in my opinion, with the OXYGEN they could have been a tad superior, since ColorOS is present here. Leaving out this point that we will deepen in poco, the new OnePlus 9RT on the dissipation profile it has made progress compared to the predecessor OnePlus 9; the dissipation area is larger than 59% and is composed of 5 different materials including graphite, carbon copper and silica gel, so as to optimize cooling speeds even more.
It goes without saying how much they are high benchmark scores, probably among the highest in the Android landscape. Aspect to keep in mind is the high performance option: in the benchmarks performed I used the standard profile with which OnePlus guarantees reliability and performance out of the box, but the results can still be improved by activating the High Performance mode in the settings which then increases by a 20% the evaluations in the benchmarks (exemplary is GeekBench that in normal mode, single-core score gets 878 points, while in High Performance it gets 1123) at least in Single-Core.
As regards the Gaming, on the other hand, the most recent titles do not put in any difficulty OnePlus 9 RT which wriggles easily in all scenarios; Call of Duty, Fortnite and others all run at maximum details, with a constant framerate around 60fps and with a rather light load on the hardware, which we can monitor through the Game Space, which is activated with a simple swipe from the left and makes us customize some functions, as well as keep an eye on the parameters of the smartphone.
In addition, thanks to the very high sampling rate of the touch, which in gaming can reach 600Hz, playing on the OnePlus 9RT is truly a pleasure.
Il photographic sensor OnePlus 9RT's main one is the Sony IMX766 50MP f / 1.8 with optical image stabilization and PDAF focus, that wide angle is 16MP f / 2.2 with a viewing angle of up to 123 ° and, finally, the camera closes the circle 2MP f / 2.4 macro, which is perhaps the only sore point in all this high profile photographic sector.
By now you know, if you've been following us for a while, that I use a iPhone 13 Pro Max (and in recent months a 12 Pro Max), so at a photographic level I am quite demanding (even if more than someone will say that iPhone is not the best solution ... I know!), especially in the point and shoot.
Well, this OnePlus 9RT has questioned a bit of my beliefs, because the shots I took in these test days forced me to take out my iPhone and make a comparison, especially because at the price level there is an abyss between these two smartphone.
I start with the main camera, which both in very bright environments and in others poco illuminated, always manages to give excellent results. L'HDR it activates easily and I don't mind that, even if sometimes its presence is too aggressive and I was forced to repeat the shot, and deactivate it manually.
La night mode is the thing that struck me most: in a few seconds OnePlus elaborates the shot that really has all the credentials to play a game with much more expensive top of the range.
Also the camera wide angle achieves, on the whole, more than good shots; in this case I preferred it more during the day where the photo they are well defined and rich in detail, while the quality drops a bit in low light. Furthermore, the wide-angle camera tends to have some more difficulties with the management of the lights at night (especially the warm ones), so at times it could be a little "messy", in some ways.
La 16MP f / 2.4 selfie camera without infamy and without praise he takes home a grade that exceeds the pass mark; good shots taken outdoors with a lot of light, a little less when you are closed in spaces with artificial lights or at night, where the noise and definition drop very quickly.
La Macro camera it is the only one in line with many other devices on the market, it does not particularly excel and requires at least 4cm for an acceptable focus. The quality of the photos taken is not very high, and as already mentioned in other reviews, I consider the inclusion of this camera a bit of a crazy pursuit of the trend by all manufacturers, without actually having clear ideas about it.
Finally, the videos are also recorded in 4K to 60FPS which is a slightly more limited mode, in the sense that you will not be able to switch between the various cameras during recording, which you can do if you record, instead, in 4K 30fps or in FullHD.
Here, if there is one aspect that just does not go down to me, this is it color OS. Ok, it's packed with features, aesthetically very nice and so on, but this makes it, in fact, not a device suitable for everyone, at least on this "imported" 9RT.
We assume that the smartphone, at the moment, does not officially arrive in Europe, but only in China and India, so the software installed on board is not localized in Italian, it is a bit (too) full of Chinese bloatware (fortunately uninstallable with a single tap), but above all it does not have Google services (at least officially, because in reality they are disabled and it is enough "only" to install the APK of the Play Store to make them work perfectly).
Having clarified this aspect, the Color OS 12 here it is still based on Android 11, it shares many similarities with the HydrogenOS (ie the Chinese equivalent of the OxygenOS) such as the launcher, the icons and some system logics.
The smartphone is perfectly usable, even if the optimization of the “Stable” OxygenOS would have made this OnePlus 9RT “complete” 100% without ifs and buts. It must be said that starting from 2022 with the new OnePlus series the two operating systems will "merge" leaving space only for ColorOS, which will certainly make big improvements, especially in view of the global launch on all OnePlus smartphones.
La battery of the OnePlus 9RT is a unit from 4500 mAh, on the whole it can be defined sufficient in daily use but insufficient if you use the smartphone in high performance mode, where energy consumption is much higher.
In any case, we are faced with one Snapdragon 888 that undoubtedly needs energy; however a day of use is covered without problems, undoubtedly.
The part that interests you most, I am sure, are the recharge times; well OnePlus on this model has made compatible the Fast Charge at 65W which allows you to recharge your smartphone from 0 to 100% in just 28 minutes, a value that makes it easy to recharge during the day in case of sudden battery drops due to stressful use of the smartphone.
Price and Considerations
The factor that most of all influenced my opinion on this OnePlus is precisely the price: are needed about 500 € to take home this smartphone (logically from China) which, when compared to other top of the range on the market, actually costs a good 30-40% less than the standards, and actually is equipped with great quality.
What I liked the most, without a doubt, is the camera as well as the design of the smartphone itself, although not "original" and already seen on other products of the Chinese company. Definitely promoted! But beware, that at present it is not a smartphone "for everyone".