OnePlus 9RT Review
OnePlus 9RT is a modest tweak on the mid-range OnePlus 9R, which was launched previously in 2021. The OnePlus 9RT has a lot going for it, especially considering its competitive pricing. It’s one of the finest OnePlus phones in a long time, but the company’s mystifying software approach is holding it back.
To everyone’s surprise, the OnePlus 9RT ships with Oxygen OS 11 based on Android 11 instead of the ColorOS which everyone including me was not expecting. The OnePlus 9RT seems more like a sibling of the OnePlus 9, despite the fact that people are calling it to be an improved version of the OnePlus 9R. The almost same appearance of all the three OnePlus devices shows the company’s design continuity. The tight fit of the rounded frames and back cover, as well as the weight of less than 200g, can offer a great user experience. Features like NFC and stereo dual speakers are also included.
The OnePlus 9RT is a strong candidate in the flagship-killer category, scoring well across the board in terms of performance, display qualities, charging speeds, and so on. It features the Snapdragon 888 processor from last year and is designed primarily for mobile gamers on a budget. Is it also a good alternative for a regular user who doesn’t use their phone to play games? Let’s find out the answers in this OnePlus 9RT review.
OnePlus 9RT Prices in India, Variants, Availability
The OnePlus 9RT was finally launched on January 14 2022, in Indian marketplaces as the company’s first smartphone launch in 2022. The OnePlus 9RT base variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage starts at Rs. 42,999 in India, while the OnePlus 9RT with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage starts at Rs. 46,999. The OnePlus 9RT comes in two colour options: stealthy Hacker Black and flashier Nano Silver.
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OnePlus 9RT Box Contents
You will get the following items inside the box of OnePlus 9RT 5G:
- SIM Tray Ejector
- 65W Adapter
- Phone Case
- USB Cable
OnePlus 9RT Specs at a glance
Before we talk in detail about the OnePlus 9RT, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.62 inches AMOLED
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
- RAM & ROM: 8GB 128GB, 12GB 256GB
- Software: Android v11
- Rear camera: 50MP + 16MP + 2MP
- Selfie camera: 16 MP
- Battery: 4500 mAh
- Weight: 198.5 grams
- Dimensions: 162.2 x 74.6 x 8.2 mm
OnePlus 9RT Design and Build
OnePlus has done an excellent job with the design and feel of its smartphones. OnePlus has always strived to do something different, whether it’s the OnePlus One’s sandstone back or the OnePlus 6’s Silk White surface. In terms of design, the OnePlus 9RT provides the same premium approach. Hacker Black and Nano Silver are the two colour options for the phone. For what it’s worth, both of these finishes are comparable to those seen on last year’s flagship OnePlus 9 Pro.
The smartphone is definitely attractive, particularly in the ‘Hacker Black’ colour option. It has a silky smooth texture on the backside that feels lovely in the hand, and it has a velvet-like pattern when light shines on it. It’s hard to define the exact beauty of this phone, but it’s one of the best-looking smartphones I’ve seen recently.
Fortunately, the phone comes with a nice matte black case that should keep scuffs and scratches away. Furthermore, Corning’s Gorilla Glass v5 is placed on the front as well as the back of the phone, ensuring that your property is protected to some extent. The new camera module is attractive and complements the phone’s overall appearance. The rings surrounding the camera are also darker chrome, giving the phone an attractive appearance.
In addition, the OnePlus 9RT seems to be the biggest phone in the OnePlus 9 series, weighing in at 198.5 grams. Despite this, the smartphone lacks a headphone jack, which is a disappointment. The OnePlus 9RT features a clicky power button and volume buttons on the right and left spines, respectively. The alert slider, which is one of OnePlus’ distinguishing features, is located on the right side and works fine. I’m glad OnePlus didn’t cut corners in looks and build quality, especially at this pricing range.
OnePlus 9RT Display
The OnePlus 9RT sports a 6.62-inch Samsung E4 OLED display with a resolution of 2400×1800 and a refresh rate of 120Hz. The screen is comparable to that of the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9R, except it is somewhat larger. As a result, the panel features brilliant colours and deep blacks, as well as excellent viewing angles. In addition, the screen can get pretty bright, with a maximum brightness of 1,300 nits. When you’re outside in the sun, you’ll rarely have any issues using your phone. That’s not all: the display is very responsive, with a 120Hz refresh rate and a touch sampling rate of up to 600Hz.
