OnePlus 9RT first impressions: Beautifully crafted

OnePlus has had a very busy start to 2022. It has just launched its latest flagship, the OnePlus 10 Pro smartphone in China. It will eventually launch in India, probably alongside other variants like the OnePlus 10 and 10R. For now though, tech enthusiasts in India will have to settle for one last storm from the 9 series, which is the OnePlus 9 RT.

The phone was launched in China in October 2021 and is only now making its way to India. So, what is 9RT and should you really care? If you’re familiar with OnePlus’ ‘T’ refresh, it’s exactly that – it’s the OnePlus 9R (Review) with a new design and finish, a faster SoC and a better primary camera. This is a mild upgrade, which was to be expected as major changes will only come with the next generation. The surprising thing is that the premium OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro have not received any refresh. Anyway, we’ve been playing with the 9RT for a few days now and what do we think about it so far.

The OnePlus 9RT comes in a simple red box with the usual set of accessories like a case and charger. It is good to see that no company is blindly following unpopular trends in the smartphone space and giving up on chargers. OnePlus claims that it has spent a good amount of time perfecting the look and feel of the 9RT and it shows. The curved metal frame is very comfortable to hold and the smooth finish of the glass rear panel of the Hacker Black variant which I own, feels great. It has a soft glow when light hits it, and it doesn’t attract fingerprints at all. OnePlus 9RT is also available in Nano Silver finish.

This phone has a redesigned camera module with a lower camera sensor than the 9R, but all the functionalities are still there, so it’s not a real disadvantage. We’ll get to those details in a bit. The display on the OnePlus 9RT is slightly larger than the 9R at 6.62 inches, but it’s still an AMOLED panel with full-HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for scratch protection.

oneplus 9rt first impressions bundle ww

The OnePlus 9RT comes with all the necessary accessories unlike other recent price flagships

The display is vivid and the colors are punchy. There is an in-display fingerprint sensor which is very quick in authentication. You get the usual set of buttons and ports on the OnePlus 9RT, including an alert slider on the right. On the bottom you’ll find dual nano-SIM trays but once again, there’s no microSD card slot.

Apart from the new rear panel design, the OnePlus 9RT gets the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, which is an upgrade from the Snapdragon 870 SoC found in the 9R. This puts the 9RT on par with the more expensive OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro in terms of processing power. The 9RT supports many more 5G bands (eight in total) in India than any other 9-series model, which is good. Two variants of the phone will be on sale, one with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, and the other with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage. OnePlus has used LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage.

oneplus 9rt first impressions screen ss

OnePlus 9RT’s display is vivid and highly responsive to touch

Other features of the OnePlus 9RT are the same as what we saw with the 9R, especially its stereo speakers Dolby Atmos, NFC, Wi-Fi 6 and support for 65W fast charging with a battery capacity of 4,500mAh. The 9RT doesn’t have an IP rating, wireless charging, or even the Hasselblad treatment for its cameras.

Talking about which, the primary rear camera in OnePlus 9RT has been upgraded to Sony IMX766 sensor. This is the same 50-megapixel sensor that was used for the ultra-wide camera on the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, but here it is used for the primary camera. This camera has a different lens arrangement, optical stabilization, and a wider aperture of f/1.8. The ultra-wide camera on the 9RT uses the same Sony IMX481 sensor as the 9R, and has a 16-megapixel resolution and an f/2.2 aperture. The third camera is a 2-megapixel macro shooter. The selfie camera hasn’t changed, and OnePlus is still working with a 16-megapixel Sony IMX471 sensor.

oneplus 9rt first impressions body ww

The Hacker Black trim of the OnePlus 9RT looks more luxurious

The OnePlus 9RT comes with OxygenOS 11, but whenever it is released, it should be one of the first OnePlus devices to receive a stable Android 12 update. The OnePlus 9RT also features HyperTouch 2.0, which is claimed to increase the default 300Hz touch response rate to 600Hz when playing certain games. Another gaming-oriented feature is a third Wi-Fi antenna. OnePlus refers to this as the ‘Tri-eSport’ antenna system, and claims it results in a more stable internet connection while gaming. We will definitely test all of these claims during the entire review.

The OnePlus 9RT starts at Rs. 42,999 for the 8GB variant and the price goes up to Rs. 46,999 for the 12GB variant. It offers the 9RT considering the acceptable bumps on the OnePlus 9R. The OnePlus 9R will be on sale until the stock runs out, but the 9RT largely makes the OnePlus 9 obsolete. You also need to note that the India launch of the OnePlus 10 series shouldn’t be too far away, if the recent leaks are anything to go by. However, from the looks of it, OnePlus could launch its 10-series this year, with a Pro model coming first and a vanilla OnePlus 10 or 10R coming later, which would also explain why the 9RT is now launching. Happening.

Get the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360 on our CES 2022 hub.

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