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OnePlus 9 Indian Variant: Does it live up to the hype of the global flagship?

OnePlus has made its official move into the high-end flagship market space with the launch of the OnePlus 9 series. OnePlus’ flagships have always been a great value for money with no major shortcomings. The reviews have been great except for a few teething OnePlus 9 series issues. It is giving all-round stiff competition to iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy Note series. The question remains though, is the OnePlus 9 Indian Variant worth all the attention it’s garnering?

But, other things caught our eye when it came to the Indian version of the OnePlus 9. As it stands, there are a bunch of differences between the international and Indian versions of the device. The variations are bound to be there. The company has cut more corners for India because the devices are much cheaper. 

However, OEM should be open and honest about it so that people can source the device from a different region if necessary. Let’s take a comprehensive look at the OnePlus 9 Indian variant discriminations.

Most of the details below will consist of what we know until now along with a little comparison between the international and Indian variant of the OnePlus 9. Why you might ask. Well, wait and see.

Differences between OnePlus 9 Indian and Global variant

A long-time fan of OnePlus would probably know that the cost of the device is slightly cheaper in India than elsewhere across the world. This favoritism might’ve misguided us a little bit. The international variant comes with far more extra features which were otherwise omitted in the Indian version.

No Wireless Charging

While the OnePlus 9 Indian variant does come with Warp Charge 65T, it happens to miss out on the 15W wireless charging feature. Many users believe that the prices fail to justify the loss of wireless charging.

There is too much hype built around the wireless charging feature. However, for some, it is more like a gimmick. Many feel that it takes longer to charge and the device cannot be used while charging.

No Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)

OnePlus 9 does come with a decent pair of cameras, nothing really impressive. They capture low-light images relatively well. However, not providing OIS on the OnePlus 9 is definitely a bummer. For a flagship device to skip out on a basic and simple feature is rather unacceptable.

TL;DR: No OIS on the camera(global issue). No wireless charging(Indian issue). Only 2 5G bands, making the phone virtually useless for 5G both in India when 5G comes and internationally when traveling because of the lack of bands.

I personally think this combined with how bad Oneplus software updates become after a year. The choice for a decently priced flagship with decent software in India has gone back to virtually 0 once again. With the Samsung S series still way too expensive. Xiaomi flagships coming with MIUI and limited software support.

u/darkstarrising

For those who are curious, this feature isn’t present in either variant. Paying such a premium for a half-baked device does seem sketchy to me. However, it should not be a big deal for the majority of users.

Reduced 5G bandwidth

OnePlus 9 has only two supported 5G bands compared to the twelve or thirteen bands available on the international market. It comes as a surprise when cheaper models like the Samsung S20 FE support 9 5G bands.

Sure, India doesn’t have 5G yet but unless you have got a deep pocket to keep buying a new device when required it’s better to make sure your existing device is good for a few years. This does come as a rude awakening especially when OnePlus is mostly about being a budget brand with more features for a reduced price. This is embarrassing when you consider the Oppo F15 which comes with support for five 5G bands.

The OnePlus 9 Indian variant verdict

Should you consider the OnePlus 9?

Well, at its current starting price of ₹49,999 or 599 Euros, it’s far from being appealing. The iPhone 11 comes with a much more palatable price of ₹46,999.00.

If you ask me which would be the ideal option for both speed and functionality, it would be the Samsung S20 FE. It comes with a Snapdragon 865 that is more than sufficient for your gaming needs. And last I checked, it comes with support for up to nine 5G bands. The entire package comes at a surprisingly impressive price of ₹47,999.00.

As far as OnePlus Oxygen OS updates are concerned, they have been consistent in how bad they get with each passing version. Often agreeing to update the phone poses much more of a risk than would be the case otherwise.

Several influencers and bloggers claim that a future update might bring more 5G bandwidths to the OnePlus 9. I would rather avoid such speculation and judge the device based on its current offering.

Indian users are not the only ones who are at the receiving end of the OnePlus discriminatory treatment. A general perception has started building in that OnePlus now sells flagship devices but the support isn’t flagship level. USA users are reporting missing dual-SIM support in their OnePlus 9 series. The company did not disclose at the time of purchase. The careless attitude of the company has pissed off many die-hard fans. They feel that if the company had been honest, they would have sourced from Europe.

What do you think about this preferential treatment? Do you believe OnePlus is justified in its actions? Do you believe that Oneplus as the flagship killer brand is cruising towards a slow death? Is its user base making move towards Pixel, Galaxy series, or iPhone? Let us know if you are facing any issues with the OnePlus 9 series. For similar content, visit us here.

Achyuth Nambiar
Being a tech enthusiast and someone who loves to read, I try to combine the two into my latest attempt... blogging. A gaming PC though a Far Cry (pun intended) remains a distant dream.

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