These are the Best OnePlus Phones currently available in April 2021!
Despite the pandemic, last year was an amazing one for growth over at OnePlus. They manage to release amazing flagship devices such as the OnePlus 8 Pro that is unapologetically “premium” and they’ve also dipped their toes into the mid-range and budget space with the OnePlus Nord lineup, from decent mid-range phones down to cheap budget devices. OnePlus started off with “flagship killers” and eventually moved on to flagship phones, and as a matter of fact, their lineup has gotten broad enough that we can now put together an actual list of some of the best OnePlus phones you can check out this year. From high-end phones down to dirt-cheap devices, chances are that if you want to check out an OnePlus smartphone this holiday season with the full OxygenOS experience and all the goodies OnePlus brings you, you can do so regardless of your budget. If you are looking for other options, we have also collated lists of the best Android smartphones and the best Samsung Galaxy smartphones too.
All of the smartphones in our list come with basic headlining OnePlus features such as high refresh rate panels, the latest version of OxygenOS, and decent cameras.
Navigate this list:
- Best Overall: OnePlus 9 Pro
- Best for the Average User: OnePlus 9
- Best Affordable Flagship: OnePlus 9R
- Best Mid-Range: OnePlus Nord
- Best Budget (with 5G): OnePlus Nord N10 5G
- Best Budget: OnePlus Nord N100
Best Overall: OnePlus 9 Pro
The all-new OnePlus 9 Pro is the most well-rounded flagship smartphone from the company so far. It builds upon the foundation laid by the OnePlus 8 Pro, and offers top-of-the-line hardware on all fronts. The device packs Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 chip, up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, up to 256GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage, and a respectable 4,500mAh battery with 65W wired fast charging support and 50W wireless fast charging support.
When compared with its predecessor, the OnePlus 9 Pro also offers a more premium quad-camera system. It features a 48MP IMX789 primary camera, a 50MP IMX766 wide-angle camera with a freeform lens, an 8MP 3.3x telephoto camera, and a 2MP monochrome sensor. Over on the front, it has a single 16MP selfie shooter. Along with better camera hardware, the OnePlus 9 Pro comes with software optimizations developed in partnership with Hasselblad that marginally improves the phone’s camera performance.
In our review, Mishaal found the OnePlus 9 Pro to be the “best phone that OnePlus has ever made”, featuring a camera system that “has improved where it matters”, “the best [display] you can find on an Android device”, and support for faster charging speeds than any other smartphone available in North America. This makes the OnePlus 9 Pro a no-brainer for OnePlus fans and a great alternative for the Galaxy S21 Ultra for others.
Runner Up: OnePlus 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro is still a strong contender for the best OnePlus phone in 2021, even though the OnePlus 9 Pro is now available widely. That’s because the phone has received a significant price cut in North America, and it’s currently available for purchase on Amazon for under $700. At that price, you get a phone with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 chip, a brilliant 120Hz display, and a 4,150mAh battery with 30W fast charging support.
Although the OnePlus 8 Pro may not be as good as the company’s latest flagship in the camera department, it still offers a decent 48MP IMX 689 primary camera that can capture great shots. Along with that, it sports an 8MP 3x telephoto camera, a 48MP wide-angle camera, a 5MP depth sensor, and a 16MP selfie camera.
At its discounted price, the OnePlus 8 Pro is still a great buy in 2021. So, if you’re looking for a phone that offers flagship performance, but you don’t want to shell out $1,000, the OnePlus 8 Pro is your best bet.
- The OnePlus 8 Pro is also a great pick for those who want a flagship experience without spending over $1,000. While it doesn't come with Qualcomm's latest flagship SoC, it's no slouch in terms of performance. And it's a better pick than the OnePlus 9 for those who want all the additional premium features like an IP rating and wireless charging support.
Best for the Average User: OnePlus 9
For those who want a great OnePlus device that offers most of the latest improvements and comes at a more affordable price, the all-new OnePlus 9 is a great option. The phone is almost as good as the OnePlus 9 Pro, as it features the same Snapdragon 888 SoC, up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, a 4,500mAh battery with 65W wired fast charging support and 15W wireless charging support, and the same 16MP Sony IMX471 selfie camera.
But since the phone is a lot cheaper than the Pro variant, you won’t get the same display and rear camera system as the premium model. Instead of a 6.7-inch QHD+ AMOLED panel, the OnePlus 9 features a smaller 6.55-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel. While it does support 120Hz refresh rate, its peak brightness is limited to 1100nits and it doesn’t offer support for premium display features like MEMC and 10-bit color depth.
The camera system on the OnePlus 9 isn’t as great as the one on the 9 Pro either, as it features a 48MP IMX689 main camera and one fewer sensor. The 50MP IMX766 wide-angle camera and 2MP monochrome sensor remain unchanged. But as mentioned in Mario’s OnePlus 9 Camera Review, the device’s camera performance is a whole lot better than older non-Pro flagships from the company and it doesn’t have any of the recurring issues that we’ve seen in older models.
