OnePlus used to be the affordable Android maker challenging the leading Android manufacturers, but now it has high-end flagship products that push the rest forward while also coming in at a slightly lower price. However, one area where the OnePlus phones still can't beat Google or Samsung is photography. This new partnership aims to address that segment.
While you can take some awesome photos with OnePlus phones, the quick snap from normal users doesn't stack up to other phones. A new three-year partnership with Hasselblad will hopefully yield significant improvements and in a couple of weeks we will see the first results in a revamped camera system in the OnePlus 9 series.
Also: OnePlus 8T hands-on: Is there a place for a T series in the OnePlus lineup?
OnePlus plans to invest more than $150 million over the next three years as it improves its imaging capabilities. Its phones already have some of the best displays, gorgeous hardware, timely updates, and high-end specifications so it will be interesting to see if Hasselblad can help improve the computational photography and other aspects of the OnePlus imaging experience.
We previously saw a Hasselblad Moto Mod that didn't live up to expectations so I am hopeful that Hasselblad's active engagement with OnePlus will have more success. According to OnePlus, the partnership will start with software improvements with the Hasselblad Camera for Mobile, including a new advanced Pro (manual) mode.
Looking at the OnePlus Twitter feed we have seen lots of post lately focused on moon shots so I imagine we may see some kind of astrophotography functionality in the OnePlus 9. Huawei started with fantastic moon shots, then Google and Samsung offered experiences that made astrophotography something that smartphone users could enjoy. We'll soon see what OnePlus and Hasselblad were able to develop. Then again, Hasselblad cameras captured the first human steps on the moon so all of this moon hype could be specific to the Hasselblad partnership.
Also: Best Android phone for you in 2021
As part of the three-year partnership, the investment by OnePlus will include four research and development labs around the world, including two in the US and Japan. Other areas identified in the press release include panoramic camera improvements, fast focus on the front-facing camera, and edge distortion elimination for ultra-wide images.