Thursday, March 11, 2021

OnePlus 9 Series Launching On 23 March; Hasselblad Partnership Confirmed

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has announced via the brand’s official forums that the latest OnePlus 9 series will be launching on 23 March. Lau also confirmed that OnePlus has signed a three-year partnership with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad to co-develop the imaging system for the upcoming smartphones as well as its future flagship devices.

Hasselblad is known to manufacture medium format cameras for both photography and video production. As emphasised in the recent promotional material for the upcoming OnePlus 9 series, the camera maker’s biggest accomplishment is the use of its 500 EL Data Camera models in several NASA moon missions – producing iconic photographs such as “Earthrise” by US astronaut William Anders during the Apollo 8 moon orbiter mission, and “First Footprint on the Moon” by Buzz Aldrin during the historical Apollo 11 moon landing mission.

According to Lau, both OnePlus and Hasselblad have been working closely together to create a new colour solution known as Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad, which will serve as a new standard for all future OnePlus smartphone camera systems – starting with the OnePlus 9 series. The CEO promises that the new joint-developed imaging system on the new flagships will produce images with higher quality, sharper detail, and accurate colours.

While three years does seem pretty short for a major partnership such as this, the duration makes sense in a business and development perspective. OnePlus isn’t particularly known for the photography performance of its smartphones, and Hasselblad’s first foray into the mobile scene with Motorola in 2017 wasn’t as groundbreaking as most would’ve hoped. Therefore, playing it safe with a three-year deal is sufficient for both companies in order to determine whether the results of their collaboration are deemed significant, let alone profitable. Of course, we can expect the partnership to be extended longer should this end up being a success.

In the same forum post, Lau also confirmed that the upcoming OnePlus 9 series’ cameras will feature a custom Sony IMX789 for the main sensor, 12-bit RAW support for stills, a panoramic camera with 140-degree FOV (field of view), and a freeform lens for its ultra-wide camera that eliminates edge distortion. Video-wise, the series is capable of recording 4K footage at 120 fps and 8K at 30 fps, and also better HDR videos via the Hasselblad Camera for Mobile solution.

Aside from featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, other specifications of the OnePlus 9 series are still kept under wraps at this time. Unofficial sources suggest that the flagships may come with a 6.55-inch display with 120Hz refresh rate, dual stereo speakers, and a 4,500mAh battery with fast charging support at 65W for wired and 40W wireless.

The company will reveal more details regarding the upcoming OnePlus 9 series and its partnership with Hasselblad via a virtual launch on 23 March at 10pm. The event will be streamed live through the company’s official website, as well as its social media channels.

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