The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is the first smartphone to get Sony’s new IMX989 sensor. Measuring one inch in size, it is the largest camera sensor designed specifically for smartphones to date. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra will be presented on July 4th.
Sony’s IMX989 celebrates its premiere in the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. Technically, however, the smartphone is not the first device to use a one-inch camera sensor. Last year’s Xperia Pro-I also has a 1-inch sensor, but it’s a cropped sensor from Sony’s digital cameras. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is thus the first smartphone to use a true 1-inch full-size smartphone sensor, reports petapixels.
Sony beats Samsung in the race for the largest smartphone camera sensor
Like Xiaomi on the Chinese social media platform Weibo announced that Sony’s 1-inch camera sensor in the Xiaomi 12S Ultra should offer better low-light performance, faster focus and a higher contrast range. The IMX989 offers a resolution of 50 megapixels, so the native pixel size is around 1.5 micrometers. For comparison: Samsung’s largest camera sensor, the ISOCELL GN2, is 1/1.22 inch and also offers a 50 megapixel resolution. The native pixel size is therefore 1.4 microns.
Xiaomi focuses on photography
It seems that Xiaomi attaches great importance to photography, especially with the upcoming Xiaomi 12 series. That is why the new smartphone series was also created in co-production with Leica. And as Xiaomi boss Lei Jun proudly announced, the company didn’t just buy Sony’s IMX989, but participated in the development of the sensor.
The cost of the development totaled $15 million, shared equally between Xiaomi and Sony, explained Jun. However, the sensor is not exclusive to Xiaomi devices. The Xiaomi 12S Ultra is only the first smartphone with the sensor, later it will also be available for other manufacturers.