There are a few things we know about Nothing, a new hardware startup by a co-founder of OnePlus. We know that Carl Pei helms it, we know its first product will be wireless earbuds (which we assume informs what we're looking at above), we know that Teenage Engineering will handle hardware design and that it's got its fingers into Essential. For some reason. Now the company has laid out its product philosophy in a blog post, touching on a long-term vision of seamless technology and interfaces, and the more immediate future of trying to bring existing products closer to that loft goal of "just barely-noticeable technology". Last week, Nothing tweeted the first image, and this turned out to be half of the Concept 1. (A colleague asked what Nothing was announcing today, quipping that maybe it'd show the letters 'n' and 'g', which were obscured on the embedded image.) To be honest, he wasn't far wrong. Alongside Pei's statements on product design and the image itself, there's not much here to go. The see-through casing on what appears to be a wireless earbud is apparently a nod towards its aim of making devices less obtrusive. The shape, too, is apparently inspired "a grandmother’s tobacco pipe", which is at least different from the chopped off q-tip look that epitomized the most popular wireless earbuds so far. Nothing hopes the product design will ensure feel fresh for many years. The company's first products are set to launch this summer.
OnePlus will unveil its latest flagship smartphones — the OnePlus 9 5G series — during a streaming launch event at 9 AM Eastern on March 23rd. And when those phones make their debut, they'll pack cameras tuned by 180-year-old Swedish camera maker Hasselblad. “With OnePlus’ top-of-the-line hardware and computational photography and Hasselblad’s rich aesthetic knowledge in traditional photography, I am confident that the OnePlus 9 Series will be a major leap forward in our ability to deliver a premium, flagship camera," said OnePlus CEO Pete Lau in a press release. Word of the partnership won't come as much surprise to the company's fans: leaked images of an unreleased OnePlus device sporting Hasselblad branding have been circulating for weeks. And more recently, OnePlus has shared a number of space-themed teasers that obliquely reference the deal. (Hasselblad has supplied NASA with cameras for use in space for decades, including the venerable Hasselblad 500ELs that landed on the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.) But what does this deal actually mean for the OnePlus camera experience? To start, the OnePlus 9 series should benefit from "advanced color calibration" jointly developed by the two companies. Long story short, users should expect more accurate, natural-looking colors in photos taken with the OnePlus 9 Pro and beyond. And since Hasselblad deals almost exclusively in pro-grade, medium-format cameras, it's perhaps natural that special attention was paid to the OnePlus 9 series' Pro mode. In addition to typical features like direct control over ISO, focus, exposure time, and more, the Hasselblad Pro mode also lets users shoot photos as 12-bit RAW files and work with an editing interface inspired by Hasselblad's own Phocus image processing app. Meanwhile, on the video front, OnePlus says its Hasselblad-branded cameras will offer "improved" HDR video recording, plus support for 4K 120FPS and 8K 30FPS recording. Hasselblad bits aside, the OnePlus 9 Pro is widely expected to ship with four rear cameras, and the company revealed a few new details about them this morning. The phone's main camera will use one of Sony's new IMX789 sensors, which we've heard was custom-developed for the upcoming OPPO Find X3. (Given OnePlus's shared corporate parentage with OPPO, this really shouldn't be a shocker.) OnePlus also confirmed that its latest ultra-wide camera will use a so-called "freeform" lens — as seen on the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ — that and all but eliminates barrel distortion in those spacious photos. With all this in mind, there are a few things worth noting. For one, despite OnePlus's embrace of space imagery in its recent teasers, the company has made no mention of a Pixel-like astrophotography mode. What's more, Hasselblad's deal with OnePlus will last for three years, and it's unclear how OnePlus's approach to color science may shift after the partnership expires. And this isn't Hasselblad's first attempt at a smartphone partnership, either — years ago, it teamed up with Motorola to create a separate 12-megapixel camera that magnetically attached to Moto Z smartphones. (Spoiler alert: It was just alright.) As it turns out, the OnePlus 9 is only part of the company’s plans to set new standards for smartphone photography. Over the next three years, OnePlus has pledged $150 million to “further develop” four camera research and development centers around the world, as well as experiment with new camera components and technologies to debut in future devices. On the docket right now: developing panoramic cameras with a 140-degree field of view and new lenses to improve autofocus for selfies, though the company was quick to note its efforts may extend well beyond these projects. OnePlus cameras have steadily improved over the years, but they have so far lagged behind competing offerings from companies like Samsung and Apple. With this multi-year deal in place, OnePlus seems ready to dramatically up its photography game, but for now, consider us cautiously optimistic. With any luck, the company's March 23rd launch event will have plenty of sample images — and more juicy details about its Hasselblad deal — for us to pore over.
Sponsored Links Chris Velazco / Engadget OnePlus is gearing up to launch its next flagship in October, so it’s no surprise that prices for the existing generation are starting to fall. The OnePlus 8 is currently $100 off on Amazon and the company’s own website, with the 128GB model now going for $599 instead of $699. The 256GB configuration is now $699 instead of $799, and this appears to be the only model available on Amazon at the moment. The OnePlus 8 Pro, which is one of our favorite Android phones this year, is similarly discounted, though only the 256GB option is available on Amazon and the company’s website. For the original $900 starting price, the OnePlus 8 Pro offers a 6.78-inch Quad HD+ AMOLED screen with a hole punch cutout for its selfie camera. The display refreshes at a speedy 120Hz for smooth scrolling and animations at that higher resolution, compared to Samsung’s version on the S20 Ultra and Note 20s, which only support 120Hz at 1080p. You’ll also get a capable Snapdragon 865 processor, a triple camera system with a 48-megapixel main sensor and ultrawide lens as well as a less-sharp telephoto option. With specs that rival Samsung’s S-series, the OnePlus 8 line had price tags to match at launch. Now that they’re $100 cheaper, it might be a good time to pick one up if you were put off by the cost before. Those who want the latest and greatest specs might prefer to wait till Oct. 14th to see what the company’s next flagship might bring. In this article: oneplus, oneplus 8, oneplus 8t, oneplus 8 pro, smartphones, android, thebuyersguide, news, gear All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Comments 55 Shares Share Tweet Share