OnePlus rides high with its new OnePlus 9RT 5G; here's all you need to know about it
Past two years or so have been quite eventful for OnePlus. Not only have they seen some familiar faces at the top leaving the company, but they also have been modifying their OxygenOS
Past two years or so have been quite eventful for OnePlus to say the least. Not only have they seen some familiar faces at the top leaving the company, but they have also been modifying their OxygenOS – shifting it closer to ColorOS. At the same time, their sale figures have been going up past year or so, and a lot of people still buy their devices based on their past experience with them. The OnePlus 9RT 5G tries to continue on the company’s famous “flagship killer” attempts at a base price tag of Rs. 42,999. Let’s try and check if the device justifies that.
The OnePlus 9RT follows a proven and familiar design to the OnePlus 9. But this time the back has a shiny and matte texture that is smooth (Hacker Black variant). The device feels really nice to hold but is a bit on the heavier side at nearly 200 grams. The back houses the protruding camera setup (more on it later) on the top left, the OnePlus logo bang in the middle with curved yet smooth edges that assist in a better grip from the back with one hand. The USB Type C port in the middle at the bottom with the loudspeakers and SIM card slot placed on its two sides. The single long volume button on left; while the right-side features alert slider near the top followed by the Power/lock button nearer to the middle. These buttons are click-y and don’t feel cheap to use at all. In the front, there’s 6.22-inch AMOLED display with a cut-out front camera on the top left and an in-screen fingerprint reader, too.
The 6.62-inch E4 AMOLED (2400x1800) display goes a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s is punchy, got vibrant colours, and is really nice for full HD videos playback or viewing images. The default colour profile gives sort of balanced output a little on the cooler side that some of the other recent OnePlus smartphones. With auto brightness (better have it switched off), the brightness doesn’t quite go as high as you would need it to be and would have to adjust it up yourself. The in-screen fingerprint scanner has been shifted slightly nearer to the bottom, which a lot of folks might prefer. The fingerprint reader is decent and is very much like the previous OnePlus devices – more hits than misses but it could get better in terms of missing the right fingerprint and unlocking a little quicker at times.
The device features a 50MP (f/1.8) primary camera, a 16MP (f/2.2) ultrawide camera, and a 2MP macro camera. The primary camera takes detailed and sharp shots in daylight shots, even in dark scenes, does a decent job, better than the 8 series (but maybe not the 9 Pro), in handling subjects. OIS seems to make a difference there. The 16MP camera, too, is an upgrade over previous 8MP ones – with clearer shots, less noise, though you do lose out on details from it when zooming in. There’s also a 108MP mode on it that actually does a decent job artificially sharpening your shots (taking a little longer to capture) but only worth trying in well-lit scenes.
The device is powered by Snapdragon 888 chipset (2.84 Kryo octa core processor, Adreno 650 GPU, Snapdragon X55 5G modem) along with 12 GB of RAM (base model has 8 GB RAM) plus 256GB of storage (base model has 128GB). It runs on Android 11 with OxygenOS 11.3 on top (December 2021 security patch). The phone’s performance in general is top notch. Apps and even graphic intensive games are handled without much trouble; you can switch between apps, scroll inside your apps and play games (both places where the 120Hz refresh rate shines) without seeing any noticeable hiccups. The one bug that I encountered was delayed notifications for a few apps like but that seemed to have been resolved with the last OS update (was an issue on the OnePlus 9 Pro for some, too). OxygenOS 11 is a little bit of a combination between previous OxygenOs iterations and ColorOS, still very much tilted towards the former. Ideally, the device should have launched with Android 12 onboard, but what makes it worse is that there’s still no official word regarding the expected date for it to arrive.
Call quality and network reception on the 9T are nothing worth complaining. Network reception, especially, VoLTE is much improved than the Nord CE. Bluetooth 5.2 and WiFi work like they should, and, as you can tell, there’s no way 5G could be tested so it’s just a moniker on the phone’s name.
OnePlus devices have been long known for their battery and charging and the 9RT doesn’t disappoint on either of those. The 4,500mAh battery unit lasted a day more often than not. With brightness at around 45% most of the time, multiple Email Accounts set, Always on Display and no dark mode, the battery backup on the device is competitive among its peers. The 65watt Warp Charger charges the device from 1% to full in under 45 minutes without the phone heating up much.
All in all, the OnePlus 9RT is a solid smartphone in the price range. It has a nice design, great display, an okay fingerprint scanner, a software experience that has its pros and cons but generally runs well with enough bells and whistles, and a capable camera on the back. Some might miss IP rated water and dust resistance as well as wireless induction charging but this is what the package is.