The OnePlus 9 Pro and OnePlus 9 will offer up one of the best Android phone experiences of the year, making noticeable improvements to the cameras while still offering up some of the best hardware and performance that we've come to expect — nay, demand — from OnePlus. If you intend to pick one up, the question of what color to get is a little stickier this year due to some geographical restrictions. Still, no matter where you live or what phone you're looking to buy, this is the definitive ranking for each OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro colorway.
OnePlus has a track record of making gorgeous green phones, and the Pine Green 9 Pro is a solid continuation of the trend. The more understated green here is wonderfully down-to-earth, and it's a more matte finish so that you don't have to worry quite as much about smudges, so this year, go green!
Elusive matte magic
You'd be forgiven for thinking at first glance that this is a return to the Sandstone texture the original OnePlus One had, but no, it's not. It's still a sweet-looking matte finish for the OnePlus 9 Pro, but it's not available in North America. Asia and Europe, this one's for you, you lucky bastards.
Reflections of everything
Morning Mist's silver isn't a lack of color: it's more like Gandalf the White's coat, woven with many colors to dazzle and amaze. Combined with the reflective finish, it captivates — but it also will show fingerprints and smudges quite easily, so you'll want to keep a cleaning cloth handy.
The perfect blue
I'm an absolute sucker for a blue smartphone, and the Arctic Sky OnePlus 9 strikes the perfect balance. It's not too bold a blue like the Ultramarine OnePlus 8 last year nor too understated like the Cloud Blue Galaxy S20, and it's a matte finish, unlike the smudge-prone shine of the Winter Mist. Unfortunately, it's not available in North America, but in Europe and Asia, this is the best one for you.
Like a winter storm
The light lilac purple on the Winter Mist reminds me a lot of the Thunder Purple, especially with the gradient from the top towards the bottom here. It's distinct, lovely, and purple gives it a nice gender-neutral appeal. I wish it weren't quite so reflective, but that mirror finish will help it shine in any kind of light.
Dark as night
I wish the Astral Black OnePlus 9 had a matte finish like the Arctic Sky (or the Stellar Black 9 Pro), but instead, we're given a very glossy finish like the Winter Mist. This means that the Astral Black is smudge-prone and harder to keep clean, but you know what they say: black goes with everything.
Why Pine Green is the OnePlus 9 Pro color to beat
There may be three colors available for the OnePlus 9 Pro — well, two in North America — but there's really only one you should consider: Pine Green. The reason for this is twofold: the shade of green here is exquisite and fully deserving of its place in your pocket, dock, or dashboard mount as you go about your day, and the second is that this is the only matte finish OnePlus 9 Pro that's available in all markets.
While Stellar Black is a nice colorway in its own right, black is still boring — after all, basically every electronic ever made comes in black — and it's not available globally. Europe and Asia get all three 9 Pro colors, but the Stellar Black is excluded from North America for reasons unknown. This makes me sad, but not as sad as it should make regular OnePlus 9 buyers since the excluded color in the smaller version is really the one you'll want to buy.
The best OnePlus 9 color is excluded from North America
I'm a sucker for a sweet purple phone, I really am, but the Winter Mist OnePlus 9 is glossy, and it attracts blemishing smudges like honey lures flies. While in previous years, OnePlus tended to give a matte finish to most phones, the OnePlus 9 has two glossy options and only one matte — and that matte option is not coming to North America. So if you're in the United States, Canada, or Mexico, buy the Winter Mist, get a good case, and stop reading before I wax poetic about the phone you can't buy.
Arctic Sky is a soft, matte cerulean that looks like a crisp November morning with just the sheerest lacy layer of clouds touching the sky and keeping in an extra bit of warmth during the cold winter nights. It's soft but not slick; it's striking but not showy; it's ever so slightly bold but without the brashness of the shinier gradients on the Arctic Sky.
It is beauty, it is grace, but I can't buy it from this place. So if you live in Europe or India, take advantage and flaunt that superior shade of cerulean!
Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.
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