OnePlus 9 vs iPhone 13 series: Which one should you buy?

It's not quite as simple as iOS vs Android anymore.

OnePlus 9 vs iPhone 13 series: Which one should you buy?

The iPhone 13 series is here, and now it’s time to see how it stacks up against OnePlus’ flagship phones. Both OEMs have pushed their latest lines further than ever, but you can only add one to your pocket. Let’s compare the two series to see which one comes out on top in the OnePlus 9 vs iPhone 13 battle.

The difference in operating systems might be obvious, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. We’ll dig through the displays, cameras, and more to give you a better idea of which phone is best for you.


OnePlus 9 vs iPhone 13


Design and display

iPhone 13 front notch

Credit: Apple

Apple’s latest iPhone 13 and the OnePlus 9 series have precious little in common. For starters, Apple is sticking with its flat displays and notched design for another year — though it did finally give its notch a trim. You’ll also see that Apple kept the flat-sided design that many people loved from the iPhone 12 series. In fact, it’s a challenge to find too many things that Apple changed this year.

The iPhone 13 family still numbers four devices, starting with the iPhone 13 Mini. Its display measures a pocket-friendly 5.4-inches and carries nearly the same specs as you’d find on the 6.1-inch iPhone 13. Both devices offer Super Retina XDR OLED panels, complete with HDR and True Tone technologies.

The iPhone 13 Mini is the baby of the bunch, while the OnePlus 9 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max tie with 6.7-inch displays.

Apple’s high-end iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max offer the same displays as last year, coming in at 6.1-inches and 6.7-inches, respectively. The two don’t add a ton to the overall mix, though they’re the first iPhones to offer a 120Hz refresh rate. You’ll also find an IP68 rating standard across the full range, as well as Apple’s famed Face ID security.

Over on the OnePlus 9 series, the design choices are unmistakably Android. The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro pack corner-mounted punch-hole cameras, which serve as the only interruptions to the crips AMOLED panels. The standard OnePlus 9 is the smaller of the pair at 6.55-inches and it carries a Full HD+ resolution. You get a larger 6.7-inch curved AMOLED on the OnePlus 9 Pro, which comes with a jump to QHD+.

Read our reviews: OnePlus 9 | OnePlus 9 Pro

As for IP ratings, the OnePlus 9 Pro is IP68 waterproof across the board. The OnePlus 9 also comes with an IP68 rating, though only on the T-Mobile version. This most likely means that all versions are waterproof, T-Mobile just splashed the cash for the certification. OnePlus offers its own take on face unlock for its latest flagships, but it’s best to stick with the in-display fingerprint scanner since the tech is not as secure as Apple’s Face ID.


Hardware and cameras

OnePlus 9 Pro camera module

Credit: Eric Zeman / Android Authority

It’s not just the outsides of the OnePlus 9 and iPhone 13 series that differ, the insides are different as can be as well. One of the more obvious points is that Apple uses its own A15 Bionic chip across the entire range. Then there’s the operating system, with the new iPhone series running Apple’s latest iOS 15.

OnePlus, on the other hand, tapped the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 to keep the lights on in its latest flagships. Both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are currently running on Android 11 with Oxygen OS 11 on top, but it’s safe to expect a prompt update to Android 12 in the coming months. The maker of Android’s so-called flagship killer is also happy to boast about its onboard RAM — you can take your pick between 8GB and 12GB. You can get either phone with up to 256GB of storage.

OnePlus is more forthcoming about its battery sizes as well and holds a huge edge on charging speeds. Its 2021 duo offers a 4,500mAh battery on both models with 65W Warp Charge right out of the box. You can also try 50W wireless charging on the OnePlus 9 Pro or 15W speeds on the standard OnePlus 9.

Read next: OnePlus Warp Charge 65 review

Apple is just as happy not to tell you how much RAM the iPhone 13 family carries, and you won’t find a clear battery capacity, either. However, iOS is perfectly optimized to squeeze every last minute of juice from its smaller cells. You can give 15W MagSafe wireless charging a try or stick with standard Qi wireless charging at 7.5W speeds. The Pro models come with as much a 1TB of storage, while the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini can be had with up to 512GB of space.

