Yup, it’s almost that time of year again, and OnePlus is set to launch its next flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 9, soon—along with a new smartwatch, potentially. Company CEO Pete Lau, who has a history of “leaking” official information in the build up to new releases, has just shared a teaser image on his official Twitter account:
The Tweet teases that there is “something new on the horizon”, and given the fact that the OnePlus 8 series was launched in April of last year, this appears to be a reference to the launch of the OnePlus 9 series. Rumours predict that the series will be made up of three individual models: the OnePlus 9, the OnePlus 9 Pro, and a more affordable OnePlus 9R—while we could also see the launch of the company’s first ever smartwatch.
Meanwhile, Lau also provides a link to oneplus.com/moonshot, although this leads to a dead page on the OnePlus official website. We’re expecting this to be the home page for the launch, and the mention of “moonshot” is probably a reference to the upcoming smartphone’s photography capabilities. We’ve seen Huawei, among others, use moon photography as a way to show off telephoto capabilities of their smartphone cameras, so this makes a modicum of sense as well.
And from what we’ve heard so far, the OnePlus 9 series will see a major jump in camera capabilities, with help from Hasselblad. A budding partnership with the Swedish medium format camera specialists has already been expected for awhile now, and OnePlus appears to be focusing on the camera(s) for its main marketing materials for the device. Referring to Huawei again (specifically, the Huawei-Leica deal), this partnership might be just what the company needs to maintain its push to challenge the big players in the mobile camera space—Samsung, Apple, and Huawei.
So, is the OnePlus 9 series launching on the 8th of March 2021? Possibly, although the message was fairly cryptic. The March date could merely be a date when the actual launch date is announced, and we have not received any word from the Malaysian team on a possible launch date thus far. Regardless, this basically means that we will finally have concrete details on the company’s much-anticipated flagship series soon, and if we get a smartwatch to boot, it’ll be a pretty exciting announcement.
Other previously leaked specs include a 6.55″ FHD+ display pushing a 120Hz refresh rate on the regular OnePlus 9, while the Pro might come with a larger 6.78″ QHD+ display with the same refresh rate. Both devices are also expected to be powered by the latest Qualcomm chip, the Snapdragon 888, although an older Qualcomm chip might run on the OnePlus 9R.
For now, however, we’ll have to wait for the 8th of March 2021 for official word on the upcoming release. As for the smartwatch, a possibility is for the OnePlus Watch (unconfirmed name) to run on Wear OS—although CEO Pete Lau has noted room to improve for Google’s in-house wearable operating system. Perhaps something similar to the Oppo Watch, then?
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