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Phone Comparisons: OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T

AH OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T comparison
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The OnePlus 9 series launched, and went on sale recently. Some of you are probably still wondering whether to get one of the two devices, or go with an older OnePlus smartphone. Well, if you’re in that group of people, you’ll be glad to hear that we’re comparing the OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T. The OnePlus 8T is still more than a viable purchasing option, and we’re here to see how it compares with the OnePlus 9.

The OnePlus 9 and 8T are much closer in terms of pricing than the ‘Pro’ model is with the 8T, which is why this comparison kind of makes more sense. The OnePlus 9’s base model is priced at $729, while the 8T’s top-end model costs $599. That variant brings 12GB of RAM, compared to 8GB RAM on the OnePlus 9 base model, while it also offers more storage. The base OnePlus 8T model is not yet available in the US, though it may be in your market. Also, at the time of writing this article, the base OnePlus 9 variant wasn’t available in the US, only the 12GB RAM variant.

If we compare the price tags between the 12GB RAM OnePlus 9 and 8T, the difference is even more significant. The 12GB RAM OnePlus 9 costs $829, which is $230 more than what you’ll need to pay for the top-end OnePlus 8T. So, is it worth it? Well, we’ll compare the two phones below, and let you be the judge.

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Specs

OnePlus 9OnePlus 8T
Screen size6.55-inch fullHD+ AMOLED display (120Hz refresh rate)6.55-inch fullHD+ Fluid AMOLED (120Hz)
Screen resolution2400 x 10802400 x 1080
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM8GB/12GB (LPDDR5)8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
Storage128GB/256GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable128GB/256GB UFS 3.1; Non-Expandable
Rear cameras48MP (Sony IMX689, f/1.8 aperture, 1.12um pixel size 48MP images, 2.24um pixel size 12MP images (4-in-1 binning), 7P lens, EIS)
50MP (ultra-wide, Sony IMX766, 7P lens, f/2.2 aperture, Freeform Lens)
2MP (monochrome)
48MP (Sony IMX586, f/1.7, 0.8um, OIS, EIS)
16MP (ultra-wide, Sony IMX481, f/2.2 aperture, 123-degree FoV)
5MP (macro, 3cm focal length)
2MP (monochrome)
Front cameras16MP (Sony IMX471, 1.0um pixel size, EIS, Fixed Focus, f/2.4 aperture)16MP (Sony IMX471, f/2.4, 1.0um, EIS, Fixed Focus)
Battery4,500mAh, non-removable, 65W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging4,500mAh, non-removable, 65W fast battery charging
Dimensions160 x 74.2 x 8.7mm (North America & Europe)
160 x 73.9 x 8.1mm (India & China)
160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm
Weight192 grams (North America & Europe)
183 grams (India & China)
188 grams
Connectivity5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C
SecurityIn-display fingerprint scanner (optical)In-display fingerprint scanner (optical)
OSAndroid 11
OxygenOS 11
Android 11
OxygenOS 11
Price$729 / $829$599 (12GB only)
BuyOnePlusOnePlus

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: Design

When it comes to the design, these two phones are not all that different. There are some differences worth noting, but truth be said, they do feel similar in the hand. Both of these phones come with a glass backplate, but only the 8T offers a frame made out of metal. The OnePlus 9’s frame is made out of plastic. The two phones have the exact same display, and it’s flat. A display camera hole is placed in the top-left corner on both of these phones, and it’s the same size.

The bezels are quite thin on both phones, and they look equally thin to us. Even the rear camera setups are included in the same spot, though they are different, and also look different. Both camera setups protrude on the back. The power / lock button is placed on the right-hand side of both phones, while the alert slider sits above it. The volume up and down buttons are located on the left-hand side of both phones.

Oneplus 8T AM AH 18

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Both of these phones feel good in the hand, and they’re similar in terms of size. The OnePlus 9 actually comes with different measurements and weights in China and India, as there’s no wireless charging included. So, if you buy the device in those markets, you’ll get an even smaller unit than in North America or Europe. Neither of these phones are small, though, they’re quite large in fact, regardless of the variant. That goes for both the OnePlus 9 and 8T. They are also quite slippery, so take that into consideration. The weight distribution is good, though.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: Display

The OnePlus 9 and 8T have the exact same display. We’re looking at a 6.55-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Fluid AMOLED panel that is flat. This display offers a 120Hz refresh rate, and it’s an LTPS panel, so that refresh rate is not adaptive. The display supports HDR10+ content, and can reach a peak brightness of 1,100 nits, at least it’s tuned that way on the OnePlus 9, but based on our usage, the brightness is the same. Both panels are protected by the Gorilla Glass 5.

Those of you who are wondering if there are any differences despite the fact it’s the same panel, well… I can’t say I’ve noticed any. The two displays seem to provide the same experience, at least based on what I’ve seen. That experience is excellent, though. These may not be the most color-accurate displays, but they do look excellent. The colors are vibrant, the viewing angles are great, and those blacks are deep.

