OnePlus 9 promised to step up the photography game with some help from Leica

OnePlus made a name for itself with flagship smartphones that cost significantly lower than those from the likes of Samsung and other bigger players. While OnePlus' prices have also gone up over time, it retained that distinction and could perform on the same level as devices far more expensive than it. The one area where it fell terribly short has always been in the camera department, something that CEO Pete Lau promises will take a turn for the better this year.

The company always talks positively about the cameras of each and every one of its phones but reviews and user feedback don't always agree. To be clear, it's not that OnePlus phones produce terrible photos and videos, just that they aren't able to compete with Huawei, Samsung, or even Xiaomi nowadays. And that's even when OnePlus uses nearly the same hardware as other smartphone vendors.

Pete Lau took to Chinese social networking platform Weibo to make a public commitment to the company's focus on photography this year. He says that the company is investing heavily in R&D in cameras and has the goal of becoming the number one in imaging in phones. Given where it's coming from and how it will need to beat Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and even Xiaomi and OPPO in this area, that's an overly ambitious goal.

Part of its strategy involves partnering with Leica, or at least that's what the rumors claim. Lau made no comment on this but it wouldn't be the first time the camera maker partnered with a smartphone vendor. Huawei has pretty much been its long-term partner but things may have changed in the past months after Huawei's US sanctions.

The OnePlus 9, which should be launching in a month or two, could be the first to benefit from the company's new focus on imaging technology. The OnePlus 9 Pro, in particular, could be the only one that gets Leica cameras, along with other high-end features. These are, of course, just words and the real tests have yet to come.