OnePlus, Oppo partnership with Hasselblad is rumored to be near an end. What does this mean for your photos?

Oppo Hasselblad reaction post
An era is coming to an end. Things will never be the same, and the world will never be what it was... Or so the rumors say. What do I mean? I mean the possible end of the partnership between camera maker Hasselblad and OnePlus/Oppo, what did you think I meant?

These are still rumors at this point, but the possibility gets me thinking: what could this all result in? Will this impact the abilities of phones like a OnePlus 13 or Oppo Find X8 Ultra to produce high-quality images? Or... are we not going to lose anything really? Let's talk about it.

Oppo/OnePlus and Hasselblad partnership

In early 2021, OnePlus (Oppo's subsidiary) started its relationship with Hasselblad, a famous photography and camera equipment company from Sweden. On the other hand, Oppo's partnership with the company started in early 2022. This meant phones from the two companies would come with cameras that benefited from Hasselblad's experience and expertise in the camera market.

With each phone release, the companies were sure to emphasize the partnership. Let's quickly examine what this partnership brought to the table.

Let's take the OnePlus 11 for example. Hasselblad brought natural color calibration to the phone, as well as an improved portrait mode.

Check out a couple of samples from our OnePlus 11 review:
We have beautiful colors with a good contrast-y look, but still balanced and keeping it real.

OnePlus itself says that the collaboration with Hasselblad is mainly focused on color calibration (via XDA-Developers). And, we can quite clearly see the OnePlus 11 and 12 bring beautiful and natural colors to the table.

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The Oppo Find X7 Ultra is another recent example showcasing the collab. The main focus of the partnership here is the Hasselblad portrait mode, which ensures cinematic bokeh effect with gorgeous depth and details.

But as you can see, I'm not mentioning anything else really, apart from colors and portrait mode enhancements. Basically, Hasselblad's work with these two companies is mainly focused on colors and portrait mode, not the entire camera experience.

Now, we have a recent example of two companies in partnership splitting ways... and we can see the results! Let's discuss that as well.

Huawei and Leica divorce: what happens after

In 2016, Huawei started collaborating with Leica for smartphone photography. Many of you have probably heard of the spectacular capabilities of Huawei Pro phones' cameras in recent years.

Еver since the partnership between the two companies started, Huawei phones became quite famous for their great camera abilities. The Huawei P50 Pro was the last phone with Leica branding for its cameras.

Leica and Huawei collaborated on designing lenses for the smartphones. But that's not all: sensors, ISP, and tuning were all aspects of smartphone camera design that the two companies collaborated on. Leica helped with fine-tuning and crafting the camera experience, as well as providing filters that mimic Leica's famous looks (via ZDNet).

However, the partnership ended in May 2022. We have the Huawei P60 Pro which was released in March 2023. Basically, after the partnership has ended. Now, let's check out some of its camera samples from our P60 Pro review:

As you can see from the images above, the Huawei P60 Pro, which came after the Leica partnership was done, performs no worse than its predecessor in terms of camera quality. The images are really impressive and the camera is hardly challenged by any condition. We have accurate colors (even better than the slightly blue-ish tint we have on some of the P50 Pro samples), beautiful night shots, and realistic skin tones.

All in all: one is clear. The phones that came after the Leica partnership didn't suffer a blow in photo quality. You'd imagine Huawei is capable of learning from collaborating with the famous lens and optics manufacturer.

Although that's true that the partnership of Huawei and Leica lasted longer - 6 years - in comparison to the OnePlus/Hasselblad one (if the rumors turn out to be true though!), it's hard to imagine OnePlus learned nothing from this collaboration.

And, now, to the question...

Will there be doom and gloom after a possible end of the partnership with Hasselblad?

To put it directly: more likely than not, we're not going to see a photo-quality disaster unfold. OnePlus has got the hang of how to do cameras, and the fact that Hasselblad is mainly helping with color calibration and portrait mode (alongside some filters) cannot be ignored.

It's very likely that OnePlus and Oppo learned a couple of things about colors while working with Hasselblad as well. It's also important to note that even before the partnership, OnePlus and Oppo phones weren't exactly terrible with colors either.

Here's a comparison from the now so-distant 2020 and the flagship phones available at the time with the OnePlus 8:

Compared to the competition back then, the OnePlus 8 was good in terms of smartphone photography: of course, in some areas it needed improvements, but in others was pretty reliable. All in all, not too bad: and with the things the company learned from Hasselblad, it's likely to be even better.

In the end, the partnership has not ended yet, and it may or may not end this year. But even if it does, you can rest assured that the next OnePlus/Oppo phone will be as good (if not better) at taking photos as this year's candidates.

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