The Galaxy S22 Ultra is widely considering to have the best camera setup right now better than the iPhones and the Pixels of the world. But there's a new guy in the town who wants to take this crown from the S22 Ultra with the help of two prominent players in the camera game, Sony and Leica. I'm talking about the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. The company unveiled the phone today in China and this phone has the largest image sensor on any smartphone and the largest individual pixels that are available on any smartphone today.
Just in case you don't know, a bigger sensor size has a cleaner look compared to a smaller sensor. It's the first and most vital thing you would like to think about in a camera that will have the most powerful impact on your images and video. So bigger the better here. Similarly, larger pixels produce greater light sensitivity which means they will perform better in low light conditions, it will have less noise and better dynamic range.
The Xiaomi 12S Ultra beats the S22 Ultra in both these categories. The sensor size on the 12S Ultra is the world's biggest sensor that has even been put on a smartphone, and that's 1". Basically, we're entering a DSLR territory here. Some of you might remember, didn't Sony use a 1" sensor for their Xperia Pro phone a few months ago? Well, that's right! But that was a different sensor.
The problem with that phone was the Sensor wasn't custom-built for that phone. I mean, even though it was a 1" sensor, the lens wasn't big enough to take full advantage of this sensor. So the effective sensor size came down to 1/1.3", similar to the S22 Ultra. But that will not be the case with the 12S Ultra because the Sony sensor they are using is custom-built for phones, where this phone will reportedly use the whole thing. Of course, it won’t turn a phone into a DSLR, but it could be a huge step up from the typical smartphone camera. And the camera samples that Xiaomi shared look phenomenal with great low light shots, natural bokeh, lots of detail, great HDR, and more. Of course, Xiaomi must have used expensive camera equipment and a professional photographer to take these photos, but still, these samples look awesome.
On top of it, the phone has anti-glare lens coating, lens edge ink coating, cyclic olefin copolymer material, and an infrared light filter with spin coating technology. Half of it, I don't know either, but they are just fancy technology names that will get you a clearer overall picture across the lens. In addition to the hardware improvements, Xiaomi has also packed a couple of new software features that are two new photographic styles — Leica Authentic Look and Leica Vibrant Look. As the name suggests, one mode delivers natural imagery while the other one will enhance the colors.
Also new is this phone is the first Android device to bring Dolby Vision HDR videos for both video recording and playback. So the recordings will be pleasant to look at. Camera aside, the Mi 12S Ultra otherwise has the typical hallmarks of a flagship phone with Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip. The phone is aggressively priced in China and it is expected to launch globally in the coming weeks, although the global prices will be a little higher than these Chinese ones.
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