A Smartphone With Hasselblad Cameras: Review of the OnePlus 9 Pro

Hasselblad is known for producing medium format cameras such as the Hasselblad X1D II. These cameras produce stunning results and operate with sensors that are larger than those found in full-frame and APS-C bodies. So, what is Hasselblad doing co-developing smartphone cameras and are they any good? 

A recent video from  Marques Brownlee reviews the OnePlus 9 Pro. This smartphone has been produced in collaboration with Hasselblad and the camera specification do seem impressive. Similar to how Hasselblad produces larger sensor cameras for their professional systems, the OnePlus 9 Pro sports camera sensors that are much larger than many competing options.

The main camera is a 48 MP, 23mm (equivalent) f/1.8 lens, which uses a 1/1.43’’ sized sensor. The ultra wide camera is a 50 MP 14mm (equivalent) f2.2 lens, which uses a 1/1.56" sized sensor. There is also an 8 MP telephoto camera and a 2 MP mono camera.

With all of these high-end specifications and the Hasselblad brand attached to it, how does the camera actually perform? For the most part it seems that color is where OnePlus and Hasselblad have focused. Hasselblad cameras are known for producing beautiful looking color and to bring that to a smartphone may entice some customers. Unfortunately many of results look over processed and heavily sharpened in post. Shooting in raw may help, however it might be an idea for OnePlus to pull back on some of the processing. The collaboration between Hasselblad and OnePlus is set to continue for three years, so we may still be at the early stages of what they end up producing. 

Having said that, the ultra wide camera seems to perform admirably and manages to do a much better job with its auto white balance. Either way, it's great to see smartphone manufacturers working with camera companies and taking their expertise more seriously. 

Usman Dawood's picture

Usman Dawood is a professional architectural photographer based in the UK.

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Excellent review, informative and very well presented, I was more impressed by the host than by the phone. Marques I hope to see more of you in Fstoppers.

But cameras for phones are mostly used by the general public and not professional photographers. The "overdone" processing produces images that will appeal to a bigger audience. But PRO mode should let you give more control as it eliminates the Auto Scene mode that tries to beautify the image.

Maybe. But maybe the 'Pro' they're going for is the over processed image that most "pros" end up creating (Have you seen the landscape section here, lol). This is just an easier way for the average player who has no clue what dodge and burning is or what clarity, texture, and dehaze can do, to share something that to them might look a little more 'Pro.'

The Pro term hasn't been used correctly in the smartphone world anyway (except for Sony and their Xperia Pro) where they slap it on their top tier phones and call it a day.

When hi-end companies "move down", it means that they want to (or need to) make more money. Maybe Hassel's revenues are going down. IDK.