Xiaomi’s 12S series is coming with Leica lenses! Ultra version comes with a 1in. Sony IMX989 sensor!

The bigger the sensor, the more light would be processed, resulting in bright and high-quality images without the need to rely on pixel binning!

Xiaomi 12S Pro

About a month ago, Xiaomi announced a partnership with Leica after the latter broke off with Huawei. According to Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, this partnership would help in bringing “real photography” that was once a “smear of darkness”. He claimed that smartphone cameras don’t actually bring the true potential of their sensors and this Leica partnership would emphasize that.

Teasers for the 12S series show that the Ultra variant would come with a 1in. Sony IMX989 sensor. Like the Mi 11 Ultra, this one may be exclusive for Chinese users only and what we’re getting are the slightly inferior versions, possibly up to the “Pro” version. Regardless, all phones in this series are equipped with Leica lenses.

This is not the first time Sony made a 1in. sensor though. The first ones came from their own Xperia units, the Xperia Pro-I as well as Sharp’s Aquos R6/R7. There is even a Leica phone (essentially a rebranded Sharp) with a similarly sized sensor. The larger the sensor, the brighter the image as more light could be processed. Though the engineering for this is a lot more complex for smartphones as they have to fit the massively large sensor onto a cramped space.

Xiaomi teased that the 12S Ultra would come with improved dynamic range and focusing speed. While we don’t have details yet on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra, rumours tell that the phone would come with a 48MP ultrawide and telephoto camera both with OIS as well as a 32MP front camera. As a flagship phone, we’re expecting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus chipset inside. We’re not entirely sure if there’s going to be a Mediatek Dimensity 9000 or 9000+ variant, but we’ll have to wait.

Other things that are expected include a 6.67in. Samsung E4 AMOLED screen, high refresh rate, fast wired and wireless charging support, at least 4500mAh battery, possibly an IR blaster, NFC, and Dolby Vision. Oh, the teasers also confirm that all phones of the series will include Harman-Kardon-tuned stereo speakers. The 3.5mm jack may again be absent.

Source: Xiaomi (in Chinese), 2