- The OnePlus 9 is the best pick for most users as it offers most fo the new features that come with the OnePlus 9 Pro at a relatively affordable price. The device features the Snapdragon 888 chip, a great FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, a respectable triple camera setup, and the same fast charging capabilities as the Pro variant.
Best Affordable Flagship: OnePlus 9R
If the OnePlus 9 is still a bit too expensive for you but you want a device that can keep up with modern flagships in terms of raw performance, then you should consider getting the OnePlus 9R. Sadly, the phone is limited to the Indian market, and OnePlus hasn’t revealed any plans to launch it in other regions. So, you’ll probably have to import it if you’re in North America or Europe. While that will add a significant cost to the device, it should still end up being cheaper than the OnePlus 9.
Despite being cheaper than the other OnePlus 9 models, the OnePlus 9R promises to offer a well-rounded flagship experience. The device is essentially a redesigned OnePlus 8T with a Snapdragon 870 chip instead of the Snapdragon 865. Therefore, it will be able to keep up with most premium 2020 flagships in the performance department.
The phone isn’t a slouch on the camera front either, as it packs a respectable quad-camera setup with a 48MP IMX586 main camera, a 16MP IMX481 wide-angle camera, a 5MP macro camera, and a 2MP monochrome camera. Over on the front, it has the same IMX471 selfie shooter as the other two models. Other specifications include a 6.55-inch FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED display, up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and a 4,500mAh battery with 65W wired fast charging support.
- The OnePlus 9R marks OnePlus' re-entry in the affordable flagship space. The phone is a rehashed version of last year's OnePlus 8T with a slightly updated design and the new Snapdragon 870 chip. Sadly, it's limited to the Indian market for now. So you'll have to import if you're located in North America or Europe.
Best Mid-Range: OnePlus Nord
The OnePlus Nord is OnePlus’ first budget device since the launch of the OnePlus X several years ago. And for what it’s worth, it earned praise from reviewers and consumers alike, for very good reason. The OnePlus Nord doesn’t attempt to emulate OnePlus’ flagship killer formula that catapulted them years ago to where they are today. Instead, it’s all about bringing the current OnePlus experience to a much lower price point. Which is definitely not a bad thing.
The OnePlus Nord inherits features such as the 48MP camera and the high refresh rate display while cutting corners at other places. We have a Snapdragon 765G — it’s actually the first OnePlus phone to not feature a Snapdragon 800-series processor — with up to 12 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage.
If you’re in the market for an OnePlus device that doesn’t break the bank, the OnePlus Nord is one of the best OnePlus phones out there.
Best Budget (with 5G): OnePlus Nord N10 5G
The two lower-tier OnePlus’ are a hard recommendation for me in a lot of aspects since, while they are OnePlus smartphones, they don’t have a lot of the DNA that makes OnePlus devices special. The Nord N10 5G removes things like the long-loved alert slider and replaces the AMOLED display with a more conservative LCD panel, things that an OnePlus device has never lacked since the very first model was launched. But if you’re on a budget, then these phones are worth a look. Mainly because the performance they provide is okay for the price. A Snapdragon 690 with 5G support runs things behind the scenes and manages to provide nice performance on a tighter budget.
If you’re looking for a device that does the job and doesn’t cost that much (and comes with 5G), the Nord N10 5G still holds its ground as a phone that serves those needs.
Best Budget: OnePlus Nord N100
The Nord N100 is, just like the Nord N10 5G, an unapologetically budget device. It’s big, it doesn’t try to be premium, and the specs won’t blow you away, which is exactly where its magic is. If you’re looking for a smartphone on an even tighter budget, it’s worth checking out. It has a Snapdragon 460, up to 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, and a very basic rear 13MP triple camera setup. Perhaps the best thing about it though is the battery: at 5,000 mAh, it’s the biggest that’s ever been packed into an OnePlus phone, and the 11nm Snapdragon 460 barely sips battery — which is helpful since the phone only has 18W charging, unlike other OnePlus phones.
Far from being one of the best OnePlus phones, this is the cheapest OnePlus smartphone to date, and it’s worth a look if you’re on a tight budget and you want a OnePlus device. If branding is not as important to you, there are other great options for cheap Android phones.
This is pretty much it for our list. It is one of our shortest ones so far, but it encompasses OnePlus’ different offerings pretty well. The best OnePlus phone currently available in terms of features is the OnePlus 9 Pro, with sheer premium quality, with the OnePlus 8 Pro reaching up a close second. The OnePlus 9 is probably the best for most people because it provides the best balance between performance and price. The OnePlus 9R is a great pick for those looking for an affordable flagship, but you’ll have to import it from India. Lastly, we have the many mid-range OnePlus releases through the year as the best spots for mid-range and budget.