With the OnePlus 9RT’s display, you’ll have a tiny advantage if you are a hardcore gamer and plan to get into e-sports. To make a long story short, the OnePlus 9RT’s display not only smoothly renders animations, but it can also seamlessly pick up on a user’s lightest touches and gestures.
The phone’s settings allow you to change the colour profile. Vivid, Gentle, Cinematic, and Brilliant are the options. Despite the profile you select, you can manually tweak the colour temperature on the smartphone. The display is surrounded by slim bezels and includes a small punch hole notch to keep your camera ready at all times. Since the phone is Widevine L1 certified, streaming services do not have a resolution limit. You can watch your favourite movies and series in HDR on Netflix in the highest possible quality.
OnePlus 9RT Performance
The OnePlus 9RT is one of the fastest phones available right now. The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, which is combined with fast UFS 3.1 storage and LPDDR5 memory. The good news is that it’s the only smartphone in the 9-series that can support up to eight separate 5G bands, making it even more future-proof.
A new, bigger vapour chamber cooling technology is also available, promising better heat dissipation. The gameplay experience is also rather enjoyable. I played BGMI with Smooth plus Extreme graphics and saw no overheating even after a long period of time. Even when playing Call of Duty Mobile, the device worked flawlessly. The touch response on the 9RT’s screen has also been tweaked by OnePlus, which can now boost to 600Hz (from 300Hz) in some games. There’s a separate gaming mode to boost the performance, as well as additional features like mistouch prevention. For better gaming stability, OnePlus claims it has opted for three Wi-Fi antennas instead of the standard two.
When these features are combined, the OnePlus 9RT is a great choice for mobile gamers. It does get a little warm to touch the back, but the phone’s performance is undisturbed, which is important.
The fact that users can push the flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset to its limits without losing long-term performance is promising, particularly for gamers who play for long periods of time. Regardless of what I threw at it, whether it was gaming or handling a dozen of apps at once, the OnePlus 9RT didn’t break a sweat.
OnePlus 9RT Software
The OnePlus 9RT runs on OxygenOS 11.3, which is a half-step between OxygenOS 11 on previous OnePlus phones and OxyColorOS 12 on the new OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro. During my usage, I did not come across any issues. What’s a little disappointing is that, despite being launched in 2022, the OnePlus 9RT still runs on Android 11 out of the box. The next update, which would be based on Android 12, is in the works and should be available as an OTA update soon, but no one knows when that will happen. Until then, you should expect the 9RT to perform similarly to any other previous OnePlus smartphone.
The user interface is simple and free of bloatware. Google’s SMS app is included, as well as the stock dialer, which supports call recording. There are also numerous options for customising the background colours, fonts, and wallpapers. When you go into the Settings app, you’ll notice a few differences from previous OxygenOS versions. The app’s main screen appears to be familiar, but all of the settings are buried inside different menus. In some circumstances, this is an improvement, as some settings, such as Bluetooth, were previously far more complicated but are now a lot simpler.
In India, the OnePlus 9RT comes with a slew of pre-installed apps. The majority of these are OnePlus or Google apps, and the good news is that many of them can now be uninstalled, which wasn’t always the case. OnePlus also doesn’t include unnecessary tools like anti-virus software or memory cleaners on their smartphones. While few of the pre-installed apps may annoy you with notifications at first, there are no repeat violators who don’t bombard you constantly with notifications after you remove them once. For the most part, the software experience on the OnePlus 9RT was quite nice.
OnePlus 9RT Cameras
The OnePlus 9RT sports a triple camera system on the backside that includes a 50MP f1.8 primary wide camera, a 16MP f2.2 ultra-wide lens, and a 2MP macro camera. A 16MP f2.4 camera is located on the front. The camera app differs from that seen in OxygenOS 11 and OxygenOS 12. It’s quite similar to the one seen on the Nord 2, but with a few more features.
The user interface is similar to that of Oppo’s camera app. The mode list is at the bottom of the screen, and you can scroll through it to change modes. Additional modes can be found at the end inside the More button option. There is no swipe-up drawer feature with all available modes. It’s a pity because it was far more easy than this More button.
