It's finally here, folks. OnePlus has announced the launch date for its newest series of flagships, the OnePlus 9. On March 23, we'll hear all about the new devices, including the fruits of the company's partnership with renowned photography experts, Hasselblad.
Both companies are teaming up to usher in what they hope is the next generation of smartphone photography. They've already come up with the new camera system for the OnePlus 9 series, dubbed Hasselblad Camera for Mobile.
OnePlus and Hasselblad have committed to a three year partnership, and OnePlus is investing $150 million in photography R&D. The partnership will first focus on software, with color tuning and sensor calibration. As Google and Apple have proven, smartphone photography dominance ultimately comes down to software. Just look at the $349 Pixel 4a if you need evidence of this — as that single-lens phone is one of the best camera phones we've tested in the last year.
The Hasselblad Camera for Mobile project will also look to advanced color calibration, a steep challenge. The solution, called Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad, aims to provide more accurate, natural colors to photos taken on OnePlus phones.
That's not all, with the OnePlus 9 series to introduce the Hasselblad Pro mode for professional photographers (or at least ones who know what they're doing). Like other pro modes, this one lets you adjust ISO, white balance, focus, exposure time, and other things. Photos can also be output to 12-bit RAW for better colors and dynamic range in post-processing.
OnePlus' $150 million R&D investment is spread out over the next three years. It includes opening four new research labs, one of which will be based in the US. The labs will try to come up with new smartphone photography innovations, like a panoramic camera with a 140-degree field of view or quick focus on the front-facing camera using T-lens tech.
While we wait for official specs on the latest OnePlus phones, OnePlus did let slip one for the camera setup. The OnePlus 9 Pro (and probably the OnePlus 9) will use a custom Sony IMX789 sensor for the primary camera. The Hasselblad Camera for Mobile will also allow for HDR video recording at up to 8K at 30 fps.
The OnePlus 9 launch event is set for Tuesday, March 23 at 10:00 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT. We're just as excited as you are to learn what OnePlus is doing for 2021, so stay tuned for our upcoming coverage.