Rumors of a partnership between OnePlus and Hasselblad have been swirling for months, but now the two companies are making it official at the OnePlus 9 launch on March 23.
While OnePlus didn’t go into specifics about its upcoming products, in a press release issued today, the company repeatedly used the phrase “OnePlus 9 series,” implying that we’re probably going to get a base model and fancier “Pro” model, similar to years past.
However, the bigger development is the new partnership between OnePlus and Hasselblad, which OnePlus says will see the company invest $150 million over the next three years to improve its camera experience. This is something OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau has hinted at before as a major goal for 2021, and it makes a lot of sense. Image quality has been one of the biggest shortcomings of OnePlus phones compared to handsets from Apple, Google, Samsung, and others.
Starting with the OnePlus 9 series, OnePlus will feature a new color calibration process called Natural Color Calibration developed with Hasselblad that OnePlus says will serve as its color accuracy and calibration standard going forward.
On top of that, OnePlus is also adding a new Hasselblad Pro mode that should make it easier to edit and fine-tune photos, giving users more granular control over settings like ISO, focus, white balance, and more. OnePlus will even support 12-bit RAW photos that should deliver richer colors and better dynamic range.
As for hardware, OnePlus says it worked with Hasselblad to create a new free-form lens for the OnePlus 9 series that the company claims completely eliminates the typical distortion you get from ultra-wide camera lenses. OnePlus says that main sensor used in the OnePlus will be Sony’s IMX789, which can also capture 4K video at 120 fps, or 8K video at 30 fps.
And looking forward even further, OnePlus says it’s working on new tech for future phones, including a panoramic camera with a 140-degree field of view and T-lens technology, which is supposed to deliver faster focusing times for front-facing cameras.
Other expected features include support for 5G and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chip, but for more in-depth details about the various models and pricing, we’re gonna have to wait until the official event, which kicks off at 10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT on March 23.