Xiaomi is rumored to be bringing a 1-inch sensor in its upcoming Ultra phone.
It is now almost confirmed that Xiaomi will use a new image sensor that they have jointly developed with Sony in their upcoming Xiaomi 12S Ultra.
If a leaked press release is to be believed, the new image sensor that the Xiaomi 12S Ultra will use is called the new Sony IMX989 and it is a 1-inch sensor. This powerful new sensor will launch with Xiaomi’s new flagship device.
While it’s not the first time a 1-inch sensor has been used in a phone, Sony has used the sensor from its RX100 VII camera previously in its Sony Xperia Pro-I.
Official Sony Email pic.twitter.com/aPAwZsUKIQJune 29, 2022
Being a sensor that is co-developed by Sony and Xiaomi, it brings an important question to the mix, whether the IMX989 sensor will be exclusive to Xiaomi phones or not. Looking at the previous sensor that Xiaomi and Sony collaborated on, Sony IMX707, we can be sure that it could be a timed-exclusive sensor or entirely exclusive to Xiaomi.
As a reminder, the IMX707 is still only used in Xiaomi phones and is not available for any other smartphone manufacturer. Xiaomi 12 Pro uses the same sensor. In fact, the other Xiaomi 12S, Xiaomi 12S Pro and Xiaomi 12S series phones are also expected.
Teasers share that this is a 1-inch sensor, and there’s no indication of the sensor’s megapixels. So we don’t really know if the IMX989 is a 50MP sensor or a 100MP sensor, as previously rumored.
It’s also unclear whether Xiaomi will use all of that 1-inch sensor or not. Sony has chosen not to use the entire 1-inch sensor area on the Xperia Pro-I, we’ll have to wait until launch to find out more about Xiaomi’s implementation.
With Huawei out of the smartphone game globally, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are looking to capture Huawei’s market share. Vivo has been producing impressive camera-centric phones with its X-series in collaboration with ZEISS.
Oppo brought in Hasselblad, albeit inherited from OnePlus. But none of the collaborations lack the much-celebrated Leica collaboration that was a hallmark of Huawei’s flagship P and Mate series. Xiaomi is looking to capitalize on just that by bringing the Leica brand to its phones.
Xiaomi is also trying to bring out hardware innovations that are evident with these investments in custom image sensors. Even though they’ve tried it before with Samsung with its 108MP ISOCELL HMX sensors, which focused more on megapixels, the Sony IMX989 feels like a much more impressive effort.
We’ll have to wait for the phone’s official launch to see the results. Although there is also a rumor that the Xiaomi 12S series would be a China exclusive. It would be unfortunate if it ended like this.