Update: February 24, 2021 (02:12 PM ET): We’ve updated the OnePlus 9 rumor hub with new details regarding the supposed name of the budget model in the series. We’ve also added some new specs rumors related to the displays.
Original article: Time doesn’t stand still for smartphone companies, and OnePlus is no exception. After launching the OnePlus 8 in April and the OnePlus 8T in October, there’s already buzz about the next OnePlus flagship. Set to be the company’s flag bearer in 2021, the OnePlus 9 has some big shoes to fill.
All signs point to an earlier than expected launch for the flagship. Ahead of the official reveal, we’ve gathered up all the credible rumors and early leaks relating to the OnePlus 9. We’ve also put together a wishlist of what we want to see from the next OnePlus flagship series. Be sure to bookmark this page, as we’ll be updating it regularly as we get closer to the release date.
Name and release date
Internally, OnePlus is continuing its food-related codenames for its phones. The OnePlus 9 is reportedly known as “lemonade” while in development. For reference, the OnePlus 8 was known as “instantnoodle,” while the 8T was dubbed “kebab.” If you now need a snack break, we understand.
Outside of the codename, though, we have no confirmation that the phones this year will be known as the 9 series. However, OnePlus hasn’t changed its naming game since its inception, so we are fairly confident the OnePlus 9 series is what’s on the way.
Regardless of the name, it appears the phones will make an earlier-than-expected appearance. According to a report in October, the OnePlus 9 release date could hit in mid-March. That would be around a month earlier than the OnePlus 8’s April 14 debut. The fact that Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 series much earlier than usual only bolsters this rumor.
Models and designs
A leaked CAD-based render of the OnePlus 9 emerged on November 14, as seen above. It suggests the phone will sport three cameras at the rear with a punch hole in the top-left of the display for the selfie camera. As with the OnePlus 8T, it seems the vanilla variant of the 9 series could feature a flat display.
Thankfully, it looks like the vanilla model will keep the famous OnePlus alert slider on the top right. This feature didn’t appear in the budget-oriented OnePlus Nord N10 and Nord N100 phones launched at the end of 2020.
OnePlus 9 Pro
We also expect there to be a Pro variant in the 9 series. The renders above — outed by trusted leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer on November 21 — suggest the Pro model may borrow design cues from its older siblings. The renders show it could sport a quad rear camera array on the back, with a 6.7-inch curved display and punch-hole selfie camera.
Read more: Everything you need to know about OnePlus
Interestingly, the renders for both of these phones look very similar to the Oppo Reno 5 series, launched in December. We have already reviewed the Oppo Reno 5 Pro which looks very similar to the OnePlus 9 Pro renders. It’s possible OnePlus won’t deviate too far from its Oppo heritage for this year’s lineup.
A video of a purported OnePlus 9 Pro prototype broke cover on February 8 courtesy of YouTuber Dave2D. The five-minute clip shows off the phone’s quad-camera rear camera array with Hasselblad branding. Notably, the position of the cameras differs slightly in this image compared to the renders shared by Steve Hemmerstoffer.
Finally, an additional leak by Max Jambor on November 30 suggests that OnePlus might have a third model lined up for the series. Originally dubbed the OnePlus 9E, it since has come to light that it might land as the OnePlus 9R.
Regardless of its name, the phone would be an additional offering that would likely be the cheapest in the group. Given the company’s constant upward trajectory, this phone could be a smaller and more affordable option. However, not much is known about this device yet, if it even exists.
OnePlus 9: Specs and features
It’s pretty much a given that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 will power the flagship line. If the OnePlus 9R exists, it might not have the 2021 flagship processor, but the other two will almost certainly have it. You can expect that chipset to be paired with at least 8GB of RAM and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage in each model. The OnePlus 9 Pro will reportedly carry 12GB of RAM, per Max Weinbach.
The OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8T each carried a 120Hz refresh rate. A display specs leak, once again from Max Jambor, suggests the 9 Pro could see an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate on an OLED LTPO display. This would make its display highly analogous to the one found in the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Meanwhile, Jambor posits that the vanilla OnePLus 9 could have an always-on 120Hz refresh rate on a traditional OLED panel.
Unfortunately, there’s no credible evidence yet on what the budget model in the line’s display could be like. It’s a reasonable expectation that it could have a 90Hz refresh rate, though, per OnePlus’ prior commitments.
Batteries and charging
With the OnePlus 8T, the company made a big fuss about the phone’s 65W wired charging. It is highly likely this will carry over to at least the 9 Pro, if not all the phones in the 9 series.
What about wireless charging? Tipster Max Jambor suggests the Pro variant could feature 45W wireless charging, a boost from the OnePlus 8 Pro’s 30W speeds. The Pro could also feature reverse wireless charging. While Jambor does mention the OnePlus 9 could also feature wireless charging, the tipster didn’t elaborate on any concrete numbers.
However, 91mobiles claimed back in December 2020 that the vanilla OnePlus 9 will receive 30W wireless charging and 65W wired charging. It also claimed that the standard variant would pack a 4,500mAh battery.
This battery capacity was reiterated by Jambor on February 9, 2021, adding that the OnePlus 9 Pro would receive a 4,500mAh battery too. The leaker also asserted that a charger would indeed be included in the box.
Other OnePlus 9 series features
Finally, Jambor also says the OnePlus 9 Pro will be the only model in the range to receive an IP68 rating against water and dust. He suggests the other 9 series phones might not feature that badge.
At the beginning of the year, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau claimed that the company would be heavily investing in its camera development. Lau says his ambition is to be none other than the best smartphone camera company. Those are big words when you consider OnePlus’ history when it comes to cameras.
As far as the OnePlus 9 goes, details of its cameras emerged on November 21. The phone is said to sport a 48MP primary camera that pixel bins down to 12MP. A secondary 48MP is apparently used for ultra-wide shots. A third yet-unknown sensor is also included, but it might be a monochrome or macro shooter. There’s also no word on the selfie shooter, either.
Max Jambor on January 25 revealed that the OnePlus 9 series probably won’t feature a periscope camera. Not much else is known about the cameras on the 9 Pro or 9R models.
Outside of hardware, the camera software could feature some new tricks. An APK teardown of the OnePlus camera app shows some new features that would likely land with the OnePlus 9 series. Those features include a tilt-shift mode, a moon mode, and more. See here for all the details.
One major detail that may have been revealed as a result of Dave Lee’s leak is a partnership with camera firm Hasselblad. Presumably, this is more than just a shallow branding exercise and more like the Huawei/Leica partnership, which saw the two brands working together to deliver improved image quality.
OnePlus 9: Price and availability
Finally, let’s talk about the OnePlus 9 price. The ace up the OnePlus 8’s sleeve was its sticker. Arriving at $699, it was among the cheapest flagships launched in 2020; a year that saw the likes of Samsung and Apple once again break the $1,000 barrier. Granted, the 128GB OnePlus 8 Pro came in at $899, but we’d argue that’s still a fair price for an excellent flagship. We expect the OnePlus 9 to debut between the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro’s price band.
A swathe of Android Authority readers want the firm to drop the price of the upcoming flagship instead of adding new features. It’s unclear if OnePlus would consider doing this with the OnePlus 9.
Should the OnePlus 9 series debut in mid-March, it’ll likely go on sale a few days later in markets like the US. According to Max Weinbach, the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro will also be carried on T-Mobile. For Indian buyers, the OnePlus 8 was made available more than a month later.
That’s everything we’ve got for the OnePlus 9 series. Keep this page bookmarked as it will be updated frequently!