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OnePlus 9 needs better cameras — not a fancy Hasselblad logo

The cameras on OnePlus phones have never been the strong point for those devices. And OnePlus seems to know it. But the solution the company has reportedly focused on for the upcoming OnePlus 9 might be the completely wrong way to fix it.

Reports surfaced recently that the OnePlus 9 will feature cameras made with the help of Hasselblad when the new phone arrives possibly as soon as next month. If this rumor is accurate, then OnePlus may be wasting its time. Camera hardware has never an issue for OnePlus phones, so partnering with a company that specializes in traditional photography doesn’t seem the right solution for this problem.

Do camera partnerships improve phones?

Partnerships between smartphone makers and other companies are fairly common. just look at team-ups such as Huawei and Leica, or Sony and Zeiss. The precise details of how these companies help out vary, but it’s usually a joint effort that involves tuning and designing all aspects of a phone’s camera hardware and software.

Phone makers like Huawei have pursued partnerships with camera specialists like Leica. (Picture here: the Huawei Mate 40 Pro) (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

However, these team-ups have not guaranteed success. If you take a look at the phones at the top of our best camera phones list, what they have in common is excellent computational photography, not the name of a famous camera maker on the back of the handset. It helps that all but one of the ten phones on the list are made by Apple, Google and Samsung. These are three companies with enough resources to easily develop their own camera tech, but the rest of the smartphone market has to follow the lead of these well-funded tech giants.

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