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16 Jul 2021

OnePlus 9 vs 9 Pro: four years of security support announced for flagships

OnePlus has increased security support for its premium mobile phones and the cheaper Nord 10 5G. Read our reviews of the latest handsets
OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro

The once-affordable OnePlus's 2021 smartphones come with prices that put them firmly in the premium category. But with the announcement of four years of security updates, they might just be worth it.

Read on to see all the features on the new OnePlus flagships and how its security support compares with other leading brands.

Read our mobile phone reviews to compare the latest handsets to come out of our test lab, and browse the best Sim-only and contract deals at Which? Mobile Switch

OnePlus 9, £629

OnePlus 9

OnePlus' latest flagship looks, at least on paper, like a real contender to the big brands. It hopes to tempt you away from the likes of Samsung Galaxy and Google PIxel with some premium features, most notably wireless charging, 8K video recording and IP68 waterproofing - which means your phone should survive a dip in water up to 1.5 metres deep for up to 30 minutes.

You also get high-resolution cameras - a 40Mp wide, 50Mp ultra-wide and 2Mp monochrome lens on the back, plus a 16Mp selfie camera. There's enough room to cram a hefty 4,500mAh battery in the 6.6-inch frame, and you get a beautiful OLED screen, too. The high 120Hz refresh rate should help your videos to display beautifully and minimise annoying jitters while you're scrolling.

There's plenty of computing power, with Qualcomm's advanced Snapdragon 888 processor backed up by a hefty 8GB of Ram. You can't extend the 128GB of storage, although it's enough that you hopefully shouldn't need to.

See if this phone really is the full package by reading our OnePlus 9 review.

OnePlus 9 Pro, £829

OnePlus 9 Pro

The OnePlus 9 Pro is the priciest phone at launch that OnePlus has ever announced - beating last year's 8 Pro by £29.

On the surface, there isn't much to differentiate this model from the cheaper OnePlus 9. There's the same amount of internal storage, an equally sized battery, the same premium added extras (waterproofing and wireless charging) and, unusually, there's no upgrade to the processor or Ram on this premium version.

Changes come on the display (the Pro has an extra 0.1-inch on the 9, the addition of curved sides and a higher display resolution), and an additional telephoto lens on the camera setup. It might not sound like much, but we've seen excellent results from tele lenses in our test lab, particularly in retaining detail while zooming, so we'd expect great things from this model.

Read our OnePlus 9 Pro review to see how this model performed across all our tough tests.

OnePlus Nord N10 5G, £249

OnePlus Nord N10 5G

We were intrigued by the N10 5G when it launched late last year. It stood out in its price bracket thanks to the addition of 5G, 6GB of Ram and a 64Mp main camera, although the news that OnePlus would only send updates for two years somewhat dampened our excitement.

However, it's not just OnePlus's pricier phones that will benefit from longer support periods. It's also announced that the Nord series, including the N10 5G, will be updated for three years - putting this phone firmly back on the map if you're shopping for a budget handset.

It offers 128GB of internal storage (which can be extended via the micro-SD card slot), and unlike OnePlus's very cheapest phones, it's equipped with near-field communication (NFC) so you can use it to make contactless payments.

It's currently on sale for £249 directly from OnePlus - a huge saving compared with its £329 launch price. Before you buy, though, head to our OnePlus Nord N10 5G review to check if it's the right phone for you.

Smartphone security updates: how the brands compare

If you want to buy a phone that's built to last, you'll have to consider the issue of security updates. These vital patches are delivered via notification for you to download and keep your phone secure, but they don't last forever.

We've long highlighted the problem of short security update cycles, with some lasting for just two years. That's after their launch, too, not the day you buy it, so you could find yourself using an unsupported phone before you've even paid off your 24-month contract.

The length of support is based on the brand you pick, so choose wisely - and bear in mind that the cheaper brands (and some budget handsets from pricier ones) are likely to have shorter update periods.

  • 2 years Honor, Huawei, Motorola, Realme and Xiaomi all update their phones for just two years, although some brands (such as Motorola) are more transparent with their customers than others. Most Oppo phones too, although the Find X3 range will get three.
  • 3 years All Google phones and most Nokia models (although cheaper phones have two years).
  • 4 years Samsung leads Android with four years for most phones launched from 2019. OnePlus's flagships will now get four years, too, but cheaper ranges will have three.
  • 5 years Apple beats all of Android for security support duration. Five years is its official policy, although in practice it's been known to beat this.

Read more on the mobile phones that offer the best security support

Find out if your mobile phone is still secure

If you're currently using an older phone, or thinking of buying a new one, our security updates tool will tell you whether it's still supported and how much longer we suspect it will receive updates. Simply type in your make and model to find out.

If your model is no longer supported, head to the best phones we've tested to choose a new handset and read our guide on using an out-of-support phone for tips on keeping safe while you wait to upgrade.