OnePlus on Monday, March 8, confirmed that it is going to officially launch the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus Pro on March 23 at 8:30 pm IST. It also confirms a partnership with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad to improve hardware camera systems.
OnePlus 9 Pro with curved 1440p 120Hz display, 45W fast charging, and reverse wireless charging. There’s also confirmation of 5G, which isn’t surprising in this year 2021.
“Now, through close R&D collaboration, OnePlus and Hasselblad will work together to deliver vastly improved camera systems on future OnePlus smartphones, including the upcoming OnePlus 9 Series,” the company said in a statement.
As for the Hasselblad partnership, “co-develop the next generation of smartphone camera systems for future OnePlus flagship devices.” That includes the upcoming 9-series devices. For a start, the companies claim to have tweaked the cameras’ color reproduction to look more natural.
“With OnePlus’ top-of-the-line hardware and computational photography and Hasselblad’s rich aesthetic knowledge in traditional photography, I am confident that the OnePlus 9 Series will be a major leap forward in our ability to deliver a premium, flagship camera,” said Pete Lau, Founder, and CEO of OnePlus, in a prepared statement.
“By partnering with OnePlus, we hope to put Hasselblad’s iconic design and outstanding image quality in the hands of more people and share our passion for incredible photography,” said Jon Diele, Vice President, Hasselblad.
OnePlus and Hasselblad will work together over the next three years. The companies will start their collaboration by bringing software improvements including color tuning and sensor calibration. The partnership will be extended to more dimensions in the future, OnePlus said in the statement.
The 9-series will also use a new Sony IMX789 sensor and offer 12-bit RAW image capture, which the Samsung S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max also include. That’s a nice step forward to capture and retain this large amount of data, and it’s helpful for post-processing.
But a standard RAW file even one that’s 12-bit still misses out on the benefits of computational photography that you’ll enjoy taking a regular JPEG image with the native camera app. It would be even better to offer something like Apple’s ProRAW, which combines the benefits of those computational techniques and RAW image capture. That doesn’t seem to be what OnePlus is describing here, but we’ve reached out to ask and will update this story accordingly.
It’s fair to treat this Hasselblad partnership with some skepticism. OnePlus is far from the first smartphone manufacturer to partner with a legacy camera brand, and results from previous partnerships haven’t amounted to much. This isn’t even Hasselblad’s first partnership with a phone manufacturer.