OnePlus is working to fix the biggest weakness of its smartphones

OnePlus is working to fix the biggest weakness of its smartphones

- in Technology

Since it was founded back in 2013, OnePlus has worked to redefine the idea of smartphone value – the firm has consistently released new devices that offer supreme specs and a premium design for a much lower price than its competition. Just because the plucky Shenzhen tech giant is focused on value doesn’t mean it compromises on features though. In fact, the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7T Pro both have arguably two of the best smartphone displays on the market right now – they’re also some of the fastest Android devices you can buy, too.

For all the horsepower and gorgeous design characteristics of its smartphones, the biggest weakness of OnePlus has long been its cameras. The photography prowess of OnePlus devices has never been bad by any means, but they have typically lagged behind offerings from the likes of Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

OnePlus has worked diligently to improve the quality of its cameras with software updates. Shortly after the release of the OnePlus 7 Pro earlier this year the firm issued the device with an update that improved several aspects of its photography offering, ranging from upping the speed of its auto-focus to the quality of its 48MP JPG shots in Pro mode.

The Shenzhen tech giant isn’t stopping there though. OnePlus recently held an Open Ears Forum in New York City dedicated to videography. The firm invited a variety of different OnePlus users with varying degrees of video knowledge to provide feedback on its current selection of devices.

Now, OnePlus has posted feedback from the event and has vowed to improve the video capturing abilities of its current smartphone lineup. In particular, the company outlined a number of areas such as exposure and skin tone consistency it plans to improve in future system updates.

OnePlus is hard at work to fix the biggest weakness of its smartphone range (Image: OnePlus • Getty)

Here’s a full list of videography areas OnePlus is working to improve and its response to user feedback:

• Exposure / colour / white balance shift and consistency across all cameras

– Tuning all the cameras to have the identical exposure, white balance is our first priority and main goal.

• Auto focus consistency

– We weren’t be able to reproduce the issue reported by the OEF attendees in our lab, but an upgrade both on hardware and software for auto focus will come in 2020.

• Skin tone consistency

– Skin tone improvement is one of our top priorities. It will improve via future system updates.

• Sharpness: Sharpness needs improvement across all scenarios

– We are trying to find the new balance between sharpness and noise.

• Super stabilization: Support for 4K recording; Reducing noise and improving low light quality.

– There are hardware limitations, but 4K super stabilization will be supported in some of our future devices.

OnePlus update

OnePlus has worked diligently to improve the quality of its cameras with software updates (Image: OnePlus)

• Dynamic range: Subject is lit but background is too dark

– We have been working on video HDR, which will solve these dynamic range problems.

• Light flickering

– We’ve heard a lot of feedback about this, and we are working on de-flickering solutions to reduce this issue.

• Panning shots are not smooth: Improve panning shots stabilization and smoothness

– So far, we weren’t be able to reproduce this issue in our lab, but smoothness and video are part of our key improvement points for 2020.

• Faster camera

– Again, this is one of our main goals in 2020. Faster shutter requires updates from system, application, as well as the animation. It will constantly be improved via future updates.

• Lens feature-parity: 1080P and 4K should be supported in all three lenses, allowing to switch between lenses while recording

– This is due to a hardware limitation in current devices, but we’re exploring ways to make it possible for future devices.

• Limited 4K record length

– Having considered overall performance and temperature, we will not change current limit, but will keep working on optimizing this in the future.

• Single handed use: Difficult to reach the top bar for features; Single hand zooming

– This is very important feedback for us, and we’ve already been discussing solutions with the design team.

• Video editing

– We plan on completely updating our Gallery app’s video tools, so many of the features requested during the OEF will be supported. For color grading or LUT options, we will have news soon.

• Pro video mode

– Pro video mode will be put into backlog, since our high priority is improving default video quality and use experience across the board.

• Depth of field for tele camera recording (optical)

– We have already been researching and working on this feature, and the current quality has not reached our standard to release.

• Zoom-in time-lapse

– We have some similar ideas for time-lapse as well, they are already in future product plan.

• Reverse recording video

– Less frequent user scenario, so we’ve put into backlog. Our main focus in video is basic quality and user experience for all users.

• Night mode for night video

– This is something we believe to be very interesting, we have already been researching and working on it.

• AR emoji and stickers recording

– We still haven’t found a killer scenario for AR in video. There are some third-party apps that already offer interesting sticker features, so this isn’t a big priority for now.

• Social media mode: Directly to twitter, crop ratio for Instagram, etc.

– We believe the image quality in third-party apps is of high importance and has a higher priority. We have been working on this, these features are planned after image quality improvement.

• Light painting mode

– We decide not to follow on light painting effect due to a narrow user scenario.

• 2 cameras recording at the same time: Wide and ultra-wide; rear and front

– This is already supported by current platform and cameras, but we are looking for user scene to fully take advantage of this feature.

All the features discussed above are only for video modes of current OnePlus phones. It is currently unknown if the Chinese company is working on similar improvements for taking photos.

That said, it’s likely the tech giant’s next batch of smartphones – expected to be called the OnePlus 8 series – will come with improved camera hardware and software.

OnePlus is expected to reveal its next flagship in the first half of this year. Of course, will keep you in the loop with any announcements from the Shenzhen company.

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