Is The OnePlus 9 Waterproof? Let’s Find Out…

by | 25/03/2021 8:39 am
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Both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are now official. But is the new OnePlus 9 waterproof? Let’s find out…


Unlike a lot of its peers, OnePlus has always made sure its phones are both waterproof and water resistance. And the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are no exception: both phones come with an impressive IP68 water and dust resistance – just like Apple’s iPhone 12 and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series.

However, there is a caveat – and it is a slightly weird one. If you buy an unlocked OnePlus 9, it does NOT come with an IP68 rating. This means, if you buy the phone outright from Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, or direct from the OnePlus store, it will not have an IP68 rating.

Why? I have no idea – but it is definitely something you’ll want to keep in mind. Or, if you REALLY require water resistance, go with the OnePlus 9 Pro – it has IP68 in all formats, both locked and unlocked.

Is The Unlocked OnePlus 9 Water Resistant?

While the unlocked versions of the OnePlus 9 might not have an official IP rating for water and dust resistance, the phone should still be fairly water resistant – it features the same airtight gaskets around the SIM tray, for instance, and the chassis is identical to the locked version.

Is The OnePlus 9 Waterproof? Let’s Find Out…
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You’ll still want to err on the side of caution when it comes to getting the OnePlus 9 wet, but that’s the case with ALL phones – even ones with an IP68 water and dust resistance rating.

Why does the unlocked version of the OnePlus 9 not come with an IP rating? The simplest explanation is usually the most likely, so I’m going to assume it is because OnePlus wanted to keep the cost of the phone down, so it avoided having the unlocked model certified for water and dust resistance.

OnePlus likely makes more of a return on phones it sells direct to carriers. With carriers, OnePlus can include the cost of IP certification into the overall price of the phone before it sells the phones. This way the cost is covered and the locked version of the OnePlus 9 gets its official IP rating.

Does This Matter?

If having a waterproof phone is important to you, and you want a OnePlus 9, the only way to get one that is officially IP rated, it to get either the OnePlus 9 Pro – all variants have IP68 – or go with a OnePlus 9 from a carrier (although you will pay slightly more for this model versus buying it outright).

As noted above, the unlocked OnePlus 9 has the same design and chassis as the carrier version; it even has the same airtight gasket around the SIM tray. The only difference is that the unlocked OnePlus 9 has not been through the costly IP certification process. If it had it would likely also have an IP68 rating.

How Much Does The OnePlus 9 Cost?

As you’d expect, given OnePlus’ last few releases, neither the OnePlus 9 nor the OnePlus 9 Pro are cheap phones – both are relatively expensive. Especially when compared to OnePlus’ stablemates, RealMe; the new RealMe 8 Pro is around half the price of the OnePlus 8.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro pricing.

OnePlus 9 Price

  • OnePlus 9 w/ 8GB RAM & 128GB – $729 / £629
  • OnePlus 9 w/ 12GB RAM & 256GB – $829 / £729 

OnePlus 9 Pro Price

  • OnePlus 9 Pro w/ 8GB RAM & 128GB – $969 / £829
  • OnePlus 9 Pro w/ 12GB RAM & 256GB – $1,069 / £929

OnePlus 9 vs OnePlus 9 Pro Specifications – How Do They Compare?

Specs/HardwareOnePlus 9OnePlus 9 Pro
Dimensions160 x 74.2 x 8.7 mm163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7 mm
Display Tech & Size6.5in LTPO Fluid2 AMOLED6.7in LTPO Fluid2 AMOLED
CPUSnapdragon 888Snapdragon 888
Camera48 MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 1/1.43″, 1.12µm, omnidirectional PDAF
50 MP, f/2.2, 14mm (ultrawide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
48 MP, f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 1/1.43″, 1.12µm, omnidirectional PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
8 MP, f/2.4, 77mm (telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3.3x optical zoom
50 MP, f/2.2, 14mm (ultrawide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm
2 MP, f/2.4, (depth)
Storage Options128GB or 256GB128GB or 256GB
RAM8GB or 12GB8GB or 12GB
Headphone JackNoNo
Battery Size4500mAh4500mAh
Expandable StorageNoNo
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