Both families offer 5G support as well as Wi-Fi 6 when you’re connected to a home network. OnePlus went for the newer Bluetooth 5.2, while the iPhone series is rolling with Bluetooth 5.0.

As if the OnePlus 9 and iPhone 13 needed more ways to differ, it’s time to take a look at the cameras. Apple is doubling and tripling down on its 12MP lenses with great results. The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini pack a pair of lenses on the back, though they’ve moved to a diagonal configuration for the first time. You can push them to 2x optical zoom or 5x digital zoom, and both phones offer Deep Fusion and Night Mode.

Apple has perfected its 12MP shooters over the years, while OnePlus is hoping to maximize its megapixels.

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max bring a 12MP telephoto sensor into the mix, and they’ve always been the way to go for photography enthusiasts. You can achieve slightly better optical and digital zooms, and you’ll have to go for the Pro models if you want Apple ProRAW. Apple is also making a big deal about its latest video capacity, with HDR video powered by Dolby Vision at up to 60fps.

OnePlus wants nothing to do with 12MP lenses, instead partnering with Hasselblad to push the megapixels to their limits. The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro feature a 48MP Sony sensor as their main lens with a 50MP ultra-wide option for backup. The OnePlus 9 rounds out with a 2MP monochrome option, while the OnePlus 9 Pro puts an 8MP telephoto lens on top of it all. You can shoot up to 8K video at 30fps on both phones or try 4K at up to 60fps.


Price and colors

iPhone 13 Pro series real world

Credit: Apple
  • OnePlus 9: $729 / €719 / £629
  • OnePlus 9 Pro: $969 / €919 / £829
  • iPhone 13 Mini: $699 / €829 / £679
  • iPhone 13: $799 / €929 / £779
  • iPhone 13 Pro: $999 / €1,179 / £949
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max: $1,099 / €1,279 / £1,049

If you’re hoping to save yourself a little bit of money, it’s tough to top the iPhone 13 Mini. It starts at just $699, though you’ll get the smallest display and the smallest battery to match.

Apple’s other models keep the same pricing structure as last year, but there are a few new colors to choose from. If you want either of the smaller, more affordable devices, your options include pink, blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red. The iPhone 13 Pro siblings come in gold, silver, Graphite, and Sierra Blue.

Save some money: The best iPhone deals

Either one of Apple’s premium devices is a sure-fire way to spend over $1,000 when all is said and done. The iPhone 13 Pro kicks off at $999, while the Pro Max adds another $100 to that price for the base model. If you need extra storage, you can bet that the price will skyrocket.

OnePlus also abandoned its flagship killer prices for the OnePlus 9 series. While the OnePlus 9 starts at $70 less than its iPhone rival, the OnePlus 9 Pro shatters the $1,000 barrier for the 256GB version. On the bright side, it’s still $30 more affordable than the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro Max.

As for color options, the OnePlus 9 comes in Morning Mist, Pine Green, and Stellar Black. The OnePlus 9 Pro switches things up with Winter Mist, Arctic Sky, and Astral Black options instead.

OnePlus 9 Pro
$969 .00 Save $100 .00
Buy it Now
OnePlus 9
$729 .00
Buy it Now
Apple iPhone 13 The vanilla model with all the basics.
The standard iPhone 13 features a similar camera array as last year's iPhone 12 but has some new design elements, such as a reduced notch.
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
$699 .00
Buy it Now
Apple iPhone 13 Pro
$999 .00
Buy it Now
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
$1099 .00
Buy it Now

