One of the most important novelties of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is that, as the company has confirmed, it will come with a 1-inch sensor for the main camera.
Phones like the most expensive Sony Xperia Pro-I (get scared with their price here) they also have 1-inch type camera sensors. However, it seems that Xiaomi has bet heavily and the Xiaomi 12S Ultra will shine with its own light (and, most likely, at a more affordable price).
Sony IMX989 and Leica lens: Who gives more?
We are now officially a few days away from the official unveiling of the Xiaomi 12S series, and Xiaomi is dropping some tidbits about its next flagship:
After so much work, we can finally share our latest innovation, Xiaomi smartphones co-designed with Leica, ushering in a new era in imaging technology.
Xiaomi 12S Ultra features the Sony IMX989, Sony’s largest image sensor to date. The 1″ ultra sensor captures a greater amount of light, allows for a faster focus speed and a better dynamic range.
The 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor has not only been specifically developed for the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, but also It has been co-developed by Xiaomi and Sony.
Words like “collaboration” and “co-development” have been used loosely in the past. However, this time around, reports say that Xiaomi has been actively involved in the actual development of the IMX989 and that its $15 million development cost was split between Xiaomi and Sony.
In practical terms, Xiaomi promises that compared to the main camera sensor of the iPhone 13 Pro Max, the IMX989 has 172% more photosensitive area and is 32.5% faster when taking photos. It also says that it has 101% more light-sensitive ability and 11% faster boot-up speed.
In practical terms, this should result in reflectivity as low as 0.2% and light transmittance as high as 93%, meaning we should expect super clear photos regardless of lighting conditions.
However, what has excited us the most is that, unlike the Sony Xperia Pro-I, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is expected to make use of the entire sensor area of the IMX989which combined with custom Leica lenses could make all the difference.
Apparently, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra will be equipped with Leica’s professional-grade SUMMICRON optical lens. We’re expecting double-sided 8P ultra-low reflection coating on all of the 12S Ultra’s rear cameras, not just the main one.
Some photo samples with Xiaomi 12S Ultra
Here’s a first look at what the Xiaomi 12S Ultra’s 1-inch sensor might be capable of.
As you can see, the samples made by Xiaomi have a lot of natural bokeh without the need to use Portrait Mode and great detail even in difficult scenes, which is typical of larger sensors in dedicated cameras.
Will anyone else be able to use the IMX989 sensor?
Xiaomi and Sony have decided to let other phone manufacturers use the jointly developed IMX 989 sensor in their phones in exchange for a commission (which will go to both Sony and Xiaomi).
So, the new 1-inch sensor will not be exclusive to the Xiaomi 12S Ultrawhich is great news for the rest of the smartphone world.
According to a source, the first phone to feature the IMX989 after Xiaomi should be the Magic 5 Ultimate honorary.
The 1-inch IMX989 “is expected to become a flagship sensor and be widely used in (more) ultra-flagship products, according to Ice Universe. It also clarifies that Samsung is working on its own “200 MP camera,” and that it won’t be using the IMX989.
Now comes the bad news
Xiaomi has confirmed that the new Xiaomi 12S family “They are only released and will be exclusively available in China.”
This means that, at least for now, we will not be able to put our hands on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra or, at least, it will not be easy to do so.
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