OnePlus 9RT First Impressions: A Beautifully Crafted Powerhouse

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OnePlus has had a pretty busy start to 2022. It just launched its latest flagship OnePlus 10 Pro smartphone in China. This will eventually be launched in India, likely alongside other versions like the OnePlus 10 and 10R. But for now, tech enthusiasts in India will have to settle for one final hooray from the 9 Series, namely the OnePlus 9 RT.

Launched in China in October 2021, this phone is only now making its way to India. So what is the 9RT and should you really care? If you’re familiar with OnePlus’ “T” updates, that’s exactly what it is: it’s a OnePlus 9R (Review) with a new design and finish, a faster SoC, and a better main camera. It’s a slight upgrade, which was to be expected as major changes won’t come until next-gen. What is surprising is that the premium versions OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro have not received a refresh. We’ve been playing with the 9RT for at least a few days now and that’s what we think of it so far.

The OnePlus 9RT comes in a plain red box with the usual accessories like a case and charger. It’s nice to see a company not blindly following unpopular smartphone trends and forgoing the charger. OnePlus claims it’s spent a lot of time perfecting the look and feel of the 9RT and it shows. The curved metal frame feels very comfortable in the hand and the smooth surface of the glass back of the Hacker Black variant that I have with me feels very luxurious. It has a soft sheen when light hits it and doesn’t seem to attract fingerprints at all. The OnePlus 9RT is also available in the Nano Silver finish.

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This phone has a redesigned camera module with one less camera sensor compared to the 9R, but all the working ones are still there, so it’s not really a loss. We’ll get to those details in a moment. The OnePlus 9RT’s screen is slightly larger than the 9R’s at 6.62 inches, but it’s still an AMOLED panel with Full HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate and Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to protect against scratches. .

In contrast to other current flagships, the OnePlus 9RT comes with all the necessary accessories

The display is vibrant and the colors are punchy. There is an in-display fingerprint sensor, which is very fast when it comes to authentication. You get the usual OnePlus 9RT buttons and ports, including a notification slider on the right. Below you’ll find the dual nano-SIM tray, but again there’s no microSD card slot.

Aside from the new back design, the OnePlus 9RT gets a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, an upgrade of the Snapdragon 870 SoC in the 9R. This puts the 9RT on par with the more expensive OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro in terms of computing power. The 9RT also supports a lot more 5G bands in India (eight in total) than any other 9-series model, which is good. There are two variants of the phone for 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.

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OnePlus 9RT First Impressions: A Beautifully Crafted Powerhouse

oneplus 9rt first impression screen ss

The OnePlus 9RT’s screen is vibrant and very responsive to touch

Other features of the OnePlus 9RT are similar to those we’ve seen on the 9R, notably the stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos, NFC, Wi-Fi 6 and a 4,500mAh battery with support for 65W fast charging. The 9RT has no IP. Rating, wireless charging or even the Hasselblad treatment for its cameras.

Speaking of which, the main camera on the back of the OnePlus 9RT has been upgraded to the Sony IMX766 sensor. This is the same 50MP sensor that was used for the ultra-wide camera on the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro, but here it’s used for the main camera. This camera has a different lens arrangement, optical stabilization and a larger aperture of f/1.8. As with the 9R, the 9RT’s ultra-wide camera uses a Sony IMX481 sensor and has a resolution of 16 megapixels and an aperture of f/2.2. The third camera is a 2 megapixel macro shooter. The selfie camera hasn’t changed and OnePlus still does with the 16-megapixel Sony IMX471 sensor.

oneplus 9rt first impressions ww

The OnePlus 9RT’s Hacker Black finish looks and feels luxurious

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The OnePlus 9RT ships with OxygenOS 11 but should be one of the first OnePlus devices to receive a stable Android 12 update upon its release. The OnePlus 9RT also features Hyper Touch 2.0, which claims to boost the standard 300Hz touch response to 600Hz when playing certain games. Another gaming-focused feature is the addition of a third Wi-Fi antenna. OnePlus calls this a “Tri-eSport” antenna system and claims it results in a more stable internet connection when gaming. We will of course test all of these claims during the full review.

The OnePlus 9RT starts at Rs. 42,999 for the 8GB variant and the price increases to Rs. 46,999 for the 12GB variant. These are acceptable bumps over the OnePlus 9R considering what the 9RT offers. The OnePlus 9R will remain on sale until stocks run out, but the 9RT effectively makes the OnePlus 9 obsolete. Also keep in mind that if recent leaks have anything to offer, the launch of the OnePlus 10 series in India shouldn’t be too far away. But it looks like OnePlus might delay launching the 10 Series this year, with a Pro model first and a vanilla OnePlus 10 or even 10R later, which would also explain why the 9RT is launching now .

Check out the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360 in our CES 2022 hub.

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