OnePlus Focuses on Better Photos With a Hasselblad Partnership

A OnePlus phone with Hasselblad brand cameras
OnePlus

It’s hard to find a better affordable flagship-like Android than OnePlus. But while OnePlus excels in most areas, it hasn’t in cameras. With the OnePlus 8 Pro, the company turned that around, but still not at Pixel, Samsung, or iPhone quality. Thanks to a partnership with Hasselblad, the company is teasing key improvements for the upcoming OnePlus 9 series on March 23.

OnePlus says it will fully announce the new OnePlus Series 9 5G on March 23 at 10:00 AM Eastern. Typically the OnePlus series includes two or three phones at varying price levels, like the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. Rumor suggests we’ll see an OnePlus 9, 9 Pro, and 9R, but we’ll have to wait to find out if that’s the case.

But while we’re always excited for the next generation of smartphones, the real point of interest here is the cameras. OnePlus phones are not known for their image prowess. For most OnePlus phones, any pictures you took with the devices were washed out and inferior, like something you’d expect from a smartphone five or more years old. The OnePlus 8 Pro started to change that and takes good photos. But the company still lags behind the major players in the photo field, like Google’s Pixel, Samsung, and iPhones.

OnePlus seems to want to change that and announced a three-year partnership with Hasselblad. Hasselblad has a storied reputation in the camera field, and chances are you’re familiar with images taken by the company’s lenses. Hasselblad cameras were the cameras of choice for the Apollo missions after all, and to this day, there are 12 Hasselblad cameras on the Moon.

It’s not just hardware that OnePlus says it will improve. Like Pixel phones, OnePlus wants to go after better software imaging, making the most of even lesser hardware. As Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus, put it:

This year, OnePlus will put all its strength into imaging. This is not just about upping the hardware specs. At OnePlus, we believe that aesthetic expertise is exactly what computational photography has been lacking. So, when OnePlus decided to go all-in on imaging, we set ourselves another simple goal: To take the rich aesthetic knowledge of traditional photography and blend it together with the computational photography that we already do well, to form a camera system with superlative imaging quality.

OnePlus even released a teaser (seen above) focused on taking photos in low-light situations. We’ll find out more when the company announces the OnePlus 9 Series on March 23, and we’ll let you know then.

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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