the 1″ sensor overwhelms a mobile that will pose a battle in photography

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It’s here. Xiaomi has just presented its new flagship smartphone for 2022, and, despite the fact that almost all its specifications had already been leaked, it has surprised us. And it has done so because it is not a conventional mobile phone. It actually looks more like a compact photo camera in which, as a bonus, the electronic components of a mobile have been integrated.

The photograph that we have used on the cover of this article clearly reflects the space occupied by the imposing camera module on the back of this terminal, although it does not allow us to intuit its thickness. In any case, according to Xiaomi spokespersons, this is a mobile designed to enthusiasts and professionals of photography.

In fact, as we told you a few days ago, its main camera incorporates a 1 inch sensor manufactured by Sony in which it is worth investigating as deeply as possible. However, this is not all. And it is that the Chinese company has had an ally during the development of the cameras of this 12S Ultra: Leica. Of course, Xiaomi ensures that its collaboration is not a maneuver of marketing. There is no doubt that this smartphone has a lot to cut.

Xiaomi 12S Ultra: technical specifications

features

screen

6.73-inch AMOLED LTPO 2K, 10-bit, up to 120 Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, 1500 nits (peak brightness delivery) and Victus Gorilla Glass coverage

resolution

3200 x 1440 points

processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 with 4nm photolithography

graphics

adreno 730

memory

8 or 12GB LPDDR5

storage

256 or 512 GB UFS 3.1

frontal camera

32 megapixel sensor and optics with f/2.0 aperture value

rear cameras

  • Main: 1-inch, 50-megapixel Sony IMX989 sensor, 1.6 µm photodiodes groupable in sets of 4 (3.2 µm), optics with f/1.9 aperture value and 8 elements, and optical stabilization
  • Ultra wide-angle camera: 1/2″ 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, 1.6 µm photodiodes (4-in-1), 7-element f/2.2 aperture optics, 128-degree field of view
  • Telephoto: 1/2″ 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor, 1.6 µm photodiodes (4-in-1), optics with f/4.1 aperture value and optical stabilization
  • ToF depth camera

operating system

android 12

MIUI 13

connectivity

USB-C 2.0

wireless connectivity

WiFi 6E

Bluetooth 5.2

sound

Stereophonic

Tuned by Harman Kardon

IP protection

IP68

drums

4860mAh

burden

67W fast charge

50W wireless fast charging

10W wireless reverse charging

price

From 5,999 yuan (859 euros approx.) with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB

The 1-inch sensor takes center stage in the hardware of this mobile

The sexiest cameras on this smartphone undoubtedly reside in the rear module, but before delving into them it’s worth taking a brief look at the front unit. This camera uses a 32 megapixel sensor that works in tandem with an optic with an aperture value of f/2.0. These characteristics fit well with those that users can demand from the front camera of a smartphone with a very clear premium vocation.

Photolithography is the real bottleneck in the chip industry.  And it's in very few hands

The main camera of this mobile phone incorporates the new 1-inch IMX989 sensor manufactured by Sony

Now yes, the time has come to investigate the rear cameras. The main one embodies the authentic claim of this mobile phone because it incorporates the new 1-inch IMX989 sensor manufactured by Sony. This sensor has a resolution of 50 megapixels and 1.6 µm photodiodes which can be grouped into sets of four photoreceptors to increase their surface area to a wholly insignificant 3.2 µm.

The lens with which this sensor works has an aperture value of f/1.9 and incorporates 8 elements. However, what is really interesting is that, according to Xiaomi, this optical block is capable of cover the entire surface of the sensor, something that other mobile phones that have also opted for 1-inch sensors, such as the Sony Xperia PRO-I, have not achieved. Of course, the images we have of this terminal reflect that its thickness, and possibly also its weight, exceed the values ​​that many users are willing to accept. We’ll check it out when we get a chance to test it.

Xiaomi12s Ultra 4

Let’s go now with the ultra wide angle camera and the telephoto lens. Both opt for the same sensor: a 1/2-inch IMX586 manufactured by Sony with a resolution of 48 megapixels and 1.6 µm photodiodes groupable in sets of four. However, as expected, the optical blocks of these cameras are very different. The one with the wide-angle unit has an aperture value of f/2.2 and 7 elements, a configuration that allows it to put a 128-degree field of view in our hands.

Both the wide-angle camera and the telephoto lens look very good, but there is no doubt that the real protagonist due to the ambition it brings to the table is the main camera.

The optics of the telephoto lens, however, have an aperture value of f/4.1 (unfortunately Xiaomi during the presentation has not detailed what the exact configuration of the optical block of this camera is). Furthermore, as we could foresee, this unit is stabilized. On paper, both the wide-angle camera and the telephoto lens look very good, but there is no doubt that the real protagonist due to the ambition that she brings to the table is the main camera.

Xiaomi12 ultra sensor

The fourth camera that this smartphone bets on is a unit of depth 3D ToF type (Time Of Flight). Many other phones, both from Xiaomi and from other brands, have incorporated this technology for more than three years, but if you are not familiar with it and want to know in detail what it offers us, I suggest you take a look at the article in which we explain it in detail. .

Xiaomi ensures that the hand of Leica is very present in this smartphone

Users often contemplate with a little mistrust the relationship that exists between smartphone manufacturers and brands specializing in professional photography. And the companies involved know it.

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According to Xiaomi, Leica engineers have been deeply involved in fine-tuning the hardware and software of the cameras.

This is the reason why Xiaomi spokesmen have repeated several times during the presentation of the 12S family terminals that Leica engineers have been deeply involved in the development of both the hardware of the cameras of these mobiles and the processing software. They have even played a video in which we have been able to see the discussions between these technicians during the development phase of this photographic hardware.

We will not know precisely what this smartphone offers us until we have the opportunity to analyze it in depth, so for the moment we will have to settle for collecting what Xiaomi promises us. And what he assures us is that in this terminal they have solved better than ever the always tricky integration between the camera hardware and the software. Again, Leica engineers seem to have been very present throughout this process.

Xiaomi12ultra modes

Xiaomi spokesmen have insisted that Leica technicians have not only supervised the quality of the hardware and software of its 12S Ultra; They have also made sure that the aesthetics of photographs they capture and the level of detail they are capable of collecting scrupulously respect those of their cameras. Those of Leica’s own cameras.

Leica engineers have made sure that the aesthetics of the photographs they capture and the level of detail they are capable of collecting scrupulously respect those of their cameras

In fact, in addition to intervening in the process of refining the post-processing algorithms, the German company’s engineers have contributed to fine-tuning two different capture modes (authentic Y vibrant) and four classic Leica filters that photography enthusiasts who own a Leica camera are likely to be familiar with.

Xiaomi12ultracapture

According to Xiaomi, the purpose of both its technicians and those of Leica has been to recreate the color in the most reliable way possible and recover the maximum level of detail both in the shadow regions and in highlights. In short, put in our hands the maximum naturalness. Sounds good.

Unfortunately it seems that at the moment this mobile phone is not going to arrive in Europe, but it would not be at all surprising if we have more news about this promising 12S Ultra in the coming months. I would be very surprised if Xiaomi misses the opportunity to compete in the premium segment with a terminal that exudes so much personality. We will prepare to test it thoroughly as soon as the opportunity arises.

It’s here. Xiaomi has just presented its new flagship smartphone for 2022, and, despite the fact that almost all its…

It’s here. Xiaomi has just presented its new flagship smartphone for 2022, and, despite the fact that almost all its…

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