Specs

 OnePlus 9OnePlus 9 Pro
Display6.55-inch flat AMOLED
20:9 aspect ratio
2,400 x 1,080 at 402ppi
120Hz refresh rate (static)
6.7-inch curved LTPO AMOLED
20.1:9 aspect ratio
3,216 x 1,440 at 525ppi
120Hz refresh rate (adaptive)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
RAMMin: 8GB LPDDR5
Max: 12GB LPDDR5
Min: 8GB LPDDR5
Max: 12GB LPDDR5
StorageMin: 128GB UFS 3.1
Max: 256GB UFS 3.1
No external storage support
Min: 128GB UFS 3.1
Max: 256GB UFS 3.1
No external storage support
Power4,500mAh battery

Warp Charge 65T
65W charger in box

15W Qi-compatible wireless charging
(Wireless only in NA/Europe)
4,500mAh battery

Warp Charge 65T
65W charger in box

Warp Charge 50 Wireless
10V/6.5A, 20V/3.25A
Output: 50W (with prop. charging stand)
PortsUSB-C 3.1 Gen 1
No 3.5mm headphone jack
No microSD card slot
USB-C 3.1 Gen 1
No 3.5mm headphone jack
No microSD card slot
Connectivity5G support
Wi-Fi 6 support
2x2 MIMO
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
NFC support
Bluetooth 5.2
5G support
Wi-Fi 6 support
2x2 MIMO
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
NFC support
Bluetooth 5.2
CamerasRear:
1) 48MP main (Sony IMX689)
1/1.43-inch sensor
1.12μm/46MP or 2.24μm/12MP
ƒ/1.8, EIS

2) 50MP ultra-wide (Sony IMX766)
1/1.56-inch sensor
ƒ/2.2

3) 2MP monochrome

Front:
- 16MP single (Sony IMX471)
1.0μm with EIS
ƒ/2.4, fixed focus
Rear:
1) 48MP main (Sony IMX789)
1/1.43-inch sensor
1.12μm/46MP or 2.24μm/12MP
ƒ/1.8, EIS, OIS

2) 50MP ultra-wide (Sony IMX766)
1/1.56-inch sensor
ƒ/2.2

3) 8MP telephoto
1.0μm, ƒ/2.4

4) 2MP monochrome

Front:
- 16MP single (Sony IMX471)
1.0μm with EIS
ƒ/2.4, fixed focus
Video8K at 30fps
4K at 30 or 60fps
Super slo-mo at 720p/480fps or 1080p/240fps
Time lapse at 1080p/30fps or 4k/30fps
8K at 30fps
4K at 30, 60, or 120fps
Super slo-mo at 720p/480fps or 1080p/240fps
Time lapse at 1080p/30fps or 4k/30fps
AudioBluetooth 5.2
aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, AAC
Dual stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos
Bluetooth 5.2
aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, AAC
Dual stereo speakers
Dolby Atmos
SecurityNo IP rating against water/dust
In-display fingerprint sensor
Face unlock (insecure)
IP68-rated
In-display fingerprint sensor
Face unlock (insecure)
SoftwareAndroid 11
Oxygen OS 11
Android 11
Oxygen OS 11
Dimensions and weightNA/Europe:
160 x 74.2 x 8.7mm
192g

India/China:
160 x 73.9 x 8.1mm
183g
Global:
163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm
197g
ColorsWinter Mist, Arctic Sky, Astral
Black
Morning Mist, Pine Green, Stellar
Black
 iPhone 13 MiniiPhone 13
Display5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
800 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,532 x 1,170 resolution
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
800 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
ProcessorApple A15 BionicApple A15 Bionic
Storage128 / 256 / 512GB128 / 256 / 512GB
BatteryQi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)

MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)

MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
CamerasRear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.6, OIS, 7-element lens
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction

2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 5x, Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3

Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 30fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 3x

Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2

Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Rear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.6, OIS, 7-element lens
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/2.4, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction

2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 5x, Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3

Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 30fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 3x

Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2

Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Connectivity5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
SensorsFace ID
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
Face ID
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
SoftwareiOS 15iOS 15
DurabilityIP68IP68
Dimensions and weight131.5 x 64.2 x 7.65mm
141g
146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm
174g
ColorsPink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Product RedPink, Blue, Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red
In the boxiPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation
iPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation
 iPhone 13 ProiPhone 13 Pro Max
Display6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,532 x 1,170 resolution
ProMotion 120Hz
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
1,000 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED
2,778 x 1,284 resolution
ProMotion 120Hz
HDR, True Tone
Wide color (P3)
2,000,000:1 contrast ratio
1,000 nits max brightness (typical); 1200 nits max brightness (HDR)
Ceramic Shield front
ProcessorApple A15 BionicApple A15 Bionic
Storage128 / 256 / 512GB and 1TB128 / 256 / 512GB and 1TB
BatteryQi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)

MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W
Up to 50% charge in around 30 minutes with 20W adapter or higher (sold separately)

MagSafe:
Wireless charging up to 15W
Magnet array
Alignment magnet
Accessory Identification NFC
Magnetometer
CamerasRear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.5, dual OIS, 7-element lens, 100% Focus Pixels, Night Mode
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/1.8, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction, Night Mode
-Telephoto 12MP, ƒ/2.8, dual OIS, 6-element lens

3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, 6x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 15x, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, Apple ProRAW

Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 60fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 6x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 9x

Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2

Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Rear:
-Wide-angle 12MP, ƒ/1.5, dual OIS, 7-element lens, 100% Focus Pixels, Night Mode
-Ultra-wide 12MP, ƒ/1.8, 120° field of view, 5-element lens, lens correction, Night Mode
-Telephoto 12MP, ƒ/2.8, dual OIS, 6-element lens

3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, 6x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 15x, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, Apple ProRAW

Video:
HDR video with Dolby Vision up to 60fps
4K video at 24fps, 30fps, or 60fps
1080p HD video at 30fps or 60fps
720p HD video at 30fps
OIS for video (Wide)
3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 6x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 9x

Front:
-TrueDepth 12MP, ƒ/2.2

Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3
Connectivity5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
5G (sub‑6GHz and mmWave)
Gigabit LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) with 2x2 MIMO
Bluetooth 5
Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
NFC
Express Cards with power reserve
GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou
Digital compass
Wi‑Fi
Cellular
iBeacon microlocation
SensorsFace ID
LiDAR Scanner
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
Face ID
LiDAR Scanner
Barometer
Three‑axis gyro
Accelerometer
Proximity sensor
Ambient light sensor
SoftwareiOS 15iOS 15
DurabilityIP68IP68
Dimensions and weight146.7 x 71.5 x 7.65mm
204g
160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65mm
240g
ColorsGraphite, Gold, Silver, and Sierra BlueGraphite, Gold, Silver, and Sierra Blue
In the boxiPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation
iPhone
USB‑C to Lightning cable
Documentation

OnePlus 9 vs iPhone 13: Which should you buy?

OnePlus 9 Pro showing back

Credit: Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

For a lot of people, which brand to go with will come down to the operating system. However, that’s only a part of the story, since there are other differences between the phones. Even though features and performance between the two series are generally similar, each one offers its own twists.

You get Face ID with the new iPhones, and the Pro models come with as much as 1TB of storage for those who need it. Then there’s the size, with Apple offering the smallest device with the iPhone 13 Mini, which is the best option for those looking for a compact device. And let’s not forget that Apple is known for offering software updates for years longer than most Android OEMs, so that could swing your vote.

See also: Which OnePlus 9 phone is right for you?

On the other hand, you get faster charging with OnePlus devices, and the Pro model comes with a curved display that adds a bit of character to the handset. The design of the phones feels a bit more modern due to the smaller display cutout. You also get a camera system with more megapixels, a higher resolution display on the Pro model, and more.

Pricing is almost identical in the US, depending on your storage preference, although the OnePlus 9 series is the more affordable option throughout Europe.

So to sum up, which phone to go with comes down to the operating system as well as the bells and whistles you value more. We prefer the OnePlus 9 series here at Android Authority for obvious reasons, although no one can deny the fact that Apple makes great phones as well.


That’s it for our OnePlus 9 vs iPhone 13 comparison! Which one are you considering?