Behind the HYPE: OnePlus and Hasselblad are Driving Innovation in Mobile Photography

Hasselblad cameras are universally recognized as one of the best pieces of machinery the camera industry has to offer. The story behind its vibrant color accuracy and razor-sharp detail, and the main reason why it commands up to $47,000 USD for one of its top models — lies in how its founder, Victor Hasselblad created the company’s first commissioned camera. The story goes that, during WWII, the Swedish military brought Victor Hasselblad a fallen German aerial surveillance camera, with the request to replicate it. Instead, he replied “Not one like that, but a better one.”

As the cornerstone of its ethos, Victor Hasselblad’s words have continued to define its brand identity and guided its meteoric rise. Oftentimes this is all that’s needed to earn a permanent place in the cultural zeitgeist. OnePlus and Hasselblad share a common goal to deliver high-quality products to a niche-yet-demanding audience that only accepts the best. This need manifests in an unrelenting desire to push the limits of art, technology and science. Consequently, there is not a camera on the market equal to a Hasselblad, and the Swedish camera manufacturer often finds itself as the go-to documenter for both art and science’s most pivotal moments.

Boasting a clientele of legendary fashion photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Nick Knight, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon and Steven Meisel with near-monopolies over the images of their times, shooting their respective eras’ icons from Jimi Hendrix to Timothee Chalamet. On the other end of the spectrum, lies the historical milestones that the camera maker has immortalized — Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon; The Blue Marble. Aside from space travel, the camera company has also been at the forefront of pioneering camera technology including the creation of the world’s first mirrorless medium-format camera.

A brand with a similar mantra is smartphone manufacturer OnePlus. Conceived in 2013 with a goal to hit the saturated smartphone market with its own version came from a decision to make a smartphone that’s better than the low-quality ones available at the time. The lighting-quick, smooth user experience of OnePlus phones along with its tech innovations like making 5G and high refresh rates of 90Hz/120Hz mainstream, resonates with a tech-savvy community who believe there’s a better option in the smartphone world.  The two companies have entered into a three-year partnership to embark on an R&D journey for the books, starting with the OnePlus 9 series, with the ultimate aim of re-engineering the smartphone camera experience.

Unlike previous collaborations with the likes of McLaren Automotive, Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel, and Colette, OnePlus’ latest venture sees the two entities share their extensive expertise in their respective fields to challenge the industry’s innovation and merge the complexity of Hasselblad’s imaging technology into a smartphone camera.

Our first look at the fruits of their labor comes in the form of the OnePlus 9 series. Both the OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro feature camera systems such as Natural Color Calibration and Hasselblad Pro Mode: bringing the snapshots of our everyday lives one step—or perhaps more accurately, several steps—closer to the real thing.

Watch the video above to learn everything you need to know about the new OnePlus x Hasselblad partnership and be sure to check out the other videos in our Behind the HYPE series.
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