14 First things to do with the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro


The OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro are finally here, and after you’ve placed your order for one, it’s just a matter of waiting for it to arrive on your doorstep or in the mailbox. After you unbox these new phones, you’ll likely be wondering what the next steps you should take. Well, we’ve got you covered, and here are the first 14 things you should do with your OnePlus 9 or OnePlus 9 Pro.

Set up your fingerprint scanner

Fingerprint unlocking technology is probably one of the more secure forms of login as fingerprints are unique to each person. The in-display fingerprint scanner on the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro is extremely secure while being fast enough to make you forget about the days of a rear-mounted scanner. 

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & Lock Screen.
  3. Select Fingerprint Unlock.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps.

Set up Face Unlock

With the iPhone X, Apple popularized facial recognition on smartphones. Since then, other phone makers have implemented face unlock with varying degrees of security. The feature is largely available across all Android devices, but the baked-in version of Face Unlock is not as secure as that found on the Pixel 4 or the iPhone 12.

That being said, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro make use of the built-in version, meaning that there’s not much in terms of actual biometric protection here. Nevertheless, if you want to set up face unlock on your new OnePlus device, here’s how you can do it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Security & Lock Screen.
  3. Select Face Unlock.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps.

Check for a software update

Unsurprisingly, you will likely have a software update awaiting you after you’ve finished setting up your OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro for the first time. The company pushed a day-one update, and here’s how you can check for the update to install it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap System.
  3. Select System Updates.
  4. Tap the Check for updates button at the bottom.

Turn up the resolution (OnePlus 9 Pro Only)

As we’ve seen from other devices with high resolutions, some phone makers make it possible for you to bump down the resolution in order to save yourself a bit of battery life. Out of the box, the QHD+ display on the 9 Pro is set to FHD+ resolution, but you can you turn things up to the best resolution possible to pair with the fast 120Hz refresh rate.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Select Resolution.
  5. Select QHD+.

Force the 120Hz refresh rate

While a 120Hz refresh rate will certainly make your phone look and feel smoother, it can be detrimental to battery life depending on your usage patterns. If you’re trying to squeeze as much battery out of the phone as possible, it might not the worst idea to turn it down to 60Hz.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap Advanced.
  4. Select Refresh Rate.
  5. Tap 120Hz.
  6. Go back to the previous screen.

Customize your home screen

Back in the day, if you wanted to give your phone a new look, you’d usually have to turn to third-party apps and launchers. While that’s still a viable option, if you’d rather not go through the hassle, the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro come with their own theming options.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Customization.
  3. Select one of the following:
    • Theme
    • Lock Screen and Ambient Display
    • Accent Color
    • System Icons
    • Icon Pack
    • Font 

If you would rather just customize your Home Screen instead of theming the entire system, you can do so without ever opening the Settings app.

  1. Long-press an empty space on the Home Screen.
  2. Tap Home settings.
  3. Select one of the following:
    • Add icon to Home Screen
    • Swipe down to access
    • Google
    • Double tap to lock
    • Launcher Layout
    • Quick search gestures
    • Notification dots
    • Icon Pack
    • Home Screen Layout
    • Hidden Space

Arrange your status bar icons

The status bar plays home to a lot of information about our phone, like notifications, signal strength, cellular connectivity, battery life, and so on, but if you’re not a fan of too many icons cluttering the status bar, you can change that.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Select Status Bar.
  4. Select Icon Manager.

From here, you are able to turn on or off the icons that you want to be shown in the status bar. There are some that you will likely want to keep (i.e. signal strength), but others can be removed without any worries.

Enable the Always-On Display

Instead of needing to worry about tapping your phone every time you want to check the time or see notifications, why not use the Always On Display? This is a feature that is found on just about every other Android phone nowadays, including the OnePlus 9 lineup. Here’s how you can get it set up on your new phone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Display.
  3. Tap Ambient Display.
  4. Tap Always-on ambient display.
  5. Select from one of the following:
    • Off
    • Schedule
    • All day 

Save battery life with Dark Mode

Dark Mode is a useful feature especially when it’s night and you don’t want the white elements from the UI blinding you. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, OnePlus has opted to use its own dark mode UI instead of Android’s default dark mode, but it’s not an issue.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Display.
  3. Tap Dark Mode.
  4. Select from the following:
    • Manual
    • Turn on automatically

From here, you can manually enable Dark Mode, but you can also set your OnePlus 9 or 9 Pro up to have Dark Mode turned on automatically at certain times of the day. For example, many folks enjoy having Dark Mode enabled at night, so you don’t end up blinding yourself when using your phone in the dark. That leaves light mode to be enabled while the sun is up, and Dark Mode to turn on when the sun sets.

Customize what the Power Button can do

The Power Button on your OnePlus 9 does much more than just allowing you to access the Power Menu on your OnePlus 9. You can actually customize various actions to be performed when either double-clicking or holding down the button for a couple of seconds.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Buttons & Gestures.
  3. Choose from one of the following:
    • Double click the power button
      • None
      • Camera
    • Press and hold the power button
      • Power Menu
      • Voice Assistant (Google)

Grab a case

While putting a case on a smartphone would hide its beautiful design, the fact of the matter is that our phones are used on a daily basis and as such, can get damaged and scuffed pretty easily if not protected.

Also, if you plan to keep the phone for the next several years, keeping it protected in a case will go a long way in ensuring that your phone stays in tip-top shape. Some of the cases that you might want to check out include:

Find a wireless charger

For the first time, the base model OnePlus device is capable of wireless charging. Unlike the OnePlus 9 Pro, charging speeds are capped at 15W, so you won’t be able to make use of the Warp Charge 50 wireless charger’s full capacity. However, these are the best OnePlus 9 wireless chargers that you can get.

Download some new apps and games

There are likely quite a few apps that you already use and install immediately whenever setting up a phone for the first time. But the Play Store is a wonderful place where you can find and download new apps that you never would have thought of needing or wanting before. Here are some roundups to get you going.

Learn more about the OnePlus 9


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