Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus confirmed on Monday that it has teamed up with Hasselblad, the Swedish camera maker, to develop the camera system on its devices. This announcement has all but confirmed that the OnePlus 9 series will be equipped with a revamped camera system that OnePlus is making in cooperation with Hasselblad. The phone will feature a Sony IMX789 sensor; coupled with HDR video and the ability to capture 4K at 120FPS and 8K at 30FPS.

OnePlus, whose OnePlus 9 series is set to hit the shelves on March 23, revealed its partnership with Hasselblad to develop the camera system and mobile imaging capabilities on the devices will entail an investment of over $150 million over the next three years. It is presumed that the OnePlus 9 pro will feature a ‘Hasselblad Camera for Mobile.’ OnePlus will also set up four major research and development labs around the world, including two imaging labs based in the United States and Japan.

Pete Lau, CEO, and founder of OnePlus said, “OnePlus has always prioritized a premium user experience over everything else. Beginning in 2021, we are making a concerted effort to significantly improve the smartphone camera experience for our users, with the expertise of a truly legendary partner in Hasselblad. 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.”

With the idea of co-developing “the next generation of smartphone camera systems for future OnePlus flagship devices,” OnePlus and Hasselblad are set to work together on various camera improvements, starting with software improvements by way of new color tuning — Natural Colour Calibration with Hasselblad—for more accurate and natural-looking photos and a new pro mode with “an authentic Hasselblad look and feel and an unprecedented amount of control for professional photographers to fine-tune their photos.” The partnership will eventually extend to more dimensions over the next three years. The OnePlus 9 series will be the first to feature the Natural Colour Calibration, which OnePlus claims will result in more perceptually accurate and natural-looking colors to photos taken with OnePlus flagship cameras. It will also serve as OnePlus’ new standard for color calibration for its future smartphone cameras.

Imaging and camera output have continued to be a chink in OnePlus’ armor for quite some time now, and the company aims to correct it with this partnership. Lau had earlier said that OnePlus in 2021 was “making a concerted effort to significantly improve the smartphone camera experience for our users.” With Samsung and Apple progressing in leaps and bounds and setting the imaging bar high, OnePlus has to pull out all its guns in the imaging department should it want to stay in the competition.

This is not the first venture for Hasselblad into the mobile industry – it previously partnered with Motorola on a 10x optical zoom MotoMod for the Moto Z.

According to a press release,

“The partnership will continuously develop over the next three years, starting with software improvements including color tuning and sensor calibration, and extending to more dimensions in the future. The two parties will jointly define the technology standards of the mobile camera experience and develop innovative imaging technologies, continuing to improve the Hasselblad Camera for Mobile. Both companies are committed to delivering immediate benefits for OnePlus users, while continuously collaborating to further improve the user experience and quality for the long-term.

Pioneering new areas of smartphone imaging technology for future OnePlus camera systems, such as a panoramic camera with a 140-degree field of view, T-lens technology for lightning-fast focus in the front-facing camera, and a freeform lens – to be first introduced on the OnePlus 9 Series – that practically eliminates edge distortion in ultrawide photos.”