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OnePlus’s (good) Huawei moment

Last updated on March 8, 2021

On the back of a partnership with fellow disruptor T-Mobile, OnePlus’s roaring entry into the U.S. market has been one of the most successful for a handset brand in the U.S. in some time. According to Counterpoint Research, the brand saw 163 percent growth in 2021, making it one of the few brands outside of Apple to see such a rise in volumes.  Unlike Apple, Samsung or Huawei, though, OnePlus has emphasized the refresh rates of its displays for smooth scrolling and gameplay. Now, though, companies such as Samsung are also featuring faster refresh rates on its top-end devices in addition to market-leading cameras.

One way to improve a smartphone brand’s imaging cred is through association with a in contrast, Huawei has made the most of a partnership with a storied imaging brand, partnering with Leica on its phone’s optics. It’s not the only such partnership; HMD has partnered with legendary German glass company Zeiss. And now, rumors have it, OnePlus will be partnering with medium format king Hasselblad.

Here again, OnePlus wouldn’t be the first company to be associated with Hasselblad. As part of its far-flung Moto Mod adventure, Motorola fielded a Hasselblad-branded camera module, but it reflected the brand only in name and wasn’t really much more than a point-and-shoot camera with a decent telephoto zoom. If OnePlus can truly tap into Hasselblad’s imaging expertise, it could take the company to the next imaging tier the way Leica did for Huawei.

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