The OnePlus 9RT’s camera app is packed with features. The pro or Expert mode, as it’s known, is quite extensive. You have all of the manual controls, as well as the option to capture in RAW using both the wide and ultra-wide lenses.
The Colour reproduction of the OnePlus 9RT is excellent, although the dynamic range could be improved. Shadows tend to get flattened, especially if there isn’t much lighting in the subject you’re shooting. The pictures are mostly detailed in the centre of the frame, but they become softer as you head to the corners. I don’t like how the OnePlus 9RT handles skin tones. It has a somewhat reddish tinge to it, which isn’t very appealing. Although the camera only has a digital zoom of up to 10X, the photos turned out well because the quality is good enough for cropping.
Although the ultra-wide lens offers a wider perspective, the image quality suffers significantly. Under decent lighting, the macro camera takes acceptable photos, but I wouldn’t use it in low light.
With Night Mode enabled, the OnePlus 9RT’s main camera holds its own in low-light conditions and captures shots with a lot of detail. Since the ISO levels are kept low, the images are not too noisy, although I would have preferred somewhat better colours. In the daytime, the selfie camera took decent selfies, but the faces were soft and the skin tones could have been better.
The video recording quality on the OnePlus 9RT is quite good. Both the wide and ultra-wide lenses on the back can shoot at up to 4K 60fps while maintaining digital image stabilisation. There is also an ultra steady mode that only captures at 60fps in 1080p. Overall, the OnePlus 9RT’s camera performance is satisfactory. The ultra-wide camera is acceptable, and the primary 50MP camera is excellent, so users should be satisfied with the overall package.
OnePlus 9RT Battery
The OnePlus 9RT boasts a 4,500mAh battery that offered me an average of 5-5.5 hours of screen-on time. That’s fine, but not exceptional. My normal day comprises of a considerable amount of chatting, social media apps, and emails, with some phone calls added in for good assessment. You will quickly deplete the battery if you play a lot of games. At best, this phone will last one day on a single charge. The battery had decreased by almost 40 per cent after a 1.5-hour session of playing games at the maximum graphics settings.
The OnePlus 9RT performs admirably when it comes to charging, reaching 100 per cent in around 35 minutes with the 65W Warp Charger. That’s nice since even if you take a little break while gaming, you’ll gain a significant amount of charge. Thankfully, the device comes with the 65W fast charger in the box. However, there is no wireless charging available. I would have preferred a 5,000mAh battery on this phone, which would have provided much better battery life. The overall battery life is acceptable, but for a phone targeted at gamers, it should last longer.
OnePlus 9RT Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics
The OnePlus 9RT has a dual-speaker configuration with Dolby Atmos support that is loud enough for watching TV shows or movies while on the go. The OnePlus 9RT supports both standalone and non-standalone 5G networks, as well as WiFi 6. In terms of biometrics, I had no trouble unlocking the phone using either the in-display fingerprint sensor or the built-in facial recognition technology. Both of them unlocked the smartphone quickly without any hassle.
OnePlus 9RT Pros & Cons
- Flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset
- 4D haptic motor
- 65W WARP charging
- 120 Hz screen
- 5G connectivity
- 4K video recording with EIS and OIS
- Corning Gorilla Glass
- Not shipped with Android 12
- No IP rating
- No wireless charging feature
- No 3.5mm jack port
The OnePlus 9RT starts at a price tag of Rs 42,999 for the 8GB RAM option which is not bad. The smartphone comes in a stylish packaging and offers outstanding performance, as well as a decent camera setup, for the price. It’s an enticing option for gamers, but it’s not the best deal for the rest of us. The main camera is an improvement over the 9R’s, but the rest of the cameras aren’t up to the mark, particularly in low light. I love the look and build quality, as well as the performance and friendliness of the UI.
While the OnePlus 9RT is a better bargain than the OnePlus 9, it is still, in my opinion, a little bit pricey. Nonetheless, the OnePlus 9RT is an appealing phone in the OnePlus smartphone ecosystem. Otherwise, there are smartphones like the Xiaomi 11T Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G you might like to consider.