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Best OnePlus phones of 2021: these are the top new or older OnePlus handsets

Best OnePlus phones
A selection of the best OnePlus phones (Image credit: OnePlus)

Our ranking of the best OnePlus phones has had a major update, as the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro have now launched and taken their places in our rankings below.

These followed the OnePlus 8T, and the company's new line - the more affordable OnePlus Nord, so between these phones and older but still excellent ones there should be a OnePlus handset for almost everyone.

And thanks to so many exciting developments from OnePlus, our list of the best OnePlus phones is regularly updated to reflect new additions, so it's worth checking back often to see what's changed if you want to keep on top of OnePlus phone choices. 

As mentioned, our most recent additions are the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro – two high-end handsets that put a big focus on the camera, but don’t skimp on other areas either.

If your budget or needs don't stretch that far though, there are plenty of other OnePlus handsets to choose from. Read on as we provide you with a summary, specifications list, and a look at the key pros and cons behind each of them.

The best OnePlus phones of 2021 at a glance

  1. OnePlus 9 Pro
  2. OnePlus 9
  3. OnePlus Nord
  4. OnePlus 8 Pro
  5. OnePlus 8T
  6. OnePlus 8
  7. OnePlus 7T Pro
  8. OnePlus 7 Pro

The best OnePlus phones

OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: OnePlus)

1. OnePlus 9 Pro

A giant leap for OnePlus photography

Specifications
Release date: March 2021
Weight: 197g
Dimensions: 163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3216
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+The best OnePlus camera phone+Great power
Reasons to avoid
-High price-No microSD support

The OnePlus 9 Pro is a top-tier flagship and one that improves on the main weakness of previous OnePlus phones – their cameras.

Thanks to a new Hasselblad partnership and a ‘freeform’ ultra-wide lens, designed to reduce the distortion at the edge of images, the OnePlus 9 Pro is the best OnePlus camera phone.

But a fancy new camera isn’t all this has going for it. There’s also its top-tier pairing of a Snapdragon 888 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM, for enormous amounts of power, and its 6.7-inch 1440 x 3216 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR10+, ensuring visuals are among the best you’ll find on a phone.

With a typically premium design too, plus water resistance, and a respectable 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging and 50W wireless charging, the OnePlus 9 Pro is a phone with no obvious omissions or compromises, yet one that still costs less than the top rivals – although its price is certainly still on the high side.

Read our full OnePlus 9 Pro review

OnePlus 9

(Image credit: OnePlus)

2. OnePlus 9

A great-value option with no major drawbacks

Specifications
Release date: March 2021
Weight: 192g
Dimensions: 160 x 74.2 x 8.7mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.55-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 888
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 50MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Great specs for the cost+Good camera
Reasons to avoid
-No telephoto camera-Lack of flagship-material polish

The OnePlus 9 has many of the best features of the OnePlus 9 Pro, including its Hasselblad camera partnership and freeform ultra-wide lens (designed to correct the distortion that ultra-wide images often suffer from). It lacks the Pro’s telephoto camera, but otherwise the photography performance is similar – and a lot better than previous OnePlus phones.

You also get just as much power here as on the Pro (or as on most 2021 flagships), thanks to a Snapdragon 888 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM. Plus the same size (4,500mAh) battery, with just as fast 65W charging – though the wireless charging is slower here, at 15W.

The 6.55-inch AMOLED screen isn’t quite as sharp at 1080 x 2400, but it still has a 120Hz refresh rate, and costs have been cut on the design of the phone, as it has a plastic rather than metal frame.

But these savings are passed on to the buyer, as the OnePlus 9 while not cheap is great value for what you get, and should be the perfect fit for anyone who doesn’t need the extra bells and whistles of the OnePlus 9 Pro.

Read our full OnePlus 9 review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

3. OnePlus Nord

Killing its own flagships

Specifications
Release date: July 2020
Weight: 184g
Dimensions: 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.44-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 765G
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,115mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera: 32MP + 8MP
Reasons to buy
+The cheapest OnePlus phone +Premium design 
Reasons to avoid
-Average battery life-No IP rating 

While OnePlus claims it has not gone back to its roots with the Nord, it’s hard to believe the company. The £379 Nord is very well priced considering the specs, and undercuts the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro without sacrificing too much.

Its Snapdragon 765G processor is fine for all but the top end of mobile gamers, the cameras are pretty good, the 90Hz display is lovely and the design while not anything special stands out in the blue colour option.

It’s a shame it’s not available in the US but for the UK, Europe and India this is all the OnePlus phone many people will need at a price that drastically undercuts similar phones. The lack of IP rating and wireless charging will put some people off though, plus the frame is made of plastic.

