In true OnePlus fashion, the Chinese smartphone maker is revealing details of its next flagship OnePlus 9 phones ahead of launch starting with a date for the event along with a partnership with renowned photography company, Hasselblad.

For starters, we now know that the launch event will take place on 23 March at 2pm GMT and it will be for the 'OnePlus 9 Series 5G' going by the wording on the invite. The tagline, ‘Your Best Shot’ on another invite, alludes to the Hasselblad camera technology.

It’s no secret that while OnePlus phones have been excellent for many years, the photography department has been a little behind key competitors such as Samsung and Sony. However, this might be about to change with the OnePlus 9 series - expected to be three phones: the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro and a cheaper 9 Lite, 9E, or 9R (name tbc on that one).

The firm has announced the flagship will come with a custom Sony IMX789 sensor featuring 12-bit RAW processing also found in the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max.

OnePlus says this will be "64-times more colorful than before, delivering more dynamic and vibrant colors in pictures and giving professional photographers more room for additional post editing."

The ‘Hasselblad Camera for Mobile’ promises improved HDR video recording, as well as support for capturing video recording at up to 4K/120fps or even 8K/30fps. Furthermore, a ‘freeform lens’ will ‘practically eliminate’ edge distortion in ultra-wide photos.

"I am confident that the OnePlus 9 Series will be a major leap forward in our ability to deliver a premium, flagship camera," said Pete Lau, founder and CEO of OnePlus.

The partnership will Hasselblad is nothing new in the smartphone world. Huawei has been working with Leica for several years now and this isn’t even Hasselblad's first collaboration. You may remember back in 2016 the snap-on MotoMod for the Moto Z which added a x10 optical zoom camera to the phone.

This cooperation has resulted in an improvement in colour performance. The aptly named ‘Natural Color Calibration with Hasselblad’ aims to replicate more natural, true-to-life, colours.

OnePlus mobile photography investment

The OnePlus 9 phones will also have a revamped Hasselblad Pro Mode with the look and feel of the Swedish firm's iconic style along with ‘unprecedented’ control over things like ISO, focus, exposure times, white balance and more.

"By partnering with OnePlus, we hope to put Hasselblad’s iconic design and outstanding image quality in the hands of more people and share our passion for incredible photography," said Jon Diele, vice president of Hasselblad.

OnePlus has also announced a $150 million investment in mobile photography over the next three years. This will include developing four major research and development labs around the world.

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