To invest $150 million in strengthening mobile camera imaging capabilities
The rumors have been confirmed. On Monday, OnePlus announced a partnership with Hasselblad to co-develop future camera systems for its flagship devices, including the upcoming OnePlus 9 series. OnePlus follows other OEMs such as vivo, Nokia, Sony and Huawei, which have all struck similar partnerships in the past with other famous camera manufacturers like Zeiss and Leica.
The OEM further announced that it would invest more than $150 million over a three-year period to strengthen its mobile camera imaging capabilities, an area where OnePlus knows it can make improvements. DXOMARK, which independently benchmarks smartphones based on specific criteria, found that while the OnePlus 8 Pro was squarely in the top 20, it was behind smartphones from Apple, Samsung and Google in terms of performance, as these OEMs use some of the best camera software available.
Together, these announcements demonstrate OnePlus’ commitment to improve its camera hardware and software over the next years. In terms of specifications, OnePlus premium flagships have been very close to those from high-end competitors such as Samsung and LG but often lack in the camera expertise that these OEMs have. This new positioning will put OnePlus on a better footing compared to other premium smartphones. Previous OnePlus 8 series devices have featured high refresh rate screens and fast wired charging (65W on the OnePlus 8T) and wireless charging (30W on the OnePlus 8 Pro) which helped the devices stand out somewhat from their competitors. An improved camera system will surely help the OEM gain some mindshare if the marketing story can be conveyed effectively.
OnePlus is gearing up to launch its latest flagship devices – the OnePlus 9 series on March 23, which will already feature the Hasselblad partnership through the revamped camera system Hasselblad Camera for Mobile. For now, the only specifications officially released include a custom Sony IMX789 sensor for the main camera which will enable 12-bit RAW while also making it up to 64 times more colorful than previous camera systems. The Hasselblad Camera for Mobile will also offer improved HDR video recording, as well as support for capturing 4K at 120 frames per second. Lastly, as with almost all premium smartphones launched nowadays, the devices will include 5G connectivity. More to come when the devices are officially announced.