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Very few people will be displeased with this panel, and there are also a ton of display settings for you to go through, if you’d like to fine-tune things. If you really love vivid colors, you can boost them up even more than the default setting offers. If you don’t like the color temperature, you can mess around with that as well. There are a ton of options that you can go through to fine-tune this display. It sure is one of the best fullHD+ panels in the market.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: Performance

Both the OnePlus 9 and 8T offer beastly performance. The OnePlus 9 is technically more powerful, of course. It not only comes with a more powerful processor, but it also offers faster RAM (LPDDR5 vs LPDDR4X). That is not something that you will notice in day-to-day usage, though. Both of these phones are extremely snappy in pretty much every way, and that includes gaming as well.

The Snapdragon 865 inside the OnePlus 8T may be older, but it’s not that far away in terms of performance. I did not notice it’s inferior to the Snapdragon 888 at all. It may load games a bit longer than the Snapdragon 888 will, in the case of the OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T comparison, but that’s not something you’ll have a problem with. In regular usage, they’re basically identically fast.

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Both smartphones are incredibly snappy when opening / closing apps, multitasking, browsing, consuming multimedia, taking pictures and videos, and anything else you can think of. Both offer excellent performance, and chances are that will continue for quite some time. OxygenOS is one of the best-optimized UIs for Android, and that shows on these two smartphones. You won’t regret getting either of them if you’re aiming at top-notch performance.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: Battery

The battery life comparison is quite interesting, though. Both of these smartphones come with a 4,500mAh battery, but they don’t offer the same longevity. We’ve seen better battery life provided by the OnePlus 8T, though the OnePlus 9 is not far behind. The OnePlus 8T was one of the best flagship smartphones in terms of battery life last year. At least in our testing. This phone was able to reach 7 hours of screen-on-time without much issue, and even cross that mark.

Well, the OnePlus 9 is closer to 6 and a half hours, which is still an excellent result. Do note that this is based on our testing only, your mileage may vary. If you’re a gamer, or decide to push either of these two phones in any other way, such numbers will be considerably lower. For most users, though, both of these smartphones will likely offer excellent battery life. If you do need to charge either of them before the end of the day, though, OnePlus does offer extremely fast charging, luckily.

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Both of these phones come with 65W fast wired charging. Do note that the OnePlus 9 does offer Warp Charge 65T, compared to Warp Charge 65 on the 8T. What’s the difference? Well, the Warp Charge 65T is a bit faster than Warp Charge 65. The difference is not big at all, but it’s worth noting. You should be able to recharge the OnePlus 9 from 1-100% in only 29 minutes. The same process will take you 39 minutes on the 8T. The OnePlus 9 does also offer 15W wireless charging, while the OnePlus 8T does not support wireless charging, at all.

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 8T: Cameras

Is there any difference in the camera performance? Well, yes, quite a bit of difference, in fact. The OnePlus 9 comes with three cameras on the back, while the OnePlus 8T offers four of them. Those numbers don’t mean much, as the OnePlus 9 does offer better camera performance, but not by much. Both phones do offer a 48-megapixel main camera, and even though the OnePlus 9’s main shooter is technically better on paper, it does not support OIS. That is noticeable in the camera performance, unfortunately.

AH OnePlus 9 KL image 5

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It’s noticeable in low light performance especially. Images from the OnePlus 9 tend to be softer than they should be. On the flip side, the phone does a really good job in good lighting, and tends not to oversharpen images, which is not one of the OnePlus 8T’s strong suits. The real difference is noticeable in the ultra-wide mode. The OnePlus 9 offers an excellent ultra-wide camera with a free form lens, and images from that camera are excellent, especially in good lighting. The OnePlus 8T’s ultra-wide camera cannot really compare.

Both phones do use a 2-megapixel depth camera on the back, while the 8T also comes with a 2-megapixel macro camera. The macro photography is miles better on the OnePlus 9, though. The OnePlus 9 uses its ultra-wide camera for macro photos, and it offers much detailed macro images than the 8T. Images from its 2-megapixel macro camera are really… well, not good, they’re muddy, lack detail, and quite frankly you won’t want to use that camera at all. So, the OnePlus 9 does have a considerable advantage in terms of photography.

Audio

When it comes to audio, there’s not much to differentiate between these two phones. We’re not sure if the audio components are the same, but it sure seems like it. Both phones come with a set of stereo speakers, and those speakers do sound quite similar. They get more than loud enough, and also offer sharp sound. The distortion is noticeable at the highest of volumes, but only barely, it’s not something that will bother you.

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Neither of the two phones offers a 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll need to utilize a dongle, or a Bluetooth connection. Once you do, you’ll get good sound quality, though nothing to write home about. The sound is well-balanced across the spectrum, though the bass is lacking. That’s something we’re used to when it comes to smartphones, though, and it also depends on what headphones you’re using as well, of course.