Phone Comparisons: OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

AH OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max comparison

The OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max comparison seemed like an interesting idea. OnePlus is now all grown up and aims to compete with the best smartphones in the market, not only in terms of design, specs, and features, but also price tags. The OnePlus 9 Pro and Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max are both great phones, there’s no doubt about that, but they represent different ecosystems.

Despite that, comparing them is an interesting prospect. Some of you may be open to getting both an Android and iOS phone, well, one or the other, so you may be interested to see how these two compare. Both of these devices are premium offerings, and the best OnePlus and Apple have to offer at the moment. They are quite different, though, which is something you’ll see below. That being said, let’s kick off the OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max comparison, shall we.


OnePlus 9 ProApple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Screen size6.7-inch WQHD+ AMOLED LTPO curved display (120Hz adaptive refresh rate)6.7-inch FullHD+ Super Retina XDR OLED display (60Hz)
Screen resolution3216 x 14402778 x 1284
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 888Apple A14 Bionic
Storage128GB/256GB (UFS 3.1); Non-Expandable128GB/256GB/512GB; non-expandable
Rear cameras48MP (Sony IMX789, f/1.8 aperture, 7P lens, OIS, EIS, 1.12um pixel size 48MP images, 2.24um pixel size 12MP images (4-in-1 binning), 23mm focal length)
50MP (ultra-wide, f/2.2 aperture, Freeform Lens, 7P lens, Sony IMX766)
8MP (telephoto, 1.0um pixel size, f/2.4 aperture)
2MP (monochrome)
12MP (f/1.6 aperture, 26mm lens, 1.7um pixel size, dual pixel PDAF, sensor shift stabilization)
12MP (telephoto, f/2.2 aperture, 65mm lens, 1.0um pixel size, PDAF, OIS, 2.5x optical zoom)
12MP (ultrawide, f/2.4 aperture, 120-degree FoV, 13mm lens)
ToF 3D LiDAR scanner (depth)
Front cameras16MP (Sony IMX471, 1.0um pixel size, EIS, Fixed Focus, f/2.4 aperture)12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 23mm lens, SD 3D depth/biometrics sensor
Battery4,500mAh, non-removable, 65W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging3,687mAh, Non-Removable, 20W Fast Battery Charging, Qi charging (15W)
Dimensions163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm160.8 x 78.1 x 7.4mm
Weight197 grams228 grams
Connectivity5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0 Lighting port
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner (optical)Face ID
OSAndroid 11
iOS 14.1 (upgradeable)
Price$969 / $1,069$1,099

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: Design

These two phones both look and feel different. Both phones are made out of metal and glass, but they feel completely different in the hand. The OnePlus 9 Pro is a lot more curvey, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max features a boxy design. The OnePlus 9 Pro is more ergonomic in the hand, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max is less slippery due to its design. Apple’s flagship is also a lot heavier than what OnePlus has to offer, the difference is over 30 grams.


AH OnePlus 9 Pro KL image 3

The OnePlus 9 Pro is a bit taller than Apple’s offering, but it’s also a lot more narrow. It’s a bit thicker as well. Bezels are thin on both smartphones, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max has that notch up to which definitely looks less elegant than a display camera hole on the OnePlus 9 Pro. The OnePlus 9 Pro features a curved display, while the panel on the iPhone 12 Pro Max is flat. Rear cameras on these two phones are in the same spot, more or less.

Both camera islands are placed in the top-left corner, on the back. The OnePlus 9 Pro features four cameras, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has three rear-facing cameras, plus a ToF 3D LiDAR sensor. OnePlus’ flagship offers a curved back, while Apple’s comes with a flat backplate. Both phones are quite large, and if you’re not into large phones, you may want to stay away from both. The OnePlus 9 Pro is a lot more narrow, and it’s easier to use in one hand, despite the fact it’s more slippery. Both phones feel premium in the hand, there’s no doubt about that.


OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: Display

When it comes to displays, things are quite different as well. The OnePlus 9 Pro sports a 6.7-inch QHD+ (3216 x 1440) Fluid AMOLED 2.0 display. This panel is curved, and it offers a 120Hz refresh rate. This is an LTPO panel, and it delivers an adaptive refresh rate, while it supports HDR10+ content as well. The OnePlus 9 Pro’s display gets quite bright, at 1,300 nits peak brightness, it can project 1 billion colors, and it’s protected by the Gorilla Glass 5.

The Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max features a 6.7-inch 2778 x 1284 display. The phone has a Super Retina XDR OLED display that supports HDR10 content, and has Dolby Vision support. It also gets quite bright, at 1,200 nits peak brightness. This panel does not deliver high refresh rate, by the way, though Apple does a good job with animations and adapting 60Hz panels to its smartphones.

Both displays are great. Needless to say, the OnePlus 9 Pro’s panel is more advanced, much better on paper, and delivers a much higher refresh rate. It is better in practice as well, but that’s not something many people will care about. The main difference between them, in practice, is the refresh rate difference, and that’s something you do notice while using them. If you don’t care about that, both panels are extremely sharp, while the colors are top-notch. They’re vivid, while the blacks are deep. The viewing angles on both displays are excellent.


OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: Performance

The performance, as you’d expect out of flagship phones, is excellent on both devices. The OnePlus 9 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 888 SoC, along with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage. Apple never aimed to compete with Android phones in the spec department, though it does have a solid set of specs. Its processor is excellent, though, the Apple A14 Bionic is and great 5nm processor.

Their hardware is backed by great software. Android 11 comes pre-installed on the OnePlus 9 Pro, while iOS 14.1 is included on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, but it’s upgradable to iOS 14.5 (at the time of writing this article). Their software offerings are completely different, but both run great on the given hardware. Everything opens really fast, multitasking is a breeze, and the same goes for everyday tasks that you may perform.

What about gaming? Well, you can game all you want on either of these phones. They support pretty much everything you’ll find on their respective app stores, and they do a great job at running even the most demanding games. If performance is something you’re worried about, you shouldn’t be. These two phones not only offer great performance at the moment, but chances are that will be the case for quite some time moving forward.


OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: Battery

The battery life is good on both devices, though that will depend on your usage, of course. The OnePlus 9 Pro comes with a 4,500mAh unit, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a 3,687mAh battery. The battery capacity is considerably different, but these are completely different platforms, so don’t pay much attention to that. What matters is the numbers you actually get, during usage.

The OnePlus 9 Pro has good battery life. OnePlus did improve the phone since launch in that regard, and you should be able to get 6+ hours of screen on time, as long as you’re not spending your time gaming on your phone, or doing something else processor-intensive. The iPhone 12 Pro Max can also go over 6 hours of screen on time, and it actually provides more longevity than the OnePlus 9 Pro. Your mileage may vary, of course, it all depends on your usage.

Now, when it comes to charging, the OnePlus 9 Pro completely dominates. If you happen to run out of juice, you’ll be able to charge the OnePlus 9 Pro in no time. The device supports 65W fast wired charging, and 50W fast wireless charging. On top of that, it also supports reverse wireless charging. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, offers 20W wired charging, and 15W wireless charging. Needless to say, OnePlus’ charging solution is much faster.


OnePlus 9 Pro vs Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max: Cameras

These two phones take considerably different approaches to photography, but both offer really good results. OnePlus did improve the OnePlus 9 Pro camera performance since launch, quite a bit, and its cameras can now compete with the best out there. Are they better than what the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers? Well, that’s all subjective, of course. Both shine in specific situations, to be quite honest.

AH OnePlus 9 Pro KL image 79

In good lighting, both phones do an excellent job. You’ll get detailed photos that are sharp, well-balanced, and offer a great dynamic range. Their ultrawide cameras are both great, though the OnePlus 9 Pro shines most in that regard, ultrawide photography, and macro photography. It uses the same sensor for both of those, its ultrawide camera. The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s ultrawide shooter is more than capable, though, it offers great results.


Now, when we head to low light, the iPhone 12 Pro Max does pull ahead a bit. It manages to retain more detail from the shadows, while keeping images somewhat close to real life. The shots from the OnePlus 9 Pro tend to look more unrealistic, and still tend to either overexpose or underexpose parts of the scene. Both camera setups are quite capable, it’s only a question of what you need / want from your cameras.


In regards to audio, there’s not much to complain about here. Both phones deliver stereo setups, and those speakers are actually really good on both phones. They’re well-balanced, while you may notice some distortion at the very highest of volumes, and only with specific types of music. Both setups get really loud, and offer sharp sound, though keep in mind these are smartphone speakers.

Neither phone offers a 3.5mm headphone jack, but if you do hook up your headphones either by wire or wirelessly, you’ll get good sound from both. The output is different, that’s true, but it’s good on both, presuming your headphones are good. The vocals are sharp, while neither phone is too bass-heavy. They both offer well-balanced sound, across the spectrum.