The Morning After: Xiaomi’s flagship phone has a Leica camera with a massive one-inch sensor

The Morning After

Just six months after its last flagship launch, Xiaomi has announced another one. Tea Xiaomi 12S Ultra packs a massive one-inch, 50.3-megapixel Sony IMX989 main sensor. And unlike the , the Xiaomi 12S Ultra apparently uses the entirety of its one-inch sensor. And the camera unit itself? Well, it looks gigantic.

Xiaomi

Inside, there’s a Leica Summicron 1:1.9-4.1 / 13-120 ASPH camera system that combines three rear cameras: a 50.3-megapixel main camera (23mm, f/1.9), along with the 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera (13mm , f/2.2) and the 48-megapixel periscopic camera (120mm, f/4.1). Both 48-megapixel cameras use a half-inch Sony IMX586 sensor. The circular camera island (continent?) has a special coating to mitigate lens glare and improve image consistency. Oh, and there’s a 23K gold rim as well. Because excess.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is now available for pre-ordering in China, ahead of retail launch on July 6th. The 12S Ultra starts at 5,999 yuan (around $900).

Leica has spread its bets over the years in mobile imaging partnerships. It has previously collaborated with , and — Chinese phone makers are quick to pal up with renowned photography brands. In late 2020, Vivo joined forces with Zeiss, while Oppo and OnePlus released handsets jointly developed with Hasselblad.

The result has, broadly, meant better smartphone cameras from these companies looking to go toe-to-toe with the iPhones and Galaxy Ss of this world.

— Mat Smith

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