OnePlus and Hasselblad will work together for at least the next three years. This collaboration should sound exciting to all OnePlus fans because the upcoming OnePlus mobile cameras should get even better, faster.
As Pete Lau (CEO of OnePlus) describes in the announcement, OnePlus has always wanted to build the best Android phones. It inevitably requires having the best cameras, which is the most critical feature, according to nearly every consumer surveys.
To make it happen OnePlus is investing $150M to improve the “imaging experience,” and although it’s not known how much was invested before this, it’s still a large sum.
I am encouraged by the words “we will pursue breakthroughs in colors” and the reference to “professional experience” as it may indicate that OnePlus aims for genuine neutral image quality instead of going after eye-candy through excess image filtering.
Interestingly, OnePlus also mentions that it won’t just be about a camera hardware arms race, although it has to be one component, in my opinion. OnePlus intends to use all computational photography software options at its disposal to emerge as a victor in the great camera war.
As there are hundreds of parameters going into objective and subjective camera tuning, Hasselblad will bring all of its legendary photographic experience into the OnePlus franchise. Beyond this collaboration’s technical aspect, Hasselblad’s branding value cannot be understated and is one of the most valuable imaging franchises in the world.
The new “Hasselblad Camera for Mobile” brand and series will start with the OnePlus 9 series when it launches on March 23. We can’t wait to see how it will perform and what “style” of photos it will produce.
It is impossible not to draw a parallel with the successful collaboration between Huawei and Leica. It makes a lot of sense for OnePlus to supersize its camera offering, which has brought extraordinary value thus far, but not yet image quality dominance.