New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on April 16, 2021) follows:

Recently we saw OnePlus taking the wraps off its 2021 flagship devices, the OnePlus 9 series. All the bells and whistles and prices notwithstanding, the devices got a largely positive reception.

However, users in India felt like they were getting the short end of the stick as the OnePlus 9 variant sold in the country felt like a watered-down version of what the international users were getting.

Aside from missing out on some features such as wireless charging, the OnePlus 9 sold in India only comes with two 5G bands as opposed to the international variant’s 13 bands.

OnePlus is yet to officially come out and explain why this discrepancy exists between two devices that are meant to be identical.

OnePlus 9 5G Bands in India vs International ( Source 1,2)

While on paper, this might appear as a non-issue, it does have far-reaching consequences, especially for users who travel a lot as this means that they might not be able to use their devices while roaming.

This concern has led to a pretty big backlash on OnePlus with Indian users of the device feeling short-changed as their variant appears inferior in comparison.

Now, it is coming to light that OnePlus plans to address the 5G bands issue on a case-by-case basis. New reports now indicate that OnePlus will enable the needed bands via OTA.

OnePlus Confirms they’ll upgrade the 5G bands via a Software Update whenever Network Providers comes up with 5G in India. It’s not a Hardware Limitation.

5G bands enabled when needed

In an alleged conversation between a OnePlus customer support rep and a OnePlus user, the company goes to confirm that it will enable the said 5G bands as carriers begin to support it in India.

This, therefore, means that the missing 5G bands on the Indian variant of the OnePlus 9 devices is software-based and that the hardware isn’t lacking compared to the international variant.

chat with onepus support
Click/Tap to Zoom

We might have to wait for teardown videos of the Indian variants of the OnePlus 9 devices to see if the same case applies to the missing wireless charging assembly.

While it is common to see OEMs ship devices with slightly different features to various regions, it is uncharacteristic of any company, let alone OnePlus, to have these many discrepancies.


We shall continue to keep an eye on this and update as and when we get more info so stay tuned to PiunikaWeb.

Update 1 (May 11)

IST 13:20 pm: So it turns out that this is not going to happen after all. In a recent OnePlus 9 series FAQ post on the Community Forum, OnePlus said:

no 5g bands for indian oneplus 9
Click/Tap to zoom

No, this is not possible to update via software in the future. The indian oneplus 9 series models only support 2 bands for 5g new radio (nr). The 5g bands on the oneplus 9 series are decided based primarily on the priority of indian carriers. The highest priority band is n78, which will be the most commonly deployed 5g bands in india and has the widest frequency that reflects the advantage of 5g transmission rate so far, then potentially n41 and other bands. Meanwhile, we will keep working closely with indian carriers to monitor regional developments and continue improving our product and service so that oneplus users can enjoy a fast and smooth 5g experience.

NOTE: We have these and many more OnePlus stories in our dedicated OnePlus section.

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Clinton Madegwa
1118 Posts

A cybernaut grasping at all things tech. Lover of Android, Linux, and custom ROMS. A nerd, a writer, an avid reader.

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