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Is the OnePlus 9 a Worthy Challenger to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra?

17th May 2021

When Samsung launched the new series of Galaxy phones in January 2021 with the S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra, we geeked out hard and were ready to back them in as some of the best phones of the year. The S21 Ultra in particular made our jaws hit the floor, setting a new standard for high-end smartphones with features like 8K video, an epic chipset and support for the S Pen.

Given we hadn’t even made it to February, it’s fair to say we were blown away by what this phone brings to the table. 

While we stick to our belief that the S21 Ultra is one of the best Android phones of 2021, we may have underestimated the competition. The launch of the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro has put a massive spanner in the works – could this be a contender for best phone of 2021 and beat out the latest Samsung phones

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21: A new contender 

Let’s compare the two top-of-the-line models in each series, the S21 Ultra and the OnePlus 9 Pro. man holding a samsung phone


Both the OnePlus 9 Pro and Galaxy S21 Ultra have a cool design with curved displays, a camera bump on the back and an IP68 water resistance rating. They are a similar size, though the OnePlus phone is a little lighter and comes in two bold colors – Morning Mist or Pine Green – while the S21 Ultra is available in more classic choices of Phantom Black and Phantom Silver. 


It’s easy to get lost in the technical stuff when looking at the display, but the truth is there isn’t much to separate these two awesome phones in this regard. The OnePlus 9 Pro boasts a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with up to 120Hz refresh rate for ultra smooth scrolling; the S21 Ultra display is slightly bigger at 6.8 inches and also goes up to 120Hz. In other words, both phones have a bright, beautiful and vibrant display that will do any photo, video, movie or game justice. 


We didn’t think it would be easy to contend with the crazy camera setup on the S21 Ultra, but the OnePlus 9 Pro has made a serious challenge. The new device has a quad rear camera with a 48MP main shooter (f/1.8), a 50MP ultrawide camera (f/2.2) and a 2MP monochrome lens (f/2.4), plus a 8MP telephoto lens (f/2.4). A partnership with iconic German camera manufacturer Hasselblad has helped make this one of the best OnePlus phone cameras yet, with more accurate colors and plenty of shooting modes to help you capture any scene. 

Power and performance

The OnePlus 9 Pro brings some serious hardware to the table with an ultra-powerful Snapdragon 888 chipset, up to 12GB RAM and up to 256GB internal storage. Whether you stream movies, play games or just browse feeds, the phone has all the power it needs to let you glide through any app with ease. As an added bonus, its 4500mAh battery comes with Warp Charge 65T fast charging to help you get back up to 100% in record time. 

Our verdict

Since the OnePlus 9 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra are neck to neck, deciding which phone is best for you will depend on your personal tastes, preferred features and price range. One thing we’re certain of is that the latest OnePlus and Samsung phones are some of the best in the world, and you can get them right now on a Combo Plan with loads of data and no lock-in contract. Winning! 

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