Cheatsheet:

  • The OnePlus 9RT takes over from the OnePlus 9R that hit the scene in March 2021.
  • It’s propelled by a zippier processor—Qualcomm Snapdragon 888—than the 9R
  • Camera performance is better than the 9R, especially in lowlight and ultra-wide shots
  • It has a 6.62-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate and has a few gamer-friendly features
  • We dig the design and build, especially the Hacker Black color with its matte finish.
  • No Android 12 out of the box; it runs on Android 11 layered with Oxygen OS

It wasn’t too long ago that OnePlus seemed to follow Apple’s iPhone launch playbook. Cut to 2022, and the brand boasts a wider product portfolio as it straddles a wider price range that stretches from about Rs 25,000 to Rs 70,000. This is no longer a brand that just operates in ‘flagship killer’ territory. Now joining the portfolio is the OnePlus 9RT. Is this just a successor to last year’s OnePlus 9R or a bridge device until the OnePlus 10 gets here? The answer lies somewhere in between.

One Plus 9RT

Matte Black, Reimagined
In terms of color options, the 9RT can be had in Nano Silver or Hacker Black. In simple terms, the first one is glossy and the other features a matte finish. We lean towards the matte black version with its smooth, almost sandstone-type finish. The redesigned camera module is finished in a slate grey that brings in a cool contrast. OnePlus has thrown in a back cover in the box, but you’ll be tempted to go ‘caseless’ and flaunt this. It’s not slippery and doesn’t love fingerprints. It’s under 200gm, making it a tad heavier than its predecessor.

Gamer Friendly
There’s no killer design or product feature that sets the OnePlus 9RT apart from other OnePlus devices. That is why OnePlus is leaning on the device’s gaming-friendly features as part of its sales pitch. Speed is a given with OnePlus devices, this one gets a bump from the 9R with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. I tried Asphalt 9, one of our regular test games, and it was a fun ride. We tested the 12GB/256GB variant; there’s also an 8GB/128GB option. The device aced our Geekbench Test with an impressive score of 3370 (multi-core). OnePlus is touting a couple of gaming features including Hyper Touch 2.0 that boosts the default 300Hz touch response rate to 600Hz for some titles.

oneplus 9rt

Big Screen Action
The AMOLED display on the 9RT is marginally larger than the OnePlus 9R. The 6.62-inch display (1080×2400 pixels/ FHD+/397PPI) features a 120Hz refresh rate and is truly binge- proof. Colours are brilliant, the hardware firepower lends it a fluidic appeal, especially during gaming. What’s puzzling is OnePlus’ decision to preload the device with Android 11, but we understand an update is on the way. It’s good to see that this device still sticks to Oxygen OS instead of Color OS, offering a less cluttered user experience.

one plus

Picture Perfect
The OnePlus 9’s Hasselblad camera looms large over the 9RT. That device is available at an incremental price of Rs 7,000 and has an edge in the camera department. OnePlus has made key improvements over the 9R to make the 9RT a worthy upgrade. This triple cam features a 50MP primary lens, a 16MP ultra-wide cam and a 2MP macro camera. Our tests also revealed an improvement (over the 9R) in low-light and ultra-wide shots.

Verdict
The OnePlus 9RT might not be a flashy device that grabs your attention but it has the stuff that average users want. Battery life (4500mAh battery with a 65W fast charger) was solid in our tests, while the display and camera don’t disappoint. It’s almost a throwback to the OnePlus of the early days that covers enough ground for value-conscious consumers in a new market dynamic.

The OnePlus 9RT 5G comes in Nano Silver and Hacker Black and in two hardware variants: 8GB/128GB (Rs 42,999) and 12GB/256GB (RS 46,999).