OnePlus announced an essential strategic investment on Monday, confirming rumors that future phones will feature camera technology developed with Hasselblad. OnePlus said it’s going to invest $150 million in the next three years to better the camera experience, with Hasselblad playing a central role in that. It’s too early to tell whether we’re looking at a marketing push or whether the Hasselblad magic is indeed coming to OnePlus phones. OnePlus did not share more camera details during that announcement, but the OnePlus 9 phones will be the first to rock Hasselblad-branded camera models. OnePlus scheduled the launch event for March 23rd, at which point it will surely showcase the phones’ photo and video recording capabilities. But we don’t have to wait as long to see the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro in all their splendor, as both designs leaked in full ahead of the official launch.
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It’s common for OnePlus handsets to leak well in advance of the press event, and we’ve always known what to expect from OnePlus handsets in terms of design and features. The OnePlus 9 design leaked before the Hasselblad announcement, hinting that a camera partnership was in the works. After the Hasselblad deal was official, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau teased the OnePlus 9 Pro design, showing the phone’s rear, including the quad-lens camera system that will feature Hasselblad branding.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) March 8, 2021
But it’s the same German blog that brings us the full press renders for both the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. WinFuture found images that highlight the two designs. Lau’s teaser helps confirm the renders are genuine.
The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro will not feature identical designs, with the forming sporting a couple of distinct design changes. The first concerns the screen, which is flat on the OnePlus 9 and curved on the OnePlus 9. This might be an advantage when it comes to handling drops. We saw Samsung earlier this year use flat screens for both the Galaxy S21 and S21+ models.
The OnePlus 9 also features what appears to be a plastic back, just like the cheaper Galaxy S21 phones. WinFuture notes that the phone’s chassis does not feature any antenna lines, which are customary on most handsets. “Glass sandwich phones,” which feature a metal chassis between the front and back glass panels, need those antenna lines so that the phone can communicate with cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
The OnePlus 9 Pro has antenna lines on the top, bottom, and sides. All Galaxy S21 handsets also feature antenna lines, even the two models that have plastic backs. It’s unclear why the OnePlus 9 doesn’t have any. The phone’s plastic back might be the reason why, but that’s just speculation.
Aside from these build quality observations, there’s one additional difference to consider. The OnePlus 9 Pro rear camera has four lenses, including a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 ultra-wide camera and a 48-megapixel IMX789 primary camera. Both of them are present on the OnePlus 9 as well. But the cheaper version has just three rear cameras on the back instead of four.
Finally, the leak gives us the various color options for the two phones. The OnePlus 9 Pro comes in black, green, and silver. The OnePlus 9 will be available in black, blue, and purple. You can see all the images at this link.
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