OnePlus 9 may get the display boost needed to take on the Galaxy S21

OnePlus 8T with a pond in the background
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

OnePlus 9 rumors have been flying pretty fast and furious lately, which is not shocking considering some reports point to a launch in mid-March, roughly a month earlier than is typical (much like what we saw with Samsung's Galaxy S21 lineup).

Today's leak originates from the Weibo leaker Digital Chat Station and it centers around the new 120Hz displays being used for both the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro. Outside of the cameras, this is one of the most interesting battlefields in the premium smartphone space at the moment (via TechRadar). 

The step up to 120Hz for the OnePlus 9 is big news as last year that spec was restricted to the Pro model with the standard OnePlus 8 settling for 90Hz. The display sounds similar otherwise at 6.55-inches with an FHD (2400 x 1080) flat display, mirroring the OnePlus 8 exactly. 

This puts it in between the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus in terms of screen size, with identical refresh rate and resolution. There's no suggestion in this rumor that OnePlus has managed to deliver an adaptive refresh rate like the Galaxy S21, which could have serious implications when it comes to battery life.

Screen capture of leak posted by the user "Digital Chat Station" on Weibo

(Image credit: Weibo/Digital Chat Station)

The OnePlus 9 Pro notably doesn't seem to be making any changes according to this leaker, retaining its 6.78-inch curved QHD+ 120Hz display. It had the edge on the Galaxy S20 Ultra last year as it offered the 120Hz at full QHD+ resolution, but now the Galaxy S21 Ultra can do the same with the added benefit of adaptive refresh rate. 

While that doesn't sound great for OnePlus,  Samsung has also left things open for OnePlus to capitalize on some of its cuts to deliver the $200 price drop to the Galaxy S21. The leaker also reported that 65W Warp Charging is coming to the OnePlus 9, which absolutely blew us away on the OnePlus 8T and obliterates the 25W fast charging of the Galaxy S21 models. 

OnePlus is also rumored to be making a number of camera enhancements and will likely beat the S21 on RAM with continued microSD support. All-in-all, this is shaping up to be an interesting flagship fight this spring.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.