OnePlus 9 Series Smartphones Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro smartphones.

Play Video
Tshaka Armstrong
YouTube Host, Mobile
Read More
May 12, 2021
4 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

Let's jump into some of my top tips and tricks for the OnePlus 9 series of smartphones. They're hot right now. The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro have some great features to them—some of my favorite features on Android devices—so I'm going to walk you through some things that'll help you get the most out of using your OnePlus 9 series smartphone.

Popular OnePlus 9 cell phone plans (available only through T-Mobile)

Popular OnePlus 9 Pro cell phone plans (available only through T-Mobile)

Hidden Spaces

The first feature I want to talk about is Hidden Spaces. If you are a consenting adult and you and your significant other like to trade steamy photos, or if you want to hide banking or other financial information apps on your phone, Hidden Spaces is for you.

Hidden Spaces is accessed a couple different ways.

The first way is to go into the app drawer and then swipe left or right, and then you'll get into Hidden Spaces. You can add apps there by clicking on the plus (+) symbol and then selecting an app. You can even password protect Hidden Spaces so nobody can access it except for you, which is kind of why it's called Hidden Spaces.

The other way you can access Hidden Spaces is by swiping. And I haven't got the muscle memory down for this yet. I've found it actually a little bit difficult to access Hidden Spaces from swiping out toward the edges of the screen, which is what you're supposed to be able to do. For me, the easiest way to access it is to go into the app drawer and just swipe right.

Reverse charging

New to the OnePlus 9 series is reverse charging. In order to activate reverse charging, follow these three simple steps.

  1. Go into the Settings menu.
  2. Go into the Battery menu.
  3. Turn on Reverse charge.

Boom. That will allow you to charge devices wirelessly using your phone as the charger.


One of my other favorite features that's really handy on this phone is called Letter Gestures.

Go into Quick Gestures. As you can see here, you can actually draw lines and letters. What they will do is they will allow you to add shortcuts to them. So, you can go ahead and add any shortcut to one of these hand-drawn letters. When the screen is off, you can draw that letter and trigger the corresponding gesture.

Let's assign O to the camera. You can go draw the letter O on the phone's touchscreen, and it will launch into the camera feature.

The other functionality that's really cool is double tap to turn screen off. You can also use the double tap to turn the screen on. One of my other favorite features is Scheduling Always On. I keep the screen display always on, but at night I schedule it for my bedtime hours. The ambient display will darken and will turn off between whatever hours the user sets.


T-Mobile's OnePlus 9 series of smartphones have Snapdragon 888 processors, which are great for gaming.

We recommend going into the Games app and adding your games to the Games app. What that's going to do is automatically launch any game you add to that Games app.

That will make it so that when you launch that game, the settings for gaming—such as Do not disturb and Game optimization including battery life, screen brightness, and display settings—will automatically be added to your game.


One great thing about OxygenOS 11 is there are a lot of shortcuts built into it.

Here's one of my favorite shortcuts. Go into Settings, go into Utilities, and go into the Quick Launch menu. That's where you can add shortcuts to apps.

These work via the Quick Launch menu so that when you hold down and unlock your phone, you can keep holding down and launch other items.

Custom icons

You get the standard Oxygen and Hydrogen icons with OnePlus. But with all the customization OnePlus allows you in OxygenOS 11, one of the first things I did was add a custom icon pack I found called Viral. I really, really like their icons. They're really cool. You can find them in the Play Store.

So if you like to play with and change your icons, I think you'll find the customization levels with OxygenOS 11 are just phenomenal. You definitely want to check those out.

Camera modes

One of the other things you're going to want to look at is the camera modes.

The camera module has a lot of stuff here by default. And so, let's say you don't want all of that. First, click the three buttons up top. You're going to go into the Settings menu. From there you're going to scroll down to Custom modes.

From here, you can rearrange the modes. You can delete and remove modes. Like tilt-shift is one that I don't really use. Panorama, I don't really use that often. Slow-mo, I may play with every now and then. But the ones I'm going to use most often are going to be Portrait and Pro, so I'll go ahead and move those up.

And when you come out of that mode and come back into the camera, now you have your modes that you most frequently access right up front, easy to get to. So that's how you can make the camera modes on OnePlus 9 phones more easily accessible.

Slow motion

Both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro smartphones give you the ability to go in and play with the different slow motion modes. On the Pro, you actually get 4K 120-fps slo-mo, which you access from the video menu.

The Slow motion menu is where you'll find a default set of slow motion features. In the case of the OnePlus 9, the defaults are 1080p at 240 frames per second and 720p at 480 frames per second. On the OnePlus 9, you don't get that 4K at 120 fps, but you do get 4K at 30 fps and 4K at 60 fps.

So what's the difference? Well, with 4K at 120 frames per second versus 1080p at 240 frames per second, obviously, you're going to get a slower video with the 1080p 240 fps, but you're going to get a higher resolution video with the 4K at 120 fps. So, it really depends on what kind of film project you're shooting and what frame rate is going to be applicable for the type of slo-mo you need.

These days, most people are using 1080p still. That 1080p at 240 frames per second, if you're shooting something like, let's say, dirt bikes, and you want to catch the dirt coming up off the wheel, you're going to get really great slo-mo out of that 240 frames per second, as opposed to the 120 frames per second.

Follow us on YouTube!

If this video helps you, please hit those Like and Subscribe buttons.

And go on and smash that notification bell to get updates whenever we put out a new video.

Tshaka Armstrong
Written by
Tshaka Armstrong
Tshaka is a nerd and Griot. Founder of the non-profit digital literacy organization Digital Shepherds, he’s also been a broadcast technology reporter, writer, and producer. In addition to being an award-winning broadcast storyteller, he’s also covered tech online and in print for everything from paintball gear technology, to parenting gadgets. He blathers on about his many curiosities on social media everywhere as @tshakaarmstrong.

Related Articles

Woman using a laptop for a conference call discussing the best internet service providers
8 Best Internet Service Providers 2022
Looking for the best home internet options? Read on to compare download speed, price, and...
A man with dark hair and a beard pays bills on his laptop while lying on a couch
5 Best Internet Deals of December 2022
Save money with the best home internet deals this month, including Xfinity deals, AT&T deals,...
Grandmother sitting on couch in living room watching cable TV
Basic Cable Packages and Channels Guide
We’ll help you find the best basic cable package for your living room and your...
Woman looking at cellphone outside
Visible Wireless Cell Phone Plans Review
Looking for a simpler cell phone plan? Visible Wireless is a no-nonsense prepaid provider that...