Leica-Branded Xiaomi 12S Ultra Has World’s Biggest Smartphone Sensor

Xiaomi has announced its 12S series which includes the Ultra co-designed with Leica. This flagship features the world’s largest smartphone sensor: a 50-megapixel 1-inch sensor behind a Leica 13mm f/1.9 lens.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra features a 6.73-inch AMOLED display that promises 1,500 nits of peak brightness at 2K resolution with support for the P3 color gamut (details on actual color accuracy are not available). not provided). Behind the screen, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the first flagship model to feature two proprietary Xiaomi Surge chips, the Xiaomi Surge P1 fast-charging chipset and the Xiaomi Surge G1 battery management chipset, which the company says offers big improvements in battery management and overall. user experience.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

The new smartphone also supports 67W wired fast charging, 50W wireless fast charging and 10W reverse wireless charging. At the heart of the Xiaomi Surge battery management system is a silicon anode battery 4,860mAh single-cell oxygen and Xiaomi Surge P1 fast-charging chipset, which the company claims also supports up to 16A output current with 96.8% conversion efficiency.

Not to minimize a better battery and better display size, but the real star of the show is the giant camera array.

A huge camera

The huge camera on the back of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra is centered around a 1-inch Sony IMX989 sensor that uses a Quad-Bayer pixel array with individual pixels at 1.6μm. After pixel clustering, Xiaomi claims these pixels grow to a larger 3.2μm, which reduces noise, extends dynamic range, increases light captured, and provides better overall imaging in low light conditions. .

The sensor was actually co-developed between Sony and Xiaomi, which Engadget reports includes a 50-50 split to support set-up costs.

In order to utilize the full size of the 1-inch sensor, Xiaomi has relied on Leica to develop what it calls a “sophisticated optical lens”.

“[The 12S Ultra] utilizes Leica’s world-class optical design capabilities in its lens system while adhering to their stringent optical quality testing standards and implementing Xiaomi’s expertise in component miniaturization to ensure ultra-high resolution , ultra-high light sensitivity, reduced dispersion, and lower stray light,” the company says.

The lens supposedly reduces flare, ghosting and chromatic aberration. In addition to the physical lens design, the camera has also been tuned to replicate Leica’s tone and aesthetics with “state-of-the-art algorithms”, realized in the Leica Authentic Look and Leica Vibrant Look Photo Profiles.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

As explained by Xiaomi:

  • The “Leica Authentic Look” continues the natural imagery that Leica is known for. By retaining the contrast of light and shadow, it adds a sense of three-dimensional depth to photos, with the hallmark excellence of Leica’s time-tested light and shadow aesthetics.
  • The “Leica Vibrant Look” includes entries from Xiaomi and Leica. By combining Xiaomi’s experience in smartphone photography with Leica’s cutting-edge aesthetics, photographers can strive to capture the emotion of the moment, symbolizing Leica’s exploration into the smartphone photography space. .

The main camera is also the first Android device to support Dolby Vision HDR video recording and playback. Additionally, it features Xiaomi’s HyberOIS image stabilization which the company claims provides ultra-stable performance and continuous motion compensation during video recording.

“HyperOIS uses the space between two frames to bring the OIS engine back to its original position, giving each frame a full effective range of stabilization,” the company claims.

Xiaomi says the 12S Ultra was also designed to be more user-friendly for photographers in post-production, and it captures photos in Adobe Labs-calibrated 10-bit RAW format with color correction metadata embedded directly into the files. When using Adobe Lightroom to open photos taken on the Xiaomi 12S series, Adobe Camera RAW software automatically optimizes photos based on metadata, which Xiaomi says provides professional photographers with a good starting point for post-production. .

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Xiaomi 12S Ultra

Xiaomi hinted it would release the smartphone’s landmark camera last week, but the sheer size of the camera array on the back of the new 12S Ultra shows how difficult it is to make full use of a large sensor. 1 inch in a smartphone design that’s so thin. Sony attempted something similar with its Xperia Pro-I earlier this year, but due to size constraints it couldn’t utilize the full size of the sensor like Xiaomi was able to here.

The Xiaomi 12S Ultra smartphone starts at 5,999 yuan, or about $892. This and other 12S series smartphones are launching in mainland China first and the company has not provided any information on when to expect it in other regions.

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