OnePlus 9 OxygenOS Update Adds Hasselblad XPan Mode To Take Photos Like A Pro

OnePlus 9
OnePlus is over-the-moon excited to announce a new over-the-air (OTA) update for OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 owners. The update is being pushed out with OxygenOS and, in addition to "multiple regular system optimizations," OnePlus it "greatly improved the camera performance," which is notable because we already found the photo-taking capabilities of both handsets to generally be very good, but with room for improvement.

You can (and should!) check out our OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro review for our full analysis and a bunch of sample photos. To the point, though, we found the Hasselblad partnership to be more than a branding exercise. We were, however, left wanting a bit more. And at least on paper, it looks like the latest update goes a long way towards filling that desire (we haven't had a chance to test it yet).

In particular, OnePlus is touting a new XPan Mode that it co-developed with Hasselblad. OnePlus says it took aim at recreating the classic experience of Hasselblad XPan, but in a smartphone.

"This includes the unique 65:27 aspect ratio, two different focal lengths (30mm and 45mm) just like the original XPan, a special animation of developing negative film, and two color profiles—an updated color mode and a unique B&W simulation of the classic ILFORD Delta 400 film," OnePlus explains in a blog post.

OnePlus 9 Hasselblad XPan Mode
Source: OnePlus

OnePlus 9 Hasselblad XPan Mode
Source: OnePlus

All pictures snapped in XPan Mode will have a 65:24 photo ratio (check out the samples above), which is about 2.7:1 and very different from 3:2 or 4:3 photo ratios. The pitch from OnePlus is that this allows photographers to take photos that "tell a better story" with a "unique look and feel" that is akin to an ultra-wide movie. This also shows up in photo previews.

"In order to create this unique 65:24 photo ratio, we and the Hasselblad Imaging team have spent several months continuously optimizing and adjusting. In the end, we jointly defined a set of technical standards. When users shoot in XPan mode, they can still get a picture of about over 20MP, with a 30 mm focal length of 7552 × 2798 resolution and a 45 mm focal length of 7872 × 2916 resolution," OnePlus says.

Outside of the new XPan Mode, OnePlus made a host of other improvements, such as fixing over-sharpening issues in auto-mode, improving the stability of automatic white balance, improving dynamic range performance in low-light conditions, and so more.

OnePlus also says it improved the success rate when shooting moving objects, boosted the fluency of the camera preview, optimized the shutter lag in some scenarios, and updated the memory optimization scheme to reduce the launch time of the native camera app by up to 50 percent, so you don't miss those critically timed shots.

If you own a OnePlus 9 or OnePlus 9 Pro, you shouldn't definitely check for this update to start taking even better photos. Then the wait is on for OxygenOS 12 to arrive.