The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are on their way and potentially expected a bit earlier than usual in mid-March. That much we already know, alongside some pretty credible chatter of a third OnePlus 9E model to complete the lineup. Thanks to an abundance of renders of varying believability, we also have a pretty-good idea as to what the upcoming phones will look like. Today, however, brings the biggest and most tangible leak for the OnePlus 9 5G to date. It seems a prototype unit is out in the wild and has been involved in an up-close and personal hands-on photo session.
Starting the tour around back first, since it’s the more-interesting side, we see that some of the preliminary renders check out and come really close. That is to say, if we assume this is a late-stage prototype with the final design. Which, judging by how it looks and the fact that it boots and seems to mostly function normally is a safe assumption to make. But, more on software in a bit.
The main camera setup clearly consists of two big snappers and a third smaller unit, accompanied by an LED flash. This all matches vanilla OnePlus 9 rumors. As far as we know, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the interesting one in the camera department, with its mysterious, alleged fourth additional snapper.
The major leak does also offer a few screenshots with hardware info on the unit. We’ll circle back to those, but as far as cameras are concerned, 12MP and 4MP are being reported. We can only assume that translates to a 48MP main camera and a 16MP ultrawide.
Before we move on to the front of the device, you might be wondering about the weird logo printed on the back of the unit. It is essentially a placeholder. Most manufacturers have their own flavor and way of marking prototypes in such a manner. This is totally expected.
From the front the OnePlus 9 5G appears to closely resemble its OnePlus 8T predecessor. That includes the 6.55-inch, flat, 120Hz, HDR, 20:9, 2400 x 1080-pixel FullHD+ panel itself. Likely just a slight tweak, if not absolutely identical to the one on the OnePlus 8T. Bezels around it look pretty thin, but not a marked improvement over its predecessor.
The source reports that the frame on the OnePlus 9 5G is metal, likely aluminum. All of the buttons and ports seem to be in their familiar places. The signature OnePlus Alert Slider remains a staple, in case anyone was worried. We are also pleased to see a solid-looking rubber seal on the single nanoSIM card tray. As far as we currently know, OnePlus will mostly be sticking to its long-standing practice and forgo an official IP rating for the vanilla OnePlus 9, while still offering it to some degree in practical terms. The OnePlus 9 Pro might be the only one to get a formal ingress protection stamp.
Last, but not least, the rest of the screenshots from the OnePlus 9 5G unit feature a major highlight in the “lahaina” chipset, which is the code for the new Snapdragon 888. A nice little pleasant surprise, given that the OnePlus 9 Pro was allegedly spotted a few weeks ago running the Snapdragon 875 instead.
8GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage are also mentioned and so is Android 11, with OxygenOS on top. Also, this particular unit reports itself as the “LE2117”. Having said all that, it is worth keeping in mind that this is a prototype with an according OS build. Even if all of these numbers and identifiers do admittedly look quite believable, there is always a chance that any number of them could be misreported.