OnePlus technically wasn’t lying when it said it wouldn’t be launching a “T” model for the OnePlus 9 this year. What it didn’t say was it wasn’t going to launch a “T” phone for the OnePlus 9R. That’s exactly what it did now that it has unveiled the OnePlus 9 RT in China, a phone that might not be launched in other markets. That said, it won’t be such a loss because it is pretty much the same OnePlus 9 in “R” clothing.
The OnePlus 9R itself was a bit out of place, considering it arrived at the same time as the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. For the most part, it actually was the same as those two, with minor downgrades that helped push the price down a bit. The biggest difference is the processor, which was a Snapdragon 870 rather than the latest Snapdragon 888.
Because of that, there were expectations that this OnePlus 9 RT would have the same chipset, but it isn’t the case after all. Instead, OnePlus gave it a Snapdragon 888 that puts it on the same level as the mainline 9 series. It also gets a few upgrades, though, that make it sound like a Frankenstein of OnePlus’ 2021 phones.
The screen is slightly larger at 6.62 inches but with the same 120Hz refresh rate and support for HDR10+. Its main camera gets a pixel bump to a 50MP Sony IMX766, and the 16MP ultra-wide camera remains the same. The macro camera did get bumped down to 2MP, though. The OnePlus 9RT still sports the same 4,500 mAh battery as the rest of OnePlus’ phones this year, though it skimps on the wireless charging, just like the OnePlus 9R.
With those specs, the OnePlus 9 RT definitely has some OnePlus 9 vibe to it, which probably softens the blow of it being exclusive to China or a few markets. The phone launches on October 19 with a starting price of 3,299 RMB (roughly $510). On that same date, OnePlus will also be making available the OnePlus Buds Z2, the sequel to its affordable TWS earbuds, for 499 RMB ($80).