OnePlus 9 Pro versus Galaxy S21 Ultra camera comparison: pure disappointment


The new OnePlus 9 Pro was unveiled this week, promising to deliver a big jump in camera quality when compared to its predecessors. The Oneplus 8 Pro had good cameras, but it was still a step behind what Samsung, Apple, and Google were delivering. To fix that, Oneplus partnered with Hasselblad to tuned the sensors on its new flagship device which should allow it to be a contender for the best smartphone camera of 2021.

Since the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the obvious competitor to the new Oneplus 9 Pro, we thought we’d use it in our first camera comparison test. The approaches taken by each device are dramatically different. Samsung has gone all-in on its 108MP main camera and 10x telephoto camera. That being said, OnePlus has invested heavily into its main and ultrawide camera sensors. We’re especially fond of the Sony IMX766 used on the OnePlus and its freeform lens which dramatically reduces edge distortion in ultrawide shots and performs quite admirably in low-light conditions as well.

But the real advantage the Galaxy S21 Ultra has is with its 40MP selfie camera that can also deliver 4k video at 60fps. OnePlus decided to still with the same 16MP sensor it’s been using for a few years now with only 1080p video capture which has been bumped up to 60fps this time around.

To see how these two compare in every-day use, take a look at the video and photos below.

OnePlus 9 Pro versus Galaxy S21 Ultra camera specs

OnePlus 9 Pro

  • 48 MP (main), f/1.8, 23mm (wide), 1/1.43″, 1.12µm, OIS
  • 8 MP, (3.3x telephoto) f/2.4, 77mm, OIS
  • 50 MP, (ultrawide) f/2.2, 14mm, freeform lens , 1/1.56″, 1.0µm
  • 2 MP, f/2.4, (monochrome)
  • 16 MP, f/2.4, (selfie)
  • Video: 8k@30 (main), 4k@60 (rear), 1080p@60 (seflie)

Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • 108MP (main) Phase Detection AF, OIS, F1.8, 0.8µm
  • 12MP (ultra0wide) Dual Pixel AF, FOV 120°, F2.2, 1.4µm (ultrawide),
  • 10MP (3x telephoto) Dual Pixel AF, Optical 3x, OIS, F2.4, 1.22µm (telephoto),:
  • 10MP (10x telephoto) Dual Pixel AF, Optical 10x, OIS, F4.9, 1.22µm (telephoto)
  • 40MP (selfie) Phase Detection AF, FOV 80°, F2.2, 0.7 µm
  • Video: 4K@60 (all cameras) 8K@24 (main)


Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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