Read our full OnePlus Nord review

OnePlus 8 Pro

(Image credit: OnePlus)

4. OnePlus 8 Pro

A great OnePlus phone

Specifications
Release date: April 2020
Weight: 199g
Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.78-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3168
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4,510mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 48MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+One of the best displays around+5G and plenty of power
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Sizable rear camera bump

Before the OnePlus 9 Pro launched, the OnePlus 8 Pro was the company's best handset, and it's still great now. It stands out both from previous OnePlus phones through having a 120Hz refresh rate, and that refresh rate is attached to an all-round superb screen.

The OnePlus 8 Pro also packs high-end power, 5G, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, water resistance, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a quad-lens camera, and just about every other high-end feature you’d expect.

As a result of all this it’s also expensive, and was almost as pricey as big-name rivals at launch, but there’s no denying that you get plenty of phone for your money.

Read our full OnePlus 8 Pro review

OnePlus 8T

(Image credit: OnePlus)

5. OnePlus 8T

The OnePlus 8T is more of the same – and that’s okay

Specifications
Release date: October 2020
Weight: 188g
Dimensions: 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.55-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting battery+Beautiful display
Reasons to avoid
-No wireless charging-No telephoto camera

While the OnePlus 8T is newer than the OnePlus 8 Pro, it doesn’t quite reach that phone’s heights, but with a lower price it doesn’t need to, and while it’s rather familiar, it’s also very good.

Highlights include a great 6.55-inch 1080 x 2400 AMOLED screen with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, a long-lasting 4,500mAh battery with super-speedy 65W charging, and plenty of power from its Snapdragon 865 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM.

The OnePlus 8T also has a quad-lens camera, 5G, and strong software. There’s no telephoto camera or wireless charging, but in most other ways this could almost be a flagship.

Read our full OnePlus 8T review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

6. OnePlus 8

The OnePlus 8 is the new affordable flagship to beat

Specifications
Release date: April 2020
Weight: 180g
Dimensions: 160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.55-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4,300mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Affordable 5G connectivity+Impressive specs
Reasons to avoid
-No telephoto camera-No wireless charging

The OnePlus 8 is rather shown up by the OnePlus 8 Pro, but it’s still a great phone in its own right, thanks to its similarly high-end power (you’re getting the same Snapdragon 865 chipset) and lower price.

The OnePlus 8 also supports 5G as standard and has a 90Hz refresh rate on its 6.55-inch 1080 x 2400 screen – specs that aren’t quite a match for the OnePlus 8 Pro, but are still decent.

There’s a big 4,300mAh battery here too, with support for fast charging, plus an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a triple-lens camera, and up to 12GB of RAM. Unlike its Pro sibling this isn’t quite a rival to the best Samsung and Apple handsets, but at what it costs it doesn’t need to be.

Read our full OnePlus 8 review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

7. OnePlus 7T Pro

One of the better OnePlus phones right now

Specifications
Release date: October 2019
Weight: 206g
Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.67-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3120
CPU: Snapdragon 855 Plus
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4,085mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Smooth and beautiful display+Great design
Reasons to avoid
-No wireless charging-Camera can struggle

The OnePlus 7T Pro isn't the newest Pro-model OnePlus phone any more but it's still one of the very best.

This phone is a great-looking device, with a pop-up front-facing camera and three very decent cameras on the rear. It has got a 90Hz display which is crisp to look at, and had one of the best processors available when it came out.

It's a very small upgrade over the OnePlus 7 Pro, and has a lot in common specs-wise with the 7T, which are both more affordable phones, so if money's an issue you might want to check out the other entries on this list, but this still undercuts the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Read our full OnePlus 7T Pro review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

8. OnePlus 7 Pro

The first OnePlus Pro phone

Specifications
Release date: May 2019
Weight: 206g
Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.67-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3120
CPU: Snapdragon 855
RAM: 6/8/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant all-screen display+Fast performance and charging
Reasons to avoid
-Camera is good, not great-Not for small hands

The OnePlus 7 Pro was the first 'Pro' phone from the company to come out, and in the brief time since its launch this and the 7T Pro have become some of the most popular flagships around.

The OnePlus 7 Pro has three powerful cameras, a beautiful all-screen display not broken up by a notch or punch-hole (thanks to the pop-up front-facing camera), and a great battery life and fast-charging combination. It's also not going to break the bank as much as something from Apple or Samsung.

Since the device has now been succeeded multiple times, it's now decidedly affordable, so you can pick it up for a great price. It's not a huge downgrade either, with only a few minor differences from the OnePlus 7T Pro, so we'd recommend it wholeheartedly.

Read our full OnePlus 7 Pro review