Is this even an option?


The raison d’être of OnePlus has changed. No longer committed to making flagship killers, he’s unapologetically shipping $ 1,000 phones. But the company doesn’t want to put all its eggs in one basket, so it has covered this change of direction by introducing the Nord series and now, the OnePlus 9R.

The phone is exclusive to the Indian market at the moment and costs 20% less than the OnePlus 9. This puts it directly in competition with another member of its own family, the OnePlus 8T, which costs roughly the same. So if you’re setting out to buy a non-flagship OnePlus phone, which one should you pick? Let’s find out.

OnePlus 9R OnePlus 8T
Chipset Snapdragon 870 Snapdragon 865
RAM 8/12 GB (LPDDR4X) 8/12 GB (LPDDR4X)
Storage 128/256 GB (UFS3.1) 128/256 GB (UFS3.1)
Display 6.55-inch OLED 2400×1080 (20: 9), 120Hz 6.55-inch OLED 2400×1080 (20: 9), 120Hz
Battery charging 4,500 mAh, 65 W warp load 4,500 mAh, 65 W warp load
Rear cameras 48MP primary, 16MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, 2MP depth sensor 48MP primary, 16MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro, 2MP depth sensor
Front cameras 16 megapixels 16 megapixels
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac / ax, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, dual SIM Wi-Fi 802.11a / b / g / n / ac / ax, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, dual SIM
Headphone jack No No
Colors Lake blue, charcoal black Aquamarine Green, Moon Silver
Dimensions 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4 mm 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4 mm
Weight 189g 188g
software OxygenOS 11 / Android 11 Oxygen OS 11 / Android 11
Price 8/128 GB: ₹ 39999
12/256 GB: $ 43,999
8/128 GB: £ 549, $ 42,999
12/256 GB: $ 599, £ 649, ₹ 45,999

Hardware

I don’t want to waste your time, so I’ll quit right away. The OnePlus 9R and 8T are pretty much the same. From the screen to the cameras, from the battery size to the storage type, almost everything is identical. Surprisingly, they even share the same dimensions – the 9R weighs just one gram more.

OnePlus apparently justifies putting a new name on an old device by making three changes: a new processor, new color schemes, and a redesigned camera module. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 that the 9R uses is nothing more than a slightly overclocked version of the Snapdragon 865 that the 8T uses. It will be almost impossible to detect differences in performance, they even have the same GPU and 5G modem.

OnePlus 8T

The OnePlus 9R is available in Lake Blue and Astral Black, while the OnePlus 8T comes in Aquamarine Green and Lunar Gray. While the colors surely help differentiate the phones, the camera module is what sets its design apart. This may lead some people to believe that the 9R has more in common with the OnePlus 9 / 9Pro than the 8T, but the opposite is true. This is likely intentional, of course.

In short, if you had to choose between devices only on the basis of hardware, only pay attention to aesthetics. Choose the design and color scheme you like best.

software

What little difference phones make to hardware almost vanishes when it comes to software. Both models run OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11. If you’re coming from older versions of the software, things may look a bit different due to the new direction OnePlus has taken its look.

OnePlus has taken the liberty of moving a bit further away from the “standard Android” look and has apparently been inspired by Samsung’s One UI. It remains feature-rich and offers smooth animations for a fast and smooth user experience. If the OnePlus track record is a test, the OnePlus 9R may have some bugs at launch, so be careful.

As for Android updates, the 8T and 9R can be expected to update to Android 13. However, the 9R may receive a few more security updates, which are worth keeping in mind.

Price

Since the two phones are so similar, price is probably the best way to decide between them. The OnePlus 9R costs ₹ 39,999 or ₹ 43,999 for the 8/128 GB or 12/256 GB variants, respectively. The OnePlus 8T, on the other hand, costs slightly more at ₹ 42,999 and ₹ 45,999 for the 8/128 GB and 12/256 GB models, respectively.

If these are the prices that are in front of you when you make a decision, then there is no doubt that you should buy the cheapest OnePlus 9R. It’s got a (a little) newer processor, a (a little) newer design, and your software will be supported (a little) longer.

However, there is one thing you should keep in mind. OnePlus has an 8T unsold inventory and these phones are likely to be discounted to give consumers an incentive to buy one instead of the more aggressively priced 9R. If that happens and you find an offer that substantially discounts the 8T, you should probably go for that. You won’t miss out on anything important, so choose the best deal at checkout.

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