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Here’s our first look at the OnePlus 9 in person

The OnePlus 9 series isn’t expected to launch until March 2021, but we’re already seeing little sneak peeks and leaks of specs. Today, we have something better: In-hand photos of an early OnePlus 9 development device.

Leaked details and composite CAD renders are one thing, but seeing the phone in person is even better. These photos of a purported OnePlus 9 arrived from a tipster, and we believe they’re legit.

What we see here falls right in line with previous leaks. The glass back has generously rounded corners on all sides, and the metal frame looks to have a high gloss to it as well. The oblong camera pod looks similar in size to the OnePlus 8T, and holds two main cameras and a tertiary camera below — the difference being that, at least here, it’s color-matched and not black like on the 8T. We have no idea if this color is anywhere near final — previous renders have shown darker colors — but this is a nicely pearlescent silver variant with a serious gloss to it.

You may be wondering about the logo on the back. No, this isn’t some new OnePlus logo or a sub-brand — it’s just a placeholder. Development devices typically have a placeholder logo (or no markings at all) to denote them as being unfinished, and to (hopefully) keep them a bit more stealthy.

There’s a whole lot of OnePlus 8T identity here — and that isn’t surprising.

Around front, it’s more of the same. Small and consistent, but still visible, bezels all the way around are broken only by a tiny top speaker and a top-left hole punch camera. You could glance and easily think this is a OnePlus 8T. It’s also nice to see that the Alert Slider is still available on the side, right above the power button.

The person who provided these photos confirmed that the device is model “LE2117,” which is previously rumored to be the base OnePlus 9. The device is also reported to have 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which is disappointing by typical OnePlus flagship standards, but with rumors pointing to there being up to three OnePlus 9 models, it shouldn’t be too surprising that the base phone would have only 8GB of RAM, with the higher model(s) likely sporting 12GB.

We expect the entire OnePlus 9 range to use the new Snapdragon 888 processor. Leaks point to the base model having a pair of Sony 48MP cameras, one standard and one ultrawide — that’d be a big upgrade for the latter. We don’t know what the third camera is … but OnePlus doesn’t have a strong history with its tertiary macro and monochrome cameras.

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