We’re only 24 hours away from the launch of the OnePlus 9 Series, and there’s so much excitement in the air. I’m so proud of our team for the hard work that has gone into helping take the biggest leap ever in the OnePlus 9 camera quality, thanks in a large part to our long-term R&D partnership with Hasselblad. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some more details of how this new camera system came to be.
Our partnership with Hasselblad, which began in 2020, premised on two key considerations. One was Hasselblad’s 80-year history and well-renowned expertise in the aesthetics of photography, including its color science. The other was a mutual ambition to draw on that experience and apply it to smartphone camera technology, including sensors, lenses, computational photography, and more.
Once the partnership began, we quickly began unifying our R&D workflows and testing standards, and then entered the most crucial stage in our strategic partnership – developing the Hasselblad Camera for Mobile.
Perhaps most importantly, we started addressing the number one factor that determines the quality of mobile photography: color. For the OnePlus 9 Series and future OnePlus flagship camera systems, everything starts from Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad.
Recently, a tech journalist asked me if our color calibration was a software adjustment or just a filter. To be honest, I was a little shocked by this question. For us, and for Hasselblad, it’s way more than that.
It took complex engineering, countless hardware tests, and many hours of meticulous calibration to develop. OnePlus and Hasselblad passed through this grueling yet incredibly rewarding phase of R&D together. And we believe the results speak for themselves.
Hasselblad is known for their color science, which is one of the main reasons we were so interested in co-developing our camera systems with them. And from the beginning, we saw first hand how exacting their standards for color are. They didn’t just analyze the technical data and features of the OnePlus 9 Series cameras, they crafted a targeted calibration solution based on an assessment of the sensors’ performance, lens optics, and more. In fact, we ended up completely overhauling our automatic color calibration algorithms. In doing so, we’ve engineered what may be the most demanding testing standards the smartphone industry has seen.
We drew on Hasselblad’s calibration methods, shooting standardized color charts under a multitude of different lighting temperatures and intensities to recalibrate the sensor accuracy again and again, ensuring that every shade and hue the sensor captured adhered to Hasselblad’s color requirements.
And that was just the objective calibration process. The next stage was stepping out of the controlled environment of the automation lab and pitting our work against the complexities of real-world conditions for even more demanding tests.
OnePlus 9 Camera R&D
To start, our R&D teams took a variety of real-life photos where red was a central color. Based on smartphone users’ needs, we fine-tuned the red’s performance, while making sure other colors weren’t compromised along the way. Then we used computational algorithms to intelligently match the target color. In the end, Hasselblad’s renowned red came through in every testing scenario.
Some of you might be wondering: Is color really that important? Why put this front and center for imaging quality?
Today, smartphone cameras are a tool for chronicling our daily lives, and to take them any farther, it takes more than just higher specs and bigger numbers. It requires looking at photography from an aesthetic (and not just technical) aspect. Color science—and art—is a part of that.
As one of the earliest camera brands to establish its own unique color system, Hasselblad has a fundamental understanding of the importance of color in capturing life as it happens. Over the past 80 years, Hasselblad’s color system has become one of the most renowned in the photography industry. I believe that our Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad will heighten the standards for color in the smartphone industry.
Achieving such a refined color system so quickly was only possible with the help of Hasselblad, and their decades of experience in pursuit of aesthetic excellence. OnePlus’ expertise in creating premium smartphones, combined with Hasselblad’s exquisite imaging quality, will empower users both in the OnePlus 9 Series and in future flagship products.
Tomorrow we will unveil the OnePlus 9 Series, at 6 PM Kenyan Time, our biggest achievement in design, display, performance, and mobile photography. I can’t wait for you to try it for yourselves.
The Never Settle spirit that both OnePlus and Hasselblad shared during this process helped to make this our best flagship smartphone series ever. But for OnePlus and Hasselblad, this is only the beginning.”